Some Essential, Fiery Korean Phrases

“Shit Koreans Say” is a You Tube video starring J-REYEZ and Lydia Paek (is that 박?), two Candian artists who are ethnically Korean but claim they don’t speak the language very well. I was surprised to read this as their pronunciation is really good for most of it, and I was only really able to notice a couple of slightly unnatural word choices on a second, more detailed listen.

I’m posting this because it’s funny but also because these are all phrases you should know as a Korean learner. They’re all extremely common and are good evidence for the famous fiery temperament of Koreans which has them sometimes known as the Italians of Asia!

I’ve transcribed the phrases in Korean below the video. Note the use of ‘~’ added as a suffix in Korean, which indicates the drawing out of a syllable. I’ve also included a few extra usage notes from my own knowledge which I hope are useful. And finally, be careful with using some of these yourself as many are informal phrases (반말) meant for close friends or those younger than you.


Hey! (getting attention)

너 미첬어?  / 너 미쳤니? (sounds feminine)
Are you crazy?

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An Easy Poem

Back when I was living in Korea, I would often take photos of the short poems they have on the walls of the subway. I thought that they would make excellent study material for beginners because of their simplicity. Here’s my attempt to translate and explain a nice poem that I encountered one day.

보이지 않아도

보이지 않아도
풀입을 흔들고

보이지 않아도
나무를 흔들고

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