How To Say 'Fun' In Korean

How about today we truly put the ‘fun’ in learning Korean by learning how to say ‘fun’ in Korean? How much fun do you think that will be? By the time we’re done you’ll be able to tell all your Korean friends about ‘fun’ things you like to do. Or tell us by letting us know in the comments at the end of this post – in Korean of course!


The 80/20* of How to Say ‘Fun’ in Korean

Vocabulary:

재미 – fun (jaemi)

재미있다 – have fun (jaemiitda) (v.)

즐거움 – fun (jeulgeoum)

즐겁다 – have fun (jeulgeopda) (v.)

 

How to remember (association):

It’s fun having lunch with Jamie, she’s a fast eater. (재미있다 / jaemiitda)

*80/20 Pareto Principle – The 20% you should learn that will give you 80% of the results.

 

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‘Fun’ in Korean

As with many Korean words, there is more than one word for how to say fun in Korean. The first word for fun in Korean is 재미 (jaemi). And the second word is 즐거움 (jeulgeoum).

However, although the word exists as a noun in Korean, it is hardly ever used as such. Instead, it is much more common to use the descriptive verb form for each word when referring to ‘fun’ in Korean. As such, these words turn to 재미있다 (jaemiitda) and 즐겁다 (jeulgeopda) respectively.

Also, if you want to say that something is not, or was not fun, you can turn the 재미있다 into 재미없다 (jaemieopda). Meanwhile, for the verb 즐겁다, the regular grammar rules apply when discussing something as not fun.

Another word that technically means fun in Korean is 장난 (jangnan). The use of this word is typically limited to situations where you are making fun of someone, or you are saying something as a joke.

To remember how to say ‘fun’ in Korean we’ll create an association in English for it. This can be anything that helps you recall the word and its meaning whether it’s a phrase or image.

The first word for fun in Korean, 재미, sounds a little like the English name Jamie. 

So to remember it, just create a story with a character named Jamie.

Association:

“It’s fun having lunch with Jamie, she’s a fast eater.” (재미있다)

 

Create an image to go along with this story of your friend Jamie eating really fast, like a meal in 1 minute. That will make the story more unique to you and easier to remember.

Now you try! Can you think of an association for 즐거움 or 즐겁다? Let us know in the comments below!

 

A word of caution about Romanization

While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea will suddenly seem so much easier and the country won’t appear so foreign for you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?

Sample Sentences

Happy Little Kid Boy Having Fun With Bicycle And Air Balloon

Standard:

지난 주말을 완전 재미있게 보내게 되서 고마워요. (jinan jumareul wanjeon jaemiitge bonaege doeseo gomawoyo.)

Thanks for making this weekend a lot of fun.

혼자서 파티에 가는것은 즐겁지 않잖아요. (honjaseo patie ganeungeoseun jeulgeopji anchanayo.)

It’s not fun to go to a party alone.

비가 이렇게 많이 오는 날은 정말 재미없어요. (biga ireoke mani oneun nareun jeongmal jaemieopseoyo.)

A day where it rains this much is really not fun.

Informal:

그 영화는 재미있었어? (geu yeonghwaneun jaemiisseosseo?)

Was that movie fun?

요즘에는 재미로 중국어를 배우고 있어. (yojeumeneun jaemiro junggugeoreul baeugo isseo.)

These days I’m learning Chinese for fun.

이 전시회가 재밌을 것 같은데 같이 보러 갈까? (i jeonsihoega jaemisseul geot gateunde gachi boreo galkka?)

This exhibition looks like fun. Shall we go see it together?

미안해. 장난이었는데. (mianhae. jangnanieonneunde)

I’m sorry. It was a joke.

아까 하던 장난이 정말로 재미없었어. (akka hadeon jangnani jeongmallo jaemieopseosseo.)

The joke you just made really wasn’t fun.

Wasn’t that ‘fun’? What fun Korean words would you like to learn next? Let us know in the comments!

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Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto

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