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A Few Popular Korean Words & Their Origins

By June 21, 2019 No Comments

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How The New Words are created in Korean
Through the past few years, Beeline Language Korean emerged as one of the most effective, innovative ways to learn the Korean language. Along with our hand on approach with our Korean learning platform, Beeline Language Korean, we also have the blog postings regularly to compliment your new language study. Previously, in the blogs, one word or phrase have been introduced in Korean, but since we have other social media platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, we will be posting a new blog posting weekly, that contains multiple new Korean words and phrases to learn. Today, you will be learning how to say some popular words in Korean that are used in everyday vocabulary. Today, you will be learning four new slang words in Korean.

How To Say These New Popular Korean Words 

인싸 [in-ssa] – Insider, the in crowd
This word is used among Koreans these days to show that the person is very much in tune with the trend and who gets to be included in every socializing events among the groups.
영훈이는 교회 동아리에서 인싸야. [young-hoon-ee-neun gyo-hoe dong-ah-ri-eh-seo in-ssa-ya]
Young Hoon is one of ‘the in crowds’ at Church groups.
미선이는 성격이 인싸같애. [mee-seon-ee-neun seong-gyuk-ee in-ssa-ga-tae]
Mee-Sun has personality traits of the-in-crowd
How To Say an outsider in Korean
아싸 [ah-ssa] – an outsider
Exactly opposite meaning to the 인싸, the 아싸 means that you are not trying to fit in, and you rather be an independent, and free-spirited. Not necessarily a negative meaning in context, but often used to describe people who do not socialize with others.
성훈이는 완전한 아싸같애. [sung-hoon-ee-neun wan-jeon-han ah-ssa-ga-tae]
Sung-hoon is a complete outsider.
미라가 아싸라고 처음엔 생각했어. [mee-ra-ga ah-ssa-ra-go cheo-um-en seng0gak-het-sseo]
At first, I thought Mira was an outsider.
What is Sohwakheng
소확행 [so-hwak-heng] – Small or little but definitely some kind of happiness
소확행 can be used when you are describing a small or little ritual or activity, and getting a certain satisfaction doing that ritual or an activity.  For example, Imagine you are doing something rather small, such as going out to get some snacks that you have been craving for. As long as you do feel happy and satisfied about it, you would say that this is 소확행
오늘은 떡볶이를 먹으면서 소확행 [oh-neul-eun tteokbokki-reul meog-eu-myeon-seo so-hwak-heng]
Today, Eating Tteokbokki is a ritual that is small but definitely some kind of happiness.
what is gap-boon-ssa
갑분싸 [gap-boon-ssa] – sudden awkward, silent atmosphere
the word 갑분싸 is often used to describe a sudden change in an atmosphere of the room, such as sudden awkward silence induced by action or what somebody says.
우리 엄마가 방에 들어오셨을때, 갑분싸됬어. [woo-ri um-ma-ga bang-eh deul-eo-oh-shut-eul-ttae, gap-boon-ssa-doe-sseo]
When my mother entered the room, there is a sudden awkward, silent atmosphere created.

Interesting Factor about Some of the New Words in Korean

We have just learned how to say newly created Korean words such as 인싸[in-ssa], 아싸[ah-ssa], 소확행[so-hwak-heng], and 갑분싸 [gap-boon-ssa]. These words are all short forms of a longer phrase/words.

인싸 is a short form for 인싸이더 [in-ssa-ee-deo], which literally means ‘the insider’, where as 아싸 is a short form of 아웃사이더 [ah-oot-ssa-ee-deo]  which is from the word ‘an outsider’.  소확행 comes from a longer form of phrase ‘소소하지만 확실한 행복 ‘ [so-so-ha-ji-man hwak-sil-han heng-bok] and that means ‘small but certain happiness’ when you translate the phrase word by word.

You could take the first syllable from each word, and make the new word 소확행.  Similarly, 갑분싸 comes from the phrase ‘갑자기 분위기 싸해지다’ [gap-ja-gi boon-we-gi ssa-he-ji-da], which would be translated to ‘sudden atmosphere coldness’. You take the first syllables of each word in the phrase, and you will be left with 갑분싸.  Taking the first syllables of a longer phrase and shorten it to make a new word has been a new trend in Korean.

For example, when you are saying Mom and Dad, you will be saying 엄마[Umma] and 아빠[Abba]  in Korean, however, new word 엄빠 [um-bba] was created recently to just have the parents called 엄빠. instead of 부모님, [boo-mo-nim], which means parents in Korean.

Now that you have learned how to say new words and phrases in Korean, let your friends know about what you have learned today!

Happy Studying!


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