Learn Korean with K-Pop from 4Minute

Listening to music is a catchy and fun way to learn a language. The challenge with studying music is that it is often too poetic, or the grammar isn't realistic. Fortunately, the K-Pop group 4Minute has us covered with their hit songs 오늘 뭐해 (Whatcha doing?) and 이름이 뭐예요 (What's your name?). These songs read like a conversation in a beginners Korean textbook.

오늘 뭐해

Whatcha doin today?

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This is very simple question in Korean. And it's something you could use in a real life conversation with a friend.

오늘 = today
뭐 = what
해 = present-tense conjugation of the verb 하다, which means "to do"

Notice that this sentance is missing the 요 at the end. This means the sentance is in 반말 (informal speach). You should only use this form of speach with someone you are familiar with, like your close friends.

이따 뭐해

Whatcha doin later

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After asking you what you are doing today, 4Minute follows up with another simple question.

이따 - later

Listen to the way they pronounce 이따. Do you hear the emphasis on the second syllable, 따? This is not just musical phrasing. This is a double consonant and is very common in the Korean language. A double consonant is pronounced with slightly more tightness than a regular consonant. One way to way to practice this is to insert a small pause before you speak the double consonant. 이 [pause] 따.

If you watch a lot of K-Dramas, you're probably familiar with the word 오빠 (brother or older male friend). This word also has a double consonant in the second syllable.

주말에 뭐해

Whatcha doin on the weekend?

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Now that 4Minute knows what you are doing today, and later, they are asking a final question about your weekend plans.

주말 = the weekend
에 = location or time marking particle

"particles" in Korean are markers that come after words to indicate the parts of speach. 에 is used to indicate that the question is about a certain time. In this case, they are asking about the weekend. 에 can also be used to indicate locations.

Some other common particles are 은/는 (topic marker), 가/이 (subject markers) and 을/를 (object) markers. Particles are a core building block of Korean grammar.

이름이 뭐예요?

What’s your name?

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이름 = name
이 = subject marking particle
요 = politice sentence ending

In this song, 4Minute is asking your name. Since they don't know the listener's name, we can assume they don't yet have a familiar relationship with the listener and they must end their question with the polite "요". This polite form of speach is called 존댓말, and it should be used with strangers or people older than you.

The subject of this sentance is "이름" (name). We know this, because it is followed by the subject marking particle 이. 이 is only used for words that end in consonants. For words that end with vowals, use 가.

전화번호 뭐예요?

What’s your number?

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전화 = phone
번호 = number

This one is a tounge twister, if you're not used to speaking Korean syllables. It might help to listen to this playback at a slower speed.

Want to study more Korean videos on YouTube?

YouTube is a great resource as a Korean language learner. You can find videos about everything from K-Pop, K-Drama, 먹방, and anything else you might find interesting.

CaptionPop provides tools that help you best use YouTube as a language learner. It allows you to search all of YouTube and filter for videos that have subtitles in both Korean and English. (or any other language!)

CaptionPop also allows you to watch videos with multiple subtitles at once, bookmark subtitles, and even build interactive flash cards from video snippets!

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