Annyeong Oppa Feature Culture & Lifestyle

Hangugeo 101: The K-Variety Edition

Korean variety shows cover a wide number of concepts. As a fan, you are sure to come across at least one show that piqued your interest.

There are several casual conversations during variety shows. In this lesson, we list phrases that are commonly heard during these shows.

You may read previous articles here: Korean Slang part 1, 2, 3. We also have a K-drama edition, so please check it out too.

Let’s start!

1. 정답 (jeong dap) – Answer

Often heard during quizzes, it is usually the word shouted when you want to answer during a game. You may also use it to confirm if a person’s answer is correct.

Jeong dap! I know the answer to the question.

2. 도전 (do jeon) – Challenge

Usually said before starting a game in order to notify everyone in the set.

MC: Are you ready to begin?

Player: Yes, do jeon!

3. 실패 (shil pae) – Fail

A staple variety show term, often heard after a player fails to complete a challenge or game.

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4. 비슷해 (bi seut hae) – It’s similar

During quizzes, answers are supposed to be as precise as possible. If part of one’s answer is near the correct answer, we use this term for them.

Bi seut hae, but not exactly.

5. 당연하지 (dang yeon ha ji) – Of course

A game from this phrase was made famous by variety shows. The game requires you to answer dang yeon ha ji to your opponent’s question without getting angry or laughing.

Person A: You know that you are pretty, right?
Person B: Dang yeon ha ji!

6. 어려워요 (eoryeowoyo) – It’s too difficult

Sometimes heard in variety shows if the casts thinks the segment is too difficult to accomplish.

Person A: You need to finish packing for your trip in 5 minutes.

Person B: That’s impossible. Eoryeowoyo.

7. 어때 (eottae) – How is it?/ What do you think?

In food-themed variety shows, the phrase is often used after tasting a dish. It may also be used in different situations if you want to know what another person’s opinion is.

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Eottae? Is it delicious?

8. 이겨라 (igyeora) – Take it/ win it

You may use this when cheering for a teammate. It is similar with hwaiting but mostly for chanting.

Person A: *playing for their team*

Teammates: Igyeora! Igyeora! Let’s win this!

9. 할수있어 (halsu isseo) – I/you/we can do it

This phrase is self-explanatory. We use this in order to raise our spirits when doing something. In context, it is also similar with hwaiting.

Lee Dong Gook: Can you climb by yourself?
Lee Sian: Halsu isseo!

10. 어색이 (eo saek i) – Awkward

You may use this word to describe a situation which is awkward. This usually happens if the casts of a show meets for the first time.

11. 소름 (so reum) – Goosebumps

This word has the literal meaning of goosebumps or creeps. When something you didn’t believe was possible or couldn’t happen, just does.

12. 감독님 (gam dok nim) – Director

A familiar person for fans of variety shows, he usually explains the mechanics of the different segments. We rarely see them on camera but when we do, it usually consists of exaggerated but amusing complaints from the casts members.

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Gam dok nim! Don’t you think this is a bit unfair?

What are the other phrases that you usually hear from variety shows?

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