How to Say ‘Korea’ in Korean

Last Updated on September 17, 2021 by 90 Day Korean
Korean building with a blue background

Get ready to learn how to say ‘Korea’ in Korean, because we’re going to teach you how in about 5 minutes flat!

We’ll also explain why many people get the pronunciation wrong (without even knowing it!).

This is one of the first words many people learn in Korean, since it’s used often when speaking Korean or traveling to Korea.

It comes up time and time again, so we’re going to make sure you are prepared.

Let’s get to it!

Korean building with a blue background

In this short lesson, we’ll get you using the word and some other forms of it. We’re going to teach you how to say ‘Korea’ in Korean and as a bonus, we’ll give you some sample sentences, and give you ideas for how to remember it easily.

Let’s get right into it.

‘Korea’ in Korean

The way to say ‘Korea’ in Korean is . Just two syllables! Take a look at how it’s written in Korean and get a feel for its pronunciation:

how to say korea in korean

Many people are confused because the final ㄱ syllable in 국 is pronounced softly. If you try to pronounce it distinctly, it will be a bit difficult and sound strange. Instead, you can make it more of a lighter pronunciation.

Romanization and Vocabulary Memorization – A Warning

As you can see, we’ve written the romanized version of the word  above to assist with pronunciation for beginners. It’s definitely a great way to easily pronounce new words when you’re just starting out. That being said, if you intend to delve into learning the Korean language, our recommendation is to avoid romanization altogether and just move onto becoming comfortable with Hangul (the Korean alphabet). 

“Why?” you might ask. Well, we’re glad you asked! The biggest reason is that romanization can be confusing is because the English characters cannot perfectly replicate the sounds that Korean characters make. Add that to the fact that there are multiple methods for romanizing Korean, and it just complicates things. You need to learn each method to be able to read the words, since different websites or signs may use different methods. Cut out the time it takes you to learn romanization methods and just invest 90 minutes in learning to read Korean – that’s really all it takes!

Picking up vocabulary words here and there is a great way to help you start getting a feel for the Korean language but if you really want to start having conversations or be able to use the language, it won’t get you very far. We recommend by starting to learn some phrases or taking a course and studying the grammar of the language. Take a look at our free list of Korean phrases or consider joining our full Korean course and we’ll help you learn Korean in 90 days!

Other Ways to Say ‘Korea’ in Korean

Although Koreans most often refer to Korea as , the full name of the Republic of Korea is 대한민국 (daehanminguk) which translates as ‘The Democratic nation of the Great Han.” You’ll often hear this being chanted during international events to show a sense of pride for Korea.

Also, as you may know, Korea is divided into two different nations. We have been specifically talking about South Korea, but if you wish to refer to North Korea, you can say , which literally means “North Korea.”

Can't read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 60 minutes!

Bonus – Korean People and Korean Language

Now that you’ve learned how to say ‘Korea’ in Korean, you’re ready to move onto some upgrades! Let’s learn the ways to refer to a Korean person and the Korean language:

Korean (person) or 한국 사람 (hanguksaram)

Korean (language)

If you’re curious about the Korean language, go here:

Sample Sentences

We’ve added some sample sentences to help you get a feel for how the word ‘Korea’ in Korean is used. Can you still remember the word? Try to find it in the sentences below and grasp their meaning. As we mentioned before, your main study focus should always be on the practical usage of the word in phrases and conversation, so this should help.

Example (Formal):

저는 한국을 좋아합니다. (jeoneun hangugeul joahamnida)

I like Korea.

한국의 문화는 매우 따뜻하고 친절합니다.

(hangugui munhwaneun maeu ttatteuthago chinjeolhamnida)

Korea’s culture is very warm and hospitable.

Example (Standard):

한국의 수도는 서울이다. (hangugui sudoneun seourida)

The capital city of Korea is Seoul.

Example (Informal):

한국에서 영어를 가르치고 있어요. (hangugeseo yeongeoreul gareuchigo isseoyo)

I am teaching English in Korea.

How to Remember the Word

Learning new Korean vocabulary words isn’t easy! It takes some time to let them sink in. You can speed up the process by making associations to help you remember them rapidly.

Finding words that sound similar in English or making silly pictures in your head are two easy ways to go about this. If you have a base knowledge of some simply Korean vocabulary, you can also use those as associations.

For example, imagine Han Solo from Star Wars! The word “Han” sounds similar to the first syllable in the word . Also, the second syllable (국 | guk) is the same as the word for ‘soup’ in Korean. Imagine Han Solo visiting Korea and sitting down to a nice hearty bowl of Korean soup (국 | guk)!

What’s your favorite thing about Korea? Do you have any ways you like to remember this word? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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

    13 replies to "How to Say ‘Korea’ in Korean"

    • Avatar for Salem Salem

      Hi! What is the difference between 한국인 and 한국 사람? I know 사람 means person? What does 인 mean? I’ve seen 한국 사람 used a lot in textbooks and learning apps, and I’ve seen 한국인 used elsewhere. Is it more common to say 한국인 in conversation, or are both used often?

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi! 한국인 and 한국 사람 both mean “Korean” they are two different words with the same meaning. 인 is a sino-Korean word(derived from Chinese) meaning ‘person’ while 사람 is a pure Korean word (native Korean) meaning the same. Both are used commonly so you can use either one. ^^

    • Avatar for kendall kendall

      omg i love korea

    • Avatar for munj munj

      hello I would like to ask, which form is correct for the “geurakoreu”? This is for my f&b brand and I wanna include the hangul version of it. stand for the abreviation of”gerobak korea”. Is it “그라꼬르” or “그라코르”? thank you in advance for the help

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi, Munj! I think ‘그라코르’ would be better. ^^

    • Avatar for Indra Indra

      Hey! I’m trying to learn Korean and I’m making a front page for my exercise book. I want to say ‘Korean study’ on the front page but I don’t really know how yet… Google says it is 한국 학습
      Is this right?

      • Avatar for Sky Sky

        I’m not an expert but I know the base form of to study is 공부하. So maybe 한국어 공부?

        • Avatar for Algy Lacey Algy Lacey

          공부 is the noun `study`, so 공부하다 (`do study`) is the base form of the verb `study`. I think ‘한국어 공부’ is OK.

      • Avatar for Trixie Trixie

        Hi! I know I’m a little late. I’m not korean, but I think the right way is to say “한국어를 공부해요”

        • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

          한국어를 공부해요 will make it “Study Korean” which is fine to use as well! Thank you for the comment, Trixie. ^^

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi Indra,

        Sky is right. the base form is 공부하다 so 한국어 공부 is better

        • Avatar for Indra Urlings Indra Urlings

          Thank you so much!

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