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Tuesday, November 3

35 Must Know Words for Kpop / Kdrama Lovers

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So I just got into watching k-dramas thanks to dramafever, dramacool and viki. So far I've watched Master's Sun and She Was Pretty. Already, I noticed that there are several words that you will hear over and over and over again. If you learn these words it will make it soooo much easier for you to understand what's going on in the story as well as learn Korean faster! So I complied a cheat sheet for you with 35 of the most used words in kdramas and kpop!

(The English Romanization appears to the left and the Korean Hangul appears to the right.)

1. Aegyo 애교

This is where you try to look extremely adorable or innocent. Try it with a pouty face, a wink, the ever popular peace sign, act like a kitty or a combination of these ala:

2. Aigoo 아이고 

This means "oh my" or "aww man" in Korean. Use it when you want to say how dashingly handsome a prospective oppa is.

3. Aish 아이씨

The expression you will often hear whenever a Korean stubs their toe. It is close to the American "Ugh" or "Crap". Use it sparingly however because it is almost a curse word. 

4. Ajumma 아줌마

Short for "Ajoomeoni or 아주머니" and it is a respectful way to call a married or older woman. It is loosely translated as "Aunt" but doesn't signify a familial relationship. Do NOT under any circumstances call a woman in their 30s this. Instead see "Agassi" below.

5. Ajusshi 아저씨

Means "uncle" but is used to address a man that is a stranger to you. It is the American equivalent of "Sir" or "Mister". 

6. Agassi 아가씨

Means "young woman" or "miss". This is a title you use for an unmarried woman who is of college age all the way up to 30 something. 

7. Bias

Your absolute favorite kpop member of a band who you support no matter what. Or your ultimate bias who is your absolute favorite above all. 

8. Chaebol 재벌

Literally means "Wealthy (chae) + Family (bol)". It is used to describe the wealthy heir of a family conglomerate.

9. Jinjja 진짜

Literally means "Really?" or "Seriously?".

10. Dongsaeng 동생

A title used for a sibling or friend who is younger than you regardless of their gender.

11. Eomeoni 어머니

Short for 어머님 (eomeonim), it means mother in its honorific form. 

12. Fandom

Everyone who loves Korean pop culture.

13.  Gangnam 강남

You may recognize this word from the first Youtube video to reach 1 billion video views (Oppa Gangnam Style by PSY ) but that song was written about an uber wealthy district in Seoul. 

14. Hallyu 한류

Refers to the "Korean wave". Basically the exponential increase in popularity of South Korean pop culture worldwide.

15. Hana, Dul, Set (하나 둘 셋) 

Means "One, Two, Three." You will hear this in Kdramas when the characters are taking photos of people. 

16. Hanbok 한복

A traditional Korean dress. I want to wear one of these for my wedding day someday. 

17. Hwating 화이팅 or Paiting 파이팅

There is no "f" in Korean so the Romanization of "Fighting" in Korean is Hwating or Paiting. It basically means "Good luck" or "You can do it!"

18. Hyung 형

This is how males address another male who is close to them and is older than them. Literally "older brother".

19. Jeju Island

A top vacation destination in South Korea. This is often where you'll see the rich male leads take female leads to impress them. 

20. Kekeke ㅋㅋㅋ

Also romanized as Hehehe. Literally means "lol" or "hahaha".

21. Kimchi 김치

A yummy and spicy side dish that Koreans eat with almost everything. Comes in many different forms. The most recognizable to Americans however is fermented cabbage with lots and lots of red pepper powder. You may also notice Koreans saying this when taking a picture. Just like we say "cheese" to take a picture, Koreans say "kimchi" to get the perfect movie style smile every time.

22. Michyeosseo 미쳤어

When you place emphasis on the ending, it becomes "Are you crazy?" Add a "-yo" at the end when addressing someone older than you! lol.

23. Ne 네 

I think I heard this word over 50 times in an episode of Master's Sun! lol This word is used to show you are in agreement of something. It is very similar to the English word "Yes" in many situations. But, it can also be used to say "I'm here." or "I understand". Can sometimes sound like "dae".

24. Noona 누나

How a male would address an older female.

25. Omo 오모

Literally "OMG!".

26. Oppa 오빠

Means "older brother" but women affectionately use this term when flirting with guys.

27. Gwenchana 괜찮아

Means "Okay" in Korean.

28. Sajangnim 사장님

Means "boss" or "CEO" in Korean. i.e. Tae Gong-Shil's love interest (Joo Joong-Won) in Master's Sun.

29. Selca 셀카

The Korean version of the selfie. Best performed by tilting your cell phone camera at 45 degree downward angle above and away from your face. A selca wouldn't be complete without you showing your aeygo with pouty lips and you making the v shape for "victory" with your pointer and middle fingers. For even extra cuteness, photoshop some hangul doodles or fuzzy animal stickers for extra cuteness.

30. Soju 소주

A must have in any kdrama drunk scene. A distilled rice liquor that comes in a green bottle.

31. Ulzzang 얼짱 or Uljjang

It means "best face" or "good looking". Koreans prize large eyes, triangular shaped jaw lines and porcelain-smooth skin that is very fair. Basically, the closer you look like an anime character the better.

32. Unni 언니

This is how a younger female would address an older female. Literally means "older sister".

33. Wae 왜

This means "why" in informal Korean. To make it more formal add a -yo to the end. Can also be used as "what" when answering someone who is calling for you.

34. Ya 야

The informal way of saying "hey".

35. Yeobo 여보

Korean for "honey". Mostly used between married couples.

Did you make it this far? Lucky you! You get a bonus word!

Bonus: Saranghae 사랑해

How Koreans say I love you! Add a -yo to make it more formal when saying it to your parents. 

What words would you add to this list?

Wednesday, August 26

Improving Black Breastfeeding Rates

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안녕 Bumblebees!

Did you know that African-American women have the lowest rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration amongst all racial groups in the US? And, that the rate of infant mortality for black infants is nearly three times that of their white counterparts?

Fortunately, there are some organizations that are working hard to normalize breastfeeding in underserved communities. One of those organizations is ROSE (Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to improving black breastfeeding rates to 82% by 2020. ROSE was formed in 2011 when its founding members noticed that hospitals were more inclined to distribute infant formula rather than teaching the proper way to breastfeed.

According to Kimarie Bugg, one of the founding members of ROSE: “What we know is that 79 percent of women of childbearing age in the United States intend to breastfeed. I have been a professional nurse for 37 years working in underserved communities with vulnerable children. What I hear from women of color is ‘Why didn’t someone tell me about all these benefits?’”

Why didn't someone tell them about the numerous benefits of breastfeeding? The numerous benefits she's referring to include protection from SIDS, childhood obesity, diabetes and many infectious diseases for baby; For mom, breastfeeding incinerates calories (about 400 calories per day), increases uterine contractions which help you to heal up to one month faster, could delay menstruation for up to a year, is cheaper than infant formula and it's an effective contraception (up to 98% reliable) for up to 6 weeks postpartum.

If as much as 79% of women want to breastfeed, then why does this disparity still exist? The contributing factors include inexperienced doctors, insufficient government regulations, employers who are non-compliant with current breastfeeding laws and a lack of community programs.

Breastfeeding isn't a part of the usual curriculum in medical schools, nursing schools or training programs for health professionals. That's where ROSE steps in and provides much needed training to these professionals. They empower them to become breastfeeding advocates who pioneer breastfeeding practices and convince the hospitals they work in to attain the Baby-Friendly hospital designation. 

To achieve this designation, hospitals must pass a stringent certification that is based off the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. Says Kimarie Bugg, “Baby-Friendly hospital designation is definitely a major game changer for racial equity and breastfeeding disparities in the United States.” Of the 5,686 hospitals in the US only 288 have received the Baby Friendly Hospital designation; most of which aren't located in communities that traditionally serve a black population.

That's why community action groups such as ROSE (Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere) are imperative to decreasing the disparity in breastfeeding rates. ROSE also influences law makers to develop policies that support breastfeeding and implements training that supports government agencies in enforcing those laws.

Instrumental to the program's success, are also the community transformers. The community transformers are mothers who have breastfeed at least 6 months or more and provide peer breastfeeding support. Each community transformer heads their own BLINKS (Breastfeeding League IN a Kindred Setting) Club which holds periodic meetups that cover a variety of breastfeeding support topics including the advantages of breastfeeding, establishing a good milk supply, overcoming challenges and weaning. The great thing about ROSE is although its primary focus is to increase breastfeeding rates among black women, it is open to everyone who is passionate about normalizing breastfeeding in the USA.

Learn how you can get involved:

Follow them on social media:


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