BTS – UGH! (English Translation and Ramblings)

Track 12 of Map of the Soul: 7 album.

Written by: Supreme Boi, Suga, RM, Hiss noise, j-hope, icecream drum

 

This ended up being a lot longer than I expected and I’m too tired.  If you see any errors, please ignore them.  I’ll have another look tomorrow…

 

 

욱, the Korean title for this song is pronounced Ook/Oog.  This word is a very specific term relating to anger, non-existent in English, and I sometimes wonder if BTS does this to torture the translators.  The term is often used as a verb, to be 욱/욱하다.  The easy translation of someone who gets 욱 would be to say he’s easily angered.   But there is a bit of… a flavor to this word.  I don’t know if I can explain it.

 

This is what people will do when your anger quickly rises like a substance inside you.  Similar English expression would be “rising bile” as expression of anger, and you “swallow the bile” as you try to suppress the anger down.  Except that the expression also implies the anger rose really fast, over almost nothing important, because the person gets angry easily.. like being angry at the drop of a hat.

The actual first split second of trying to swallow the rapidly rising anger is what is expressed by the word 욱.   I think it’s kind of like you strain, hold your breath, put on a constipated face, and almost gasp out an “Uck…” as the anger rises really quickly inside.   This attempt to swallow the anger may succeed, or fail and cause an anger outburst.

I tried to look up photos that express this emotion and got this picture of Hulk. This split second before he goes on a rampage is the part where he is 욱.

hulk

Essentially, people have this angry, constipated expression when they’re being 욱.    They may then go on an angry rampage or they may not.  I’m sure you know people who always have that angry constipated face because they get offended and angry so easily, even if they don’t actually go on a rampage like Hulk…. and they’re not necessarily pleasant either.

 

The song later does goes on to talk about acting out in this anger with hate.  But in addition to acting out in hate, it is about being offended easily and always being angry over every little thing.

 

I’ll use the word “angered” or “ugh” in the translation below to keep things simple….

 

Also, there are some ramblings (only a little related to this song) at the bottom of this post about Pengsoo, Bonobono, how to torture graphic artists, and BTS staff with sadistic sense of humor.


 

Crackling, again that spark is burning up
Before it touches the fuel, (they) swallow it up
Probably will get swept away, Yea yea mmm.

The word spark is 불씨 (boolssi).  They have used this word to mean “bullshit” in the past (in the first line of Cypher Pt 1).
So the first line could mean, Crackling, again that bullshit is firing up/becoming hot issue.
Despite the spark being something dangerous, these people swallow it up quickly.  If you can think of flame as anger, I guess they’re impatient to be angry.   And because they’re impatient to be angry, they’re also fast to swallow up bullshit, without fact checking or thinking whether this anger is the right thing.
The third line of getting “swept away” is often used to describe masses of people who are easily swayed without their own thoughts, almost like people who are like sheep or lemmings in English.
Even though these people willingly swallowed this spark of anger, they’re not actually acting out in anger out of their own unique beliefs as they think.  Actually, the people who are easily angered are also the easiest targets to to be fed bullshit information and to be manipulated.  So they get swept up like sheep and follow in their blind righteous anger.
The “Yea Yea, mmm” is fun too.  The “yea” is kind of polite form of “yes” in Korean, and people will say “yea yea mmm/예 예 음” in situations where you’re just trying to agree to get the other angry person to finish their rant and stop talking.  It’s kind of the “in one ear and out the other” type of listening and agreeing we do, when dealing with people who are constantly talking about how offended they are.

Today, the player enters the scene
Grabbing their chance yeah
They take the bait and then
Doong doong doong, (another) becomes the village drums, doong doong doong.
I put in (another) there because they don’t specify the subject but it implies that someone else (not the angry hater) become the village drum.

“The player (or expert/pro) enters the scene” is an old Korean movie cliche.  It’s like a self announcement of “I have arrived!” in a “I’m the best and I’m here and you guys are all doomed” type of cringe dialogue from years ago.  It’s become an old cringy meme, to refer to people who think they’re so important, but are actually just cringe.
The phrase “they take the bait” again expresses the idea that they’re not as free thinking as they think.  They’ve been fed a bait (or bullshit) and they’ve been easily lured like fish.
Doong is the sound of a drum.
A village drum is a drum where anyone in the village can hit without guilt.  It is a commonly used metaphor for someone who everyone feels no guilt in bullying, not because it’s right but because you can use the excuse “but everyone does it”.
Actually, BTS in the first few years of their career would have been a perfect example of the “village drum” in the Kpop industry. Their haters created so much hate and bashing against them and it became so commonplace that even non-Kpop fans thought it was normal and acceptable to slander BTS.  They’re now called the “group that managed to rise back from hell” in Kpop communities.

Took took, they lightly bother, without reason took took, yeah.
“Took” is like “nudge”.    “Nudge nudge” … like trying to pretend they don’t mean harm, to provoke so that if you’re angry in return, they can say you’re the bad one.
If there’s no response, then they just submerge you, pook pook yeah.
Submerge, is kind of kind of gangster expression for killing people, I think.  Essentially means they’ll drop the subtleties and show what they really wanted, which was to destroy you.   Pook is sound effect for stabbing deeply.

The truth can become a lie too
The lie can become a truth too
Here, everyone become a person with moral reasoning and perfect judgement.
What a laugh. 

Yep.  Sometimes misplaced righteous anger from a moral high horse is really the hardest type to deal with.

Fury?  Of course it’s needed.
There is a a reason when it burns up
In a way, it’s our history
Sometimes it changes the world.
But this is not fury, but human excrement
분노/boon-no = fury
분뇨/boon-nyo = human excrement
What is fury, you know?
Pretending to be fury, they kill the real fury. 

The countless people who have become sick of it
You’re not just killing me
We’re used to stepping on shit anyway
Look at those people who have become desensitized
Human excrement and indifference, you guys are a team.
Eh
“We’re used to stepping on shit anyway” is derived from a common saying “똥밟았다 생각하고 그냥 잊어버려/just think of it as stepping on shit and try to forget it.”  When something or someone bad happens and you’re agonizing what you did wrong to deserve or cause this, people will say this to you.  It means that sometimes you encounter bad things in life, through no fault of your own, just out of bad luck – just like accidentally stepping on shit.  And these bad things (and often bad people) are just shitty and worthless, not worth the time to think about them, and the best course of action is to forget them and put them behind you and move on.
With this line in mind, it implies that BTS are practiced in trying to not waste time on these bad things and moving forward.  They’re used to having bad things happen to them, but they’re also used to putting things into perspective and are aware that some of these angry opinions are shit, not worth putting weight on them.
But of course, they worry that not everyone is able to do this and the world can be negatively affected by the excessive anger.

I am angered, angered
I am angered, angered
It’s more like, “I am being 욱, being 욱”, which I really don’t know how to translate into English without writing a whole paragraph.  This part is kind of being sarcastic.  You’re being angry all the time?  Let me mirror you and be angry too.
I’m furious at the fury full of malice
I’m furious at the fury full of malice

I am angered, angered
I am angered, angered
I’m furious at the fury that had to be put out
I’m furious at that fury that had to be put out 

Yeah, ugh ugh, just be angered ugh
or, more like, “yeah, 욱 욱, just be 욱, 욱”
Until you become ashes, just be angered ugh
Yeah, ugh ugh, just be angered ugh
Until you break, just be angered ugh
This part is being sarcastic too.  Kind of like, “If you wanna be angry so much, fine, go ahead and be angry.”

 

I am angered,  angered
I am angered,  angered
I’m furious at the fury full of malice
I’m furious at that fury that had to be put out 

 

This world, is ruled by fury
Everyone must need fury in order to live
To be furious, then again be furious and furious again
Go insane like that ugh ugh ugh
There are tens of thousands of reasons they’re furious about
Whether with good intentions or malice, 
If they can similarly let them be furious
If it causes harm to others’ lives, I don’t like
Then stop ayy

With someone’s action, someone is hurt
With someone’s words, someone is made hopeless
Someone’s split second becomes someone’s moment
Someone’s fury becomes someone’s life.
Damned rotten.. ptui!

I am angered, angered
I am angered, angered
I’m furious at the fury full of malice
I’m furious at that fury that had to be put out 

“Ah, so what about getting cursed a bit?
You earn good money, so why are you whining again?
You should be willing to put up with at least that much, ahem”
Weird, I’ve actually read these exact sentiment multiple times on multiple Korean forums, directed to both BTS and other Kpop stars. I never understood when Kpop fans/communities say the celebrity should do what they say just because they bought albums.  I mean, even parents who give birth and raise their children often don’t get to tell them how to live their lives, so it’s really baffling to me that fans or random strangers will think they have some kind of power over these stars.

“Ahem ahem ahem ahem
You guys, ahem ahem”
“Ahem” is clearing throat to try to get attention, so someone can express their opinion.  There is extra layer in Korean context of “ahem” sounding pretentious and snobby like your opinion is soooo important.   But even without that, these lines exaggerate the speech of people who are always trying to constantly express their “superior” opinion, all the time…
“Ahem ahem ahem
If you got me to do that, I’d be able to put up with all of it.
You guys, ahem
You guys, ahem ahem ahem ahem
If you got me to that, I’d just ahem, bhem, ahem”
Why is there a “B-hem” hidden among the “A-hem”? lol

Yeah, ugh ugh, just be angered ugh
Until you become ashes, just be angered ugh
Yeah, ugh ugh, just be angered ugh
Until you break, just be angered ugh

 

I am angered, angered
I am angered, angered
I’m furious at the fury full of malice
I’m furious at that fury that had to be put out 


 

I’m not terribly familiar with Pengsoo, but I know he’s also a bit of a meme character.  He’s from a kid’s  program with adult black humor, parodying annoying behavior and hiding behind the identity of a kid friendly character to get away with it.

The “ahem” in this song sounds similar to “ahem” that Pengsoo often uses…. pronounced as “et-hem” in Pengsoo speech.  Here is a song made with his “et-hems.”
The lyrics are:  Et-hem Et-hem, I’m excited, I’m excited..

 

You can see BigHit staff references this in the banner from the MOTS: 7 Vlive Comeback Special.

banner_pengsoo

There is a faint picture of Pengsoo on the banner.  In addition, the writing on the banner says:
BTS comeback Et-hem Et-hem I’m so excited
Waiting will not do that thing.

Also referencing when Pengsoo once said “Hard work will not do that thing” instead of “Hardwork will not be betrayed” because he couldn’t remember the word “betray.”

So the banner essentially means “Waiting will not be betrayed.”

 

Somewhat unrelated and branching into random things, these colorful banners with Bonobono (an anime from 1980s) have plagued the BTS comeback specials since WINGS era.

bts_w_bonobono

This is from a meme about how to torture a graphic designer.   There was a PowerPoint done by a beginner with Bonobono as background, thought to be one of the worst example of ppt layout.  This combined with other bad graphic memes (with clashing colors) gave birth to the worst possible graphic design combination meme.

badgraphic_summary

And there seems to be staff at BitHit who is very sadistic and loves to torture people intentionally with the worst possible graphic design.

18 thoughts on “BTS – UGH! (English Translation and Ramblings)

  1. Awesome thank you! Just Yoongi’s verse alone has much more meaning for me now! I like that he played with onomatopoeia words. I had a question about Hoseok’s line ”Someone’s split second becomes someone’s moment”. In english split second and moment are almost the same, like just a very short time, but it seems like he meant that a split second of misplaced anger can hurt a person for longer than it took to say. Does it sound like he means that in the Korean? Also I’m wondering if they were partially inspired to put this out because of the recent celebrity deaths from hate comments…like people commenting so righteously about a female celeb not wearing a bra is so trivial but it can really hurt people. That or JK getting unreasonable amounts of hate for basically nothing. In that sense it feels like hyungs coming to protect the dongsaeng

  2. Thank you so much! Your translation and ramblings always make me to have a better understanding of BTS’s lyricism.

  3. About bhem, is there something similar to “blegh” or “bleh” in korean? I wonder if that’s the sound they were going for.

    Also thank you for your translations I always look forward for them

  4. Thank you thank you. It’s my favorite off this album! Ugh as a verb makes so much more sense. Because it’s just an angry noise in English, thinking about it as more of an exact feeling really adds to the song for me. “Can I ugh?”v “Can I hold this anger back?” Almost. I’m excited for the next listen.

    As for the b-hem… could it be like an in addition situation? Like “ahem” let me add this “b-hem” let me add more unnecessary info? C-hem, etc. That’s how I heard it. 😂

    1. I guess to be ugh is kind of more of reflexive feeling when having quickly rising explosive anger, rather than consciously trying to rationally hold the anger down. It’s more that they’re feeling the anger rise explosively – similar to vomit coming up. In fact, they use 욱 as sound effect when people are about to vomit (you know that gulp you do on the way to the toilet so that you don’t vomit on the floor…).
      EDIT: I’m trying to see if I can use the vomit imagery to make it more clear. If you think of anger as something that you vomit… (both nouns)
      Expanding that “vomiting” as comparison for the verb of “acting out in anger”…. I guess you can say that people who easily become 욱 are people who are easily nauseated (ie. both sensitive) so they’re constantly doing 욱, like people who have sensitive stomachs are constantly dry-heaving.
      Actual lashing out in anger/vomiting may often follow but are not necessarily included in the meaning.

      1. Oh, so it’s like I’m a hot head/ I have a short fuse kind of idea?
        In this case would it be considered threatening in a don’t test me of way or just casual information?

  5. Always look out for your post and your inference of BTS songs.. although I don’t understand the meaning of the songs… I often can feel the emotions of the songs..

    Thank you for your “ramblings” as you call.. it gives meaning to the emotions I feel.

  6. Thank you for taking the time to translate this song. It has to be ONE of my favorite on the new CD. It never ceases to amaze me that BTS goes deeper than people think. This is pretty awesome.

  7. Thanks for the insight on the Comeback banners LOL, 역시 BigHit!

    Always waiting for your site to get updated with new lyric posts, especially for UGH. THANKS AGAIN!

  8. Thank you so much for the translation, I really appreciate the effort you put in this blog, I look up your blog from time to time just to see if you translated a new song.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s