This is a procrastination post while I’m filing my taxes.
Some of this information is already widely known and nothing special, but I just wanted a place to organize these fun little bits of information.
BEYOND THE SCENE
BTS rebranded in July 2017 to add Beyond the Scene to their pre-existing name. They didn’t really get rid of their old name – I believe this is just an additional meaning to their name as they open the doors to head out beyond where they are right now.
This brand identity design won awards for Coporate Identity/Branding category at the iF Design Awards.
방탄/Bangtan => Bulletproof.
소년/Sonyeon => boy
단/Dan => squad/group of people.
Who translated this as “Bulletproof Boy Scouts” early in their career???!! Because “Boy Scouts” in Korea are actually called “Boy Scouts,” not “Sonyeondan”.
The actual feel of the word 소년단/Soneyondan is more like “boy squad” or “military youth group”.
There is a group called “소년단/Soneyondan” in North Korea, which is a high prestige group of young boys for North Korean propaganda. Thus, when BTS debuted a lot of South Koreans thought their name also sounded kind of North Korean (and not very trendy).
The recent Billboard article also notes that “[Bang PD] says that people thought the “Bulletproof Boy Scouts” name had a North Korean feel, but he felt that they would become a metaphorical bulletproof vest for their generation.”
Generally the name means they will advocate for the young generation even if they’re criticized and attacked by prejudice.
Unfortunately, having this long name in Korean meant that most people shorten their name to Bangtan. If you look at the Google search in Korea, you’ll notice that 방탄/Bangtan is used much more than full 방탄소년단/Bangtan Sonyeondan…. so not helpful for their Brand name ranking databases.
We are standing on the other side of the door to BTS on the logo..
Adorable Representative M.C for Youth
As much as we cringe about this acronym….
MC is a Master of Ceremonies/speaker. “Representative MC for Youth” is actually very similar in meaning to what BTS stands for – an advocate for youth.
As for “Adorable”……. Even my husband doesn’t call me adorable, but hey. I’ll take adorable where I can get it. ^^
When this acronym was decided in 2013, RM posted question on how to pronounce this in Korean.
I’m RapMon. How should I call you… 아르미.. 아미.. 김 아름.. 김아르미.. 앎이.. 알미..?
Korean is written phonetically but there isn’t exact match for the letter R.
R – sound is often represented by ㄹ but the exact pronunciation is a bit different. Sometimes, they’ll just leave the R out of the word. Or give R it’s own syllable, 르 – pronounced reu.
Let’s look at each of these options.
This is the way that they generally pronounce it these days and the most common way it is written in Korean. Where they omit the R altogether.
Sounds like French word Ami, meaning friend, giving it a cute additional layer to its meaning.
알미 – Ar-mie/Al-mie. This is just written the way it is pronounced as well, but without omitnig the R. The ㄹ in Korean sounds more like L than R, so sounds kind of like Al-mie. This version is not used these days.
김 아름 (Kim Ah-Reum), 김 아르미 (Kim Ah-Reu-Mi)
This is like saying ARMY very slowly drawn out. Ah-Reum is the “Beauty” part of the world “Beautiful” in Korean.
아르미 (Ah-Reu-Mi) sounds like Beaut-ie – an effectionate term for something beautiful.
Also, in their V-Live about Lunar New Years 2018 (at 21:00), RM wrote ARMY as 아美. 아 is A and 美 is prououced Mi in Korea, which is Chinese character for beautiful.
Years after this tweet, RM ended up being the Kim Army in the skit “House of Army” at their fanmeet. ^^
앎 in Korean means knowledge. So this has kind of nice meaning too. Those who are knowledgeable.
And there’s the simple Army as the meaning, not as an acronym. Occasionally Korean fans will say “I’ve had 입대(conscripted into the military), and now I’m part of the 군대 (goondae=army).”
In Korea, able bodied men are required to do mandatory military service for 21 months (likely to be decreased to 18 months soon) before they’re in their 30’s.
Leads to conversations like this:
guy in 20’s: I just watched some BTS peformance and it was really good.
ARMY: You should join the army.
guy: I already did my army service.
ARMY: Joining the army is how we call joining BTS fandom because the fandom is called ARMY. In your case, I guess you can say you’re re-conscripting into the army.
guy: Nooo~~ Even if it’s just a metaphor, don’t tell me to re-conscript!! That’s every guy’s worst nightmare!!
This is just my personal impression when I first heard his name long time ago.
In Western world, Pokemon is…called Pokemon.
However, in Korea, Pokemon is often called the full Pocket Monster. So when I heard his name Rap Monster, the name actually sounded cute. My impression of the name was… he must be an anime geek. He wants to be a pokemon that raps. How cute. ^^
Kind of like how Snoop Dogg name would remind you of Snoopy.
Update: The Intro: What Am I To You has lyrics also referencing Pokemon (thanks to 0613 for this info)
“I’m yo Pocket Monster
You gave me your heart, and I gave you all of mine”
Honestly, the RM as his name has been long time in coming and I’m sure we all expected it since his 2015 mixtape, which essentially shows his identity in evolution.
Bomb is pronounced 밤(bahm) in Korean.
밤 also means night in Korean.
Bangtan Bombs = Bangtan Nights.
I don’t know if this was intentional or just end up being like this, but this reminds me of Arabian Nights. Coincidentally, the title fits as the Bangtan Bombs are kind of like short but numerous stories that helped BTS’s survival in the industry long enough for them to be appreciated enough to no longer have to worry about survival.
花樣年華/화양연화/The Most Beautiful Moments in Life/HYYH
HYYH title is translated in all kinds of ways.
–> The years that shine and are beautiful like flowers.
This refers to the most beautiful moments in life, and implies just like the flower, this beautiful time is transient and will wilt. There a sense that the beauty is amplified because it is fleeting.
花樣年華 is written as 화양연화 in Korean, which is written phonetically. I believe the pronunciation is a bit changed from original Chinese. In Korea, 花 and 華 are both pronounced 화 (hwa) despite having different meaning.
This, of course, is why J-Hope’s lines in 2!3! mentions flower. Flower is what defines the shape of HYYH as something beautiful.
(So thanks) for believing in me even if I’m like this
For willing to deal with my tears and hurts
(So thanks) for being my light/shine
For being the flower of my HYYH
Because 花樣年華 is a pre-existing Chinese Idiom and title of a Hong Kong movie from 2000 which was translated as “In the Mood for Love,”, sometimes the series is also called “In the Mood for Love.”
Just personally, I also really like the logo for this era, which takes consonants in Korean way of writing 화양연화 and turn them into an abstract design.