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Please remember that I am not fluent and this is just my understanding. Let me know if there’s mistakes!
->Almost verbed, but didn’t
->Indicates relief that the action didn’t occur
-when deciding how to add ㄹ follow normal future tense rules
->Used with past tense “if” statements to say “If this didn’t happen, I would have~”
I personally think of it as “to a degree” such as “almost all” “almost a year” “to the point of laughing” (these will make sense in the examples ill give)
-> When paired with 뻔하다 it means “I almost did to the point of” so it best translates as “came close to verbing”
Often paired with 뻔하다 to add emphasis. It goes before the clause to give a heads up that it’s an almost statement. The best explanation I can think of is “the test I failed…. almost” vs “the test I almost failed” (there’s other patterns too that use adverbs for emphasis/to give a heads up. Examples are: 만약~으면 and 마치~처럼/같다)
한국어 공부한지 거의 1년 됐어요
I’ve been studying korean for almost a year
어비스라는 시리즈를 거의 다 봤어요
I’m almost finished watching abyss (I watched almost all of abyss)
거의 웃을 뻔했어요
I came close to laughing (i almost did to the point of laughing)
저는 시험에 떨어질 뻔했어요
I almost failed the test (I the test failed, almost)
저는 시험에 하마터면 떨어질 뻔했어요
I almost failed the test ( I the test, almost failed)
(notice how in the previous sentence it sounded like I failed the test? You didn’t know it was “almost” until the end. But in the next sentence you know that it was “almost” before you even knew I was talking about “failing”)
하마터면 기차를 놓칠 뻔했어요
My older brother almost missed the train
우리 오빠는 늦게 일어나서 하마터면 기차를 놓칠 뻔했어요
Older bro almost missed the train because he woke up late
네가 전화하지 않았더라면 약속을 까먹을 뻔했어!
I would have forgotten the appointment if you didnt call me
Both of these are used for “to fail a test” however most commonly used is 떨어지다 which literally translates to “fall/drop”
시험에 불합격하다 / 시험에 떨어지다
to fail a test
to fail at an attempt
to fail at life
failed at swimming
failed at dieting
to fail and have to be repeated (usually a grade/course)
-> can be used for “fail a test” but 떨어지다 is more common
한급 두번에 낙방했어
failed level one twice
초등학교 육학년에 낙방했어
failed 6th grade
기능에 두번 낙방했어
failed function twice
(Like a phone trying to access something. It failed and had to repeat the attempt)
He is a failed student (failed a grade / course)
So I met this girl on Tandem. She messaged me super friendly and we talked for 2 hours before I went to bed and then for 5 or so hours the next morning. She had taken a nap and didn’t go to bed until like 3am Korean time. Anyway she never like…..said we could drop formalities. She just kind of did…..
So I asked if I could drop words, just to confirm. I continued replying in formal speech while waiting for her answer…..which never came.
So then I dropped formalities as well and we have since continued in 반말.
She started 반말 in the morning; so after 2ish hours of conversation
So I’ve probably been talking to her for about 2 weeks, but we are never on at the same time so we send like….2 messages each per day. Anyway this was her take on 반말:
To which I replied this:
To which she replied that ^
But guys, that’s just HER personal opinion. A lot of us know that many of the younger generation in Korea are more relaxed about that kind of thing, and can have some tendencies that are more suited to a western culture. But even though SOME people are like that, it doesn’t mean that ALL people are. It’s still rude to address someone informally if you don’t know them. WE ARE NOT KOREANS. THIS IS NOT OUR CULTURE. We do not fully understand and and we need to be respectful of it and ignoring the existence of 존댓말 is not respect. I can’t stress enough how important it is for us to err on the side of caution and ALWAYS use formalities unless you have asked the other person if it is alright to drop them.
So I actually talked about her in Part 1 of my ‘dropping formalities’ series. This is my friend’s cousin; her name is 동회.
An overview of the situation:
A while ago I met up with her and my friend and my friend’s sister and was going to speak formally since I don’t know them, but ended up dropping formalities, as my friend was indicating that I could. (I’m older than both the sister and 동회)
We made a group chat and no one REALLY texted it, and I didn’t realize that 동회 had added me on kakao so I didn’t add her back for two weeks
I added her, apologized, she replied and was like ‘awww you’re fine!’
After 2 weeks and because we’d only met once I wanted to be sure I wasn’t being rude so I spoke formally in the text. She didn’t correct it or anything, and I had also messaged our gc, where she replied to everyone informally.
So next time I messaged her I asked if I could drop words and her reply was ‘of course! You’re the 언니 so you can drop words’.
Even though I always use formals when I don’t known people, I seem to be encountering a lot of Koreans who tell me that it is ok to drop formalities when I’m older. But I wouldn’t want to do so without asking, because every language exchange partner I’ve had has used formal speech even when they’re older than me. And having said that, I wouldn’t ask to drop formalities just because I’m older. I would wait until I had conversed with the person at least a few times.
I just like sharing this information in hopes that it helps clear things up for those who find formalities intimidating. Even though I’ve been told that I can drop formalities because I’m older, I like to at least start formally. That’s the advice my friend gave me; she said that she always speaks formally unless someone is significantly younger. I prefer to take her advice and do the same unless explicitly told otherwise. The preference in relation to formalities really depends on the Korean, so it’s best just to start formally and feel it out.
Good luck with formalities! Go forth, be polite, and don’t offend! Y’all got this; 화이팅
참다 means “to bear. to withstand. to endure. to restrain oneself. to hold back. stifle. suppress” etc like that
더 이상 참을 수 없어!
I can’t bare/take anymore!
더 많이 참을 수 있잖아!
(you know) I can handle more than this!
그 만큼은 참을 수 있어
I can (take/handle/deal with/bear) that much
그 만큼으로만 참을 수 있어
That’s all I can take. I can only handle as much as that
숨 얼마나 오래 참을 수 있어?
How long can you hold your breath?
숨 5분 20초동안 참을 수 있어!
I can hold my breath for 5 minutes and 20 seconds!
내가 보고 싶어도 참아!
Even if you miss me, hang in there! (endure it/bear it/take it)
I am just explaining the puns I found and giving an English trans that isn’t as funny/make as much sense as the original Korean lol Hope you enjoy! ( ORIGINAL SOURCE )
Are these word jokes or horse jokes? 🤔 (This is a bad attempt at being funny. Please don’t come for me lol)
Now on to the real ones! (Also, let me know if there’s any mistakes! I had to figure these out for myself afterall and I did see one mistake in my old notes as I was writing this.)
What are you looking at? Are you not cherrying?
체리 is a cherry
정신 안 체리나 sounds like 정신 안 차리나
정신 차리다 is to come to ones senses/be conscious. 정신 차려! means “snap out of it!/focus!” This pun is using the negative form
What are you looking at? Are you not paying attention?
Wanna tangerine with me?
귤 is a tangerine/mandarin orange.
사귤래 sounds like 사귈래
사귀다 means “to get along with” and it can be used in the context of dating or friendship. adding 을래 to the verb is asking “do you wanna?”
Wanna go out with me?.
Do you banana me?
바나나 means “banana”
바나나 sounds like 반했나
반하다 is to have a crush on someone. 나 is an indirect questioning ending so 반했나 is the past tense indirect questioning form of 반하다
Do you have a crush on me?
I’m so melon without you:(
참외 is a Korean Melon
참 외롭다 sounds like 참 외롭다
참 means “very” and 외롭다 is to be lonely.
I’m so lonely without you
I can’t watermelon but love you!
수박 means “watermelon”
수 박에 없다 sounds like 수 박에 없다
수 박에 없다 is a grammar point indicating one has no choice but to verb / can’t help but to verb
I can’t help but love you!
I apricot with you
살구 is an apricot
살구 싶다 sounds like 살고 싶다
살고 싶어 means “I want to live“
I wanna live with you
I mouse you
쥐 is a mouse
좋아하쥐 sounds like 좋아하지
좋아하지 is 좋아하다+지(요) grammar. 지요 is used when asking for, or giving, clarification. It can also be used for emphasis like “of course”. 좋아하지 is informal, 좋아하지요 is formal, and 좋아하죠 is just short for 좋아하지요
Of course I like you / I like you (but said with feeling/umph)
That’s Earth I like you
지구 means “Earth” as the planet
가지구 sounds like 가지고
아/어 가지고 has a function similar to 아/어서 (because) “reason 가지고 result”
That’s why I like you
콩 is a bean
알콩달콩 sounds like 알콩달콩
알콩달콩 is “lovely and happily” / “lovey-dovey”
Take my hand and snack!
과자 is a snack (as in the food itself and not “to snack”)
과자 sounds like 가자
가자 is 가다+자 meaning “let’s go“. 으러 가다 is a grammar meaning “go somewhere in order to verb”, in this case “let’s go so we can hangout/play”
Take my hand and let’s go! (Not literal but this sentence is hard and doesnt sound natural to me in English)
I fake flower you
조화 is a fake flower
조화해 sounds like 좋아해
I like you
Please ocean me
바다 is the ocean
바다줘 sounds like 받아줘
받아줘 is 받다+주다. 받다 means “to accept” and 주다 is added on to verbs when they are done for the sake of someone else. 받아줘 “please accept~”
Please accept me
I’ve neptuned you for a while
해왕성 is Neptune
좋아해왕성 sounds like 좋아해왔어
I personally think of 좋아해오다 as “come to like”
I’ve liked you for a while
I chicken you!
닭 is a chicken.
사랑한닭 sounds like 사랑한다
사랑하다 is “to love” and 사랑한다 is the plain/diary form
I love you!
I snowcrab like you
대게 sounds like 되게
되게 is like “really”
I really like you
Whale I like you
고래 is a whale
고래서 sounds like 그래서
That’s why I like you.
I bread like you
빵 is bread
대빵 sounds like 대박
대박 is like “awesome” but in this context it’s “really/super“
I reeaallly like you!
Do you ripe persimmon like me too?
홍시 is a sweet/ripe persimmon
홍시 sounds like 혹시
혹시 is like ” maybe/possibly/by chance/perhaps”
Do you maybe like me too? (By any chance, do you like me too?)
Even if you grape me, hang in there!
포도 is a grape
시포도 sounds like 싶어도
싶어도 is 싶다+도 grammar. 싶다 is “to want” and “verb+도” translates like “even if verb”. 참아 comes from 참다 for “bear/tolerate”
Even if you miss me, hang in there!
I radish like you~
무 is a radish
너무 sounds like 너무
너무 means “really/very”
I really like you
「 CHRISTMAS 」
-> Christmas is different in korea. Rather than a family holiday, it is a couples holiday. Christianity is spreading in Korea but it still isn’t huge. As far as I know, only touristy places decorate.
메리 크리스마스 Merry Christmas!
-> simply konglish
「 HAPPY NEW YEAR! 」
-> Korea technically has 2.
1) January first is the typical new year and part of the celebration includes ringing this big bell.
Every Korean ages 1 year on this day.
새해 복 많이 받으세요! Happy New Year!
-> literally “receive alot of new year luck”
받으세요-> receive (honorific form of 받다)
2) The second new year is called 설날 (seolnal). This is also the chinese new year or lunar new year. It marks the beginning of the next lunar cycle ~
즐거운 설날 보내세요 Happy Seolnal!
-> literally “have a fun/enjoyable 설날”
즐거운 is often used when wishing a happy holiday, but you can use other words as well to describe the type of holiday you wish for them to have. i see this one most often so its what im teaching. you could replace 즐거운 with 행복한 to mean “happy”
–> 즐거운 comes from 즐겁다. it can translate lots of ways. “joyous” “enjoyable” “amusing” its a good way to indicate its fun and makes you happy or just “pleasing” to you.
보내세요-> spend time (honorific of 보내다. also means “send” as in “send me a message”.) this can be swapped with 되세요
행복한 설날 되세요 / 즐거운 설날 되세요 / 행복한 설날 보내세요
-> any version can be used.
For seolnal, you may also use the regular new year greeting as well
「 CHUSEOK 」
This is kind of like thanksgiving. It is a 3 day festival and people usually get a long 5 day weekend for it. This is a family holiday. many koreans travel to be home with their family and have a big feast
즐거운 추석 보내세요 Happy Chuseok!
(-> can have the same alternates as 설날)
「 HAPPY BIRTHDAY 」
Koreans actually say “congrats on your birthday”. So this can be used for all kinda of things like “congrats on graduating” etc!
생일 축하해요! “Happy birthday”
졸업 축하해요 Congrats on your graduation!
졸업 graduate (졸업하다 “to graduate”)
(and of course 축하해요 can be used on its own for a simple “congrats!”)
「 HAPPY HALLOWEEN 」
-> Despite everything idols do for halloween, it isn’t really celebrated. It is an excuse to party and for stores to have sales etc and only touristy places decorate (although it is becoming more popular! And this is just based on what I’ve heard)
-> happy halloween
「 HAPPY VALENTINES DAY 」
This is also different in korea. On valentines day, women gift men with chocolates. The following month (march 14th) the men gift women with candies! (hence idols making the cakepops!) This is called white day! (화이트 데이)
달콤한 발렌타인 데이 보내세요 Have a sweet valentines!
(You can also use 즐거운 or 행복한 as well, but due to its nature, you will also see “sweet” used as well^^)
발렌타인 데이 konglish for valentines day
–> now replace 발렌타인 with 화이트! “Happy White Day” would be 달콤한 화이트 데이 보내세요!
「 HAPPY EASTER 」
Are you getting the hang of it yet? Easter is 부활절
So “Happy Easter” would be? -> 즐거운 부활절 보내세요!
For the most part, you just say 즐거운 ___ 보내세요 (filling in the blank with the holiday) but if the holiday isn’t widely celebrated, or doesn’t originate from korea, Romanization is used (like with Christmas and Halloween)
Originally posted on our instagram
Both mean ghost and koreans don’t really care. A ghost is a ghost!
(By this I mean that if you say you saw, or are afraid of, 귀신 they’re most likely not gonna give you 3rd degree to see if it really was a 귀신)
ghost with a human figure
(This is just a ghost that has a human-like form. Not necessarily that it looks JUST LIKE a human, it just resembles the human form)
non-human shaped ghost
Often defined as a ghost with no form. This is a ghost that does not resemble a human.
There are different types of 유령 such as an 악령 (evil spirit) or a 원령 (vengeful spirit. one that harms humans).
I learned about this from my language partner cause he said the writers of this show were on drugs, so of course I had to ask “what’s that in korean?” lol
to take drugs -> 약을 빨다
빨다 to suck
to take medicine -> 약을 먹다
먹다 to eat
suck medicine = illegal drugs / drugs that intoxicate
eat medicine = medicine for when you are sick
So when you are watching a show, and it seems like the people who wrote it are high / on drugs, you can say:
그 사람들은 약을 빤 것 같아 ㅋㅋㅋ
I think they took drugs lol (/I think they are high)
무슨 약을 빤 거야?
what kind of drugs are they on??
But when your friend is sick and you are curious about what the doctor gave them , you can say
무슨 약을 먹어요?
what kind of medicine are you taking?
빨리 나으려면 반드시 약을 먹어야 돼요~
you gotta be sure to take your medicine if you want to get better quickly
It is also an internet slang I am not very familiar with and so will not discuss😅
It is also a vulgar way of referring to taking a prescribed medication
I didn’t feel like looking up all the unknown words so I only skimmed but you can read more here