K-Drama Words and Phrases: Signal

Last Updated on July 30, 2020 by 90 Day Korean
Actors from the Korean Drama Signal

At 90 Day Korean, it’s no surprise that we love all things Korean and Korean dramas are no exception! We’re big fans of studying Korean but also doing it in a fun and interesting way. Whether it’s studying with television, music, or movies, learning through a medium you enjoy is a surefire way to learn Korean fast! So for that reason, we’re going to start an article series of some of our favorite dramas and words you can look for to supplement your Korean studies while you watch.

So heat up your popcorn and grab a pencil because we’re reviewing the 2015 hit drama 시그널 (Shigeuneol) or in English, “Signal“. Let’s get started!

Actors from the Korean Drama Signal

시그널 Signal Overview:

This drama is about 2 case profilers who live 15 years apart from each other. One of the profilers live in the year 2015 and the other one lives in the year 2000. They began to communicate through a mysterious walkie talkie which fell into the hands of Park Hae-young, the profiler living in 2015. As both of them became linked through the walkie talkie, they work together solving cases that were left unsolved or were questionable and even succeed in preventing some events from occurring. However, they can’t communicate to each other anytime they want. It’s only time and fate that make the old walkie talkie work. As they work together solving and preventing crimes, they will be lead to an even bigger case that they were unaware of.

Why you should watch it

This drama was a big hit in Korea when it aired in 2015. The plot of the drama was something unfamiliar to the Korean audience. It gives the vibe of breaking the barriers of time and dimension. Another factor that gave impact to the drama were the main actors. It was lead by Kim Hye-soo and Choi Jin-woong who were popular seasoned actors both on the small and big screens. To add the amazing line-up is Lee Je-hoon who’s not only handsome but also a skilled actor. This drama also got the title of the highest rated drama on a cable network having 13% of the viewership. This drama is also has a Japanese remake in the works.


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Episode 1 Overview:

The first episode of this popular drama kicks off with a kidnapping and murder case of a young girl named Yoon-Jung. One of the classmates of this girl happened to have seen her last when she was picked up by a woman wearing red lipstick and high-heel shoes. The young boy didn’t think anything of it as he thought she may be her guardian. To his surprise when he caught the evening news that night, it was about Yoon-Jung missing. He was even more baffled when the police declared that the prime suspect was a man when in fact he saw that the person who took Yoon-Jung from school was a woman. He tried telling the police of what he saw but they didn’t believe him. None of the police would hear him out.

This young boy would become a case profiler known as Park Hae-young. He gained a reputation for being a celebrity stalker due to his knowledge of most of the ins and outs of the entertainment industry. He one day meets detective Cha Soo-hyun who is a very upright veteran in the field. She reminded Park Hae-young that his actions are harming the reputation and dignity of the police force. Also in this episode, the mysterious walkie talkie would fall into the hands of Park Hae-young that would connect him to detective Lee Jae-han in the year 2000. As their communication began, Park Hae-young will be lead in unraveling the truth behind the case of Yoon-Jung, his childhood friend.


Korean Words and Phrases: 시그널 Signal Episode 1

K-Drama Vocabulary (한국어)RomanizationEnglish Meaning
약속시간yaksok shiganappointment time
쓰레기통sseuregitongtrash can
표정pyojeongfacial expression
K-Drama Phrases (한국어)RomanizationEnglish Meaning
둘이 사귀는 거요duri sagwineun geoyoAre the two dating?
아니 그거말고ani geugeomalgoNo, not that.
다 끝나면, 그때 얘기하자da kkeunnamyeon, geuttae yaegihajaIf everything is finished, let’s talk at that time.


Episode 2 Overview

Episode 2 continues with the unsolved case of Yoon-Jung. This time, nurse Yoon who is now the prime suspect of the kidnapping and murder case of Yoon-Jung is in the custody of the police and is questioned by detective Cha Soo-hyun. On this day, the statutory limitation on the Yoon-Jung case is about to end. They need nurse Yoon to confess to the crime for it to be solved and they also need to have strong evidence that would allow them to prosecute her. However, the allotted time for them to prosecute her is winding down. Ultimately they are not able to squeeze out the truth from her. The statutory limitation on Yoon-Jung’s case has now ended and nurse Yoon confidently walks out from the investigation room. Fortunately, the forensic department calls with findings of evidence that could allow the officers to prosecute Yoon, not for Yoon Jung’s case but for another murder case.

As the news on Yoon-Jung’s case breaks, the law on the statutory limitation on cases particularly on homicide receive many complaints from the citizens. This chaos leads to the establishment of a cold case squad who will handle the cases which has been unresolved for so many years. The squad will be allowed to dig in to the old cases in order to bring justice for the victims’ families.

With the establishment of the cold case squad, profiler Park Hae-young and detective Lee Jae-han continue to communicate through the walkie talkie and help each other in solving the cases in their own times by providing key information to each other.


Korean Words and Phrases: 시그널 Signal Episode 2

K-Drama Vocabulary (한국어)RomanizationEnglish Meaning
눈빛nunbitlook in one’s eyes
하루종일harujongilall day
아무리amurino matter how/ however
K-Drama Phrases (한국어)RomanizationEnglish Meaning
무슨 말씀이신지 모르겠어요museun malsseumisinji moreugesseoyoI don’t know what you are saying.
왜 거짓말 했어요wae geojinmal haesseoyoWhy did you lie?


Episode 3 Overview

In this episode, the cold case squad with Park Hae-young and Cha Soo-hyun continue to solve the Gyeonggi serial murder case. As the team tries to solve it, Park Hae-young provides information to Lee Jae-han to help him prevent the serial killer from attacking his next victim.

The Gyeonggi serial murder case took place at the time when Lee Jae-han is new to his job. It was during this time that Lee Jae-han liked a girl who works at a district office. Because of the information Park Hae-young gives to him through the walkie talkie transmission, he tried to protect the girl he likes.

In the present time, the squad tries to go back to points which could have been missed by those who investigated the case in the past. However, as they are tracing down the path of the serial killer, they are not told by the section chief that this cold case should be handed over to the Gyeonggi department. This infuriates the cold case squad particularly Park Hae-young.


Korean Words and Phrases: 시그널 Signal Episode 3

K-Drama Vocabulary (한국어)RomanizationEnglish Meaning
순경sungyeonglowest rank police officer
K-Drama Phrases (한국어)RomanizationEnglish Meaning
무슨 일이시죠museun irisijyoWhat is it about? What’s the matter?
난 할 말 없어nan hal mal eopseoI have nothing to say.