Korean Phrases: The Ultimate List for 2020

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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.

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

Most important of all, have fun with them!

We highly recommend you learn the Korean alphabet (Hangeul) ASAP. It’s an essential first step to improve your Korean language skills.

Below, we’ll give a brief into formal vs. informal language. Then we will get right into with the most important Korean phrases. The phrases are broken down by the situation.

Formal vs Informal 

The Korean language has many levels of formality. Because of this, saying simple things can seem extremely complex because of 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!

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Basic Korean Phrases

If you’ve only got a short time to learn some Korean phrases, then best to stick with the basics. These basic Korean phrases are the 80/20 of what you need to know (20% that will give you 80% of the results).

Essential Korean PhrasesEssential 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 there are a few ways of saying some common 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.

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Thank Yougomapseumnida
Don’t mention itcheonmaneyo
That’s OKgwaenchanayo
Excuse me (to get attention)jeogiyo
Excuse me (to apologize)실례합니다sillyehamnida
Excuse me (to pass someone)jamsimanyo
Hello (on phone)여보세요yeoboseyo
Good morningannyeonghaseyo?
Good eveningannyeonghaseyo?
Sleep welljal jayo
Sweet dreams좋은 꿈 꿔요joeun kkum kkwoyo
Goodbye (to person leaving)annyeonghi gaseyo
Goodbye (to person staying)annyeonghi gyeseyo
Get home safely잘 가요jal gayo
Have a nice day좋은 하루 보내세요joeun haru bonaeseyo
Have a good trip!여행 잘하세요yeohaeng jalhaseyo
Just a moment!jamkkanmanyo!
I feel sick아파요apayo
I need a doctor의사가 필요해요uisaga pillyohaeyo
Take me to the hospital (to taxi)병원에 가주세요byeongwone gajuseyo

In the Korean language, there are a few different ways to say “thank you.” 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

Everyday Korean Phrases

As you learn the lay of the land with your Korean learning, you’ll want to focus on the common Korean 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 Korean phrases necessary to have simple interactions, so now’s the time to put them to use!

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Where is the bathroom?화장실은 어디에 있어요?hwajangsireun eodie isseoyo?
Please repeat that다시 말해 주세요dasi malhae juseyo
Please speak slowly천천히 말해 주세요cheoncheonhi malhae juseyo
Please write it down적어 주세요jeogeo juseyo
I understand이해해요ihaehaeyo
I don’t understand이해 못해요ihae mothaeyo
I don’t knowmollayo
I know알아요arayo
Can you speak Korean?한국말을 할 수 있어요?hangungmareul hal su isseoyo?
I can speak a little Korean한국말을 조금 할 수 있어요hangungmareul jogeum hal su isseoyo
I can’t speak Korean한국말을 못해요hangungmareul mothaeyo
How do you say tiger in Korean?타이거가 한국말로 뭐예요?taigeoga 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 뭐예요ige mwoyeyo
Don’t worry!걱정 하지 마세요!geokjeong haji maseyo!
No problem!문제 없어요munje eopseoyo
Bad안 좋아요an joayo
So-so그저 그래요geujeo geuraeyo


Use these Korean phrases in various places. They’re broken up by different locations, so practice your Korean language skills as you go to each different location.

Restaurant Korean Phrases

Korean Restaurant 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.

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Do you have a table for 4 people?네명 자리 있어요?nemyeong jari isseoyo?
Please give me a menu메뉴판 주세요menyupan juseyo
Do you have vegetarian dishes?채식주의자용 식사 있어요?chaesikjuuijayong siksa isseoyo?
Is this spicy?이거 매워요?igeo maewoyo?
Please do not make this spicy맵지 않게 요리해 주세요maepji anke yorihae juseyo
Please give me 4 orders of galbi갈비 사인분 주세요galbi sainbun juseyo
Please give me 1 bottle of soju소주 한병 주세요soju hanbyeong juseyo
Please give me 3 glasses유리잔 세개 주세요yurijan segae juseyo
It’s delicious!맛있어요!masisseoyo!
I don’t like it맛없어요maseopseoyo
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

Korean Cafe 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 the Korean language!

Use these Korean phrases to get a caffeine boost that will supercharge your Korean language learning.

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Please give me 1 hot coffee따뜻한 아메리카노 한잔 주세요ttatteuthan amerikano hanjan juseyo
Please give me 2 ice coffees아이스 아메리카노 두잔 주세요aiseu amerikano dujan juseyo
Do you have non-caffeinated drinks?카페인 없는 음료 있어요?kapein eomneun eumnyo isseoyo?
I’d like to eat hereyeogiseo 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 receipt영수증은 버려 주세요yeongsujeungeun beoryeo juseyo
Do you have wifi here?와이파이 있어요?waipai isseoyo?
What is the wifi password?비밀 번호 알려 주세요bimil 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

Korean Shopping 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!

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Throw away the receipt영수증은 버려 주세요yeongsujeungeun beoryeo juseyo
Please give me a receipt영수증 주세요yeongsujeung juseyo
Put it in a bag봉투에 넣어 주세요bongtue neoeo juseyo
Please give me a discount좀 깎아 주세요jom kkakka juseyo
How much is it?eolmayeyo?
Please give me coffeekeopi juseyo
Do you have wallet?지갑 있어요?jigap isseoyo?
Can I pay with credit card?카드 돼요?kadeu dwaeyo?
Please give me a refund환불해 주세요hwanbulhae juseyo
Please exchange this교환해 주세요gyohwanhae juseyo
Please wrap it for mepojanghae juseyo
One-time payment일시불ilsibul
3 month installments3개월 할부sam gaewol halbu

Dry Cleaner Korean Phrases

Korean Dry Cleaning 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.

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Please dry clean this for me드라이 해 주세요deurai hae juseyo
Please iron this for me다림질 해 주세요darimjil hae juseyo
Please make this longer기장을 늘려 주세요.gijangeul neullyeo juseyo.
Please make this shorter기장을 줄여 주세요.gijangeul jullyeo juseyo.
Please sew on this button단추 달아주세요danchu darajuseyo
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 clothes제 옷을 찾으러 왔어요je oseul chajeureo wasseoyo
How much is it?eolmayeyo?
How much is the total?모두 얼마예요?modu eolmayeyo?

Bank Korean Phrases

Korean Bank 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.


English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
I would like to open a new bank account통장을 만들고 싶어요tongjangeul mandeulgo sipeoyo
I would like an ATM card체크 카드를 만들고 싶어요chekeu kadeureul mandeulgo sipeoyo
I need to reset my password비밀번호를 재발급 하고 싶어요bimilbeonhoreul jaebalgeup hago sipeoyo
Are there monthly fees?수수료 있어요?susuryo isseoyo?
Do you have an ID card신분증 있어요?sinbunjeung isseoyo?
Please give me your ID card신분증 주세요sinbunjeung juseyo
Do you need internet banking?인터넷 뱅킹 필요해요?inteonet baengking pillyohaeyo?
I would like to apply for a public certificate공인인증서 발급하고 싶어요gongininjeungseo balgeupago sipeoyo
I want to send money to Philippines필리핀에 돈 보내려고 왔어요pillipine don bonaeryeogo wasseoyo
I need to make a deposit입금 해주세요ipgeum haejuseyo
I need to make a withdrawal출금 해주세요chulgeum 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

Korean Hospital Phrases

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!

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
I need to see a doctor진찰을 받고 싶어요jinchareul batgo sipeoyo
I have health insurance건강 보험 있어요geongang boheom isseoyo
My body aches all over몸살 났어요momsal nasseoyo
I have a headache머리가 아파요meoriga apayo
I have a sore throat목이 아파요mogi apayo
I have a stomachache배가 아파요baega apayo
I have diarrhea설사를 해요seolsareul haeyo
I have an upset stomach체했어요chehaesseoyo
My nose is runny자꾸 콧물이 나요jakku konmuri nayo
My nose is stuffy코가 막혔어요koga makyeosseoyo
I don’t have any allergies알레르기가 없어요allereugiga eopseoyo
I am allergic to cucumber오이에 알레르기가 있어요oie allereugiga isseoyo
Where can I get this prescription filled?어디에서 약을 받을 수 있어요?eodieseo yageul badeul su isseoyo?
I have a prescription to fill처방전을 받아 왔어요cheobangjeoneul bada wasseoyo

Pharmacy Korean Phrases

Korean Pharmacy Phrases

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!

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Do you have Tylenol?타이레놀 있어요?tairenol isseoyo?
I have a cold감기에 걸렸어요gamgie geollyeosseoyo
I have a stuffy nose코가 막혔어요.koga makyeosseoyo.
I have a runny nose자꾸 콧물이 나요jakku konmuri nayo
I have a headache머리가 아파요meoriga apayo
I have a sore throat목이 아파요mogi apayo
I have a stomachache배가 아파요baega apayo
My body aches all over몸살 났어요momsal nasseoyo
I have been sick for two days이틀 동안 아팠어요iteul dongan apasseoyo
Take one pill twice a day하루에 두 번 한 알씩 드세요harue du beon han alssik deuseyo
Take one pill three times a day with meals하루에 세 번 식사할 때마다 한 알씩 드세요harue se beon siksahal ttaemada han alssik deuseyo
I don’t have any allergies알레르기가 없어요allereugiga eopseoyo
I am allergic to cucumber오이에 알레르기가 있어요oie allereugiga isseoyo
I have a prescription to fill처방전을 받아 왔어요cheobangjeoneul 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!

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
I’m here to make an appointment예약하려고 왔는데요yeyakaryeogo wanneundeyo
How long do I have to wait?얼마나 기다려야해요?eolmana gidaryeoyahaeyo?
My last checkup was 1 year ago마지막 치과 검진한지 1년 됐어요majimak chigwa geomjinhanji 1nyeon dwaesseoyo
My last cleaning was 6 months ago마지막 스케일링한지 6개월 됐어요majimak seukeillinghanji 6gaewol dwaesseoyo
I am here for a cleaning스케일링 하러 왔어요seukeilling hareo wasseoyo
I'm here for a dental checkup치과 검진 하러 왔어요chigwa geomjin hareo wasseoyo
My upper tooth hurts윗니가 아파요winniga apayo
My lower tooth is senstive아랫니가 시려요araenniga siryeoyo
My gums hurt잇몸이 아파요inmomi apayo
I think I have a cavity충치가 생긴 것 같아요chungchiga saenggin geot gatayo
I don’t have dental insurance치과 보험 없어요chigwa boheom eopseoyo
I have dental insurance치과 보험 있어요chigwa boheom isseoyo
Can I pay with a credit card?카드 돼요?kadeu dwaeyo?

Hair Salon Korean Phrases

Korean Hair Salon Phrases

Korean Hair Salon

Use these phrases at the 미용실!

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!

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Please give me a haircut커트 해주세요keoteu haejuseyo
Please dye my hair염색 해주세요yeomsaek haejuseyo
Dye only my roots please뿌리 염색 해 주세요 (뿌염 해주세요)ppuri yeomsaek hae juseyo (ppuyeom haejuseyo)
Dye my hair this color please이 색깔로 염색 해 주세요i saekkkallo yeomsaek hae juseyo
Please perm my hair파마 해주세요pama 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 short너무 짧게 자르지 마세요neomu jjalge jareuji maseyo
Please cut it a little shorter here여기 조금 더 잘라 주세요yeogi jogeum deo jalla juseyo
Please just trim my hair좀 다듬어 주세요jom dadeumeo juseyo
Please just trim my bangs앞머리만 다듬어 주세요ammeoriman dadeumeo juseyo
Please trim the sides and even out the top위에는 그냥 두고 옆에만 다듬어주세요wieneun geunyang dugo yeopeman dadeumeojuseyo
Leave the back long뒷머리는 길게 남겨 두세요dwinmeorineun gilge namgyeo duseyo
I’d like to make an appointment tomorrow at 2pm내일 오후 2시로 예약을 하고싶은데요naeil ohu 2siro yeyageul hagosipeundeyo
I’d like my hair like this person in the picture사진에 있는 사람처럼 머리를 잘라 주세요sajine inneun saramcheoreom meorireul jalla juseyo
Make it about this long이 정도로 길게 해 주세요i 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 variety of Korean movie theaters, some of the popular being CGV, Lotte Cinema, and Megabox. You may even notice these Korean move theater brands in other countries.

CGV Theater Korea

CGV Theater in Korea
Photo: TFurban

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.

English한국어 (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 Parasite the movie showing?영화 기생충 는 언제 상영해요?yeonghwa gisaengchungeun 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 12영화관12관 어디에 있어요?yeonghwagwan12gwan eodie isseoyo?
Where is the concession stand?매점은 어디 있어요?maejeomeun eodi isseoyo?
I’d like two tickets for Train to Busan the movie부산행 영화 2장 주세요busanhaeng yeonghwaneun dujang 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?

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

Korean Post Office 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. 

English한국어 (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 mail등기로 소포 보내주세요deunggiro sopo bonaejuseyo
Please send this envelope to Canada by regular mail캐나다에 봉투우편으로 보내주세요kaenadae bongtuupyeoneuro bonaejuseyo
Where can I buy stamps?우표는 어디에서 살 수 있어요?upyoneun eodieseo sal su isseoyo?
Please give me 3 stamps우표 3장 주세요upyo 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 box3호 박스 1개 주세요3ho bakseu 1gae juseyo
Please give me some bubble wrap뽁뽁이 좀 주세요ppokppogi 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.

asking for directions Korean phrases

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!

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Excuse me (asking for help politely)실례합니다sillyehamnida
Excuse me (asking for help)jeogiyo
I’m lost길을 잃어버렸어요gireul ileobeoryeosseoyo
Do you know where Apgujeong station is?압구정역 어디인지 아세요?apgujeongyeok 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 far꽤 멀어요kkwae meoreoyo
It’s not far멀지 않아요meolji anayo
It’s close가까워요gakkawoyo
It’s not within walking distance걸어갈 만한 거리가 아니예요georeogal manhan georiga aniyeyo
It’s about 1 kilometer from here여기에서 1킬로정도 멀어요yeogieseo 1killojeongdo meoreoyo
Can you show me on the map?지도로 보여 주시겠어요?jidoro boyeo jusigesseoyo?
I’m sorry, I’m not from around here미안하지만 저는 이 근처 사람이 아니예요mianhajiman jeoneun i geuncheo sarami aniyeyo
It’s that way그 쪽으로 가세요geu jjogeuro gaseyo
Go left왼쪽 가세요oenjjok gaseyo
Go right오른쪽에 가세요oreunjjoge gaseyo
Go straight쭉 가세요jjuk 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!

KAL Hotel in Jeju

Use these Korean phrases to help you speak the local language at hotels and pensions (B&Bs) in Korea. 

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Do you have any rooms available?빈방 있어요?binbang isseoyo?
I would like to make a reservation예약을 하고 싶어요yeyageul hago sipeoyo
Did you have a reservation?예약은 하셨습니까?yeyageun hasyeotseumnikka?
I have a reservation네, 예약했어요ne, yeyakaesseoyo
I don’t have a reservation아직 예약을 하지 않았어요ajik 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 four night(s)4일 묵겠어요sail mukgesseoyo
May I have your name?성함을 말씀해주세요seonghameul malsseumhaejuseyo
Can you wake me at 7 o'clock?7시에 깨워주시겠어요?ilgopsie kkaewojusigesseoyo?
I want to check out now지금 체크 아웃하고 싶어요jigeum 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!

Sokcho Bus Station in Korea

Sokcho Bus Station in Korea

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.

Charge up your T-Money card, and go for a ride!

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Please stop the bus here여기서 세워 주세요yeogiseo sewo juseyo
Please open the bus door버스 문 열어 주세요beoseu 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 어디에서 충전할 수 있어요?beoseu kadeu eodieseo chungjeonhal su isseoyo?
How much is a bus ticket to Seoul?서울에 가는 버스 표가 얼마예요?seoule ganeun beoseu pyoga eolmayeyo?
One ticket to Gangneung, please강릉에 가는 표 한 장 주세요gangneunge ganeun pyo han jang juseyo
Where does this bus go?이 버스는 어디로 가요?i beoseuneun eodiro gayo?
Where is the bus to Jinju?진주에 가는 버스는 어디에 있어요?jinjue ganeun beoseuneun eodie isseoyo?
Are there tickets available for the 3pm bus to Geo Je Island?3시에 거제도 가는 버스 자리 있어요?sesie geojedo ganeun beoseu jari isseoyo?
Does this bus stop in Incheon International Airport?이 버스는 인천국제공항에 서요?i beoseuneun incheongukjegonghange seoyo?
When does the bus for Sokcho leave?속초에 가는 버스는 언제 출발해요?sokchoe ganeun beoseuneun eonje chulbalhaeyo?
When does bus number 605 arrive?605번 버스는 언제 도착해요?yukbaegobeon beoseuneun eonje dochakaeyo?
When will this bus arrive in the Namsan Tower?이 버스는 남산타워에 언제 도착해요?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.”

Korean phrases for the dinner table

맛있게 드세요!
Photo: ebifry

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.

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Bon appétit맛있게 드세요masitge deuseyo
Eat up!많이 먹어요mani meogeoyo
I will eat well!잘 먹겠습니다jal meokgetseumnida
I ate well잘 먹었습니다jal meogeotseumnida
It’s delicious!맛있어요!masisseoyo!
It doesn’t taste good맛없어요maseopseoyo
I’m hungry배고파요baegopayo
I’m thirsty목 말라요mok mallayo
Give me coffee please커피 주세요keopi juseyo
I’m a vegetarian저는 채식주의자예요jeoneun chaesikjuuijayeyo
I don’t eat meat저는 고기를 못 먹어요jeoneun gogireul mot meogeoyo
I can eat anything다 먹을 수 있어요da 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!

Getting to Know You Korean Phrases

These Korean small talk phrases are great for getting to know someone!

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

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Nice to meet you만나서 반가워요mannaseo bangawoyo
What is your name?이름이 뭐예요?ireumi mwoyeyo?
My name is John제 이름은 이에요je ireumeun jonieyo
Where are you from?어디에서 왔어요?eodieseo wasseoyo?
I’m from U.S.저는 미국에서 왔어요jeoneun migukeseo wasseoyo
How old are you?몇 살이에요?myeot sarieyo?
I’m 24 years old저는 스물 네살이에요jeoneun seumul nesarieyo
I can’t speak Korean well한국말 잘 못해요hangungmal jal mothaeyo
I’m learning Korean these days요즘 한국말 배워요yojeum hangungmal baewoyo
What is your job?직업이 뭐예요?jigeobi mwoyeyo?
My job is amodel제 직업은 모델이에요je jigeobeun modelieyo
Where do you live?어디에 사세요?eodie saseyo?
Are you married?결혼했어요?gyeolhonhaesseoyo?
Do you like exercise?운동을 좋아해요?undongeul joahaeyo?
I like Carrot cake당근케이크를 좋아해요danggeunkeikeureul 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. 

Meeting Friends Korean Phrases

Use these phrases with your friends!

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).

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Long time no seeoraenmanieyo
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 brother for me한테 안부 전해 주세요hyeonghante anbu jeonhae juseyo
Get home safely집에 잘 들어가요jibe 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.

Special Occasion Korean Phrases

Use these to express yourself on special occasions

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”.

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Happy Birthdaysaengil chukahaeyo
Merry Christmas메리 크리스마스meri keuriseumaseu
Happy New Year!새해 복 많이 받으세요!saehae bok mani badeuseyo!
Happy Chuseok!즐거운 추석 보내세요jeulgeoun chuseok bonaeseyo
Happy Valentine's Day!해피 발렌타인 데이!haepi ballentain dei!

If you’re looking for more phrases for Valentine’s Day, check out: https://www.90daykorean.com/korean-valentines-phrases/

Phone Call Korean Phrases

Phone Call Korean Phrases

He’s about to use Korean phrases on his phone call

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!

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Hello? (on phone)여보세요?yeoboseyo?
Who is calling please?누구세요?nuguseyo?
Can I speak to Ella please?엘라씨와 통화 할 수 있을까요?ellassiwa tonghwa hal su isseulkkayo?
Just a moment please잠시만 기다려 주세요jamsiman gidaryeo juseyo
Brownisn’t in at the moment브라운씨가 자리를 비웠어요beuraunssiga jarireul biwosseoyo
Should I tell Mike to call you back?마이크씨에게 다시 전화하라고 할까요?maikeussiege dasi jeonhwaharago halkkayo?
Would you like to leave a message?메시지를 남기시겠어요?mesijireul namgisigesseoyo?
Shall I take a message?메세지 남겨 드릴까요?meseji namgyeo deurilkkayo?
I will connect you제가 연결해 드릴게요jega yeongyeolhae deurilgeyo
Please repeat that for me다시 말해 주세요dasi malhae juseyo
Please speak up a little for me좀 더 크게 말해 주세요jom deo keuge malhae juseyo
I will call you back제가 다시 걸게요jega dasi geolgeyo
When shall I call?언제쯤 통화가 가능할까요?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!

English한국어 (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 me휴대폰 충전해 주세요hyudaepon 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 플랜 살 수 있어요?hyudaepon deiteo peullaen sal su isseoyo?
How much time is remaining on my contract?휴대폰 약정 얼마나 남았어요?hyudaepon yakjeong eolmana namasseoyo?
Please add minutes to my phone휴대폰 데이터 충전해 주세요hyudaepon 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?

Korean Exclamations

Korean exclamations

Photo: Patrick Hoesly

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!

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Amazing! or Unbelievable!daebak!
What?! or Oh my god!heol!
Yay! or Hurray!아싸!assa!
Oh my goodness!아이고!aigo!
Unbelievable! or Impossible!말도 안돼요!maldo andwaeyo!

Impress the Locals

Phrases that native Koreans use

Native Koreans will love these!
Photo: Erich Ferdinand

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!

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Company dinnerhoesik
Bomb drink (i.e. boilermaker or soju bomb)폭탄주poktanju
Soju and beer소맥somaek
Chimek (chicken and beer)치맥chimaek
Membership training (retreat)emti
Part-time job알바alba
Of course!당근!danggeun!
Free item at restaurant or storeseobiseu
recognize or respect인정!injeong!

Talking with the Landlord Korean Phrases

Expressions to help you talk with your Korean landlord

Who is it?
Photo: Pascal

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!

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Did a package arrive for me?소포 왔어요?sopo wasseoyo?
I expect a package tomorrow내일 소포가 올거예요naeil sopoga olgeoyeyo
My _______ is broken제 _______ 고장났어요je _______ gojangnasseoyo
I’ll be on vacation from _______ to ______________부터 _______까지 휴가 갈거예요_______buteo _______kkaji hyuga galgeoyeyo
My hot water doesn’t work뜨거운 물이 안 나와요tteugeoun muri an nawayo
My hot water heater is broken보일러가 고장났어요boilleoga gojangnasseoyo
My sink is clogged제 싱크대가 막혔어요je singkeudaega makyeosseoyo
My toilet is clogged제 변기 막혔어요je byeongi makyeosseoyo
The water doesn’t work수돗물이 안 나와요sudonmuri an nawayo
The lights don’t work불이 안 켜져요buri an kyeojyeoyo
The air conditioning isn’t cold에어컨이 안 시원해요eeokeoni an siwonhaeyo
The neighbors are too loud이웃이 너무 시끄러워요iusi neomu sikkeureowoyo
The neighbors dog keeps barking이웃집 강아지가 계속 짖어요iutjip 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!

Apartment Search Korean Phrases

Highrise apartments in downtown Seoul

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)!

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
I would like to find housing around here이 근처의 집을 구하고 싶어요i 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 apartment원룸 구하고 싶어요wollum guhago sipeoyo
I would like to find a one bedroom apartment투룸 구하고 싶어요turum 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 small너무 작아요neomu jagayo
This is too big너무 커요neomu keoyo
This is too expensive너무 비싸요neomu bissayo
I don’t really like it별로 안 좋아요byeollo an joayo
I like this place a lot이 집 마음 들어요i jip maeum deureoyo

Dating & Romance Korean Phrases

Dating and 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.


English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
What is your phone number?핸드폰 번호가 뭐예요?haendeupon beonhoga mwoyeyo?
Let’s talk on KakaoTalk우리 카카오톡 해요uri 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 evening즐거운 저녁이었어요jeulgeoun 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.

Korean Taxi

Taxi in Seoul

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!

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Where shall I go?어디로 갈까요?eodiro galkkayo?
Please take me to ______________으로 가주세요_______euro gajuseyo
I will give you the address주소를 알려 드릴게요jusoreul 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 가세요안녕히 가세요
Taxi driver기사님gisanim

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!

Korean Emergency Phrases

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!

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
This is an emergency아주 급해요aju 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 ambulance구급차를 불러 주세요gugeupchareul bulleo juseyo
Please take me to the hospital병원에 데려가 주세요byeongwone deryeoga juseyo
Please help me도와주세요dowajuseyo
Please call the US Embassy immediately즉시 미국 대사관으로 전화해 주세요jeuksi miguk daesagwaneuro jeonhwahae juseyo
Where can I get help?어디에서 도움을 구할 수 있어요?eodieseo doumeul guhal su isseoyo?
I am a diabetic저는 당뇨가 있어요jeoneun 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 friend or show encouragement to a loved one. Luckily, there are plenty of Korean phases of encouragement to do just that!

Encouragement Korean Phrases

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.

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Persevere! (cheer)화이팅!hwaiting!
Cheer up힘내세요himnaeseyo
Don’t give up포기 하지마세요pogi hajimaseyo
Don’t worry걱정 하지마세요geokjeong hajimaseyo
It’s OK괜찮아요gwaenchanayo
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! 


Korea blazing sun


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!

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
Twinkling or glittering반짝반짝banjjakbanjjak
Heart throbbing두근두근dugeundugeun
Streaming or dripping water주룩주룩jurukjuruk
Thump noises쿵쿵kungkung
Blazing hot sun쨍쨍jjaengjjaeng
Gentle soft breeze솔솔solsol
Soft and chewy food말랑말랑mallangmallang
Moving up and down들썩들썩deulsseokdeulsseok
Sneaking in살금살금salgeumsalgeum


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.

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.

English한국어 (Korean)Romanization
doorbell ringing딩동dingdong
car honking빵빵ppangppang
heart beating두근두근dugeundugeun
pig oinking꿀꿀꿀kkulkkulkkul
dog barking멍멍meongmeong
cat meowing야옹yaong
pigeon sound구구gugu
cow or sheep sound음메eumme
duck quacking꽥꽥kkwaekkkwaek
mouse squeaking찍찍jjikjjik

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!

    96 replies to "Korean Phrases: The Ultimate List for 2020"

    • STE

      “table” not found. these is only description without Korean phrases (table).

      • 90 Day Korean

        Hi STE! Our technical team is looking into the issue. Thanks for letting us know! ^^

    • Animated Meanderings

      Most of the lists/tables in this article seem to be missing/broken.

      • 90 Day Korean

        Thanks so much for letting us know! Our tech team is aware of the problem and are working to get it fixed ASAP. ^^

    • Veronica

      I went on here just in December but now in the New Year I can’t see the tables or the charts that used to be in each category. It just shows up as [table "" not found/] . Such a bummer because I just found these to be amazing and it seems like they disappeared overnight

    • Veronica

      Can I have some phrases about the weather, like…. It’s very cold today, I’m freezing, Winter came

      • 90 Day Korean

        Hi Veronica! You can check it out here: 90daykorean.com/cold-in-korean/ .^^

    • Bana Bana

      can i ask?
      how to say stay safe stay healthy

      • 90 Day Korean

        Hi Bana! You can say 안전하고 건강하게 잘 지내. ^^

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