If you don’t speak Korean at all the first time you discover K-pop or K-dramas, then you will start mastering Korean after you begin spazzing over your favorite K-pop boys or girls, or when you have finished a drama that has a really good plot and good actors or actresses. Their language is new to us, but as we get used to it, we became familiar with the language, don’t you think? If you already know some of the Korean language, then the next thing you should know is the Korean slang. Just like any other culture, Korean youngsters also like to use slang in everyday life. You must have heard some of it when you’ve been watching your daily dose of K-pop or K-drama videos. But do you know what that slang means? Let’s just scroll down to get to know it better!
Let’s Learn Korean Slang with Channel-Korea!
There will always be an easier way to learn a new language. One of those ways is to learn the slang used by the youngsters. You probably won’t be able to find these slang terms in a Korean dictionary, or even Korean book lessons, but when you know these words, you definitely can interact with the Korean people more naturally. Instead of using the formal conversation that being taught in the book, it is better to use the slang that they normally use, right? So let’s start our slang lesson, class.
Korean Slang: Kkuljaem
This is the first term that we’re going to learn. Kkuljaem. The word consists of two syllables of the Korean alphabet, Kkul and Jaem. It is written like this in hangul, the Korean alphabet: 꿀잼. To pronounce it, just say the word Kkul as if you’re saying the word cool in English. For the Jaem, it’s pretty much the same as saying the word jam in English. So, basically, even though the romanization of Kkuljaem looks so hard to read, you can just pronounce it just like when you pronounce cool jam. Isn’t that simple? Well, okay. So what’s kkuljaem, and how do Korean people usually use it? Kkuljaem is formed as the word kkul, which means honey, and jaem or jaemi, which means fun. So, in conclusion, Korean youngsters like to use the word kkuljaem when they are talking about something that’s really fun, or as fun as honey. For example, with a movie or drama that’s fun to watch, you can say “kkuljaem” to give it a review. Okay, so let’s take a look the at Korean idol group, Fiestar, who will teach you to understand more about kkuljaem. This is a video that was made in 2013, when Fiestar, who disbanded in 2018, teach the global fans a Korean lesson and slang in some content called “Fiestar’s A-HA!”
From the video, we can learn that using the word kkul is a common thing in Korea. Most Korean people like to use kkul, which means honey, to describe something that is really, really good. It’s not only kkuljaem, but there are also other things, such as kkultip (good tip), kkulpibu, which means good skin, etc. So when someone use the word kkuljaem. You will understand what they mean, right? Try to use it on your own, then!
Korean Slang: Solkkamal
Another slang word that you’re going to learn today is solkkamal. Again, let’s begin with the pronunciation by breaking the syllables down one by one. Solkkamal consists of three syllables. Sol, with the hangeul word 솔. Kka, with the hangeul word 까, and, lastly, mal with the hangel word written as 말. If we translate these syllables one by one, it won’t get to the actual meaning. In fact, the word will be just meaningless. Because solkkamal is actually a shortened version of some words. Solkkamal is actually a shortening for the words 솔직히 까놓고 말하다, which can be read as soljikhee kkanohgo malhada. It will be easier to say it in a short way, solkkamal. To pronounce it, sol can be read as sol in the word sold in English. While kka can be just pronounced as ca, like in the word car in English. As for mal, just say it mal as you pronounce mal in the word malfunction in English. So just say sol-ca-mal to pronounce solkkamal. It’s not that hard, is it? In Korea, if you want to say something really honest from your own opinion, people will usually say solkkamal following the words that they want to speak honestly. Usually, the following words have negative content. For example, when you want to express something that you don’t like, you can use the word solkkamal. Just like this: “Solkkamal, I don’t want to go to class.” Isn’t that easy? You can practice using this word too!
Korean Slang: Namchin/Yeochin
Next, we’re going to learn about a term that you have to know if you want to learn more about Korea. This term is familiar in every country and must be used by anyone, no matter their age. It’s boyfriend or girlfriend! What’s the slang word for boyfriend or girlfriend in Korean? If you want to know if someone already has a boyfriend or girlfriend or not, what word would you have to choose? Well, if you know about the Korean words for boyfriend or girlfriend, then you won’t feel weird about the slang terms for boyfriend or girlfriend. In Korean, to say boyfriend or girlfriend is just the same as in English. Namjachingu and yeojachingu, the words each consist of two words, which are: namja, which means boy, yeoja, which means girl, and chingu, which means friend. It’s similar to English, right? While namchin or yeochin is the easiest and most informal way to say namjachingu or yeojachingu. It’s actually just like the previous word that we learned, solkkamal. It’s just the shortening of some other words. They take the first syllable of every word and form it into a new word. To pronounce namchin and yeochin is also easy. Nam, which is written in hangul like this 남, can be read as nam. While yeo, which is written in hangul like this 여, can just be read just like when you’re saying yeoh. And, lastly, pronouncing chin, which is written in hangul like this 친, is pretty easy, just like the English word chin. So now you already know how to say boyfriend and girlfriend in Korean slang, right? You can easily practice it now!
Korean Slang: Behpeuh
Another word that is common to hear in everyday life, besides boyfriend or girlfriend, is.. of course, someone else who also means a lot to us, our best friend! Come to think of it, do you know how to say best friend in Korean slang? Is it quite same as saying boyfriend or girlfriend, since both of the words has “friend” in it? Well, unfortunately, the Korean slang that means “best friend” doesn’t use the word chingu, or the Korean word for friend. Even though there’s also another slang word for best friend, jeolchin, which is, once again, the shortened word for jeolchinhan chingu, or written in Korean hangeul as 절친한 친구. This word means a very good friend. To pronounce this word, it’s done by saying it like Joel chin. But if you think that jeolchin is quite hard to pronounce or hard to remember, then you can also use this Korean slang for best friend, that is more popular with Korean youngsters. It is behpeu, which, in Korean hangeul, is written as 베프. This word is another shortening of some other words. The words that are being shortened was best friend. Yes, the English word best friend. How can the best friend words be transformed as behpeu? Well, in Korean, they pronounce best friend as 베스트 프랜드, or it could also be read as beh-seu-teu peu-ren-deu. It is quite hard if we take a look at once, but if you read it carefully, it’s just the Korean way to say best friend. So to shorten it, it’s simpler as behpeu, which could be written in hangeul as 베프, and can be read as bae-peu. It’s not that hard, right? Now you can call your best friend in Korean slang, good job!
Korean Slang: Chimaek
The next slang term that you need to know is chimaek. The way to pronounce it is not as hard as it seems. The word is consists of two syllables, chi and maek. To pronounce chi in chimaek, just pronounce it as chee, it’s equal to the chi in chicken. Because the chi in chimaek literally means chicken. Yep, once again, chimaek is a shortened word that comes from chicken and maekju. What is maekju and how do you pronounce it? Maekju is Korean for the word beer.To pronounce it, just pronounce it like the word make in English. If we combine both chicken and maekju, then we got the meaning of chimaek, which is a combination of chicken and maekju, or beer. Korean people love to eat chicken, they also love to drink beer. No wonder they are so crazy for chimaek or chicken and maekju. They really like the taste of chicken that’s accompanied by beer as the drink. Come to think of it, for Korean dramas lovers, you must have heard about this combination, or at least have seen this before in one of the dramas that you watch. Because Korean people are just so in love with chimaek that it became very popular. So, when you come to Korea and ask your Korean friend to go out to dinner, you will now understand if they recommend chimaek to you!
Korean Slang: Kol
Now we’re going to learn about Kol. It just consists of one syllable, and it’s written as 콜 in hangeul. The pronunciation of kol is also easy. Just say it as kol, or col in the word cold in English. This word is also usually written as call, since the pronunciation is also similar with the word call in English. The meaning behind kol is also simple. When you’re making a deal, appointment, or talking about where to eat, where to go, etc., and you finally agree to it, just say kol for the sign of final agreement. This has the same meaning as “sure”, “okay, cool”, etc., in English. So now you understand the meaning of kol. Next time, when your Korean friend asks you to go out, just say kol!
Korean Slang: Ahssa
The next slang term that we’re going to learn is ahssa, which could also be written as assa. The pronunciation of ahssa is as easy as it seems. Since this word consists of two syllables, ah and ssa, that can be pronounced as sa in the word salary in English. Then, just simply combine the two syllable and say it. There you go, ah-sa. Be careful, this slang actually has two meanings. In Korean, when you put the word ahssa with exclamation, then it means that you’re showing happiness or a satisfaction. In English, the word “ahssa!” has the same meaning as “yay!” or “yass!” But there is also another meaning for ahssa. It also means outsider. If you’re wondering how ahssa became outsider, it was because the Korean pronounce outsider as ah-ut-ssa-e-deo. And since shortening words a the thing that Korean people like to do, then we got ah-ssa as the slang for outsider. And you must already know what an outsider is, well, it means someone who is at the outside, or not included, in a particular group or not in one of the inner circles. So, once again, since these two ahssa have totally different meanings, be careful about when to use it!
Korean Slang: Manleb
Are you a gamer? If yes, then you have to know this Korean slang! The next Korean slang that we’re going to learn is manleb. Wait, don’t be confused on how to pronounce the word. Man in manleb can be pronounce just like the British accent of man, in the English word. As for leb, just pronounce it as lab in the English word, label. So to pronounce manleb, just simply say man, lab. Isn’t that easy? If you think about it again, the leb in manleb doesn’t mean label, even though the pronunciation is the same. Instead, it means level. Manleb is used to describe someone who is in the 10,000th level in gaming. Since the man means ten thousand in Korean, so manleb means 10,000th and level. Once again, it is a shortened form of some words. Level, in Korean, is pronounce as lebel, just like when you pronounce label. Now you know the meaning of manleb. If you find someone who is extremely good at not only gaming, but also for other things, you can just call them “manleb“!