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5 Korean phrases every K drama fan should know

5 Korean phrases every K drama fan should know ./
 5 k drama phrases which add drama in a Korean drama.

Korean dramas or K-dramas are filled with sweet predictable clichés , scenes that are repeated in almost every other drama, because they never seize to bring on the drama feels. Are you a k drama fan? Have you noticed how some scenes and some phrases get repeated in so many dramas? Here are a few of my favourite Hangul phrases which help heighten the drama in a Kdrama.

Orae-man-iyo / Orae- mani- dae

This phrase means ; it’s been a long time. The first version Orae mani iyo is the more formal way of saying is one of my favourite phrases, a fabulous drama building phrase, it could be used when two arch enemies meet after a long time , one grew up to be a sleazy lawyer, the other an upstanding prosecutor. Or two high school sweethearts with a heartbreaking breakup meet in their adult life. It is a phrase filled with emotions; be it a veiled threat , a sense of longing or loss, and for the audience – a promise of things to come. Whatever be the case, one can always expect sparks to fly when we hear these words.

Gwen-chana ?

This phrase means ,”are you alright?”. This phrase is almost always used in those heart fluttering scenes, with everythingis  moving in slow motion; the girl trips, the guy reaches out, grabs her by the wrist, spins her around, hands now at the waist, and then they both gaze into each other’s eyes- cue in the background music, everything moving to a standstill. Girl looks unblinkingly at guy, falling head over heels in love with her knight in shining armour. And that’s when the guy asks tenderly, - Gwenchana ? are you Ok? . The girl of course is rendered speechless and nods a shy affirmative. Viewers, this is your moment to sigh in romantic bliss. Almost every swoon worthy scene will have a ‘gwenchana phrase moment.’

Naega wae ?!

Naega Wae literally translates to ,” why me?!” this again is a multi-faceted phrase and is mostly used by an exasperated protagonist. As in why do I have to suffer this, why me ?! For example :Why do I have to enter a contract marriage with this very rich, very good looking man with a terrible personality ,when I hate him so much ! Or why do I have to serve undercover as a fake bride/bodyguard/ secretary to this person who I do not like… or why do I have to team up with/ share a house with this person who I totally detest now, but will start developing feelings for after about three more episodes. Or, if it’s a thriller/legal drama, why do I have to be framed for killing my family ,or why does my ex lover have to be my lawyer…  Neaga wae, is the protagonists plea to understand his or her destiny during plot twists , written by the writers/directors of the K drama. PS : kdrama writers can be a sadistic bunch, they love putting the protagonist into ‘ naega wae moments’.

Aniyo aniyo cholte aniyo !

This phrase translates to ,” no no, absolutely never .”. In answer to ‘Are you both a couple?’ ‘ Are you both seeing each other?’ ‘ do you have feelings for her?’ ‘ are you both secretly sharing an apartment because of unforeseen complicated reasons?’, And that’s when the lead couple will vehemently oppose the rumours ( all of it true mind you…) for emphasis, they will cross their arms in front to make the sign of ‘X’, to emphasise- nope, absolutely not, NOT At ALL! Aniyo aniyo cholte aniyo… but we as viewers know better, when in kdram land, never say never.


This word literally means – sorry. In the real world, you would use the word when you accidentally bump into someone on the road, but Sorry takes all sorts of meanings in a K drama. “ Sorry , I realised I loved you for the past 15 years, but realised it too late, and now you are with someone else…” , from thrillers to romances, from medical dramas to science fiction drams , there is a lot to be sorry for in a kdrama, and these scenes are almost always tear jerkers.  The reasons are never simple, the decpetions are always multi layered and involve complicated reasons , with multiple lives involved, and so Being Sorry , hardly ever makes up for the chaos. But when the dust settles on the dramatic events, you can be sure that someone is feeling pretty sorry.

I hope these phrases got you reminiscing about your favourite K dramas, and all those dramatic moments when they were used.

Have you ever felt like using these dramatic phrases in real life ? I wouldn’t mind a Gwenchana moment with a Kdrama Oppa !


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