From ‘saranghae’ to ‘aniyo’ – Know the Meaning of Commonly Used Korean Terms From K Dramas

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Korean Dramas became the new ‘it’ thing while many have found themselves glued to these shows amidst the pandemic. If you have never given it a try, you must because it is as good as the hype and just as addictive. You will get a plethora of these Korean drama shows on various streaming platforms. And in no time, you will be a die-hard fan given its warm, affectionate, and skilled directing. All the avid K Drama fans (or K poppers) will often find themselves getting the hang of the Korean language and being able to sometimes hold a conversation or two. But, those rookies who are just getting hooked onto these fun, light-hearted K drama shows might want to up their Korean speaking game. Do you want to know saranghae meaning? Or possibly want to flaunt your Korean speaking skills and culture with your K-pop gang? We are here to help you out! Soon you will be watching all your favourite Korean shows without subtitles, like a pro.

To get you out of the rookie stage and playing the pro-Korean know-it-all, we have come up with a list of the most commonly used Korean terms. Let’s sijaghada (get started)!!

1. Araso 

You have probably heard this word a lot in K drama shows. It means understood or okay. You can say Araso when you want to convey that you have understood something and are okay with it.

2. Saranghae

You have most definitely heard this word in Korean dramas or videos. It means I love you in Korean, and it is used in many romantic K dramas. So, the next time you find yourself fawning over a Korean character, you can go SARANGHAE.

3. Aniyo 

If you ever fulfil every K drama fan’s dream of going to South Korea and find someone talking to you in fluent Korean and do not know what to say. You can simply say Aniyo which means No, hoping their first question is, do you speak Korean?  

Or Araso if you have this list of words in mind…

4. Kamsahamnida/ Gomawoyo

Like in every language, there are several ways of showing gratitude. In Korean, there are many terms used to say thank you. But these two terms are the most often used words to say Thank You.Save your Kamsahamnida for the end of this article once you are a pro.

5. Joesonghamnida/ Mianhaeyo/ Mianhae 

In Korea, there are many ways to say sorry especially because you cannot help being slightly disrespectful every time your mouth waters either for their delicious Korean noodles or crazy romantic drama characters. When you want to say sorry more formally and respectfully, especially when talking to an elder or your boss, you say Joesonghamnida. If you are speaking to people informally or younger than you or just a friend, then you can say Mianhae to express an apology.

6. Annyeong 

It is an informal way of greeting, meaning hello. It is most commonly used in informal conversations while talking to those of your age or subordinate.

7. Oppa

Yes, you have heard this word before in most Korean Dramas. It is mostly because women use this word while referring to or speaking to a male that is older than them. Sometimes it is done out of respect, and most of the time is in a flirtatious way. 

So, the next time you fall for a Korean actor who is older than you, you can address them as Oppa if you ever fantasize about meeting them.

8. Unni/ Eonni

While two women hold a conversation, the younger one can call the elder lady Unni. It means elder sister. If there are any boys out there dreaming of a love story with a Korean lady actress, she most probably will prefer that you even call her Unni.

9. Juseyo/Jebal 

It is another common word used in most Korean dramas. Juseyo generally means please in the context of asking for a favour or as a general courtesy. Whereas, Jebal is used when you are pleading with someone. The context being, if that Korean lady actress tells you that you can only call her Unni, you might Jebal (plead) her saying you do not want to.

10. Gajima 

Every romantic K drama will have the protagonist of the show asking his beloved to stay with him and not to go. Gajima means don’t go.

11. Yaksohkhae 

Korean dramas have many hopeless romantics that ask their loved ones to promise they will go nowhere. This term means ‘promise me’.

12. Joahhae

When you are waiting for the scene where you are shipping one actor with the main actress but instead of getting a sultry romantic scene where he confesses his love for her. He goes and says Joahhae means I like you and goes on to say but… And we all know what comes after that. It is a confession that will make you sad.


Now that you know these commonly used terms. We assure you that you will not need to hurt your eyes straining to read the subtitles as well as keep in sync with the scenes because now you will understand bits and pieces making it easier for you. Or, if you ever go to Seoul, you will at least know the basic greetings. Last but not least, you will also have a chance to show off your Korean speaking skills and be envied by all your K drama fan friends. 

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