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Hi Everybody. In the novel 레몬 by 권여선, the narrator is talking about 해언, a girl in her school. She says:

해언이야 원래 학교 안팎으로 유명한 아이였지만...

then goes on to talk about another girl.

I don't understand the usage of 해언이야. Can someone explain it? Is it just a nuance? How is it different from 해원이 or 해원은?

Thanks for any help!
  • [Name](이)야 원래 ... (이)지만(is)/(이)였지만(was)

    This kind of colloquial form gives readers a feeling of directly listening to the speaker as if they are actively taking part in the conversation. Since the verb 'be' in English is equivalent to '~ 은/는/이/가 ... 이다' in the Korean language, it's perfectly fine to read '해언이야' as 'Hae-un is ...' in this sentence. In conversations the name can often go with '[Name] 이가/이는/이야/...' depending on the given context. Also, when someone says [Name]이야 원래 ... 이지만, this kind of speaking style implies that someone has assumed something for granted but now may be about to change such thinking; so you may add 'but' at the end of its meaning like the translation below because of the word 'originally'. FYI, 원래 is 'originally/basically'; '유명한 아이' is 'a famous/renowned/well known kid'; '안팎으로' is 'both in and out (of)' when translating them into English.

    Hae-un was basically a well known kid both in and out of school, but ... (spoken in a colloquial manner)

    cf) I'm not sure whether she's been acclaimed or not in the sentence.
    un as in /understand/

    I hope this helps!