How To Say 'Dance' In Korean

One thing that many young Koreans, especially those living in Seoul, enjoy doing on their weekends is to go dancing. Whether in a dance group or at a night club, it’s a popular past-time with young Koreans, and there are even many high school dance troops you can spot practicing in any out of the way place with a large reflection in Seoul.

Not only that, but both boys and girls in Korea also love to rent out studios with their friends for some dance practice together. It is probably no surprise to anyone that the citizens of a country with a pop industry that relies largely on fun choreography, are also wildly interested in dancing themselves.

So today we will learn how to say ‘dance’ in Korean. It is especially good for you to learn if you share this interest in dancing, as it allows you to quickly start making dancing activity plans with all your new Korean friends!

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‘Dance’ in Korean

First of all, you can use the Konglish word 댄스 (daenseu) to refer to dance in Korean. However, the word is not used that commonly and can confuse many Koreans with its meaning. Therefore, often the better word to say dance in Korean is the purely Korean word 춤 (chum).

To make it into the verb ‘to dance’, you also have two choices. The first one is forming the expression as 춤을 추다 (chumeul chuda). It is highly likely that this is the form our minds would first jump to. However, there is an easier choice as well, which is 춤추다 (chumchuda). It still has all of the same ingredients, it just drops the object particle and merges the noun and the verb into one word.

Associations for ‘Dance’ in Korean

To remember how to say dance in Korean we’ll create an association for it in English. You can do this using similar sounding words in English, or associating images with the Hangeul characters, basically anything that helps you remember the word and its meaning.

For 춤 we’ll use the English word chum meaning ‘friend’. The pronunciation is different between these two words, what’s important is to just be able to recall the target meaning of dance.

The association is: “Who do you go dancing with? Your chum of course!”

See if you can come up with your own association and share it 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

Group of dancer exercising dance training


춤추는거 좋아해요? (chumchuneungeo joahaeyo?)

Do you like to dance?

저는 춤을 줄 모르겠어요. (jeoneun chumeul jul moreugesseoyo.)

I can’t dance.


이게 뭔데? 아까 춤을 추자고 했을때 춤을 못 춘다고 했잖아. (ige mwonde? akka chumeul chujago haesseulttae chumeul mot chundago haetjana.)

What is this? You told me you can’t dance when I suggested to dance a while before.

그렇게 잘 춤을 추는것을 어떻게 배웠어? (geureoke jal chumeul chuneungeoseul eotteoke baewosseo?)

How did you learn to dance that well?

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Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto

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