While it may certainly be argued that the Korean language may sound cute just on its own, there are several ways to make your Korean sound even cuter. Many Koreans, especially young Korean girls, like to add a little aegyo 애교 (special Korean type of cuteness) to their speech when they want to sound cute, particularly if they have a certain thing they want to achieve. It may also be used among close friends for no other reason that just sounding a bit cute and casual.

Almost all Koreans use KakaoTalk, a free online messenger and phone service. Whenever you ride the subway in Seoul you can be sure to constantly hear the little 카톡-chirp and then see everyone within a two-meter radius check their phones to see if they were on the receiving end of the chirping sound. I personally never ever have that sound activated, as I find it greatly annoying. In any case, when you have Korean friends, using KakaoTalk is the number 1 method for keeping in touch with them. If you text with close Korean friends on a regular basis you will at some point start noticing some distinct Korean texting patterns. Many of them are well-known in the Korean blogging community but I still thought I’ll introduce a few of them here. I’ll start with the Korean emoticons, which may be added to any message to underline its content.

^^ These are “smiley eyes” and are used in the same way as 🙂

~~ This suggests that you are dragging the last syllable a bit, which naturally sounds quite cute

ㅋㅋㅋ These letters symbolize the sound of laughter and are used in the same way as LOL

ㅎㅎㅎ Symbolizes soft laugther or smiling

ㅜ/ㅠ Crying eyes – used like a sad smiley 😦

There are many others, but these are the ones I’m personally using most frequently.

So what other kind of texting patterns am I talking about? A very common thing, when wanting to sound cute while texting, is adding the letter to the last syllable. Examples are 네 –>넹, 좋아요 –> 좋아용, 감사합니다 –> 감사합니당. I read somewhere that these endings are rarely used by people over 30 but I’ve obviously chosen to ignore that! This pattern is most often used by girls but guys who are trying to sound cute or intimate may use it as well. Otherwise, guys often opt for another pattern by adding ㅂ in the end much like saying yep instead of yes in English. Example: 네 –>넵.

I also sometimes substitute the formal ending 요 with 여 which makes the sentence sound slightly more casual without being impolite since it’s technically still using 존댓말.

For those who want to know more about all of this, TTMIK has made an awesome instruction video on how to sound cute in Korean.

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