The Korean Wave:
When it comes to K-wave (한류), it would be impossible not to talk about K-pop. From Psy’s international smash hit ‘Gangnam Style’ to the rise of Big Bang, BTS, EXO, Girl’s Generation, and TWICE, K-pop has truly captured the world’s attention! But Korean music is more than just glamourous idols and poppy hits. Korean music covers a wide range of genres and encompasses an entire industry of hard working, talented artists both professional and independent. Below we’ll talk about some of the sources you can use to keep up with your favorite K-pop stars and even learn about a wider range of what makes Korean music so great!
If you’re a fan of Korean idols we recommend:
뮤직뱅크 (Music Bank) on KBS, 쇼! 음악중심 (Show! Music Core) on MBC, and 인기가요 (Inkigayo) on SBS
These shows are the best live music shows to watch if you’re truly a fan of K-Pop. They are streamed by the three biggest broadcast companies in Korea to fans all over the world and available subtitled in multiple languages!
Another great resource is the V LIVE app (V앱) serviced by Korea’s biggest internet platform, Naver. Featuring personal livestreams from the hottest stars of K-pop, the V LIVE app allows you to connect with your favorite idols on a deeper level. And just like the shows listed above, V LIVE videos features subtitles in several languages, so you don’t even need to speak Korean to enjoy them!
If you’re a fan of Korean ballads, R&B, and cover songs we recommend:
유희열의스케치북(The Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook) and 복면가왕 (King of Mask Singer)
Both유희열의스케치북 and 복면가왕 feature professional singers that are not limited to just idols. 유희열의스케치북 (Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook) is hosted by one of Korea’s top composers 유희열(You Hee-yeol). On the show, musicians from a variety of genres are invited to perform live and chat with the host about their music and careers. The atmosphere of the show is very relaxed and intimate, so viewers can truly enjoy the beauty of Korean music.
복면가왕(King of Mask Singer) has become one of the most popular show of all times in Korea. On this show, singers wear masks to hide their identity and compete with opponents in a tournament style singing competition, with the winner selected by the audience and a panel of celebrities through instant live votes. The charm of this show is that singers are free from any type of voting prejudice based on their level of fame, appearance, or age. In fact, their identities aren’t revealed until they’ve been eliminated!
If you’re a fan of Korean bands or live concerts we recommend visiting:
홍대(Hongdae) and 이태원(Itaewon)
Both areas are famous for their indie music scene, where musicians play intimate shows in bars or on small stages and many even perform live on the street for free! When you visit Korea, these areas are a must visit for fans of Korean music!
Helpful phrases to express your fandom!
The pattern for saying that you like someone/something in Korean is:
I like (someone/something)
1. 나(는 ) G-Dragon(을) 좋아해요.
Na (neun) G-Dragon (eul) joh-ahaeyo.
I like G-Dragon.
2. 나(는) 빅뱅 멤버들(을) 좋아해요.
Na (neun) bigbaeng membeo deul (eul) joh-a haeyo.
I like the members of Big Bang.
EXTRA: Adding the suffix 들 (deul) to a noun makes it plural, so 멤버 (member) becomes 멤버들 (members).
3. 나(는) 블랙핑크 언니들(을) 완전 좋아해요.
Na (neun) beullaeg pingkeu unnie deul (eul) wanjeon joh-a haeyo.
I really like (love) the Blackpink Unnies.
EXTRA: 완전 (wanjeon) means “so, really, or extremely”, so 좋아해요 (to like) becomes 완전 좋아해요 (to really like).
1. 요 (yo) is sentence ender particle added at the end of a sentence to make it more polite. You should only remove 요 when speaking with friends your age or family.
2. 언니 (unnie) is what a girl calls an older girl who is close with them; it means “older sister”. The opposite word to this is 오빠 (Oppa), which means “older brother”. It’s what a girl calls an older boy who is close with them.
3. The 는 (neun) particle is the “topic” marker of the sentence. In these sentences YOU are the topic so 는 is added. If you put a pause in its place when speaking with friends you can drop it.
4. The 을 (eul) particle is the “object” marker of the sentence. It comes after the “object” that you like. If you put a pause in its place when speaking with friends you can drop it. More about this in Korean From Zero! book 1.
Time to put your skills to the test! Translate the following sentences into Korean and post them to the KoreanFromZero facebook page:
1. I like Taeyang Oppa.
2. I really like (love) the TWICE Unnies.
3. I really like (love) HyunA.
Bonus sentences using 완전 but not using 좋아해요.
1. BTS are really handsome!
2. IU is so pretty!
1. Taeyang: 태양
2. TWICE: 트와이스
3. HyunA: 현아
4. BTS: 방탄소년단
5. Handsome: 잘생겼어
6. IU: 아이유
7. Pretty: 예뻐
And don’t forget, if you want to learn more Korean make sure to check out our Korean From Zero! book series available on Amazon or our free online courses at KoreanFromZero.com.
Article by Sieun Kelly An