So today my family watched the South Korea-Nigeria World Cup game at our favorite Korean restaurant. The game ended in a tie, but South Korea advanced to the next round. Woo-hoo! It was great to share the experience with other South Korean fans, and after the game we kept hearing fans say, “Hwaiting!” So I decided to focus on that word for today’s language post.
화이팅 (romanized “hwaiting” but pronounced more like “hoy-ting” and also sometimes written as “paiting”), is used as a cheer or word of encouragement–like “Let’s go” or “Do your best”–but can also be used as “good luck” to someone before a test or endeavor of some kind.
Here’s what Transparent Language says about it:
At sporting events, the crowd will cheer on their team with 화이팅, sometimes preceded by 아자, 아자! aja aja! just to get pumped up, and in international matches: 대한민국, 회이팅!! daehanmin-guk, hwaiting!! or even 코리아 화이팅!! koria hwaiting!! Go, Korea!! (www.transparent.com/korean/hwaiting-fighting/)
아자 (ah-ja) can used similarly as “Let’s go” or “Let’s do it” alone, as well as with hwaiting.
I’d actually heard both words used before. On the SurvivalPhrases.com lessons, the instructor says “hwaiting” before he quizzes you on the phrase you just learned. And Geum-Soon in Be Strong, Geum-Soon, often psyched herself up by saying “aja” and pumping her fist.
Both are easy words to work into your vocabulary, especially since South Korea has another World Cup game on Saturday.