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Hobbies in Korean – Vocabulary for your favorite activities

Learning about hobbies in Korean is helpful when talking to a new Korean friend, especially when you’re learning languages. After all, talking about things you like to do can be fun, even in a foreign language.

A girl stacking up colorful lego pieces

Hobbies can be one big topic to cover, so you won’t run out of things to talk about! This is very relatable whether you’re from South Korea or other parts of the world! If you’re new to learning the Korean language, start by covering the Korean alphabet. That way, learning hobbies in the Korean language will be far easier!

“Hobby” in Korean

The word for “hobby” in Korean is 취미 (chwimi). This is the first word you need to know before we dive into learning Korean words for specific hobbies.

In this lesson, you will learn Korean through the most common hobbies in Korean. In addition, we’ll teach you some simple Korean phrases too.

What is the most common hobby in Korea?

Koreans are fond of doing different things as a hobby, so it’s hard to indicate a single hobby. They enjoy outdoor activities like playing sports, hanging out at coffee shops, or shopping. However, indoor activities like watching Korean dramas or movies, texting their friends, and eating good food are highly enjoyed by many too!

Listening to Korean pop music by popular Korean artists is a hobby many people enjoy! These interests are just a few, and there are plenty more things that are fun to do for Koreans, and we’ve enumerated them below.

List of common hobbies and interests in Korean

People may have different interests and things they find enjoyable. This way, it’s also fun to meet new friends with similar hobbies. Check out the hobby words in Korean below and see if one or some of these are your hobbies. Now, let’s get to learning!

Kids hobbies. Young athletes, musicians and artists, teenagers hold different objects, children activities and interests. Sports, drawing and leisure time. Vector cartoon flat isolated set

Different hobbies and interests in Korean

Here is some common vocabulary on typical Korean hobbies. These hobbies are usually part of one’s routine and are usually a means of relaxation for some. New language learning like what you’re doing now falls under this category!

hobby (chwimi)
reading (dokseo)
cooking (yori)
watching movies(yeonghwabogi)
watching TV (tibibogi)
watching dramas (deuramabogi)
surfing Internet (inteonethagi)
learning (baeugi)
language learning (eoneo beugi)
blogging (beulloging)
spending time with friends (chinguhago siganeul bonaegi)

Music hobbies in Korean

You might be part of a band, play one or more instruments, or love music. If so, you might find your hobby below. These hobbies often involve using a musical instrument or simply your voice. If you enjoy singing in Korean karaoke, that can count too!

listening to music (eumakdeutgi)
singing (noraehagi)
piano (piano)
drums (deureom)
violin (baiollin)
trumpet (teureompet)
saxophone (saeksopon)

Art hobbies in Korean

Art covers different hobbies, from photography to pottery. Hobbies related to arts often express one’s emotions and talents. Apart from the process, one of the best things about these hobbies is the handiwork that you can use or keep!

In Korea, a traditional hobby related to art is Korean calligraphy.

drawing, painting (geurim)
pottery (doye)
calligraphy (seoye)
papercrafts (jigongye)
embroidery (jasu)
woodwork (mokgong)
sewing (baneujil)
knitting, crochet (tteugaejil)
photography (sajin jjikgi)
model building (mohyeong mandeulgi)
jewelry making (gwigeumseok jejo)
collecting stamps (upyo sujip)

“Embroidery” in Korean

The word for “embroidery” in Korean is 자수 (jasu).

Embroidery is usually done by hand, but if you’re using a tool, this embroidery machine is called 자수기 (jasugi) in Korean.


Child cartoon character painting on canvas, flat vector illustration isolated.

Sports and activities in Korean

Sports and other activities are usual hobbies that people enjoy. These can either be done outdoors or indoors.

chess (cheseu)
games (geim)
video games (bidiogeim)
board games (bodeugeim)
walking (sanchaek)
jogging (joging)
running (dalligi)
cycling (jajeongeotagi)
fishing (naksi)
hiking (deungsan)
camping (kaemping)
traveling (yeohaeng)
birding (joryu gwanchal)
volunteering (jawonbongsa)
swimming (suyeong)
dancing (chum)
taekwondo (taegwondo)
soccer, football (chukgu)
basketball (nonggu)
volleyball (baegu)
baseball (yagu)
table tennis (takgu)
golf (golpeu)
tennis (teniseu)
badminton (baedeuminteon)
exercising (undonghagi)
watching sports (seupocheubogi)
archery (yanggung)
billiard (danggu)
horseback riding (seungma)
ice skating (seukeiteu)
skiing (seuki)
snowboarding (seunobodeu tagi)
surfing (seoping)
scuba diving (seukubeo daibing)
skateboarding (seukeiteubodeu tagi)
yoga (yoga)

“Dancing” in Korean

The word for “dancing” in Korean is 춤 (chum). There are different types of dances that you can choose from. Here are the common ones:

  • Salsa – 살사 (salsa)
  • Rumba – 룸바 rumba
  • Belly dance – 벨리댄스 (bellidaenseu)
  • Cha-cha – 차차 (chacha)
  • Samba – 삼바 (samba)
  • Swing – 스윙 (seuwing)
  • Tango – 탱고 (taenggo)
  • Waltz – 왈츠 (walcheu)

“Hiking” in Korean

You can say “hiking” in Korean as 등산 (deungsan). The same Korean word translates to climbing or mountain climbing in English.

“Chess” in Korean

The Korean word for “chess” is 체스 (cheseu), while the chessboard which is used for this game is called 체스판 (cheseupan) in Korean.

“Games” in Korean

The general term for “games” in Korean is 게임 (geim). You can know more about the different kinds of games played in Korea in this article.

If you’d like to say “video games,” it translates to 비디오게임 (bidiogeim) in Korean. While 보드게임 (bodeugeim) is the word for “board games” in Korean.

Verbs to use when talking about hobbies in Korean

Hobbies are associated with actions, whether they are passive or active. Below, we have also listed some common action words often used when talking about a hobby.

to draw, to paint (geurida)
to listen (deutda)
to watch (boda)
to like (joahada)
to dislike (sileohada)
to do (hada)
to make (mandeulda)
to read (ilda)
to play; to hit, to strike (chida)
to ride, to take, to get on (tada)
to play an instrument (akgireul yeonjuhada)

“To draw” in Korean

You can say “to draw” in Korean as 그리다 (geurida). This word can also mean “to paint.”

“To like” in Korean

The word for “to like” in Korean is 좋아하다 (joahada). You can use this to express which hobbies you enjoy.

If you’d like to learn more about this verb, we have a separate article that will teach it further.

“To make” in Korean

You can say “to make” in Korean as 만들다 (mandeulda)

“To listen” in Korean

The word for “to listen” in Korean is 듣다 (deutda). When talking about hobbies, this word is useful if you love activities such as listening to K-pop songs.

“To read” in Korean

The Korean word 읽다 (ilda) means “to read.” If you like reading and learning Korean, reading materials like Korean children’s books or Korean short stories can be fun and helpful in language learning! Practicing these regularly can help you read Korean faster.


Happy Father And Son Play In Video Game

Useful phrases about hobbies in Korean

Hobbies are a common conversation topic when meeting someone for the first time or getting to know someone. If you’re planning to meet Korean friends soon, it’s useful to have questions and phrases about hobbies in the Korean language on hand.

Here are some questions and phrases in Korean that you can use during a conversation about your hobby.

How to ask about hobbies in Korean

Here are some questions about hobbies that you might encounter or you can ask your Korean friend:

What is your hobby? / What are your hobbies?
(chwimiga mwoyeyo?)
What do you like to do?
(mwol haneun geol joahaeyo?)
Do you like cooking?
(yorihaneun geol joahaeyo?)
What do you like to do for fun?
(jaemiro mwol haneun geol joahaeyo?)
What do you do in your free time?
(sigan nameul ttae mwohaeyo?)
What do you like to do in your free time?
(jayusigan isseul ttae mwohaneun geol joahaeyo?)
Can you play any musical instrument?
(akgireul yeonjuhal su isseoyo?)
Can you do any sports?
(seupocheureul hal su isseoyo?)

“What are your hobbies” in Korean

You can ask what someone’s hobbies are in Korean by saying 취미가 뭐예요? (chwimiga mwoyeyo?). This can be a good conversation starter when talking to Koreans that you just met.

While you’re at it, it’s also helpful to become more familiar with Korean question words if you need to ask or answer questions like this.

How to talk about hobbies in Korean

To answer the questions above, you can practice these phrases to help you learn Korean better:

My hobbies are...
(je chwimineun Xyeyo/ieyo.)
My hobby is traveling.
(je chwimineun yehaengieyo.)
I like...
(X joahaeyo.)
I like watching movies.
(yeonghwabogi joahaeyo.)
I like to sing.
(jeoneun noraehaneun geol joahaeyo.)
I like to do X for fun.
(jaemiro Xhaneun geol joahaeyo.)
I like taking photos for fun.
(jaemiro sajin jjingneun geol joahaeyo.)
I like to read books in my free time.
(jayusigan isseul ttae chaegeul ingneun geol joahaeyo.)
I play the piano every day.
(jeoneun maeil pianoreul chyeoyo.)
I cannot do X well.
(jeoneun Xreul jal mothaeyo.)
I can't play football well.
(jeoneun chukguchigireul jal mothaeyo.)
I don't like swimming.
(jeoneun suyeonghagireul sileohaeyo.)

Talking about hobbies to your Korean friends can be more enjoyable if you can communicate better in Korean. In this way, you can share your interests with them, and they can do the same. If that sounds good, you can learn Korean in just 90 days. Our structured online course will do the trick! Know more about it here.

Wrap Up

Wow! There are so many things you might love doing and many different but simple ways to describe them, even adding a new language to them. Now that you know how to talk about your hobby in Korean, you have yet another topic to start with! Perhaps you’ll also be asked what you are doing at a certain moment, then you can answer them with these words!

This is a great conversation starter if you meet new people in South Korea. And why not practice already below in the comment section by telling us about your favorite hobby? Don’t forget to check our blog for more fun topics in learning Korean!

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2 thoughts on “Hobbies in Korean – Vocabulary for your favorite activities”

  1. What a wealth of knowledge! This is a great resource as I am learning Korean so I can meet my pen pal in Korea. I’m sure this’ll help break the ice!

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