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Indian slang with a dash of Korean


Now that 26 Korean words have made their way into the Oxford English Dictionary, K-Drama fans in India are using them more often in everyday speech

The K-pop wave has finally hit the Oxford English Dictionary. Driven by the popularity of Korean culture – especially its drama, cuisine, and music – 26 Korean words were recently added to the influential dictionary.

Much of the words are related to food, thanks to the popularity of Korean food, which is often featured in K-drama productions like Hospital Playlist, Let’s Eat, Wok of Love, and Itaewon Class. The words include banchan (a side dish with vegetables), bulgogi (dish with sliced ​​beef / pork), dongchimi (a type of radish kimchi), japchae (dish with glass noodles), kimbap (dish with rice) and samgyeopsal (dish with Pork belly).

A Korean barbecue with different types of meat and vegetables

The other words like Skinship (touch-friendly), PC Bang (playroom), and Daebak (goodness) are common in K-drama and music.

In India, one of the most used words, especially by K-Drama fans, ommo is an equivalent of the English expression “Oh no!”.

K Pavani from Hyderabad, a 23-year-old chartered accountant, often confuses her mother when she uses Korean words in her Telugu conversations. It was BTS (K-pop group) that got them on the Hallyu trend. She says, “I use words like Sincha (really), Aneyong (hello), Ommo and Daebak all the time. My mother and non-K-drama-watchers look at me confused, but I like the sound of the words. “

Also read | India’s Unstoppable Hallyu: Why K-Dramas Matters

Does she drop Korean words with her friends? She laughs, “When I’m with someone who understands you, we enjoy talking with Korean words. Luckily, almost all of my friends watch K-Drama so the entertainment is fun. We go to parties and have spent a lot of time all last year leaving comments on shows. ”

Korean language trainer Era Kaundal.  based in Delhi

K-Drama fans love to address each other as chingu (friends) when looking for help with the watchlist and using words like khamsamida (thank you) in conversations. For those new to K-drama, it is easy to associate with words like appa / babuji (father) and omoni (mother) as they are familiar to the Indians.

The way for formal teaching

K-dramas have resulted in an increasing number of Korean teachers like @mykoreandic, @kunkorean, @hyd_korean_club on Instagram. Korean language trainer Era Kaundal (@eraindiekor) based in Delhi is very active with Korean language courses on social media. She saw a surge in interest after November 2020 and was quite amazed that people asked her to break down simple English sentences into Korean.

Era, who started running Korean language courses online, says most K-drama watchers get interested in the language because they want to learn more than the usual sentences they hear. Most of her students are K-pop and K-drama fans aged 17-30. Era, who is about to start an online basic course, says: “Those who follow me on social media or write to me are in the 14 to 17 age group who are looking for self-help. Working people tend to sign up for courses because they want to learn to understand a new language for the sheer joy of learning. ”

Favorite phrases

  • K-drama watchers also use words like baegopa (hungry), khaja ​​(let’s go) ddaeng (wrong) mokkogalle (eat) ajjusi (mr), algesso (okay), micchosso (crazy), shiro (no), ottoke (like) yeppuda (pretty) and odi (where).
  • Some even use popular Korean company titles like Sajangnim (boss) and Bujangnim (general manager) for their pets.

Many tutorials are associated with trending K-dramas that allow fans to relate to what they are watching. Right now, the popular survival drama series Squid Game is part of many Flash tutorials on social media. Aside from that, tutorials like “Guess the Word” and multiple choice quizzes on Korean vocabulary increase confidence using Korean in conversations.

K fans also strive to learn Korean word for word through social media platforms so that they can understand K-drama dialogue without subtitles. Mumbai-based attorney Ramya Shanker explains, “Subtitles are often crude and distort the emotions or mood of the story. Since I learned one word at a time from various online platforms or through simple conversations with like-minded K-Drama observers, I signed up for courses. ”

Most K-Drama lovers feel dubbed and subtitles water down or change the meaning of the original dialogue. Many tend to resort to closed group discussions to get the mood right. The best way to enjoy K-Drama is in the original language. This also applies to other language shows. Take z. the subtitled lyrics of Bollywood songs. The subtitles to the texts are completely pointless. ”Added Ramja. Ramya’s everyday conversations contain words and phrases like Gwenchana (are you okay), saranghae (love you). She also calls a stray cat visiting her Goyangi. She explains: “Goyangi means cat in Korean, I love the word.”


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