Here’s the comprehensive list of Korean phrases that you’ll need to join in on the fun and converse in Korean. This is the up-to-date modern version of how Koreans actually talk, so buckle up and get ready for some fun!
We’re going to get the best phrases out to you on this page, broken down by category.
Forget the dated guidebooks or confusing phrases that don’t make sense, this list will give you exactly what you need for your next adventure in Korea. We’ll provide the phrases with the Korean alphabet and romanization.
We highly recommend you learn the Korean Hangeul ASAP to improve your Korean studies.
If you need this list to take with you on the go, we’ve got you covered! The PDF download is right here:
Read on and study the phrases section by section. Or, skip ahead to the phrases you are most interested in, and add them to your favorite flashcard deck.
Most important of all, have fun with them!
- 1 Formal vs Informal
- 2 The Basics
- 3 Places
- 3.1 Restaurant Korean Phrases
- 3.2 Cafe & Coffee Shop Korean Phrases
- 3.3 Shopping Korean Phrases
- 3.4 Dry Cleaner Korean Phrases
- 3.5 Bank Korean Phrases
- 3.6 Hospital Korean Phrases
- 3.7 Pharmacy Korean Phrases
- 3.8 Dentist Korean Phrases
- 3.9 Hair Salon Korean Phrases
- 3.10 Movie Theater & Cinema
- 3.11 Post Office Korean Phrases
- 4 Travel and Transportation
- 5 Situations
- 5.1 Dinner Table Korean Phrases
- 5.2 Getting to Know You Korean Phrases
- 5.3 Meeting Friends Korean Phrases
- 5.4 Special Occasion Korean Phrases
- 5.5 Phone Call Korean Phrases
- 5.6 Mobile Phone Korean Phrases
- 5.7 Korean Exclamations
- 5.8 Impress the Locals
- 5.9 Talking with the Landlord Korean Phrases
- 5.10 Apartment Search Korean Phrases
- 5.11 Dating & Romance Korean Phrases
- 5.12 Taxi Korean Phrases
- 5.13 Emergency Korean Phrases
- 5.14 Encouragement Korean Phrases
- 6 Special
Below, we’ll give a brief into to formal vs. informal, then get right into with with the most important phrases. After those, the phrases are broken down by situation.
Formal vs Informal
Korean has many levels of formality within the language. Because of this, saying simple things can seem extremely complex because of the social hierarchies.
If you’re learning Korean but you don’t have Korean ancestry in your family, then you’re in the clear! You can get by with the standard forms of the language and you’ll still be considered polite. That way you can learn some simple phrases without having to know all of the intricacies of the language.
Since there are different forms of Korean, you may occasionally hear more formal versions of the phrases below. However, we’ll give you the 20% of the phrases you’ll hear 80% of the time so you can learn Korean fast.
Let’s get to it!
If you’ve only got a short time to learn some phrases, then best to stick with the basics. These expressions are the 80/20 of what you need to know (20% that will give you 80% of the results).
Essential Korean Phrases
Need the bare minimum for talking in Korean? These are the phrases you’ll want to get down to make sure your time in Korea is smooth sailing!
You might notice that that there area few ways of saying some common phrases, such as “excuse me” and “goodbye”. In English, these phrases are much more multi-purpose. In Korean, there are specific phrases that you’ll use for certain situations.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Thank You 고맙습니다 gomapseumnida Don’t mention it 천만에요 cheonmaneyo Sorry 미안합니다 mianhamnida That’s OK 괜찮아요 gwaenchanayo Hello 안녕하세요? annyeonghaseyo? Excuse me (to get attention) 저기요 jeogiyo Excuse me (to apologize) 실례합니다 sillyehamnida Excuse me (to pass someone) 잠시만요 jamsimanyo Hello (on phone) 여보세요 yeoboseyo Good morning 안녕하세요? annyeonghaseyo? Good evening 안녕하세요? annyeonghaseyo? Sleep well 잘 자요 jal jayo Sweet dreams 좋은 꿈 꿔요 joeun kkum kkwoyo Goodbye (to person leaving) 안녕히 가세요 annyeonghi gaseyo Goodbye (to person staying) 안녕히 계세요 annyeonghi gyeseyo Get home safely 잘 가요 jal gayo Have a nice day 좋은 하루 보내세요 joeun haru bonaeseyo Have a good trip! 여행 잘하세요 yeohaeng jalhaseyo Welcome 환영합니다 hwanyeonghamnida Yes 네 ne No 아니오 anio Maybe 아마도 amado Just a moment! 잠깐만요! jamkkanmanyo! I feel sick 아파요 apayo I need a doctor 의사가 필요해요 uisaga pillyohaeyo Take me to the hospital (to taxi) 병원에 가주세요 byeongwone gajuseyo
Everyday Korean Phrases
As you learn the lay of the land with your Korean learning, you’ll want to setup up from the essentials to phrases that you’ll need on a daily basis.
When you’re asking questions in Korean, make sure to direct your intonation upwards towards the end of the sentences, as if you’re unsure.
You’ve got the phrases necessary to have simple interactions, so now’s the time to put them to use!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Where is the bathroom? 화장실은 어디에 있어요? hwajangsireun eodie isseoyo? Please repeat that 다시 말해 주세요 dasi malhae juseyo Please speak slowly 천천히 말해 주세요 cheoncheonhi malhae juseyo Please write it down 적어 주세요 jeogeo juseyo I understand 이해해요 ihaehaeyo I don’t understand 이해 못해요 ihae mothaeyo I don’t know 몰라요 mollayo I know 알아요 arayo Can you speak Korean? 한국말을 할 수 있어요? hangungmareul hal su isseoyo? I can speak a little Korean 한국말을 조금 할 수 있어요 hangungmareul jogeum hal su isseoyo I can’t speak Korean 한국말을 못해요 hangungmareul mothaeyo How do you say _______ in Korean? _______이 한국말로 뭐예요? _______i hangungmallo mwoyeyo? How much is this? 이거 얼마예요? igeo eolmayeyo? I’ll be right back! 금방 갔다 올거예요! geumbang gatda olgeoyeyo! What is this? 이게 뭐예요 ige mwoyeyo Don’t worry! 걱정 하지 마세요! geokjeong haji maseyo! No problem! 문제 없어요 munje eopseoyo Good 좋아요 joayo Bad 안 좋아요 an joayo So-so 그저 그래요 geujeo geuraeyo
Use these phrases at various place. They’re broken up by different locations, so get your Korean skills up one spot at a time!
Restaurant Korean Phrases
If you’ve had Korean food before, then you know why Koreans can’t live without it when they go abroad. A Korean meal is not just any ordinary culinary experience. It’s a symphony of various side dishes, main dishes, drinks, appetizers, and desserts that will make you wonder how you’ve lived without it for so long.
Korean cuisine is not only strong on variety, but it also is strong on taste! You’ll experience meat, vegetables, noodles, rice, and other seasonings in a way that you might not have had before. But beware, some of these may catch you off guard! Koreans love to spice things up, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself reaching for the ice water more than normal.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Do you have a table for 4 people? 네명 자리 있어요? nemyeong jari isseoyo? Please give me a menu 메뉴판 주세요 menyupan juseyo Do you have vegetarian dishes? 채식주의자용 식사 있어요? chaesikjuuijayong siksa isseoyo? Is this spicy? 이거 매워요? igeo maewoyo? Please do not make this spicy 맵지 않게 요리해 주세요 maepji anke yorihae juseyo Please give me 4 orders of galbi 갈비 사인분 주세요 galbi sainbun juseyo Please give me 1 bottle of soju 소주 한병 주세요 soju hanbyeong juseyo Please give me 3 glasses 유리잔 세개 주세요 yurijan segae juseyo It’s delicious! 맛있어요! masisseoyo! I don’t like it 맛없어요 maseopseoyo It was a delicious meal! 잘 먹었습니다! jal meogeotseumnida! What time do you close? 몇시에 문 닫아요? myeotsie mun dadayo? Do you take credit cards? 카드 돼요? kadeu dwaeyo?
Cafe & Coffee Shop Korean Phrases
If you’ve been to Seoul before, then you know you can go more than a few minutes in each direction without running into a cafe. Korea has a massive coffee-drinking culture, and it’s continuing to spread!
When you order at a cafe, there are some unique Korean cafe phrases that might be surprising to English speakers. For example, the way you ask for your order to go will be different depending on whether you order only a drink or if you order food with your drink. Although Koreans think this is normal, even they get surprised when they think about the intricacies of Korean!
Use these phrases to get the caffeine boost that will supercharge your day.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Please give me 1 hot coffee 따뜻한 아메리카노 한잔 주세요 ttatteuthan amerikano hanjan juseyo Please give me 2 ice coffees 아이스 아메리카노 두잔 주세요 aiseu amerikano dujan juseyo Do you have non-caffeinated drinks? 카페인 없는 음료 있어요? kapein eomneun eumnyo isseoyo? I’d like to eat here 여기서 먹고 갈게요 yeogiseo meokgo galgeyo I’d like this to go (drink only) 테이크 아웃이에요 teikeu ausieyo I’d like this to go (food and drink) 포장해 주세요 pojanghae juseyo Please throw away my receipt 영수증은 버려 주세요 yeongsujeungeun beoryeo juseyo Do you have wifi here? 와이파이 있어요? waipai isseoyo? What is the wifi password? 비밀 번호 알려 주세요 bimil beonho allyeo juseyo Do you have electrical outlets? 콘센트 있어요? konsenteu isseoyo? Where are your electrical outlets? 콘센트 어디에 있어요? konsenteu eodie isseoyo?
Shopping Korean Phrases
If you’re out in Dongadaemun, Garosul-gil, or Myeongdong, you are definitely going to need some phrases to help you shop!
Korea has it’s own specialized vocabulary terms when it comes to shopping, so make sure you know these before you head out for the next shopping spree. For example, did you know that some Korean credit cards give you the choice of paying for your purchase over one month or multiple month installments? The installment plans have interest fees, so plan accordingly! Be ready for this question, since some stores will ask you if you want your purchase to be put through as “일시불”.
Use these Korean phrases to add even more fun to your shopping experience.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Throw away the receipt 영수증은 버려 주세요 yeongsujeungeun beoryeo juseyo Please give me a receipt 영수증 주세요 yeongsujeung juseyo Put it in a bag 봉투에 넣어 주세요 bongtue neoeo juseyo Please give me a discount 좀 깎아 주세요 jom kkakka juseyo How much is it? 얼마예요? eolmayeyo? Please give me _______ _______ 주세요 _______ juseyo Do you have _______? _______ 있어요? _______ isseoyo? Can I pay with credit card? 카드 돼요? kadeu dwaeyo? Please give me a refund 환불해 주세요 hwanbulhae juseyo Please exchange this 교환해 주세요 gyohwanhae juseyo Please wrap it for me 포장해 주세요 pojanghae juseyo One-time payment 일시불 ilsibul 3 month installments 3개월 할부 3gaewol halbu
Dry Cleaner Korean Phrases
Looking sharp and stylish doesn’t happen by accident. Koreans are extremely image-conscious, and go to great lengths to make sure their appearance is the best it can be at all times.
If you feel the same about your clothing, then you know the dry cleaners is your best friend! Ordinary shirts, trousers, skirts, and suits make your clothing look new again. Not only that, but you can save some of your clothing from certain doom. We all know what it feels like when you put your favorite sweater in the dryer and it comes out three sizes too small!
Best to leave the care of your finest threads to the professionals. The next time you stop by your friendly neighborhood dry cleaner in Korea, use these phrases to insure you get exactly what you want.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Please dry clean this for me 드라이 해 주세요 deurai hae juseyo Please iron this for me 다림질 해 주세요 darimjil hae juseyo Please make this longer 기장을 늘려 주세요. gijangeul neullyeo juseyo. Please make this shorter 기장을 줄여 주세요. gijangeul jullyeo juseyo. Please sew on this button 단추 붙여주세요 danchu butyeojuseyo Can you remove this stain? 얼룩 뺄 수 있어요? eolluk ppael su isseoyo? When can I pick up my clothes? 옷을 언제 받을 수 있어요? oseul eonje badeul su isseoyo? I’m here to pick up my clothes 제 옷을 찾으러 왔어요 je oseul chajeureo wasseoyo How much is it? 얼마예요? eolmayeyo? How much is the total? 모두 얼마예요? modu eolmayeyo?
Bank Korean Phrases
Maybe you’re tired of fumbling around with hand gestures and sentence fragments at the bank. Or perhaps you want to get your banking done at the local branch instead of heading into the one across town that has English speakers.
We got you covered!
Grab your stacks of 오만원 bills, pack them in your briefcase, and head down to your friendly neighborhood bank. Hopefully they have a big enough vault for you!
Use these at the bank to confidently, quickly, and seamlessly get your banking biz taken care of.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization I would like to open a new bank account 통장을 만들고 싶어요 tongjangeul mandeulgo sipeoyo I would like an ATM card 체크 카드를 만들고 싶어요 chekeu kadeureul mandeulgo sipeoyo I need to reset my password 비밀번호를 재발급 하고 싶어요 bimilbeonhoreul jaebalgeup hago sipeoyo Are there monthly fees? 수수료 있어요? susuryo isseoyo? Do you have an ID card 신분증 있어요? sinbunjeung isseoyo? Please give me your ID card 신분증 주세요 sinbunjeung juseyo Do you need internet banking? 인터넷 뱅킹 필요해요? inteonet baengking pillyohaeyo? I would like to apply for a public certificate 공인인증서 발급하고 싶어요 gongininjeungseo balgeupago sipeoyo I want to send money to _______ _______에 돈 보내려고 왔어요 _______e don bonaeryeogo wasseoyo I need to make a deposit 입금 해주세요 ipgeum haejuseyo I need to make a withdrawal 출금 해주세요 chulgeum haejuseyo How much is the wire transfer charge? 송금 수수료는 얼마예요? songgeum susuryoneun eolmayeyo? Can I apply for a credit card? 신용 카드 신청할 수 있어요? sinyong kadeu sincheonghal su isseoyo?
Hospital Korean Phrases
Nobody likes going to the hospital, but it sure it sure is a relief to see a doctor when you aren’t feeling well!
Use these phrases below to explain to the doctor what the problem is.
Even if the doctor speaks English, you may find these phrases handy to use with the nurse or the receptionist who takes your name down and asks what is bothering you.
If you get a prescription, they will usually be a pharmacy nearby. Sometimes, there will be pharmacy inside the hospital!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization I need to see a doctor 진찰을 받고 싶어요 jinchareul batgo sipeoyo I have health insurance 건강 보험 있어요 geongang boheom isseoyo My body aches all over 몸살 났어요 momsal nasseoyo I have a headache 머리가 아파요 meoriga apayo I have a sore throat 목이 아파요 mogi apayo I have a stomachache 배가 아파요 baega apayo I have diarrhea 설사를 해요 seolsareul haeyo I have indigestion 소화불량 체했어요 sohwabullyang chehaesseoyo My nose is runny 자꾸 콧물이 나요 jakku konmuri nayo My nose is stuffy 코가 막혔어요 koga makyeosseoyo I don’t have any allergies 알레르기가 없어요 allereugiga eopseoyo I am allergic to _______ _______에 알레르기가 있어요 _______e allereugiga isseoyo Where can I get this prescription filled? 어디에서 약을 조제할 수 있어요? eodieseo yageul jojehal su isseoyo? I have a prescription to fill 처방전을 받아 왔어요 cheobangjeoneul bada wasseoyo
Pharmacy Korean Phrases
If you’re not feeling well and you don’t think it’s quite worth a doctor visit, then you might want to swing by your local pharmacy in Korea.
The pharmacists in Korea are very helpful. Explain what the problem is, and they’ll give you the recommended medicine to get you back to your former glorious self.
Or, maybe you went to the hospital and now you’ve got that piece of paper with the cure to your sickness. You’ll be on your way with your prescription filled in no time!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Do you have Tylenol? 타이레놀 있어요? tairenol isseoyo? I have a cold 감기에 걸렸어요 gamgie geollyeosseoyo I have a stuffy nose 코가 막혔어요. koga makyeosseoyo. I have a runny nose 자꾸 콧물이 나요 jakku konmuri nayo I have a headache 머리가 아파요 meoriga apayo I have a sore throat 목이 아파요 mogi apayo I have a stomachache 배가 아파요 baega apayo My body aches all over 몸살 났어요 momsal nasseoyo I have been sick for two days 이틀 동안 아팠어요 iteul dongan apasseoyo Take one pill twice a day 하루에 두 번 한 알씩 드세요 harue du beon han alssik deuseyo Take one pill three times a day with meals 하루에 세 번 식사할 때마다 한 알씩 드세요 harue se beon siksahal ttaemada han alssik deuseyo I don’t have any allergies 알레르기가 없어요 allereugiga eopseoyo I am allergic to _______ _______에 알레르기가 있어요 _______e allereugiga isseoyo I have a prescription to fill 처방전을 받아 왔어요 cheobangjeoneul bada wasseoyo
Dentist Korean Phrases
It’s about that time to take care of that movie star smile!
If you’re afraid of the dentist, you’re not alone. Not to worry, we’ve got some phrases you can use at the dentist office to make sure your visit is a smooth one.
In Korean, people use the term “scaling” (스케일링) for cleaning. If the dentist starts talking about scaling your teeth, don’t be surprised, it’s a good thing!
Most of the dentists in Korea speak English, so you likely won’t have to worry about a heavy langauge barrier. However, their assistants may not be as able to communicate, so having some Korean phrases may come in handy.
The dentists in Korea are really good, so sit back and relax, it should be a painless and carefree visit!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization I’m here to make an appointment 예약하려고 왔는데요 yeyakaryeogo wanneundeyo How long do I have to wait? 얼마나 기다려야해요? eolmana gidaryeoyahaeyo? My last checkup was 1 year ago 마지막 치과 검진한지 1년 됐어요 majimak chigwa geomjinhanji 1nyeon dwaesseoyo My last cleaning was 6 months ago 마지막 스케일링한지 6개월 됐어요 majimak seukeillinghanji 6gaewol dwaesseoyo I am here for a cleaning 스케일링 하러 왔어요 seukeilling hareo wasseoyo I'm here for a dental checkup 치과 검진 하러 왔어요 chigwa geomjin hareo wasseoyo My upper tooth hurts 윗니가 아파요 winniga apayo My lower tooth is senstive 아랫니가 시려요 araenniga siryeoyo My gums hurt 잇몸이 아파요 inmomi apayo I think I have a cavity 충치가 생긴 것 같아요 chungchiga saenggin geot gatayo I don’t have dental insurance 치과 보험 없어요 chigwa boheom eopseoyo I have dental insurance 치과 보험 있어요 chigwa boheom isseoyo Can I pay with a credit card? 카드 돼요? kadeu dwaeyo?
Hair Salon Korean Phrases
Ready to head out to the salon?
Or, the “미용실” as they call in it Korean?
You may be worried about the stylist chopping away at you gorgeous locks of hair. After all, it’s really easy to miscommunicate when you’re talking in a foreign language!
And nobody likes to be reassured with the phrase “don’t worry, it will grow back.”
Unlikely it will grow back in time for your big date on Saturday night!
Thankfully, there are hair salon phrases to help you get exactly the hairstyle that you want.
Study up, and get ready to show off that new hairdo!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Please give me a haircut 커트 해주세요 keoteu haejuseyo Please dye my hair 염색 해주세요 yeomsaek haejuseyo Dye only my roots please 뿌리 염색 해 주세요 (뿌염 해주세요) ppuri yeomsaek hae juseyo (ppuyeom haejuseyo) Dye my hair this color please 이 색깔로 염색 해 주세요 i saekkkallo yeomsaek hae juseyo Please perm my hair 파마 해주세요 pama haejuseyo How much does a haircut cost? 머리 커트 얼마예요? meori keoteu eolmayeyo? How long will it take? 시간 얼마나 걸려요? sigan eolmana geollyeoyo? Please don’t cut it too short 너무 짧게 자르지 마세요 neomu jjalge jareuji maseyo Please cut it a little shorter here 여기 조금 더 잘라 주세요 yeogi jogeum deo jalla juseyo Please just trim my hair 좀 다듬어 주세요 jom dadeumeo juseyo Please just trim my bangs 앞머리만 다듬어 주세요 ammeoriman dadeumeo juseyo Please trim the sides and even out the top 위에는 그냥 두고 옆에만 다듬어주세요 wieneun geunyang dugo yeopeman dadeumeojuseyo Leave the back long 뒷머리는 길게 남겨 두세요 dwinmeorineun gilge namgyeo duseyo I’d like to make an appointment tomorrow at 2pm 내일 오후 2시로 예약을 하고싶은데요 naeil ohu 2siro yeyageul hagosipeundeyo I’d like my hair like this person in the picture 사진에 있는 사람처럼 머리를 잘라 주세요 sajine inneun saramcheoreom meorireul jalla juseyo Make it about this long 이 정도로 길게 해 주세요 i jeongdoro gilge hae juseyo
Movie Theater & Cinema
No matter what time of year, what time of day, or what the weather is like, it’s always a good time to go see a movie in Korea!
There are a few great things about going to the movies in Korea.
First of all, you can easily reserve tickets for a movie through smartphone apps. If some problem with your schedule comes up, many theaters have a refund policy if you cancel before the movie starts (depending on the movie theater).
Secondly, many of the theaters have movies that start well into midnight. You may find yourself going to a movie at 3:00am!
Thirdly, you can cuddle up with your significant other during your movie by reserving couple seats, often on the top row. CGV calls them “Sweetbox” seats, and they have a foldable armrest for a loveseat-style feeling at the movies.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Are there any seats available for the 7:30pm showing? 7시반 상영 자리 있어요? 7siban sangyeong jari isseoyo? Are there subtitles for this movie? 영화 자막 있어요? yeonghwa jamak isseoyo? What time is X movie showing? X 영화는 언제 상영해요? X yeonghwaneun eonje sangyeonghaeyo? What is the genre of the movie? 영화는 무슨 장르에요? yeonghwaneun museun jangneueyo? How long is the movie? 영화 상영 시간이 얼마나 돼요? yeonghwa sangyeong sigani eolmana dwaeyo? Where is Theater 12 영화관12관 어디에 있어요? yeonghwagwan12gwan eodie isseoyo? Where is the concession stand? 매점은 어디 있어요? maejeomeun eodi isseoyo? I’d like two tickets for X movie X 영화는 2장 주세요 X yeonghwaneun 2jang juseyo How much are the Sweetbox seats? 스위트박스 자리는 얼마예요? seuwiteubakseu jarineun eolmayeyo? Do you give discounts to students? 학생 할인 돼요? haksaeng harin dwaeyo? When is the last move playing? 마지막 영화는 언제예요? majimak yeonghwaneun eonjeyeyo?
Post Office Korean Phrases
Thinking about sending Mom a letter?
Or maybe you have to mail a birthday gift to a best friend.
Better head to the post office!
The post offices in Korea have a wide variety of services, from regular domestic shipments to international air mail. Most locations also have shipping supplies right at the post office, so you can do all of your packing and shipping in one spot!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization How much is it to send by air mail? 항공우편으로 얼마예요? hanggongupyeoneuro eolmayeyo? How much is the least expensive shipping option? 제일 싼 우편 방법 얼마예요? jeil ssan upyeon bangbeop eolmayeyo? Do I need a customs form? 세관 서류 필요해요? segwan seoryu pillyohaeyo? Please send this package by registered mail 등기로 소포 보내주세요 deunggiro sopo bonaejuseyo Please send this envelope to Canada by regular mail 캐나다에 봉투우편으로 보내주세요 kaenadae bongtuupyeoneuro bonaejuseyo Where can I buy stamps? 우표는 어디에서 살 수 있어요? upyoneun eodieseo sal su isseoyo? Please give me 3 stamps 우표 3장 주세요 upyo 3jang juseyo Do you sell envelopes? 편지 봉투 팔아요? pyeonji bongtu parayo? How long will it take to be delivered? 배송기간은 얼마나 걸려요? baesonggiganeun eolmana geollyeoyo? What is the zip code for this address? 이 주소의 우편번호가 뭐예요? i jusoui upyeonbeonhoga mwoyeyo? Please give me one size 3 box 3호 박스 1개 주세요 3ho bakseu 1gae juseyo Please give me some bubble wrap 뽁뽁이 좀 주세요 ppokppogi jom juseyo
Travel and Transportation
Pack your bags! We’re hitting the road and going to put some Korean phrases to the test. Use these expressions to help you communicate as you travel and take trips throughout Korea.
Asking for Directions Korean Phrases
Pack your bags, it’s time to do some traveling within Korea!
Of course we want to make this experience as smooth as possible, so we’ll give you some phrases you can use in case you get lost or need directions.
Whether you’re in the big city or quiet countryside, use these Korean phrases to ask the locals where something is.
Start things off with a simple “잠시만요”, and then get to chatting!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Excuse me (asking for help politely) 실례합니다 sillyehamnida Excuse me (asking for help) 저기요 jeogiyo I’m lost 길을 잃어버렸어요 gireul ileobeoryeosseoyo Do you know where _______ is? _______ 어디인지 아세요? _______ eodiinji aseyo? How far is it from here? 여기에서 얼마나 걸리는지 아세요? yeogieseo eolmana geollineunji aseyo? Is it far from here? 여기에서 멀어요? yeogieseo meoreoyo? It’s quite far 꽤 멀어요 kkwae meoreoyo It’s not far 멀지 않아요 meolji anayo It’s close 가까워요 gakkawoyo It’s not within walking distance 걸어갈 만한 거리가 아니예요 georeogal manhan georiga aniyeyo It’s about 1 kilometer from here 여기에서 1킬로정도 멀어요 yeogieseo 1killojeongdo meoreoyo Can you show me on the map? 지도로 보여 주시겠어요? jidoro boyeo jusigesseoyo? I’m sorry, I’m not from around here 미안하지만 저는 이 근처 사람이 아니예요 mianhajiman jeoneun i geuncheo sarami aniyeyo It’s that way 그 쪽으로 가세요 geu jjogeuro gaseyo Go left 왼쪽 가세요 oenjjok gaseyo Go right 오른쪽에 가세요 oreunjjoge gaseyo Go straight 쭉 가세요 jjuk gaseyo
Hotel and Pension Korean Phrases
Use these phrases to help you at hotels and pensions (B&Bs) in Korea!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Do you have any rooms available? 빈방 있어요? binbang isseoyo? I would like to make a reservation 예약을 하고 싶어요 yeyageul hago sipeoyo Did you have a reservation? 예약은 하셨습니까? yeyageun hasyeotseumnikka? I have a reservation 네, 예약했어요 ne, yeyakaesseoyo I don’t have a reservation 아직 예약을 하지 않았어요 ajik yeyageul haji anasseoyo How much is a room for one night? 하루에 방이 얼마예요? harue bangi eolmayeyo? Is breakfast included with the room? 요금에 조식은 포함되어 있어요? yogeume josigeun pohamdoeeo isseoyo? How long would you like to stay? 몇 박을 하실 겁니까? myeot bageul hasil geomnikka? May I see the room first? 방을 먼저 봐도 돼요? bangeul meonjeo bwado dwaeyo? I will stay for _____ night(s) _____ 일 묵겠어요 _____ il mukgesseoyo May I have your name? 성함을 말씀해주세요 seonghameul malsseumhaejuseyo Can you wake me at _____? _____ 시에 깨워주시겠어요? _____ sie kkaewojusigesseoyo? I want to check out now 지금 체크 아웃하고 싶어요 jigeum chekeu authago sipeoyo
Bus Korean Phrases
The Korean bus system is one of the best systems in the world.
The buses are fast, clean, and on time. This goes for the smaller local buses (마을 버스), the regular city buses, and even the express buses (고속 버스).
At many bus stops in Seoul, there is a digital display that shows which buses are coming and what time they will arrive. It’s very accurate!
If you really want to dial in your schedule down to the minute, you can download applications to tell you which bus will arrive at at certain times. That way, you can check the bus arrival times before you get to the bus stop. This is especially useful when during the winter. You may want to stay in that warm cafe or restaurant as long as possible, and walk out to your bus right as it arrives.
The phrases below will help you with regular city buses. There are also phrases to help you book bus tickets from different parts of the country at the various terminals around Korea.
Charge up your T-Money card, and go for a ride!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Please stop the bus here 여기서 세워 주세요 yeogiseo sewo juseyo Please open the bus door 버스 문 열어 주세요 beoseu mun yeoreo juseyo What time is the last bus? 마지막 버스 언제예요? majimak beoseu eonjeyeyo? How much is the bus fare? 버스 요금 얼마예요? beoseu yogeum eolmayeyo? Where can I charge my bus card? 버스 카드 어디에 충전할 수 있어요? beoseu kadeu eodie chungjeonhal su isseoyo? How much is a bus ticket to _____? _____에 가는 버스 표가 얼마예요? _____e ganeun beoseu pyoga eolmayeyo? One ticket to _____, please _____에 가는 표 한 장 주세요 _____e ganeun pyo han jang juseyo Where does this bus go? 이 버스는 어디로 가요? i beoseuneun eodiro gayo? Where is the bus to _____? _____에 가는 버스는 어디에 있어요? _____e ganeun beoseuneun eodie isseoyo? Are there tickets available for the 3pm bus to _____? 3시 _____에 가는 버스 자리 있어요? 3si _____e ganeun beoseu jari isseoyo? Does this bus stop in _____? 이 버스는 _____에 서요? i beoseuneun _____e seoyo? When does the bus for _____ leave? _____에 가는 버스는 언제 출발해요? _____e ganeun beoseuneun eonje chulbalhaeyo? When does bus number _______ arrive? _____번 버스는 언제 도착해요? _____beon beoseuneun eonje dochakaeyo? When will this bus arrive in _____? 이 버스는 _____에 언제 도착해요? i beoseuneun _____e eonje dochakaeyo?
Here are some fantastic phrases you can use for different social situations.
Dinner Table Korean Phrases
Korea has a strong food culture. Along with that, comes a wide range of interesting phrases that will allow you to express your feelings in unique ways.
For example, you say “I will eat well” before eating your meal. This is the way that Koreans show gratitude toward the person who cooked the meal. Then, instead of saying “thank you”, you’d simply say “잘 먹었습니다”, which means “I ate well.”
Also, don’t be surprised if you get some shocked looks when telling Koreans that you’re vegetarian! For Koreans, barbecuing meat is almost a religion. It’s hard for them to imagine living without that tasty part of their cuisine.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Bon appétit 맛있게 드세요 masitge deuseyo Eat up! 많이 먹어요 mani meogeoyo I will eat well! 잘 먹겠습니다 jal meokgetseumnida I ate well 잘 먹었습니다 jal meogeotseumnida It’s delicious! 맛있어요! masisseoyo! It doesn’t taste good 맛없어요 maseopseoyo I’m hungry 배고파요 baegopayo I’m thirsty 목 말라요 mok mallayo Give me _______ please _______ 주세요 _______ juseyo I’m a vegetarian 저는 채식주의자예요 jeoneun chaesikjuuijayeyo I don’t eat meat 저는 고기를 못 먹어요 jeoneun gogireul mot meogeoyo I can eat anything 다 먹을 수 있어요 da meogeul su isseoyo
Getting to Know You Korean Phrases
Concerned about first impressions?
Well, that’s great news! Koreans are very image conscious, so it’s best to start things off on the right foot.
And what better way of doing that than to know some small talk phrases!
You’re on your way to breaking the ice in Korean.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Nice to meet you 만나서 반가워요 mannaseo bangawoyo What is your name? 이름이 뭐예요? ireumi mwoyeyo? My name is _______ 제 이름은 _______이에요 je ireumeun _______ieyo Where are you from? 어디에서 왔어요? eodieseo wasseoyo? I’m from _______ 저는 _______에서 왔어요 jeoneun _______eseo wasseoyo How old are you? 몇 살이에요? myeot sarieyo? I’m _______ years old 저는 _______살이에요 jeoneun _______sarieyo I can’t speak Korean well 한국말 잘 못해요 hangungmal jal mothaeyo I’m learning Korean these days 요즘 한국말 배워요 yojeum hangungmal baewoyo What is your job? 직업이 뭐예요? jigeobi mwoyeyo? My job is _______ 제 직업은 _______이에요 je jigeobeun _______ieyo Really? 정말요? jeongmallyo? Where do you live? 어디에 사세요? eodie saseyo? Are you married? 결혼했어요? gyeolhonhaesseoyo? Do you like _______? _______를 좋아해요? _______reul joahaeyo? I like _______ _______를 좋아해요 _______reul joahaeyo
Meeting Friends Korean Phrases
Imagine that you run into your long-time Korean friend:
“How long has it been?
Have you lost weight? You look great!
I don’t think we’ve seen each other since….well, it’s been way too long!
Are you free for a few minutes? Let’s catch up!”
If you study the phrases below, you’ll have a lot to talk about.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Long time no see 오랜만이에요 oraenmanieyo Have you eaten? (showing concern) 밥 먹었어요? bap meogeosseoyo? How are you? 잘 지내요? jal jinaeyo? How have you been? 잘 지냈어요? jal jinaesseoyo? What have you been up to? 어떻게 지냈어요? eotteoke jinaesseoyo? Where shall we go? 어디로 갈까요? eodiro galkkayo? Say hi to _______ for me _______한테 안부 전해 주세요 _______hante anbu jeonhae juseyo Get home safely 집에 잘 들어가요 jibe jal deureogayo
Special Occasion Korean Phrases
If you’ve been to or lived in Korea, then you know that Koreans love to celebrate!
The big cities stay open all night long, with people roaming the streets until the sun comes up—and even after.
The next time you’re along for the celebration, use these phrases to fit in with the group.
As you go over the phrases, you’ll notice that some of them are Konglish and some are specific to the Korean language. For example, “Merry Christmas” is sounded out in Hangul. On the other hand, “Happy New Year” does not sound like the English phrase at all. Instead, it directly translates to “I hope you will receive a lot of good luck next year”.
If you’re looking for more phrases for special occasions, check out:
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Happy Birthday 생일 축하해요 saengil chukahaeyo Merry Christmas 메리 크리스마스 meri keuriseumaseu Happy New Year! 새해 복 많이 받으세요! saehae bok mani badeuseyo! Happy Chuseok! 즐거운 추석 보내세요 jeulgeoun chuseok bonaeseyo Happy Valentine's Day! 해피 발렌타인 데이! haepi ballentain dei! Cheers! 건배! geonbae! Congratulations! 축하해요 chukahaeyo
Phone Call Korean Phrases
How often do you pick up the phone and hear Korean being spoken on the other end?
If you’re living in Korea, chance are quite often!
Speaking on the phone can be challenging, especially since you can’t rely on body language or visuals to help make out words. For many, it is the part of language learning that gives them the most trouble.
Well, today we will help you get a few steps ahead of the game by giving you some common expressions that people use on the phone.
The phrases below are written in the common form. Not only is it polite, but you can use it comfortably with those older and younger than you. You may hear the other person using slightly more formal versions of these phrases, but it largely depends on who you are talking to. Most often this happens when you call into a office or company.
The next time you get or make a phone call with the other person speaking Korean, you can chat with confidence!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Hello? (on phone) 여보세요? yeoboseyo? Who is calling please? 누구세요? nuguseyo? Can I speak to _______ please? _______씨와 통화 할 수 있을까요? _______ssiwa tonghwa hal su isseulkkayo? Just a moment please 잠시만 기다려 주세요 jamsiman gidaryeo juseyo _______ isn’t in at the moment _______씨가 자리를 비웠어요 _______ssiga jarireul biwosseoyo Should I tell _______ to call you back? _______씨에게 다시 전화하라고 할까요? _______ssiege dasi jeonhwaharago halkkayo? Would you like to leave a message? 메시지를 남기시겠어요? mesijireul namgisigesseoyo? Can I take a message? 메시지를 받을 수 있어요? mesijireul badeul su isseoyo? I will connect you 제가 연결해 드릴게요 jega yeongyeolhae deurilgeyo Please repeat that for me 다시 말해 주세요 dasi malhae juseyo Please speak up a little for me 좀 더 크게 말해 주세요 jom deo keuge malhae juseyo I will call you back 제가 다시 걸게요 jega dasi geolgeyo When shall I call? 언제쯤 통화가 가능할까요? eonjejjeum tonghwaga ganeunghalkkayo?
Mobile Phone Korean Phrases
“If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three items (besides food and clothing) would you take?”
When asked this question, most people reply with “cell phone!” as their first response. How could they ever live without it? It’s an important part of most people’s lives.
Whether or not you feel the same way, you’ll like come across times where you’ll need to take care of your mobile phone. Below are some common Korean expressions that you can use to help you keep your phone powered up and data-charged!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Do you have electrical outlets? 콘센트 있어요? konsenteu isseoyo? Where are your electrical outlets? 콘센트 어디에 있어요? konsenteu eodie isseoyo? Please charge my mobile for me 휴대폰 충전해 주세요 hyudaepon chungjeonhae juseyo Do you sell mobile phone cases? 휴대폰 케이스 팔아요? hyudaepon keiseu parayo? Do you sell cell phone chargers? 휴대폰 충전기 팔아요? hyudaepon chungjeongi parayo? Can I buy a data plan for my phone? 휴대폰 데이터 플랜랜 살 수 있어요? hyudaepon deiteo peullaellaen sal su isseoyo? How much time is remaining on my contract? 휴대폰 약정 얼마나 남았어요? hyudaepon yakjeong eolmana namasseoyo? Please add minutes to my phone 휴대폰 데이터 충전해 주세요 hyudaepon deiteo chungjeonhae juseyo Can you repair my mobile phone? 휴대폰 고칠 수 있어요? hyudaepon gochil su isseoyo? How much will the repair cost? 고치는 비용 얼마예요? gochineun biyong eolmayeyo? When can I pick up my phone? 휴대폰 언제 찾으러 올 수 있어요? hyudaepon eonje chajeureo ol su isseoyo?
Remember your art teacher back in elementary school? She always encouraged you to express yourself, but maybe you didn’t know exactly how.
Well, we have good news for you! Not only will you learn how to express your emotions, but you’ll also know how to express those emotions in Korean!
Use these exclamations to express your emotions in Korean. 아싸!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Amazing! or Unbelievable! 대박! daebak! What?! or Oh my god! 헐! heol! Yay! or Hurray! 아싸! assa! Oh my goodness! 아이고! aigo! Unbelievable! or Impossible! 말도 안돼요! maldo andwaeyo! Really?! 진짜요? jinjjayo? Ouch! 아야! aya!
Impress the Locals
Korea has a phrase called “빨리 빨리”, which means “quickly, quickly”. It’s ingrained into the personalities, activities, and mindsets of the people and the culture as a whole. Korea rapidly developed in a short time period. It has a massive economy compared to the size of it’s land and population thanks to their ability to change, adapt, and get things done quickly.
How did they do it so fast? Well, they certainly didn’t waste time with unnecessary vocabulary!
One thing you’ll notice while talking with Koreans is that they make efforts to shorten the way they speak. Abbreviations and word blending is common.
Below is a list of phrases that Koreans use commonly today but you won’t find in regular textbooks. They’re all rated “G”, so use them freely without worry. Don’t be surprised if you get some shocked looks from Koreans. Be prepared to explain how you know how to speak like a local!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Self-camera 셀카 selka Company dinner 회식 hoesik Bomb drink (i.e. boilermaker or soju bomb) 폭탄주 poktanju Soju and beer 소맥 somaek Chimek (chicken and beer) 치맥 chimaek Membership training (retreat) 엠티 emti Part-time job 알바 alba Of course! 당근! danggeun! Starbucks 별다방 byeoldabang Boyfriend 남친 namchin Girlfriend 여친 yeochin Free item at restaurant or store 서비스 seobiseu
Talking with the Landlord Korean Phrases
Not matter if you found your apartment yourself or your employer set you up with housing, you’re going to have to talk with your landlord at some point.
In most cases, the landlords are from the older Korean generation and don’t speak English. Therefore, simple things like asking if a package arrived for you or asking for a repair can seem like a dreadful task. You either have to ask a Korean friend, you have to fumble around with basic Korean and body language.
But you don’t roll like that!
Instead, make life easier for everyone by using these handy landlord Korean phrases. Your landlord will appreciate the effort and you can get your housing business handled. Most importantly, you can spend your time talking to your Korean friend about the crazy day you had yesterday instead of the broken light in the hall.
Everyone is a winner!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Did a package arrive for me? 소포 왔어요? sopo wasseoyo? I expect a package tomorrow 내일 소포가 올거예요 naeil sopoga olgeoyeyo My _______ is broken 제 _______ 고장났어요 je _______ gojangnasseoyo I’ll be on vacation from _______ to _______ _______부터 _______까지 휴가 갈거예요 _______buteo _______kkaji hyuga galgeoyeyo My hot water doesn’t work 뜨거운 물이 안 나와요 tteugeoun muri an nawayo My hot water heater is broken 보일러가 고장났어요 boilleoga gojangnasseoyo My sink is clogged 제 싱크대가 막혔어요 je singkeudaega makyeosseoyo My toilet is clogged 제 변기 막혔어요 je byeongi makyeosseoyo The water doesn’t work 수돗물이 안 나와요 sudonmuri an nawayo The lights don’t work 불이 안 켜져요 buri an kyeojyeoyo The air conditioning isn’t cold 에어컨이 안 시원해요 eeokeoni an siwonhaeyo The neighbors are too loud 이웃이 너무 시끄러워요 iusi neomu sikkeureowoyo The neighbors dog keeps barking 이웃집 강아지가 계속 짖어요 iutjip gangajiga gyesok jijeoyo
Apartment Search Korean Phrases
If you’ve have the pleasure of going out to find your own apartment in Korea, then you know what it’s like to be at the real estate office!
The 부동산 (real estate office) agents are hustlers. Most of them don’t speak English, but they will usually do their best with what they know to help you find a place.
You can help move the process along by using a few of these key expressions below. The real estate agents will appreciate your efforts, and you’ll have a better chance of finding exactly what you are looking for.
Make your house search a smooth and fun process so you can focus on your 집들이 (housewarming)!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization I would like to find housing around here 이 근처의 집을 구하고 싶어요 i geuncheoui jibeul guhago sipeoyo I would like to find housing near _______ _______에서 근처의 집 구하고 싶어요 _______eseo geuncheoui jip guhago sipeoyo I would like to find a studio apartment 원룸 구하고 싶어요 wollum guhago sipeoyo I would like to find a one bedroom apartment 투룸 구하고 싶어요 turum guhago sipeoyo How much is the monthly rent? 월세 얼마예요? wolse eolmayeyo? How much is the deposit? 보증금 얼마예요? bojeunggeum eolmayeyo? How far is it from the subway station? 지하철역에서 얼마나 걸려요? jihacheollyeogeseo eolmana geollyeoyo? This is too small 너무 작아요 neomu jagayo This is too big 너무 커요 neomu keoyo This is too expensive 너무 비싸요 neomu bissayo I don’t really like it 별로 안 좋아요 byeollo an joayo I like this place a lot 이 집 마음 들어요 i jip maeum deureoyo
Dating & Romance Korean Phrases
Big date with a Korean coming up this weekend?
Or maybe you have a special someone in mind who you want to meet up with, but you’re not quite sure how to ask?
We’ve got you covered! Use the phrases below to set up your date, pay a compliment, or help move the relationship forward.
If you need more dating and relationship expressions, stop by our Korean Love Phrases page for a complete list of things to say.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization What is your phone number? 핸드폰 번호가 뭐예요? haendeupon beonhoga mwoyeyo? Let’s talk on KakaoTalk 우리 카카오톡 해요 uri kakaotok haeyo Do you have time this weekend? 주말에 시간 있어요? 주말에 시간 있어요? Are you available ________? ________에 시간 있어요? ________e sigan isseoyo? I’m busy on________ ________에 바빠요 ________e bappayo Shall we go on a date together? 우리 데이트 할까요? uri deiteu halkkayo? Shall we get dinner together sometime? 언제 우리 같이 저녁 먹을까요? eonje uri gachi jeonyeok meogeulkkayo? You are pretty! 예쁘네요! yeppeuneyo! You are handsome! 잘 생겼어요! jal saenggyeosseoyo! You are charming! 매력적이네요! maeryeokjeogineyo! That was a great evening 즐거운 저녁이었어요 jeulgeoun jeonyeogieosseoyo When shall we meet again? 언제 다시 볼까요? eonje dasi bolkkayo? Will you be my boyfriend/girlfriend? 우리 사귈래요? uri sagwillaeyo?
Taxi Korean Phrases
If you’re living in Korea, then you know how great the taxi system is. The cars are clean, the fares are inexpensive, and it’s usually quite easy to find one.
If you’re not living in Korea and you’re planning a visit, then you can make your trip go even smoother by learning a few taxi phrases.
Although some areas have international taxis that speak foreign languages, the majority of the taxi drivers still mainly speak Korean. They may know a few words in English, Japanese, and Chinese, but it can sometimes be challenging to tell the driver where to go if you don’t speak the same language. This goes doubly if you live in an area with many twisty side streets—something that Korea is quite famous for!
Take a few minutes and get acquainted with some of the common taxi phrases. Not only will you make sure you get to your destination smoothly, but you’ll likely have a more interesting experience. Taxi drivers are usually friendly, so by showing that you speak a bit of Korean, you’ll often have an fun conversation on the ride there!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Where shall I go? 어디로 갈까요? eodiro galkkayo? Please take me to _______ _______으로 가주세요 _______euro gajuseyo I will give you the address 주소를 알려 드릴게요 jusoreul allyeo deurilgeyo Please go left at _______ _______에서 좌회전 해주세요 _______eseo jwahoejeon haejuseyo Please go right at _______ _______에서 우회전 해주세요 _______eseo uhoejeon haejuseyo Please go straight at _______ _______에서 직진 해주세요 _______eseo jikjin haejuseyo Please make a u-turn at _______ _______에서 유턴 해주세요 _______eseo yuteon haejuseyo Please stop at _______ _______에서 세워 주세요 _______eseo sewo juseyo Please stop in front of _______ _______앞에 세워 주세요 _______ape sewo juseyo Please stop before _______ _______전에 세워 주세요 _______전에 세워 주세요 Please stop before _______ _______전에 세워 주세요 _______전에 세워 주세요 Please stop after _______ _______후에 세워 주세요 _______hue sewo juseyo Goodbye (to the person leaving) 안녕히 가세요 안녕히 가세요 Taxi driver 기사님 gisanim
Emergency Korean Phrases
Korea is a very safe country, so hopefully you will have a safe and pleasant time here. However, emergencies do happen, and it’s always good to know a few key phrases to help make sure that you navigate through them smoothly!
Below are some important emergency Korean phrases. Memorize them so you have them ready in case of an emergency.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization This is an emergency 아주 급해요 aju geupaeyo Where is the nearest police station? 제일 가까운 경찰서는 어디예요? jeil gakkaun gyeongchalseoneun eodiyeyo? Where is the closest hospital? 가장 가까운 병원은 어디예요? gajang gakkaun byeongwoneun eodiyeyo? Please call an ambulance 구급차를 불러 주세요 gugeupchareul bulleo juseyo Please take me to the hospital 병원에 데려가 주세요 byeongwone deryeoga juseyo Please help me 도와주세요 dowajuseyo Please call the US Embassy immediately 즉시 미국 대사관으로 전화해 주세요 jeuksi miguk daesagwaneuro jeonhwahae juseyo Where can I get help? 어디에서 도움을 구할 수 있어요? eodieseo doumeul guhal su isseoyo? I am a diabetic 저는 당뇨가 있어요 jeoneun dangnyoga isseoyo I am allergic to _____ 나는 _____ 알레르기가 있어요. naneun _____ allereugiga isseoyo.
Encouragement Korean Phrases
Everyone faces challenges or gets down and out at times. In those situations, you may want to cheer up a freind or show encouragement to a loved one. Luckily, there are plenty of Korean phases of encouragement to do just that!
Here is a list of encouraging Korean phrases.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Persevere! (cheer) 화이팅! hwaiting! Cheer up 힘내세요 himnaeseyo Don’t give up 포기 하지마세요 pogi hajimaseyo Don’t worry 걱정 하지마세요 geokjeong hajimaseyo It’s OK 괜찮아요 gwaenchanayo You can do it! 잘할 수 있어요! jalhal su isseoyo!
These are super fun! We have onomatopoeia in English already, but mimetic words are something new. Give them a try and express yourself on another level!
In Korean, there are a special kind of vocabulary words that are used to help paint vivid pictures of situations of moments. They’re called 의태어, or mimetic words in English.
These types of words are similar to onomatopoeia, except they take it a step further by describing movement instead of just a sound.
For example, you might want to talk about how hot the weather was outside. You can describing the hot sun with words such as “scorching” or “blazing”. Or in Korean, you can spice things up by saying the sun was 쨍쨍 blazing hot. Think of the 쨍쨍 as describing the movement of the suns rays on a hot summer day. That extra 쨍쨍 may help you get the tan you were looking for!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Twinkling or glittering 반짝반짝 banjjakbanjjak Heart throbbing 두근두근 dugeundugeun Streaming or dripping water 주룩주룩 jurukjuruk Thump noises 쿵쿵 kungkung Blazing hot sun 쨍쨍 jjaengjjaeng Gentle soft breeze 솔솔 solsol Soft and chewy food 말랑말랑 mallangmallang Moving up and down 들썩들썩 deulsseokdeulsseok Cringe 오글오글 ogeurogeul Sneaking in 살금살금 salgeumsalgeum
Raise your hand if you know what the word ‘onomatopoeia’ means!
It seems like a long word, but really it’s just a fancy name for a word that imitates common sounds that we hear.
In Korean, the word for onomatopoeia is 의성어. Here, we will go over some onomatopoeia Korean phrases.
Some of the most common onomatopoeia we hear from when we are kids are those of farm animals. Anyone know what sound a cow makes? How about a pig?
Well, Korean has these words, too! They’re really fun words to learn because you can compare them to the sounds of the animals from your native language and see if they’re the same.
In addition to animal sounds, there are also words for everyday sounds such as snoring, crying, and a doorbell ringing.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization shushing 쉿 swit knocking 똑똑 ttokttok doorbell ringing 딩동 dingdong car honking 빵빵 ppangppang kissing 쪽 jjok heart beating 두근두근 dugeundugeun sneezing 에취 echwi crying 엉엉 eongeong laughing 하하하 하하하 snoring 드르렁드르렁 deureureongdeureureong pig oinking 꿀꿀꿀 kkulkkulkkul dog barking 멍멍 meongmeong cat meowing 야옹 yaong pigeon sound 구구 gugu cow or sheep sound 음메 eumme duck quacking 꽥꽥 kkwaekkkwaek mouse squeaking 찍찍 jjikjjik
What is your favorite Korean phrase? Let us know in the comments below!