because that “older sister”, lock use different words. As soon as Mary calls she older sister Claire, Mary would certainly not contact her by her name yet by speak “unnie”. (It’s a 2-syllable word: “un” sounds prefer the an initial syllable the “under”; “nie” sounds like “knee”.) because that example, Mary would say, “Unnie, go you try this?” or “My unnie is a university student.” However, “unnie” is used only between sisters. So, once Bill phone call his larger sister Claire, he has to use a various word, “noona” (pronounced noo-nah). Because that example, “Noona, walk you shot this?” or “My noona is a university student.”

Recap: Words because that “Older Sister”
“Unnie” (
) is used in between sisters “Noona” (
) is used in between a brother and his enlarge sister
Unnie meaning older sister written in oriental ( pat Sound

Noona meaning

larger sister composed in oriental ( Play Sound )

exactly how do Koreans speak to their younger brothers or sisters? carry out we have to learn another collection of 4 words? Luckily for first-time learner of Korean, the complication stops here. As soon as Koreans talk straight to younger household members, they just call them by their names. So, Michael would say, “Claire, did you try this?” and also “Bill, did you shot this?”

In the example above, Claire has only one “oppa”, however Mary has actually two. Mar would contact both Michael and also Bill “oppa”. Bill has two sisters however only one “noona”. Michael, being the oldest, will certainly never have a chance to use any kind of of the 4 words in ~ his prompt family. But he may get to use some of the words come his relatives.

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Usage prolonged to Relatives

Koreans use the same collection of indigenous we simply learned (oppa, hyung, unnie, noona) beyond their prompt family. Intend you were shopping in ~ a mall v Paul, who is her father’s cousin’s son (and older 보다 you). And you ran into your colleague. As soon as you introduce Paul to her colleague, you have actually two choices: you might say, “This is mine yook-chon oppa (my father’s cousin’s son who is older 보다 me)” or simply “This is mine oppa”. If you usage the second option, omitting the preceding qualifier before the native “oppa”, Paul would certainly feel that you take into consideration him almost as close as your own brother. “Yook-chon oppa” is the more accurate description of the relationship, yet it sounds somewhat distant. Once someone phone call a distant relative “oppa”, it method that she would rather cut out the layers of distance and also simply act him as if he was her very own brother. Likewise, hyung, unnie and noona are likewise used for distant relatives who belong to the same generation together you. What’s vital here is the principle of being in the same generation, i m sorry is characterized by genealogy and also not by the period group. In an extreme case, that is feasible that a kid of her father’s cousin have the right to be older 보다 you by a few decades. But, since he is still in the same generation in the genealogical sense, he can be your “oppa” or “hyung”.

Usage Extended beyond Blood Relationship

You might not have actually much emotional bonding with the children of her father’s cousin, unless you have spent time along with them in your developmental years. You may be actually closer to someone who you met exterior the bloodline boundary. Plenty of Koreans pick to blur the boundary once they connect with enlarge friends they met socially through calling lock “hyung”, “unnie”, “oppa” or “noona”. By using these terms, you show your willingness to be informal as if they to be your very own brothers or sisters. Suppose that a 20-year-old baritone singer joined a church choir, where he was introduced to a 24-year-old tenor. Initially, the may deal with the older singer somewhat formally. After part socialization, if they support feel the their partnership deserves brother-to-brother informality, the young baritone may start to speak to his brand-new (older) friend “hyung”. Similarly, once a young woman meets a slightly older woman, she may at some point begin to speak to her “unnie” — again, just if they feel that their partnership deserves sister-to-sister sort of informality. The initial, formal duration may it is in a week, a job or as brief as 2 minutes. Or, it may never end. In fact, over there are many Koreans who would never use (and never ever want come be referred to as by) these family members terms exterior of the genuine blood relationship. So, the extended consumption is by no way mandatory. even if it is they would opt to usage these terms likewise depends on when the very first encounter happened. A 35-year-old woman that recently obtained to understand a contempt older guy socially would more than likely never call him “oppa”, although she could have done so if she to be 22 year old and certainly much much more readily if she was 17. Yet, girlfriend may discover a mrs in her 60’s calling an older man “oppa”, because they probably met when they to be young and she has actually been calling the that way for decades. Moreover, you sometimes see a married woman that calls she husband “oppa”, since that’s the way she referred to as him before she married him and also it was probably awkward to switch to a more traditional term after marriage.
Q & A
Q: i’m a sophomore right now attending a university in Korea together an exchange student. In mine class, ns met a man who is 2 years my senior. Is it it s okay if I contact him “oppa”? A: that depends. If you desire to attend to him as “oppa”, you can absolutely do so. However, you need to keep in mind that by calling someone “oppa”, you room signaling that you great to assume a traditional female function relative come the person, search “protection” and “advice” native him, for example. If you desire a basic friendship ~ above an equal footing, this is not a ax you want to usage – girlfriend can call him by his name.
This short article is lugged to girlfriend by Enunce, LLC, a language services agency staffed through experienced korean translators and also Korean interpreters.

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