BTS will never give up Hope



​I have a huge advantage compared to most international army: I speak, read and understand Korean, and it's a huge part of why I love BTS so much, because their lyrics are Dope!


Sometimes (actually most of the time) translations of their songs lack context  and some lines aren't fully explained.


Using my Korean knowledge, I'm going to explain an important term that BTS often use and refer to in their lyrics.


I've never seen this line translated in detail, and it carries a lot of cultural meaning so it can be a little difficult to understand. But I'll try to lay it out clearly so you can see the true genius of their lyrics.

(X-po-sae-de)

The term appears in both '쩔어 (Dope)' and in '뱁새 (Baepsae)' and it's a Korean term that you'll often find in the media.


Let's have a look at the specific lyrics to explain, and find out what it has to do with Hope.

"언론에선 만날 몇포세대"

- J-Hope in '뱁새 (Baepsae)' -

The line directly translates like this:

언론에선 : In the media

만날 : meet

몇 : amount of

포 : give up

세대 : generation


Put it all together and we get:

In the media we meet the term "a generation that has given up on so-and-so many things".


But what does that mean?


Rap Monster's lyrics in Dope make it easier to explain, so let's take a look at those.


"삼포세대? 오포세대?

그럼 난 육포가 좋으니까 육포세대."

- Rap Monster in '쩔어 (Dope)' -



I'm not going to give you a (excuse my British) crappy translation. Instead let's break it down one word at a time and translate it properly.


삼포세대?

삼 : three

포 : give up

세대 : generation


The proper translation of that word would be: a generation that gave up three things.


A few years back, the Korean media started labelling the younger generation as a generation who abandoned essential parts of life.

What did they give up?

According to the media young people were giving up three essential parts of life:


1. Dating

2. Marriage

3. Childbirth

Why are they giving it up?

Because of the tough economic state of the country and a lack of opportunity, the young generation has to work so much harder to get a job and survive.


The only way for them to survive is to forgo dating, due to lack of time, and to forgo marriage and childbirth due to a lack of money.


They are, and were, condemned by circumstance. But - there is also a more positive approach to the issue.

One might say that the newer generations hold different values from the older generation. The young generations seek personal fulfilment above all else.


They seek a life in which they are enriched by their work and their actions, but the media condemns them for this because they don't understand why someone would favour that over traditional values.

Les carry on.

오포세대?

오 : five

포 : give up

세대 : generation


A generation that gave up five essentials.


According to the media, after giving up on dating, marriage and childbirth, the young people began to give up on more things.


4. Human relationships

5. Housing/work


There simply is not time to keep up with even the most basic human relations because working to survive is so hard in the current economic state. Housing prices are too high too and paying jobs difficult to get.

J-Hope's verse in Baepsae/뱁새 also refers to this issue of jobs.


His lyrics states that part-time jobs give "passion pay" which pretty much means that they don't pay you, and certainly not the appropriate amount.


The younger generation are being ripped off for everything they have (or don't have) and in order to survive they're forced to give up more and more.

Next we have a slightly longer line:


그럼 : then

난 : I

육포가 : beef-jerky (yes, I'll explain below)

좋 : like

-으니까 : therefore

육 : six

포 : give up

세대 : generation


Don't 육포 (beef jerky) and 육포세대 look alike?


The second word just has two more symbols added at the end, right? 세대, which means generation.


It's a funny and well thought-out line, because on it's own 육포 means beef jerky, but in this context it means that Rap Monster wants to keep going and give up a total of six things - why stop at five?

The line translates most accurately like this:

"Then, since I like Beef jerky (육포) how about the generation that gives up on six essentials?"


But wait from three to five and now to six?

How many things can this generation possibly give up?


It is said that the most essentials someone can possible give up is seven.

After giving up on dating, marriage, childbirth, human relationship and housing there are only two more things one can possibly give up.


6. Dreams

7. Hope


By the time someone has given up Hope, there is nothing left to give up.

Rap Monster specifically says that he gives up on six things. He gives up on dreams too.

His later lyrics in the same verse, however, stress that he won't be giving up more than that. He will give up six things, but he won't give up the seventh.


He won't give up on Hope.


He tells people to stop giving up on things. And embraces that he still has one thing that he will never give up on:


"So can I get a little bit of hope?"

- Rap Monster in '쩔어(Dope)' -

So I tried something new with this week's K-pop History Lesson, turned into more of a language lesson. How did you like it?


Read more:

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BTS vs. Education

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The White Tiger of BTS

We examine a Suga lyric that also strangely seems to define him


Love your Bias not everything they do It's easy to end up defending everything your bias does and likes, but where does that lead us as fans?

Why the B-Free Controversy is my Favourite BTS Moment

We talk about the Controversy and why sometimes when bad things happen good things happen as a result.

The Sub-Vocalist Struggle It's not always easy to have a Sub-Vocalist as a bias, and what exactly does it mean to be a Sub vocalist?



#BTS #TRANSLATION #LYRICS #RAPMONSTER #JHOPE

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Thilde Kold Holdt

I am a novelist by profession, currently working an epic fantasy series about 7th century Korea. My epic fantasy trilogy about Vikings, the Hanged God, is currently being published. I have lived

enough different places that the most difficult question to answer is: "where are you from?" I am, quite simply, from the planet Earth, for I have yet to set foot on Mars. Someday, though...

© Thilde Kold Holdt