Learn Korean With BTS: Get Fluent With Your Favourite Band
Korean is one of the most popular languages of the 21st century, and it’s not just thanks to Korea’s futuristic cities, colourful street markets, lush landscapes and mouth-watering fried chicken.
The Korean Wave, which inspires thousands of people to learn Korean every day, is a cultural phenomenon. Korean TV shows like Squid Game and award-winning films like Parasite have created a lot of hype around this wonderful language, but it is K-Pop bands such as BTS that are creating true obsession among young people.
Today, we are going to tell you how you can combine two passions and learn Korean with BTS.
Last year, it became clear that the guys from BTS are very aware of their global success and how super motivated people are to learn Korean thanks to their songs. So, instead of just recording a video saying “Hi” to their international fanbase, they decided to release a webseries for fans who want to learn Korean through exclusive BTS content.
The series, which is simply called “Learn Korean with BTS”, is available for free on Weverse, an app for iPhone or Android that is an absolute treasure for language-loving K-Pop fans. All you have to do is create an account, search for the section dedicated to BTS (there are a few other bands on the app), click on Media, and you’re good to go.
- The BTS series is ongoing, which means that you get a fresh episode every week.
- Videos are no longer than five minutes, so you will never feel like you’re being fed too much content at a time.
- Each episode features clips and interviews of all BTS members and uses this footage to focus on different aspects of the Korean language. Instead of scripted lessons, you get real Korean exchanges featuring your favourite singers.
- The series focuses on language “functions” such as introducing yourself, saying “thank you”, or creating a social media post in Korean.
Is your phone storage full? Are you just trying to spend less time on your phone? If, for any reason, downloading Weverse is not an option for you, there are lots of videos on Youtube that you can watch to learn Korean with BTS.
Let’s take a look at some of them.
In 2018, Billboard invited to give a short Korean lesson for their fans, ensuring that members of their international fanbase can actively participate in their concerts, whether or not they know Korean. The video focuses on phrases that the band use to interact with the audience at concerts, as well as expressions that Korean fans shout to show their excitement during a performance.
You will learn expressions like:
소리질러 – So-ri Jil-luh – Make some noise for us
모두 뛰어 – Mo-du Twi-uh – Everybody jump
In this fanmade video created from rare behind the scenes footage, you will get to learn Korean greetings and basic social phrases by watching your favourite K-Pop stars at their most relaxed. It’s a short clip with Hangul subtitles, romanisation, and English translations, which makes it ideal for beginner learners.
Practise the following phrases:
안녕하세요 – Annyeonghaseyo – Hello (informal)
사랑 해요 – salang haeyo – I love you
제발- jebal – Please (used when begging)
In this longer video, you get to hear a lot of recurring words and expressions that the BTS boys use in interviews and also while they’re hanging out backstage. These are mostly colloquial phrases that Korean teenagers use when they talk to one another:
진짜 – jinjja – Really?
미안합니다 – mianhamnida – I’m sorry
귀엽다 – gwiyeopda – Cute
The videos above contain essential phrases that Koreans use every day, but you cannot expect to remember all of them by just watching them a couple of times. Plus, let’s be honest, most probably you got distracted by Jungkook’s perfect hair.
No, seriously. Though exposure is a big part of language learning, it is not everything. If you really want to learn Korean with videos of your favourite band, you’ll need to do some extra work.
When you watch video interviews, music videoclips, and fanmade videos of your favourite artists, make sure you activate subtitles so you can begin associating recurring words with their meanings. You can start with English subtitles and then move on to Korean subtitles. As you progress in your learning, try not to use subtitles at all, especially if you’re watching a video that you have already seen.
When you watch a video, don’t be afraid to stop and replay a scene, exchange, or song line as many times as you need. In fact, repetition is key when you learn Korean. Whether you’re checking out music videos or behind the scenes compilations, we recommend watching the videos all at once at first to get the gist, and then rewatching part by part to take down notes of key vocabulary.
So you want to learn Korean with BTS? That’s fantastic! But watching a couple of fancam videos once a week won’t take you very far. If you really want Jin and J-Hope to help you with your language skills, you’ll need to establish a learning routine. Take 15 minutes every day to watch short videos, pause and repeat every line, and write down useful words and expressions.
The boys from BTS seem to be great guys. Funny, witty, and very good friends to one another. But let us not forget that it was their music, not their great personalities, that made them globally famous. Here are three of our favourite songs that you can use to learn Korean with BTS.
“DNA”, which surpasses the billion view mark, is an upbeat love song about a relationship that was meant to be since the day the universe was created. What is surprising about this song is how advanced and specific some of the vocabulary is for such a simple-sounding pop tune.
첫눈에 널 알아보게
At first sight, I could recognise you
서롤 불러왔던 것처럼
As if had been calling for each other
내 혈관 속 DNA가 말해줘
The DNA in my blood vessel tells me
내가 찾아 헤매던 너라는 걸
That it’s you I was looking all over for
우리 만남은 (만남은) 수학의 공식
Finding each other is like a maths formula
종교의 율법 (율법) 우주의 섭리 (우주의 섭리)
A religious commandment, the providence of the universe…
If you’re experiencing heartbreak “Fake Love”, is the perfect antidote for the sweetness of “DNA”. This is a song about having to lie about who you are and how you feel in order to make another person like you.
Since it’s an English-Korean song, it’s a perfect choice for beginner learners who want to learn Korean with BTS but do not feel ready to go for songs that are 100% in the target language.
In the fan video below, you’ll find the song with Hangul subtitles, romanisation, and the translation in English.
“Boy With Luv”, featuring Halsey, is another bilingual song in which the seven boys sing about the excitement of falling in love for the first time. If you want to learn Korean so you can talk to a boy or a girl you like, make sure you memorise this song, as it’s full of beautiful, romantic pick-up lines:
모든 게 궁금해 (I’m curious about)
How’s your day
뭐가 널 행복하게 하는지 (What makes you happy?)
It is evident that you don’t have to choose between obsessing all day long about BTS or learning their language. With a little bit of patience and perseverance, you can use their music and their interviews to learn Korean while spending your time with your favourite artists. Download Weverse now, or watch BTS content online so you can surprise your friends with your knowledge of Korean and even meet new people in the BTS fandom.
Want to go beyond listening and vocabulary, and start working on your speaking skills? Having the support of a native teacher is sure to make all the difference. If you buy one of our tailor-made courses, you will receive personalised feedback, a custom-made syllabus adapted to your needs and interests, and invaluable cultural insights from a native tutor. Contact us to get your Free Trial Korean Class now, and experience the benefits of studying with a Korean instructor, no strings attached!