5 Simple Tips for Writing a Fan Letter in Korean
Are there any celebrities or famous people you admire? Would you like to write a fan letter to them in Korean? Whoever they are, check out these simple tips below to make your letter sound smoother and more natural.
1. Use polite verb forms.
Basically, Korean has two types of verb endings for polite speech style: 요(yo) and 다(da). When writing fan letters to celebrities, 요(yo) form is more appropriate than 다(da) form; 다(da) would sound too polite and formal for that kind of letter.
2. Use polite noun forms.
In Korean, some nouns have entirely different forms for plain speech and honorific speech. To be polite, use 저(jeo) / 제(je) instead of 나(na) / 내(ne). 저(jeo) is the equivalent to ‘I, me’ in polite speech. 나(na) is the casual form of 저(jeo). 제(je) is the equivalent to ‘my’ in casual speech. 내(ne) is the casual form of 제(je).
3. But don’t be too formal and too polite.
I’ve noticed that a lot of Korean learners tend to use the most polite noun forms when writing. Erring on the side of politeness is, of course, always good and safe, but in this fan letter, too-formal and too-polite nouns would sound a little awkward to native speakers (that is, the celebrities who will read your letter). Do not use 당신(dangshin). Instead, choose the right title for them, such as 오빠(oppa), 언니(unni), 누나(nuna), or 형(hyung), and use it.
4. Choose the perfect titles for celebrities.
If the people you’re sending a letter to are older than you, you should use an appropriate title for them. There are four kinds of titles you would use. The most common titles are 오빠(oppa), 언니(unni), 누나(nuna), and 형(hyung). If you’re a female and the person to whom you’re sending a letter is a male and older than you, 오빠(oppa) is the perfect term to use. If the person is female and older than you, you should use 언니(unni). Let’s assume you’re a male. If the celebrity is male and older than you, you would use 형(hyung). If the person is a female and older than you, you should use 누나(nuna).
In most cases, the given names are used with the titles we’ve just learned : First name + title.But what if you would be the same age as he/she? Adding the suffix씨 (ssi) to the name could be the appropriate solution in polite speech. When writing the letter with casual speech, you would attach 아 to the name ending in a consonant or 야 to the name ending with a vowel.
(from a male/female who is the same age as Sehoon in polite speech)
(from a male/female who is the same age as Baekhyun in casual speech)
(from a male/female who is the same age as Suho in casual speech)
-민호 오빠 Minho oppa
(from a female younger than Minho)
-티파니 누나 Tiffany nuna
(from a male younger than Tiffany)
5. Attach 께 or 에게 to titles in the first sentence of a letter.
The Korean equivalent of “to / dear” is “께(kke)” or “에게(ege)”. Though grammatically 께(kke) is the more honorific form than 에게(ege), there is no big difference between them. Just choose whichever you’d like to use.
중기오빠께 / 중가오빠에게 To Joongki oppa, Dear Joongki oppa (from a female younger than Joongki)
And here is the entire example of a fan letter written in Korean.
This letter was written to 송중기 (Joongki Song, a male Korean actor) by a younger female fan. For reference, I've made some blanks. You can freely adapt this template to suit your context, and fill in the blanks with the name of the celebrity you love!
To Joongki oppa,
안녕하세요. 저는 (싱가폴)에 살고 있는 (중기 오빠) 팬 (제시카)예요.
Hello, I’m your fan Jessica from Singapore.
I’ve enjoyed watching your drama ‘Descendants of the Sun.’
(오빠)가나온영화 ‘(늑대소년)’도봤어요. (오빠)는정말멋있어요. 제가제일좋아하는 (배우)예요.
I also watched your movie ‘A Werewolf Boy.’ You’re so cool. You’re my favorite actor.
(어제) (오빠)가큰상을받아서정말기뻤어요. (오빠)는충분히그상을받을자격이있어요.
I felt so happy as you won the big prize yesterday. You fully deserve it.
(다음달)에 (홍콩)에서팬미팅을한다는소식을들었어요. (싱가폴)에서도 팬미팅을했으면좋겠어요.
I’ve heard that you have a fan meeting in Hong Kong. I hope you also hold it in Singapore.
Although we’ve never met, my love and support for you will never fade.
항상 건강하세요! 그리고 다음 (작품)도 기대할게요!
Always take care of your health! I’m looking forward to your next work!
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