How to Say “Girlfriend” in Korean – What is yeoja chingu?

Last Updated on June 9, 2022 by 90 Day Korean
How to Say ‘Girlfriend’ in Korean

Knowing how to say “girlfriend” in Korean will be a huge help if you’re living in Korea, visiting Korea, or learning Korean.

This word is very common in Korean pop culture. You’ve probably heard the word Korean movies, music, and dramas.

How to Say ‘Girlfriend’ in Korean

Knowing how to say “girlfriend” in Korean will help you a lot when talking about love, relationships, or just Korean culture in general.

It can also help you let people know that you want a girlfriend, which could lead to those people helping you find the perfect woman.

We’ll catch you up to speed on what you need to know! Let’s get to it.

“Girlfriend” in Korean

The word for “girlfriend” in Korean is 여자친구 (yeojachingu). It is sometimes romanized as “yeoja chingu”.

Like English, 여자친구 (yeojachingu) in Korean should generally only be used to refer to your partner. 

It is made up of two words: the word 여자 (yeoja) and 친구 (chingu).

Yeoja Meaning

The word 여자 (yeoja) means “woman” in Korean. It can also mean female or lady.

Chingu Meaning

The word 친구 (chingu) is a term used to call a “friend” in Korean.

Combine 여자 (yeoja) and 친구 (chingu) together and you get the Korean word for girlfriend, 여자친구 (yeojachingu)!

There are many simple words like these that you should learn first. You’ll likely hear them often, which can make them easy to remember.

Yeochin Meaning

여친 (yeochin) is the shortened version of “girlfriend” in Korean. It’s similar to saying GF.

Words are sometimes shortened in Korean, especially if they are four or more syllables long. The regular way of shortening a word is to take the first syllable from each component word.

In this case, 여 (yeo) can be taken from 여자 (yeoja), and 친 (chin) can be taken from 친구 (chingu). They can be combined to make the short word 여친 (yeochin).

Shortening words is a useful skill to learn if you want to improve your Korean as many Korean words are formed in this way.

“Girlfriend” in Korean: Limits on Use

In Korean, 여자친구 (yeojachingu)  should only be used to refer to your romantic partner.  You should use a different word if you want to talk about a friend who is a female.

Here is a list of other affectionate words you could use with your significant other.

Girlfriend in Korean

One phrase that you could use is 여성 친구 (yeoseong chingu) which literally means “female friend.” The word 여성 ( yeosjeong) means “female.”

Another word you can use is 여사친 (yeosachin), which is 여친 (yeochin) with the character 사 (sa) in the middle of it. The character 사 (sa) comes from the word 사람 (saram) which means “person.”

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“Partner” in Korean

“Partner” in Korean can be 배우자 (baeuja),  which is a common word for married couples.

Another word for “partner” in Korean is 반려자(ballyeoja) which can be used for unmarried couples. For example, you can say 인생의 반려자 (insaengui ballyeoja) which could mean life partner or a partner in life.

Be Careful When Using Romanization

Romanization can help you when you start off learning Korean, but it can also cause difficulties and confusion. For example, when you read the letters “eo”, then this could mean 어 (eo), or it could mean 에오 (eo).

The best way to avoid any pronunciation mistakes is to learn Hangeul, the Korean alphabet. Learning Hangeul is easy; the basics can be learned in no time at all. However, once you have learned it, you will be able to learn Korean a lot faster, and your pronunciation will also improve.

Sample Sentences

Here are some sample sentences that you use

Example (Formal):

여자친구 있으세요? (yeojachingu isseuseyo)

Do you have a girlfriend?

Example (Standard):

여자친구는 어떤 사람이에요? (yeojachinguneun eotteon saramieyo)

What is your girlfriend like?

당신*의 여자친구가 되고 싶어요. (dangsinui yeojachinguga doego sipeoyo)

I want to be your girlfriend.

* 당신 (dangsin) means “you”; instead of using this word, you should replace it with the person’s name.

여자친구 있어요 (yeojachingu isseoyo)

I have a girlfriend.

Example (Informal):

여친 있어? (yeochin isseo)

Do you have a girlfriend?

여자친구는 어떤 사람이야? (yeojachinguneun eotteon saramiya)

What is your girlfriend like?

네 여자친구가 되고 싶어. (ne yeojachinguga doego sipeo)

I want to be your girlfriend.

Formal Girlfriend in Korean

After reading this article, you should know how to say Girlfriend in Korean.

Hopefully, you can use this new vocabulary word in a practical sense.

You might use it to help find a girlfriend for yourself or use it to help you find someone looking for a girlfriend. Let us know in the comments below which phrases using the word “girlfriend” were the most useful!

Next stop, let’s learn how to say boyfriend in Korean!

Do you want more Korean lessons? Check out our structured online course that will get you having 3-minute conversations in Korean in the first 90 days!

Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!

    2 replies to "How to Say “Girlfriend” in Korean – What is yeoja chingu?"

    • Avatar for SB SB

      How do you say “I have a girlfriend”?

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