When you’re starting out in the world of Kpop, there are a few things that can be confusing. One of those things is definitely the language barrier. So today we’re going to help you out with some of the Korean words you need to know to understand your idols a little better.
Pronounced “pan” or simply just “fan”. This is you! It’s pronounced with more of a P sound because there is no F in Korean.
Pronounced “sa-seng-fan”. A sasaeng is a type of Kpop fan that you do not want to become. Sasaeng fans are infamous for stalking and other questionable behaviour, so please don’t turn into one.
Pronounced “oh-pah”. Your oppa is a guy who is older than you if you are female. Most female Kpop fans refer to their favourite Kpop guys as their “oppas”.
Pronounced “hyung”. Similar to oppa, it’s used for an older male if you are male. It literally means ‘older brother’. You’ll definitely hear the boys in Kpop groups refer to each other as hyung.
Pronounced “un-nie”. It literally means ‘older sister’ and you’ll frequently hear the female idols refer to each other as unnie. You can only use unnie if you are female.
Pronounced “noo-na”. This is what the younger males refer to older females as. If you’re an older female Kpop fan who is a fan of the younger male idols, you’ll be referred to as a “noona fan” (which kinda means you’re a bit of a pervert).
Pronounced “dong-seng”. Your dongsaeng is anyone who is younger than you.
Pronounced “mak-nay”. In every Kpop group, there is a leader (usually the oldest member) and the Maknae – the youngest member. They usually have an innocent face and come across as sweet, but they’re generally known for having a bit of an evil streak.
Pronounced “jjang’. It means ‘the best’! Oppa jjang! The best way to say this phrase is by emphasizing the g at the end. Give your noona a thumbs up and say ‘Jjanggg!’.
Pronounced “day-bak”. This is an expression, similar to jjang, to praise something that is big, positive, and great. Your hyung’s new song is daebak!
Pronounced “hwai-ting” or just “fighting”. This is a really encouraging phrase that means ‘You can do it!’. So if your unnie is taking part in a variety show or sporting event, you can shout “Unnie fighting!” to cheer her on.
Pronounced “sa-rang-hay-yo”. Saranghaeyo means “I love you” in Korean. Most Kpop fans leave out the formal “yo” and just yell “oppa! Saranghae!!”.
Pronounced “ay-gyo”. Aegyo is when idols act really adorable or pull cute faces. You can see some aegyo demonstrated by BtoB’s Ilhoon in his performance of the ‘Gwiyomi Song’ aka ‘The Cutie Song’.
Are there any other Kpop words you think we should have included? Tell us in the comments!