I am frostedsnow, the webmaster of Aheeyah, a website which provided Korean, romanized, and translated lyrics targeted mainly to Korean music fans who could not read or understand Korean song lyrics. I ran this website for nearly 10 years with a group of amazing staff. I’ve had a long history of events and stories accompanied with quite a successful website. However, because of the eventual lack of translators, a loss for the drive to continue, and the desire to pursue a new field online (hence frostedsnow.com), I officially closed down Aheeyah on April 9, 2011.
Since I’ve closed the site, I receive weekly emails from previous visitors. Many of these emails have touched my heart, telling me of the visitor’s appreciation for our work, respect for my decision, and inspiration in my story. I know I have not been the most prompt at replying all these emails, but in the end, I always do make an effort (albeit a late one) to reply everyone. I feel honoured that along with Aheeyah’s staff, we were able to touch the lives of many Kpop fans in a very special way, and that with my story of how I came to learn the Korean language, I may continue to touch those who are struggling to pursue what they love — Kpop.
To be honest, I am surprised at how many inquiries and responses I’ve been receiving, even until now. I thought that our visitors have dwindled to a quiet few and that Aheeyah would just have a silent closing. Instead, I’ve been receiving a lot of questions, which are essentially all the same. I will make my reply to them here.
I apologize that I am finding it difficult to make individual responses for each one, and I hope you will understand if I have directed you here for a more detailed answer.
1) Will you send me the Korean/romanized/tranlsated to ‘song X’, or artist X? I really need it for my school project/website/forum/etc. Please!!
Since I closed Aheeyah, lots of people have been asking me to personally email them lyrics that they want for various reasons. I will not be fulfilling personal lyric requests. If I do it for one, I will have to do that for every single person who asks, and if that is the case, it is the same as having the site open. I closed the site down because I would like to retire from the lyrics scene. I hope everyone understands.
2) What am I going to do without the lyrics? Where can I look? I need to understand a song.Help!
I know these are obviously not as organized and may not contain all the lyrics that Aheeyah did, but that is all I can suggest for now.
I’m sure there are other websites too. However, I will not be keeping an updated list which will require continuous editing as websites close and open.
3) Can you help me figure out what the song to this video/mp3/etc is? I want to find/out the title/singer/lyrics.
Naver.com is a popular Korean search engine (like Google). If you can catch even one line of the song lyrics (even the English part), and type that line into Naver’s search engine with the word ‘가사’ (lyrics) at the end, you may be able to find what you are looking for.
For example, I hear a Korean song with the line ‘billion dollar baby’ in it. I go to Naver.com and type “billion dollar baby 가사” in the search engine box and press enter. You will see the screen below, complete with the artist, name of the song, and link to the lyrics.
You can then see that the song you were looking for is 2ne1’s ‘내가 제일 잘 나가’. Click on ‘가사보기’ (view lyrics) for a pop up window of the lyrics.
4) Why are you closing down the site? We don’t care if it’s not updated. We just want the old lyrics. Please keep it up. It’s such a waste!
There are two reasons why I am not doing this.
A) A website that sits without updates was not my dream and vision for Aheeyah. Aheeyah was meant to be the top and best lyrics site on the web. I can very well say it once was. I can’t see it as anything less and an old and inactive website is not what it’s meant to be. I want to close it down while it can retain some of it’s former shine and sparkle.
I’m not sure if someone who has not run a site can understand this, but it’s a bit like artists breaking up while they are still at the top instead of continuing to perform until not a single person is listening to them.
B) A website that sits without activity is a red flag for lazy website owners looking for free and easy content to copy, use, and claim for their own website, often without credit for the original. It is also easy target for online users to post or provide our lyrics on/to forums, websites, and other users in hopes of gaining reputation, website or forum points/karma/status, or some kind of advantage. These people think that because the website and webmaster are not active, there will be no repercussions for stealing our lyrics without credit. This is not true. I still have my eyes peeled for people who steal our lyrics, and will take action against those who do so. However, I don’t like having to do this, and the longer the site remains inactive, the more frequently this will happen. It is unfair to the staff and generous contributors to our lyrics for their hard work to be stolen and have someone lazy and inconsiderate person’s name smacked on it instead.
To avoid having to play the constant police and robber chase, I am locking up and hiding the lyrics for good, instead of putting them out on display.
5) Can I still use the lyrics from Aheeyah that I find elsewhere or already had on my website/forum?
Aheeyah has always had a very open policy in terms of using lyrics from our site, and I am willing to continue to adhere to this policy — any website or forum may use up to 10 of our song lyrics with clearly visible written credit to A) the lyric owner (the romanizer/translator) and B) the source of the lyrics (be it ‘aheeyah.com’ or another website). Anyone wishing to use more than 10 lyrics must write me to request for permission (ex: a NRG forum wanting to post all of our NRG lyrics in their forums).
Those who already had Aheeyah’s lyrics on their site from before Aheeyah closed down may continue to use it under the same terms (credit to the romanizer/translator and the source). Those who wish to use it in the future must do so under the same terms as before (as stated above).
Just because the site is closed down doesn’t mean I won’t be still be lurking and cracking down on those who steal and use our lyrics without credits.
6) Will you send me all of the lyrics on Aheeyah for personal use, on my website/forums, etc? I am willing to be the webmaster of Aheeyah. Will you consider?
The short answer is — no.
Reasons? Our lyrics are not just a bunch of text we copied and pasted from the internet while whistling a tune over coffee and a donut overnight to pop up as the biggest and longest standing lyrics website on the web. They are original translations, pieces of literature, and works of the imagination. It is creative and original content. It is also a database and asset that actually has monetary worth. But above all of these, it was not something done over the course of one night, or even one year. It is the collective effort of a huge team of passing and remaining staff who spent countless hours of time, effort, and mind over the course of ten long years. It is the product of the passion, drive, and teamwork of a group of kpop fans with extraordinarily generous hearts. It has sentimental value.
Who has hands big enough to hold claims over the collective work of ten years with such monetary, creative, and sentimental worth? Can you promise me the next 10 years of your life to spend doubling Aheeyah’s content? Can you and your team achieve at least what we did, if not more? And if you attempt to say yes, and can somehow make me believe that you can and will, what do I do if you break that promise and put our content to spoils?
Those are the questions in my head when you make such a proposal and the reasons why I am hard pressed to pass on Aheeyah’s content.
7) Is Aheeyah for sale?
The reasons are similar to the above #6. Money does not diminish the original concerns I have for passing Aheeyah on. I would rather pass Aheeyah on ‘for free’ to someone I trust and see potential to make it grow than sell it to someone I don’t believe is suitable.
8 ) How did you learn Korean on your own? Do you have any recommended websites or textbooks to learn from? What kind of tips to those trying to do the same?
I have been asked this question since long ago, but even more often since closing Aheeyah and posting my Korean learning story online.
I will be making a post on my blog frostedsnow.com in August (some time this month!) to answer all the above questions. Watch out for it~!