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Visual Dreams (비주얼드림) by Girls’ Generation (소녀시대): Lyrics, Translation, & Explanation

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Apologies for not providing the lyrics for Girls’ Generation’s (소녀시대) 2010 hit Oh! (오!) as promised, but then I’m much too addicted to DJ Areia’s remix of this one at the moment. And just like that of Oh!, which instantly got me into mainstream K-pop despite a whole decade of being unmoved by it, this one has rendered an otherwise mediocre song into, well, something magical for me.

Music quality aside though, a much more striking parallel with Oh! is its narrative of helplessness, passivity, and sexual desire but both inexperience and inability to act on it, in turn very similar to Like the First Time (처음처럼) by T-ara (티아라) and Breathe (비리드) by Miss A (미쓰에이) as already discussed in previous posts. Which is not to say that all songs by Girls’ Generation or those other groups are like that of course, and in particular I’ve heard that Run Devil Run and Hoot! are quite different. But still, jumping ahead to the conclusion of a project I’m working on at the moment, there does seem to be a definite paucity of song themes for popular Korean girl groups these days.

Alternatively, you could argue that this isn’t really an official song of theirs at all, but rather part of an Asia-wide marketing campaign for Intel’s 2nd Generation Core™ processors, and in which case it should possibly be viewed more as something aimed at a very techie audience, and therefore assumed to be a largely male one. If so, then that might also explain all the obvious double entendres in it, which although not surprising in themselves (Korean advertising and popular culture are full of them), are most definitely aimed at men here.

Either way, but for their regulation hot pants (which have less sexual connotations in Korea than they do in Western countries anyway), actually you might never have realized this from the music video itself, in which all 9 women appear even more cute and innocent than normal. Those of you who would still like to maintain that rather naive image of them then (and there’s an awful lot of you, both in Korea and in Western countries!), by all means feel free to watch the video with DJ Areia’s remix below, followed by the slow – nay, appalling – original under that, as well as all the screenshots provided courtesy of this 26MB(!) zip file from Red and Rosy. As for the lyrics though…well, read them at your peril!

One Two Three Four 짜릿하게 어머나

One Two Three Four 너를 원해 이미 난

One Two Three Four 솔직한 내 맘을 다 들켜버릴래 다 들려줄래

촉촉촉 오 달콤한 내 입술에 Come Come Come 천천히 그래 다가와

Tic Tac Toe 오 아찔하게 네게 푹 빠져버린걸 녹아버린걸

One Two Three Four Oh my, this thrilling, tingling feeling

One Two Three Four, I already want you

One Two Three Four, I want to tell you all my honest feelings [I want them to be discovered]

Yes, oh, come come come to my sweet, moist lips

Tic Tac Toe, oh, I’ve dizzily, deeply fallen [and melted] for you

First up in what turns out to be the chorus, in line 1 the “게” in”짜릿하게” make the word look like an adverb, which would give…er….”tinglingly”, but following the advice of commenters on the last translation then I’ve wisely tried to sever the mental link I’ve long had between “-게” forms and adverbs (especially as “짜릿하다” could just as well be “thrilling” say). Meanwhile, “어머나” is an expression of surprise that is almost exclusively used by women, the closest English equivalent I could think of being “Oh my!”, although in practice it’s usually said very quickly (and so just “Oh!” might be better).

Next, in line 3, “들켜버릴래” is a combination of “들키다” (to be found out, discovered, caught etc.), “버리다” (literally to throw away, but when added to another verb gives a sense of relief and/or completeness in finishing the act”, and then “~ㄹ래” (to want to do the verb). And so after all that,  then, “I want to tell you all my honest feelings” seems more than sufficient, but nevertheless the Korean includes the superfluous “들려줄래”, or “I want them to be discovered”. Possibly it just makes the words flow better, and indeed there does seem to be a lot of nonsense words in the song as a whole for that reason.

Finally, line 5 – “Tic Tac Toe 오 아찔하게 네게 푹 빠져버린걸 녹아버린걸” – is literally “Tic Tac Toe – oh – dizzily – to you – fall + 버리다 + thing – melt + 버리다 + thing”. As you can see, I thought “dizzily” was fine in this case (although probably “I’m dizzy” is okay), but really don’t understand why the fall and melt parts were in the “~ㄴ걸” (thing) form.

처음 느낀 이 감정 My Deep Love Core

점점 뜨거워지는 얼굴 숨이 막히는 순간 어쩌지

떨리고 있어

Boy boy boy boy bo bo bo boy boy boy boy

고민고민 해봐도 모르겠어

상상만으론 정말로 하나도 오 how to do my first kiss

Just wait a minute?

Boy boy boy boy bo bo bo boy boy boy boy

망설이지 말고 my love get into my core

This is the first time I’ve had this feeling My Deep Love Core

My face is getting hotter and hotter, and this moment I can’t breathe. What am I going to do?

I’m trembling

Boy boy boy boy bo bo bo boy boy boy boy

Even though I worry and worry about this, I just can’t solve it*

I can’t really do it only in my imagination, I have to do for real, oh how to do my first kiss

Just wait a minute?

Boy boy boy boy bo bo bo boy boy boy boy

Don’t hesitate my love, get into my core

An awkward verse.

My first problem was with “어쩌지” in line 2, which I mistook for “어쩐지”. That means “so that’s why!”, which made no sense here. Once I realized my mistake though, “어쩌지” wasn’t in my dictionary, and so I turned to my long suffering wife, who said it means “what am I going to do?”.

Next was “고민고민 해봐도 모르겠어” in line 5, which, although I’m sure my translation of “Even though I worry and worry about this, I just can’t solve it” is fine, I was stuck on it for a while because it doesn’t seem to make much sense in the context of the song (learners, note there’s a missing “아무리” at the beginning).

*(Update: with thanks to commenter dogdyedblack, probably “I don’t know what to do no matter how much I agonize” is better).

Both were a doddle though, compared to line 6, “상상만으론 정말로 하나도 오 how to do my first kiss”, literally “imagination – only – through – as for – really – through – one more again – oh”. But my wife said that there should be a “모르겠다” after “하나도”, and that together “하다도 모르겠다” means “I really don’t know”, and with that knowledge and the context then we cobbled “I can’t really do it only in my imagination, I have to do for real, oh how to do my first kiss”. I admit that that might not be the final word though!

Finally, the English “just a minute” in line 7 seems very strange next to the “don’t hesitate” in line 9, but that is definitely what both say. Perhaps the English in line 7 is just something essentially random by the song writers, which happens all the time in K-pop, but then much of the English in the rest of the song suggests otherwise. Get into her core indeed…

Ahem. Anyway, next is the chorus again:

One Two Three Four 짜릿하게 어머나

One Two Three Four 너를 원해 이미 난

One Two Three Four 솔직한 내 맘을 다 들켜버릴래 다 들려줄래

촉촉촉 오 달콤한 내 입술에 Come Come Come 천천히 그래 다가와

Tic Tac Toe 오 아찔하게 네게 푹 빠져버린걸 녹아버린걸

One Two Three Four Wow, this thrilling, tingling feeling

One Two Three Four, I already want you

One Two Three Four, I want to tell you all my honest feelings [I want them to be discovered]

Yes, oh, come come come to my sweet, moist lips

Tic Tac Toe, oh, I’ve dizzily, deeply fallen [and melted] for you

내 맘 속 visual 너무 완벽해

네 가지 고민 언제 어디서 무엇을 어떻게만 빼고 헤매고 있어

Core Core Core Core Co Co Co Core Core Core Core

우물쭈물 하단 놓칠지 몰라

망설임 the end 여길 봐 두근두근 pop pop 들리지 어때

Core of my love

Core Core Core Core Co Co Co Core Core Core Core

지금이야 바로 start! jump into love core

Inside my heart the visuals are perfect

But for 4 kinds of things not to worry about – when, where, what and how – I’m puzzled

Core Core Core Core Co Co Co Core Core Core Core

If you keep hesitating, you might miss [lose] me

Hesitation, the end, look [listen] here: how is the throb throb pop pop sound [of my heart]?

Core of my love

Core Core Core Core Co Co Co Core Core Core Core

Yes, of course, start right now, jump into love core

The final verse already, unfortunately much of it is completely non-nonsensical. Starting with line 1: “내 맘 속 visual 너무 완벽해” which gives “Inside my heart the visuals are perfect”, which means…well, God knows, but probably alludes to the functions of the chip more than it continues the romantic narrative of the song. But anyway, note that “맘”, short for “마음”, really means something between heart and mind (a phrase difficult to sing well), and in my experience “너무” means “very” just as often as the dictionary definition of “too [much]“.

Next, my wife said that “가지” in line 2 is just another form of the counter word “게”, or “thing”, but I beg to differ: my dictionary gives “a kind, a sort; a variety”. But which is not to say that line 2 – “But for 4 kinds of things to worry about – when, where, what and how – I’m puzzled” – actually makes any sense of course.

After that, line 4 was really tough. But then my wife told me that “하단”, was short for “하다가는”, which fortunately was in Korean Grammar for International Learners (KGIL). Which I’ll let you read for yourself (p.280):

As for the rest of line 4, naturally I’m assuming that it’s the object of the female narrator’s affections that shouldn’t hesitate rather than vice-versa, as clearly she doesn’t want to make the first move despite what she repeatedly says she wants him to do to her core. The same goes for line 5, although note that she does say “look here” (“여길 봐”) when “listen to this” would be better, with the “this” surely being her heart.

Finally, the “이야” in line 8 was interesting, which, seeing as I still have my KGIL next to me as I type this and have already cleared the junk off my scanner, I may as well give you page 181 of too (but sorry that I can never seem to get the book straight!):

Note that KGIL gives 4 more meanings for  “이야” depending on what comes immediately after it by the way, but if you want to know those too, then buy the damn book yourself already fortunately none of those apply here.

Finally, there’s the chorus again, the first part of which is repeated twice, and with the addition of 3 extra English lines:

One Two Three Four 짜릿하게 어머나

One Two Three Four 너를 원해 이미 난

One Two Three Four 솔직한 내 맘을 다 들켜버릴래 다 들려줄래

Take you higher / oh my love ooh yeah

visual dreams / 느껴봐 beating of my heart

One Two Three Four 짜릿하게 어머나

One Two Three Four 너를 원해 이미 난

One Two Three Four 솔직한 내 맘을 다 들켜버릴래 다 들려줄래

촉촉촉 오 달콤한 내 입술에

Come Come Come 천천히 그래 다가와

Tic Tac Toe 오 아찔하게 네게 푹 빠져버린걸 녹아버린걸

ooh yeah visualize my love oh yeah

One Two Three Four Oh my, this thrilling, tingling feeling

One Two Three Four, I already want you

One Two Three Four, I want to tell you all my honest feelings [I want them to be discovered]

Take you higher / oh my love ooh yeah

visual dreams / try feeling the beating of my heart

One Two Three Four Oh my, this thrilling, tingling feeling

One Two Three Four, I already want you

One Two Three Four, I want to tell you all my honest feelings [I want them to be discovered]

Yes, oh, come come come to my sweet, moist lips

Tic Tac Toe, oh, I’ve dizzily, deeply fallen [and melted] for you

ooh yeah visualize my love oh yeah

Sigh: if only all song translations could be so quick and easy! Still, I have many more to do this month nevertheless, and so expect at least 3 a week in addition to other posts, starting with So Hot by the Wonder Girrls (원더걸스) on Wednesday or Thursday, followed by Can’t Nobody by 2NE1 (투애니원) on Friday or the weekend.

Meanwhile, apologies to Girls’ Generation fans, but Oh! will have to wait until next week I’m afraid, as one Girls’ Generation song a week is probably more than enough for many people!

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Filed under: Girl Groups, Korean Music, Song Lyrics & Translations Tagged: 비주얼드림, Girls' Generation, 소녀시대, Visual Dreams

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