On December 23, BTS‘s Jimin sent ARMYs a special holiday “gift“…
… in the form of a heavenly original track, “Christmas Love”.
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) December 24, 2020
Guys, your gift has arrived.
And since its release, I-ARMYs have been obsessing over one particular part: The “sobok sobok” (소복소복).
Without an English equivalent to exactly defines this phrase though, confused I-ARMYs are taking over Twitter in agony!
So what exactly is sobok sobok…?
“Sobok sobok” is an ideophone — or “a word that evokes an idea in sound“. It is difficult to grasp the truest meaning in the English language, in which such “sensory” words are less common. One of the most widely known ideophone in English, though, would be “Twinkle twinkle” to describe the glow of lights or stars.
Most frequently used to describe light snowfall (though not only and not always), the ideophone sobok sobok is the imagined sound or the associated visual of something very light — like snowflakes — falling and piling to create a small heap.
Here’s a very sobok amount of snow piled on a bike.
Other things can pile in a sobok manner too — like the toppings on this shaved ice dessert…
… from a cafe named Sobok Sobok! Only makes sense, right?
It would also help to comprehend its counterpart, soobook soobook, or 수북수북. This ideophone is similar — except in its amount. While sobok is a softer, gentler amount, soobook is a more generous and significant amount. So even when talking about the same snow, a sobok heap and a soobook heap would ultimately have very different visuals.
Here’s a dog throwing herself at a soobook mountain of leaves!
Having understood sobok sobok though, I-ARMYs are even more deeply troubled. Many admitted to feeling like they only “get half the experience [from] BTS contents” as “so much gets lost in translations“.
And for those, studying Korean shot straight to the top of their 2021 resolutions!
Did Jimin single-wordedly convince an army of ARMYs to pick up on the Korean language? Oh, the power! 😂
Listen to Jimin’s most motivational sobok sobok here: