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Words and Phrases for Korean Social Media Use

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Social media platforms often develop their own slang and lingo, and it’s no different in Korea. Whether you’re learning Korean for fun, planning a trip to Seoul, or just want to scroll through Korean social media feeds, knowing these key words and phrases will help you understand and engage with the content.

셀카 (selca)
This is a contraction of “self” and “camera,” used in the same way as “selfie.” 셀카 refers to a self-taken photograph, and it’s a common type of post you’ll come across on Korean social media.
친구와 함께 셀카 찍었어요. (I took a selca with my friend.)

인싸 (insa)
Derived from the English phrase “insider,” 인싸 refers to a person who is very social and popular within a group. On social media, being 인싸 implies you’re on-trend and in-the-know.
그는 항상 인싸처럼 행동해. (He always acts like an insa.)

외싸 (oessa)
As opposed to 인싸, 외싸, stemming from the English term “outsider,” describes someone who is less sociable or feels left out. In Korean social media, this term can sometimes be used humorously by someone who feels disconnected from current trends or the in-crowd.
오늘 파티에서 나만 외싸 같았어. (I felt like an oessa at the party today.)

댓글 (daetgeul)
This word means “comment,” referring to the comments left by users under social media posts, articles, or videos.
그의 인스타그램 게시물에 댓글이 정말 많네요. (There are so many comments on his Instagram post.)

맞팔 (matpal)
A shortened form of “맞팔로우” (mat-follow), this term means “mutual follow,” where two users follow each other on social media.
너랑 맞팔 할래? (Shall we mutual follow (matpal) each other?)

따봉 (ttabong)
Literally translating to “tap-praise,” this is the Korean equivalent of “liking” a post, often represented by a thumbs-up icon.
이 사진에 따봉 눌러줄래? (Can you give a like (ttabong) to this photo?)

구독 (gudok)
Meaning “subscription,” 구독 is used when referring to subscribing to a YouTube channel or a similar service where you follow an account for updates.
제 유튜브 채널 구독해 주세요! (Please subscribe to my YouTube channel!)

좋아요 (johayo)
Simply meaning “like,” this is the Korean term used for showing appreciation for someone’s post on social media.
이 게시물 정말 좋아요! (I really like this post!)

팔로우 (pallowo)
Directly borrowed from the English word “follow,” it’s used in the context of following someone’s social media account.
저를 팔로우해 주실래요? (Will you follow me?)

언팔 (unpal)
Short for “언팔로우” (un-follow), 언팔 is when someone decides to stop following another person’s social media account.
왜 갑자기 나를 언팔했어? (Why did you unfollow (unpal) me all of a sudden?)

With these words, phrases, and their meanings in mind, navigating Korean social media should be less of a challenge. Remember that social media language can be quite informal and keep evolving with time and trends. Enjoy connecting with speakers and understanding more about the Korean culture through social media interactions!

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