because that “older sister”, castle use various words. When Mary calls she older sisters Claire, Mary would not speak to her by she name but by saying “unnie”. (It’s a 2-syllable word: “un” sounds favor the first syllable that “under”; “nie” sounds prefer “knee”.) because that example, Mary would certainly say, “Unnie, go you try this?” or “My unnie is a university student.” However, “unnie” is used only in between sisters. So, as soon as Bill call his larger sister Claire, he needs to use a different word, “noona” (pronounced noo-nah). For example, “Noona, go you try this?” or “My noona is a college student.”

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

Noona meaning

larger sister composed in korean ( Play Sound )

just how do Koreans speak to their younger brothers or sisters? perform we need to learn another set of 4 words? Luckily for first-time learners of Korean, the complication stops here. When Koreans talk straight to younger family members, castle just call them by your names. So, Michael would certainly say, “Claire, walk you try this?” and also “Bill, did you try this?”

In the example above, Claire has only one “oppa”, yet Mary has actually two. Mar would speak to both Michael and also Bill “oppa”. Bill has two sisters but only one “noona”. Michael, being the oldest, will never have a possibility to use any kind of of the 4 words within his immediate family. But he may get to use few of the words to his relatives.

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Usage extended to Relatives

Koreans use the same set of indigenous we just learned (oppa, hyung, unnie, noona) past their instant family. Suppose you to be shopping at a mall through Paul, that is your father’s cousin’s kid (and older 보다 you). And also you ran into your colleague. As soon as you introduce Paul to her colleague, you have two choices: you may say, “This is my yook-chon oppa (my father’s cousin’s child who is older than me)” or just “This is mine oppa”. If you use the 2nd option, omitting the preceding qualifier prior to the word “oppa”, Paul would feel the you take into consideration him nearly as close as your very own brother. “Yook-chon oppa” is the more accurate description of the relationship, yet it sounds somewhat distant. As soon as someone call a far-off relative “oppa”, it means that she would certainly rather cut out the layers of distance and also simply act him as if he was her own brother. Likewise, hyung, unnie and also noona are also used for far-off relatives who belong come the exact same generation together you. What’s crucial here is the ide of gift in the very same generation, i beg your pardon is identified by genealogy and not through the age group. In severe case, the is feasible that a kid of your father’s cousin deserve to be older 보다 you through a few decades. But, because he is quiet in the very same generation in the genealogical sense, he can be your “oppa” or “hyung”.

Usage Extended past Blood Relationship

You may not have actually much emotional bonding with the youngsters of her father’s cousin, unless you have spent time in addition to them in your formative years. You may be in reality closer come someone whom you met outside the bloodline boundary. Numerous Koreans choose to blur the boundary once they communicate with older friends lock met socially by calling castle “hyung”, “unnie”, “oppa” or “noona”. By making use of these terms, you show your willingness to be informal as if they were your own brothers or sisters. Suppose that a 20-year-old baritone singer join a church choir, wherein he was presented to a 24-year-old tenor. Initially, that may address the larger singer somewhat formally. After some socialization, if they support feel the their partnership deserves brother-to-brother informality, the young baritone may start to speak to his new (older) girlfriend “hyung”. Similarly, once a young mrs meets a contempt older woman, she may at some point begin to contact her “unnie” — again, just if lock feel that their connection deserves sister-to-sister kind of informality. The initial, formal period may it is in a week, a day or as short as 2 minutes. Or, it might never end. In fact, over there are numerous Koreans who would never use (and never ever want come be called by) these family members terms outside of the real blood relationship. So, the extended consumption is by no way mandatory. even if it is they would certainly opt to use these terms additionally depends on as soon as the an initial encounter happened. A 35-year-old woman who recently acquired to know a slightly older male socially would most likely never call him “oppa”, although she might have excellent so if she to be 22 year old and also certainly much an ext readily if she to be 17. Yet, girlfriend may uncover a mrs in her 60’s phone call an older guy “oppa”, since they probably met as soon as they were young and also she has been calling that that way for decades. Moreover, you occasionally see a married woman that calls she husband “oppa”, due to the fact that that’s the means she referred to as him prior to she married him and it was more than likely awkward to move to a much more traditional ax after marriage.
Q & A
Q: ns a sophomore at this time attending a university in Korea together an exchange student. In my class, i met a male who is 2 year my senior. Is it okay if I speak to him “oppa”? A: the depends. If you desire to attend to him as “oppa”, friend can certainly do so. However, you need to keep in mind that by calling someone “oppa”, you space signaling that you wish to assume a traditional female duty relative to the person, seek “protection” and “advice” from him, because that example. If you want a basic friendship on an equal footing, this is not a ax you desire to use – girlfriend can speak to him by his name.
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