I logged into one of my inboxes, and there was a whole list of people asking what this or that means in Korean. Some of them were quite interesting things to be asking, and I wondered where they got them. Perhaps it was from some Korean romantic television drama, either that, or some Korean said it in Korean to them because they were too afraid to say it in English. Here are some the the things they asked:
1. What does “bobo” mean? “Bobo” means “a little kiss,” like a peck.
2. What does “babo” mean? “Babo” means “really stupid” or “foolish.”
3. What does “boyeyo” mean? It is actually “mo-ye-yo,” and it means “what is this?” They have a tendency to sound like they are saying a “b” sometimes when they are saying “m.” I had trouble with this my first year in Korea too.
4. In Korean, what is the meaning of “sarang heyo”? This means “I love you.”
5. What does “ssi” mean? It means “Mr.”
6. What does “borahae” mean? “Borahae” means “behold.”
7. What does “isseo” mean? “Isseyo” means “am,” “are,” or “is.” It identifies things.
8. What is the meaning of “hagushipo” in Korean? “It means “I want to do______,” and the thing they want to do comes before it in Korean.
9. What does “aka” mean?” “Aka” means “sweetheart.”
10. What does “Oppa” mean? This doesn’t have an exact English translation because it is a relationship they have that we don’t. It is what a young girl calls an older guy who is her close friend. They may or may not be involved romantically. Sometimes, he is just like her older brother who gives her advice and looks out for her. Sometimes, it is more than that. When couples get married, sometimes the wives call their husbands “oppa” as a term of endearment.
11. What does “yogi butchara” mean? “Yogi” means “here,” and “butchara” means “stick,” and it is in the form of someone from above talking to someone below them and giving hem a command. Like a master talking to a dog or God talking to people. It means, “stay here.”
12. What is the meaning of the Korean word, “molla” in English? “Molla” is a very informal, “I don’t know.” A nicer way to say it is “morayo.”
13. What does the Korean word “hajima” mean? You usually use this word on children. “Hajima” is a kind of command saying, “Don’t!” They use it for correcting children.
14. What is the difference between the Korean words “neon,” “neol,” “niga,” “nega,” and “naega”? “Neon” is two separate words: “ne on.” “Ne on” means “yes, come on.” “neol” means “tomorrow.” “niga” means “you” as the subject, and is it extremely informal. You can’t use “niga” with just anyone, only with very close friends or people under your station in life. “nega” means “I,” the subject pronoun. “naega” means “my child,” and it is the subject.
15. What does the Korean symbol ㅋ mean? The Korean symbol ㅋ is pronounced “k.” If they send a text message, comment on Facebook, or something like that, and they want to laugh, the write a series like this: ㅋㅋㅋ. It represents laughing like our “LOL.”
17. What does “Kocheetmal” mean? “Kocheetmal” means “lie.” Someone just called you a liar if they said that and didn’t want to come out and say it in English.
I found it quite an interesting list. When interacting with people who speak your language, but you don’t speak theirs, they can utter anything about you or to you they want, and you have no idea what they are saying. When it gets really funny is if they don’t realize you speak their language and have been speaking to you in English, then they say something like this, and you understand. At that point, you either fess up that you speak their language or keep it to yourself that you have knowledge of what they think about you that you don’t want them to know you have. There are lots of funny stories of people who don’t realize someone speaks their language, and they end up sticking their food in their mouths. Can you realize people saying things like this to or about you, but they think you don’t know? Have fun with them!