A Beginner's Guide To K-Drama: 6 Popular Korean Words & Phrases To Help You Get Started

If you're new to the K-drama verse, why not familiarise yourself with some Korean words and phrases? :D

Cover image via Terkinni & Disney+ Hotstar

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Looking to familiarise yourself with Korean words and phrases now that you're getting into the K-drama verse? :D

Fret not, we've got you covered! After all, every K-drama fan has to start somewhere.

In fact, as you continue to binge-watch all of them, you'll soon reach a point where you won't even need subtitles to understand what's going on! But now that you're still new, we've compiled some popular Korean phrases across different genres, so that no matter which drama you watch, you'll be able to, at the very least, understand some words.

We even included several K-dramas on Disney+ Hotstar that we highly recommend you watch too. More details at the end of the story!

1. Bogoshipo — I miss you

Image via Disney+ Hotstar

You're probably familiar with the term, saranghae (I love you), but there are so many lovey-dovey terms that Koreans use too, including bogoshipo.

Bogoshipo is an informal way of saying, "I miss you", so the term is often used in romance K-dramas. For example, a girl who has not seen her oppa in a looooong time would text or call him, saying "Bogoshipo, oppaaa."

If you like romance K-dramas, check out the following recommendations on Disney+ Hotstar:
- Kiss Sixth Sense, starring Yoon Kye Sang, Seo Ji Hye, and Kim Ji Seok
- Soundtrack #1, starring Han So Hee and Park Hyung Sik

2. Dowajuseyo — Help me

Image via Disney+ Hotstar

Dowajuseyo is one way of asking for help in everyday life or an emergency. It's frequently used in action K-dramas — for example, when a character gets into an accident and calls for help, he'll say, "Dowajuseyo!" Aside from that, you can also use the phrase when you need a favour from someone.

If you love action, catch these K-dramas on Disney+ Hotstar:
- Big Bet, starring Choi Min Sik, Son Suk Ku, and Lee Dong Hwi
- Shadow Detective, starring Lee Sung Min and Jin Goo

3. Wageurae — What's wrong?

Image via Disney+ Hotstar

In K-dramas, when one person is looking sad, crying, drinking alone, or letting out a deep sigh, the other person will immediately ask, "Wageurae?", which means, "What's wrong?"

It's an important K-drama vocabulary to know, as it's often used in emotional scenes or even melodramas, where the character reveals their problem or deepest secret.

If you like melodramas, check out these recommendations on Disney+ Hotstar:
- Snowdrop, starring Jung Hae In and Jisoo
- Bloody Heart, starring Lee Joon Kang and Han Na

4. Aigoo — Oh dear! / Oh my god

Image via Terkinni

Aigoo is a phrase or slang used to express surprise, frustration, confusion, or disappointment. Someone pranked you? Or your crush driving you crazy? Say aigoo!

In other words, you can expect that there will be plenty of scenes in K-dramas, especially comedic scenes, where the characters will blurt out the phrase, hehe.

If you love comedy, catch these shows on Disney+ Hotstar:
- One Dollar Lawyer , starring Namkoong Min, Kim Ji Eun, and Choi Dae Hoon
- The Zone: Survival Mission starring Yoo Jae Suk, Lee Kwang Soo, and Kwon Yuri

5. Geojinmalhaji maseyo — Don't lie

Image via NME

This phrase is used in formal settings, where if a person catches a suspect or witness lying, he says, "Geojinmalhaji maseyo!" You can commonly catch this phrase, which means "don't lie", in crime and legal dramas, especially in interrogation scenes.

Detectives and lawyers also love saying wae geojinmalhaji maseyo, which means 'Why did you lie?'

Enjoy crime or legal dramas? Check out these K-drama recommendations on Disney+ Hotstar:
- Big Mouth, starring Lee Jong Suk, Im Yoon Ah, and Kim Joo Hun
- May It Please The Court, starring Jung Ryeo Won and Lee Kyu Hyung

6. Simkung — Heart throbbing

Image via Disney+ Hotstar

Ever had your heart go 'bedok bedok' when you saw your crush? That's simkung — a phrase that describes that feeling of your heart skipping a beat when you see someone, hehe.

You'll usually catch this phrase in romance and high school K-dramas, especially when the female lead sees her oppa, and her heart starts thumping loudly. Cue a love song in the background. ;)

If high school dramas are your cup of tea, check out these recommendations on Disney+ Hotstar:
- Rookie Cops, starring Kang Daniel and Chae Soo Bin
- The Golden Spoon, starring Yook Sung Jae

Now that you're all familiar with the popular Korean phrases and words, what’s next? Start binge-watching K-dramas and try to spot them, of course!

Home to some of the world's most iconic brands including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, Disney+ Hotstar also carries many K-dramas great for binge-watching.

There's something for everyone! From crime to mystery, fantasy, and thriller, enjoy them all on Disney+ Hotstar.

Plus, they have some of the latest and popular K-dramas now. Check 'em out:

Image via Forbes

1. Connect
Connect is a mystery thriller about Ha Dong Soo (Jung Hae In), who has healing powers. When he survives a murder attempt, he discovers one of his eyes is missing. Soon, he mysteriously begins to see what office worker Oh Jin Seop sees. What will become of the two men's fates?

2. Revenge of Others
This drama follows Ok Chan Mi (Shin Ye Eun), who transfers to her twin brother's school to investigate his sudden death. With the help of another student, Ji Soo Heon (Lomon), she unravels the truth behind her brother's past and takes revenge on those who caused his death.

3. The First Responders
This drama tells the story of Jin Ho Gae, a fierce yet skilled detective who is all about catching low lives, and Bong Do Jin, a fearless firefighter who takes good care of his victims. These first responders must work together in crises to fight against crime and fire.

4. Call It Love
Set to release on 22 February, the drama follows a woman whose father dies, subsequently getting kicked out of her family home by his mistress. Things take a turn when she starts falling in love with the mistress's son. 

Head over to Disney+ Hotstar to start streaming all the K-dramas today for only RM54.90 for three months!

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