Sometimes we have to turn to other languages to discover the specific word we’re spring for. From age-old terms that define cultural identity to modern-day slang supplied for interpreting emotion, these ten oriental words have actually no straight English equivalent however are certainly worth adopting.

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Meaning: This ax is used to describe the art of being in tune to who else’s feelings, thoughts and emotions to properly gauge and also react to a situation. Someone with great noon-chi have the right to read others’ body language or tone of voice to recognize their genuine feelings. Comparatively, someone with negative noon-chi is said to absence tact or observational skills.



Meaning: A notion that is often considered to be unique to Korea, han is the collective feeling the sadness and oppression. That is a social concept that can be ascribed come the nation’s extensive background of attacks and also invasions from various other countries. Often challenging to translate, the Los Angeles time describes han to it is in “as amorphous a concept as love or hate: strongly personal, however carried around collectively, a national torch, a argorial of suffering tempered by a sense of resiliency.”


Meaning: While han describes Koreans’ special kind of suffering and victimhood, jeong is the country’s putatively real and unique type of society relational bonding. Sometimes analyzed as “harmony” or “coexistence,” its definition is far much more complex. So much so the Koreans frequently have an obstacle defining the word. Put simply, jeong describes the emotional and psychological bonds that sign up with the collective society of Korea; the pervades every levels, dissecting the people into various levels of woo-ri (us) versus them.



Meaning: This recently created Korean native is identified as a situation in which who asks a question however has currently decided the answer they want to hear. Because that example, a male may uncover himself in a dab-jeong-neo as soon as his girl friend asks, “Does my target look huge in these jeans?”


Meaning: associated with Korean social notions the filial piety, hyo denotes the strict sense of duty and also responsibility children must pay their parents at every times, also if it means making huge sacrifices ~ above the component of the children.



Meaning: korean mothers are recognized to it is in competitive and often compare their children to the offspring of your friends. Literally meaning “Mom’s friend’s son,” eom-chin-a is used to define a human being who is an ext successful or skilled than girlfriend – the type of human being your mom would negatively compare you to to encourage you to work harder. “Mina’s son gained straight A’s on his exams. Why can’t you?!”


Meaning: back dab-dab-hae has actually a number of different meanings, consisting of “stuffy” or “stifling,” it’s frequently used much more figuratively to describe the physics sensation the suffocation brought about by disappointed or the inability to speak or act freely. For example, someone stuck in sseom-ta-da (see below) could experience dab-dab-hae. Unsurprisingly, the a term commonly used in both K-dramas and K-pop songs.



Meaning: You know that ambiguous phase of dating, whereby you’ve to be seeing each other casually but haven’t yet characterized the relationship? being in this type of instance is what Koreans refer to as sseom-ta-da. It way that sseom (taken from the English native “something”) is walking on and it most likely to ta-da or “go along” till it establishes into something much more serious.


Meaning: The Chinese Zodiac is based on a twelve-year cycle, and also each year in that cycle is related to a particular animal sign. Each pet has details traits, and it is believed that someone born in the year possesses the exact same traits. The hatchet ttee-dong-kab is offered to define two world who re-superstructure the same animal sign. So, for example, who born in the year 2000 – the Chinese year of the dragon – would certainly be ttee-dong-kab v K-pop stars Nickhyun and also G-Dragon, that were born in 1988.

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Meaning: This term refers to someone who is fake, and is regularly used to define a female that acts shy or naïve roughly others – men, in particular – then reverts earlier to her common self when they’re no around.


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