For KPop or KDrama lovers, South Korea is a dream destination. A lot of people learn South Korea’s Language – Hangeul to be able to read, speak, or sing basic Korean language or popular Kpop Songs. However, learning Basic Korean Phrases can be very helpful in your travel.
Though many Koreans have been learning English, through ESL schools in their country or abroad (e.g. the Philippines). The older generation, those in remote areas or those that haven’t gone through it may not respond to you or understand your question.
This article will help you in South Korea travel, I have listed common phrases and questions we tend to use while traveling. As a person not a native of English, I tend to appreciate people who try to speak our language, so learn a few phrases, if not all, and see a smile from a South Korean.
Here are basic Korean phrases for your South Korea trip including Greetings, Introduction, Basic Responses, Accommodation, Transportation, Food, Emergency and practical terms that will be helpful in your travel in South Korea.
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Korean uses Hangul which is easy to memorize. It’s written with lines and circles; you read it by checking where the positions are and it’s combinations. However, the language as a whole is pretty difficult.
The word order in Korean is Subject-Object-Verb (e.g. I food eat) unlike English which is Subject-Verb-Object (e.g. I eat food.)
If you don’t know the whole sentence, you may combine Korean words with English and the person you are talking to might get what you are trying to say.
Koreans are also a “bowing” country, so greeting when greeting them – you can do a head bow or 15-degree bow.
Here are the basic greetings, you can do this with a head bow or a 15-degree bow.
Annyeonghaseyo (Annyeong) – Hi. Hello. (casual)
Jo-eun achimimnida – Good Morning
Jo-eun jeonyeogimnida – Good Evening
Jo-eun bamimnida – Good Night
Annyeong (informal) – Good Bye
Eotteoke jinaeshimnikka – How are you?
Jal jinamnida, kamshamnida – I am fine, thank you
Shill(ydd)e hamnida – Excuse Me. (to get someone’s attention)
Nanuen … – I am …
or Je ireumeun … imnida – My name is …
Naneun … chulsin-ida – I am from …
Naneun … e sanda – I live in …
Naneun (country) salam-ibnida – I am (nationality).
(Example: Naneun Pilipin salam-ibnida – I am Filipino)
Ye/Ne – Yes
Anio – No
Amado – Maybe
Jeongmal – Really?
Butakambida – Please
Kamsahamnida – Thank You
Cheonmanimnida – You are Welcome
Dangsin-eun yeong eoleulhasibnikka – Do You Speak English?
Hangug-eo – Korean
Ihaega an dwaeyo – I understand
Ihaega an gamnida – I don’t understand
Naneun hangug-eoleul ihae haji moshanda – I don’t understand Korean.
Naneun hangug-eoleul jogeumhabnida – I speak a little Korean.
Dasi hanbeon malhae juspsio – Please say it again
Cheoncheonhi malhae jusipsio – Slowly, please
Yeogie yeong-eoreul hasineun bun gyesimnikka – Is there someone who speaks English?
…-eun hangungmallo eotteoke malham nikka – How to say … in Korean?
Directions and Places
Eodiimnikka – Where?
Example: Hwajangsiri eodi-e isseumnikka – Where is the toilet?
gichayeok – Train Station
gonghang – Airport
beoseu jeongnyujang – Bus station
hotel – Hotel
byeong-won – Hospital
pyeon-uijeom – Convenience Store
Syoping senteo – Mall or Shopping Centre
… ro ga jusipsio – Take me to …, please
…-kkaji eolmana meol-eoyo – How far is it to …
…-kkaji eolmana geollibnikka – How long does it take to …
…-e garyeomyeon eotteoke haeya hamnikka – How do I get to ..?
…gichayeog-euloganeun gil – Which way is the train station?
oreunjjok – Right
oenjjok – Hidari
gojjang gasipsio – Straight ahead
…ro ganeunpyoga eolmaimnikka – One ticket to …, please
Bang isseumnikka – Do you have any rooms available?
1-paku wa ikura desu ka – How much is one night?
…bam mukgesseumnida – I will stay for … night/s.
… saram teibeul butakamnida – A table for … person(s), please.
Menyureul bwao doegesseumnikka – Can I see the menu, please?
i sigdang-ui jeonmunjeom-eun mueos-ibnikka – What is the specialty of the Restaurant?
Naneun hangug eumsig-eul meoggo sip-eo – I want to eat Korean food
Naneun …-eul meogji anhneunda – I don’t eat ….
masiji – drink
Gogi (doaejigogi, sogogi, dalgogi) – Meat (pork, chicken, beef)
Saengseon – Fish
Haemul – seafood
Maekju – Beer
mul jom ju sigess-eoyo – May I have water, please.
Geonbae! – Cheers!
Gyesanseo butakamnida –The check, please?
Eolmanayo? – How much?
Igeoseun eolmayeyo – How much is this?
Igeoseuro je saijeuwa manneun geot isseumnikka – Do you have this in my size
Sin-yong kadeu badseubnikka – Do you accept credit card?
Hwan-yul-eun eolmaibnikka – What is the exchange rate?
Jeoneun … ipilyohamnda – I need …
uihag – medicine
eumsig – food
eumlyosu – drinks
ginyeompum – souvenirs
Josimhaseyo! – Help.
Dangshin-ui doumi pilyohamnida – I need your help
gyeongchal-eul bulleo – Call the Police
Gireul ireosseumnida – I’m lost.
Gabang-eul ireosseumnida – I lost my bag.
Apeumnida – I am sick.
Uisaga piryohamnida – I need a doctor.
… daesagwan e iyagihago sipseumnida – I want to talk to (country) Embassy.
Here is the basic general number system used in Korea, there is also another one used; it is for counting
il – One
i – Two
sam – Three
o – Five
yuk – Six
chil – Seven
pal – Eight
gu – Nine
ship – Ten
sib-il – Eleven
i-sib-i – Twenty Two
baek – One Hundred
cheon – One Thousand
man – Ten Thousand
Other terms that Maybe of Use
je sajin-eul jjig-eojuseyo – please take my picture
sajin jjig-eodo doelkkayo – can I take pictures?
naega iblyeog hal su issseubnida – can I enter?
ibgyneun eodie – where is the entrance?
Yeppeuda – Beautiful
Bookmark this article and use these Basic Korean Phrases for your travel in South Korea. Who knows, you might meet your idol and get to say hello in person! Plus, learning the basic phrases of the Korean language will be a great way to experience conversing with locals. Happy travels!
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