Although even Koreans do not use many words from historical K-dramas anymore, it’s always more fun and interesting to understand dialogues in TV shows and movies firsthand.
To help you enjoy historical Korean dramas, here is a list of 10 Must-Know Korean words in historical K-dramas. Mark this page. I’ll keep adding more words.
1. Jeonha (전하)
전하 /jeon-ha/ is an honorific term addressing or referring to a king. It is similar to terms like “Your Majesty” or “Your Highness” in English. In historical contexts, this term is often used to show respect and formality when addressing the king.
2. Jungjeon (중전)
중전 /jung-jeon/ is a Korean historical term referring to a queen, the wife of a king.
3. Seja (세자)
세자 /se-ja/ in Korean historical dramas refers to the title of a crown prince. The term is for denoting the heir to the throne, the son of the reigning monarch who is in line to become the next king.
4. Wangsejabin (왕세자빈) or Bingung (빈궁)
왕세자빈 /wang-se-ja-bin/ or 빈궁 /bin-gung/ refers to the wife of a crown prince.
5. Daebi (대비)
대비 /dae-bi/ refers to the title and role of the queen dowager. The queen dowager is the widow of a deceased king and, in many cases, the mother of the reigning king. She is usually addressed as 대비마마 /dae-bi-ma-ma/.
6. Daewangdaebi (대왕대비)
대왕대비 /dae-wang-dae-bi/ refers to the title and role of the grand queen dowager. This term is a combination of 대왕 /dae-wang/, meaning grand king or grand monarch, and 대비 /dae-bi/, referring to a queen dowager.
Essentially, the grand queen dowager is the highest-ranking queen dowager in the royal court. The grand queen dowager is typically the grandmother of the reigning king.
7. Wonja (원자)
원자 /won-ja/ in Korean historical drama is a title for a crown prince before he gets appointed as 세자 /se-ja/. Usually, he is addressed as 원자아기씨 /won-ja-a-gi-ssi./
8. Sura (수라)
수라 /su-ra/ refers to a meal served to the king. It is a highly elevated form of a meal.
9. Yongan (용안)
용안 /yong-an/ is a Korean historical word expressing respect towards the king’s face.
10. Baekseong (백성)
The Korean word 백성 /baek-seong/ refers to the common people or the general population of a nation. In historical and traditional contexts, the term often means the broader populace, emphasizing ordinary citizens who are not part of the aristocracy or royal family.
What could be a better way to learn Korean than watching K-dramas? Let’s watch and learn some popular Korean dramas while learning Korean and its expressions.
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