How are you today? Have you recovered from your Lunar New Year/American Superbowl festivities? Are you at home because of a snow day? I hear the middle part of the United States is getting pummeled with snow right now! I hope everyone stays safe!
Speaking of snow, I recently saw the movie “Frozen” (known as “겨울 왕국” (Winter Kingdom) in Korean) and became totally OBSESSED with the soundtrack. I listen to the song “Let It Go” almost every day on my way to the office, so if you are ever in Seoul and see a crazy forienger dancing and singing loudly, that’s probably me 😀
Although I listen to the English version of “Let It Go” by Idina Menzel a lot, I also really enjoy the K-pop version by Hyorin 😀
Check out Hyorin’s version here:
I picked out a couple things I thought were interesting or helpful to know if you are like me and you enjoy translating lyrics to help you learn Korean.
1. 더 이상
In the second line of the song (and in the chorus/refrain), Hyorin sings “더 이상 참지 않아~”. I found this phrase to be a bit strange when I translated each word individualy. It ended up translating as “more weird I can’t endure.”
Okay, so I know Elsa can shoot snow out of her fingertips and can turn a lake into an ice rink just by stepping onto it, but this is a Disney movie, so magical powers aren’t weird! My translation couldn’t be right.
Upon consulting my Sharp electronic dictionary, I found that “더 이상” is actually a fixed expression that compares a difference between the past and now. It has an implied meaning of something/someone “used to” do something, “but” now they don’t, similar to the English word “anymore”. 더 이상 is ALWAYS used with a negative structure, such as 못 or -지 않다.
- 더 이상 = anymore
- 참다 = to endure, hold back
- -지 않다 = (negative verb ending) can’t, don’t, not (explained more in TTMIK Level 1 Lesson 21)
Hyorin is singing “I can’t hold back anymore” or “I can’t take this anymore”!
Although it seems like you can use this phrase by itself to express when you’ve had it up to your eyeballs with something, it’s a little bit cheesy and unnatural. It’s better to say “더 이상 못 참겠어요!”
Here are some real life sample sentences using 더 이상:
- 더 이상 너를 사랑하지 않아.
I don’t love you anymore.
- 그 사람은 여기 더 이상 살지 않아요.
That person doesn’t live here anymore.
- 이제 더 이상 그 문제에 대해서는 생각하고 싶지 않아요.
Right now, I don’t want to think about the problem anymore.
2. 그 동안
The first line of the bridge (at 2:24 in the video) is “그 동안 내 삶은 얼음에 갇혔었지”
- 그동안 = up until now; so far; these days; meanwhile, all the while
- 내 = my
- 삶 = life
- -은 = topic marking particle
- 얼음= ice
- -에 = location marking particle
- 걷히다 = to be locked up
- – 았/었었(어요) = past perfect tense
- -지(요) = ending used when you are talking about something, supposing that the other person also already knows about it. (See TTMIK Level 4 Lesson 4)
Putting it all together, this means “until now, my life used to be locked up in ice, you know.”
그동안 was orginally spaced as 그 동안, but it became one word because it’s a very common expression.
- 그 = that
- 동안 = period of time
However, when 그 is paired with 동안, it can refer to the time which has passed until now, sort of like saying “since that (unspecified) time (in the past) until now.” For example:
- 그동안 잘 지냈어(요)?
Literally: Have you been well since that time until now?
Have you been well so far?
- 그동안 매일 운동했어요.
Until now, I was doing exercise every day.
It can also be used to describe a period of time between now and when something is supposed to happen. Again, translation to English will vary.
- 저는 설거지 할게요. 그동안 청소기 돌리세요.
I am going to do the dishes. Meanwhile, you run the vaccuum.
- 저는 설거지 할 거예요. 그동안 공부하세요.
I will do the dishes. In the meantime (until I am finished), you study.
- 저는 책 읽을 거예요. 그동안 전화하고 오세요.
I’m going to read a book, so in the meantime, go make your phone call and come back after.
Whew! That was a long post! I hope it was fun and informative.
If you’re snowed in, stay warm! If you’re in a warm place, I’m jealous of you 😀
If you have any questions or requests, please let me know in the comments section, through e-mail, Twitter, or on the TTMIK Facebook page!
Have a great day!