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Talk about Culture : Emotions

What kind of mood or emotions did you have today?

What kind of mood or emotions did you have today? There are words that express mood or emotions, such as 기분이 좋다 (= feeling good), 기분이 나쁘다 (= feeling bad), 행복하다(= feeling happy), 슬프다 (= sad), and excited (= 기쁘다). However, mood and emotions are often too complex to be expressed in simple terms, and there are many words to express them.

Nowadays, however, people often express complicated mood or emotions in a short word. These are called interjections, and in the past, people often used “아이구 (= oh my),” “아 (= ahh),” and “쯧쯧 (= tsk tsk).” Some of the words that are more commonly used these days are “헐 (= wow)” and “대박 (= means jackpot; used to react to something surprising, both positive and negative).”

Have you ever heard these words from a Korean TV shows or from a conversation with a Korean friend? It is often used in a situation when something unexpected happens. They are also widely used when you’re with people whom you’re close to and are expressing your emotion as a reaction.

Sometimes, when you use phrases like “헐, 대박, 진짜?, 웬일이야, 정말!” rather than just listening, those words can give the impression that you’re empathizing and actively communicating with the other person.

Please share if there are words/phrases used in your native language that serve a similar function.

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Intermediate Korean: Exploring the Language and Culture of Korea

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