Today you’ll learn how to say ‘train’ in Korean, a very important form of public transportation here! Read on for vocabulary, example uses, and fun ways to remember it.


The 80/20* of How to Say ‘Train’ in Korean


기차Train (gicha)

열차Train (yeolcha)


How to remember (association):

“On Korean trains everyone uses keys to stir their cha tea instead of spoons!” (기차 / gicha)

*80/20 Pareto Principle – The 20% you should learn that will give you 80% of the results.


How much do you already know about Korea’s public transportation? What are the main public transportation options within Seoul? What about when going from Seoul to other cities and towns in Korea? Even if you already know all of the available options, do you know what they are in Korean? In case you don’t, today you can add how to say train in Korean to your Korean vocabulary.


Can't read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 90 minutes!

High Speed Passenger Train In Motion On The Railway Station

‘Train’ in Korean

There are two main words for how to say train in Korean. The first is 기차 (gicha) and the second is 열차 (yeolcha). With either word, if you want to turn it into an action verb, you should add -를 타다 (-reul thada) to the word’s ending. This is the basic form for the sentence ‘to take a train’ and ‘to ride in a train’. Both of the words are also fairly interchangeable with each other.

So how to remember train in Korean? We’ll use associations to remember the key parts.

For 기차, we’ll use the association of a key for 기 and cha tea for 차. We then construct a simple story with these elements.


“On Korean trains everyone uses keys to stir their cha tea instead of spoons!” (기차 / gicha)

Can you think of a story that would help you remember 기차?

What about associations for 열차? You can reuse the cha tea association and 열 sounds a little like your. Remember, the association doesn’t have to be exact, it just has to help you remember the keyword, in this case train.

Give it a try and let us know your association in the comments below!


기차편 (gichaphyeon) = railroad service

기차 여행 (gicha yeohaeng) = a train trip

기차 승객 (gicha seungkaek) = a train passenger

빠른 기차 (bbareun gicha) = a fast train

아침 기차 (achim gicha) = morning train

부산행 기차 (busanhaeng gicha) = train for Busan

장난감 기차 (jangnangam gicha) = a toy train

관광열차 (gwangwangyeolcha) = sightseeing train

급행열차 (geubhaengyeolcha) = express train

야간열차 (yaganyeolcha) = night train

여객열차 (yeogaekyeolcha) = passenger train

완행열차 (wanhaengyeolcha) = slow train

직행열차 (jikhaengyeolcha) = direct train

통근열차 (thonggeunyeolcha) = commuter train

화물열차 (hwamulyeolcha) = freight train

열차 종점 (yeolcha jongjeom) = the last train station

열차 운행 (yeolcha unhaeng) = train service

서울행 열차 (seoulhaeng yeolcha) = train for Seoul


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

Korea Train On Railway With Skyline At Seoul, South Korea


정말 죄송합니다. 기차가 한 시간 연발해서 어쩔 수 없게 지각돼었어요. (jeongmal jwisonghabnida. Gichaka han shigan yeonbalhaeseo eojjeol su eobge jigakdwaeeosseoyo.)

I’m so sorry. I couldn’t help being late due to the train being delayed by one hour.

울산행 기차가 몇 시에 출발하실거에요? (ulsanhaeng gichaka myeot shie chulbalhasilgeoeyo?)

What time will the train for Ulsan depart?

다음 기차는 언제 도착하세요? (daum gichaneun eonje dochakhaseyo?)

When will the next train arrive?


기차가 10분 일찍 도착한대요. (gichaka 10bun iljjik dochakhandaeyo.)

They said the train will arrive 10 minutes early.


지금 열차에 오를게. 곧 봐! (jigeum yeolchae oreulgeoya. Got bwa!)

I will get on board the train now. See you soon!

Now you’re ready to ask the station master which train you should take to Busan! What Korean transportation would you like to learn to say next? Let us know in the comments below!

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

Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.