Webtoons! Fun, exciting, picture-filled funny colloquial user submitted stuff! Awesome right?
It’s harder than it looks. If you’re just starting out, reading webtoons can be challenging. I’m less than a year into my self study and I decided a challenge is welcome, hence I spent last afternoon reading a romantic comedy type webtoon called ‘Twenty’s Love Story’.
It’s always easy to look at the pictures and try to guess what’s going on, and for the most part, it doesn’t deviate from expectation. But! I was determined to read them over and over to make sure I understand the context they were being used in.
For example, I thought the above was hilarious. To set the context, the blonde guy acts as a ‘guru of women, solving men’s woes, one man at a time’ type of guy. The one in a cap is the unfortunate protagonist of the story, having no girlfriend in his life, which he stubbornly ignores ‘I’m going to enlist in army anyway, I have no need to make a girl wait for me for years, do you have any idea how painful that will be for her!?’ and the bespectacled boy is also another fellow wannabe in the journey of a Man-to-Be.
In that screen capture, everybody goes for the round of cheers (건배~~) and booze, while chipping in with a line to celebrate about. The blonde guy does his best hostly duties
“You (losers with no girlfriends) have gathered well~”. (잘[well] 다녀와[visit and come]라~)
The protagonist sullenly lifts his cup, but his friend beside goes
“No need to greet a long time veteran”, (고참[veteran]한테[towards] 맛[greet]지 마[don’t]라~)
and the most hilarious line from the nerd:
“Don’t pick up a soap bar~” (비누[soap bar] 줍[pick]지 마[don’t]라~)
=== and if you haven’t already gone one step ahead to figure what he was actually saying ===
You know how in male showers and everyone’s doing their business and someone accidentally drops a soap bar and things slow down and everyone watches the bar of soap slide in slow motion, everyone’s expression freezes.. waiting to see if anyone picks the bait?
.. he’s saying ‘don’t turn gay’. Coming from him. LOL!!! I never knew they had an equivalent phrase in korean! Hahahaha!
And like that, they celebrated their loserishness together in a late night bar. ㅋㅋㅋㅋ
It’s not translatable to english, but they all used the same ending, so it sounds even funnier and witty. Just for once, I’ll romanize their words:
“Gochi hante matji mara~”
“Binu jubji mara~”
(This is what you miss out on when you skip stuff and stick to one language! And look how gross and unglam romanization is)