2 In Korean Drama/ Korean learning journey (:/ korean studying tools

Learn Korean with dramas: Queen of Housewives

Last week, I introduced two awesome Korean dramas for learning Korean: Rooftop Prince and Answer Me / Reply 1997.

Rooftop Prince for its awesome language jokes and both the modern and sageuk speak. Reply 1997 for its authentic Busan dialect.

For those of you who are relatively new to Korean dramas and looking for something to watch, why not try Queen Of Housewives (내조의 여왕)?

In case you think that it’s some makjang drama featuring birth secrets, evil mother-in-laws, screaming wives and scheming husbands, I can assure you that it’s not.

Nor is it a drama for the ajummas.

It’s touching, humorous, engaging and more importantly, it’s grounded in reality. Yes, it’s still a drama, but it’s realistic in its portrayal of married life, the role of women, the workplace life, how relationships / friendships are handled and how things change when the roles are reversed.


Ji Hye (Kim Nam Joo) was the popular girl, while Bong Soon (Lee Hye Young) was the awkward, unpopular girl back in high school. Ji Hye basked in the limelight, and treated faithful Bong Soon shabbily. In the classic k-drama maneuver, years later, Bong Soon is now the wife of a director while Ji Hye married Oh Dal Soo (Oh Ji Ho), a too-honest and strait-laced guy, who has been laid off for a year and now looking for a job.. in Queens Food, where Bong Soon’s husband works. Ji Hye goes round to get on the right side of the conglomerate’s social circle for the wives and runs into Bong Soon… 

Okay, I’m horrible at describing dramas -_-

Anyway, it’s a good drama to watch for the language use. This time, honorifics and language styles

In order to be considered good in Korean, you need to know how to use honorifics. It’s not just about the simple rule of using honorifics and polite speech styles to your superiors or elders, there’s much more to that.

How do you talk to your boss? Your best friend? What if your best friend is now the wife of your husband’s boss? And your ex-boyfriend is that said boss? How to address them? Is it the same in public and in private?

I think this drama is awesome for portraying the awkwardness of language style in such a reversed-role situation. If you pay attention to the language use in this drama, I think one will get a better idea of how Korean is used. (:

Instead of memorizing the ‘rules’ of the honorific system, it’s much better to learn it through dramas like this.

Although portrayed in a slightly exaggerated way, I think this drama captures the Korean way of life very very accurately (from what I see anyway).The importance of hierarchy, the role of women in the household, the society’s definition of success… these topics are all touched upon in the drama. I love how they show that the hierarchy of the wives is also based on the hierarchy of their husbands’ ranks in the company. Sad but true.

Even the children know the idea of ‘mixing with the right social company’. There is this scene where the children were playing and this girl asked “Who is your father?”. When Ji Hye’s daughter innocently replied, “Oh Dal Soo..”, the girl went “I didn’t ask that. I asked if your father is a employee, manager or director??”.


I guess the accurate portrayal of the society made this drama a huge hit, as it resonates with everyone, especially the ajummas. But the drama was really popular across all age groups (:

Another reason to watch this drama? Yoon Sang Hyun ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ I totally remembered that his popularity shot up with his role in this drama XD

The dialogue is relatively easy to catch and it’s all daily conversation, nothing too technical. An awesome drama for learning Korean, in my opinion.

Keep your ears open and actively listen to the dialogue, while enjoying the show!

Watch Queen of Housewives HERE. 



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  • Reply
    21 November, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    This drama was the first one I ever watched and so much fun. My Korean teacher at the time would have us watch about 30 minutes of it during our weekly Saturday class and then go over vocab or expressions that might have been unfamiliar to us. I like it so much that I finished watching the drama even after that class ended and I actually bought it. And yeah, Yoon Sang Hyun is pretty easy on the eyes.

  • Reply
    Lucie D
    21 November, 2012 at 5:35 AM

    This sounds more interesting than I thought. Definitely another drama to add to my watch list. (so many things to watch, so little time @_@)…. I heard the title of the drama, but never really read/heard what it’s about. 😀

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