Do they actually use the "F word" in Korean dramas?

Do they actually swear in Korean dramas? Rarely I see the “F word” being used based on English subtitles. However I also see words being translated differently based on subtitle source. Is it a translation error or do they actually say that on tv. I have been noticing it a lot recently particularly with cable dramas distributed on Netflix (eg. Live, Romance is a Bonus Book, Something in the Rain and Life). Since 2012 I have completed probably over 500 dramas (not to mention the ones I didn’t complete) from cable tv as well as from the big 3. I can probably only recall several cases where the F word was used in translation while watching Viki and Dramafever (when it was around). “History of a salary man” and I think “Midas” are examples. This seems like a big jump in the last year. Another reason I’m asking is that sometimes I see huge differences between Netflix’s audible English and the English closed captions. While I understand Korean movies can have alot of swearing, I was also under the impression that television was more family friendly given the society’s more traditional values. Do you guys see a general trend where people are swearing more in K dramas (even if it lighter swear words).

I don’t remember … But I remember 3 posts about the topic


I have to admit I have noticed the same trend and it bugs me.

As an example, kijibae in large majority of cases is NOT a b****. And translating it as such destroys the culture of Korean language, which is something we promised here never to do. When I translate it to my language (Croatian), I use a special rougher for for the word “girl”, which is what it actually means.

In (Serbo-)Croatian:

girl - djevojka, cura
kijibae - cura, djevojčura

As you can see, the word “cura” could be interpreted in both sweet and a bit rough way, depending on how a character says it. Usually a parent would say this. While “djevojčura” is rougher, implying some sort of improper behaviour for the girl. And is usually said by someone distant, unloving.

@ajumma2 explained it so nicely. You have to use the word that fits the context. But if you don’t know Korean and English well, you’ll translate using the B-word everywhere.

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The actual F-word can only be heard in films. If you watch Miss Baek, for example, it’s everywhere. Also in Kondo: Rise of the Rampant, in Fasten Your Seatbelt. All the time!
In dramas, they just say Aish! where the sh probably stands for the begining of shipbal, which is the corresponding F-word.

Here is the relevant part (I blurred it for sensitive souls):

씨발/씨팔 ssibal (prn.shi-bal) Used as ‘fuck!’ ‘fucking’ or ‘fucker!’ “Derived from씹하나[ssib hada], the verb ‘to fuck’.
Sometimes written as an acronym asㅅㅂorㅆㅂ(SB), similar to the Chinese SB.
Can also be written ’18’ which has a near-identical pronunciation in Sino-Korean numbers (십팔, shib-pal).”
씨발놈아! Shi-bal-nom-a! You motherfucker!"
씨방 Shi-bang Like ship pal comes from ‘Ship-pal’, which means, “to sell the bitch”, or “to sex with whore”. ‘Ship-pal’ is also used instead of ‘Shi-bal’.
씨팔 F***
씹 Ssib (prn. ship) fuck, sex . Can also mean the female reproductive organ.
씹새끼 shib-seh-ggi Fucking bastard (also piece of shit, bitch, fucker)
씹하다 ssip ha-da to fuck (verb)
아, 씨발… Ah, Shi-bal… Ah, fuck…"

You may want to consult this document I compiled on Korean swearwords and slang.

Thanks guys