As you know, K-pop is the hot new trend in music, and BTS is the boy band that dominates the Korean pop scene.
If you're learning Korean and love K-pop, you'll be delighted to hear that BTS can actually help you learn the language.
Today, we'll discuss all things BTS and explain how listening to BTS lyrics can help you to learn Korean faster. Language learning just got a lot more fun!
Before we dive into BTS lyrics, we’ll have a quick look at the Korean language itself and how BTS fits into modern Korean society.
The Korean Language: An Introduction
Korean is spoken by around 80 million people natively, mostly in Korea. It is the official language of both North and South Korea, although some vocabulary differences have arisen over the past 74 years of separation.
The South Korean writing system is called Hangul. This script uses 24 simple letters, called jamo, and 27 complex letters, which are made from the basic ones.
You can learn the Korean alphabet with online videos, language-learning apps, or formal Korean lessons. It was designed to be easy to understand so it is accessible to all people.
Check out this simple guide to the Hangul alphabet.
There are also a lot of great online resources to help you learn Korean speaking and listening skills. These include Pimsleur, Duolingo and Lingopie. The former two are Korean learning apps, while the latter is a streaming service that offers a lot of great Korean content.
By watching movies and TV shows in Korean on Lingopie, you can pick up new words and grammar points naturally through exposure. This is a fun and organic way to learn Korean.
Now, let's start learning Korean with BTS.
Who Is BTS?
BTS, also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a South Korean boy band whose music incorporates hip-hop and pop elements. The band is made up of seven members, each of whom is encouraged to express his own personality, rather than becoming just a part of the ensemble with no individuality.
The boy band was formed in 2010 and is represented by Big Hit Entertainment. In 2013, BTS released its debut single album, 2 Cool 4 Skool. Since then, the band has sold over 30 million albums, making them the best-selling South Korean artist of all time.
In 2018, the BTS members became the youngest recipients of the Order of Cultural Merit from the President of South Korea. They earned this honor for their contributions to spreading Korean culture and language to other countries around the world.
The band also releases Japanese-language songs, so if you are learning Japanese, listening to these songs is great practice.
In 2022, BTS announced its decision to take a break from writing and performing to allow its members time to complete their mandatory army service. They are expected to make a comeback following their time in the Korean army.
How to Learn Korean with BTS
BTS has been recognized as a great resource for Korean learning, and there are several ways that you can use this band to learn Korean.
Korean pop fans can learn Korean with BTS songs by reading the lyrics as they listen and by singing along. This will help with reading and listening skills, as well as with pronunciation and fluency.
Learning while having fun is essential, so choose songs that you love and listen to them often so that the words, sentence structure, and tones are familiar to you and are retained in your long-term memory.
Moreover, you can learn a lot about Korean culture and society from BTS videos. Note the fashion choices, the relationships depicted in the videos, and any buildings, modes of transport, cuisine, or other clues about Korean daily life.
The Bangtan Boys Book Package
There is even a BTS book that was designed for language learners. You can buy the Korean with BTS book online and work through it with other K-pop fans.
Practice Korean with the Bangtan Boys' book package and gain access to a lot of colorful study notes, phrasebooks of common Korean greetings and sayings, grammar and vocabulary resources, and a "speaking pen" that instructs you on proper pronunciation.
When you tap the speaking pen on a word, it will say the Korean word aloud so you can practice the pronunciation. It will also say the meaning of the word in English, Japanese or Spanish to help you understand.
Get your book package and speaking pen from a secure site that provides international shipping and delivery, and start learning Korean today!
What is BTS Singing About?
The boy band covers a range of profound themes in its songs, from mental health and the trials and tribulations of school-age youth to the idea of coming of age and feelings of loss.
They also sing about the important journey toward self-love, the power of individualism, and the consequences of fame and recognition. Learning Korean by listening to BTS exposes you to useful everyday words and phrases, but also poetic and deep concepts and language.
BTS's discography and adjacent works also reference literature, philosophy, and big psychological concepts.
Through their music, videos, books, short movies, and mobile games, BTS have actually created an alternate universe storyline. This storyline follows the seven members in an alternate reality and explores their anxieties and uncertainties about their futures.
The Lyrics: 6 Great BTS Songs
Now, it's time to address what BTS is actually singing about! Once you know the context of the songs, you can learn Korean smarter and faster. So, let's dive into the meaning of some of your favorite songs by BTS.
1. Life Goes On
One of BTS's most popular songs of 2020 was the consoling and soothing alternative hip-hop, synth-pop song 'Life Goes On'. This song was a reaction to the pandemic and offered words of hope and encouragement to K-pop listeners during this tough time.
Study Korean pronunciation and useful vocabulary with this beautiful song. What's more, you can get an insight into life during the pandemic in Korea with the video for 'Life Goes On'.
This song is definitely a fan-favorite, as BTS address their fanbase, known as the ARMY, directly in the lyrics. The band was saddened by the pandemic and the resultant need to distance themselves from their fans.
In 'Stay', this sadness is explored, as is their desire to be reunited. The song has a hopeful and positive outlook and looks forward to a bright future.
Loyal members of the ARMY can listen to 'Stay' to feel connected to their favorite band, but it is also a valuable learning tool, as the song features a lot of everyday language related to the weather, body parts, and relationships.
3. Fly To My Room
In 'Fly To My Room', BTS allow their listeners into their personal lives and their profound feelings about quarantine and isolation.
They sing "it’s so frustrating, it’s driving me crazy/Feel like it’s still day one/Somebody turn back the clock/The entire year got stolen,” referencing how meaningless time seemed during isolation.
The song expresses the bang members' desire to have someone fly to their rooms and ease the monotony of quarantine. Use this song to learn Korean words and phrases that you can use to describe your own quarantine journey.
This song is about letting go of stress, which is a message that can be applied to all walks of life, though, again, it was Covid-inspired. The band suddenly found itself with a lot of canceled shows, free time, and not enough work to do.
This led them to feel uneasy, so they wrote about their need to let go and relax. They go so far as to say "I think I should work till my body breaks", but in the end, they need to "throw away the fear".
Once again, this song deals with poignant themes but leaves listeners feeling hopeful and empowered. Listen to 'Dis-Ease' to learn Korean phrases related to stress, work, relaxing, and letting go.
5. Yet To Come
Now, let's look at the powerful lyrics of 'Yet To Come', the lead single of their anthology album Proof. In this song, the band reflects on its success and fame and explores the complex emotions that come with such stardom.
The lyrics explore the idea that they are the best K-pop band, saying "that uncomfortable title we were given one day/We are still abashed by being called the best".
However, the BTS members also look forward to the future and appreciate the journey they have been on together.
Finally, we will leave you with a hopelessly romantic hit. 'DNA' is about two people who belong together to the point that it is written in their DNA.
The lyric "The DNA in my blood vessels tell me/ That it's you I was looking all over for" is both moving and beautiful. This is a pure expression of young, passionate love.
Now that you've dipped your toes into the lyrics and meanings behind BTS hits, you can start to listen to the Korean words and begin to decipher them. Beginners can use side-by-side English and Korean lyrics to help their comprehension.
FAQs: Learning Korean with K-Pop
Can you learn Korean with BTS?
Yes, you can learn Korean with BTS. Listen to your favorite BTS songs over and over for repetitive practice, sing along for pronunciation and fluency practice, and look up lyrics when you cannot make them out.
You can also write down any useful or interesting words and phrases in BTS songs and create flashcards or vocab lists to study from. Finally, don't forget the BTS book package!
Where can I find resources online to learn Korean?
There are many online resources for Korean learning, such as the learn Korean with BTS book package, BTS songs and music videos, lyric websites, and BTS short movies.
Moreover, you can use a language-learning app or website, such as Pimsleur or Lingopie.
Beginners and intermediate learners can also watch TikTok videos and Instagram reels made by native Korean people to help them pick up basic greetings and common sayings.
How can I optimize my Korean learning journey?
Try to keep up with your Korean learning journey by turning up every day for at least 30 minutes of study time.
This can be formal study, such as working through a language app or textbook, or simply listening to Korean music and watching Korean TV. Any exposure to level-appropriate content is good.
If you're feeling brave, you could even write a fan letter to the BTS members using the Korean script!
How can I learn Korean skills fast?
One way to learn Korean fast is by listening to BTS music and any other K-pop you love. Moreover, watching Korean TV shows and movies will provide similar high-quality immersive exposure to the language.
Or, you can find a language exchange partner. Look online or in the local community for someone who speaks fluent Korean and loves the same stuff you do - such as BTS! Talking with a native Korean speaker allows you to pick up colloquialisms, slang, and useful vocab related to your interests. They can also provide instant feedback for your speaking.
Learn Korean with BTS and other fans of K-pop for a fun, fulfilling, and enjoyable learning experience.
Summing Up: Learning Korean with BTS
Now you know how to learn Korean with BTS and why listening to music and watching videos are fantastic language-learning approaches.
By immersing yourself in Korean content, you expose yourself to vocabulary, culture, proper pronunciation, sentence structure, and other important grammar rules.
This exposure is natural, so you develop language skills organically, in a way that doesn't even feel like learning.
When you learn Korean with BTS, you also become part of a huge worldwide community of fans with whom you can talk to practice your Korean.
If you want to learn Korean, don't forget to check out Lingopie. Beginners and advanced learners alike can benefit from exposure to high-quality Korean-language content.