Korean words I accidentally use when talking to friends

Inspired by korean words I accidentally use when talking to friends ㅋㅋ post of hanmiso. ^^

Just like hanmiso, I’m prone to using Korean expressions when I’m with friends, classmates or my co-workers especially these days because I just got back from Korea. It was even mentioned to me by one office mate a few days ago. She asked me if I’ve ever accidentally used Korean expressions when talking to our American clients. Luckily, I haven’t. However when with friends, or sometimes even strangers, Korean expressions would simply come out of my mouth accidentally.

Here’s my list for now:




아~ 진짜!



괜찮아 / 아냐, 괜찮아




몰라 / 아 몰라

말도 안돼!





어디 보자?

가자! / 갑시다!

미치겠다! / 미치겠다 정말

자쯩나! / 짱나!

좋아 / 좋았





How about you? What’s on your list?


비몽사몽 非夢似夢 – [명사] 완전히 잠이 들지도 잠에서 깨어나지도 않은 어렴풋한 상태.
[noun] the state between being asleep and awake; half awake; half dreaming.

If there’s a word that can best describe what I am feeling right now it will be 비몽사몽.

Ever since I came back from Korea, more than a month ago, and up until now I am still in a 비몽사몽 state. I don’t know where I’ve been, where I currently am and have no idea where I should go. I don’t have the slightest idea of what I just did, what I am doing and what I should be doing next.

I’ve started working. I’ve meet new people and have made new friends. I wake up early every day and go to work. I hit the gym. I have a routine everyday…


I still feel that one morning I’ll wake up in my sweet little room in our goshiwon at Sinchon and will have a bowl of Korean sticky rice and kimchi for breakfast. That I will stuff whatever food I can get my hands on inside my backpack and grab my one and only jacket and ran towards Exit 8 of Sinchon station Line 2. That I will check my itinerary and head to the next place on my list that is still unchecked. That I will walk and walk and walk to my heart’s content and take lots and lots and lots of photos. That an 어르신 or two will talk to me in the middle of my walks and will keep asking me how come I am travelling alone and that I should travel with my non-existent boyfriend or friends. That I will head back to Sinchon when night comes. That I will walk lazily around Sinchon memorizing the different shops, restaurant and food stalls in the area. That I will sit for a few minutes in the Children’s park right in front of our goshiwon before going up to my room. That I will have a nice little chat with the goshiwon ahjussi (and if I’m lucky will get invited for a drink). That I will turn on the small television and channel surf until I see a re-run of Dad, Where Are We Going? in my room. That I will take a shower in the shared bathroom on our floor. That I will sleep comfortably under my warm comforter.

Yes. We have another bad case of withdrawal syndrome here.


If only I can bring spring back.

If only I can go back…

No matter how many problems I encountered. No matter how gruesome and painful the heartache I have experienced. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter at all. Those 51 days of spring, good or bad, were the best 51 days of my life.

If only those days can last forever… ㅠㅠ

But I know that sooner or later I need to wake up – completely.

I miss my room! ㅠㅠ

I miss my room! ㅠㅠ

What is your number 18?

I was googling some Korean song lyrics yesterday when I first encountered “This song is my # 18”. Does it mean my 18th favorite song on my top 20 fave list? And what’s the big deal if it’s the 18th? It’s not like your number 3 or 2 or 1. I later learned that “My # 18” means the song that I can sing the best.

And this morning, as I was watching Episode 5 of Ohlala Couple, I encountered that expression again. Soo Nam (on Yeo Ok’s body) was blurting some classical song when his mother (Yeo Ok’s mother-in-law) asked him (thinking it was her daughter-in-law) to turn the radio off.

니 18번이 ‘밤 비 내린 영동교’잖니!

Isn’t your # 18 “Night Rain Falling on Yeong-dong Bridge”? How come you are suddenly on classical music?

But why 18? What’s with the number 18?

A Korean friend briefly told me the expressin originated from Japan and later on spread in Korea as well with a slight modification on the original meaning (and he didn’t elaborate further! :p).

I found THIS on Daum 지식. And according to the answers, it has something to do with Japanese culture. One explained it further saying it has something to do with Kabuki – a classical Japanese dance-drama. Though # 18 means one’s favorite song, usually it also has the meaning of the best and most interesting thing. And the latter meaning is the one that originated from Japan. Anyway, in Kabuki theaters there is usually an intermission in between scenes. The intermission is a popular one-act play that are separated into 18 parts distributed all throughout the kabuki performance. And usually the last part of these one-act plays, the 18th, is the best, most interesting and most popular. Therefore these meanings (best, most interesting) is attached to the number 18. And probably where the expression “What’s your number 18?”, which is frequently used in noraebangs, originated from.

I’m not sure about the accuracy of this information though. I don’t know much about Kabuki either. I just relied on the answer I found on Daum. I am not even sure whether my understanding is 100% correct or not. If you know more about this expression and why and how it started, leave a comment below. 🙂

Sadly I don’t think I have a # 18. I don’t sing very well. 😦

How about you guys? What’s your # 18?

How to say “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” in Korean

When you are given options and you are stuck and can’t decide what to eat, where to go, which road to take, which food on the menu to order, what to choose, what answer should you pick on a multiple choice exam, do you let fate decide and use “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.”?

I remember asking my Korean teacher, during one of our classes months ago, if there’s a similar rhyme in Korean and how to say it. But I can’t remember the exact words. I just know it starts with 어느 or 어떤 _____ and ends with a 딩동댕.  So, I googled and found some interesting variations. The content of the rhyme depends on the situation, but it always end in 알아 맞춰보세요. 딩동댕 (or 딩동댕딩동).

Photo from: 크리스천 라이프

어느 것을 고를까요? 알아 맞춰보세요. 딩동댕!

어떤 것을 할까요? 알아 맞춰보세요. 딩동댕!

어느 것이 맞을까요? 알아맞춰보세요. 딩동댕!

어느 쪽으로 갈까요? 알아 맞춰 보세요. 딩동댕!

어떻게 할까요? 알아 맞춰 보세요. 딩동댕!

어느 것이 좋을까요? 알아맞춰 보세요. 딩동댕!

어느 것을 먹을까요? 알아맞춰보세요. 딩동댕

I love being able to google/naver (naver should be used as a verb too!) questions in Korean now and find the answers I need.


Don’t you find it strange that when so learn something new, say a new word or a new grammar pattern, you suddenly keep on encountering that new word / pattern?

Today since I didn’t go to school (played hooky). So I wanted to know how to say it in Korean.

First, I checked Kim Sun-Ah‘s movie She’s On Duty. I remember that there was a little dialogue from that movie about playing hooky.

Kim Sun-Ah plays Jae-In, a police officer on an undercover duty as a high school student. She saw the potential witness they are looking for in school and chased him. She failed to catch him. And she forgot momentarily that she is a student and she just cut her classes.

천반장: 잘 들어갈 수 있겠냐?

재인: 어딜 잘 들어 가요?

천반장: 지금 수업 땡땡이 친 거잖아.

After checking that scene, I checked the dictionary for ‘playing hooky’ and found out that it’s 땡땡이 치다.

And, just about 5 minutes later, as I was reading Equinox’s blog, I saw she wrote “꼭 땡땡이 치지마”

I’m starting to memorize my speech too. I think about 75% of the words used on that speech are all new too me. But now, as I memorize them, they keep appearing on other stuff (like song lyrics, drama dialogue, blog posts, etc). Like the game 가위바위보. I use to check the dictionary every time I want to write it. Even if I play this with friends, in rapid speech it’s just something like [과이바이보 ] to me. But in my speech 바위 keeps appearing. Now I realized that that’s the same 바위 in 가위바위보, and I finally have successfully written 가위바위보 without looking at the dictionary. 🙂

Maybe it was only because I’m aware of the new stuff that I get to notice it now. Still it feels a bit odd. 🙂