Let’s learn how to say ‘you’re welcome’ in Korean!
Formal ‘You’re Welcome’ in Korean
1. 천만에요 (cheonmaneyo)
This word comes from the number 천만 meaning ‘ten-million’ in English. The logic behind this expression is that the thing you are being thanked for doing is so small that even if you did it ten-million times the other person still wouldn’t need to thank you.
This expression is often seen when you look up ‘you’re welcome’ in the dictionary. However, it isn’t actually used that often in spoken conversation. It mainly appears in books or translations rather than everyday spoken Korean.
2. 별말씀을요 (byeolmalsseumeullyo)
This is another expression that can be used to mean ‘you’re welcome’. It is quite formal, and again isn’t used that often.
3. 아닙니다 (animnida)
This expression literally translates to ‘no’ in formal Korean. The usual spoken response to ‘thank you’ in Korean is ‘no’.
If you are speaking in a formal setting such as a job interview, then you may wish to use this higher level of formality and say 아닙니다 instead of 아니에요.
Standard ‘You’re Welcome’ in Korean
1. 아니에요 (anieyo)
The most common response to ‘thank you’ in Korean is ‘아니에요’. This is the word that you will hear the most often. Therefore, if you just want to learn one way of how to say ‘you’re welcome’ in Korean, then learn this expression!
When saying 아니에요, it is important to get your voice tone correct. Rather than saying ‘no’ in a short, sharp manner, you need to elongate and stretch this word so it sounds more like ‘아… 니에에요’. This helps to show the meaning behind the word—a kind way of saying ‘no’!
2. 괜찮아요 (gwaenchanayo)
Literally meaning ‘it’s alright’ or ‘its okay’, 괜찮아요 can also be used when saying ‘you’re welcome’. If you want, you combine this with ‘아니에요’ and say ‘아니에요, 괜찮아요’. As with 아니에요, you need to use your voice tone to help convey your meaning when saying 괜찮아요. Practice saying it in a kind way, and you’ll be all set!
Informal ‘You’re Welcome’ in Korean
1. 아니야 (aniya)
2. 괜찮아 (gwaenchana)
When speaking informally, then informal versions of ‘no’ and ‘it’s alright’ can be used. Like the regular versions of these words, 아니야 and 괜찮아 can be combined and their meaning needs to be conveyed by your voice tone.
‘You’re Welcome’ After Giving a Gift
If somebody says ‘thank you’ after receiving a gift then you can say ‘it’s nothing special’. In Korean you should say ‘별 거 아니에요’ (byeol geo anieyo).
Instead of saying ‘you’re welcome’, sometimes the person being thanked says ‘thank you’, too.
For example, if somebody says ‘thank you for coming’, you can say ‘thank you for inviting me’ (초대해 주셔서 감사합니다 – chodaehae jusyeoseo gamsahamnida).
If you only want to learn one way of how to say ‘you’re welcome’ in Korean then learn the word ‘아니에요’. Remember, voice tone is very important when saying this word. Listen to other people saying it in natural conversations, and try and copy their voice tone in order to get your message across.
If you learn good manners and can properly say this phrase, then you’ll be ‘welcome’ anywhere!