Sometimes a song is just so good that you suddenly become fluent in the language to sing it.
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New classics are being made every day, we just might not know it yet! Although, as international fans, it can be difficult to keep up sometimes, after all, to most, Korean is a significantly different language than their own. However, over the years there have been certain songs that K-Pop fans just know all or most of the lyrics to, even though it’s in Korean!
Whether our brains picked it up after listening to it so many times, or the song was just that iconic and fun that it made it easy, we can sing to it no problem. Here are 20 songs that make most international fans suddenly fluent in Korean.
1. “Just One Day” by BTS
Maybe it’s because it’s slow, or maybe the Korean words are simple, but practically every BTS stan knows this song’s entire chorus. The chair dance is just so iconic and the soft meaning makes everyone’s hearts ache for love.
2. “Don’t Wanna Cry” by SEVENTEEN
“I don’t want to cry” is probably a phrase that doesn’t exist in any Korean language textbook, and yet here we all are. There is not a single English word in this entire song and yet we all can sing every word. Explain?
3. “Fancy” by TWICE
While TWICE’s entire discography has been described as iconic, “Fancy” has gone off into a league of its own. With a song and dance most K-Pop fans will recognize, how could it not be on this list?
4. “Replay” by SHINee
SHINee has made historic leaps in the industry and remains essential to the community. However, their debut in 2008 is just something no one can forget. Can you believe it’s been 12+ years since the first “noonan neomu yeppeo”?
5. “UP & DOWN” by EXID
Known as the song that saved EXID, “UP & DOWN” is a crazy music video with a fun dance that many fans can pull out in a heartbeat. The repetition is what truly helps people learn this song, but it’s so much more than that.
6. “Sorry Sorry” by Super Junior
Admittedly, the way many fans learned this song was by looking up the lyrics as it’s pretty difficult to hear what they’re saying. However, the song is so important, that fans did not give in and once they learned it, they never went back.
7. “Answer” by ATEEZ
An amazing example of the 4th generation slowly forming their own classics is “Answer”. Slow enough to learn, but energetic enough to keep interested, this song brought many new people into the community and even more into the language. The “bulleo bulleo uril jigeum bulleo” dance move and lyrics became so popular that even people who were never into K-Pop started doing it online.
8. “Gee” by Girls’ Generation
While already gaining much popularity, “Gee” truly launched these girls into fame. It’s cute and fun vibe made it easy for everyone to be motivated to learn it.
9. “Touch My Body” by SISTAR
We’ll admit, the biggest lyric everyone knows is the English “touch my body”. However, once fans began to listen to it more, they learned much more of the lyrics and soon everyone was able to sing together with the girls in this iconic Summer anthem.
10. “Eyes, Nose, Lips” by Taeyang (BIGBANG)
Who needs that old children’s song “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”? Taeyang taught the world the parts of the face just by earnestly singing his heart out to a girl.
11. “Just Right” by GOT7
One of GOT7’s most recognizable songs is their self-love anthem “Just Right”. Many ahgases have had the lyrics and dance in their heads for forever.
12. “Red Flavor” by Red Velvet
The queens of color came back with this hit back in 2017. This fun, funky song had fans from all over learning fun color and food words.
13. “I Am the Best” by 2NE1
How could we not talk about these icons in the year 2NE1? Its amazing beat had everyone memorized and saying “naega jaeil jal naga” everywhere you went.
14. “Bubble Pop” by HyunA
Before HyunA truly got into the K-Pop scene, there was “Bubble Pop”, a song even non-fans knew about. It perfectly fits the aesthetic of 10 years ago and is fun but simple enough to learn.
15. “Gangnam Style” by PSY
Love it or hate it, the lyrics of “Gangnam Style” are burned deep into every fan’s brain as this song took the world by storm. As crazy as he is, you really do start to love PSY.
16. “As If It’s Your Last” by BLACKPINK
Most BLACKPINK songs are worthy of this list, however, “As If It’s Your Last” is probably the most memorable for learning the Korean language. The chorus is just too iconic.
17. “Pick Me” by Produce 101
The several variations of “Pick Me” that have arisen are all pretty easy to “pick up”, but this one really stood the test of time. While the English “pick me/pick me up” is easily the most memorable part, many have heard this song so many times that we all now basically have the entire song down.
18. “Growl” by EXO
The groove and beat of this song as well as the pacing and occasional dragging of words make it extremely easy to pick up what they’re saying. The whole world now knows how to growl in Korean.
19. “Love Scenario” by iKON
This song became so popular and loved that it was actually banned in several Korean schools for causing too much of a distraction. For a song with the only English words being “love scenario”, we are all suspiciously amazing at singing this. The “sarangeul haetta uriga manna” that iKON receives from the crowd each performance was truly a sound to be heard.
20. “Mirotic” by TVXQ
Long before they were two, TVXQ was a full group that conquered the world in the 2000s and early 2010s. While almost every one of their songs has become “essential listening” over the years, “Mirotic” has remained the standard for many. Although it was banned from several media outlets for being too “sexual”, the world still learned every word of it and holds it close to their hearts even over 12 years later.
What songs do you know all of the lyrics to?