[Thanks to Kelly who asked the question that inspired this post...] In my World Cup posts, I've used the word "fighting!" a couple of times now. I thought I would take a moment to explain the term to those of you not familiar with it.
This term "fighting" originated just before the 2002 FIFA World Cup Soccer games, hosted by both South Korea and Japan. It's actually written as 화이팅, which is pronounced "hwaiting" but was derived from the English word "fighting" so you hear both pronunciations. The phrase is usually accompanied by a fist pump as well, similar to the American "charge!" gesture, or the American "yes!" gesture. (Two different gestures.)
It was used as a form of encouragement for the Korean 2002 World Cup Team to do the very best they can. Similar to what we would consider a cheer. There's a couple of different usages at sporting events... sometimes it's preceded by "Aja! Aja!" to get pumped up... and other times it's preceded by "Dae Han Min Kook" which means "Korea," creating the phrase "Korea fighting!" (Doesn't this just get you pumped up to watch the next game?!)
Now, it has been "adopted" into everyday Korean language to offer encouragement, or "do the best you can" when saying this term to someone. It's similar to "you can do it!" or "go team!"
With the exception of the World Cup, I mostly see it used in Korean dramas. In fact, I don't know of a Korean drama that doesn't use this or "Aja!" at least once!
And there you have my little Korean lesson of the month. [smile]