If you watch Korean sports events, Korean dramas, or listen to Kpop bands like BTS, you have probably heard them say ‘fighting’ (화이팅) a lot. Although ‘화이팅’ sounds similar to the English word ‘fighting’, when Koreans say ‘fighting’ they are not talking about a physical fight. So, why do Koreans say fighting?
‘Fighting’ (pronounced hwaiting) is used in Korean to cheer on someone and to wish someone good luck. It is used to express encouragement and to show support for a person’s actions. The term ‘fighting’ in Korean is similar to the English expressions ‘Good luck!’ , ‘You can do it!’, and ‘Come on!’
In this post we will explain in detail why Koreans say ‘fighting’ and the different situations in which you can use the expression ‘fighting’ in Korean.
Why Do Koreans Say ‘Fighting’?
As was mentioned above, Koreans use the expression ‘fighting’ to show encouragement and to cheer on someone.
‘Fighting’ is pronounced as either 화이팅 (hwa-i-ting) or 파이팅 (pa-i-ting) because in Korean there is no letter f sound.
There are many situations in which Koreans might use ‘fighting’ to show encouragement and to cheer someone on.
To Cheer On A Sports Team
At Korean sports events you will usually hear the crowd shouting ‘fighting’ to the team that they support. When Koreans shout ‘fighting’ at a sports game, they are not encouraging the players to actual fight. Instead they are cheering them on. They are showing support for their teams.
‘Fighting’ in Korean at sports events is similar to the English expressions ‘Come on!’ or ‘You can do this!’ that you might hear at English sports events.
As well as hearing the crowd shout ‘fighting’ at Korean sports events, you will also hear the sports players themselves shout ‘fighting’. For example, you might see players stand in a circle and put their hands together and then shout ‘fighting’, or you may hear players shout ‘fighting’ before an important part of the game.
Again, when sports players are shouting ‘fighting’ they are also cheering on their team and their team mates, and giving them encouragement.
To Cheer On Someone At A Competition
At various competitions and other events when someone is competing against others, you will likely hear Koreans say ‘fighting’ a lot.
This is to show support and encouragement to the person competing. It’s similar to saying ‘good luck’ or ‘you can do it’ in English.
To Cheer On Someone Doing Something Challenging
If someone is about to do something challenging, then you can say ‘fighting’ in Korean to show your support and encouragement and to cheer them on.
For example, if someone is about to take an important test at school, then you can say ‘fighting’ to cheer on that person and to wish them good luck with the exam.
Or, if someone is about to start work on a difficult project you can show your support and cheer them on by saying ‘fighting’ in Korean.
Fighting – Similar Korean Expressions
Here are some other useful Korean expressions you can use to cheer on someone and show encouragement.
- 할 수있다! – You can do it!
- 잘할거야 – You’re going to do well.
- 잘될거야 – It’s going to go well.
- 힘내세요 – Cheer up.