#PracticeMakesPermanent: K-Drama vs K-Show

Happy Spring-is-still-2-months-away Wednesday!

Ever since I started revamping and trying to resurrect this blog I have not really shared with you, any of my Korean learning experiences. I did try sharing them in the past posts, and it is not like I want to keep it as a secret. Trust me there is no secret whatsoever. But, the way I learn Korean is not a studious kind, and more like unconventional one *as you might have figured by now*.

But today I will try to share one of them anyways. Who knows you will benefit from it. Sharing is caring right? 😉

One of my learning methods is by watching a lot of Korean dramas , movies, and Korean TV Shows. Like a lot of them. Everyday *well, almost*. Throughout the years, though, I feel like Korean drama (k-drama) and Korean TV show (k-show) each has different, how should I say this, “qualities” than you can take for your Korean learning journey. Trust me, I have been doing this circa 2002!


K-Drama vs. K-Show


So here are just a few of the different qualities of learning Korean by watching k-drama vs. k-show that I could come up with (and why sometimes I prefer one over the other):

If you’re watching k-drama, most of the time, the pace that the casts have when they’re reciting their line is quite the same*if not slower* compared to a regular conversation. This way you catch how a sentence is formed better than if it said in a k-show *try to catch what the nation Yoo Jae-Suk is saying in most of his shows. Yep. Good Luck!*. Plus Korean drama they might have OST songs playing in the background, but so much less background noises *yelling, laughing, sound effects* that would distract you from catching the lines/sentences being said.

To add unto this, since k-drama lines are more scripted than k-show *less improvisations/ad-libs, you might be able to pick up more grammar lessons there.

I just mentioned that you might be able pick up grammar lessons more when you’re watching kdrama than kshow. But, I have a problem with the choices vocabs they use. They’re just kinda iffy to be used in daily life.

Simple and most common used word that people might picked up from a k-drama is: 당신 (dang-sin). Imagine calling everyone 당신 for “you”. It might be described as the standard polite way, but I rarely hear them being used in daily life *unless you’re ahjumma-ahjussi couple calling each other, or if you’re really angry and trying to pick up a fight*.

Itching to say the word “dang-sin” now? Just sing this song:
당신은 사랑받기 위해 태어난 사람~


For this one, you can benefit from both of them. Need to learn proper intonation 반말 (banmal/informal figure of speech) and/or 존댓말 (cheondaemal/formal figure of speech)? They both could teach you that. Remember that k-show will be more casual and day-to-day; whereas k-drama will be filled with the character’s emotions, but slower and easier enough for you to pick up (and imitate).

Repetition and on screen captions

Have you heard exclamations or one word that you could catch being said over and over again in a k-show? Have you seen letters written all over your screen while the words are being said? Like big letters. Repeated throughout the show like this:

Yeah, you have seen this a lot on TV shows, right?!

To me this is a great benefit *especially for beginners* as they are repeated, and most of the time, written in big and flashy colours. They are usually written to emphasize exclamations or reactions like 대박 (Daebak) or ㅋㅋㅋㅋ(kkkkkk). You’ll usually get to know the meaning by watching what’s going on when they are displayed. They’re often repeated, you’ll grasp the meaning in no time. But if not, and if you’re lucky) it can make it easier for you to remember the pronunciation and how to say it exactly as how it means (try: 대~~~~~~박!). Since it’s an exclamation, you’ll hear someone saying it at the same time the word(s) is displayed. It will help you remember how to say and read the word. BUT! Because they’re mostly adjectives and/or exclamations or reactions, they can’t help you make a good whole sentence. Some of them are actually captions of what is being said. but, they’re more like summary or the short version of it. Oh well, enough to impress your Korean friends and to text them in style tho.

As for k-drama. When I started to watch k-dramas, I remember I often tried to read signs or any letters popped up on the screen during a scene. But, man, I had to pause a lot because they’re so small and they go by a scene so fast. I feel like I could not check my pronunciation nor could I understand the meaning unless I looked for it myself. However, I still it is a good practice to know your Hangul!


K-Drama or K-Show, as long you’re picking up bits and pieces *and not just plain adoring the casts and watching ’em for entertainment purposes only*, I bet they will help you in your quest to master the language!

Which one do you like watching more? Do you feel like you can learn more from K-drama or K-show? Spotted more good points? Share it with us on the comment below or tweet them my way @edreaMJ!

Just remember, #practicemakespermanent

Happy learning,


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