#1 Best Guide: 50+ Korean Words For Driving

Korean words for driving

What comes to mind when you think of South Korea? The first things would probably be mouthwatering food like the Korean BBQ (고기구이) and catchy K-pop songs from popular groups like BTS (방탄소년단). But what about driving in Korea or hangukeseo unjeonhagi (한국에서 운전하기)? Whether it’s in the beautiful city of Seoul or the gorgeous island of Jeju, driving in Korea is an exciting experience. That’s why you’ll learn all about the Korean words for driving in this article!

From learning and understanding road signs to how to communicate with other drivers, learning Korean driving terms will give you a greater appreciation for Korea’s driving culture. Plus, you’ll feel more confident behind the wheel on your next trip through the various landscapes of Korea.

Let’s Learn Korean Words For Driving

Korean Words For Car Rental

You’ve just touched down in Korea, and you’re eager to explore its vibrant cities and beautiful countryside. But you will need to rent a car before hitting the road. If Korean isn’t your native language, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with some important Korean phrases to use when renting a car in Korea.

First, you need to find a car rental company. Look for signs that say jadongcha daeyeo (자동차 대여) or renteu ka (렌터카), which means “rent a car.” Once you have found a rental company, it is time to ask about available cars.

EnglishKoreanRomanizationPronunciation
Car rental자동차 대여Jadongcha daeyeo
Rent-a-car (loanword)렌터카Renteu ka
Vehicle rental차량 대여Charyang daeyeo
Diesel vehicle디젤 차량Dijel charyang
Gasoline vehicle경유 차량Gyeongyu charyang

Next, you’ll want to discuss the rental terms and costs of parking place. You can ask about the rental fee by asking, “renteubiyongi eolmaingayo?” (렌트 비용이 얼마인가요?), which means “How much is the rental cost?” And of course, don’t forget to ask about insurance or boheom (보험). You can simply ask, “boheom innayo?” (보험 있나요), meaning “Do you have insurance?”

Once you’ve selected a vehicle, you’ll need to make a reservation or yeyak (예약). You can ask, “charyangeul yeyakhago sipeoyo” (차량을 예약하고 싶어요), which means “I’d like to make a reservation for a vehicle.

Before hitting the road, make sure you have a valid driver’s license or unjeon myeonhoejeung (운전 면허증). You can ask about this by asking, “unjeon myeonhoejeungi piryohaeyo? (운전 면허증이 필요해요), which means “Do I need a driver’s license?”

Lastly, don’t forget to confirm details about the mileage (juhaeng geori – 주행 거리) and any additional fees. You can ask, “juhaeng georiwa chugjeo biyongi eotteoke doena?” (주행 거리와 추가 비용이 어떻게 되나요) which means “What is the mileage and additional fee?”

All right! With these essential Korean phrases, you’ll be ready to hit the road and embark on an unforgettable adventure in Korea!

An image of a few cars for Korean words for driving

Korean Words For Car Parts

Now that you’ve gotten your car, you’d want to do a few checks just to make sure all the details are right. Can you fasten the seatbelt (안전벨트를)? Is there a flat tire? Do you spot any sign of damage? Does the car feel safe to drive? 

If there are any issues, don’t be afraid to ask the car rental company staff about them. You can comment on anything you’re uncertain about, such as if you find a scratch on a tire that looks a little more serious than usual, or you can even ask them to help you fill up some gas if the level is too low.

Here’s a list of Korean words for car parts.

EnglishKoreanRomanizationPronunciation
Interior실내Silnae
Seat좌석Jwaseok
Steering wheel핸들Haendeul
Dashboard계기판Gyegipan
Gearshift기어 변속기Gieo byeonsokgi
Rearview mirror후방 거울Hubang geoul
Side mirror측면 거울Cheukmyeon geoul
Seat belt안전벨트Anjeon belt
Brake브레이크Beureikeu
Accelerator액셀러레이터Aekselleireiteo
Clutch클러치Keulleuchi
Air conditioner에어컨Eeokeon
Radio라디오Radio
Headrest 목걸이Mokgeori
Glove compartment글러브 박스Geulleobeu bakseu

Korean Road Terms

Great, now that you’ve made sure your rental car is okay to drive, it’s time to hit the road! But of course, you can’t do that without knowing if you’re driving on a street or gil (길), an expressway, or an intersection. That’s why I’ll be teaching you all about road terms in this section.

Here’s a list of Korean words for road terms:

  • Road – Doro (도로)
  • Intersection – Gyocharo (교차로)
  • Zebra crossing – Hoedanbodo (횡단보도)
  • Lane – Charo (차로)
  • Shoulder – Gilga (길가)
  • Roundabout – Roteori (로터리)
  • Sidewalk – Bodo (보도)
  • Pedestrian crossing – Bohaengja hoedanro (보행자 횡단로)
  • Overpass – Gogadoro (고가도로)
  • Underpass – Jihadolo (지하도로)
  • Parking lot – Juchajang (주차장)
  • Carpool lane – Gongdongjuhaeng charo (공동주행차로)
  • Bicycle lane – Jajeongeo doro (자전거 도로)
An image of a Korean intersection

Korean Words For Traffic Signals And Signs

It goes without saying that it’s really important to understand the usual traffic signs 도로 표지판 (doro pyojipan) and signals you see on the road too. Otherwise, how are you going to know when to do things like slow down or speed up? 

Here’s a list of Korean words for signals and signs.

EnglishKoreanRomanizationPronunciation
Traffic lights신호등Sinhodeung
Stop sign정지 신호Jeongji sinho
Toll booth톨게이트Tolgeiteu
Speed bump속도 통제턱 Sokdo tongjeteok
Speed limit속도 제한Sokdo jehan
Merge합류하다Hapryuhada
Yield양보하다Yangbohada
Diversion우회로Uhwiro
Road sign도로 표지판Doro pyojipan
Roadworks도로 공사Doro gongsa
An image of a Korean bridge

Korean Words For Landmarks And Structures

Maybe you’re a little lost and find yourself driving around in circles. That’s why it’ll be good if you could identify landmarks and structures that you pass by, so that you can know whether or not you’ve already been to the area. 

Here’s a list of Korean words for landmarks and structures.

EnglishKoreanRomanizationPronunciation
Bridge다리Dari
Tunnel터널Teoneol
Highway고속도로Gosokdoro
Viaduct교량Gyoryang
Railroad bridge철교Cheolgyo
Coastal road해안도로Haeandooro
Mountain trail산길Sangil
Subway지하철 Jihacheol
Airport공항Gonghang
Train station기차역Gichayeok
Port항구Hanggu
Heliport헬리패드Helligyeong
Terminal터미널Teomineol
Meter (for measurement)미터Miteo

Ready To Drive In Korea?

Great work! You’ve lots of Korean words for driving, such as expressway, ticket, accident, traffic light, traffic jam, and a whole lot more! I think you’re all set to start driving in Korea, provided that you already have your driver’s license of course!

If you want to go beyond learning words for driving in Korean, you should totally download the Ling app. There, you’ll learn lots of Korean vocabulary, lots of which will appear in the Test of Proficiency in the Korean Language (TOPIK test), as well as pretty everything else there is in Korean linguistics. 

You can also supplement your learning by connecting with fellow learners, regardless of whether they’re international students from Seoul National University or Yonsei University, and of course, whether they’re even in Korea! You’ll definitely learn and progress a lot as long as you stay committed to learning Korean. 화이팅 (Waiting)!

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