Wednesday, August 3, 2011

어떻게 "ottoke" (how can or what should (i do)?)

This is probably one of my early favorite Korean words 어떻게.

It just sounds pretty and easy is pronounce... I hear it so often in K-Pop and K-Dramas. It seems as though Korean speakers use it as a way of signifying confusion/worry/concern about an action or decision. Somehow the word conveys a sense of longing for a resolution.

It's used in the bridge to the chorus in one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite K-Pop idol groups SHINee. The youngest in the group Taemin, uses it at the end of the bridge and the group transitions into the chorus.

Credits to: from YouTube and SMTown/SHINee!

In the clip below from an informal interview with a few of the members of another of my favorite K-Pop idol groups Super Junior, the word is used again repeatedly.

Credits to: from YouTube and SMTown/Super Junior!

Tomorrow, I'll break 어떻게 down into it's component parts!


  1. Hi! What is the name if the song that SHINee sang ?

  2. Hi Jesimhae - The name of the song that SHINee sang is "Romantic". It's from their SHINee World CD/Album. Their very first full length album, which is still my favorite.

  3. Haha, I was trying to figure out what 어떻게 meant after hearing it in a FT Island song. Thanks! :)

    I too am learning about Korea and it's culture.

    1. Hi Wendy! I'm glad this helped you figure out what 어떻게 means. It is probably still one of my favorite Korean words next to 사과 lol :) I like words with multiple meanings.