[Ask Hyojin] What does “사나이” mean?

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“나는 사나이.” Do you remember who said this?
Psy said he’s a 사나이 from the famous song, 강남 스타일.
What does 사나이 mean then?

In this Ask Hyojin epsiode, Hyojin explains what 사나이 means.

사나이 basically means a man or a guy, but it emphasizes its mainlyness and masculineness.

Vocabulary and sample sentences introduced in this video :
사나이가 그런 일로 울어?

Do you have any other questions that you’d like to ask Hyojin? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Sasipa

    Hyojin, thanks for the clarification! after listening to this song for half a year, finally i got it :)

    I have a question, what’s the different between 저희 and 우리? thank you!

    • Greg

      저희 is generally when you need to talk polite with elders or unfamiliar adults.

  • Alyona

    Thanks for your interesting video!))))
    Can you tell me what the difference between 그녀 and 여자?

    • Dev

      그녀=she
      여자=basic word for female

      you can modify 여자 by adding 이, 그, or 저 in front of it if you are talking about a female that is around you.

    • Greg

      Well 여자 is woman or girl (adult) to be precise. Female sounds more like the gender – 여성

  • Jenevieve.Shin

    “mainlyness and masculineness” –> manliness and masculinity.

    • http://thinklangue.wordpress.com John Kim

      Bump.

  • sofiap

    thanks for your video and the explanation about 사나이 meaning :)

  • http://runcooltiger.blogspot.com/ 에이코

    I really enjoyed to watch Hyojin-ssi’s “I’m the manly muscular man!” gesture ㅋㅋㅋ It helps quite a lot ^^

  • 아틸라

    비디오에 고맙습니다! :)

    그럼… 진짜의 여자 표현이 뭐예요?
    (So… is there an expression for a real woman? A woman-woman?)

    • jlyn

      아마….’여신’, ‘여우’ 이런걸까? ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

  • lisa

    why i hear 사나에? 0_o

    • 태권도_마틴_불가리아

      Well, I hear it like that too.. :D There is actually another way to write the word 사나이 – 사내
      But I don’t know why does it sound like ‘사나애’ when he sings.. ;D Actually there must be some kind of rule which I don’t know.. Or maybe not? xD
      There are words that have contracted forms.
      Eg: 이야기 – 얘기 (ㅑ+ㅣ=ㅒ)
      아이 – 애 (ㅏ+ㅣ=ㅐ)
      [By the way, Koreans often use '애기' for '아기' But as far as I understand - it's wrong..
      It's just because there is nothing to contract in this word and also the word 애기 can have many meanings from the different 한자 (漢字) - Chinese characters
      http://blog.daum.net/andrewl/15708265 ]
      그 아이 – 걔 (ㅡ+ㅏ+ㅣ=ㅒ xD)
      그것이 – 그게 (ㅓ+ㅣ=ㅔ)

      All these are just contracted forms like: 저는/나는/너는 – 전/난/넌; 저를/나를/너를 – 절/날/널; 저에게/나에게 – 제게/내게; 너에게 – 네게; 그런데 – 근데 etc..
      It’s like in English – It is like in English. ;D
      I hope I helped. ㅋㅋ ㅅ_ㅅ

    • Greg

      Well in songs words sometimes pronounced weird to make them rhyme, sound funny, cool, emphasize etc. Especially in rap for example :)
      If you talking about gangnam style, to me it’s even sometimes sounds like 사나해 or 사낭해, with hard voiced ㅎ as in 사랑해 or 안녕하세요. I even thought it’s 사랑해 before I saw the lyrics, since I couldn’t understand any other word then, except 여자 and 아름다워 사랑스러워 :)
      In normal speech you would say 사나이 like 효진 did.

      And 걔 isn’t funny… 그애 does sound like 걔 eventually :)

  • 태권도_마틴_불가리아

    난 미남이야! ㅋㅋㅋ ‘미남’ 한자로: ‘美男’
    美 means ‘pretty; beautiful’
    男 – man. So 미남(美男) –> Handsome man :D
    미녀 (美女) – pretty; beautiful woman :)
    But there is a word 미인 (美人) as well.. Everywhere I read about it, it’s mostly translated as ‘pretty woman’, ‘belle’, ‘glamorous woman’, etc.. Why? 인(人) means a person; human, right? [사람]
    So it should mean ‘a beautiful person (아름다운; 예쁜 사람)’ Am I right? Correct me if there are any mistakes..

    • martin

      actually i canot say what u said is wrong because 인 just means person or human but 미인 this words means beautiful woman,only used for descibing a beautiful woman not a MAN.basic reason is 인(人) is adapted from China character that is 한자,人类means human. 人 means people,person 美人/美女means beautiful adult girl

    • 태권도_마틴_불가리아

      Oh, I see~! Thanks. Hehe, we are namesakes. 人___人

  • kaekae

    Is there a female equivalent to “사나이?” that is, a word that emphasizes femininity.

  • Kennie

    I was wondering what 눈치코치 means. I heard it in a song and it is supposed to be translated as “tact, or common sense” but I’m confused how this can be garnered from a phrase involving your eyes and nose…there must be something I’m missing

  • Osman

    What does the word(s) we always hear from Korean TV shows, films and etc.:
    Goshi ya
    Goshi da
    Goshi ma
    Goshi, goshi, goshi?

    I must learn the meaning because I watch 3-4 episodes every day with Turkish or English subtitles and I hear 300-400 times thes words :)

    • 태권도_마틴_불가리아

      :D It’s a little funny when people hear grammatical endings many times and then ask about them.. 하지만 질문할 때고 대답을 받으면 더 쉽게 배울 수 있어요. ^^ I guess you hear ‘것이다’ (geoshida). It’s made from:
      ‘것’ (geot) – thing and ‘이다’ – (ida) – to be (infinitive)
      Well, it means nothing when it’s not in a sentence. it’s hard to explain it without any context…
      ‘것이다’ is used to make many kinds of sentences. I can’t explain them all to you, but I’ll give you an example:
      ‘ㄹ 것이다’ is used to make future tenses like with ‘겠’.
      이걸 할 거예요. (I’ll do it). [ '거예요' is a 해요체 form of '것이다'. You may hear other forms like: 합쇼체: '겁니다' which is a contracted form of '것입니다';
      해체 (반말): '것이야' (contracted - '거야')..]
      I haven’t heard ‘goshi ma’ yet.. xD

    • 태권도_마틴_불가리아

      :D It’s funny when people hear grammatical endings many times and then ask about them.. Well it’s hard to explain without context, but I guess you hear ‘것이다’. (geoshida) It’s made from:
      ‘것’ (geot) – thing and ‘이다’ – (ida) – to be (infinitive)
      Well, it means nothing when it’s not in a sentence.. ‘것이다’ is used to make many kinds of sentences. I can’t explain them all to you, but I’ll give you an example:
      ‘ㄹ 것이다’ is used to make future tenses like with ‘겠’.
      이걸 할 거예요. (I’ll do it). [ '거예요' is a 해요체 form of '것이다'. You may hear other forms like: 합쇼체: '겁니다' which is a contracted form of '것입니다';
      해체 (반말): '것이야' (contracted - '거야')..]
      I haven’t heard ‘goshi ma’ yet.. xD

  • Osman

    Thank you very much for your instructive explanations. But I am afraid I have forgotten to write that:
    1-My browser doesn’t support Korean characters, so I see some rectangles instead of Korean letters,
    2-I can not read Korean characters even if my browser supports.

    So, would you please write them in English alphabet again?

    Regards,
    Osman…

    • 태권도_마틴_불가리아

      Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know…

      hajiman jilmunhal ttaego daedapeul badeumyeon deo shwipge baeul su isseoyo. ^^ (I meant to say: ‘But If you receive answers when you ask a question, you can learn more easily’ But I’m not sure if it’s correct :D) I guess you hear ‘것이다’ (geoshida). It’s made from:
      ‘것’ (geot – written like ‘geos’ in Hangul) – thing and ‘이다’ – (ida) – to be (infinitive)
      Well, it means nothing when it’s not in a sentence. it’s hard to explain it without any context…
      ‘geoshida’ is used to make many kinds of sentences. I can’t explain them all to you, but I’ll give you an example:
      ‘l geoshida’ is used to make future tenses like with ‘get’ ( written like ‘gess’).
      Igeol hal goyeyo. (I’ll do it). [ 'goyeyo is a haeyoche form of 'geoshida'. You may hear other forms like: hapshyoche: 'geomnida' which is a contracted form of 'goeshimnida';
      haeche (Banmal): 'geoshiya' (contracted - 'geoya')..]
      I haven’t heard ‘goshi ma’ yet.. xD ‘hapshyoche’ ‘haeyoche’ ‘haeche’ are styles of speaking..
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_speech_levels
      Hope I helped.. :)

  • Osman

    Thank you very much.
    Igeol hal goyeyo (look wiki)

  • aiweriojfnkvjnfdkgnsh;lksf

    Why does it seem like I tend to learn much more Korean from the comments than anywhere else? ^_^ Very, very informative.

  • Sandra Steinhour

    1/2/13— Today’s audio/video lesson, “What Does 사나이 mean?”. I am a beginner and not very good at listening to sound differences. Is the teacher pronouncing the “ㅅ” as an “s”, or am I hearing a “t” sound? Would appreciate an answer. Thank you.

  • 지성

    Im not familiar with words masculineness and mainlyness
    사나이 refer to a MAN

  • caramella_ELF

    thaaanks a lot ~ I was wondering what does it means whenever I listen to gangnam style xD

    I have a question .. what does ‘ 네네 ‘ means ? if you’re talking to someone ?

    • 태권도_마틴_불가리아

      It means: Yes (x2) [Yeah x2] :D Koreans often say 네 (예, 응..) when someone’s talking to show the speaker that they are listening, but sometimes it gets annoying. xD

  • 2l 0-ll7

    Does it matter a lot the pronunciation?
    Is 0|-| ~ “ae” like “air” in hair?
    Is 0-|| ~ “e” like “ey” or “ay” in hey or hay?
    Or like hey and hay, there is no (hardly any) difference??
    0-| ~ “eo” and 0_|_ ~ “o” is also too close & very confusing!
    Anybody can help with phonetics or similar sounding english words please? or maybe some of these sounds dont exist in english.

    • Angie

      0-| ~ “eo” is like the “u” in shut.
      0_|_ ~ “o” is like do(do, re, mi…etc.)
      0-|| ~ “e” is like “e” in beg.
      I’m not sure about 0|-| ~ “ae”. I can say it, but I’m not sure how to explain it. It’s used in my name though.
      앤지 = Angie
      (I personally have problems with __ ~ eu like in put)
      I hope this helps! (: