How To Say ‘Ouch’ In Korean

Ouch! You cut your finger while chopping onions. Ouch! You hit your toe on the bathroom door. Ouch! You bump into someone’s heavy bag on the street.

These are all incidences you may come across in your daily life and often when they happen, you can’t help but involuntarily exclaim “Ouch!” to the sting of pain.

So wouldn’t it be fun to add to your Korean vocabulary with the knowledge of how to say ‘ouch’ in Korean? Your Korean friends would surely be impressed to hear you say ‘ouch!’ in Korean next time you hit your hip on the table! So this is what will be covered in today’s lesson!

A woman touching her elbow in pain

‘Ouch’ in Korean

Now, how to you say ‘ouch’ in Korean? The dictionary will quickly tell you the correct answer is 아야! (aya!).For effect, you may want to follow that with 아파! (apha!), which means ‘it hurts’.

However, another way to express ‘ouch’, possibly in a less dramatic but even more common way, is to use the expression 아이구! (aigu!). You may have heard this word used in many different Korean dramas or movies, but it’s just as appropriate in daily life! This can also be used to express the word ‘ouch’ when you’re not the one injured but are being sympathetic to the person who is.

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A word of caution about Romanization

While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea will suddenly seem so much easier and the country won’t appear so foreign for you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?

Sample Sentences

boy with a bandaged wound on his finger

아야! 아파! (aya! apha!)

Ouch! That hurt!

아이구! 아파! (aigu! apha!)

Ouch! That hurt!

아야! 문에 팔꿈치를 부딪쳤어! (aya! Mune phalggumchireul buditchyeosseo!)

Ouch! I hit my elbow on the door!

아이그, 그거 정말 아파 보여! (aigu, geugeo jeongmal apha boyeo!)

Ouch, that looks like it hurts a lot!

There you go! Now you know how to say ‘ouch’ in Korean! But ‘ouch’ is just one of the many common reaction words you could add to your repertoire. Let us know which other words like ‘ouch’ you may be interested in learning, and we’ll work our magic for you!

Want more Korean phrases? Click here for a complete list!

Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto

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