Learn Korean Words with K-Pop – Electric Shock by F(x)

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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.

Or

2) 당신에게 과분한 사랑을 받았어요.
[dang-si-ne-ge gwa-bu-nan
sa-rang-eul ba-da-sseo-yo.]
= 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:

Sample Sentences
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:

Sample Sentences
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!

Auf Widersehen!


  • Jathryn

    This is awesome!
    Can you do SHINee’s Hello? I would like to know more from it.
    김사힙니다 ^^

  • Melody

    Yay! Finally, an f(x) song!
    Now I’m just waiting for SHINee, I don’t care which song you do. ^^

    • Angelica Castillo

      I LOVE F(X)! I am waiting for SHINee too :)

  • burcugnl

    this is a great way to learn once you hear a new word or and idiom in a song it is really hard to forget what it means so thank you again!^^ I’d like to see a CNBlue song here:))

    • glace

      Totally true! I learn so many phrases through kpop songs. I’m so glad ttmik is doing this.

  • Andrew Veracruz

    사람둘이 한국어로 인사면 저는 가꿈 말문이 막혀 한국어 학생니까요. ~~

  • http://uniquekorean.wordpress.com 케이

    Been singing this in my head since the day I heard it and I now understand it woooooooooooow!! can you guys be more awesome than this is it even possible !! ttmik I love you !!!

  • Lucy

    it would be awesome if you could do a song from TABLO..his lyrics are superb and so meaningful….♥

  • Brian

    I’d like to see either B.A.P or T-ARA

  • Shelby

    Yay! :D
    Could you do a SHINee song soon? :3
    Any song is fine keke :D

  • Iga

    Thanks for the lesson. I love learning form songs <3

  • Rigo

    Hello there , thanks so much for another great lesson
    It’s incredible how many phrases there are that you won’t find in the dictionary

  • Brandi

    ^^ I love f(x) ever since they started. <3

  • Madiha

    I love your introductions. So cute and heartwarming. <3

  • Vanessa Pacheco

    다음는 티아라 이면 말문이 막힌다.
    Not sure if this is correct. First time leaving a practice sentence!

    • http://twitter.com/0bin Youngbin

      다음이 티아라 노래면, 너무 좋아서 말문이 막힐거에요. :D

  • angie

    what is the meaning of 한테

  • http://la-methode-bio.tumblr.com Mel

    please do 2AM’s never let you go

  • Sandycps

    Annyeonghaseyo^^ can you please do NU’EST FACE or ACTION. Kamsahamida^^

  • http://www.cosmiccat1.tumblr.com Gemma

    I was 말문이막히다 the other day when I 봤어 someone I 좋아해요. :3

  • Saba

    this is really cool~I love these lessons <3
    can you do a song from b2st for the next time?

  • Henri

    :) Awesome lesson! A small thing though: I think it’s Auf Wiedersehen. (I’ve learned German for many many years.) Thanksss!~

  • Germaine

    Thank you for doing this series! They are truly enjoyable.

    I like reading lyrics translations. Songs really help me to remember and retain vocabulary and grammar. Listening to the same thing 50 times in a song is much easier than repeating lessons 50 times, even when narrated in Hyunwoo and Kyeongeun’s melodious voices.

    Here’s my revision exercise for level 5 lesson elements of reported speech, topic suffix contraction, and 대신.

    Beast – 내 여자 진구를 부탁해
    오늘 내 친구가 물었어
    너와 사귀면 안 되겠냐고
    어차피 이젠 너와 해어진 내
    대신 너를 아껴 주겠다고

    Together with the romantic poetic stuff, songs come with simple useful words too, like 무르다 and 어차피 in the example above and even the syrupy words like 아끼다 have prosaic meanings too. This example verse also has me to looking forward to learning the 갰 form.

    Not for everybody perhaps, but I highly recommend lyrics study exercises!

    • http://twitter.com/0bin Youngbin

      Just for your information, the dictionary form of ‘물었어’ is ‘묻다’. (to ask)

  • Kay

    Shinee pleaseeeeeee

  • ismail

    I HOPE NEXT LESSON FROM KARA SONG……
    (^ _ ^)

  • Fukiko

    I love this song! Could you please do a SHINee song next? 감사합니다! ^_^

  • Kitty

    Please do MBLAQ or U-kiss.

  • http://yaoi-theartofbeauty.deviantart.com Beti Yeong

    Hey TTMIK Could you also do a Learn Korean With K-pop Lesson with Blockb’s Nalina?

  • Mirna

    WAHHHHHHHHHHHHH
    재밌어요
    너무감사합니다^ .^

  • JOYCE

    Wowww,this is an interesting way to learn language ,especially through favorite idols‘ song ,love TTMIK ,love f(x)❤

  • Nana

    멋지다. 틴탑또는인피니트의노래 할수있어요? 수고했어요 고맙다 :)

  • http://facebook.com/ottokajo Fatima Ezzahra

    this is amazingly useful .. Can’t it be ” If I Leave – Lee Hyun Jin” of Heartstrings Drama next time ???
    PLEASE ^_^
    Gumapsihmnidaa

  • http://techeclipse.com/path-for-android-and-ios/ Isabella

    Great information. Lucky me I came across your blog by chance (stumbleupon).
    I have book marked it for later!