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Learn Korean Ep. 103: Before and After (전에, 후에)

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Do you know how to use 전 and 후 to say "before" and "after?" This week's new episode will talk about how you can use them (as 전에 and 후에) to say "before" and "after," but not only with nouns (eg "before school") but even with verbs (eg "before I go to school").

Remember that each "Learn Korean" episode comes with a free PDF which you can download below the video link right in this post.

Thanks for watching~!

Click here to download a free PDF of this lesson!

 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean





How To Say ‘Headache’ In Korean

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Sometimes it is unavoidable and you get sick while in another country. Whether it’s something small like a cold, or something more severe that requires a hospital visit, it’s important to know some basic ways to describe what’s wrong. So today we will learn how to say headache in Korean.

As you may know through experience, oftentimes a headache is nothing more than a nuisance and an inconvenience. But occasionally it gets severe enough to affect your daily life. You may need to cancel your schedule to take a rest, you may need to drop by the pharmacy to ask for medication, or you may even need to see a doctor. Thus, learning how to describe the symptom in the local language is important! Here is how to say headache in Korean.


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‘Headache’ in Korean

The correct word for how to say headache in Korean is 두통 (duthong). This is the direct translation and medical term for the word ‘headache’.

However, in case you have trouble remembering the word, there is also another expression you can use. This expression is 머리가 아프다 (meoriga apheuda) in its basic form. In English, this translates to ‘my head hurts’. You’ll be understood just fine by using this expression, but know that the word 두통 is the more official one, and the one you’ll likely impress others with by knowing.

Associations for ‘Headache’ in Korean

To remember the official word for headache, 두통, just imagine you have a massive two-ton (두통) weight on your head that is causing a massive headache.

To remember the expression 머리가 아프다 we first need to break it down:

머리가 – head

아프다 – hurt (to be painful)

For 머리가, we can use the story: “Our head gives us more rigor to get through the day.” 머리가

For 아프다, think of the Simpson’s TV character Apu. Whenever he introduces himself, Apu Da! something bad happens to hurt him and he yells Da! 아프다

So then we have the easy story: “Apu is introducing himself but then he gets hit in the head! Ouch!” 머리가 아프다

Related Vocabulary

편두통 (phyeonduthong) – migraine

치통 (chithong) – toothache

위통 (withong) – stomachache

(yeol) – fever

인두통 (induthong) – sore throat


A word of caution about Romanization

While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea will suddenly seem so much easier and the country won’t appear so foreign for you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?


Sample Sentences

strong headache


저는 심한 두통을 앓아서 약을 필요해요. (jeoneun shimhan duthongeul arhaseo yakeul phiryohaeyo.)

I need medication for my severe headache.


두통이 심하면 약을 좀 먹어요. (duthongi shimhamyeon yakeul jom meokeoyo.)

If your headache is severe, eat some medicine.


제 두통은 뭘 써도 나을 것 같지 않아서 도와주세요. (je duthongeun mwol sseodo naeul geot katji anhaseo dowajuseyo.)

Please help, nothing seems to be relieving my headache.



미안해, 머리가 아파서 우리 약속을 취소해야해. (mianhae, meoriga aphaseo uri yaksokeul chwisohaeyahae.)

I’m sorry, I have to cancel our plans because my head hurts.


아이구, 지독한 두통이 보이나 봐. (aigu, jidokhan duthongi boina bwa.)

Aigoo, looks like a vicious headache.


오늘 머리가 굉장히 아파. (oneul meoriga gwingjanghi apha.)

My head hurts severely today.


So now that you know how to say “headache” in Korean, you’ll have no problem telling the pharmacist what you need! What other words would you like to learn? Let us know in the comments below.


Want more Korean phrases? Click here for a complete list!


Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto


The post How To Say ‘Headache’ In Korean appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

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Oh, I actually am White-Washed.

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Have you ever met someone or found yourself saying something like this?

There were many times when I was judged by someone right off the bat, and what would hurt was that this person assumed my characteristics/ behavior patterns were due to my being asians.  How dare he/she.  This led me to defend myself by saying I was actually white-washed and unlike the ‘asians’ this person had met before.  I wanted to be viewed as loud, crazy, and unpredictable, and not this quiet, non-opinionated, submissive woman.

I thought it was clever, let people know how ‘white’ you are by demonstrating your hatred or discontent for other asians, especially my Korean culture.  But long two year trip to South Korea made me think about this term in another way.

I was in Korea, and the people never asked me this question, because obviously, I looked Korean.  No one gave a shit.  Except, well, myself.  I didn’t have to prove to anyone that I was ‘white-washed’ or not ‘Korean’.  No one cared.  And then I thought, why do I care so much about what other people think about me?

No one likes to be judged based on the color of their skin.  Even asians.  And especially, asians who have been born, grown up and have lived their entire lives in a country that does not fit their profile.  Yes, it sucks, but that doesn’t mean we need to abandon our culture or look down upon it.

In the states, I think we have this view that our asian background is not American enough.  It says freedom to be who we are, but really, people don’t want to know about our culture.  5 years ago, South Korea was barely known by the general population of American.  Now, at least, we’re associated with North Korea, Psy, and K-pop.

Looking back at myself, I didn’t think this meant too much.  But the meaning behind those words meant something deeper that I slowly started to understand, once I heard other friends of mine refer to themselves as a ‘banana’ or a ‘twinkie’.  The real question is, why do you want to be white? And why is this so important to assert this?  We should embrace our culture, and our American culture, or the soil we grew up in, but we should never be ashamed of ourselves, because, at the end of the day, you’re still Korean physically.  And that won’t change.

Isn’t it silly when you meet someone who doesn’t identify with their own race? It’s a little funny because it is!  France does a great job of accepting both cultures. It’s time, we stop wanting others to see ourselves as something other than asian.

Sure, I consider myself a little ghetto at times; I’ll walk around with no shoes on out in public in sweats, talk with a little bit of a slang, because I like it, I’ve grown up with hip-hop music.  But for the love of God, I will not say I’m black. Just like I won’t say I am more ‘white’ than ‘asian’.  Why?  Because I am just me. You don’t hear Sik-E saying he’s ghetto or really a black guy.  You don’t hear Rich Chigga tryin’ to let people know he’s ACTUALLY more black than an asian. He just owns it, even with his fanny pack.


Which brings me to my next point, if I date a guy, and he happens to be white.  I don’t just like ‘white guys’.  And for the caucasian guys, don’t say you have ‘yellow-fever’ or be this guy.  You just like what you like.  When I was dating a German guy, oddly enough, when people asked me if he was white, I would say he’s German, and people associated it as two different things.  Are white guys suppose to be from America? Should I call my ex boyfriend a European guy now?

Can we just stop with the goddam labels?  It’s making me confused.  Why can’t people just like other people, be who they are, and not get asked stupid questions.

I think if we start acting this way, people would stop acting like being born ‘Asian’ is such an uncool thing.  If it helps, we have Crazy Rich Asian now.

Anyway, what do you think? Should we just stop using this dumb words that ‘identify’ us? Have you experienced something similar? How do you deal with someone assuming your ‘asian-ness’? What do you think about other people calling themselves ‘white-washed’?

If you’re not asian, has anyone said this to you? What did you think when someone said this to you?

BiBimBap (비빔밥)

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BibimBap (비빔밥)

BiBimBap (비빔밥) is a healthy, filling Korean dish that many people love to eat. In Korean, it literally means “mixed rice” and that is exactly what you do. It is a scoop of rice served in a bowl with various vegetables and meat placed on top with a spicy sauce. When served, you thoroughly mix it and eat it with a spoon.

There are many variations and each region in Korea has its own take on the dish. For instance, Jeonju (전주),  an old, traditional city in the middle of South Korea is famous for it’s Jeonju BiBimBap. Dol-seot BiBimBap (돌솟 비빔밥) is served in a piping-hot stone bowl with a broth to help mix the rice.

Bibimbap dish with fried egg and side of kimchi

Bibimbap (비빔밥) – is a rice dish served with veggies and meat, a hot sauce and fried egg.



  • 1 c rice, medium grain
  • 1-½ ~ 2 c water
  • 1 lb ground beef or pork
  • ¼ c sliced carrots
  • ½ sliced onions
  • 4 oz sliced shiitake or king mushrooms
  • ½ c sliced zucchini
  • ½ c bean sprouts, pre-blanched and drained
  • 8 oz baby spinach, perilla leaves or lettuce
  • 1~2 large eggs
  • 1 t sesame seeds for garnish
  • Salt
  • Soy sauce, garlic
  • Cooking oil
  • Extra sesame oil

Meat Marinade

  • ¼ c cooking wine
  • ¼ c soy sauce
  • 1 t sesame oil
  • 1 t minced garlic

Topping Sauce

  • 2 T Korean hot pepper paste
  • ¼ c soy sauce
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 t sesame oil



  1. Measure rice and place in a bowl or strainer. Rinse and add to rice cooker with water. Cook.
  2. In a bowl, add sliced meat, cooking wine, soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic. Set aside for 30 minutes to marinate.
  3. Heat a frying pan, add cooking oil.
  4. First stir fry each of these combinations, setting aside each group, add more oil as needed:
    1. Carrot – with a dash of salt
    2. onion – with garlic and a dash of salt
    3. mushrooms – with garlic and sprinkle of soy sauce
    4. zucchini – with garlic and a dash of salt
    5. bean sprouts – with garlic, a dash of salt, and some sesame oil
  5. Stir fry the meat, keeping slices well separated. Set aside.
  6. Fry eggs, sunny-side up (yolk on top, do not flip)
  7. In a small bowl, combine the Topping Sauce ingredients and mix well.


  • In serving bowl, add scoop of rice.
  • Place each stir-fried ingredient (steps 4 &5) on top of rice.
  • Add a tablespoon of Topping Sauce.
  • Place fried egg on top and add sesame seeds for garnish.



How I Make My Korean FAQ Videos | Billy Backstage

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I've gotten a lot of questions about my "Korean FAQ" series, such as "are you writing backward" and "what is that board," among others. So I wanted to make a new series to answer some of these questions. The first episode is about the Korean FAQ "lightboard" that I made and used. I'll also make more episodes about different parts of what goes into making one of my videos. Since these videos won't often be related much to Korean, I'll only upload them occasionally. Next time I'll probably talk about lighting, and throw in some lighting terminology in and some other useful Korean vocabulary (in case you decide to get a job in the film making business).

If you have any questions I'd be happy to help answer them, either about how I make my videos or about the lightboard shown in the "Korean FAQ" episodes.

What You Need To Know About Korean Men’s Fashion

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These days, Korean men are no longer known only as the ‘feminine’ singers and dancers of a boy group. Nor do they only exist as the emotionally twisted yet charming lead of a Korean drama, the one who will sweep the heroine off their feet. Instead, those who have visited South Korea, especially the capital of Seoul, are now gushing over the everyday guys seen on the streets. What might be about them that’s capturing the attention of people watchers everywhere? The simple answer is: the Korean men’s fashion.

That is, a typical Korean man dresses incredibly well! Though fashion is usually known as an interest for women, in Korea, it is definitely common for both genders to pay attention to their outfits. And not just when fashion week enters town! That makes for some great attire for people watchers to notice and even take inspiration from. It also makes shopping in Seoul more fun for men since there will be stylish options available for them as well. But what exactly does the Korean men’s fashion scene look like? What are the trendy style genres to go for in Seoul?


Can't read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 60 minutes!


Studio portrait of a young man covering his face with one hand

Skinny Bottoms Are IN

Whether we’re talking about jeans or other types of pants, Jonas Brothers aren’t the only ones with a liking to thigh hugging bottoms. You may have seen a lot of Korean boy groups on TV dressed in pants so skinny you wonder how they breathe in them – but your everyday Korean man will not be shy to wear such pants either! And not just in black, either; it’s totally fine to add some color to the outfit!


Did Someone Say Ripped Jeans?

Yes, indeed, Korean men love jeans with rips here and there every bit as much as Korean women do. Just throw on a pair of ripped jeans with a basic t-shirt, form hugging long sleeved tee, or a sweater, and you’ve got yourself the perfect effortless and yet stylish outfit!


The Shirt Under a Knit Look Isn’t Just for Professors

When you think of wearing a knit or a basic sweater with a shirt underneath, a middle aged college professor might be the first thing to pop into your mind. But actually it’s a very popular look among Korean men in their 20s and 30s, especially for a date night. It’s casual enough not to look silly, but put together enough to charm the ladies.


Or Just Go with the Shirt

Another typical date look for a Korean man is to wear a shirt, any kind of a shirt, and pair it up with jeans or slacks. Again, a relatively low effort look to go for, but one that is incredibly easy to look good in. Men who care for their appearance might dress up in a variation of this just for a night out with their boys as well, especially if the destination is Gangnam.


Loafers and Boots

Though many Korean men love the comfort of a classic pair of sneakers, or the ease of canvas shoes, sometimes they’re not the most stylish choice for the outfit. Sometimes a man just needs that good pair of black loafers and boots to go with their look, especially the combination of boots with skinny jeans. And Korean men also do not shy away from their shoes being equipped with a bit of heel. Why not look a little taller while you’re at it?


The Coat Matters As Well

Leather jackets, denim jackets, and colorful blazers exist in every Korean man’s closet for the fall and spring seasons. As for winter? A knee-length woolen winter coat is where it’s at! Another prevalent winter trend among Korean men, albeit not as stylish one, is to wear the puffiest North Face jumper one could possibly get their hands on. Well, at least you’ll stay warm!


Better Yet – Just Suit it Up!

If you happen to have an office job in Korea, chances are you will have to wear a suit on a daily basis. It’s not usually the preferred outfit choice for a Korean man, but it’s really tough not to look good while wearing one. So if you are one of those in this situation, why not just embrace it? Sure, it’s not as comfortable as a hoodie and sweatpants, but everyone around you is guaranteed to swoon!


Casual Fashion

There’s casual, and then there’s casual fashion. In this case, we’re not talking about you throwing on the first items you could find on the clothes rack. We’re talking about an easy-to-wear, relaxed fit, as casual as it can get look that’s actually carefully calculated and put together. To achieve this look, you’ll wear loose pants, and anything from loose jeans to sweatpants goes. The top will also be loose, and can be of any style and color you choose. Though, be sure to have at least one item be of a subtle and earthy color.


Attractive Man

Now that we’ve got the Korean men’s fashion styles covered, we can move onto the next burning question: Where to shop for the most authentic look?



This is a popular fashion brand directed towards men, founded by three big male model names in the Korean fashion industry. With this brand, you can hit the nail on the head with the casual fashion look.



With this brand, you can find clothes that ooze comfort and trendy street style. The clothes are best described as modern and minimalistic. Combining them with other brands will bring about any trend categorized above.



From Plac, you can also discover all sorts of styles and colors. But first and foremost, this is the place to go for your new pair of jeans.



Though there may not be as many street shops out there covering the fashion needs of men as there are for women, it’s the best way to go for affordable fashion. Especially the shopping in Hongdae, Edae, and Myeongdong are great for finding smaller local brands. The clothes may not be as edgy as higher end fashion brands, but they’re definitely not lacking in style.


So are you ready to take the lessons of Korean men’s fashion to heart? Which Korean celebrity do you think is the most fashionable? Let us know in the comments below!


Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto

The post What You Need To Know About Korean Men’s Fashion appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

(Ep 47) Hot Blasts: I got Scammed

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Have you ever been scammed while you were abroad? That’s the question I asked my friends, and I gathered four of the people that responded to come into the studio to share their shameful tales of misfortune. This episode is packed with good stories! I have to shoot a big thanks to the guests that we’re willing to tell their stories. If you’ve ever been scammed, you know how humiliating it can be. And if you’ve never been scammed, well, I guess you’ll just have to take our word for it. If you enjoy the show, subscribe on iTunes or whatever podcasting app you enjoy. Please leave a review on iTunes, share it with a friend, and remember I love ya.

Nothing's Really Real Podcast:  Soundcloud    Stitcher    iTunes

The 5 Minute Korean Challenge | You Don’t Need Motivation

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Are you studying Korean every day? Are you motivated?

Or are you slacking off (we all do) and unmotivated? Try the 5 minute Korean challenge. #5mKoreanChallenge

I feel personally that motivation is overrated. Many people discuss ways of staying and getting motivated (including myself), but motivation isn't the only fuel needed to reach a high level of Korean. In this video I talk about what I feel is more important to have - discipline.

How To Say ‘Surgery’ In Korean

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Although it is not usually something we wish for, sometimes accidents happen and we will be in need of a doctor. And on some unfortunate occasions, it just so happens that we are in a foreign country, in this case Korea, when we find ourselves in need of surgery. To prepare for such a situation, it is important to learn some basic medical terms in the local language, even though there will be translators available as well. Because of that, today we will learn how to say surgery in Korean.


Can't read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 90 minutes!


‘Surgery’ in Korean

There are two main words for how to say surgery in Korean, depending on which of its meanings you wish to express. If you wish to say surgery as the medical procedure, the word to use is 수술 (susul). As such, the operating room where the surgery will take place is also referred to as 수술실 (susulsil).

However, if you are referring to a department and a type of surgery, the correct word to use is 외과 (oegwa). This is also the academic term for surgery. In addition, if you are referring to a surgeon, you will also use the word 외과 rather than 수술.


Related Vocabulary

라식 수술 (rasik susul) = LASIK surgery

성형 수술 (seonghyeong susul) = plastic surgery

심장 수술 (simjang susul) = heart surgery

뇌 수술 (noe susul) = brain surgery

교정 수술 (gyojeong susul) = corrective operation

수술 환자 (susul hwanja) = surgical patient

수술을 받다 (susureul batda) = to receive surgery

외과 치료를 받다 (oegwa chiryoreul batda) = to receive surgical treatment

임상 외과 (imsang oegwa) = orthopedic surgery

성형외과의 (seonghyeongoegwaui) = plastic surgeon

신경외과의 (singyeongoegwaui) = neurosurgeon

심장외과 의사 (simjangoegwa uisa) = heart surgeon


A word of caution about Romanization

While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea will suddenly seem so much easier and the country won’t appear so foreign for you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?


Sample Sentences

female surgeon


이 수술을 받기 12시간 전부터 아무것도 드시지 마세요. (i susureul batgi 12sigan jeonbuteo amugeotdo deusiji maseyo.)

You are not allowed to eat for 12 before the surgery.


수술을 하게 된다면 비용이 얼마세요? (susureul hage doendamyeon biyongi eolmaseyo?)

How much would doing the surgery cost?



오늘 제가 받을 수술에 대해 질문할게 좀 있어요. (oneul jega badeul susure daehae jilmunhalge jom isseoyo.)

I have some questions regarding my surgery today.


우리 할아버지는 수술 중에 사망했대요. (uri harabeojineun susul junge samanghaetdaeyo.)

They said our grandfather passed away during surgery.


지난달에 외과의사가 제 부러진 팔을 수술했어요. (jinandare oegwauisaga je bureojin pareul susulhaesseoyo.)

A surgeon operated on my broken arm last month.



너의 수술날짜가 언제지? (neoui susullaljjaga eonjeji?)

When is your surgery date?


우리 누나는 작년에 신장이식 수술을 받았어. (uri nunaneun jangnyeone sinjangisik susureul badasseo.)

Our sister received kidney transplant surgery last year.


나중에 무릎 수술을 받아야 할 것 같아. (najunge mureup susureul badaya hal geot gata.)

It looks like I’ll need an operation on my knee later.


So what will you do now that you know how to say ‘surgery’ in Korean? If you’re thinking about plastic surgery, Korea is the place. Are there other medical terms you’d like to learn in Korean? Let us know in the comments below!


Want more Korean phrases? Click here for a complete list!


Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto


The post How To Say ‘Surgery’ In Korean appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

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