Run BTS Episode 154

A look at the Korean wordplay, puns, and abbreviations from Run BTS Episode 154.

English title: Finale Part 1

Korean title: 피날레 1

Watch it here:

Timestamp 2:40

RM mentions 팥빙수 [pat-bing-soo]. 빙수 is a Korean dessert consisting of shaved ice topped with things like condensed milk, fruit syrup, or chopped fruit. You can read about it here. It is also commonly topped with red beans, and in that case it has a specific name, which RM just mentioned: 팥빙수.

팥 = red beans

Timestamp 5:00

RM reads the theme of the episode and notes that there is a comma after “Run BTS”. The word for “comma” in Korean is 쉼표, which actually means “resting mark”. This is why they make much of the fact that the comma indicates a time of rest for Run BTS.

쉼 = rest

표 = a mark, a sign

Timestamp 6:11

As they walk through the house, you can see many fan-written acrostic poems on sticky notes on the walls.

A Korean acrostic poem works a little differently than an English one. Because the hangul writing system separates letters into syllables, its acrostic poems do the same. In English, an acrostic poem involves writing all the letters in a word vertically and then next to each letter, writing a word that begins with that letter. Usually it’s no more than a single word. For example:

B ring

T he

S oul

In Korean, it’s the syllables that get written vertically down the left. Then a word or sentence, or even just part of a sentence is created starting with each syllable. The final result may be a logical flowing sentence or paragraph, where in English the words written for each letter are often not connected to one another (though in my example, they are).

The name for this kind of poem in Korean is __행시.

행 = line

시 = poem.

The blank is filled with however many syllables the original word is.

In this case, they’re making an acrostic poem with 달려라 방탄 (Run BTS), which is 5 syllables long, so it would be called an 오행시, or “5 line poem”. 오 = 5.

As you can see on the sticky notes, 달려라 방탄 is written vertically down the left and the words of the poem are written horizontally, like this:

달 some word or phrase that starts with 달

려 some word or phrase that starts with 려

라 etc

방 etc

탄 etc

Timestamp 9:19

Jin uses the English word for “survey”, but pronounces it like a Korean person would, which is 서베이 [seo-bae-i]. V mishears it as “subway”. Then RM gets that product placement plug in there by saying, “Not Subway, but Mad For Garlic”.

I don’t know if he’s purposely poking fun at this, but product placement is a big thing in Korean TV shows, and it’s often not done very subtly. Subway is the most frequent offender, and there are many, many K dramas that feature people eating at Subway. It’s a bit of a joke among the international K drama-watching community that if you want to influence the drama gods so that your show goes in the direction you want it to, you must sacrifice a subway sandwich on the altar.

Timestamp 10:03

V guesses that the first episode many fans watched is the 2nd 마니또 [ma-ni-ddo] episode. They translate it as “Secret Santa”, but the word has a surprising origin. It is adopted from the Spanish word “manito”, which means “pal” or “buddy”. However, they use the word in Korean to mean “secret friend” specifically in the way that we say “Secret Santa” in English, when gifts are given anonymously.

Timestamp 12:08

Lajibeolala time. This is pretty self-evident, but I’ll just show the two hangul spellings.

Since they don’t really place consonants back to back in Korean, an “eu” sound is added between the R and the B,  and Carbonara becomes a five-syllable word rather than a four. (Also, in case it’s not obvious, Lajibeolala is not in any way a real word.)

까르보나라 [gga-reu-bo-na-ra]

라지벌랄라 [la-ji-beol-lal-la]

Timestamp 22:32

This is a throwback to episode 136, where they were trying to guess the meaning of words taken from different Korean dialects. The word given was 포도시 [po-do-shi], which is Jeolla-do dialect (the province j-hope comes from, in the southwest of the country) and means, “barely”. However, RM made a pun with it instead.

Here’s what you need to know:

There is no F sound in Korean, and they also don’t end words with an R sound like “her”, “four”, etc. so the English word “four” would be pronounced 포어 [po-eo] or  포 [po] exactly like the first syllable of the word they were trying to guess.

The last two syllables of the word are actually a word on their own. 도시 means “city”.

Lastly, you need to know that in Korean, they wouldn’t say “Player 1”, “Episode 3”, etc. They would switch the order and say “1 Player”, “3 Episode”, etc. So 포도소 (“4 city”) could be interpreted as “City 4”.

To be silly, RM guessed that the word refers to Gwangju (j-hope’s birthplace), which is South Korea’s 4th largest city, or “City 4”.

Just for interest’s sake, the four largest cities in South Korea are Seoul, Busan, Daegu, and Gwangju, in that order.

Timestamp 24:07

Back in the obstacle course episode, Jin kept exclaiming 오! [o] so the others shouted out questions to which the answer could be 오. One of them was “What’s your favourite number?” This works because 오 is not just an exclamation, it also means “five”.

Timestamp 32:00

This is also from episode 136, when they were trying to figure out what different pager codes meant.

1365244 meant “I love you every day of the year for 24 hours a day.”

1 = a whole year

365 represents the 365 days in a year

24 represents the 24 hours in a day

The final 4 represents love. 4 in Korean is 사 [sa]. This is also the first syllable in 사랑, which means “love”.

Timestamp 37:12

Jimin guesses that the title of his poem was 함께라는 것. Weverse has translated it as “About being together”. The more literal translation is “the thing called ‘being together'”.

함께 = the act of being together

-라는 = called X, named X

것 = a thing, a concept

When the PD repeats the last word, 것, and says it was wrong, Suga leaps in to correctly guess 함께라는 건. The difference is just one letter.

In Korean, you can indicate that something is the topic of your sentence by adding 은 if the word ends in a vowel or 는 if it ends in a consonant. To do this with the word 것, you would add 은 and get 것은. However, it is very common to shorten 것은 to 건.

The way Jimin has phrased it could stand alone as a phrase. The way Suga has said it indicates that “being together” is the topic of a sentence that begins with those words.

Run BTS episode 154 Korean wordplay and puns explained