Learning Korean through music: 알아 by 자우림

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A post from another site of mine that I originally wrote on 2004.02.02. No YouTube video seems to be available for this. Remember, the translation is done as literally as possible, in order to help the student.

Original post from 2004:

This is a nice song; I don't know why I neglected to put it up here for so long.
Its title, 알아, means I know or I understand / I got it.



Song lyrics


바람이 드는 가봐 텅빈 나에게
세상은 알 수 없어 나는 두려워
무엇을 말해야 해 너는 모르지
눈물이 흐르나봐 추운 뺨위로
알아 알아 알아
나는 당신이 원하는 사람이 될 수 있어
알아 알아 알아
나는 엄마가 원하는 사람이 될 수 있어
무엇을 원해야 해?
무엇을 믿어야 해?
무엇을 말해야 해? 너는 아나봐
내게는 아무것도 보이지 않아
알아 알아 알아
나는 당신이 원하는 사람이 될 수 있어
알아 알아 알아
나는 엄마가 원하는 사람이 될 수 있어
내가 원하는 사람이 될 수 없을 뿐
당신이 원하는 사람이 될 수 있어
알아 알아 알아
나는 당신이 원하는 사람이 될 수 있어
알아 알아 알아
나는 엄마가 원하는 사람이 될 수 있어

The wind seems to be coming in, into an empty me
I don't know this world, I'm afraid
You don't know what I should say, do you?
It looks like tears are flowing, over those cold cheeks
I know, I know, I know
I can become the person you want
I know, I know, I know
I can be the person my mother wants me to be
What do I have to want?
What do I have to believe?
What do I have to say? You seem to know
I can't see anything
I know, I know, I know
I can become the person you want
I know, I know, I know
I can be the person my mother wants me to be
The only person I can't be is the one I want
I can be the person you want
(repeat)

바람 - wind
들다 - to come in
텅 비다 - to be completely empty
나에게 - to me
사상 - the world
알 수 없어 - (I) can't know
두렵다 - to be afraid
무엇 - what. Short form is 뭐.
말하다 - to say
모르다 - to not know
눈물 - tears (eye + water)
흐르다 - to flow
춥다 - cold
뺨 - cheek
위로 - over
당신 - you
원하다 - to want
사람 - person
되다 - to become.
엄마 - mother
믿다 - to believe
아무것도 - nothing
보이다 - to be seen
뿐 - only (see below for explanation)


There are a few grammatical notes that need explaining in this song. The first one is:
너는 아나 봐 - You seem to know. Taking the off a verb and putting -나 보다 means seem to (verb). The verb to know is 알다, but the gets taken off, and that's where the 아나 봐 comes from. Same thing with 눈물이 흐르나봐 - tears seem to flow. 흐르다 means to flow, so take off the and put 나 보다 () on the end and we have the meaning of 'seems to'.

The second one is the word . This means only. The only thing she can't be is the person she wants to become. must be preceded by a ㄹ. 내가 원하는 사람이 될 수 없을 뿐 comes from 될 수 없다 (can't become). Take off the and add ㄹ 뿐, so now we have 될 수 없을 뿐. 뿐 is sometimes combined with , another word that means only.
나는 영어만 할 수 있을 뿐 - I only speak English (so why is it written in Korean?)
그냥 집에 있었을 뿐이야 - I just stayed at home.

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