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Let’s talk about a Korean song; “Gangnam Style”


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Let’s talk about a Korean song; “Gangnam Style”.

I think many people already know about the song; Gangnam Style. The singer is PSY who is known well for a funny music video and dancing. We can learn about new Korean words through reading his song.

First, I think you wonder about the Gangnam, which sounds very smooth. It’s a name of a location in South Korea. There are lots of high buildings, large chain stores, major companies, and fancy restaurants in Gangnam. Every price is very high in Gangnam, so the rich live in the area. People think PSY looks so funny because he doesn't look like a person who lives in Gangnam.  :laugh:

Now let’s look at the lyric and learn some important Korean words.

Gangnam style

강남 스타일

A girl who is warm and humanly during the day

낮에는 따사로운 인간적인 여자

- The word 따사로운(DDa Sa Ro Wu-n) means warm. This word has two different meanings. one is warm weather, the other one is a person who is warm. e.g, the weather is so warm (날씨가 따뜻하네요) / She is so warm (그녀는 참 따뜻한 사람이예요)

A classy girl who knows how to enjoy the freedom of a cup of coffee

커피 한잔의 여유를 아는 품격 있는 여자

- The word 커피(Coffee) has same pronunciation with English word. I think it is easy for you to remember the pronunciation.

A girl whose heart gets hotter when night comes

밤이 오면 심장이 뜨거워지는 여자

- The word 심장(Sim Jang) means heart and 밤(Bam) means night. However, the the word 밤 also have two meanings. one is night and the other one is a fruit's name. < you can see pictures of the fruit called 밤(Bam) by clicking this link : https://www.google.co.kr/search?q=%EB%A8%B9%EB%8A%94+%EB%B0%A4&newwindow=1&espv=210&es_sm=93&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=pg_QUoTVHMOCiQe7oIDoAQ&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1366&bih=666#facrc=_&imgrc=LA_9ZfUlRQNgTM%253A%3BGS1auuSKWhL8DM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwrn.kr%252Fshop%252Fpic_prod_small%252Fchestnut%25252520web.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwrn.kr%252Fhomepage%252Fmembers%252Fmyshopping%252Fmempostscript_view.aspx%253Fcno%253D9007%2526physical_name%253Dmempostscript%3B500%3B500

A girl with that kind of twist

그런 반전 있는 여자

-The word 반전(Ban Jun) means a person who acts differently depending on the situation. Korean people use this word when a person is attractive or when unexpected situation occurs, Korean people use this word. 

I’m a guy

나는 사나이

- The word 사나이(Sa Na E) means a strong guy, not just a quite guy)

A guy who is as warm as you during the day

낮에는 너만큼 따사로운 그런 사나이

A guy who one-shots his coffee before it even cools down

커피 식기도 전에 원 샷 때리는 사나이

A guy whose heart bursts when night comes

밤이 오면 심장이 터져버리는 사나이

That kind of guy

그런 사나이

Beautiful, loveable

아름다워 사랑스러워

Yes you, hey, yes you, hey

그래 너 hey 그래 바로 너 hey

Beautiful, loveable

아름다워 사랑스러워

Yes you, hey, yes you, hey

그래 너 hey 그래 바로 너 hey

Now let’s go until the end

지금부터 갈 데까지 가볼까

Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style

Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style

Oppa is Gangnam style 

오빤 강남스타일 강남스타일

옵옵옵옵 오빤강남스타일

강남스타일

옵옵옵옵 오빤강남스타일

Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

Eh- Sexy Lady

오오오오 오빤 강남스타일

Eh- Sexy Lady

오오오오 

A girl who looks quiet but plays when she plays

정숙해 보이지만 놀 땐 노는 여자

-The word 정숙(Jung Suk) means quiet. We can use this word when we talk about a person's personality, but we also can use this word in particular places like School or Restaurant. For example, you can see this word in every restaurant in Korea. Korean people think that they should not talk too much when they eat food. they even use the word at school because students should not make noise.

A girl who puts her hair down when the right time comes

이때다 싶으면 묶었던 머리 푸는 여자

-The word 머리(Mur Ri) has two meanings; it can be a person’s hair or head. You can use the word, depending on a situation.

A girl who covers herself but is more sexy than a girl who bares it all

가렸지만 웬만한 노출보다 야한 여자

-The word 노출(No Chul) means exposing. For example, we usually use this word when someone exposes his/her body in front of people/ a person.

A sensible girl like that

그런 감각적인 여자

I’m a guy

나는 사나이

A guy who seems calm but plays when he plays

점잖아 보이지만 놀 땐 노는 사나이

A guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comes

때가 되면 완전 미쳐버리는 사나이

-the word 때(Tae) means When or Time.

A guy who has bulging ideas rather than muscles

근육보다 사상이 울퉁불퉁한 사나이

-the word 사상 means Idea.

That kind of guy

그런 사나이

Beautiful, loveable

Yes you, hey, yes you, hey

아름다워 사랑스러워

그래 너 hey 그래 바로 너 hey

Beautiful, loveable

Yes you, hey, yes you, hey

아름다워 사랑스러워

그래 너 hey 그래 바로 너 hey

Now let’s go until the end

지금부터 갈 데까지 가볼까

Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style

Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style

Oppa is Gangnam style

오빤 강남 스타일 강남스타일

옵옵옵옵 오빤 강남스타일

강남스타일

옵옵옵옵 오빤 강남스타일

Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

Eh- Sexy Lady

오오오오 오빤 강남스타일

Eh- Sexy Lady

오오오오

On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby

뛰는 놈 그 위에 나는 놈

The word 놈 means a man.

I’m a man who knows a thing or two

나는 뭘 좀 아는 놈

On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby

뛰는 놈 그 위에 나는 놈

I’m a man who knows a thing or two

나는 뭘 좀 아는 놈

You know what I’m saying

내가 무슨 말 하는지 알겠지

(*repeat..)

It will be helpful if you know the words that i wrote in Blue. Other words were repeating again and again. If you want to know more about PSY and the song of Gangnam Style. Please click the following links.

Who is PSY?: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psy

What's the song called GangNam Style?:

If you have any question, please feel free to ask me.

Thanks

Writer: Joo K

Location: Seoul, South Kora

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wow, fantastic. Now, I finally know (understand) more about this funny song. This song was sooooo popular literally everywhere in the world..crazy. thanxx for taking the time to explain the lyrics  :party:

I'm happy to know that you liked my post  :laugh: Next time, i will write more interesting posts !

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There are a lot of repetitions in the song...that's nothing special though as almost all pop songs are constructed by this "hit formula" :=)

What does "oppa" mean exactly Joo? Maybe you wrote the meaning somewhere in this thread but I could not find it. I would really like to know if it means something special or not  :grin:

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Scribendi: World-Class Editing and Proofreading

There are a lot of repetitions in the song...that's nothing special though as almost all pop songs are constructed by this "hit formula" :=)

What does "oppa" mean exactly Joo? Maybe you wrote the meaning somewhere in this thread but I could not find it. I would really like to know if it means something special or not  :grin:

"Oppa" has two meanings :) one is "an older brother :grin:" and the other is "a man that you love :shy:" (but the man should be older than you) hehe

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for the post. Finally, I can understand this song. I was actually looking up at translations before but I didn't know if it was quite right in the first place. I love the line "A girl who covers herself but is more sexy than a girl who bares it all". I think it's true that a girl doesn't have to bare it all to define the word 'sexy'. :D

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So basically Gangnam style is Korea's equivalent of Beverly Hills, right? Makes sense re-watching the video. All the locations, the clothes and the style. Thanks for the translation! It's weird reading the translations and listening to the song at the same time. It feels so surreal. Just like this Gangnam Style music video minus the actual music :D

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Thank you for clarifying this Joo! So, why does Psy say Oppa Gangnam Style?  :grin: He means "to love someone like people do in the district of Gangnam maybe?  :grin:

The way she translated it, she wrote "Oppa is Gangnam style", so I think it means that the older man you like is "Gangnam style", meaning he dresses and behaves like people from Gangnam. Hopefully, Joo can clarify this.

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  • 8 months later...

I've never actually looked up the complete translation for this song even though it was/is so popular, so thank you for this! I learnt a lot of new words through this explanation and the lyrics aren't as poor quality as I initially believed, haha.

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Wow, great post! My uncle introduced me to this song about a year ago. I was actually surprised how popular it was. I knew very little about k-pop back then, let alone Korean culture. So, the bit of background info you gave was very interesting. I'm going to look up the area Gangnam now so that I can get a visual and more info. Thanks.

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  • 1 year later...

I knew the song was cleverly written but I didn't realize how much so.  I'll have to look into adding translating more songs by him.  It's always interesting to see how writers work within the constraints of the song.  I find that translating poems is similar.  Thanks for translating the words, it means more now.

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