궁금하지 말입니다! I’m curious~지 말입니다!

This post is a repost from my previous Naver blog, dated back in 12th March 2016. Contents are original and have not been edited since initial post.

Descendants of the Sun (DOTS). Song Joong Ki. Song Hye Kyo. 태양의 후예. 송중기. 송혜교.  


The current hottest terms you sure wouldn’t have missed if you’re a keen K-drama fan. Even for a not-so-frequent fan like me, I’m falling over heels for this drama! It’s way beyond awesome: the storyline, the scene, the characters, the background, the music; basically everything! At the current episode 6, its viewership ratings had already surpassed the big-hit drama You Who Came From The Star (YWCFTS) in year 2012 by Kim Soo Hyun & Jeon Ji Hyeon. The latter hit its highest viewership rating of 28.1% in the last episode whereas DOTS surpassed the rating with 28.5% in episode 6! What more is that the fact DOTS is under KBS, the viewership rating was never recorded this high since 2-3 years ago. Two thumbs up for DOTS! 

Other than everything nice in the drama that ‘motivates’ me to expecting the arrival of Wednesday and Thursday, the way of speaking in the drama particularly caught my ears. In fact, it has become a trend in Korea too. That is..~하지 말입니다. (~haji malibnida) 

Throughout the drama, you can hear Captain Yoo Si Jin and Sergeant Seo Dae Yeong using this term quite frequently among themselves, fellow soldiers and even normal citizens such as Kang Mo Yeon. It is quite interesting hearing it for the first time since it is not a commonly used term in Korea. 

However, upon researching on the net, this was actually a colloquial term used especially in the Korean military. In the modern Korean society, ~요 (~yo) is commonly used to end a sentence to indicate formality and politeness. This is, however, not the case in the Korean military. It had been a long-practiced culture that ending ‘~다’,’~나’, ‘~까’ (‘da’, ‘na’, ”ka) were used in the military. Hence, the term ‘다나까체’ (‘danaka’ slang) was formed. For instance, if you wish your friend to have a great meal, 

Normal: 식사를 맛있게 해요.

Military: 식사를 맛있게 하시지 말입니다. / 식사를 맛있게 하십시오. 

Sometimes, ‘~오’ (~o) was also used. So, why the use of ‘danaka’ slang? It is believed that compared to ‘~yo’, ending a sentence with ‘da’, ‘na’, ‘ka’ bring a higher spirit in which is an important element in any military. Hence, ‘danaka’ slang was unofficially incorporated into military culture for a long time during trainings and even off-time. 

That is not the only reason. There are times when there are soldiers of older age entering the army later than you. In terms of military ranking, you are in a higher position than him, but in terms of age, you are younger. Do you address him formally or informally? Do you use ~요’ (~yo) or not? It is awkward in Korea to not address someone who is older than you formally. Hence, by standardising the use of ‘danaka’, awkward situations like these are avoided. So regardless of age or rankings, you wouldn’t go wrong if you use ‘danaka’. 

Speaking of age and rankings, there is also another slang called 압존법 (apjonbeob). For example:

**Ranking: Sergeant major > Master sergeant > Sergeant first class

** XXX refers to full name

A (sergeant major): Sergeant first class XXX, where is master sergeant XXX?

B (sergeant first class): Master sergeant XXX is off-duty, sir!

Korean-culturally speaking, the example above is not culturally correct since sergeant first class is of lower rank than master sergeant, yet he did not address master sergeant in a formal way like ‘Master sergeant XXX-nim is off-duty, sir!’. ~님 (~nim) is used in Korea to address a person formally, such as Mr, Ms etc.   

Hence, abjonbeob was used in military when the third party (subject) is younger/lower rank than the listener, but is older/higher rank than the speaker. In cases like this, the speaker need not address the subject formally when reporting to the listener of higher rank than the subject and speaker. 

Now, besides the ‘다나까체’ (danaka slang), ‘해요체’ (~haeyo slang) is allowed in the military! As opposed to ‘danaka’ slang, ‘haeyo’ slang is more commonly used in modern Korean today. Ministry of Defense Korea had recently released an improvement guidance on the use of these military slangs. To be exact, the new protocol was released on 24th February 2016. DOTS was already pre-produced before the date, so you can still hear the slang a lot in the drama! 

What’s with new protocols? This is because the usage of the terms and formality are not correct to the standard of Korean language. You don’t get to normally hear people using ‘~하지 말입니다’ in Korea (but I guess you do now due to DOTS ㅋㅋ ). Thus, other than training sessions, soldiers are now allowed to speak in a ‘non-military’ manner such as ‘~요’ (`~yo) during their breaks. Same goes to apjonbeob as this has always been a trouble to new soldiers who are not familiar with the rankings of senior soldiers. 

So, that’s a little something new from Descendants of the Sun! The slang is awkward yet interesting to listen to while watching the drama, especially the lines from Song Joong Ki & Jin Goo! Gahhh I’m shipping this bromance to the max. Please don’t let any of them die in the end~ 😥 As of now, I couldn’t wait til next Wednesday to come. 

With additional personal favourite scene from Episode 5! This heart-wrenching lines..awww!! Transcripts and its translation are below too 



유시진: 저 내일 귀국 합니다.어제 낮에 얘기 하려고 했는데 강선생이 도망갔어요. 기억나요?

강모연: 그럼 잡았어야죠. 라이언 일병도 구해오는 사람이 잡아서 말을 했어야죠. 

유시신: 강선생이 화를 낸다는건 잘은 모르지만 나한테 유리한 것 같은데. 맞습니까?

강모연: 틀렸어요.

유시진: 여전히 강선생 마음은 복잡합니까?…그렇군요. 그럼 하나만 물어봅시다. 혹시 이게 마지막이 몰라서..그때 허락없이 키스하는거 말입니다.

강모연: 그 얘기는 내가 꺼낼때까지…

유시진: 뭐랄까요? 내가? 사과할까요? 고백할까요?


YSJ: I’m returning to Korea tomorrow. I’ve tried telling your yesterday but you ran away. Do you remember?

KMY: Then you should’ve stopped me. The person who save Private Ryan should have held on to me and tell me. 

YSJ: I can’t really tell if Ms. Kang is really angry but I guess I’m right.

KMY: You’re wrong. 

YSJ: Are you still feeling complicated?..Can I ask you a question? This may be the last one..but about that kiss without any permission.

KMY: I’ve said don’t bring that up until I get over with that…

YSJ: What should I say? Should I apologise? Or should I confess? 

**P/S: Keeping a formality in your conversation is important in Korea. Do not drop the formalities when speaking to someone older or higher ranking than you, or someone whom you just met. It may sound rude not using ‘~요’ (~yo) at the end of your sentences to a native. However, you may drop them if you are allowed to do so. 


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