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Directions In Korean: Unlock 4 Survival Ways

December 3, 2021

Today, Google Maps and GPS apps have changed the game for finding directions. But, learning about 방향 (Banghyang) directions in Korean is still important.

Wandering around the beautiful country of South Korea is a great experience. They have advanced transportation systems and organized traffic rules. But, even if you can travel around the country by just using their transportations such as bus, subway, and taxi, there is still a possibility of getting lost along the way. This is where learning about directions in Korean will come in handy.

So, brace yourself for a fun and free lesson about directions in Korean. If you also want to practice more, you can check Ling App.

 

What's The Korean Word For Direction?

Directions in Korean

방향 (Banghyang)

The first vocabulary that you need to learn about Directions in Korean is of course the word "direction". Koreans use the word 방향 (Banghyang) to say directions in Korean language.

 

How To Ask And Give Directions In Korean Language

Did you know that you don't have to worry about learning the right tones when asking and giving directions in Korean language? This is because Korean is not a tonal language but, there is still a natural rhythm for the pronunciation of the words and phrases. You should also learn that you have to be polite, especially to elders and strangers, when you are talking. This is because Koreans have their politeness level, which they use when talking to people.

There are lots of ways to ask and give directions in Korean. It can be with the use of navigation words and phrases, cardinal directions, landmarks, and addresses. This will be further discussed below as we unfold the ways of giving and asking directions in Korean.

In short, if you want to learn how to ask and give directions in Korean, learn not just the words but also the right way to say them. If you're a foreigner, it is always better to keep it formal and polite to avoid misunderstandings with the locals.

 

Ways On Giving And Asking Directions In Korean

If it is your first time, directions in Korea are really confusing. Not just the word or phrase to use but also the fact that you are approaching someone who's a total stranger to you. But, luckily, there are locals, taxi drivers, and even security guards that are willing to help you out.

So, here are the different ways to ask and give directions in Korean. If you're a total beginner, do not worry about understanding the Korean words in Hangul because Korean romanization and the English translation are available for each word.

1. Cardinal Directions

The first set of words that you'll have to take note of about directions in Korean is the Cardinal Directions. I know compass and map are not really a trend nowadays because we already have Google Maps on our smartphones but it is still important to know about the Cardinal directions. The four cardinal directions are the four main compass directions: north, east, south, and west, which are frequently abbreviated as N, E, S, and W. Here are the Cardinal directions in Korean:

Hangul (Korean)RomanizationEnglish Tanslation
북(쪽)buk(jjok)North
남(쪽)nam(jjok)South
동(쪽)dong(jjok)East
서(쪽)seo(jjok)West

2. Road Opposites

Another most common way to give and ask directions in Korean is to use the road opposites. This is really helpful especially if you're driving or riding a car. It is also helpful if you are walking on the street and you suddenly get lost. So, learn these road opposites and save them to your Korean vocabulary:

Hangul (Korean)RomanizationEnglish Translation
apfront
dwiback
우회전uhoejeonright
좌회전jwahoejeonleft
왼쪽에oenjjogeon the left
오른쪽에oreunjjogeon the right
좌회전하다jwahoejeonhadaturn left
우회전하다uhoejeonhadaturn right
정면jeongmyeonstraight ahead
쭉 따라 내려jjuk ttara naeryeostraight down
멀다meoldafar
가깝다gakkapdaclose by
앞에apein front of
뒤에dwiebehind
바로 뒤에baro dwieright behind
바로 앞에baro aperight in front
사이에saiebetween

3. Landmarks

Identifying landmarks is definitely one of the most effective ways to locate a place. Landmarks will allow the person to see how far they've come. They'll also let you know if the person is still on the path you recommended. Finally, landmarks will bring attention to each portion of the broader route they're attempting to navigate. So, here are the most common landmarks that people usually use in giving and asking directions:

공항 (Gonghang) - Airport

Asking for directions to the airport is common among tourists. Because the airport is often surrounded by hotels and other go-to establishments for tourists, it is great to use it as a landmark. Here are some airports in South Korea:

인천국제공항역 incheongukjegonghangyeok - Incheon International Airport Station

김포공항역 gimpogonghangyeok - Gimpo Airport Station

양양국제공항 yang-yang-gugjegonghang Yangyang International Airport

제주국제공항 jejugugjegonghang Jeju International Airport

김해국제공항 gimhaegugjegonghang - Gimhae International Airport

전철역 (Jeoncheollyeok) - Subway Station

South Korea has amazing subway stations and they are everywhere. So, using the nearest subway station as a landmark is a big brain. If you have already stepped inside a subway or train station, you can easily travel to different places in South Korea. Learn the following stations in the Korean language because this might help you in your travel experience:

Hangul (Korean)RomanizationEnglish Translation
강남역gangnamyeokGangnam station
대전역daejeonyeokDaejeon Station
동대구역dongdaeguyeokDongdaegu Station
부산역busanyeok Busan station
서울역seouryeok Seoul station
용산역yongsanyeokYongsan Station
울산역ulsanyeokUlsan Station
전주역jeonjuyeokJeonju Station
정동진역jeongdongjinyeokJeongdongjin Station
진부역jinbuyeokJinbu Station
춘천역chuncheonyeokChuncheon Station

호텔 (Hotel) - Hotel

South Korea is also full of hotels ranging from luxurious down to simple ones. Because these hotels are mostly located on the main roads and big cities, it is often used as a landmark in giving directions. Check this list of hotels in Korea:

HotelHangul (Korean) Romanization
Landing Jeju Shinhwa World Hotels & Resorts랜딩관 제주신화월드 호텔앤리조트laending-gwan jejusinhwawoldeu hotel-aenlijoteu
Nine Tree Premier Hotel Myeongdong II나인트리 프리미어 호텔 명동 IInainteuli peulimieo hotel myeongdong II
Shilla Stay Haeundae신라스테이 해운대sinlaseutei haeundae
Tmark Grand Hotel Myeongdong티마크 그랜드 호텔 명동imakeu geulaendeu hotel myeongdong
Paradise Hotel Busan파라다이스 호텔 부산paladaiseu hotel busan

은행 (Eunhaeng) - Bank

Banks are also a good idea for landmarks too. Since there's a lot of people who are having a transaction with a bank every day, bank owners place their bank's inaccessible areas. These are the leading banks that you can find in South Korea as you visit their country.

 

BankHangul (Korean) Romanization
Citibank Korea한국씨티은행hangugssitieunhaeng
KEB Hana Bank하나은행(주)hana-eunhaeng(ju)
KB Kookmin Bank국민은행gugmin-eunhaeng
Standard Chartered KoreaSC제일은행SCjeil-eunhaeng
Shinhan Bank주식회사 신한은행Jusik Hoesa Sinhan Eunhaeng
Woori Bank우리은행Uri Eunhaeng
Busan Bank부산은행busaneunhaeng
Kyongnam BankBNK경남은행BNKgyeongnameunhaeng
Kwangju Bank광주은행gwangjueunhaeng
Jeonbuk Bank전북은행jeonbugeunhaeng

공원 (Gongwon) - Park

Parks are one of the tourist attractions most visited by tourists so most of the locals and drivers know them. Take note of these parks in South Korea. You might use this in the future.

ParkHangul (Korean) Romanization
Anyang Art Park안양예술공원anyang yesulgongwon
Dadohaehaesang다도해해상국립공원dadohaehaesang-guglibgong-won
Seoraksan설악산 국립공원seol-agsan guglibgong-won
Bukhansan북한산국립공원bughansanguglibgong-won
Gyeongju National Park경주국립공원gyeongjuguglibgong-won

병원 (Byeongwon) - Hospital

Next are the hospitals. Emergencies may happen everywhere that's why hospitals are located in places that are accessible to people and most people know where the hospitals are. This makes them a good landmark for asking and giving directions in Korean. Below are some of the hospitals in South Korea:

HospitalHangul (Korean) Romanization
Asan Medical Center서울아산병원eourasanbyeongwon
Samsung Medical Center삼성의료원samseonguiryowon
Seoul National University Hospital서울대학교병원seouldaehakgyobyeongwon
Severance Hospital, Yonsei University세브란스 병원sebeuranseu byeongwon
The Catholic University Of Korea, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital가톨릭대학교 서울성모병원gatollikdaehakgyo seoulseongmobyeongwon
Ajou University Hospital아주대학교ajudaehakgyo

 쇼핑몰 (Syopingmol) - Shopping mall

It's impossible to visit South Korea without going to shopping malls. It is definitely one of the highlights of your trip since you also see them in K-dramas. Since South Korea has a lot of shopping malls, they are good as landmarks. Check out these shopping malls in South Korea:

Shopping MallHangul (Korean) Romanization
Lotte Department Store롯데백화점 및 롯데홈쇼핑rosdebaekhwajeom mit rosdehomsyoping
Starfield COEX Mall코엑스몰koekseumol
Mecenatpolis Mall메세나폴리스몰mesenapolliseumol
Times Square Mall타임스퀘어taimseukweeo
Doota Mall두산타워dusantawo

지하상가 (Jihasangga) - Underground Shopping Mall

For OG K-pop and K-drama fans, underground shopping malls are heaven. You can shop for goods and merch for very cheap prices. This is the reason why they're famous to people not just locals but also the foreigners whih=ch makes it a good landmark.

Underground Shopping MallHangul (Korean)Romanization
Goto Mall and Famille Station파미에스테이션pamieseuteisyeon
Yeongdeungpo Underground Mall and Times Square영등포 지하상가
타임스퀘어
yeongdeungpo jihasang-ga
taimseukweeo
Gangnam Underground Shopping Center강남역 지하상가gangnamyeok jihasangga
Jamsil Underground Shopping Center잠실지하상가jamsiljihasang-ga

Other Landmarks In Korean

Hangul (Korean)RomanizationEnglish Translation
--편의점PyeonuijeomConvenience Store
육교YukgyoPedestrian bridge
버스정류장beoseujeongnyujangbus stop
신호등sinhodeungtraffic light
동물원dongmurwonzoo
해변haebyeonbeach
식당sikdangrestaurant
시장sijangmarket
박물관bangmulgwanmuseum
도서관doseogwanlibrary
커피숍keopisyopcoffee shop
슈퍼마켓syupeomaketsupermarket
주유소juyusogas station
--학교hakgyoschool
--대학교daehakgyouniversity

4. Korean Address

While watching K-dramas, have you noticed that there are only a few scenes where they show their addresses? It's because Korean roads and streets did not even have names until a few years ago. This is really confusing for taxi drivers. In fact, taxi drivers are frequently unfamiliar with street names, and satellite navigation systems may direct you to the incorrect section of the street.

But, if you are really want to use your address or give it to somebody, you have to remember that Korean addresses have a pattern that is quite different from what you are used to in your country. In South Korea, they use the pattern city-district-major road - minor road-building.

 

Korean Words And Phrases Related To Directions

Now that you have learned the different ways to tell directions in Korean, let us now learn more words and phrases related to the topic. If you want to level up this lesson, you can visit Ling App.

Hangul (Korean)RomanizationEnglish Translation
roto
부터buteofrom
도로do-roroad
교차로gyocha-rointersection
~에서 떨어진~eseo tteoreojinaway from
건너다geonneodato cross
정지하다jeongjihadato stop
쭉 가다jjuk gadaGo straight.
저기 죄송한데요.
실례합니다.
죄송한데요.
Jeogi joesonghandeyo.
Sillyehamnida.
Joesonghandeyo.
Excuse me.
장소]은/는 어디에 있습니까?
장소]은/는 어디에 있나요?
Jangso]eun/neun eodie itseumnikka?
(formal – business level)
jangso]eun/neun eodie innayo? (formal – friendly)
Where is [location]?
이 근처에 [장소]있나요?I geuncheoe [jangso] innayo?Is there [location] near here?
화장실은 어디에 있나요?Hwajangsireun eodie innayo?Where is the restroom?
공항에서 도시로 가는 버스가 있나요?Gonghangeseo dosiro ganeun beoseuga innayo?Is there a bus from the airport to the city?
 공항으로 가는 버스 맞아요?Gonghangeuro ganeun beoseu majayo?Is this the right bus for the airport?
 기차역이 어디예요?Gichayeogi eodiyeyo?Where is the train station?
서울역에 가고 싶은데요.Seoullyeoge gago sipeundeyo.I'd like to go to Seoul Station.
신라호텔로 가주세요.Sillahotello gajuseyo.Please take me to Silla Hotel.
이거 서울역에서 서요?Igeo seoullyeogeseo seoyo?Does this stop at Seoul Station?
이 호텔로 가는 지름길은 뭐예요?I hotello ganeun jireumgireun mwoyeyo?What is the shortest route to this hotel?
여기서 이수역까지 가려면 어떻게 가면 되나요?Yeogiseo isuyeokkkaji garyeomyeon eotteoke gamyeon doenayo?How do I go to Isu Yeok from here?
호텔로 돌아가는 길을 못 찾겠어요.Hotello doraganeun gireul mot chatgesseoyo.I can't find the way back to my hotel.
돈 좀 뽑고 싶은데 은행이 어디에 있지?Don jom ppopgo sipeunde eunhaengi eodie itji?I want to withdraw some money. Where is the bank?
동대문? 홍대? 아니면 명동이지 않을까?Myeongdongiji Dongdaemun or Hongdae animyeon aneulkka?We should go to either Myeongdong Dongdaemoon or Hongdae?

 

Going To South Korea? Learn Korean Now!

Going to Korea without knowing some Korean words is like a soldier without a firearm. South Korea is truly an amazing place aside from being the home of K-pop idols and K-drama actors. So, why not level up your trip by learning Korean with Ling App by Simya solutions now?

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