한국 (South Korea)

Korean 101: 라면 먹을래요? Wanna have ramyeon?


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One of my level two Korean teachers at Yonsei KLI said that the best way to learn Korean, besides having a Korean girl/boyfriend, is to watch Korean dramas. Korean dramas rarely hold my attention, but thankfully there is one this year that did.

쌈마이웨이 (Fight My Way) is a romantic comedy that did a pretty good job in representing the high youth unemployment rate in the country and the deeply ingrained prejudices and beliefs of the society. All those aside, while watching 쌈마이웨이, I learned something interesting:

라면 먹고 갈래?

Literally, it means “Do you want to have ramyeon before you go?”, but “라면 먹고 갈래?” is actually also the Korean equivalent of “Wanna Netflix and chill?”.

This euphemism came about in 2001, when the female lead in 봄날은 간다 (One Fine Spring Day) invited the male lead home by asking, “라면 먹을래요?”. After consulting some Koreans, it seems this phrase is more commonly used by females than by males as a cute way to invite someone over for something more than ramyeon.

So the next time someone asks if you want to have ramyeon, you might want to assess the situation before saying yes.