My First Korean Drama: 넌 내게 반했어

So thanks to my wife’s friend in Japan, who also gave us a nice tour of Shin-Okubo a few months ago, we got a copy of the famous Korean Drama neon naege banhaesseo which gets translated as “Heartstrings” or “You’ve Fallen for Me” more literally.

The drama stars Jeong Yong-Hwa (정용화), who’s called yonfa (ヨンファ) in Japanese, who’s the lead-singer/guitarist of the group CNBlue. This is one of their most popular songs:1

My wife and her best friend in Japan are both fans, this friend sent us a copy of this drama which had Japanese-subtitles in it. I can read Japanese enough to follow story by reading the subtitles, so my wife and I decided to watch it together.

The drama is definitely for the ladies, but for me I learned a lot just by watching it. For example the grandfather of the main actress (Park Shin Hye) is a very traditional Korean man so he proudly wears hanbok and plays Go. I’ve never seen a guy wear a hanbok before so it was really interesting to me. Also, in one scene, it shows the funeral for the father of the main actor, and it was really interesting to see how a funeral might look in Korea. This is one of those things that you might read about, but you can really learn more seeing it on screen.

I’ve watched a lot of J-Dramas over the years with and without my wife, and it was interesting to compare the two. J-Dramas seem shorter, 45 minutes vs. and hour, for example. Also, unlike J-Dramas which seem to have a fairly straightforward plot, my wife and I noticed that the plot in “Heartstrings” was a lot more complicated, had a lot of side-plots with other characters, and the series as a whole ran much longer than the typical J-Drama.

Somehow it vaguely reminds of American Soap Operas which are high on drama and subplots that seem to go on forever. All of it is pretty exaggerated though. Life in Korea probably isn’t like this, but it keeps you watching. 🙂

But the point of all this is that you really, really can learn a lot about another language, culture by watching popular media. Since I’ve never lived in Korea, I actually know very little about it, besides books and Wikipedia. Seeing how people live, eat, dress or speak in Korea through TV (even if its exaggerated) taught me a lot of little things I wouldn’t have learned in a textbook. Also, from a linguistic standpoint, it really exposes you a lot to how a language is used and not just the rules.

1 If you learn one word in Korean, it’s saranghae (사랑해) which is an informal way of saying “I love you”. It gets used all the time in Korean pop music. ;p

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Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

9 thoughts on “My First Korean Drama: 넌 내게 반했어”

  1. Love J-Dramas! I haven’t had a chance to get into Korean Dramas. I love Taiwanese dramas too! It’s definitely a great way to be exposed to culture, language, and most importantly, songs! Woo!

    Pink.

    Like

    1. Hi Pink,

      Taiwanese dramas huh? I didn’t really know they had any. I know there are a couple of Taiwanese readers here and I wonder if have any good recommendations for a newbie like me.

      Like

      1. Greetings!

        Oh yeah! One of the best and most addictive ones are with Rainie Yang (LOVE her songs and her), with Mike He in “Devil Beside You”. It is one of THE most popular ones. with it’s sequel “Why Why Love” but not as great as the first. There’s more listed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwanese_drama, but Rainie is the main ones I have watched, and Barbie Hsu in “Corner with Love”, a MUST see with yummy oyster omelets, but I haven’t watched her other ones.

        If you ever get into Japanese dramas, the best ones I know of are Hani Yori Dango, and the movie was lame, but whatever! LOVE the music in it. In fact, if you don’t watch any other dramas, you gotta watch this one. It’s one of the best. That, and I liked Gokusen, awesome too!

        Enjoy the addiction! 😀

        Pink.

        Like

  2. I can recommend 2 other korean drama’s Minamishineyo (He’s/You’re beautiful) and Boys over Flower, which is a korean remake of a Japanese manga and j-drama. Most Korean drama’s are romantic drama, but are still funny and good to watch if your a guy.

    The first drama also stars Park Shin Hye and Jung Yong Hwa, which you allready now because they also play in Heartstrings.

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    1. Hi dutchdharma and welcome! Did you visit here before using a different name? You seem familiar. 🙂

      Anyhow yeah we have Boys over Flowers in Japanese and I’ve seen it a bit in Korean recently but not enough to comment on.

      Thanks for the other recommendation. I’ll bet we can get a copy of that from Japan too. 🙂

      Like

  3. Hello Doug,

    Yes, i’ve been a loyal follower of your blog and i replied on some of your topics. Don’t know which name i used though. Maybe my facebook account.

    But what i wanted to ask, is there a simple way to go to your older posts. Because i can’t see an archive anywhere.

    Like

  4. Hi guys,

    Pink Ninjabi: Thanks for the tip. I do know of the JDramas you mentioned since we have them at home, but I learned something new about Taiwanese dramas. 🙂

    Dutchdharma: I thought I recognized you by your email address, but you used a different name then. As for the archives, I’ve activated a couple features for the blog. Let me know if that helps.

    Like

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