A look at the Korean wordplay, puns, and abbreviations from Run BTS Episodes 131 & 132.
English title: 77 Minute Debate
Korean title: 77분 토론
Episode 131: https://weverse.io/bts/media/6059
Episode 132: https://weverse.io/bts/media/6140
Ep 131 – 12:25
RM opens up a discussion about the consonants in the word cereal. The Korean word for cereal comes from the English and is pronounced almost the same as in English: 시리얼 [shi-ri-eol].
He mentions that 시리얼 begins with the letter ㅅ which is called 시읏 [shi-eut].
Then he asks the guys what consonants are in the word “crunchy”. The Korean word for crunchy is 바삭, which also contains a ㅅ as he points out.
Ep 131 – 21:39
Jin requests an acrostic poem made using the Korean word for “peas”, which is 완두콩.
A Korean acrostic poem works a little differently than an English one. Because the hangul writing system separates letters into syllables, its acrostic poems also 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:
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 is often one logical flowing sentence or paragraph.
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, since 완두콩 is three syllables, Jin requests a 삼행시. 삼 = 3.
완: 완전 Meaning: “totally”
두 : I think it’s Jung Kook that says 두렵다, which means “scared”, but Yoongi says 두각을 나타내는. 두각 = prominence or distinction. 나타내다 is to appear, to occur, to arise. Together, they mean to stand out, to be set apart, distinguished.
콩 : 콩알탄, which are bean sized party snappers that create a tiny explosion sound/effect.
So SUGA’s full acrostic poem is 완전 두각을 나타내는 콩알탄. “Totally outstanding party snappers.”
Jin then asks for an 이행시 (이 = 2), or two-line acrostic poem using the Korean word for eggs, which is 계란.
Jimin steps up.
계 : 계란 닭을 뜻합니다. Meaning: “Eggs mean chickens.”
란 : Here he gets creative. He says 란전 맛있습니다. 란전 [ran-jeon] is not a word, but it sounds very similar to the same word Yoongi started his peom with: 완전 [wan-jeon]. So, with a bit of a goofy pronunciation, this part means, “[They’re] totally delicous.”
Jin declares Jimin’s acrostic poem to be a dud, so Yoongi steps up again.
계 : 계 같네. This is a play on an expression. 계 [kyae] sounds very similar to the word 개 [kae]. The expression 개 같다, or 개 같네, means basically that something sucks, or it’s a b*tch. (개 literally means dog). So Yoongi is using that expression with slightly altered pronunciation.
란 : 란마! I’m going to level with you guys, I’ve got no idea. This has got to be some kind of dialect thing, or some slang I’m unaware of. The vlive subs didn’t even attempt to translate it, and the weverse ones say “Good game” which is definitely not the flavour of what he’s saying. It’s possible that he’s fudging the pronunciation of 야 인마! which means like “Hey, dude!” in an annoyed or angry way. The internet also tells me that 란마 is a North Korean dialectic form of 난마 which means chaos or pandemonium. I highly doubt that’s what he’s saying, but I just want to present you with all the options.
Ep 131 – 29:39
After Jin determines that “no” (아니) is a prohibited word, he tries using 아니요 instead. Weverse subs translate it as “false” but it is actually just the more respectful form of the word 아니. It still means “no”.
Ep 131 – 30:08
Suga asks “Do you know why nectarines aren’t popular?” and Jin answers “Isn’t it because they’re hot?” This is a play on words, since the Korean word for “nectarine” sounds the same as “1000 degrees”.
천도 = nectarine(s)
천 = a thousand
도 = degrees
Ep 132 – 02:38
As they keep getting blasted with water, Jimin tells them not to say words that start with ㅈ. (The name of the letter is 지읏 [ji-eut].)
The reason he thinks ㅈ is the problem is because j-hope and Jin have both just started sentences with the word 자. Weverse is translating it as “Now”, but it doesn’t mean “now” as in “the present moment”.
자 is a word that you use at the beginning of a sentence when you are going to suggest an idea or propose something, or bring something to someone’s attention.
Look at the following English sentences:
“Okay, why don’t we go out for coffee?”
“Now, here’s what you’ll want to do next.”
“Listen up, I have an idea.”
“All right, let’s talk about this.”
자 would replace the phrase before the comma in all four sentences in Korean.
Here’s an example of it in use: In the song Telepathy, j-hope’s first line is 자 떠나자 푸른 바다로, which means, “Let’s leave for the blue sea.” You can see that the sentence begins with 자 to signal that a suggestion is about to be made.
Back to the episode at hand. V wants to test Jimin’s ㅈ theory, so he says 제발 [jae-bal] which means “please” and also starts with ㅈ. He coincidentally gets sprayed, so he tests again with 정말 [jeong-mal], which means “really”.
Eventually he is the one who figure out the real trigger, though.
Ep 132 – 06:37
RM claims that the word 아 [ah], which is used in the same way as the exclamation “Ah” in English, is one of the most used words in Korean. He then points out that if you put it between the two syllables of 양치 [yang-chi], which means “tooth-brushing”, you get 양아치 [yang-ah-chi] which means “bully” or “gangster”. He then uses this to accuse the other team of making gangster-like remarks, which Weverse translates as “mean”. So as the conversation continues, anytime you see Weverse translations indicate that the guys are calling each other mean, they’re using the word “gangster”.
Also, why do we suddenly keep seeing sheep on-screen? It’s because the Korean word for sheep is 양 [yang], which is the first syllable in 양아치.
Ep 132 – 10:10
SUGA brings up the origin of the word kelp. Kelp in Korean is 다시마 [da-shi-ma]. He argues that it comes from the sentence, 다시는 먹지 마, which means “Don’t ever eat [it] again”. You can see this sentence starts with the first two syllables of 다시마 and ends with the last syllable of 다시마.
Vocab (only basic vocab included):
다시마 = kelp
다시 = again
먹다 = to eat
-지 마 = “Don’t do X”
Ep 132 – 12:43
We’re back to acrostic poems again. This time it’s with the word 다시마, which means “kelp”.
다 (j-hope): 다 그른거지 뭐. Meaning: “Well, that’s just how it is.”
시 (Jin): 시작이 어려운 거야. Meaning: “The beginning is difficult.”
마 (RM): 마, 죽고 싶나? Meaning: “Dude, do you wanna die?” RM delivers this in Busan dialect. This means his intonation is different, but also the word 마 itself, which he has started his sentence with, belongs to the Busan dialect. You’ll hear it come up in the lyrics of Paldogangsan (one of my top ten BTS songs).
Team No Kelp:
다 (Jimin): 다시는 넣지 않겠습니다. Meaning: “I won’t put [kelp] in again.”
시 (SUGA): 시혁이 형도 넣지 않습니다. Meaning: “Si-Hyuk hyeong doesn’t put it in either.” 형 [hyeong] is a word used by Korean boys and men to refer to or address their biological older brothers, but also any boys or men older then themselves by a narrowish margin, with whom they are close. By “narrowish margin”, I mean probably within 10 years, max 15.
마 (Jung Kook): 마씁니다. This isn’t a word, but it’s pronounced very similar to 맞습니다, which means, “That’s right.”
Ep 132 – 14:33
The debate is about whether they eat the rice grains in their 식혜 (sikhye). 식혜 is a sweet drink made with rice. If you’ve got a Korean grocery store near you, they likely sell it. You may find this brand, which I’ve tried and enjoyed:
Ep 132 – 14:44
Jin mentions 국밥 (Gukbap). 국밥 is soup made with cooked rice in it. 국 = soup and 밥 = cooked rice.
Ep 132 – 16:06
V asks the other team if they only eat the 진물 in their soup and throw away the solids. He’s chosen the wrong word. 진물 refers to the discharge that oozes from a wound. I’m not sure what word he was going for, but one of the guys (can’t tell who) thought it might be 단물 which refers to sweet water.
Ep 132 – 17:09
V dissects the meaning of the word 식혜, BSing that it means, 먹을 식에, 혜자로운 먹는 것, or “eating generously”. 식, the first syllable in 식혜 appears in the word 음식, which means “food”. 혜, the second syllable in 식혜 is found in 혜자롭다, which means for the amount of food to be generous.
Ep 132 – 21:41
RM brings up the strong pronunciation of the word bread. The Korean word is 식빵 [sik-bbang]. You can see there’s a ㅃ, or double ㅂ in it. Any double letters in Korean are aspirated a little harder. That means you puff air out a little harder when you say them.
Then Weverse translates the words 이런 식빵 as “What the bread?”. 이런 식빵 is an expression you can use that means, “What the heck?”
RM then points out that the Korean word for raisins, 건포도 [geon-po-do], sounds much softer than 식빵. His argument for raisin bread being a good thing is that 건포도식빵 sounds softer than just 식빵.
Ep 132 – 22:20
Yet more acrostic poems. This time Jimin is doing a poem with the word for raisin: 건포도.
건: 건강하지 못한 Meaning: “X that is not healthy…”
포: 포도당 Meaning: “glucose”
도: 도전하지 마십시요. Meaning: “Don’t try X.”
Full sentence: 건강하지 못한 포도당 도전하지 마십시요. “Don’t try glucose, which isn’t healthy.”