Saturday, October 18, 2014

Kpopalypse language class - The Korean alphabet

It's a constant source of embarrassment to me that I DJ a k-pop radio show yet I can't speak a word of Korean.  I've got no plans to go to Korea or anything like that, but it sure would be nice to be able to read CD album liner notes and pronounce track titles correctly.  Also, it'd be great not having to rely on shady Netizenbuzz articles with creepy anti T-ara editorialising from NB herself in them for my netizen translations - it'd be especially nice to cut that particular umbilical cord.  Learning Korean language has been on my to-do list for a while now, but the trick is - how to get motivated to learn this shit as well as fit it into the rest of my busy schedule?  So I thought I'd make myself a blog post about it.


I always find that I memorise things much better if I'm forced to write down or type out the stuff, so by making this little alphabet post, it'll (theoretically) help me to remember the Korean characters and how they sound.  So this affair isn't one-sided and you the reader also get some value out of this even if you don't necessarily give a shit about learning Korean yourself, I'll use each letter as an excuse to extrapolate a bit on some things that are Kpopalypse-related that I've been asked about or that may be of interest to readers (or not).

Note: your browser/computer obviously needs to support Korean text reproduction or you ain't gonna see shit.

Before we get started, intrepid language learners may also want to check out Anti Kpop-Fangirl's excellent series on learning Korean language, click the following links for parts one, two and three.  Honestly, start there first if you haven't read them and you're seriously keen to do this language learning business, because unlike me who is ultra-noob AKF is actually a fluent Korean speaker and he has good advice.  On the other hand, if you don't really give a fuck about learning Korean and are just reading this for entertainment, or if you already know Korean and are curious to see how wrong my noob ass got it, read on!


Consonants are all shapes instead of just single lines.

ㄱ G/K - ㄲ KK

G and K are the same character.  The K can be doubled.


Seo In Guk: 서인국 - Third character has a G, then a U, then a K, from top to bottom.
Park Ji Yeon: 박지연 - K at the bottom of the first character.

G is for Go Fuck Your Mother or the C in Cao Ni Ma which is what the K sounds like when you say it.  Speaking of which, Sulli has been living it up lately.  She's been spotted lately out and about on the town partying it up and having a few drinks:


Who says SM doesn't treat their artists fairly?  She's even been getting a bit of recreation time on the beach:


Of course netizens are having a cry about it but who really cares about those assholes?  They're just jealous because Sulli is enough of a megastar to demand the days off and get them, meanwhile poor netizens still gotta pull 18-hour shifts at school or work.  Support freedom, support Sulli.

ㄴ N

N looks like an upside-down G/K.


Park Ji Yeon: 박지연 - N at the bottom of the third character.
Nugu: 누구 - N at the top of the first character.

N is for "Nugu Alert".  The nugu alert series is still going and will go on for as long as I'm still interested in writing about nugus, which definitely means for the forseeable future as good musical things sometimes happen in nugudom.  Feel free to send me your suggestions but remember that if their YouTube videos get over 20,000 hits they're not nugu enough.

ㄷ D

D looks like C, but less round.


Kim Dani: 김다니 - D on the left side of the second character.
Kang Daesung: 강대성 - D on the left side of the second character.

D is not only for Dani, reigning rap goddess of k-pop, but also for her difference in determination levels (a reference to the infamous T-ara Tweets of righteousness).  Did you know that Dani never forgot her rap lines on stage like E.via?  Did you know that Dani turns 15 in December 2014?  I probably experienced the lions share of my own bullying at about the age she's at now, so I can relate to her and her group getting picked on.  Kpopalypse approves of all things Dani and has enough determination to support her.

ㄹ L/R

L and R are the same character and the sound seems to be somewhere in between as well.


Lizzy: 리지 - L on the left side of the first character.
Raina: 레이나 -  R on the left side of the first character.
Oh Hye Rin: 오혜린 - R on the top left side of the third character.

Oh Hye Rin is Raina's real name, and I must say that I really lucked out when I picked up my copy of Orange Caramel's "My Copycat" single album and the photocard was this great picture of Kpopalypse #1 bias Raina bending over and her boobs hanging down.


Many faps were had that day.  Pity Raina's new solo single sucks just as much as her last one but I calmly accept this excellent photocard as an apology.  Sorry about the scan lines, my scanner has issues and can't scan images this hot without fucking up.  If anyone's got a better quality version of this picture let me know.

L on the other hand is for livestreams.  I don't do them a lot these days because I'm so busy and they are quite time consuming, but you can probably expect a livestream once every few months or so, I definitely am planning on a livestream around Christmas time.  If I do them too often I think they cease to be of much value.

ㅁ M

It's a box!  Like all Korean characters, the box can be stretched to fit.


Jeon Boram: 전보람 - M at the bottom of the third character.
Kang Minkyung: 강민경 - M on the top left side of the second character.

M is not just for Davichi's Minkyung but also Japanese AV star Maria Ozawa and Eat Your Kimchi's Martina, all of whom meet required standards.  Martina obviously reads Kpopalypse blog now because Eat Your Kimchi is starting to get more fanservicey plus she's even taken on board some of my educational fashion advice:

I can't tell you how many people told me about this video when it came out.  I got tipoffs, private messages, personal emails, Skype calls, you name it - people did everything they could to get the message to me that Martina was wearing a striped top and bouncing a lot.


For this, I'd like to thank each and every one of you who alerted me to this important information.  May the fapgods watch over you.

ㅂ B/P - ㅃ BB/PP

Looks like a sheep's face with horns that goes "baa", that's how I remember it... even though it's said more like P, or perhaps somewhere in between B and P.


Jeon Boram: 전보람 - B at the top of the second character.
Park Ji Yeon: 박지연 - P at the top left of the first character.
Crayon Pop's "Barbarbar": 빠빠빠 - note the double Bs, they're actually spelling it "bba bba bba".

B is for boobs, a big feature of my blogging.  I asked my followers for the best boobs picture of a k-pop girl that they could come up with for this post and here it is:


Goddamn, Puer Kim is amazing.  Even if it's 80% padding (and it ain't) I appreciate the effort.  Runner up is this great picture of Sunny:


ㅅ S - ㅆ SS

S looks like the shape your tongue makes when you press it against your mouth to make the S noise.  A lot of Korean character shapes are related to the mouth movements used to pronounce them, apparently.  Clever, hey?


Sulli: 설리 - S on the top left side of the first character.
Krystal: 크리스탈 - S on the top of the third character.
Sunny: 써니 - double S on the left of the first character.  Not sure why Sunny gets a double-S, maybe it's a subtle reference to other things of interest that Sunny has two of.

S is for SM Entertainment, it's also for suing your label, which is a fun activity that can happen when there are unresolved professional issues between labels and their employees.   Protip: labels usually win, and even when they don't, they tend to just shrug their shoulders and go "oh well, that'll dent our end of year financials by about 0.002%".

ㅇ - silent/NG

Okay, this is a complicated one.  When this circle appears at the start of a character, it's just there to fill up space, because in Korean text you must always start with a consonant even if there's no consonant sound at the start of your word, so you shove this circle in there instead of leaving a gap.  On the other hand, when the circle is at the end of a character it's to show the "ng" sound.


Ham Eunjung: 함은정 - the circle is at the top of the second character, because the second syllable is a vowel, but a consonant still has to be included at the start of every syllable in Korean text, so the "blank" circle is there to fill up the space.  The circle is also at the bottom of the third syllable but for a different reason, this time it's not filling up space, it's denoting the "ng" sound of "jung".
Park Ji Yeon: 박지연 - silent at the top left of the third character because "yeon" begins with a vowel sound.

NG is for NGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG which is sound that a lot of people make when confronted with pictures like this one:


Whereas "silent" isn't a sound at all but is in fact the sound of you shutting the fuck up, which is what you should do if you don't like posts that you see on the Internet.  You know, rather than linking them everywhere and telling people how horrible you think they are and boosting the web traffic, you dumb attention-seeking fuck.

ㅈ J - ㅉ JJ

When you pronounce a J, your tongue smacks the roof of your mouth a bit.  I think that's where they were going with the shape of this character.


Jeon Boram: 전보람 - J at the top left of the first character.
Park Ji Yeon: 박지연 - J at the left of the second character.

J is for Jiyeon, k-pop's cyclopean overlord.  Jiyeon is called the cyclops because her eyes are very close together.  That's why she wears smoky eye makeup all the time, to balance out that shit by giving the impression of extending her eyes out to the edges.

T-Ara Jiyeon Selca 2

This makes Jiyeon and her smoky-eye accomplice, Brown Eyed Girls' Gain, the spiritual opposites to SNSD's Taeyeon, Rainbow's Jisook and Japanese AV star and SHINee fan/cock gobbler Hitomi Tanaka.  Forget North and South Korea, one day a great and epic war will break out in k-pop between the "close eyes" and the "far eyes" and few lives will be spared.

ㅊ CH

Like a J but with a line on top, just because.


Choa: 초아 - CH at the top of the first character.
Chanmi: 찬미 - CH at the top of the first character.

CH is for "Check 1, 2" which is what you say when you're testing a microphone, a device that most Korean pop stars don't know how to use correctly, especially if it's a vintage-style model.  The reason for the phrase "Check 1, 2" being used by sound engineers testing microphones is that the "ch" sound and the "k" sound in "check" are fairly high frequency for the human voice, the "whu" noise in "one" is middle frequency and the "oooo" in "two" is lower frequency, so by saying this phrase you're testing the entire speech spectrum of human voice through the speakers and making sure no stray noises feed back.  Of course there's always some smartass in the audience who says "three, four..." because OMG SO RANDOM LULZ but you just ignore those people.  This post's random audio engineering educational content, you have now read it.

The C in CH is also for the coffee machine, which frequents a lot of my posts and has gathered a lot of questions.  The coffee machine is a running music industry in-joke.  People trying to impress others with their music industry resume may like to show off and say that they "worked in a music studio" but in fact they may have no qualifications and possibly never even touched the mixing desk, they may have only refilled the coffee machine.  Technically, they're not lying, they "worked in a music studio" changing coffee machine filters, so "music industry studio experience" is what goes on the resume of these sneaky fucks.

ㅋ K -ㄲ KK

"But we've already had K?"  Just to make things confusing, here's another K.  Enjoy its existence.  I'm not sure about when you use one versus the other.  I'll figure it out in a future post perhaps, or somebody can enlighten me in the comments.


Qri: 큐리 - actually spelled "kyu-ri".  K at the top of the first character.
Jessica: 제시카 - K at the left of the third character.  Ignore how the bottom is a bit bendy, that's like no big thing, apparently and it happens with the other K at the top of this post as well, such as
Kang Minkyung: 강민경 - note the bendy K's.

K is for Kyu-ri (Qri) doesn't care, just like I don't care whether the K is bendy or not.  Here is a picture of Qri for no reason other than that she's pretty.


Q is a pretty useless letter in the English language when you think about it, but Qri isn't useless, because she's pretty and in k-pop being pretty is a use.

ㅌ T - ㄸ TT

Note the similarity to D, above.  I think the D can sometimes get used as a T.  Or something.  Fuck, I dunno.


T-ara: 티아라 - T at the left of the first character.
Tahiti: 타히티 - T at the left of the first and third characters.

T is for Trufax, which is what this post is (I hope).  The word "trufax" comes from the English science fiction book Riddley Walker, where the protagonist of a post-apocalyptic scavenger era speaks in a bastardised future dialect of English with many words simplified and shortened.

ㅍ P

Double-ups again, notice that B/P above.  No, I don't know when to use this one and when to use the other one.  Maybe I'll teach you this stuff next time, but for now remember that the popular Korean surname "Park" is always the B/P that looks like ㅂ, not this ㅍ one.


Puer Kim: 퓨어킴 - P on the top of the first character.
Spica: 스피카 - P on the left of the second character.

P is for Project Luhan, which is one of my many deranged fiction stories and which people keep asking me to do sequels for.  I wasn't initially going to do a part 3, but since the situation with EXO has become so interesting, I think that's a good opportunity for me to write a third installment.  It will happen at some point soon in the future, probably once Luhan himself has some stability in his career path so I can conveniently write that into the story somehow.

luhan copy

ㅎ H

A circle thing with a couple lines above it.  Not to be confused with that other circle.


Hyomin: 효민 - H at the top of the first character.
Luhan: 루한 - H at the top-left of the second character.
Lee Hi: 이하이 - H on the left side of the second character.  Actually spelled "Lee Ha Yi".

H is for Ham Eunjung, who I get mistaken for daily because my and Twitter profile pics as well as the top-right picture of my blogsite all have her portrait on it.  I think this is hilarious.


It's a good test.  If you're a k-pop fan you'll probably recognise Eunjung straight away or at least twig that it's someone in a group if you don't know her.  Her picture weeds out the people who don't care about k-pop, and probably also weeds out a few of the Eunjung haters.  I can live with this.  Observant folks will also notice that Eunjung is wearing a hat, this is a reference to the hat that I wear on the livestreams and the fact that AKF always draws me with a hat in his MS Paint porn pictures.

Just to break things up before the vowels section, here's the picture that I used of Eunjung as my header and display picture before I started using my current one.




All vowels are made purely of horizontal and vertical lines.  Note that vowels always have a consonant before them, or a ㅇ silent consonant to fill up the gap.

ㅏ A


Jungah: 정아 - A on the right of the second character.
Ahyoung: 아영 - A on the right of the first character.
T-ara: 티아라 - A on the right of the second and third characters.

A is for Anti Kpop-Fangirl and Asian Junkie, two sites which I write for and which are both great.  If you're reading my posts on one of these two sites - congratulations, your taste in Korean pop sites does not suck a smelly goat turd!  Asian Junkie always have the best and most rational level-headed news analysis that I can actually read without feeling like my braincells are atrophying from lack of use, meanwhile Anti Kpop-Fangirl is funny as shit and has awesome satirical content and laughs that I can enjoy without the impression that I'm being treated like I'm 8 years old.  I don't even go to [insert corporate dick-sucking k-pop website here] anymore because these two sites neatly distill most of what I want to know from the k-pop world, and the rest I usually get told about anyway or I find out through "research".

ㅑ YA

Like A but with two hangy things to the right instead of one.


Dal Shabet: 달샤벳 - YA on the right of the second character.  Spelled "Dal Sya Bes".
Shannon: 샤넌 - YA on the right of the first character.  Spelled "Sya nuhn".
Waveya: 웨이브야 - YA on the right of the fourth character.

YA is for Yayaya, the shittiest concept that T-ara ever did and a low-quality benchmark for shit k-pop concepts everywhere.  Anyone complaining about the sexier concepts in k-pop and saying "oh the poor girls getting forced into dressing sexy, tsk tsk exploitation, objectification, [insert other words ending in 'tion' here]" - sorry, but no.  Last time I checked (and I check often) most girls I know like to dress sexy.  What girls don't like is dressing like this:

tara10 copy

Some people thought it was racist of their company or whatever to do them up like that, but the real problem was that they were just fuckin' fugly costumes and whoever thought to put such attractive girls in these weirdo dayglo wheat-sacks needs to get out of the whole costume design game and go refill the coffee machine.  The song wasn't any good either.

ㅓ- UH/EO

A vertical stroke with a hangy to the left.


Seohyun: 서현 - EO on the right of the first character.
Shannon: 샤넌 - UH on the right of the second character.  Spelled "Sya nuhn".

I don't really have a witty k-pop correlation for this one but did you know that 75% of men have a penis that hangs to the left just like this character?  And also that the left testicle always hangs lower?  Now you do.


Double hangies to the left.  It's always the same sound but it hovers between "yeo" and "yuh" to my ear.


Hyuna: 현아 - YUH on the right of the first character.
Taeyeon: 태연 - YEO on the right of the second character.

Yeo is for "Yo Ye Yo" which is the only decent song on the "Blue Album" by Jiggy Fellaz.  Everything else on that fucking CD is fucking shit.  First person to write me a bitter rap response to this blog post can have my copy.  In the meantime listen to this song and save yourself some money.

Fun trivia: the girl in the video is LE from EXID, doing what she does best - not rapping.

 ㅗ O/OH

Line with one spike going up.


Oh Hye Rin: 오혜린 - OH on the bottom of the first character.
Jeon Boram: 전보람 - O on the bottom of the second character.

O is for Open World Entertainment.  Every crybaby in 2012 was whining about a whole bunch of completely minor shit that didn't matter and which hopefully now seems lightweight-as-fuck compared to some of 2014's K-pop tragedies.  Some random examples of shit from 2012 that you cared about but really shouldn't have:
  • G-Dragon puffs a bit of weed?  That's pretty normal behaviour for a musician, honestly.  Do you know how many people I've met in the business who smoke that shit, either regularly or just on occasion?  More than the amount of characters in the Korean alphabet, that's for sure.
  • IU and Eunhuyk take a happy-snap in bed together.  Did they fuck?  Wait, since when is that any of your fucking concern, you fuckhead?  I only care that IU hasn't fucked ME yet.  Come on IU, get with the program.
  • The other girls of T-ara got fed up with Hwayoung's laziness and let off steam via Twitter?  Good.  So would you if your group mate pulled out of a fucking concert and lied about the reason - fuck "settling it in private", why not let people know she's a lazy cunt, some public shaming might be the only thing that actually gets the slack bitch into line for once. Pity it didn't work out that way but damn it was worth a shot.
In the meantime Jang Seok-woo, the CEO of Open World Entertainment, was raping female trainees at his agency.  Not just one or two, but dozens of them.  Of course, one 51 year old CEO's dick only goes so far, so when he wasn't actually doing the rapey himself, he was getting his male performers to help out, directing it via text and watching it all from CCTV in his office like some kind of cross between a Bond villain and that creepy guy in the trenchcoat who always hangs around your school oval when it's break time.  Oh and some of the trainees were underage.  And when he was caught he denied everything.  Then later as the evidence mounted he had to plead guilty but appealed for a lighter sentence because "I supported Hallyu and gosh that's gotta be worth something in all this".  No, really.  If that's not enough, the idols involved (which would be either The Boss, X-5 or Jun Jin, the only active performers on Open World at that time) got off on a technicality as apparently the evidence against them was inadmissible because there's a 12-month statute of limitations on rape charges.  So there's guys still in k-pop now who maybe gang-raped a bunch of girls and got away with it.  Oh and this is apparently common enough to warrant massive police action (or at least the appearance of massive police action) as many agencies just operate as fronts for the sex industryNobody really cares though, so this kind of thing is still happening right now, and lots of your favourite groups are probably involved in some way in sexual abuse, and they'll get away with it too, because you're too busy being concerned about two idols supposedly dating to even notice.  Now tell me again that G-Dragon, IU and T-ara had the scandals that mattered in 2012, you dumb bitch.


The biggest crime of all - only one stock photo of the Open World CEO that was any good seemed to exist, so I had to see this same fucking photo of him in his orange parka over and over again in every article.  Ouch, my eyes.

ㅛ YO

Line with two upward spikes.


Hyoyeon: 효연 - YO on the bottom of the first character.
Eunkyo: 은교 - YO on the bottom of the second character.

YO is for YOLO which is actually the name of a song released by a nugu group called Madtown, to the collective groans of all k-pop fans all over the world with a mental age above 9 years old.  Do not listen to this tragic song, instead check out the web cartoons YOLO and YOLO 2 which will give you a complete cultural understanding of Australian life.  We haven't invented teleporting yet but other than this, the cartoons are quite realistic and portray an honest depiction of what you can expect from a night out on the town around where I live.

ㅜ U

Line with one downward spike.  Pronounced "oo" as in "you smell like poo".


Luhan: 루한 - U at the bottom of the first character.
Sooyoung: 수영 - U at the bottom of the first character.
Jisoo: 지수 - U at the bottom of the second character.

U is for the secret CCM underground jelly arena.  I can't tell you any more than this, because it's a secret.  Although it may be called the secret MBK underground jelly arena now that CCM have merged or whatever the fuck.

ㅠ YU

Line with two downward spikes.  Pronounced "you" as in "you smell like poo".


Yuri: 유리 - YU at the bottom of the first character.
Qri: 큐리 - YU at the bottom of the first character.  Spelled "kyu-ri".
Puer Kim: 퓨어킴 - YU at the bottom of the first character.

Puer Kim has gigantic boobs, by the way.  I feel like I haven't really highlighted this in this post enough, so here's a video of Puer Kim which is great but I really wish it was zoomed in a bit closer.

If k-pop overall started featuring more girls with this kind of figure, I'd probably turf out some of my AV collection to make more room for girls in k-pop videos.

ㅡ EU

A horizontal line.  Pronounced "ewwww" as in "ewww, gross, you smell like poo".


Eunkyo: 은교 - EU in the middle of the first character.
Eunji: 은지 - EU in the middle of the first character.
Naeun: 나은 - EU in the middle of the second character.

EU is of course for Eunkyo from F-ve Dolls.  Devotees of Kpopalypse blog will know that the site features an attractive hot fappable picture of gorgeous Eunkyo and that it takes the clicker to a random weird site, and I change the destination every so often when I feel like it.  One day I'll list all the Eunkyo sites in a post.... but not today.  For now here's a picture of lovely Eunkyo, get your hand off your genitals, you're supposed to be learning Korean.


ㅣ E/I

A vertical line.  Pronounced as E but interchangeable with I as most English uses I with an E sound anyway.


Sulli: 설리 - I on the right of the second character.
Krystal: 크리스탈 - I on the right of the second character.
T-ara: 티아라 - I on the right of the first character.
Tahiti: 타히티 - I on the right of the second and third characters.

I is for interviews.  Did you know that it's really hard to find people who want to do a Kpopalypse Interview?  Did you also know that I've already got another Kpopalypse Interview ready to go and that it will be published soon (it's been ready to go for months but I wanted to publish the Sarah Wolfgang interview first to give it some context)?  Did you know that if you'd like to be interviewed and you're doing something interesting in k-pop, you should get in touch?

I is also for iljins, also known as "people who relaxed and had fun at school and occasionally drank soju and smoked a cigarette or two while I studied hard and was miserable instead".

I is also for the Korean website ilbe, which is really just like a Korean mutation of fun-filled Internet humour site Encyclopedia Dramatica and nothing to be concerned about.  Korean pretend to be all "oh, I don't visit that site" but they all fucking do - otherwise, why would the know that it was such a supposedly horrible place?


These vowels are made by squishing multiple vowels together, so they're a bit harder to remember.  They're also a bit harder to find examples for and write shit about but I'll do my best.  Note that complex vowels always have a consonant before them, or a ㅇ silent consonant to fill up the gap.


If you squish together ㅡ EU and ㅣ E/I and you have ㅢ UI/UEE.


Sohee: 소희 - UEE at the right and bottom of the second character.
Dahee: 다희 - UEE at the right and bottom of the second character.

UEE is for After School's Uee, and I know what you're thinking, but, Uee from After School doesn't have connected vowels and so her name is spelled the long way: 유이.  People are wondering when After School will come back but remember they had a great Japanese album earlier this year that they promoted, so it's not like they haven't been busy.  Plus imagine how overworked the Orange Caramel girls are going to feel, straight from After School to four Orange Caramel promotions in a row, and then more After School?  I'd hate to be them.  Complaining when groups come back that they're being overworked, complaining when groups don't come back - nothing ever pleases k-pop fans, they always gotta complain even when they're getting the gold star treatment and idols are practically dropping dead trying to please them.  STFU and wait three years between comebacks like fans do in other genres you whiny fuckbags.  Here's a picture of Uee who seems to have a bit of a headache, probably from reading all your pointless fuckbaggery.

ueueue copy

ㅔ EH

Squish together ㅓ (UH/EO) +ㅣ (E/I), you get ㅔ EH.


Stephanie: 스테파니 - EH on the right of the second character.
Sehun: 세훈 - EH on the right of the first character.

EH is for "eh eh eh eh eh eh ehhhhh, 2NE1" a great k-pop group that suddenly turned shit.  I'm still in mourning.  Maybe one day we'll get great songs out of them like "Fire", "I Am The Best" and "Hate You" again.  But probably not.

ㅖ YE

If you squish together ㅕ (YEO/YUH) and ㅣ(E/I) you get ㅖ (YE).  Pronounced like the "ye" in "Yes, you smell like poo".


Sunye: 선예 - YE on the right of the second character.
YeEun: 예은 - YE on the right of the first character.

YE is for YES as this character word actually does mean "yes".  It's a formal "yes", so you use it when addressing your elders (like me), because you respect them so much (like me).  So be nice to me, cunts.


If you squish togetherㅑ(YA) and ㅣ(E/I) you get ㅒ(YAE).

I couldn't find a good example of this shit to share with you.  It seems I lack determination.

ㅐ AE

If you squish togetherㅏ (A) and ㅣ (E/I), you get ㅐ AE.  Pronounced the same as ㅔ EH (eh eh eh eh eh ehhhh 2NE1).


Taeyeon: 태연 - AE on the right of the first character.
Jiae: 지애 - AE on the right of the second character.

AE is for the Aeolian mode, a seven-note diatonic scale that most of the best k-pop songs are built from.  It's also known as the "natural minor" scale, or the major scale starting from scale degree 6.  Piano students learn the bastardised versions of this scale, the "harmonic minor" and "melodic minor" scales first, because they're considered more important and useful in classical music harmony, but natural minor is the real shit.  You can't have Roly Poly without an Aeolian mode.


Squish three vowels: ㅗ (O/OH) withㅏ A and ㅣ (E/I), and you get ㅙ WAE, which sounds like the start of the word "when".

No examples here but WAE is for "why" because this word actually means "Why" in Korean.  I often ask myself "why" many things, such as:
  • Why people still visit Allkpop
  • Why Chad Future didn't return my email asking for an interview
  • Why Netizenbuzz hates T-ara so much (I have a theory though...)
  • Why people are always asking me shit about why Anti Kpop-Fangirl or Asian Junkie does this or that - protip: ask them, not me, don't make them blog about your chickenshit dumb pussy ass


Combine ㅗ (O/OH) withㅏ A and the result is ㅘ WAH.  Sounds like the W in "what a wanker, why doesn't that person wash their ass, they smell like poo".


Hwanhee : 환희 - WAH in the middle and right of the first character.

WAH is for "wah wah wah" which is all I ever hear out of k-pop fans when I browse forums and such.  As long as music is still getting created that you enjoy, none of the rest should matter.  Go back to complaining about how your new phone bends or whatever other bullshit you think is important this week.

ㅞ WE

Squish together ㅜ (U) and ㅓ (UH/EO) with ㅣ (E/I) and the result is ㅞ WE.


Way: 웨이 - WE at the bottom and right of the first character.

Of course I have to include Way in this post or Way's Girls will probably take out a contract on my ass.  Don't be fooled by Way and Choa's fap-friendly bouncing to the decidedly average Strawberry Milk track, these girls might have cans but don't fuck with them or they'll put you in the can.  Way's gangster resume is a mile long and no need to recount it here.


Here's a picture of a rival company's building burning down just to remind you of the powe..

Oh wait sorry for the delay I was just on the phone.  Anyway I'd just like to reiterate that Way is in no way responsible for the incident in the photo depicted above and when I say "gangster resume" I just mean that she's got really bad-ass fashion and stuff.  Also you should all go out and buy Strawberry Milk's "OK" as soon as possible, wow, what a great track it is.  Song of the year.  Maybe you should buy multiple copes and give some to your friends.  Thank you.  Let's move on quickly.

ㅝ WO

Squish together ㅜ (U) and ㅓ (UH/EO), and the result is  ㅝ WO.


Kwon Yuri: 권유리 - WO in the middle and right of the first character.
Wonder Girls: 원더걸스 - WO in the middle and right of the first character.

WO is for Wonder Girls of course and I remember when I was first buying k-pop stuff in my town the lady behind the counter introduced me to Wonder Girls and said "this group are SNSD's main competition in the USA".   Ah, the lies that people behind the counter will tell you to buy stuff.  Still, at least the music was good, and I didn't get stiffed as hard as my friend who specifically went in there asking for girl bands (because he's a pervert like me) and they sold him the new ZE:A album.

ㅟ WI

Combine ㅜ (U) and ㅣ (E/I), and you get ㅟ WI.  Pronounced like the "wee" in "I hope next week you don't still smell like poo".


WINNER: 위너 - WI at bottom and right of the first character.

Because WI sounds like "week" it's for weak-ass comebacks from established groups, and we've sure had a lot of those in 2014.  I hope that you guys like nugus because that's mainly what my best-of for 2014 list is going to be.  But why are the comebacks from the big names mostly so shitty?  It's the topic of a future blog post, expect it fondly.


Combine ㅗ (O/OH) with ㅣ(E/I) and you have WEH.  Don't ask me about the logic behind that, I have no idea.  Sounds like the "weh" in "on wendesday you smelled like poo, and you still do now".  It also sounds like "whe" in "when is this post going to end" and the answer is right now.  Thanks for reading, hopefully I got all the Korean right (but probably not) and Kpopalypse will be back with more posts soon!  For now enjoy this video of k-pop's Tura Santana, Puer Kim, who really isn't in this post enough, and her excellent "Manyo Maash".

10/10 - would maash her manyo.


  1. I really really love the korean alphabet. It feels, at least for me, simple to learn and even simpler to write/read. The correspondence between how it's written and how it's read (pronounced) really does it for me.

    On the other hand that clusterfuck that is hiragana/katakana/kanji... Don't get me wrong I also like japanese but damn is its alphabet difficult.

    1. I find myself doing the exact opposite with hiragana/katakana. l0l It's the kanji part that no one likes, not even Japanese people...

    2. Im learning Japanese and kanji is such a bitch to learn

  2. Wow really informative; I am part of that 75%... Oh! the alphabet stuff is pretty cool too...

  3. it'd also be a good time to do a day in the life as a soshi manager
    thanks to jessica fucking things up

  4. Actually the "C" in "Cao Ni Ma" is pronounced something like "tse" spoken very fast

    1. I subscribe to this, Kpopalypse, you got the "cao ni ma" wrong. Didn't yo momma teach you how to speak?
      Here's an example:
      I'll let you go with this one, though, it's chinese not korean... but next time!... /waving fist

    2. Boram only ever said nice words to me growing up. None of this "cao ni ma" business.

  5. "I've already got another Kpopalypse Interview ready to go and that it will be published soon "

    I'm looking forward to it!

    "the Korean website ilbe, which is really just like a Korean mutation of fun-filled Internet humour site Encyclopedia Dramatica and nothing to be concerned about."

    I tend to think the same wa, but... ughh

    "Some people thought it was racist of their company or whatever to do them up like that"

    Sometimes I feel the "cultural appropriation" thing is the most "right wing"/conservative/racist argument of that all. Of course I get pissed off when it's used deliberately to offend some ethnic minority, but, generally speaking, I think "cultural amalgamation/assimilation" is one of the few good things of the Globalization process. I really liked this post here and agree completely with it:

  6. Meh, I;d rather read the romanization of KPOp lyrics than understand this shit

  7. Btw I' ve read that police has already confirmed that members of The Boss/DGNA were not involved in the "rape" scandal. It's not like I wanna defend DGNA (I've only heard two songs from 'em, both sucks), but whether this is true or false I just wanted to point that out.

  8. If you only discovered Puer Kim before the Boobs article, she'd crush Martina.

  9. I think this is the best introduction to the Korean alphabet I've read. I always find it easier to memorize something by making an association between the new information and something familiar to me.

    However I think ㅅ (S) look more like Sunny's cleavage.

  10. Regarding ㅓ syllable:
    Nine Muses member 성아 is pronounced as Seong-Ah, yet written romanization allowed Seong-Ah or Sung-Ah. Not sure why though.

  11. I've been trying to learn Korean language for quiet sometime, well, ever since i got into KpOp after watching Tara SEXY LoVE back in early 2013 hehe.. i got the hang of the alphabets, its the spoken hangul part that gets me every time, i just dont have a friend with whom i can practice..


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