Common Expression

I have long been watching Korean dramas.  While everyone is addicted watching Grey’s Anatomy or Glee, I took my sweet time watching Korean dramas or movies.  For the past 2 years i think I have watched more Korean movies than a local or English one.

Since I don’t get to speak with a Native Korean and just exchange emails with some friends, I think watching Korean movies and dramas or listening to Korean songs would at least help me stay in touch with the language.  This way I get to practice pronouncing Korean words and expressions.

One of the most common expressions i think, which never fails to be delivered in most of the Korean movies and dramas I watched,  are these two expressions:

  • Fighting
  • Aja
Figthing is best remembered in the drama Full House.

In English, fighting would mean engaging your self in a battle, game or struggling.  You don’t hear it as a common expression unlike the way Koreans use this terms.  Fighting which is written as 화이팅 (Hwaiting) or 파이팅 (paiting) in Hangul is an expression that can translate to ‘go for it’.  It’s an expression that connotes encouragement.  When i first encountered this expression written in Hangul i looked for it in the dictionary and failed to find what it means.  Then i realized this expression is actually English.   So given that this is borrowed, romanization is not standard i get to see people writing it 화이팅 or 파이팅.

aja! aja! this one is used frequently in the drama Lovers in Paris

Another similar expression is 아자 (aja).  It is said with the same gesture but this one means more as ‘bring it on’.   Very slight difference in use but both connotes positivity — i can do it or i can make it  attitude.

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8 Replies to “Common Expression”

  1. Thanks for this explanation^^ I have asked exactly the same question to a language exchange friend some while ago and got the same answer.
    You can imagine that when exchanging language with friends, you now and then have hard times understanding the foreign language, and a sincere 화이팅 or 아자!아자! is in it’s place to encourage each other!
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Hi, I stumbled across your page when searching for something in Korean, and I love it ever since.

    Can you help me with something? In many korean songs or movies I heard words like “saranghanthe” or “mianhanthe”. As far as I know “hanthe” particle is used to mark indirect animated object, like “to” in English. So what do they mean when used with a verb? Thanks

    1. i think you are right on 한데 (hande) as marker for noun as object. i think saranghande 사랑한데 (saranghande) would mean someone said i love you or someone said he loves (like saying what someone has said) i think that goes the same for 미안한데 (mianhande).

  3. I’m all for Korean~ Ahaha! I must say, I really do enjoy your website a lot. It’s helped me to pick up quite a bit of Hangul.
    You’re doing a great job with explaining everything in the best way you can even if you aren’t originally korean.

    I do think some people who visit my blog regularly would certainly like to peek into yours once in a while as some of them who listen to kpop and watch kdramas are itching to learn some Hangul too.
    So I hope you don’t mind if I help myself and add a link to here in my blogroll~

    Cheers!
    Looking forward to the next update~ *subscribes*

  4. yeahh!same like me,,i’ve been watching korean drama and everything about korean since i was 8 y/o…and now i’m 17 y/o..so,its been 9 years i’ve known about korean drama,movie,songs,band and so on.. 😀

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