Korean, Music
Comments 5

귀여운 노래!^^

I’ve never watched 우리 결혼했어요, but I remember I found out about the 용서 couple’s “반말송” (“Banmal Song”) through allkpop.  So when CN Blue’s Jung Yonghwa released a digital version of the song retitled “처음 사랑하는 연인들을 위해” (“For First-time Lovers”) earlier this year, I was curious to hear it because 반말송 was so popular.  It’s really one of the most adorable songs I have ever heard.

(Source:  GirlsGenerationSM)

What I love about this song is that it is so distinctly Korean.  It’s about something that you can’t really understand unless you know a little about Korean culture and it’s about something I love watching in a Korean drama – progression of a relationship in parallel with changes in speech levels.  How do you gauge when to start speaking “comfortably” to a person you’ve met?  When can you switch from 존댓말 to 반말?  What’s even more interesting (what this song is about) is how to speak to a person who’s just become your lover – how do you get over the awkwardness and the shyness, not only in feeling but also in speech?  Although most languages do have a “polite” speech and a “casual” speech, an issue like this is more significant in Korean because there are about seven distinct speech levels (excluding mixing the different types of speech).  And it’s something that English speakers can’t really understand.  I’m glad I’m at a level in Korean where I can understand both the meaning and cultural significance of a song like this.


Ahem.  Anyway.  Although it is not impossible to translate a song like this into English (the person who uploaded this video did a pretty good job), it’s best left untranslated because so much meaning is lost if you do. Besides, how on earth can you accurately translate a line like “우리 서로 반말하는 사이가 되기를” anyway? The thought makes me shudder. :)


  1. I also like this song!
    I saw it first from S[e]oul Discovery’s blog. A few days after my 선생님 introduced this in our class because we were studying about 반말 then. ^^


    • I love this song so much! I thought the lyrics were cute and interesting. I’m not a huge fan of CN Blue but I might have to check them out more thoroughly now.^^ I seem to be getting more and more into Kpop ballad stuff these days haha.


  2. lyrynne says

    I JUST LOVE THE MEANING OF THIS SONG! I’m a big fan of Yongseo Couple from WGM and this song describes them! Good job Yonghwa for writing this song! And I just love this line “너와의 손을 잡던날, 심장이, 멈춘듯한 기분들에, 무슨말 했는지 기억조차 안나, 마냥 설레는 기분인걸” Because that actually happened between them! Wah! Sorry I think I still can’t get over the two since they ended last week. I agree that this song can turn into pure awkwardness when it’s translated into english and it’ll lost it’s true meaning. You should listen to 4Men’s 똑똑똑 and 가슴이 뛴다 by K.will! Makes your heart flutter!


    • Oooh, yes, I will check out those songs. :) Thanks for helping me remember the title (반말송), by the way. I heard the song and then forgot about it until recently when everyone starting talking about Yongseo leaving WGM. Now I really want to watch them on that show! I’ve only seen Yonghwa in 미남이시네요 and he was a little wooden (then again I hated that drama so I might be biased)… but I’m looking forward to seeing him and Park Shin-hye reunite in Festival!! :D


      • lyrynne says

        Welcome^^ You should watch Yongseo’s WGM! I don’t know why some people call them the boring couple but they just don’t see the progression in the relationship day by day. It started from nothing to something. At least they showed us how really “relationships” go. Oh yeah, 미남이시네요 was..I don’t know how to call it ㅋㅋㅋ I watched the whole series but right after I felt that it’s empty.


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