It seems that the hot summer temperatures of Korea have given way to the refreshing and cool breeze of fall. Morning and night, the crisp wind rustles the leaves on the trees, the sound of which feels like a distant memory. It’s amazing how nature goes its way no matter what we human beings think, complain about, or praise.
This week’s K-Pop group once sang a song called “Hot Summer,” which would have been a perfect choice a couple weeks ago, but this time, we’ve picked another one of the group’s sensational songs.
Have you figured out what group we’re talking about?
It’s f(x)! And the song for today is “Electric Shock.”
1. 과분해 [gwa-bu-nae]
과분하다 [gwa-bu-na-da] means “to be too good/much/expensive…etc.,” or “to be above one’s wish.” You may have encountered this expression in many other songs or Korean dramas. If you are a big fan of K-dramas, you know there are many obstacles to go through for any romantic couple to end up “happily ever after.” One of the most popular themes in K-dramas is that a man and a woman with totally different backgrounds (especially in terms of socioeconomic status) fatefully meet, get to know each other, fall in love, go through difficult situations together, and have a fairytale ending.
The protagonist character in the relationship will often say something like this:
1) 당신은 나에게 너무 과분해요.
[dang-si-neun na-e-ge neo-mu gwa-bu-nae-yo.]
= You are too good for me. / I don’t deserve you.
2) 당신에게 과분한 사랑을 받았어요.
= I received undeserved love from you. / I don’t deserve your love.
Do these phrases sound familiar to you? Keep in mind that the subject, 당신 [dang-sin], which means “you,” “darling,” or is used to refer to your partner (someone else) depending on the context, is not used in a normal conversation. These are lines from K-dramas, which aren’t the most realistic television programs.
Here are some sentences that you may come across or use in real-life situations:
1) 걔는 나한테 과분해.
[gyae-neun na-han-te gwa-bu-nae.]
= He/She is too good for me. / I don’t deserve him/her.
2) 골프는 저에게 너무 과분한 운동이에요.
[gol-peu-neun jeo-e-ge neo-mu gwa-bu-nan un-dong-i-e-yo.]
= Playing golf is too much for me.
= Playing golf is too expensive for me.
= Playing golf is too exhausting for me.
2. 말문이 막혀 [mal-mun-I ma-kyeo]
Let’s break this phrase down:
말 [mal] = word, language, speech
문 [mun] = door, gate
이 [i] = subject particle
막히다 [ma-ki-da] = get blocked/clogged
Putting it all together, this phrase literally means “my door of words has been blocked.” It sounds quite interesting, doesn’t it?
Let’s think about it for a moment: when would your “gate of speech”,meaning your “mouth”, get blocked and you wouldn’t be able to utter a single word? Probably when you are surprised, frightened, or shocked…”Electric Shock”, perhaps? Lol.
This phrase, colloquially, means “to be rendered speechless,” “to be speechless with surprise/fight/shock…etc.,” or “to get tongue-tied.”
Here is a set of sample sentences to help you understand a bit better:
1) 발표를 하다가 말문이 막혔어요.
[bal-pyo-reul ha-da-ga mal-mu-ni ma-kyeo-sseo-yo.]
= I was at a loss for words during the presentation.
2) 요즘 뉴스를 보면 말문이 막힌다.
[yo-jeum nyu-seu-reul bo-myeon mal-mu-ni ma-kin-da.]
= When I watch the news these days, it makes me speechless.
This phrase can be used in both positive and negative situations. You can be “말문이 막히다” because something amazing happened, or because something truly awful happened.
If you remember from our very first “Learn K-Pop with Korean” blog post, when we introduced a couple phrases from 소녀시대’ s song “Gee”, one of the phrases was “눈이 부시다.” Well, that phrase is in this song as well! Here, take a listen:
Dearest TTMIK listeners, readers, and fans:
Have you experienced something that말문이막히는 recently? I believe that every language learner has a moment that 말문이막히다 at some point. When we try to make sentences and keep up with the flow of conversation, we often 말문이막히다 because we don’t remember words or phrases as quickly as we’d like.
Please share your story with us and, as always, thank you so much for choosing to study with us! We’ll see you again next week!