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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 it will be useful if you want to learn how to speak Korean.
We’re going to get the best phrases out to you on this page, broken down by category. We will also include the audio for the Korean phrases so you can practice your pronunciation.
Forget the dated Korean 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.
Here we go!
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 Korean phrases section by section. Or, skip ahead to the Korean phrases you are most interested in, and add them to your favorite flashcard deck. Click on the word next to the yellow speaker to hear the audio pronunciation of the Korean phrase.
Most important of all, have fun with them!
- 1 Everyday Korean Phrases
- 2 Places
- 2.1 Restaurant Korean Phrases
- 2.2 Cafe & Coffee Shop Korean Phrases
- 2.3 Shopping Korean Phrases
- 2.4 Dry Cleaner Korean Phrases
- 2.5 Bank Korean Phrases
- 2.6 Hospital Korean Phrases
- 2.7 Pharmacy Korean Phrases
- 2.8 Dentist Korean Phrases
- 2.9 Hair Salon Korean Phrases
- 2.10 Movie Theater & Cinema
- 2.11 Post Office Korean Phrases
- 3 Korean Travel Phrases
- 4 Situations
- 4.1 Dinner Table Korean Phrases
- 4.2 Korean Small Talk Phrases
- 4.3 Meeting Friends Korean Phrases
- 4.4 Special Occasion Korean Phrases
- 4.5 Phone Call Korean Phrases
- 4.6 Mobile Phone Korean Phrases
- 4.7 Korean Exclamations
- 4.8 Impress the Locals
- 4.9 Talking with the Landlord Korean Phrases
- 4.10 Apartment Search Korean Phrases
- 4.11 Dating & Romance Korean Phrases
- 4.12 Taxi Korean Phrases
- 4.13 Emergency Korean Phrases
- 4.14 Encouragement Korean Phrases
- 5 Special
- 6 Formal vs Informal Korean Phrases
Everyday Korean Phrases
If you’ve only got a short time to learn some Korean phrases, then best to stick with the ones you’ll hear most often. These everyday Korean phrases 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 simple conversation? These are the basic Korean phrases you’ll want to get down to make sure your time in Korea is smooth sailing!
You might notice that there are a few ways of saying some of the basic Korean phrases, such as “excuse me”, “thank you,” and “goodbye”. In English, these phrases are much more multi-purpose. In Korean, there are specific phrases that you’ll use for certain situations.
Click on the word in Hangul to hear the pronunciation of the basic Korean phrases. To learn more about the phrases in detail, click on the English equivalent of the phrase.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Thank You gomapseumnida Don’t mention it cheonmaneyo Sorry mianhamnida That’s OK gwaenchanayo Hello annyeonghaseyo? Excuse me (to get attention) jeogiyo Excuse me (to apologize) sillyehamnida Excuse me (to pass someone) jamsimanyo Hello (on phone) yeoboseyo Good morning annyeonghaseyo? Good evening annyeonghaseyo? Sleep well jal jayo Sweet dreams joeun kkum kkwoyo Goodbye (to person leaving) annyeonghi gaseyo Goodbye (to person staying) annyeonghi gyeseyo Get home safely jal gayo Have a nice day joeun haru bonaeseyo Have a good trip! yeohaeng jalhaseyo Welcome hwanyeonghamnida Yes ne No aniyo Maybe amado Just a moment! jamkkanmanyo! I feel sick apayo I need a doctor uisaga piryohaeyo Take me to the hospital (to taxi) byeongwone gajuseyo
In the Korean language, there are a few different ways to say “thank you.” In the basic Korean phrases above, we gave you the most common way to thank someone. Go here if you’d like a more detailed writeup of how to say “thank you” in Korean.
Common Korean Phrases
As you continue with your Korean learning, focus on these common Korean phrases that will be used on a daily basis. You can use them when you meet friends or speak to the staff at the local market.
When you’re asking questions in Korean, make sure to speak with an upwards intonation towards the end of the sentences. You should say the sentence as if you’re unsure.
You’ve got the Korean phrases necessary to have simple interactions, so now’s the time to put your language skills to use!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Where is the bathroom? hwajangsireun eodie isseoyo? Please repeat that dasi malhae juseyo Please speak slowly cheoncheonhi malhae juseyo Please write it down jeogeo juseyo I understand ihaehaeyo I don’t understand ihae mothaeyo I don’t know mollayo I know arayo Can you speak Korean? hangungmareul hal su isseoyo? I can speak a little Korean hangungmareul jogeum hal su isseoyo I can’t speak Korean hangungmareul motaeyo How do you say tiger in Korean? taigeoga hangungmallo mwoyeyo? How much is this? igeo eolmayeyo? I’ll be right back! geumbang gatda olgeoyeyo! What is this? ige mwoyeyo Don’t worry! geokjeong haji maseyo! No problem! munje eopseoyo Good joayo Bad an joayo So-so geujeo geuraeyo
A great way to speak these phrases on a daily basis is to plan on using one phrase each day. Write it down on an index card, and say it whenever the opportunity comes up. It takes a few minutes of planning, but you will thank yourself later when you have a strong repertoire of things to say.
Use these Korean phrases to speak to people you meet in various places. They’re organized in sections so they can be used in different locations. This will be useful so you can practice your Korean language skills as you go to each different location.
Restaurant Korean Phrases
The restaurant Korean phrases below can be used at any Korean restaurant. You might use them if you’re visiting Korea, or if you’re getting Korean food at the local restaurant in your area.
When you first enter, the staff will usually ask you how many people are in your group. You can use the first phrase below ask if they have a table for 4. The staff will likely speak to you in honorific language, but you can reply in standard everyday Korean.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Do you have a table for 4 people? nemyeong jari isseoyo? Please give me a menu menyupan juseyo Do you have vegetarian dishes? chaesikjuuijayong siksa isseoyo? Is this spicy? igeo maewoyo? Please do not make this spicy maepji anke yorihae juseyo Please give me 4 orders of galbi galbi sainbun juseyo Please give me 1 bottle of soju soju hanbyeong juseyo Please give me 3 glasses yurijan segae juseyo It’s delicious! masisseoyo! I don’t like it maseopseoyo It was a delicious meal! jal meogeotseumnida! What time do you close? myeotsie mun dadayo? Do you take credit cards? kadeu dwaeyo?
Keep in mind that Korean table manners may be a bit different than what you’re used to in your culture. For example, in the phrase above 잘 먹었습니다! (jal meogeotseumnida), you’d actually used that to say “thank you” in Korean. It’s similar to saying “thank you, I ate well”.
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 say 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 the Korean language!
Use these Korean phrases to get a caffeine boost that will supercharge your Korean language learning.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Please give me 1 hot coffee ttatteutan amerikano hanjan juseyo Please give me 2 ice coffees aiseu amerikano dujan juseyo Do you have non-caffeinated drinks? kapein eomneun eumnyo isseoyo? I’d like to eat here yeogiseo meokgo galgeyo I’d like this to go (drink only) teikeu ausieyo I’d like this to go (food and drink) pojanghae juseyo Please throw away my receipt yeongsujeungeun beoryeo juseyo Do you have wifi here? waipai isseoyo? What is the wifi password? bimil beonho allyeo juseyo Do you have electrical outlets? konsenteu isseoyo? Where are your electrical outlets? konsenteu eodie isseoyo?
Shopping Korean Phrases
If you’re out in Dongadaemun, Garosul-gil, or Myeongdong, you are definitely going to need some Korean phrases to help you shop!
The Korean language 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 (ilsibul).
Use these Korean phrases to add even more fun to your shopping experience. You will thank yourself with all of the great deals you’ll get!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Throw away the receipt yeongsujeungeun beoryeo juseyo Please give me a receipt yeongsujeung juseyo Put it in a bag bongtue neoeo juseyo Please give me a discount jom kkakka juseyo How much is it? eolmayeyo? Please give me coffee keopi juseyo Do you have wallet? jigap isseoyo? Can I pay with credit card? kadeu dwaeyo? Please give me a refund hwanbulhae juseyo Please exchange this gyohwanhae juseyo Please wrap it for me pojanghae juseyo One-time payment ilsibul 3 month installments samgaewol 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 that Korean dry cleaners can be 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 Korean dry cleaner, use these phrases to ensure you get exactly what you want.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Please dry clean this for me deurai hae juseyo Please iron this for me darimjil hae juseyo Please make this longer gijangeul neullyeo juseyo Please make this shorter gijangeul juryeo juseyo Please sew on this button danchu darajuseyo Can you remove this stain? eolluk ppael su isseoyo? When can I pick up my clothes? oseul eonje badeul su isseoyo? I’m here to pick up my clothes je oseul chajeureo wasseoyo How much is it? eolmayeyo? How much is the total? 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 Korean phrases 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 tongjangeul mandeulgo sipeoyo I would like an ATM card chekeu kadeureul mandeulgo sipeoyo I need to reset my password bimilbeonhoreul jaebalgeup hago sipeoyo Are there monthly fees? susuryo isseoyo? Do you have an ID card sinbunjeung isseoyo? Please give me your ID card sinbunjeung juseyo Do you need internet banking? inteonet baenking piryohaeyo? I would like to apply for a public certificate gongininjeungseo balgeuphago sipeoyo I want to send money to Philippines pillipine don bonaeryeogo wasseoyo I need to make a deposit ipgeum haejuseyo I need to make a withdrawal chulgeum haejuseyo How much is the wire transfer charge? songgeum susuryoneun eolmayeyo? Can I apply for a credit card? sinyong kadeu sincheonghal su isseoyo?
Hospital Korean Phrases
Nobody likes going to the hospital, but it sure is a relief to see a doctor when you aren’t feeling well!
Use these Korean 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, there will usually be a pharmacy nearby. Sometimes, there will be a pharmacy inside the hospital!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization I need to see a doctor jinchareul batgo sipeoyo I have health insurance geongang boheom isseoyo My body aches all over momsal nasseoyo I have a headache meoriga apayo I have a sore throat mogi apayo I have a stomachache baega apayo I have diarrhea seolsareul haeyo I have an upset stomach chehaesseoyo My nose is runny jakku konmuri nayo My nose is stuffy koga makyeosseoyo I don’t have any allergies allereugiga eopseoyo I am allergic to cucumber oie allereugiga isseoyo Where can I get this prescription filled? eodieseo yageul badeul su isseoyo? I have a prescription to fill 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.
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? tairenol isseoyo? I have a cold gamgie geollyeosseoyo I have a stuffy nose koga makyeosseoyo. I have a runny nose jakku konmuri nayo I have a headache meoriga apayo I have a sore throat mogi apayo I have a stomachache baega apayo My body aches all over momsal nasseoyo I have been sick for two days iteul dongan apasseoyo Take one pill twice a day harue du beon han alssik deuseyo Take one pill three times a day with meals harue se beon siksahal ttaemada han alssik deuseyo I don’t have any allergies allereugiga eopseoyo I am allergic to cucumber oie allereugiga isseoyo I have a prescription to fill cheobangjeoneul bada wasseoyo
Many speak English well and can understand what you are saying in English. However, knowing a few phrases or specialty words in Korean can help. Try looking those words up in a Korean-English dictionary to ensure a smooth visit.
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 Korean phrases you can use at the dentist’s 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 language barrier. However, their assistants may not be confident about their abilities to speak English, 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 yeyakaryeogo wanneundeyo How long do I have to wait? eolmana gidaryeoyahaeyo? My last checkup was 1 year ago majimak chigwa geomjinhanji ilnyeon dwaesseoyo My last cleaning was 6 months ago majimak seukeillinghanji yukgaewol dwaesseoyo I am here for a cleaning seukeilling hareo wasseoyo I'm here for a dental checkup chigwa geomjin hareo wasseoyo My upper tooth hurts winniga apayo My lower tooth is senstive araenniga siryeoyo My gums hurt inmomi apayo I think I have a cavity chungchiga saengin geot gatayo I don’t have dental insurance chigwa boheom eopseoyo I have dental insurance chigwa boheom isseoyo Can I pay with a credit card? 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 your gorgeous locks of hair. After all, it’s really easy to miscommunicate when you’re learning to speak 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 Korean phrases for the hair salon 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 keoteu haejuseyo Please dye my hair yeomsaek haejuseyo Dye only my roots please ppuri yeomsaek hae juseyo (ppuyeom haejuseyo) Dye my hair this color please i saekkkallo yeomsaek hae juseyo Please perm my hair pama haejuseyo How much does a haircut cost? meori keoteu eolmayeyo? How long will it take? sigan eolmana geollyeoyo? Please don’t cut it too short neomu jjalge jareuji maseyo Please cut it a little shorter here yeogi jogeum deo jalla juseyo Please just trim my hair jom dadeumeo juseyo Please just trim my bangs ammeoriman dadeumeo juseyo Please trim the sides and even out the top wieneun geunyang dugo yeopeman dadeumeojuseyo Leave the back long dwinmeorineun gilge namgyeo duseyo I’d like to make an appointment tomorrow at 2pm naeil ohu dusiro yeyageul hagosipeundeyo I’d like my hair like this person in the picture sajine inneun saramcheoreom meorireul jalla juseyo Make it about this long 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 Korean 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 Korean theaters have movies that start well into midnight. You may find yourself going to a movie at 3:00 am!
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? ilgopsiban sangyeong jari isseoyo? Are there subtitles for this movie? yeonghwa jamak isseoyo? What time is Parasite the movie showing? gisaengchungyeonghwaneun eonje sangyeonghaeyo? What is the genre of the movie? yeonghwaneun museun jangneueyo? How long is the movie? yeonghwa sangyeong sigani eolmana dwaeyo? Where is Theater 12 yeonghwagwansibigwan eodie isseoyo Where is the concession stand? maejeomeun eodi isseoyo? I’d like two tickets for Train to Busan the movie busanhaeng yeonghwaneun dujang juseyo How much are the Sweetbox seats? seuwiteubakseu jarineun eolmayeyo? Do you give discounts to students? haksaeng harin dwaeyo? When is the last move playing? majimak yeonghwaneun eonjeyeyo?
Just remember to turn off your mobile phone, and don’t speak during the movie. Save your conversation practice for after the movie is over!
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 Korean post office!
The post offices in Korea have a wide variety of services, from regular domestic shipments to international airmail. Most locations also have shipping supplies right at the post office, so you can do all of your packing and shipping in one spot.
Use these Korean phrases for your next post office visit in Korea.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization How much is it to send by air mail? hanggongupyeoneuro eolmayeyo? How much is the least expensive shipping option? jeil ssan upyeon bangbeop eolmayeyo? Do I need a customs form? segwan seoryu piryohaeyo? Please send this package by registered mail deunggiro sopo bonaejuseyo Please send this envelope to Canada by regular mail kaenadae bongtuupyeoneuro bonaejuseyo Where can I buy stamps? upyeoneun eodieseo sal su isseoyo? Please give me 3 stamps upyo sejang juseyo Do you sell envelopes? pyeonji bongtu parayo? How long will it take to be delivered? baesonggiganeun eolmana geollyeoyo? What is the zip code for this address? i jusoui upyeonbeonhoga mwoyeyo? Please give me one size 3 box samho bakseu hangae juseyo Please give me some bubble wrap ppokppogi jom juseyo
Note that if you’re sending a letter to Korea from outside the country, you can write the address in Korean. However, make sure to write the country name in English.
Korean Travel Phrases
Pack your bags! We’re hitting the road and going to put some of our Korean language skills to good use. Use these Korean travel phrases to help you speak with anyone you meet as you take trips throughout Korea.
Asking for Directions Korean Phrases
Ready for some adventure? 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 common 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 chat in the local language!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Excuse me (asking for help politely) sillyehamnida Excuse me (asking for help) jeogiyo I’m lost gireul ireobeoryeosseoyo Do you know where Apgujeong station is? apgujeongyeok eodiinji aseyo? How far is it from here? yeogieseo eolmana geollineunji aseyo? Is it far from here? yeogieseo meoreoyo? It’s quite far kkwae meoreoyo It’s not far meolji anayo It’s close gakkawoyo It’s not within walking distance georeogal manhan georiga aniyeyo It’s about 1 kilometer from here yeogieseo ilkillojeongdo meoreoyo Can you show me on the map? jidoro boyeo jusigesseoyo? I’m sorry, I’m not from around here mianhajiman jeoneun i geuncheo sarami aniyeyo It’s that way geu jjogeuro gaseyo Go left oenjjok gaseyo Go right oreunjjoge gaseyo Go straight jjuk gaseyo
Hotel and Pension Korean Phrases
Staying in Korean accommodations can be a fun and unique experience. There are many interesting places to stay throughout the country. Since some of them are outside of the big cities, the staff may not be used to speaking English as in other tourist areas.
That’s where these Korean phrases for accommodations will come in handy!
Use these Korean phrases to help you speak the local language at hotels and pensions (B&Bs) in Korea.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Do you have any rooms available? binbang isseoyo? I would like to make a reservation yeyageul hago sipeoyo Did you have a reservation? yeyageun hasyeotseumnikka? I have a reservation ne, yeyakhaesseoyo I don’t have a reservation ajik yeyageul haji anasseoyo How much is a room for one night? harue bangi eolmayeyo? Is breakfast included with the room? yogeume josigeun pohamdoeeo isseoyo? How long would you like to stay? myeot bageul hasil geomnikka? May I see the room first? bangeul meonjeo bwado dwaeyo? I will stay for four night(s) sail mukgesseoyo May I have your name? seonghameul malsseumhaejuseyo Can you wake me at 7 o'clock? ilgopsie kkaewojusigesseoyo? I want to check out now 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 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 Korean 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.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Please stop the bus here yeogiseo sewo juseyo Please open the bus door beoseu mun yeoreo juseyo What time is the last bus? majimak beoseu eonjeyeyo? How much is the bus fare? beoseu yogeum eolmayeyo? Where can I charge my bus card? beoseu kadeu eodieseo chungjeonhal su isseoyo? How much is a bus ticket to Seoul? seoure ganeun beoseu pyoga eolmayeyo? One ticket to Gangneung, please gangneunge ganeun pyo han jang juseyo Where does this bus go? i beoseuneun eodiro gayo? Where is the bus to Jinju? jinjue ganeun beoseuneun eodie isseoyo? Are there tickets available for the 3pm bus to Geo Je Island? sesie geojedo ganeun beoseu jari isseoyo? Does this bus stop in Incheon International Airport? i beoseuneun incheongukjegonghange seoyo? When does the bus for Sokcho leave? sokchoe ganeun beoseuneun eonje chulbalhaeyo? When does bus number 605 arrive? yukbaegobeon beoseuneun eonje dochakaeyo? When will this bus arrive in the Namsan Tower? i beoseuneun namsantawoe eonje dochakaeyo?
Note that some of the bus information maybe be in English, but not all of it. Knowing a bit of Hangeul will help you, especially when you leave the big cities such as Seoul or Busan.
Here are some fantastic Korean phrases you can use for different social situations. For example, you may use these when you meet your Korean friends.
If you’re not confident about talking 100% in Korean, then just start small. Use a mix of Korean and English in your sentences. For example, you can talk in 10% Korean and 90% English. Then as you improve your ability to speak in Korean, you can increase it to 20% Korean and 80% English.
The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be with the language. It may be challenging at first, but you’ll thank yourself later when you’re having smooth conversations in Korean.
Dinner Table Korean Phrases
Korea has a strong food culture. Along with that, comes a wide range of interesting Korean phrases that will allow you to express your feelings in unique ways. There are similar phrases in English, but the Korean version may be used differently.
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 (jal meogeotseumnida), 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 masitge deuseyo Eat up! mani meogeoyo I will eat well! jal meokgetseumnida I ate well jal meogeotseumnida It’s delicious! masisseoyo! It doesn’t taste good maseopseoyo I’m hungry baegopayo I’m thirsty mok mallayo Give me coffee please keopi juseyo I’m a vegetarian jeoneun chaesikjuuijayeyo I don’t eat meat jeoneun gogireul mot meogeoyo I can eat anything da meogeul su isseoyo
Korean Small Talk 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 use some Korean phrases for small talk!
Get these Korean phrases under your belt and you’ll be well on your way to breaking the ice with anyone you meet.
Since you’ll be talking in Korean, you can also get your own Korean name. Here’s a complete guide on how to do it.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Nice to meet you mannaseo bangawoyo What is your name? ireumi mwoyeyo? My name is John je ireumeun jonieyo Where are you from? eodieseo wasseoyo? I’m from U.S. jeoneun migugeseo wasseoyo How old are you? myeot sarieyo? I’m 24 years old jeoneun seumul nesarieyo I can’t speak Korean well hangungmal jal motaeyo I’m learning Korean these days yojeum hangungmal baewoyo What is your job? jigeobi mwoyeyo? My job is amodel je jigeobeun moderieyo Really? jeongmallyo? Where do you live? eodie saseyo? Are you married? gyeolhonhaesseoyo? Do you like exercise? undongeul joahaeyo? I like Carrot cake danggeunkeikeureul joahaeyo
Meeting Friends Korean Phrases
Imagine that you run into your long-time Korean friend. You probably have a lot to catch up on!
A lot of the phrases you’ll use in Korean for this situation is similar to what you’d say in English.
If you study the phrases below, you’ll have a lot to talk about when you meet your friends. All of the phrases are in standard language, so you can use them to speak with anyone. If you’re talking with a close friend, you may want to speak using informal language by dropping the 요 (yo).
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Long time no see oraenmanieyo Have you eaten? (showing concern) bap meogeosseoyo? How are you? jal jinaeyo? How have you been? jal jinaesseoyo? What have you been up to? eotteoke jinaesseoyo? Where shall we go? eodiro galkkayo? Say hi to brother for me hyeonghante anbu jeonhae juseyo Get home safely 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 Korean phrases to fit in with the group.
As you go over the phrases, you’ll notice that some of them are Konglish (Korean + English) 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”.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Happy Birthday saengil chukahamnida Merry Christmas meri keuriseumaseu Happy New Year! saehae bok mani badeuseyo! Happy Chuseok! jeulgeoun chuseok bonaeseyo Happy Valentine's Day! haepi ballentain dei! Cheers! geonbae! Congratulations! chukahaeyo
If you’re looking for more phrases for Valentine’s Day, check out: https://www.90daykorean.com/korean-valentines-phrases/
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, chances are quite often!
Learning to speak on the phone can be challenging, especially since you can’t rely on body language or visuals to help make out words. For many, trying to speak on the phone 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 to speak on the phone.
The phrases below are written in standard language form. Not only do they use polite language, but you can use them to comfortably speak with those older and younger than you. You may hear the other person speak 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 an office or company.
The next time you make or receive a phone call in Korean, you can speak with confidence!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Hello? (on phone) yeoboseyo? Who is calling please? nuguseyo? Can I speak to Ella please? ellassiwa tonghwa hal su isseulkkayo? Just a moment please jamsiman gidaryeo juseyo Brownisn’t in at the moment beuraunssiga jarireul biwosseoyo Should I tell Mike to call you back? maikeussiege dasi jeonhwaharago halkkayo? Would you like to leave a message? mesejireul namgisigesseoyo? Shall I take a message? meseji namgyeo deurilkkayo? I will connect you jega yeongyeolhae deurilgeyo Please repeat that for me dasi malhae juseyo Please speak up a little for me jom deo keuge malhae juseyo I will call you back jega dasi geolgeyo When shall I call? eonjejjeum tonghwaga ganeunghalkkayo?
Keep in mind that unlike English, the phone “hello” is different from the “hello” that you would use in person.
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’re likely to 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? konsenteu isseoyo? Where are your electrical outlets? konsenteu eodie isseoyo? Please charge my mobile for me hyudaepon chungjeonhae juseyo Do you sell mobile phone cases? hyudaepon keiseu parayo? Do you sell cell phone chargers? hyudaepon chungjeongi parayo? Can I buy a data plan for my phone? hyudaepon deiteo peullaen sal su isseoyo? How much time is remaining on my contract? hyudaepon yakjeong eolmana namasseoyo? Please add minutes to my phone hyudaepon deiteo chungjeonhae juseyo Can you repair my mobile phone? hyudaepon gochil su isseoyo? How much will the repair cost? gochineun biyong eolmayeyo? When can I pick up my phone? hyudaepon eonje chajeureo ol su isseoyo?
Remember your art teacher back in elementary school? She always encouraged you to speak from the heart and express yourself, but maybe you didn’t know what language to use.
Well, we have good news for you! Not only will you learn how to express your emotions, but you’ll also know how to speak about and convey those emotions using the Korean language.
Use these exclamations to speak your mind and express your emotions in Korean. 아싸!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Amazing! or Unbelievable! daebak! What?! or Oh my god! heol! Yay! or Hurray! assa! Oh my goodness! aigo! Unbelievable! or Impossible! maldo andwaeyo! Really?! jinjjayo? Ouch! aya!
Impress the Locals
In the Korean language, there’s a cultural phrase called “빨리 빨리”, which means “quickly, quickly”. It’s ingrained into the personalities, activities, and mindsets of the Korean people and culture as a whole. Korea rapidly developed in a short time period. It has a massive economy compared to the size of its land and population thanks to its 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 as you speak with Koreans is that they make efforts to shorten the way they speak. Abbreviations and word blending are 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 selka Company dinner hoesik Bomb drink (i.e. boilermaker or soju bomb) poktanju Soju and beer somaek Chimek (chicken and beer) chimaek Membership training (retreat) emti Part-time job alba Of course! danggeun! Starbucks byeoldabang Boyfriend namchin Girlfriend yeochin Free item at restaurant or store seobiseu recognize or respect injeong!
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 if you don’t know the language well. 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? sopo wasseoyo? I expect a package tomorrow naeil sopoga olgeoyeyo My airpod is broken je eeopasi gojangnasseoyo I’ll be on vacation from 12 July to 14 July chirwol sibiilbuteo chirwol sipsailkkaji hyuga gal geoyeyo My hot water doesn’t work tteugeoun muri an nawayo My hot water heater is broken boilleoga gojangnasseoyo My sink is clogged je singkeudaega makyeosseoyo My toilet is clogged je byeongi makyeosseoyo The water doesn’t work sudonmuri an nawayo The lights don’t work buri an kyeojyeoyo The air conditioning isn’t cold eeokeoni an siwonhaeyo The neighbors are too loud iusi neomu sikkeureowoyo The neighbors dog keeps barking iutjip gangajiga gyesok jijeoyo
Apartment Search Korean Phrases
If you’ve had 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 to speak in their language, and you’ll have a better chance of finding exactly what you are looking for. You will also have a higher chance of the landlord accepting you if you can speak Korean.
Make your house search a smooth and fun process by learning how to speak a bit of the language. Then you can focus on your 집들이 (housewarming)!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization I would like to find housing around here i geuncheoui jibeul guhago sipeoyo I would like to find housing near Han River Park hanganggongwon geuncheoui jip guhago sipeoyo I would like to find a studio apartment wollum guhago sipeoyo I would like to find a one bedroom apartment turum guhago sipeoyo How much is the monthly rent? wolse eolmayeyo? How much is the deposit? bojeunggeum eolmayeyo? How far is it from the subway station? jihacheollyeogeseo eolmana geollyeoyo? This is too small neomu jagayo This is too big neomu keoyo This is too expensive neomu bissayo I don’t really like it byeollo an joayo I like this place a lot i jip maeume deureoyo
Dating & Romance Korean Phrases
Got a 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 phrases, stop by our Korean Love Phrases page for a complete list of things to say. And if you need some sweet things to say to your significant other, here’s what you need.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization What is your phone number? haendeupon beonhoga mwoyeyo? Let’s talk on KakaoTalk uri kakaotok haeyo Do you have time this weekend? jumare sigan isseoyo? Are you available break time? swineun sigane
I’m busy on Monday woryoire bappayo Shall we go on a date together? uri deiteu halkkayo? Shall we get dinner together sometime? eonje uri gachi jeonyeok meogeulkkayo? You are pretty! yeppeoyo! You are handsome! jal saenggyeosseoyo! You are charming! maeryeokjeogieyo! That was a great evening jeulgeoun jeonyeogieosseoyo When shall we meet again? eonje dasi bolkkayo? Will you be my boyfriend/girlfriend? 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 how to speak 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 learn how to speak 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 a fun conversation on the ride there!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Where shall I go? eodiro galkkayo? Please take me to Sinsa-dong sinsadongeuro gajuseyo I will give you the address jusoreul allyeo deurilgeyo Please go left at Apartment apateueseo jwahoejeonhae juseyo Please go right at Hospital byeongwoneseo uhoejeonhae juseyo Please go straight at Crossroads sageorieseo jikjinhae juseyo Please make a u-turn at Cafe kapeeseo yuteonhae juseyo Please stop at Seoul station seoullyeogeseo sewo juseyo Please stop in front of Theater yeonghwagwan ape sewo juseyo Please stop before Gang-nam station gangnamyeok jeone sewo juseyo Please stop after aBus stop beoseujeongnyujang jinaseo sewo juseyo Goodbye (to the person leaving) annyeonghi gaseyo Taxi driver 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!
Practicing these phrases and showing how to speak them in calm situations will ensure that you know how to use them when it counts.
Below are some important emergency Korean phrases. Learn them so you have them ready in case of an emergency. You will thank yourself later!
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization This is an emergency aju geupaeyo Where is the nearest police station? jeil gakkaun gyeongchalseoga eodiyeyo Where is the closest hospital? gajang gakkaun byeongwoni eodiyeyo Please call an ambulance gugeupchareul bulleo juseyo Please take me to the hospital byeongwone deryeoga juseyo Please help me dowajuseyo Please call the US Embassy immediately jeuksi miguk daesagwaneuro jeonhwahae juseyo Where can I get help? eodieseo doumeul guhal su isseoyo? I am a diabetic jeoneun dangnyoga isseoyo I am allergic to cucumber oie 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 friend or show encouragement to a loved one. Luckily, there are plenty of Korean phases of encouragement to do just that!
S0me of the phrases have cultural nuances, so they might not be the phrase that you’d use in English. For example, you’ll often hear the Korean phrase 화이팅 (waiting) in situations where English speakers would normally say “good luck”.
Another example is the phrase 힘내세요 (himnaeseyo). This is commonly used in Korean, but it’s not used the same way or as often in English.
Here is a list of encouraging Korean phrases.
English 한국어 (Korean) Romanization Persevere! (cheer) hwaiting! Cheer up himnaeseyo Don’t give up pogi hajimaseyo Don’t worry geokjeong hajimaseyo It’s OK gwaenchanayo You can do it! 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 special kinds 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 be 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 sun’s 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 banjjakbanjjak Heart throbbing dugeundugeun Streaming or dripping water jurukjuruk Thump noises kungkung Blazing hot sun jjaengjjaeng Gentle soft breeze solsol Soft and chewy food mallangmallang Moving up and down deulsseokdeulsseok Cringe ogeurogeul Sneaking in 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 in English? 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 swit knocking ttokttok doorbell ringing dingdong car honking ppangppang kissing jjok heart beating dugeundugeun sneezing echwi crying eongeong laughing hahaha snoring deureureongdeureureong pig oinking kkulkkulkkul dog barking meongmeong cat meowing yaong pigeon sound gugu cow or sheep sound eumme duck quacking kkwaekkkwaek mouse squeaking jjikjjik
Formal vs Informal Korean Phrases
The Korean language has many levels of formality. Because of this, saying simple things can seem extremely complex because of social hierarchies.
It’s helpful to know a bit about formal vs. informal language. They will help you understand the most important Korean phrases.
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’ve given you the 20% of the phrases you’ll hear 80% of the time so you can learn Korean fast.
We hope you loved this list of Korean phrases. One of the best ways to learn these phrases is to speak them on a daily basis. If you live in Korea or have Korean family members, then you have many opportunities.
You could also try language exchanges or meeting some Korean friends online. Inside of the 90 Day Korean members area, we have monthly live training sessions where you can get speaking practice in Korean. This is included along with the step-by-step structured online course which will teach you how to have a 3-minute conversation in the first 90 days.
What is your favorite Korean phrase? Let us know in the comments below!