7 Words and Expressions for K-Drama Fans

“Hallyu” or the Korean wave is a term that has been widely used to refer to South Korea’s global cultural domination. K-drama has made a huge influence on pop culture, and there is no question why a lot of people are very much invested in it since the pandemic started.

But why do K-Dramas still remain to be most-watched shows these days? K-dramas have every kind of genre from comedy, romance, melodrama, or thriller, so you are sure to find something that’s right up to your taste. Watching these kinds of dramas will give you an inside look at their culture, especially the language. The whole K-drama experience also won’t be complete if you have not picked up a word or two! The best part is that so many words are used repeatedly in shows, which makes it easier for viewers to understand the context of each word.

We know, K-dramas are addictive especially if you’re trying to learn Korean. So here, we’ve listed down some words and expressions every K-drama fan should know. This can also serve as a guide if you’re new to learning Korean!



Haeng-bok-hae (행복해)

via tvN

This phrase means “I’m happy”. This is the most common way to say happy in Korean. It can also mean “he or she is happy or we are happy.” When someone says “haengbokhae” , they want to let someone know how thankful they are to have met them. You can say this to your close friends, siblings, or people who are younger than you.



Joe-song-hae-yo (죄송해요)

via KBS2

It means “I’m sorry”. It is a polite and formal way of apologizing. You can use it when you’re apologizing to someone of higher status than you or to excuse yourself when passing through a crowd of people.



Yak-seok-hae (약속해)

via KBS2

“Yaksok” means “promise” in English. This word is used when someone wants you to promise something and is usually followed by locking the promise with your pinkies intertwined. After the main characters make a promise to each other, they will say “Yaksokhae” which means “I promise.”



Bo-go-ship-eo (보고싶어)

via Netflix

You’ve probably heard this a million times in romantic K-dramas. This is usually translated to “I miss you”. But another way to say is “bogoshipda”, which means “I want to see you.”



Jo-a-hae (좋아해)

via MBC

Remember the internet craze that prompted people to ask their crushes “Do you like Messi?”. It was from the series Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, where Bok Joo asked her crush the question after her friend told her that guys are attracted to girls who are into sports. It’s important to remember that “joahae” is the informal way of saying “I like you” and should only be used when talking to your close friends or someone your age you know very well.



Jam-shi-man-yo (잠시만요)

via tvN

It means “Just a moment”. This phrase is usually used when you want another person to wait for you, ask someone to move out of the way, or get someone’s attention in a crowded area.



Sa-rang-hae (사랑해)

via tvN

Another phrase that’s popular among K-drama fans! This is the standard way of saying “I love you” in Korean. The phrase “saranghae” is an informal version and is only used by those who are close to you whether they are older or not.




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*Featured image via tvN, Netflix