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33+ Best Phrases For The Korean Spa: All About 찜질방

June 22, 2022

Do you want to make yourself free from the mercilessly fast-paced world? Do you want to have some time for yourself and relax? 찜질방 (jjimjilbang) is a perfect place to enjoy. I will tell you about the basics of a Korean spa to tell you a little know-how about saunas and bathing houses and their antiquated common phrases and what to expect.

It's a perfect way to rejuvenate yourself before the restart of your hectic work routine where getting time for yourself is a tedious task. In this article, you will learn all about the Korean Spa along with the phrases for the Korean spa which can help you find your way.

What Is A Korean Spa?

A Korean spa is generally termed as 찜질방 (jjimjilbang) in the Korean language. 찜질방 (jjimjilbang) derives its meaning from jjimjil and bang where jjimjil means “heating” and bang means “room” thus it means “heating room”.

In this contemporary society, a spa refers to a large facility consisting of a communal area, sleeping room, steam room, exercise room for weight loss, dry sauna, hot baths, cold baths, herbal baths, and wet saunas. It offers facial treatments, hair treatments, body scrubs, and skin treatments. You will also find restaurants in a jjimjilbang

The spa acts as a mirror of contemporary society. Life is full of pressures and burdens, it provides something people go to relax in a merry way and get themselves free from the pressures of the world as it does not have strict rules and does not bound you by authority. Jjimjilbang is part of Korean culture as much as Kimchi. 

찜질방 (Jjimjilbang) In The Korean Culture

Best Phrases for the Korean Spa

Bathhouses have been a part of Korean culture for centuries. They have existed in different forms and have evolved from 한증막 (hanjeungmak), (a traditional sauna used for medicinal purposes in the 15th century). 온천 (oncheon) and 목욕탕 (myoktang) are the advanced versions of hanjeunmak which are used for socializing but on a smaller scale. Jjimjilbang is the most developed form of Korean spa which does much more than just socialize. 

They say you don't know Korean if you have not been to jjimjilbang. This phrase summarizes what bathhouses are to Koreans. It is a part of cultural heritage which has evolved from traditional bath houses saunas to mokyotanga and jjimjilbang. The aura and environment of jjimjlbangs provide you with an unforgettable cultural experience. It is more of a way of life for Koreans and a luxury that everyone can afford.

Visiting and spending time in 찜질방 (jjimjilbang) is one of the most wanted preferences of locals. 

Why Prefer Jjimjilbang?

Jjimjilbang is a place of entertainment and relaxation. It includes every facility that a person would want from relieving stress to making time for oneself and family, from escaping from the tedious routine to entertainment, enjoying burden-free life to having food and refreshment, and from finding intimate relations to getting free from privacy and being social. 

Personal hygiene, self-care, and health have been one of the main concerns of any nation for ages. Jjimjilbang is the easiest and most affordable place for hygiene. Heated rooms are believed to boost the immune system. Sweating is the main part of bathhouses and is considered necessary to exfoliate the body and release stress. 

Karaoke is for young adults, bars are for middle-aged people and jjimjilbang is equally benign for people of all ages. Dragon hill spa is one of the most well-known in Korea. You will find all types of entertainment and treatments in dragon hill.

Difference Between 목욕탕 (Mokyotang) And 찜질방 (Jjimjilbang)

Both 목욕탕 (mokyotang) and 찜질방 (jjimjilbang) are commonly termed public bathhouses and Korean spas but there lies a difference between these both. Thoughmokyotang and jjimjilbang are gender-segregated bathhouses with steam rooms, lockers, massage services, and showers.

Jjimjilbang is a comparatively larger facility including PC bangs, sleeping rooms, snack bars, and many extended services like entertainment, refreshment, and much more. Jjimjilbang provides 24-hour service in mokoyotang. 

Etiquettes For Jjimjilbang

Like many other facilities and public places, Korean spas have some rules and etiquette that you should follow to enjoy everything in the vicinity to the fullest. 

Pay and grab the robe

First of all, you need to pay some standard fee for some basic services. They will extra charge you for some services. Get your towel, bathing suit, and other products like shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and the locker key. Go to the locker room, with small lockers, and store your belongings. Some spas also give a shoe locker key as well.

Stay segregated

Korean spa is gender-segregated therefore one must be thoughtful of the fact that he/she stays in the dedicated area. You can find signs like ‘남’ for men and ‘여’ for women.

Get hot

Go to the sauna and relaxation room to relax. It is a space with cabins of varying temperatures where people can bat stress-free sitting on the floors because of the adequate temperature and peaceful environment. 

Stripe down to bathing suit

Getting naked is compulsory in mokyotang and jjimjilbang. It is obvious that you will feel uncomfortable but will realize that everyone is the same. You first have to take shower and go to the bathhouse naked and socialize. 

Cleaning with warm water

Get clean with warm water before you go to hot or cold tubs as tying your hair and getting clean is etiquette. 

Soaking

Now you can go to the bathtubs and soak yourself or your feet in tubs of dating temperatures.

Exfoliation

Either get some Korean women to scrub your body or you can ask the scrubbing ladies to scrub and remove the dead skin off your body so that you can feel lightened and soft. Traditional Korean scrub is the best-known body scrub in spas.

Soaking

Soak and rinse off once again and go to dry saunas, salt rooms, or ice rooms.

Feed Your Appetite

You can find some restaurants and traditional Korean cuisine there. Feed yourself and find some relaxing rooms to watch tv or take a nap.

Settle Your Bill

Head back to the changing room, change the clothes, drop used towels in the bins, gather your belonging, pay up and you are off to your routine tasks feeling elevated and relaxed. 

Phrases For Korean Spa

Best Phrases for the Korean Spa

Like many other facilities, there are some phrases commonly used in Korean spas. As the facility is related to the services, food, bathing, etc., most of the phrases are related to the directions for different areas, foods, greetings, items, feelings, etc.

Korean PhrasesRomanized KoreanEnglish Translation
등 마사지 받을 수 있나요?deung masaji bad-eul su issnayo?Can I get a back massage?
마사지 받을 수 있나요?masaji bad-eul su issnayo?Can I get a massage?
매니큐어 받을 수 있나요?maenikyueo bad-eul su issnayo?Can I get a manicure?
발 마사지 받을 수 있나요?bal masaji bad-eul su issnayo?Can I get a foot massage?
세신 받을 수 있나요?sesin bad-eul su issnayo?Can you be washed?
아로마마사지 받을 수 있나요?alomamasaji bad-eul su issnayo?Can I get an aroma massage?
얼굴 마사지 받을 수 있나요?eolgul masaji bad-eul su issnayo?Can I get a facial massage?
오일마사지 받을 수 있나요?oilmasaji bad-eul su issnayo?Can I get an oil massage?
페디큐어를 해도 될까요?pedikyueoleul haedo doelkkayo?Can I do a pedicure?
극장이 어디입니까? (more formal)geugjang-i eodiibnikka? (more formal)Where is the theater? (more formal)
극장이 어디있어요? (formal)geugjang-i eodiiss-eoyo? (formal)Where is the theater? (formal)
남성 영역 어디입니까? (more formal)namseong yeong-yeog eodiibnikka? (more formal)Where is the men's zone? (more formal)
남성 영역 어디있어요? (formal)namseong yeong-yeog eodiiss-eoyo? (formal)Where is the men's area? (formal)
남성 영역은 어디예요? (formal)namseong yeong-yeog-eun eodiyeyo? (formal)Where is the men's zone? (formal)
남성 영역은 어디입니까? (more formal)namseong yeong-yeog-eun eodiibnikka? (more formal)Where is the male zone? (more formal)

General Phrases For Directions At The Spa

Korean spa consists of various sections like saunas, bathing tubs, communal areas, relaxing rooms, restaurants, etc therefore you might need to ask for someone's help to get to some areas. Some of the phrases are as below:

Korean PhrasesRomanized KoreanEnglish Translation
불가마 어디입니까?bulgama eodiibnikka?Bulma where are you? (more formal)
불가마 어디있어요?bulgama eodiiss-eoyo?Impossible, where are you? (formal)
사우나 어디입니까?sauna eodiibnikka?Where is the sauna? (more formal)
사우나 어디있어요?sauna eodiiss-eoyo?where is the sauna? (formal)
수면실 어디입니까?sumyeonsil eodiibnikka?Where is the sleeping room? (more formal)
수면실 어디있어요?sumyeonsil eodiiss-eoyo?where is the sleeping room? (formal)
수영장 어디입니까?suyeongjang eodiibnikka?where is the pool? (more formal)
수영장 어디있어요?suyeongjang eodiiss-eoyo?where is the swimming pool? (formal)
식당 어디입니까?sigdang eodiibnikka?Where is the restaurant? (more formal)
식당 어디있어요?sigdang eodiiss-eoyo?where is the restaurant? (formal)
아케이드 어디입니까?akeideu eodiibnikka?Where is the arcade? (more formal)
아케이드 어디있어요?akeideu eodiiss-eoyo?where is the arcade? (formal)
여성 지역은 어디입니까?yeoseong jiyeog-eun eodiibnikka?Where is the women's area? (more formal)
여성 지역은어디입니까?yeoseong jiyeog-eun-eodiibnikka?Where is the women's area? (formal)
저쪽에 가시면 화장실이 있어요.jeojjog-e gasimyeon hwajangsil-i iss-eoyo.If you go down there, there is a bathroom. (formal)
페이셜샵이 어디입니까?peisyeolsyab-i eodiibnikka?Where is the facial shop? (more formal)
페이셜샵이 어디있어요?peisyeolsyab-i eodiiss-eoyo?Where is the facial shop? (formal)
화장실 어디예요 ?hwajangsil eodiyeyo ?where is the bathroom (formal)
화장실 어디입니까?hwajangsil eodiibnikka?Where is the bathroom? (more formal)
휴게실 어디입니까?hyugesil eodiibnikka?Where is the break room? (more formal)
휴게실 어디있어요?hyugesil eodiiss-eoyo?Where is the break room? (formal)

Phrases For The Korean Spa - Services

If you want to get the services offered, you will request the staff to provide you with them. Some examples of these phrases are as follows:

Korean PhrasesRomanized KoreanEnglish Translation
등 마사지 받을 수 있나요?deung masaji bad-eul su issnayo?Can I get a back massage?
마사지 받을 수 있나요?masaji bad-eul su issnayo?Can I get a massage?
매니큐어 받을 수 있나요?maenikyueo bad-eul su issnayo?Can I get a manicure?
발 마사지 받을 수 있나요?bal masaji bad-eul su issnayo?Can I get a foot massage?
세신 받을 수 있나요?sesin bad-eul su issnayo?Can you be washed?
아로마마사지 받을 수 있나요?alomamasaji bad-eul su issnayo?Can I get an aroma massage?
얼굴 마사지 받을 수 있나요?eolgul masaji bad-eul su issnayo?Can I get a facial massage?
오일마사지 받을 수 있나요?oilmasaji bad-eul su issnayo?Can I get an oil massage?
페디큐어를 해도 될까요?pedikyueoleul haedo doelkkayo?Can I do a pedicure?

Phrases For The Korean Spa - Food

Restaurants make quite an important part of 찜질방 (jjimjilbang) therefore common phrases or questions regarding food are as below:

Korean PhrasesRomanized KoreanEnglish Translation
김치 주세요.gimchi juseyo.Kimchi, please. (formal)
김치 주시겠어요.gimchi jusigess-eoyo.Can I have kimchi, please? (more formal)
김치찌개 주세요.gimchijjigae juseyo.Kimchi stew, please. (formal)
김치찌개 주시겠어요gimchijjigae jusigess-eoyoCan you give me kimchi stew (more formal)
냉면 주세요.naengmyeon juseyo.Cold noodles, please. (formal)
냉면 주시겠어요naengmyeon jusigess-eoyoWould you like naengmyeon (more formal)
물 주시겠어요?mul jusigess-eoyo?Can you give me some water? (more formal)
뭐 먹을까?mwo meog-eulkka?What should we eat? (informal)
뭐 먹을까요?mwo meog-eulkkayo?What shall we eat? (formal)
배고파.baegopa.I'm hungry. (informal)
배고파요baegopayoI'm hungry (formal)
비빔밥 주세요.bibimbab juseyo.Bibimbap, please. (formal)
비빔밥 주시겠어요bibimbab jusigess-eoyoBibimbap, please (more formal)
주세요.juseyo.please. (formal)
커피 주세요.keopi juseyo.Coffee, please. (formal)
커피 주시겠어요keopi jusigess-eoyoCan I have a coffee (more formal)

Phrases For The Korean Spa - Billing

The first that you encounter while in 찜질방 (jjimjilbang) is the counter and mostly you have to talk about billing. Some of the phrases are as follows  

Korean PhrasesRomanized KoreanEnglish Translation
계산서주세요?gyesanseojuseyo?The check, please? (formal)
계산서주시겠어요?gyesanseojusigess-eoyo?Could you please give me the bill? (more formal)
계산해 주세요.gyesanhae juseyo.Check please. (formal)
얼마 입니까?eolma ibnikka?how much?
얼마예요.eolmayeyo.How much. (formal)
할인해 주실 수 있어요?hal-inhae jusil su iss-eoyo?Can you give me a discount? (formal)

Phrases For Greetings And Feelings

Greetings are the first and the foremost things that you do when you go and see anyone so, here also greetings are common in 찜질방 (jjimjilbang). People express their feelings and socialize with their friends and families.

Korean PhrasesRomanized KoreanEnglish Translation
갈까?galkka?Shall We Go?
감사합니다.gamsahabnida.Thank You
고마워요.gomawoyo.Thank You.
고장 났어요.gojang nass-eoyo.It's Broken.
괜찮아요.gwaenchanh-ayo.It's Okay.
더워요.deowoyo.It's Hot.
상쾌하다.sangkwaehada.Refreshing
안녕하십니까.annyeonghasibnikka.Hello.
안녕히 가세요.annyeonghi gaseyo.Goodbye.
이거로 할게요.igeolo halgeyo.I'll Do It With This.
저거로 할게요.jeogeolo halgeyo.I'll Do It With That.
저기요.jeogiyo.Excuse Me.
추워요chuwoyoIt's Cold

Phrases For Korean Spa Items

Phrases for requests about 찜질방 (jjimjilbang) items are as follows.

Korean PhrasesRomanized KoreanEnglish Translation
가운 을 주세요gaun eul juseyoGive me a gown (formal)
가운 을 주시겠어요gaun eul jusigess-eoyoCould you give me a gown (more formal)
로커 키 을 주세요lokeo ki eul juseyoPlease give me the locker key (formal)
로커 키 을 주시겠어요lokeo ki eul jusigess-eoyoCould you give me the locker key (more formal)
바지 한 벌 더 주세요?baji han beol deo juseyo?One more pair of pants, please? (formal)
비누 을 주세요binu eul juseyoPlease give me soap (formal)
비누 을 주시겠어요binu eul jusigess-eoyoCan you give me some soap (more formal)
샴푸 을 주세요.syampu eul juseyo.Shampoo, please. (formal)
샴푸 을 주시겠어요syampu eul jusigess-eoyoShampoo, please (more formal)
셔츠 하나 더 주세요?syeocheu hana deo juseyo?Another shirt, please? (formal)
수건 을 주세요sugeon eul juseyoPlease give me a towel (formal)
수건 을 주시겠어요sugeon eul jusigess-eoyoCould you give me a towel (more formal)
수건 하나 더 주실 수 있어요?sugeon hana deo jusil su iss-eoyo?Can you give me another towel? (formal)
치약 을 주세요chiyag eul juseyoPlease give me toothpaste (formal)
치약 을 주시겠어요chiyag eul jusigess-eoyoCan I get some toothpaste (more formal)

Korean spas are getting predominantly popular in contemporary times. Korean saunas and bathhouses are a must-do activity in Korean culture. Korean spas particularly focus on spending quality time with friends and family and offer many services as well. It offers complete entertainment and relaxation. 

If you are new to jjimjilbang, it is helpful to have the know-how of the etiquette, and some common phrases so that you won't find yourself an alien. Most of the phrases that one should know are related to items, services, foods, and some questions or requests regarding help that you might need from the people or the staff. 

Wrapping Up

Best Phrases for the Korean Spa

The language barrier and cultural shock combine to create havoc so this article particularly focused on giving the list of some basic lingo phrases for spa and briefly discussed the Korean bathhouse and its environment so that the visitors can avoid disappointed expectations and enjoy the feel of Korean culture. If you wish to learn more about the Korean language or the Korean culture then keep checking the Ling App for new blog posts. Or even better, download the app now and book your first lesson for a wholesome experience.

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