So Hot by the Wondergirls (원더걸스): Lyrics, Translation, & Explanation

(Source)

It’s been a long time since I’ve thought much about the Wonder Girls (원더걸스).

To be precise, not since writing these posts back in April 2008. And in which I was pretty critical of manager JYP’s (박진영) overly sexual marketing of them, and especially of the Korean public’s collective refusal to acknowledge that. After all, band member Ahn So-hee (안소희) was only 15 at the time.

Maybe too critical though, and since then I’ve written much more nuanced posts on the issues that that raised, partially in response to reading excellent alternative perspectives by Gord Sellar and Matt at Gusts of Popular Feeling. But still, I did feel vindicated when So Hot came out just a few weeks later, especially as it was advertised on mainstream Korean portal sites with GIFs of the music video like these on their front pages. One of which, like Matt wrote, comes from the same point (0:17) as a breathy “Oh! Oh!” in the track, and “if you looped it, you’d have a porn soundtrack.”

Feeling a little smug then, and not particularly liking any of their songs either – they’re generally much too slow for my tastes – I’ve deliberately avoided listening to the Wondergirls ever since. Yet nearly 3 years later, not only do I suddenly find that, like them or not, I have to research them, but literally just as I started MellowYel at Mixtapes and Linear Notes wrote a compelling post in which she argues that, basically, “most South Korean girl group concepts since 2007 have been determined by the Wonder Girls”, and that this points to JYP being simply “great at finding formulas that work”. And she’s by no means the first person to make those arguments to me either, although she is the first to pass on such convincing evidence.

So hey, while I’ll always consider JYP a sexist pig, I can still acknowledge his musical and marketing skills. And in light of those, then it’s high time for me to reconsider the Wondergirls, and I’d be very interested in and would appreciate hearing readers’ own takes on So Hot to start. Particularly on what you think it’s about really, as it seems so narcissistic that it may even be a satire, especially considering the comic elements in the video.

Having just praised JYP’s marketing skills though, then I’m really surprised at the poor quality of the official one available:

For the sake of getting the gist, here’s another one with subtitles, although there’s a few basic mistakes with the English:

Finally, the lyrics themselves, most of which are so easy that they could be featured in lower-intermediate Korean textbooks at least. Certainly they’d make for more interesting classes than discussions of temple visits and making kimchee that are the normal fare:

왜 자꾸 쳐다보니 왜에에

내가 그렇게 예쁘니 이이

아무리 그렇다고 그렇게 쳐다보면

내가 좀 쑥스럽잖니 이이

내가 지나갈 때 마다 아아

고갤 돌리는 남자들 을을

뒤에서 느껴지는 뜨거운 시선들

어떻게 하면 좋을지 이이

Why do you look at me so often? Why~?

Am I that pretty?

No matter how pretty I am, if you look at me like that

I get embarrassed , yes?

Every time I walk past [them]

Men that turn their heads

I feel their hot gazes behind me

If that happens, what’s best to do?

(Source)

Here, the frequent “니” endings are a short, informal version of the very formal “~ㅁ니까” ones for asking questions, which is why I added a question mark to them in lines 1 and 2. Line 4 though, is a little more complicated, because there’s a “잖” (short for “잖아”) in the “쑥스럽다” (“embarrassed”), which is used a lot in daily speech when the listener (albeit only an equal or someone of lower status) already knows well – or should know well – what the speaker is saying, as explained in my scan of pages 130-131 from 한국어 문형 표현 100 below (a wonderful book, which teaches Korean learners the differences between 100 commonly confused grammar points). Having that in a question form though, sounds really strange, and so my wife and I think the nuance of the “잖니” ending is effectively that of a tag question, i.e. “지”. It also implies that she’s really talking to herself too.

Before that, in line 3 the “아무리 그렇다고” basically means “no matter [the previous sentences]“. Then in line 7, “고갤” (short for “고개를”) literally translates as “scruff off the neck”, which can be misleading in this video in particular because, in English, “to take something by the scruff of the neck”  means to completely control it (i.e. precisely what the girls in the video seem to be doing of the men), whereas it really just means “head”.

Next, in line 8, the “지” in “좋을지” is very strange, and I’m not sure that it is a actually a tag question, as I first thought. Either way, my wife assures me that here at least it basically means “~ㄹ까”, an ending you use when you’re asking someone’s opinion, which means she’s literally asking “what is good?”. Hence my “what’s best to do?”.

Finally, although the chorus is very short and easy, I’ll add it separately below, just to make it easier to find. In it, I’ve translated “너무” as “so”, as even though the dictionary gives “too”, in my experience it’s used as “very” (or, indeed, “so”) just as often. I was a little confused by “너무 매력 있어” in line 2 though, because I’ve always learned that “매력” meant “attractiveness”, with “매력적이다” meaning “attractive”. By itself, “매력(이) 있어”, literately “attractiveness have” seems fine too, but what on Earth is the “very’ before that doing there? Is “매력” a noun, an adjective, or what?

It didn’t seem very important, so I gave up and just went with “I’m so attractive”!

(Source)

I′m so hot 난 너무 예뻐요

I′m so fine 난 너무 매력 있어

I′m so cool 난 너무 멋져

I’m so so so hot hot

I’m so hot, I’m so pretty

I’m so fine, I’m so attractive

I’m so cool, I’m so cool

I’m so so so hot hot

(Source)

언제나 나를 향한 눈길들이 이

항상 따라오는 이 남자들이 이

익숙해 질 때도 된 것 같은데

왜 아직도 부담스러운지 이

조용히 살고 싶은데 에에

다른 여자애들처럼 엄엄

엄마는 왜 날 이렇게 나놨어

내 삶을 피곤하게 하는지

Gazes are always turned towards me

These men always follow me

And I think it’s time to get used to it

Why is it still a burden

I just want to live quietly

Just like other girls

Why did my mother give birth to me like this?

I don’t know why something is making my life so tiring

(Source)

Not quite so much to discuss here fortunately.

First in line 3 – “익숙해 질 때도 된 것 같은데” – I confess I don’t know what the “도” (again? also? too?) is doing there exactly, and am open to suggestions, but meanwhile I was “cough” happy to notice the past tense marker “ㄴ” in “된”, giving, literally, “get useㅇ to it – time – 도? – has come – I guess”.

Next, in line 7, “나놨지” had me completely stumped, and no wonder: my wife explained it was a combination of “낳다” (to be born) and “놓다” (to be put). Knowing that, and with the mother mentioned at the beginning, then I think the intention was “Why did my mother make me like this”, as indeed most other translations have put it. That was really tempting, but then at the very least my awkward “Why did my mother give birth to me like this?” does sort of acknowledge the “born” element to the sentence for learners. And, who knows? Maybe the original Korean does indeed more mean she was born the way she was (due to genes), as opposed to being made a certain way (which in English, implies more one’s personality has).

Finally, line 8 is made easier if you know there’s an unspoken “모르겠다” at the end. And as for “피곤하게”, I identified it as a causative construction, as discussed by commenter dogdyedblack here.

Moving on then, next there’s just an extended version of the chorus again:

(Source)

I’m so hot 난 너무 예뻐요

I’m so fine 난 너무 매력있어

I’m so cool 난 너무 멋져

I’m so so so hot hot hot

I’m so hot 난 너무 예뻐요

I’m so fine 난 너무 매력있어

I’m so cool 난 너무 멋져

I’m so so so hot hot hot

Everybody’s watching me, cause I′m hot hot

Everybody’s wanting me, cause I′m hot hot

I’m so hot, I’m so pretty

I’m so fine, I’m so attractive

I’m so cool, I’m so cool

I’m so so so hot hot

I’m so hot, I’m so pretty

I’m so fine, I’m so attractive

I’m so cool, I’m so cool

I’m so so so hot hot

Everybody’s watching me, cause I′m hot hot

Everybody’s wanting me, cause I′m hot hot

(Source: unknown)

언제나 어디서나 날 따라 다니는 이 스포트 라이트

어딜 가나 쫓아오지 식당 길거리 카페 나이트

도대체 얼마나 나일 들어야

이놈의 인기는 시그러들지 원

섹시한 내 눈은 고소영

아름다운 내 다리는 좀 하지 원

어쩌면 좋아 모두 나를 좋아 하는것 같애

Oh no, lease leave me alone

All the boys be loving me, girls be hating me

They will never stop, cause they know I’m so hot hot

Everywhere, all the time, this spotlight that follows me

Chases me wherever I go: restaurants; the streets; cafes; nightclubs

How old do I have to get in order for

my damn popularity to wither? Sigh…

My sexy eyes [are like] Go So-young’s

My beautiful legs [are a] little [like] Ha Ji-won’s

What should I do to make things good? I guess everybody loves me

Oh no, please leave me alone

All the boys be loving me, girls be hating me

They will never stop, cause they know I’m so hot hot

(Helpful picture of Go So-young’s “sexy eyes”. Source)

First up, in lines 1 & 2, I’m a little confused as to why “this spotlight” (이 스포트라이트), which is modified by the relative clause “that follows me” (날 따라 다니는), is later described as chasing her (쫓아오지, with the “지” probably being a tag question), which seems to be unnecessary repetition; but it’s there, so hence the awkward English.

Next, the “어야” ending at the end of line 3 had me stumped for a while, as while it’s clearly not the same as the “이야” described on page 181 of Korean Grammar for International Learners (KGIL), as discussed in the last song translation, I wasn’t entirely sure that it was the very basic “~어/아/야 하다” form, which means having to do something. Eventually though, I discovered something on pages 307-308, which not only doesn’t require a “하다”, but connects it much better to the next sentence:

Line 4 after that has the wonderful “이놈의”, which means “damn”, and the final “원” in it is rarely found in written form, but basically means “sigh”. The meaning of the “지” in “시그러들다” though (to wither), I confess left my wife and I completely stumped.

Finally, at first I though the  “어쩌면” in line 7 was simply the dictionary definition of “어쩌다” (1 – occasionally; 2) accidentally, unexpectedly) plus “면” (usually “if”),  but my wife told me that the full phrase “어쩌면 좋아” means “What should I do to make [it, things] good”, which makes it very similar to the “어쩌지” of the last song translation (see #3 here for more on that).

And but for one final round of the chorus, that’s that!

(Likewise, of one of Ha Ji-won’s “beautiful legs”. Source)

I′m so hot 난 너무 예뻐요

I′m so fine 난 너무 매력 있어

I′m so cool 난 너무 멋져

I’m so so so hot hot

I’m so hot, I’m so pretty

I’m so fine, I’m so attractive

I’m so cool, I’m so cool

I’m so so so hot hot

As always, thanks in advance for pointing out any mistakes, and or giving alternate translations – I really learn a lot from them. And with this particular song, like I said I’m a little stumped as to what its about really, so thanks also for any insights you can give me!

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34 thoughts on “So Hot by the Wondergirls (원더걸스): Lyrics, Translation, & Explanation

  1. There’s no doubt that it’s meant as a joke, parodying stuck-up egos. I’m always set back when I see people taking it seriously, going “how can they promote such a disgusting ideology!”, since everything in the lyrics and the video points out the joke-y nature of it all.

    I’m not a huge Wonder Girls song, but this might be their best. I like the sinister beat with the affected, self-loving vocal delivery on top. It’s a lean, very catchy production.
    And it’s pretty funny- I particularly like the part blaming the mother for it all. And the “spot-uh-light-uh” / “night-uh” rhyme is a nice use of bastardized English terms.

    • Yeah, but if it’s supposed to be parody, who is it aimed at? Stuck-up egos is a little general – if the group themselves had a rep as either extremely arrogant or modest, it might have some punch. But they don’t – they’re a very successful girl band, but I don’t think that their public image is such that it makes this really funny. It’s vagely amusing (I guess . . .) but it hasn’t as such got any real sting. They’re not aiming the humor at a rival, they’re not aiming it at themselves, so what’s the point? Parody is aimed at a particular subject. Because of how Korean public personas for celebrities is constructed, it doesn’t even really work as a parody of celebrity culture here. It also doesn’t work as a criticism of aegyo, since the emphasis is on being sexy, rather than cute.

      • Very good point about the lack of target Gomushin Girl, and there wasn’t that much humor in the music video either really (and none at all in the lyrics). Now I don’t think it’s a parody at all then, although I’m still a bit unsure as to what it is about though…

      • If I remember correctly, the Wonder Girls described this song as way of poking fun at young ladies with 공주병(Princess Syndrome). A few years ago, it was a bit of a trend in many places (Korea included) for young women to emulate some of the behaviors and mannerisms of American celebrities like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie (as she was at that point in time). It was not uncommon for some young women to refer to themselves as “hot” on a regular basis. The trend has died down a lot in recent years (Korean Paris Hilton scandal anyone?) and I would have to say that the song’s subject is already a bit dated. However, back when the Wonder Girls came out with “So Hot”, I totally recognized real-life examples of the sort of people the song aimed to parody and thought it was funny.

          • eh . . . but again, even without the “Korean ‘Paris Hilton’” scandal, this is weak sauce. While 공주병 (and it’s more serious sister 공주암) are a common joke in Korea, again, it’s not really enough of a target. It’s even more generalized than the much maligned 된장녀 phenomenon. In the end, the song is really just to give the Wondergirls a chance to play dress-up and a few lame comic gags than any real attempt to criticize society or make a real joke.

            • I don’t see the confusion. American teen comedies have been using this as a comic device for ages – this exact character. Whether it’s a good joke or not is besides the point, it’s a joke, and ‘a chance to play dress-up’ would present itself no matter what the song was about, so that’s hardly an argument for anything. Well it’s besides MY point anyway, which is that the lyrics aren’t serious and the people who think it promotes that attitude are way off-target.

              • Well, as a comparative thought experiment, let’s put an equivalent Western group into this video. Not sure who the best version would be, but for the sake of argument, let’s say it’s the Pussycat Dolls (yes, yes, WG has a more innocent image–if you have a better example, say so….Miley Cyrus solo?).

                Fine, the lyrics aren’t entirely serious and there is an (at least half-hearted) attempt to poke fun at themselves, but the bottom line is that the pop stars du jour are singing “Woe is me. How can I deal with the fact that I am so hot?” In fact, the media and society at large, or at least what is posited as testorone-infused media and society at large, are in fact salivating over them because they are…so hot.

                I certainly don’t think the lyrics are serious or that the song is promoting such narcissism, but I mean this as a very serious question: what would be the effect in a comparable Western situation? How would we read the video? Wouldn’t it seem a little obnoxious even as it’s funny?

                My best answer for the WG remains that either there are conflicting codes or those who have put it all together haven’t really thought it through fully. Probably a mx of the two. But I’m really interested to hear what others think…….

  2. Hi,

    I am currently learning Korean now.. Is it possible to share with us the korean textbooks that you use and your reviews on them in aiding you learning korean?

    Thanks in advance.

  3. I don’t know how else to explain it, but the “도” in “익숙해 질 때도 된 것 같은데” makes the sentence, “And I think it’s time to get used to it.”

  4. I’m with Gomushin Girl here. The song has puzzled me since it was first released. Sure, on one level, it’s *trying* to be ironic: it’s seemingly over the top, you have So Hee (if I remember right) falling down on the red carpet and so on. But they’re among the top pop stars in the land and they’re dancing in a very sexy way, so for them to be claiming to be so pretty and so hot…well, how ironic is that supposed to be? Satire of 공주병? I agree that the video needs much more for it to work consistently in that direction. The song is a barrage of mixed codes (and actually very interesting to me for that reason).

    I once asked a class if the song was a) ironic b) funny c) empowering d) degrading e) obnoxious or f) none of the above and got at least 3 people to respond to each choice in a class of 30–so that says something about how difficult these videos can be to read and the extent too which individuals can form their own interpretation based on their own positions.

  5. Okay, here I go with a few suggestions…

    (1) I understand -도 not so much in terms of “addition” (directly), but in rather broad terms of exceeding some pragmatic threshold. In common constructions like [-도 괜찮다], it usually isn’t translated well by ‘and’ or ‘also’:

    도망가도 괜찮아요
    ‘It’s okay if you run away.’

    In the English gloss, the idea that one might generally expect something (running away) to cross some pragmatic line is implicit in the speech act, but I think it usually wouldn’t be marked overtly unless it were an especially extreme case (where we’d probably use even). I think that in Korean here, we can say that the threshold of expectation violation leading to overt expression tends to be set quite a bit lower. ([-면 괜찮다], which doesn’t overtly express expectation violation, is possible but seems to be a lot less frequent.) Similarly, in your example, the case isn’t really extreme enough to say something like I think the time’s even come to get used to it, so –도 just doesn’t need to get translated.

    (2) English give birth to doesn’t seem to participate well in the resultative construction very well. (I had some ideas about why, but now I’m not sure.)

    I built my sandcastle wide and sturdy.
    Ann’s parents brought her up honest and loyal.
    ?? My mother gave birth to me weak and underweight.

    This makes your translation really awkward. Also, whereas Korean seems to rarely use to passive of 낳다 (as it uses the passive much less than English in general), the English passive be born is so enormously more common than the active bear that I’d guess many less educated speakers don’t even know the active form. So, I’d either omit mention of the mother or render it oblique:

    엄마는 왜 날 이렇게 나놨어
    ‘Why was I born this way?’
    ‘Why was I born from my mother this way?’

    (3) [~어야] as a connective… oh yes… it’s something I’m also recently struggling to wrap my mind around. It came as a revelation to me that the common [~어야 하다] was really a connective with a “dummy” or “filler” verb. This is a real trip for me because English strongly prefers an asymmetry wherein the result clause is dependent and the clause with the necessary action is independent, as in your good translation.

    [How old do I have to get]INDEP in order for [my damn popularity to wither?] DEP

    It’s really hard to think of a natural paraphrase that reverses the dependency…

    By necessarily getting how old will my damn popularity wither?

    Yecch. But this is basically what the Korean construction does, since of course in Korean the final clause is always independent.

    Well, past time to leave school now… hope these comments give you guys something nice to chew on…

  6. I don’t get it.
    All of this work for ONE song from more the two years ago!
    You’re beeing overdramatic and i find it VERY sad that you’ve got nothing better to write on tour blog…

    • People still write about songs over 200 years old. What exactly is your argument? Althought I do not see the point they are trying to make (since I just saw it as them playing about whilst JYP put in a catchy dance/beat to ensure market success), you’re being overdramatic yourself and rude.

      The ‘Tell Me’ music video was all about wanting to hear so bad from the guy whilst SoHee plays WONDERWOMAN. Those are two conflicting codes. I don’t think much of it… as for So Hot, I watched it and thought it was just parodying celebrities in the West and playing an “alternative” Universe role as if they were “hot” in America hence the red carpet and movie theatre type title board, American football ground, cheerleaders, swimmingpool at the back of the house. Am I being too simple?

      I cannot get into the analysis of it as much as it seems to be going on in the comment board. It’s nothing more than a money-making catchy dance/tune follow-up to ‘Tell Me’ in my opinion. You can tell by how they’ve been instructed to smirk, wide-eye and twirl their hair. The only one who didn’t get a “hot” character was Ye Eun who lost out to the popular girl in school stereotype SunYe.

      TBH, I dunno how popular American entertainment was peaking in 2007/8 in Korea but that might have something to do with it. The amount of movies and TV shows with those stereotypes is plentiful enough to make this a parody music video and then it becomes funnier because here you have your homecountry popstars parodying the “woah cool” American stereotypes which could correspond better to the songs lyrics.

      Even Gyuri from Kara has the running joke of being “most beautiful” and playfully arrogant… but that is very limited to females, mostly males get to be playfully arrogant and it has to be consistent E.G. Heechul from Super Junior.

      That’s all it is to me.

  7. I always considered Too Hot to be over-the-top satire – it never crossed my mind otherwise. You have raised some interesting points. I do feel this song would have been hands-down the top choice for them to perform in the USA, and I was really surprised when they chose Nobody instead. The only WG song I’ve studied (translate with my teacher’s help) was the short-lived ballad This Time, which I really like. I have a tendency to study those songs which I have a chance in hell of actually singing at 노래방. With a few exceptions, this usually means ballads. I like that scan from the 100 confusing points book, I think I’m going to track it down.

  8. “Here, the frequent “니” endings are a short, informal version of the very formal “~ㅁ니까” ones for asking questions” – Yes and no. -니 is a short and very informal question form, but it isn’t short for anything. It’s a separate verb ending to ask questions in itself.

    “내가 좀 쑥스럽잖니” – Again, this one isn’t short for anything either. You’re completely right in what it means, but the grammatical explanation is a bit different (for all the nerds). -잖다 is an infix that becomes a new verb with a modified meaning. Think of -겠다 modifying verbs into the future tense. I’ll give an example, because it’s a bit complicated to explain. 어렵겠다 means it will be difficult, and as it has the future infix, it can then be conjugated in the noral way, becoming 어렵겠어(요), 어렵겠습니다, 어렵겠습니까 and so on. 잖다 is the same, but with one crucial difference – in strict, techincial grammatical rules, it’s always a question. Therefore you would never find it in the form 어렵잖다. When you hear “어렵잖아(요)” it is technically a question. These days many people don’t even realise, and maybe it’s sort of passing out of the standard. Anyway, if you hear someone use this infix in the most formal form, it will come out as 어렵잖습니까? As it’s always used in a question in this way, it can also be conjugated into the -니 form as well. But as I said, your explanation of what it means is spot on, and even though grammaticallhy it is a question, it’s not reallhy expecting an answer!

    “내가 그렇게 예쁘니 이이

    아무리 그렇다고 그렇게 쳐다보면

    내가 좀 쑥스럽잖니 이이” – This one is a bit complicated as well. I suppose the most literal translation would be “Am I that pretty? I get embarrassed, don’t I, if you stare at me like that, saying I am.” The 아무리 그렇다고 shows that the listener says the previous sentence, rather than just meaning “the previous sentence.” Basically, the guy who’s staring says the reason for him staring is that she is that pretty.

    “어떻게 하면 좋을지” – You’re right, the 지 isn’t a tag question in this case. I suppose the way to explain it is that it represents an unknowable possibility. An example: “영화는 재미있을지 없을 지 모르겠다” – I don’t know if the film will be interesting or not. I guess it’s an unfinished sentence, with a 모르겠다 or something after it, but it’s used like this a lot in spoken Korean. Again, your explanation of what it means was basically right.

    매력 is a noun :) Just as 재미 is a noun and 맛 is a noun. All three become positive descriptions, however, when you use them with the verb menaing to have/exist/be. 매력있다, 재미있다, 맛있다. 매력 doesn’t necessarily mean attractiveness though, in this instance it actually means something similar to “cool”, or perhaps “funky”, something like that. A personal style – when it’s describing a person like this I guess it’s like a mixture of coolness, sex appeal and style. When you want to use it as a description, you simply have to use the form 매력(이) 있다.

    “엄마는 왜 날 이렇게 나놨어” – You’re right again with this one as well. It is refering to how she was actually born. If you think about it in terms of “why did my mother make/birth me to be so pretty” then that’s the sort of menaing it’s getting at. It does sound a lot more natural in Korean though, I can’t think of a decent way to translate into English!

    “도대체 얼마나 나일 들어야

    이놈의 인기는 시그러들지 원” – The second part of the sentence after the 어/아야 can/does only happen when the criteria in the first half is fulfilled. It is exactly the same construction as 어/야 하다/되다. Example: 야채를 먹어야 해/돼 – you have to eat vegetables (lit. it only does/되’s if/when you eat your vegetables). 야채를 먹어야 건강해진다 – You have to eat vegetables to become healthy (lit. you will (only) become healthy if/when you eat vegetables). so the translation of this becomes, like you said, something like “How old do I actually have to get before my damn popularity starts to wither?”

    The -지 at the end of that sentence is there for two reasons. The first is that it makes it a question. Putting -지 or 지요 (죠) on the end of anything can make it a question. Example: 성함이 어떻게 되시지요? – What is your name? It can also be used to show a rhetorical question, as in this case. The second reason (and the reason they went for this ending over any other question ending) is that it rhymes with the line a couple of lines down.

    As always, I don’t mean any of this to sound critical! I’m just a fellow Korean language geek getting in on the fun :)

    By the way, I’m finally moving back to Korea after nearly a year away this time, and I really don’t keep up with K-Pop here – are the Wondergirls still popular or have they now been supplanted by all the ones who were springing up around and a bit before the time I was last there? (Can’t remember the names, I know one group was something to do with school.)

    • Seamus,

      There has been an *enormous* explosion in girl groups since you were last here, and as somebody noted here, by trying to make it in the US, the Wonder Girls seem to have ceded top slot in Korea to SNSD. WG may not have done much in the US, but SNSD and Kara have had a lot of success in Japan. Maybe you’re thinking of After School?

  9. @Seri and Stumbler,

    Good comments. Yes, I’ve already thought of the way that Tell Me has a complete mismatch between lyrics and video, but that seems quite different, in that it’s almost as though the song is a soundtrack to a narrative of sorts that are put together without much thought. It doesn’t puzzle me in anything like the same way.

    Really interesting idea about parodying celebrity culture in the West, b/c of all the very American fantasy images in the MV. Could be, could be. Re Ye Eun losing out to Sun Ye: well, Ye Eun does get to be hot initially, but the issue is that in the world that they’re portraying you always to have to watch out for your competition, because there may always be somebody who is “so hotter” than you. Even if much of this is over-the-top satire (we haven’t mentioned the fawning over the huge diamond yet…), I’m still left with the problem that the video seems to be promoting the attitude at the same time as it is satirizing/critiquing it: we’re the nation’s top stars (which they pretty much were at the time), and maybe girls hate me, but boys love me and wouldn’t you want to be so hot too so you can attract this kind of attention/have this celebrity? (Not that I see this as the actual situation, just how it is projected in the song).

    Sorry if I, conversely, am reading too much in, but even if it is just meant to be a collection of spectacular eye-grabbing images set to a catchy track, it carries an effect and the audience will wind up constructing some meaning from it, even if (as the discussion already shows) it varies widely from person to person. Just to be clear, I find that its potentially inconsistent points make it a really fascinating MV, perhaps paradoxically (and as a random point, I just want to say that I think Yubin’s rap is excellent, even the way she nails the accent as she says “alone”, with the long o glide….).

  10. Your Korean is much better than mine (and you have a handy resource in your wife, ㅋㅋ!) but I went ahead and tried to translate alongside you at my blog:

    http://peppermint-kiss.tumblr.com/post/3401881765/wondergirls-so-hot-translation

    Most of it came out pretty similar, but I really struggled with the line “어쩌면 좋아 모두 나를 좋아 하는것 같애”. My final translation was really different from yours….I’d like to know your thoughts? I think the problem is finding where to cut the line into two sentences, but I like it like this:

    “어쩌면 좋아 / 모두 나를 좋아 하는것 같애”

    In which case 어쩌면 would mean ‘maybe’ (which is what I’ve learned before). I don’t know what 같애 means – I thought maybe something with ‘same’? – but it’s not in my dictionary, and the notoriously bad Google Translate gave me ‘I think’. So something along the lines of:
    “Maybe it’s good; I think everyone likes me.”
    Is that possible? Why or why not?

    Thanks for being my tutor, haha!! <3

    • Sorry, I really do have to stop making promises like that: my most recent post on the carcinogenic foam posts threw my Monday out of whack. But I have at least printed out(!) your comments Goard, Seamus, and Tiffani, and am poring over them with my dictionary and grammar books as I type this!

  11. Pingback: Finding K-Pop Songs to Learn « Beginner's Mind: South Korea

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