Basic words and phrases in Korean language (한국어 / hangugeo) can be easily learned nowadays. It is one of the most popular languages among southeast Asian countries because of the prevalence of Korean culture through Korean popular posts, Korean drama/movies, Korean music, and even Korean food. Many people want to learn Korean to expand their vocabulary and understand how their favorite Korean actors and Kpop biases speak. Whatever the reason is, it is undeniable that the Korean language has taken a big step to know not just in Asia but all over the world.
Today, there are lots of people who speak English as their second language because it has been widely used all over the world, but learning to speak Korean will definitely step up your game. It will widen your vocabulary and give you a deeper understanding of Koreans. So, are you ready to learn new Korean words and Korean phrases? Let’s go! (가자! / gaja!)
- What Are The Top 10 Basic Words In Korean?
- Other Basic Korean Phrases And Words You Should Learn
- A List Of 365 Common Korean Words To Improve Your Vocabulary
- Korean Language That Reflects Korean Culture
- About The Korean Language
- Start Learning Korean Now!
What Are The Top 10 Basic Words In Korean?
If you are wondering which essential Korean words you should learn first, have a look at the list below:
- Yes: 네 (ne) / 예 (ye)
- No: 아니오 (a-ni-yo)
- Okay: 괜찮아요 (gwaen-chan-a-yo)
- Hello: 안녕하세요 (an-nyeong-ha-se-yo)
- Please (for requests): 주세요 (ju-se-yo)
- Thank you: 감사합니다 (gam-sa-ham-ni-da) / 고마워요 (go-ma-woy-o)
- You’re welcome: 천만에요 (cheon-man-e-yo)
- Excuse me: 실례합니다 (sill-ye-ham-ni-da)
- Sorry: 미안합니다 (mi-an-ham-ni-da) / 미안해 (mi-an-he)
- Goodbye: 안녕히 계세요 (an-nyeoung-hi-gye-se-yo)
Meanings And Sounds Of The Basic Korean Words And Phrases You Should Lean
There is a special reason why people want to learn Korean words and Korean phrases. People have different reasons why they want to learn this language. It can be because they are inspired by the Korean music and dramas they are listening to and watching.
It may also be a requirement for an elective subject in school. Most of all, people want to start learning Korean because they want to travel to Korea and start conversations with the locals.
Whatever the reason is, it is really commendable for you to start learning Korean so here’s a list of Basic Words and Phrases in Korean for you to start with:
English Translation: Yes
네 (ne) is used the same way it is used in the English language. As a traveler, this is really essential, especially in airports, shopping, dining, and traveling around the country. You can also hear people say 예 (ye) which is a more casual way to say Yes in Korean.
English Translation: No
No is also one of the basic but most important words to learn in Korean. It is as important as the word Yes because you will not say Yes all the time.
On the other hand, when you are in doubt or unsure about something, 아마도 / amado is the right word for you. Of course, there will be a lot of things that you won’t be so sure about when you begin to learn Korean.
English Translation: Ok
The common way of agreeing is saying Ok (괜찮아요 / gwaenchanayo). This is just a word but it is really important and useful in many different situations.
English Translation: Hello
안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo) is one of the most common words in the Korean language you will hear anywhere. Koreans love to welcome people with a greeting This is the easiest Korean greeting that you can use in many situations. This is also a great conversation starter and ice breaker when communicating with the locals.
English Translation: Please
Koreans really value respect and politeness. It is clearly reflected in Koreans when you go to their country or even just watch their movies and dramas that is why the word Please (주세요 / juseyo) is used often. As a traveler, this is important to show your politeness to the locals in different situations such as dining in a restaurant and shopping.
English Translation: Thank you
Saying Thank you(감사합니다 / gamsahamnida) in Korean is really important especially when you visit Korea. 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) is used in formal conversations and you could also hear 고마워요 (gomawoyo) which is used in casual conversations. This is also a common Korean phrase or expression that is really important in daily conversations.
We all know that saying Thank you is a sign of showing your appreciation and gratitude to another person which is a very important thing in Koreans. There are a lot more Korean phrases that you can use to say Thank you but this is the most common you can use in both speaking and writing.
English Translation: You’re welcome
You should also know how to respond when somebody expressed gratitude to you by simply just saying You’re welcome (천만에요 / cheonmaneyo) in Korean. This is also a sign of politeness toward other people. Korean phrases like this are really important to keep the conversation going and also to be nice.
English Translation: Excuse me
There will also be times when you need to use the phrase Excuse me (실례합니다 / sillyehamnida) This phrase is used to apologize but there are different usages for this phrase. One example is 저기요 (jeogiyo) which is used to get attention. Another example is 잠시만요 (jamsimanyo) which is used to pass someone.
English Translation: Sorry
Both Korean phrases have the same meaning but they are used in different situations. 미안합니다 / (mianhamnida) is formal and you could also hear 미안해 (mianhe) which is more casual. Saying sorry is a sign of humility and also respect.
English Translation: Goodbye
Knowing how to say Goodbye (안녕히 계세요 / annyeounghi gyeseyo) in Korean is also important especially if you are a tourist. It is one of the most common Korean greetings which is mostly used in daily conversations.
These 10 basic words and phrases in the Korean language are just the simplest and easiest that you can learn. As a person who doesn’t know how to speak Korean, these phrases and words are a good starting point in your journey in language learning. For people who speak English, learning Korean may not be too easy especially in written form since it is really. But with a lot of practice and continuous reading of blogs like this, you will surely get learn little by little.
Other Basic Korean Phrases And Words You Should Learn
Speaking Korean will require you to learn more vocabulary other than the 10 mentioned above. Now that you have learned the 10 basic words and phrases in the Korean language, let us learn more. Take note, we are only learning the basic words, phrases, and sentences, there are separate blog posts for other topics as well. Here is a list of additional Korean phrases and words to learn in different categories:
1. For Everyday Life Conversations
There are plenty of Korean phrases and vocabulary that are commonly used in everyday conversation. There are Koreans who speak English but there are also those who don’t. Learning basic words and phrases in the Korean language as well as sentences will make it easier when you are talking to the locals. Here is a list of words and phrases that are used in everyday life:
2. Korean Words For Shopping
Shopping is part of a great adventure in Korea. Even if you don’t plan to go to Korea, there may be times when you want to buy something in a Korean store. One of the reasons why people admire Koreans is the products they use in everyday life. Here are some words that may help your shopping experience easier:
3. Basic Korean Words And Phrases About Food And Dining
Another reason why people love Korean culture is because of their food. If you want to eat in local restaurants or if someone invited you for a meal, these are some phrases that you need to know as a beginner. Take note of the pronunciation of these Basic words and phrases in the Korean language because it is really important.
4. Essential Phrases About Travel And Directions In Korean
Traveling is really hard if it is your first time and it is even harder when you don’t know how to speak their native language. Even if you are with your friends and all of you only know how to speak English, traveling will be hard for all of you. If you decide to Korea, try learning the following phrases that the native speakers use:
5. Korean Phases About Clarification
Being a non-native speaker will really give you a hard time understanding conversations and interactions. So, it’s nice to learn some basic words and phrases in the Korean language that you can use to make things clear. Surely, Koreans will be kind enough to clarify things for you.
|다시 한 번 말해 주세요||dasi han beon malhae juseyo||Please say that one more time.|
|천천히 말해 주세요||cheoncheonhi malhae juseyo||Please speak slowly.|
|이해 못해요||ihae mothaeyo||I don’t understand|
6. Words And Phrases About Emergency In Korean
Emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere. You never know when and where it will happen. You may feel comfortable if you always have a doctor like Kang Mo-Yeon (in Descendants of the Sun) or a responsive police officer like Choi Eun-Cheol (in Hometown Cha-cha-cha) by your side. But, if you don’t have people like them at all times, you must learn some basic words and phrases in Korean to be used for emergencies like the following:
7. Korean Phrases About Accommodation
Going to a place as wonderful as South Korea will bring you different sorts of adventures which can be tiring but fulfilling. One of the first things you’ll do when you arrive in Korea is to look for accommodation that is really budget-friendly but can still give you the Korean cultural experience. Learn these basic words and phrases in the Korean language that is related to accommodation to have smooth transactions.
8. Korean Words And Phrases Related To Love And Relationships
We cannot talk about basic words and phrases in Korean language without some love and relationship phrases. After all, I bet one of the reasons why you’re here is because of your favorite Oppa and bias. And hey, pretty sure that the K-dramas never failed to make you fall in love or believe in true love even in mermaids like “Legend of the Blue Sea” and aliens like “My Love from the Star”.
Falling in love with Koreans is not hard because let’s admit it, what’s not to love about them? So, here are some basic words related to love and relationships:
9. Basic Words For Family In The Korean Language
Guided by the teachings of Confucianism, Korean families strictly value filial piety and respect for elders. Koreans are known to be family-oriented people. Family members are extremely devoted to one another. It is well-reflected in their K-dramas like “Reply 1988”. If you watched this K-drama, you can the Korean culture in terms of family. Elders are well-respected. Parents are responsible for molding their children to be good and responsible citizens by providing them with education and teaching them Korean culture. Children are supposed to be obedient and respectful to their parents and pursue education to become successful in the future.
Here are some words and phrases related to the family that you should learn as a beginner:
10. Korean Verbs And Adjectives
Verbs and adjectives are essential parts of the sentence structure. If you know the basic verbs and adjectives, it will be easier for you to understand and write sentences in Korean. Remember, the Korean language is meant to be learned and understood easily. At first, it seems like it’s hard to learn especially if you’re from a western country but after learning the Korean alphabet, you’ll realize that it’s not hard to learn Korean. Here are some basic verbs and adjectives you’ll need to know.
11. Words About Time In Korean
One thing to learn about Koreans is they are really organized. Everything is past-faced to keep productivity but remember, past-faced doesn’t always result from productivity. They are still into details and quality of work. If you’re following a K-pop group, they spend time before releasing new songs but they make sure that their comebacks are a blast.
12. Korean Slang Words
In learning basic words and phrases in the Korean language, we shouldn’t miss Korean slang words. If you have a strong grasp of this, understanding Korean jokes and watching K-dramas will be a lot easier for you. Also, if you start making friends, you will talk more casually and usually, these are the terms that you’ll commonly use.
Korean slang words are not usually taught in the classroom. They are learned through interacting with other people and of course, the internet.
13. K-Drama Words And Phrases
“Crash Landing On You”, “Reply 1988” and “Goblin”. These are just three of the most iconic K-dramas that made history in the K-drama world. If you’re an OG K-drama fan, you have surely picked up words that are commonly used in K-dramas that you unconsciously learn. Wondering what it means? Check out these basic Korean phrases used in K-dramas.
14. Korean Words For Music
Just recently, Lisa, the main dancer of the Korean girl group Blackpink, dropped her first-ever single entitled “Lalisa”. This song really made the whole world stop even non-Koreans because it breaks two Guinness World Records. “Lalisa” hits 73.6 million views in its first 24 hours breaking Taylor Swift’s “Me!” with 65.2 million. It also set a new record for a solo K-pop artist’s most-viewed YouTube music video in 24 hours which was formerly held by her bandmate Rosé.
BTS also set billboard records with their song “Dynamite” and is now concurring the world’s music industry. Just recently they released their song with Coldplay entitled “My Universe”.
These are just two of the internationally recognized Korean groups that really made their way to represent Korea. It is no doubt that the Korean music industry is a global trend and has a huge fanbase in different parts of the world.
A List Of 365 Common Korean Words To Improve Your Vocabulary
Below are some of the basic vocabulary of common Korean words about everyday life essential words such as Korean family words, most typical greetings, basic medical terms, directions, and other terms for everyday life.
|No.||Korean Word||Pronunciation||English Translation|
|3||제발||jebal||please in a desperate way|
|7||고맙습니다||gomap seumnida||thank you|
|11||도와 주세요||dowa juseyo||help|
|24||누나||nuna||old sister (if you are male)|
|25||언니||eonni||old sister (if you are female)|
|26||형||hyeong||old brother (if you are male)|
|27||오빠||oppa||old brother (if you are female)|
|29||남동생||nam dongsaeng||younger brother|
|32||어머니||eo meo ni||mother (formal)|
|40||남자 친구||namja chinggu||boyfriend|
|41||여자 친구||yeoja chingu||girlfriend|
|47||첫사랑||cheot sarang||first love|
|48||짝사랑||jjak sarang||secret crush|
|64||천만에요||cheon maneyo||you’re welcome|
|68||이렇게||ireoke||for a while|
|83||일어나다||ireonada||to wake up or get up|
|85||쓰다||sseuda||to write or to use|
|90||읽다||ik tta||to read|
|94||좋다||jota||to be good|
|95||싫다||silta||to be bad|
|96||덥다||deopda||to be hot|
|97||춥다||chupda||to be cold|
|99||슬프다||seulpeuda||to be sad|
|100||아프다||apeuda||to be sick or in pain|
|101||피곤하다||pigonhada||to be tired|
|102||재미있다||jaemiitda||to be interesting|
|103||재미없다||jaemieopda||to be boring|
|104||어렵다||eoryeopda||to be difficult|
|105||쉽다||swipda||to be easy|
|106||깨끗하다||kkaekkeuthada||to be clean|
|107||더럽다||deoreopda||to be dirty|
|108||빠르다||ppareuda||to be fast|
|109||느리다||neurida||to be slow|
|128||속눈썹||sok nun seop||eyelashes|
|131||볼 / 뺨||pol/pyam||cheek|
|135||이, 이빨||i / ipal||tooth|
|141||목구멍, 목, 목이||mok khumeong||throat|
|142||신체 부분||sinche fubun||body parts|
|157||손바닥||son fadak||palm (hand)|
|217||고혈압||gohyeorap||high blood pressure|
|218||저혈압||jeohyeorap||low blood pressure|
|220||사망, 임종||samang, imjong||death|
|235||찐 콩||chin khong||baked beans|
|244||바나나 한 송이||phanana haan songi||bunch of bananas|
|245||포도 한 송이||phodo han songi||bunch of grapes|
|248||꽃양배추||kot yang phechhu||cauliflower|
|254||프렌치 콩||French beans||furenchi khong|
|288||옥수수||oksusu||corn / sweetcorn|
|289||토마토 통조림||thomatho thong-chhorip||tinned tomatoes|
|316||선 과일||sun-khwail||green (unripe) fruit|
|319||제빵 가루||chepang karu||baking powder|
|320||파란색 치즈||faransek chiju||blue cheese|
|323||갈색 설탕||khalsek salthang||brown sugar|
|327||옥수수 가루||oksusu kharu||corn flour|
|328||코티지 치즈||khothiji chiju||cottage cheese|
|331||건살구||khan sa gu||dried apricots|
|333||고지방 우유||khoji bang wuyu||full-fat milk|
|334||마늘빵||manul pang||garlic bread|
|335||염소젖으로 만든 치즈||yamso chiju||goats cheese|
|336||아이싱 설탕||aising salthang||icing sugar|
|338||올리브오일||ollibu oil||olive oil|
|339||반죽 과자||fanjuk khwaja||pastry|
|340||일반 밀가루||iban milkharu||plain flour|
|342||스폰지 케이크||suphonji kheikhu||sponge cake|
|344||흰빵||hwin pang||white bread|
|347||고춧가루||kochu karu||chilli powder|
|349||카레 가루||khare karu||curry powder|
|354||아침 시리얼||achim sirial||breakfast cereal|
Korean Language That Reflects Korean Culture
Whenever you hear the word or phrase that Korean people speak, or whenever you see their expressions when you watch their different dramas on the television or on your phone, it becomes more and more familiar to you. By listening to Korean native speakers you are already doing a lot of effort to remember these basic words and phrases!
Learning about Korean culture is necessary because this will widen your perspective on learning the Korean language itself. When you observe Korean culture, you will recognize the meaning behind their language, words, phrases, sentences, and vocabulary in terms of speaking.
The common Korean vocabulary words that reflect Korean culture are the following:
- 친구 — “Chingu” (Friend) — This word has a different usage in English because Koreans generally use this word of the same age.
- 사랑 — “Sarang” (Love) — This is a Korean word for love. Japanese also have this word with the same meaning.
- 썸타다 — “Seom-Ta-Da” (Mutual Understanding/Something’s going on) — This basic Korean phrase came from the English word ‘something’ (seom) or something’s going on in terms of dating and ‘ta-da’ is an expression of ‘go-along’ if the dating couple will move to a more serious relationship.
- 애교 — “Aegyo” (Cute) — This word is a trend right now in Korea. Mostly, women and even men do this cute and adorable act to look sweet and charming to people. They often do the ‘aegyo’ when they take a ‘selka’ on their phones.
- 셀카 — “Selka” (Selfie) — From the English word ‘selfie’. Most Korean artists love to take pictures. Coz why not? Korean glass skin is worth showing off.
- 미안해 — “Mianhe” (I’m sorry) — This is an informal way to speak ‘I’m sorry’ in Korean. You always hear this Korean word, mostly in k pop songs. In addition, Koreans are polite, especially the youngsters.
- 물 — “mul” (water) — This is the most commonly used noun in South Korea, as you probably hear in many K-dramas when drinking soju or eating moekbang.
- 밥 — “bap” (rice) — It’s not only the Philippines and Japan who love to eat rice, but also Korea. The rice that they eat was often wrapped in different types of leaves, together with meat or fish.
- 고기 — “gogi” (meat) — Koreans love meat, most especially grilled pork belly with different ingredients also known as ‘samgyeop-sal’. This is commonly eaten by a Korean family.
- 소주 — “soju” (clear liquor) — This is the most popular liquor in Korea. In Korean culture, drinking beverages like soju, rice wine, and other alcohol is a big part of the lives of the Korean family.
- 지금 — “jigeum” (now) — We frequently hear this word from our favorite k pop group whenever they have interviews or sometimes in the daily conversations of your favorite Korean actor or artists in a variety show. This literally means ‘now’ or ‘at this moment’.
- 괜찮아요 — “gwaenchanayo” (That’s okay) — Most Koreans are cheerful and also compassionate people, in other words, you most probably hear this Korean word whenever there’s an unexpected scenario in a Korean drama.
- 잘 자요 — “jal jayo” (Goodnight) — Although some the Korean used the English term ‘goodnight’, most of the songs that we hear from our favorite k pop groups used jal jayo. See? Through listening to their songs, we can learn basic Korean phrases, and understand some of the common Korean words in just a moment.
- 잠깐만요! — “jamkkannmanyo!” (Just a moment! / Wait!) — This is an expression from the most common Korean words is generally used in everyday life in an informal manner, most especially when you are talking with your close friends or relatives.
- 다 같이 — “da gachi” (All together) — You probably heard it right? This Korean word is usually heard when you watch a concert from your favorite k pop group in initiating the fans to sing along with them.
- 이게 뭐예요 — “ige mwoyeyo” (What is this?) — This is also an expression from the most common Korean words, and it is also mainly used in everyday life in an informal manner, most especially when you are talking with your close friends or relatives.
- 좋아요 — “joayo” (Good) — This is also one of the most common Korean words that are being used nowadays. You can hear this through different Korean vloggers who want different viewers to subscribe and like ‘joayo’ their vlogs.
Learn these cultural terms and you will be one step ahead!
About The Korean Language
Now that you’ve learned a few important words in Korean, there’s still a long way to go. If you are new to the language and are interested in learning even more details about this fantastic language, read this helpful information and take note!
Korean is spoken in North and South Korea, China (mainly provinces bordering North Korea), Japan, and Russia.
Korean is also spoken in other large communities around the world such as the US (most from New York), Singapore, Thai, Guam, and Paraguay. The number of Korean speakers continues to increase because there are some countries like the Philippines, where the Korean language is taught as an elective course.
The most known origin of the Korean language is the Altaic language family of central Asia, including Turkish, Mongolian, and the Tungusic languages of Siberia. Other linguists also argue that Korean belongs to the Austronesian language family.
Because of the long history between Chinese and Japanese, determining their linguistic affiliation is really complicated. Some also considered the Korean language as isolated. Whatever its origin may be, it gave birth to an amazing language called Korean.
We all know that the whole country of Korea is divided into two – The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea). The Ancient Korean language was divided into two dialects namely Puyo (spoken in Manchuria and North Korea) and Han (spoken in South Korea).
Modern Korean, which is based on the Han dialect, became dominant all over the Korean peninsula and is widely used nowadays. There are two standard varieties of Modern Korean. Both dialects are distinguished and regulated by the national language policy of the country. Most of these dialects are mutually intelligible.
- Seoul Dialect – The standard dialect of South Korea. There are also regional dialects such as Kyonsang, Chungchong, Cholla, and Cheju Island.
- P’yŏngyang Dialect – The standard dialect of North Korea. The regional dialect included are Hamkyong, Pyongan, and Hwanghae.
Start Learning Korean Now!
Learning basic words and phrases in the Korean Language will definitely help survive. You will hear a lot of phrases and words that you don’t even understand, and it will make it hard for you to have good communication with the locals. Of course, you won’t always have the opportunity to check your dictionaries or some free PDF files saved on your cellphone to compose what you want to say.
If you want to learn more Korean words, phrases, and sentences, Ling App will help you achieve your goals. Through the Ling app, you will be able to hear the pronunciation of each word. This will help you learn to speak the language accurately.
Ling App will provide fun and engaging lessons that will surely make your language learning experience exciting and meaningful. These lessons will help you learn how to speak and write in Korean.
Through Ling App, you don’t have to attend any class at a given schedule because you can learn with just your phone or computer during your free time. Learning a language will be a lot easier and more fun. What are you waiting for? Download Ling on the Play Store or App Store and start learning Korean now!