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One thing that will be of necessity to you when you’re in Korea, is knowing the directions from point A to point B. Lucky for us, there are many ways to find out what the directions are, even as a foreigner who may not speak fluent Korean.
Unfortunately, even with access to directions and maps, we might sometimes find ourselves lost. We then have no choice but to ask someone for directions, often a local. While these days many Koreans can speak English, it’s still an advantage to know how to express yourself in Korean, in this case asking for directions as well as understanding the received instructions.
So today’s lesson is focused around learning how to say ‘right’ in Korean. On its own it may not be sufficient, but it’s one more step towards fluency – or at least the ability to navigate through South Korea! After you learn how to say right in Korean then you can learn what’s ‘left‘.
‘Right’ in Korean
The word for how to say right in Korean is 오른쪽 (oreunjjok). Specifically this word translates to ‘one’s right’ and ‘right side’. It’s one of the first words you should learn in Korean.
When receiving or giving out directions to a destination that includes a turn to right, this should be expressed with 오른쪽으로 돌다 (oreunjjokeuro dolda). The verb 돌다 (dolda) translates to the meaning of ‘turn’ or ‘make a turn’.
If there is no need to make a turn, and you simply want to express that a certain building – or something else similar – is on the right side of a street, you can say 오른쪽에 있다 (oreunjjoke itta), as this means ‘it is on the right side’.
Additionally, you can use the expression 오른쪽 (oreunjjok) also when you want to tell someone that something specific on a magazine spread is on the right side, or a picture is on the right side of a collage, or something is stored on a drawer on the right side, and so on. Basically, anything that is in relation to the direction of right, such as on which side of the subway the doors will open at any particular station, can be expressed by using 오른쪽 (oreunjjok). The one exception is when you are navigating while driving a car, as in this case you may wish to use the word 우회전 (uhwejeon) to express making a turn to the right.
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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?
다음 사거리에서 오른쪽으로 도세요. (daum sageorieseo oreunjjokeuro doseyo.)
Turn right at the next intersection.
쯕 가면, 오른쪽에 카페가 있어요. (jjeuk gamyeon, oreunjjoke khapheka isseoyo.)
If you go straight, the cafe will be on your right.
맨 오른쪽의 건물이 우리 아파트건물이야. (maen oreunjjoke geonmuri uri aphatheugeonmuriya.)
Our apartment building is the one farthest to the right.
Now that you know how to say ‘right’ in Korean, we hope we’ve set you on the right path. Learn how to say ‘left‘ in Korean to have more direction in your life in Korea, and let us know what other words you’d like to learn in the comments below!
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