How to Say “Wow” in Korean – Expressing surprise & amazement

Last Updated on July 12, 2022 by 90 Day Korean
How to say Wow in Korean

In this article, we will be teaching you how to say “wow” in Korean.

When visiting a foreign country, there are so many exciting sights and sounds, smells, and tastes. There are a lot of times when the only word that you can use to express how you feel is simply “wow.”

Boy saying wow at an image that says "wow" in Korean.

Let’s learn how to use this word. Here we go!

How To Say “Wow” in Korean

This article will look at how to say “wow” in Korean. It’s a really useful exclamation! You can then show your friends how you feel when you see something that makes you completely lost for words.

Before we dive in, check out this video which shows How to Say “Wow” in Korean:

How to Say "Wow" in Korean

If you enjoyed our video on how to say “wow” in Korean, you can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel for other helpful videos!

Ways to say “Wow” In Korean (와/우와/와우)

The most common way of saying “wow” in Korean is “와” (wa).

You may also hear 우와 (uwa) and 와우 (wau | similar to the English word “wow”) being said by Koreans. Although, these words also mean “wow” in Korean, 와 (wa) is the most common.

How To Pronounce “Wow” in Korean

The “a” part of the sound is often made slightly longer than normal, making it sound more like “waah”. This word is more of a sound than a word, and there are several different variations of the word “wow.”

Wow in Korean

When To Use “Wow” in Korean

You can use “wow” when talking to yourself. It is also mainly used in informal situations but can be used in standard situations.

You can also use the Korean “wow” at the start of a sentence. If that sentence is showing surprise then it will usually end with 네 (ne) if informal, or 네요 (neyo) if in the standard politeness level.

If you are talking to yourself, then the sentence will often end in 다 (da).

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How to Write “Wow” in Korean

You can write “wow” in Korean as ““. This is written with the Hangeul consonant, ㅇ, and the compound vowel, ㅘ.

What is “wa” in Korean?

In romanized English, you can spell “wow” in Korean as “wa.”

Using the Korean alphabet, known as Hangeul, is a far more effective way to learn Korean than using Romanization all the time. If you know how to read Hangeul, then you will also improve your reading ability and can learn vocabulary and grammar far more quickly. Hangeul only takes a few hours to learn so the payoff is almost immediate and is well worth the effort.

If you want to learn some more essential phrases, check out this article or try our full Korean course.

Standard “Wow” in Korean

You can use the standard version of “wow” like the ones in the example sentences below with most people. It will be considered polite.

Example:

와, 사람이 정말 많네요! (wa, sarami jeongmal manneyo)

Wow, that’s a lot of people!

우와, 그런 이야기는 처음 들어요! (uwa, geureon iyagineun cheoeum deureoyo)

Wow, I’ve never heard that before!

Informal “Wow” in Korean

If you’re going to use the informal version of “wow”, make sure you use it with those close to you or younger than you. It would be impolite to use the informal “wow” in Korean with people you don’t know well or those older than you.

Example:

우와! 너 정말 멋져! (uwa neo jeongmal meotjyeo)

Wow! You look terrific!

와, 7년, 긴 시간이네! (wa, chillyeon, gin siganine)

Wow, 7 years, that’s a long time!

와! 재밌겠다! (wa jaemitgetda)

Wow, how fun!

How to Remember the Word “Wow” in Korean

“Wow”’ and “와 (wa)” in Korean both start with the “w” sound and both sound kind of similar, so this word should be quite easy to remember.

Instead of saying “wow”, you can cut the “ow” sound and replace it with an “a” sound.

Wow = Wa

How to Remember Wow in Korean

Now that you know how to say “wow” in Korean, let us know what things make you want to say “wow” when you visit Korea.

Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!

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