Learn Korean Words with K-Pop – Gee by Girls’ Generation

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Hello, everyone! We hope you all are having a great time on your journey of learning Korean with TTMIK! To help you continue your journey, we’d like to present you with a new series to help you learn useful Korean vocabulary and phrases through something that almost everyone enjoys…K-Pop!

We aren’t really sure if K-Pop, or the Korean Wave, is really all that popular in other countries, or if it’s just a fad that the Korean media is exaggerating, but we are certain that there is a fairly large amount of people who want to learn Korean because of K-Pop. We thought it might be helpful to create something that incorporates K-Pop into learning, so we’ve decided to create the “Learn Korean Words with K-Pop” series.

“Learn Korean with K-Pop” is a weekly blog post that will introduce various vocabulary and phrases found in K-Pop lyrics. Listening to music and studying the lyrics is a great way to help you learn a language, but it’s not always the most useful way to study since the lyrics are, sometimes, not very practical and are often poetic.

Most vocabulary words will be defined in the infinitive (dictionary) form in this series. Some of the words will be different in the actual lyrics, and if you don’t already know conjugations, please check out our lessons on the subject of conjugation (Level 1 Lesson 22 and Level 3 Lesson 24)

Alrighty then! Enough of that! I bet you’re ready to see what song we’ve chosen for our very first “Learn Korean with K-Pop” blog post!

It’s none other than…

“Gee” by 소녀시대 (So-nyeo-si-dae), a.k.a. Girls’ Generation!
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1. 눈이 부셔

In the first verse of “Gee”, 서현 (Seohyun) sings “ 너무 너무 멋져 눈이 눈이 부셔”.

Listen to her sing it here:

너무 [neo-mu] = a lot; too (much); very – often used for emphasis
멋지다 [meot-ji-da] = to be cool; to be wonderful; to be full of beauty
눈 [nun]= eye
부시다 [bu-shi-da]= to be dazzling; to be glaring; to be blinding; to be radiant

When you look at the words individually like this, the phrase doesn’t seem to make much sense, does it? The first part of this phrase, “너무 너무 멋져”, is basically saying “OMG, you’re SOOOOO cool”, but what does the”눈이 눈이 부셔” have to do with it?

The phrase “눈이 눈이 부셔” literally translates to “eye eye dazzled”, but it really means “to be dazzled/blinded by” something or someone. However, depending on the context of the sentences, 눈이 부셔 can take on slightly different meanings. In this casual, present tense form of this phrase, the -이 (subject marking particle – see Level 1 Lesson 9) is often dropped in everyday Korean conversation to create the more natural “눈 부셔.” In every day conversation, particles are often omitted if the intention of the speaker is obvious, and of course, for convenience. The fewer words you have to say to get your point across, the better…right? :D

눈이 부셔 is used in a few other places throughout the song, and if you’re a fan of Super Junior, you’ll recognize this phrase from the chorus of the infamous “Sorry Sorry.”

Let’s look at a couple of sample sentences which are used every day in Korea that include 눈 부셔:

Sample Sentences
1) 눈 부셔요. 창문 닫아 주세요.
[nun bu-syeo-yo. Chang-mun da-da ju-se-yo.]
It’s too bright/dazzling. Please close the window.

2) 우와! 정말 예뻐요. 눈이 부셔요.
[u-wa! Jeong-mal ye-ppeo-yo. Nu-ni bu-syeo-yo.]
Wow! You are really beautiful. I’m blinded/dazzled (by your beauty).

2. 깜짝
In the chorus of “Gee”, the girls sing “깜짝 깜짝 놀란 나는 oh oh oh oh oh”. Listen here:

깜짝 is an adverb to express being suddenly surprised or startled. This word goes well with the adjective 놀라다, which means “to be surprised.” Nevertheless, 깜짝 is an extremely common word in Korean and is often used as an interjection. Try using it the next time your friends surprise you!

Sample Sentences
1) 깜짝이야!!!!!!
[kkam-jja-gi-ya!!!!!]
= OMG!/Oh my goodness!/Holy Crap!

2) 깜짝 놀랐잖아!
[kkam-jjak nol-lat-ja-na!]
= You really surprised me!

So, everyone, what do ”너무 너무 멋져 눈이 눈이 부셔” and “깜짝 깜짝 놀란 나는” actually mean? What do some of the other lyrics of “Gee” mean? Share your answers with us in the comment box and thanks for checking out our first “Learn Korean with K-Pop” blog post!

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This is a guest post by Youngbin Lee.
Youngbin (영빈) on Twitter: http://twitter.com/0bin

My name is Youngbin Lee. I’m a geeky engineer based in Incheon who love learning languages. Learning languages is pure pleasure to me and I’d like to help others feel the same way as I do. My ultimate goal is to become capable of communicating with you in your language. Are you with me? :D

 


  • 파티마 입니다

    I LOVE Korea!!! I’m looking forward to learning and speaking it fluently, so far so good thanks to this wonderful website! I’m so glad i found a Super Junior and SHINEE music video on youtube which got me into this amazing addiction <3
    TTMK 감사합니다!
    사랑해요 <3