Emoticon Translation – Edgy Worm pt. 1

Note: Many emoticons include informal speech or words written improperly, so keep that in mind when studying them.

오늘 뭐해냐?

What are you doing today?




Let’s break this down. 뭐 means ‘what’, and is generally used the same way in English. You can say 뭐야 to informally ask what something is, and 뭐하다 is ‘what are you doing’. In this emoticon, the -다 has been dropped so that only the verb stem is left, allowing it to be conjugated. -냐 is a verb ending that is used for questions, but keep in mind that it should only be used between close friends and if often used by teenagers and younger adults.

난 몰라

I don’t know

난 is the informal word 나 (meaning ‘I’) with the topic particle -ㄴ/는 added onto it.


This is the informal, present tense conjugation of 모르다, meaning ‘to not know’.

그거 조하

That’s good


This is one of those words I mentioned that isn’t written exactly right. 그것 means ‘that’ (literally ‘that thing’), but oftentimes in casual writing Koreans will drop the -ㅅ, resulting in 그거.


This is another word that’s written incorrectly. It comes from a conjugated form of 좋다, meaning ‘to be good’ It should be written ‘좋아’, but again its casual and in an emoticon, and 조하 and 좋아 are pretty much pronounced the same.

나 보고싶지?

Did you miss me?

Technically its a present tense conjugation, but naturally in English we would use the last tense

Usually you would conjugate 나 to 니가, in order to be the object of the sentence, or the person being missed. But…again….it’s an emoticon


There’s a lot of grammar happening here. 보다 is ‘to see’. -고 싶다 is added onto the stem of a verb to mean ‘to want to [verb]’. When you add these together you get 보고 싶다 which means ‘to want to see’. We then drop the -다 from 싶다 so we can conjugate it. -지 is an informal ending used to ask a question when one already knows the answer. In English it would be like adding ‘right’ to the end of the question. An English example could be: This dress is so cute, right??

Literally this emoticon could translate to ‘You miss me, right?’ but the more natural English is ‘did you miss me??’

밥은 먹었냐밥은

밥 means rice, and the phrase ‘밥 먹다’ is used to refer to eating. You don’t have to be eating rice, specifically.

-은 is the topic particle.


This is a conjugated for of 먹다 (to eat). You drop the -다 and add -었어 to the stem to make it past tense. On this word -냐 has also been added, and we talked about this ending in the first section.

~ Hannah

Published by Hannah & Shelbi

We are just 2 students who wish to share the love and joy of learning language through lesson posts and translations! We are doing this for fun, based on our experience and questions we ask native speakers. We are not fluent! Just passionate  ~ Hannah, Shelbi, and Jordan

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