English translation and Korean lesson with the lyrics of Respect by BTS, from the 2020 album Map of the Soul: 7.

Produced by: Hiss noise, SUGA, EL CAPITXN
Written by: Hiss noise, SUGA, RM, EL CAPITXN

Find it here: YoutubeSpotifyApple MusicAmazon Music

Language note: 

There are 3 versions of the word “respect” used in this song.

  1. The English word “respect”, which is commonly used – in English – among young people in South Korea. There are plays made on this word in the song, breaking it in half to say “re-spect” as in, to look again. 
  2. 존중하다, which means to show respect to someone. Like to treat them respectfully, to respect the authorities, etc. 
  3. 존경하다, which means to respect someone in the manner of esteeming them highly, admiring them, looking up to them. Since we only have one word in English for these 2 Korean words that really do carry different meanings, I’m going to make the word “respect” bold in my translation when it corresponds to the Korean word 존경하다.


Put your hands in the air.

(Put your hands in the air)

Just like you don’t care.

(Just like you don’t care)

Verse 1:

Ayo Suga! 요즘 떠다니는 단어

Ayo Suga! There’s a word that floats around me these days.

요즘 = these days

나 = I, me

떠다니다 = to float around (뜨다 = to float, to rise + 다니다 = to go around, to frequent )

단어 = a word

Respect 근데 요샌 뜻이 좀 헷갈려

“Respect.” But its meaning is a bit confusing these days.

근데 = but

요새 = lately

뜻 = meaning

좀 = a bit (shortened version of 조금)

헷갈리다 = to be confusing

그걸 한대 누굴 자꾸 뭐만 하면

They keep saying it when anyone does just anything.

그거 = that, that thing

하다 = to do (But frequently used in place of 말하다, which means “to say”)

누구 = who, someone (context-dependent)

자꾸 = keep (as in, “I keep falling asleep at work”, not “Keep this in your pocket.”)

뭐 = what, something (context-dependent)

-만 = just X, only X (뭐만)

-면 /-으면 = if/when X happens (하면)

나도 잘은 몰라 brotha 낸들 알어

I’m not sure either, brotha. How would I know?

-도 = X too, X either (나도)

잘 = to do X well (X being the following verb)

모르다 = to not know

알다 = to know

분명히 사랑보다 상위

It’s clearly ranked higher than love.

분명하다 = to be clear, apparent

-히 = turns 하다 verbs into adverbs. ie: “clear” becomes “clearly” (분명히)

사랑 = love

-보다 = more than X, compared to X (사랑보다)

상 = top/first (class, level, grade, rank, etc)

위 = a ranking

상위 어쩜 그 중 최상위

It might be the highest rank of all.

어쩜 = maybe, perhaps

중 = in the middle of, among (그 중 = among those)

최- = the most, the maximum

에 존재하고 있는 개념이

A concept existing at that level

존재하다 = to exist, to be present

-고 있다 = present progressive form. IE: “to be existing” rather than “to exist” (존재하고 있는)

개념 = concept

존경이란 거 아냐 huh?

would be called respect, wouldn’t it? Huh?

존경 = respect, admiration, esteem

아니다 = to not be X (X being the preceding noun)

Re-spect 말 그대로 보고 자꾸 보는 거

Re-spect” literally means to look and then to look again and again.

말 = word(s), something you say

-대로 = in the matter of X (그대로)

보다 = to look at, to see

-고 = X and (보고)

자꾸 보다보면은 단점이 보여

If you keep looking at someone their flaws are bound to be revealed.

-다 보면 = if you do X for long enough, Y is bound to happen (보다보면)

단점 = a flaw, a con (as in “pros and cons”)

보이다 = to be seen, to be visible

But 그럼에도 자꾸 보고 싶단 건 필요하지.

But you need something in order to keep wanting to look at them in spite of that:

-고 싶다 = (보고 싶단)

필요하다 = to need

그 누구를 향한 완벽한 신념

complete faith in that person.

향하다 = to head for, to be towards

완벽하다 = to be perfect

신념 = belief, conviction, faith

해서 도무지 쉽게 말 못 해

That’s why I can’t really say it that easily.

도무지 = utterly, quite

쉽다 = to be easy

-게 = turns a verb into an adverb IE. “easy” becomes “easily”(쉡게)

못 하다 = to not be able to do X (X being the preceding verb)

아득하거든 그 무게와 두께

It’s so vast, the weight and depth of it. 

아득하다 = to be remote, far-off OR to be vast, boundless

무게 = weight

-와 / -과 = when followed by another noun, “and”. In all other cases, “with”. (무게와)

두께 = thickness, depth

언젠가 당당히 말할 수 있게 되기를 

To someday be able to say it confidently

언젠가 = someday, sometime

당당하다 = to be confident

-ㄹ 수 있다 / -을 수 있다 = to be able to do X (말할 수 있게)

진심을 다해서 내게도 네게도.

is my earnest hope – to me and to you.

진심 = sincerity

다하다 = to do X as well as one can, with all one’s might

내 = I, me

-에게 = to X, for X (내게도, 네게도) 

네 = you


부디 존경을 쉽게 말하지 마 yeah

Please don’t say “respect” so easily, yeah

부디 = by any means, at any cost, I beg of you, etc

-지 마 = “Don’t do X” (말하지 마)

아직 나도 잘 모르겠으니까 yeah

Because I’m not really sure of it yet either, yeah

아직 = still

-으니까 / -니까 = because X (모르겠으니까)

나도 가끔 내가 무서우니까

Because even I’m sometimes afraid of myself.

가끔 = sometimes

무섭다 = to be afraid

약한 내가 간파당하면 어쩌지

What if people can see right through me, through this weak person?

약하다 = to be weak

간파하다 = to see through, penetrate

당하다 = to have something happen to you (usually something unfavourable)

어쩌지? = “What should I do?”, “Oh no”



쉽게들 말하네

They say it so easily.

-네 = adds a nuance of surprise or amazement (말하네)


뭔지 모르는데

Without knowing what it is.

뭐 = what

-지 = “whether”, “if”, or in this case “what”. This particle indicates uncertainty about the word it is attached to. (뭔지)


다시 들여다보길

I wish they’d look again.

다시 = again

들여다보다 = to look in(to), to really look at something

-길 = “I wish X”, “If only X” (들여다보길)

(Respect) One time

(Respect) Two times


쉽겐 말 안 할래

I won’t say it lightly.

안 = to not do/be X (X being the preceding verb or adjective)

-ㄹ래 / -을래 = to not want to do X, to not be going to do X (할래)


아직 잘 몰라도

Even though I’m still not sure,

-아도 / -어도 = even if X, even though X (몰라도)


언젠가 말할게

someday I’ll say it.

-ㄹ게 / -으게 = “I’ll do X” with an added nuance of “as long as that’s ok with you” or “unless you object” (말할게)

(Respect) One time

(Respect) Oh yeah

Verse 2:

Respect이 뭔데?

What is respect?

몰라서 묻는 거야 임마

I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking, dude.

-아서 / -어서 = because X (몰라서)

묻다 = to ask

임마 = dude (alternative spelling of 인마)

Respect이 뭐길래

What is respect?

다들 respect을 말하는지 솔직히 이해가 안 되네

I honestly don’t get how everyone is saying “respect”.

-들 = makes a noun plural (다들)

솔직히 = honestly

이해하다 = to understand

누구를 존경한다는 게 그렇게 쉬운 거였니 아직도 이해가 안 되네

I still don’t understand how saying you respect someone can be that easy.

그렇게 = like that

솔까 존경은 필요 없지

Honestly, I don’t need respect.

솔까 = slang. Short for “솔직히 까놓고 말해서”, which means to be honest and lay things bare

없다 = to not exist, not be there 

-지 = adds a nuance of “isn’t it?” “You know?” or the Canadian “eh” (없지)

존중조차도 없는데

I don’t even have respect.

존중 = respect, respectfulness

-조차 = even X (존중조차도)

뒤에선 호박씨 까는 거 너 빼곤 다 아는데

Everyone except you knows they talk crap about you behind your back.

(뒤에서 호박씨 까다 is an expression that literally translates as “to shell pumpkin seeds behind” someone, and is an idiom for talking badly about people behind their backs.)

뒤 = the back of something, the rear

-에서 = to be in/at X (뒤에서)

호박 = a pumpkin

씨 = a seed

까다 = to shell, peel, husk

빼다 = to take out, to remove (X 빼곤 means “except for X”) 

다 = everyone


I dunno.

글쎄 = “I’m not sure”, “maybe”, “let me see”

나는 솔직히 너를 respect

I honestly respect you.

너도 나를 respect 할 거라는 생각은 1도 없으니 스킵해

But since I don’t have a single expectation that you respect me too, skip it.

생각 = a thought

-으니 / -니 = because X (없으니)

Respect 나는 너를 respect

Respect. I respect you.

웃으면서 욕하는 저 친구에게 박수

A round of applause for that friend who smiles while talking crap.

웃다 = to smile, to laugh

-으면서 / -면서 = while doing X (웃으면서)

욕하다 = to curse, to backbite

저 = that, those

친구 = friend

박수 = applause

너의 삶에 모든 영광과 번영이 깃들길

I wish you all glory and prosperity in life.

-의 = indicates possession, like ‘s in English (너의)

삶 = life

모든 = every

영광 = glory, honour

번영 = prosperity


(Respect respect)

너의 앞길엔 영원한 축복이 함께하길

I hope you’re met with eternal blessing on the path ahead.

앞길 = the path ahead(앞 = the front of something + 길 = road/path)

영원하다 = to be everlasting, to remain the same

축복 = a blessing

함께하다 = to be together

(Respect respect)

돈 명예 전진 전진

Money, honour, forward, forward.

(Delivered in the same cadence as the line “꿈, 희망, 전진, 전진”, meaning, “Dream, hope, forward, forward” in Epilogue: Young Forever)

돈 = money

명예 = honour (not like, to be honourable, but to receive honour from others)

전진 = forward motion, progress

(Respect respect)

그래 널 존경해 yeah

Yeah, I respect you, yeah

그래 = yeah, sure, okay



쉽게들 말하네

They say it so easily.


뭔지 모르는데

Without knowing what it is.


다시 들여다보길

I wish they’d re-spect again.

(Respect) One time

(Respect) Two times


쉽겐 말 안 할래

I won’t say it lightly.


아직 잘 몰라도

Even if I’m still not sure.


언젠가 말할게

Someday I’ll say it.

(Respect) One time

(Respect) Oh yeah

BTS Respect lyrics English