Koreans (especially those young ones) like to communicate with each other through texting using their mobile phones. While I was studying Korean in Seoul, written communications with friends, teachers and classmates were mainly through texting using KakaoTalk. In South Korea, other messaging applications like What’sApp and Line are not as popular as KakaoTalk.
Korean style emoticons and short forms of phrases are made up of symbols and Korean alphabets. Below are those commonly found in Korean texting:
^^ or ^_^ or ^o^ means “Happy face”
ㅠ.ㅠ or ㅜ.ㅜ means “Sad face or Crying”
*^^* means “Blushing”
ㄱㅅ means 감사 (“Thank you”)
ㅊㅋ means 축하 (sound like “추카” in Korean) (“Congratulations”)
ㅎㅎㅎ means 하하하 (laughing – hahaha)
ㅋㅋㅋ means 크크크 (chuckling – kekeke)
ㅎ2 means 하이 (“Hi”)
ㅇㅋ means 오케이 (“OK”)
ㅂㅂ or ㅂ2ㅂ2 means 바이바이 (“Bye Bye”)
헐~ or 헉! means “Huh” (an exclamation in case of shock or surprise often used by the Korean youngsters)
In fact, apart from the Korean style emoticons and short forms, Koreans use the KakaoTalk animated emoticons and stickers a lot to express their feelings in texting because they are convenient, cute and funny.
You can find more Korean style emoticons or short forms (and their variants) in the references below but the above are the most commonly used ones.
Happy Texting! ㅂ2ㅂ2
Reminder: The next post will be published on 10 December 2014. Watch this space!
Jessica Steele, “Do U speak text? Deciphering Korean emoticons“, The Korea Blog, 2013-03-22
Suzy Chung, “Texting in Korean“, The Korea Blog, 2011-05-30