20+ Korean Emergency Vocabulary

Worst comes to worst, what if you experience an emergency (비상 bisang) while traveling? Then, isn’t it essential to learn the basic Korean emergency vocabulary?

Today, with lots of calamities, viruses, and accidents that are happening everywhere, we cannot stop ourselves from worrying about our safety. An emergency situation can happen anywhere, and one of the worst times is when you’re in a foreign land like South Korea. How will you ask for help? Where will you go? Whom to ask for help? This is probably one of the most important questions that you should be preparing for. So, in this blog, we will learn about Korean Emergency vocabulary.

Yes, learning Korean might be hard at first, but with the right tool like Ling App combined with motivation, you’ll find learning these Korean phrases and words easy, fun, and exciting.


Emergencies In South Korea

South Korea is known as the “Land of the Morning Calm” but, recent disasters and outbreaks of infectious diseases have prompted South Korea to reassess the importance of its public health preparedness. Of course, the government’s main responsibility is to protect its people from different types of harm.

But, there are lots of unexpected things that can happen anytime and anywhere. As a matter of fact, South Korea is subjected to a variety of events that can have major public health repercussions. The yearly typhoon season, marine accidents,  large-scale fires, industrial accidents, natural disasters, and infectious diseases are also adding up to South Korea’s problem.

So, if you happen to visit South Korea, here are some emergency numbers that you can call:

NumberPurpose/ Emergency / Authority
119Emergency (Fire & Ambulance)
1330Foreign Traveler Hotline
1339Medical Emergencies
182Missing Person and Property


Learn Korean Emergency Vocabulary

비상 (Bisang)

Before we learn about basic Korean emergency vocabulary, the first word that we should learn is how to say “Emergency” in the Korean language. Koreans use the word 비상 (Bisang) to say emergency. This word will really be helpful in going through this lesson so take note of this.

Korean Emergency Vocabulary

While South Korea is one of the must-visit places in the world right now, it still doesn’t mean that it’s free from danger and emergencies. Nobody can really tell when and where an emergency could happen. It can be while you’re walking on a street, dining in a restaurant, traveling, and even just staying inside a hotel or any accommodation. Therefore, it is important to know how to handle things or to whom you should talk to ask for help if that happens.

So, this next lesson is one of the most important lessons to learn in the Korean language. But, don’t worry because in learning Korean emergency vocabulary, you will be guided by the romanization of every word and phrase and English translation also.

It’s’ an emergency – 긴급상황이에요 (Gingeupsanghwangieyo)

“He is in an emergency, too!” – Ra Mi-ran, Reply 1988

It's' an emergency - 긴급상황이에요 (Gingeupsanghwangieyo)

The second Korean emergency vocabulary that we will learn is 긴급상황이에요 (Gingeupsanghwangieyo), which means “It’s an emergency.” in English. Do you remember a scene in reply 1988 when Choi Taek did not hesitate to use his connection to call a doctor for Jung-hwan’s dad? We all know how much he hates asking for favors, but when it comes to emergencies, you’ll do everything for the people you love.

Can you help me? – 좀 도와주실래요? (Jom dowajusillaeyo?)

“Could you please be kind and help me out?” – Yoon Hye-jin, Hometown Cha-cha-cha.

Can you help me? - 좀 도와주실래요?( Jom dowajusillaeyo?)

The next Korean emergency vocabulary is 좀 도와주실래요? ( Jom dowajusillaeyo?) or “Can you help me?” in English. This is definitely one of the most iconic Korean drama lines today because, in Hometown Cha-cha-cha, this is where everything started. After a series of unlucky events and misfortunes, Hye-jin found herself in an unfamiliar place, desperately begging for help which she is completely not used to.

This scene is very relatable, especially for travelers or foreigners who have experienced this. So, if you happen to be caught in an emergency in South Korea and you need help from somebody, don’t hesitate to ask for help using this sentence.

I’m lost. 길을 잃었어요. (Gireul ireosseoyo.) 

“Gongjin wasn’t my original destination, but I lost my way.” – Ji Seong-Hyeon, Hometown Cha-cha-cha.

I’m lost. 길을 잃었어요. (Gireul ireosseoyo.) 

Does this line sound familiar to you? This is also a beautiful line from the series mentioned above. Getting lost in an unfamiliar place is common, especially for first-timers. Hence, the perfect Korean emergency vocabulary that you should learn if you are not good in directions is 길을 잃었어요. (Gireul ireosseoyo.) or “I’m’ lost.”

But, based on the line above, sometimes, getting lost might also bring you to a place that you don’t know you are destined to.

I need a doctor. – 의사가 필요해요 (Uisaga piryohaeyo.)

If the doctor gives up on the patient, he is not a doctor anymore. – Jun Wa; Hospital Playlist

I need a doctor. - 의사가 필요해요 (Uisaga piryohaeyo.)

Knowing when you need a doctor may save you from a higher form of danger. That is why you really need to learn how to say “I need a doctor.” or 의사가 필요해요 (Uisaga piryohaeyo.) in Korean.

There’s a lot of good K-drama about doctors and medical personnel that you can watch, and most of them show how advanced South Korea’s medical technologies treat people. Of course, they have invested in these good technologies, but some areas also still need improvements.

Call an ambulance! – 구급차 좀 불러주세요! (Gugeupcha Jom Bulleojuseyo!)

“If you call an ambulance now, he might live if he is lucky.” – Kang Chul; W: Two Worlds Apart.

Call an ambulance! - 구급차 좀 불러주세요! (Gugeupcha Jom Bulleojuseyo!)

If you got to the point when you need to use the Korean emergency vocabulary “Call an ambulance!” or 구급차 좀 불러주세요! (Gugeupcha Jom Bulleojuseyo!), it means that the situation is a matter of life and death. Of course, we wish that this would never happen to you, but in case, you can dial the numbers above.

Call the police, please. – 경찰을 불러 주세요. (Gyeongchareul bulleo juseyo.)

“I know that I wasn’t always a good son to you. I called the police on you. I’m really sorry, Mom.” – Kang Sin-Jae; The King: Eternal Monarch.

Call the police, please. - 경찰을 불러 주세요. (Gyeongchareul bulleo juseyo.)

The next most important Korean emergency vocabulary that you should learn is 경찰을 불러 주세요. (Gyeongchareul bulleo juseyo.) or “Call the police, please.” This is one of the most useful things to learn because the police will be your first line of defense that can help you during crime emergencies like when you got robbed or lost something.


Being Polite Is The Key!

Now that you have learned some Korean emergency vocabulary, you should also learn the way you should say it. You should know that they are very particular about politeness and respect in the Korean language. In fact, you can’t talk to anyone casually whenever you want to. Koreans are following the politeness level, which depends on someone’s hierarchy and age.

The formal way of speaking is used when you are talking to someone much older than you or someone in a higher hierarchy than you. The informal way of speaking is used when you talk to people who are the same age as you or someone younger than you. There are also instances where it’s upon agreement regardless of age and hierarchy—for example, girlfriends and boyfriends. The standard way of speaking can be used in almost all situations. It is not too casual, but it is not too formal either.

Of course, you should be nothing but respectful and polite in asking for directions. After all, you are the one who is asking for a favor from other people, especially from strangers. You’d be lucky if someone helped you wholeheartedly right away without seven having second thoughts. Politeness is the key!


More Korean Emergency Vocabulary Words And Phrases

The Korean emergency vocabulary mentioned above is just a few that you can learn. Here are more words and phrases related to emergencies based on different categories. If you want to learn practice to learn this in a more fun and engaging way, visit Ling App.

Words Related To Korean Emergency Vocabulary

Hangul (Korean)RomanizationEnglish Translation
구급약gugeubyakfirst aid medicine, emergency remedies
비상시 안내bisangsi annaeemergency Instructions
응급실eunggeupsilemergency room
순찰차sunchalchapolice car
경찰관gyeongchalgwanpolice officer
비상구bisangguemergency exit
소방서sobangseofire department
소화기sohwagifire extinguisher
심장마비simjangmabiheart attack
구명조끼gumyeongjokkilife jacket
삔 발목ppin balmoksprained ankle

General Emergency Phrases

Hangul (Korean)RomanizationEnglish Translation
살려주세요!sallyeojuseyo!Save me!
빨리 오세요!ppalli oseyo!Please hurry! 
도와주세요!dowajuseyoPlease help!
사고가 있었습니다.sagoga isseossseupnida. –There’s been an accident.
가장 가까운 경찰서는 어딘가요?gajang gakkaun gyeongchalseoneun eodingayo?Where is the nearest police station?
병원이 어디예요?byeongwoni eodiyeyo?Where is the hospital?
핸드폰을 비릴 수 있나요?haendeuponeul biril su issnayo?– Can I borrow your cellphone?
119 불러주세요!119 bulleojuseyo!Call 119! 

Travel Emergency

Hangul (Korean)RomanizationEnglish Translation
여권을 잃어버렸어요.Yeogwoneul ireobeoryeosseoyo.I lost my passport.
휘발류가 다 떨어졌습니다.hwiballyuga da tteoreojyeossseupnida.I’ve run out of petrol.
제 짐이 손상되었는데요.Je jim-i sonsangdwoe-eotneundeyo.My luggage got damaged.
제 짐을 잃어버렸어요.Je jim-eul irheobeoryeosseoyo.My luggage got lost.
호텔로 돌아가는 길을 못 찾겠어요.Hotello doraganeun gireul mot chatgesseoyo.I can’t find the way back to my hotel.
제가 길을 잃어버렸어요.Jega gir-eul ilreobeoryeosseoyo.I’ve lost my way.
제 티켓을 잃어버렸어요.Je tikeseul ilreobeoryeosseoyo.I’ve lost my ticket.
제 탑승권을 잃어버렸어요.Je tabseunggweon-eul ilreobeoryeosseoyo.I’ve lost my boarding pass.
제가 연결항공편을 놓쳤어요.Jega yeon-gyeolhanggongpyeon-eul nohchyeosseoyo.I’ve missed my connecting flight.

Medical Emergency

Hangul (Korean)RomanizationEnglish Translation
병원에 데려가 주세요byeongwone deryeoga juseyoPlease take me to the hospital
이 근처에 약국 있나요?I geuncheoe yakguk innayo?Is there a pharmacy nearby?
뭔가 잘못 먹은 거 같아요.Mwonga jalmot meogeun geo gatayo.I think I ate something bad.
머리가 아파요meoriga apayoI have a headache.
어지러워요.eojireowoyo.I feel dizzy.
여기가 아파요!yeogiga apayo!It hurts here!
의료 보험있습니다.uiryo boheomissseupnida.I have health insurance.
약이 다 떨어졌습니다.yagi da tteoreojyeossseupnida.I’ve run out of my medication.

Crime Emergency

Hangul (Korean)RomanizationEnglish Translation
제가 노상강도를 당했어요.jega nosanggangdoreul danghaesseoyo.I’ve’ been mugged.
누군가 집에 침입했어요.nugunga jibe chimiphaesseoyo.Someone broke into my house.
누군가 차에 침입했어요.nugunga chae chimiphaesseoyo.Someone broke into my car.
뭔가 도난당했어요.mwonga donandanghaesseoyo.Something has been stolen.

Communication Emergency

Hangul (Korean)RomanizationEnglish Translation
영어 하세요?Yeongeo haseyo?Do you speak English?
모르겠어요MoreugesseoyoI don’t know.
이해 못 해요Ihae mot haeyoI don’t understand.
한국말 잘 못해요Hangungmal jal mothaeyoI can’t speak Korean well.
한국어를 잘 쓸 줄 모릅니다.Hangugeoreul jal sseul jul moreumnida.I don’t’ write Korean well.
천천히 말해주세요Cheoncheonhi malhaejuseyoPlease speak slowly.
다시 말해주세요Dasi malhaejuseyoPlease repeat that for me.

Accidents And Calamities

Hangul (Korean)RomanizationEnglish Translation
건물은 불에 타고 있어요!geonmureun bure tago isseoyo!The building is on fire!
건물에서 나가세요!geonmureseo nagaseyo!Get out of the building! 
연기를 냄새 맡아요.yeongireul naemsae matayo.I smell smoke.


Improve Your Korean Language Skills With Ling App!

How serious are you about learning Korean? I’m sure; if you’re an OG K-drama fan, you would want to understand every line in your favorite series or movie. If you’re a fan of any K-pop girl or boy group, you would want to understand the lyrics of their song and music video and connect to other fans. If you’re a Korean language student, I am sure that you would want to talk like a native speaker and get the pronunciation on point. So, let Ling App help you in achieving your dream.

Ling App is a language learning platform that can help you learn languages like Korean in a fun and convenient way. It is a revolutionized way of learning languages wherein, unlike the old ways of using books, you use a computer or phone.

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In Ling App, you can learn different topics through smart flashcards. You can listen to audio recordings for the right pronunciation and learn words and phrases through translations and romanizations. What’s good about this is that it is backed with a spaced-repetition system and gamification making your language learning fun and meaningful. So, Make each moment of your life precious. Start learning Korean with Ling App now!

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