Korean (한국어, 조선말, Hangugeo, Chosŏnmal) is the official language of South Korea, North Korea, and China’s Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture,and is the dominant community language of the Korean diaspora, spanning Uzbekistan to Japan to Canada. It is a fascinating and complex language of debated origins yet rich in history, culture, and beauty. Whether you’re planning a vacation to the Korean World, trying to reconnect with your heritage, or just enjoy learning new languages, follow these simple steps to speaking Korean and you’ll soon be on your way to fluency!
Learn some basic conversational phrases. By learning the basics of polite conversation, you’ll very quickly be able to interact with Korean-speakers on a simple level. Try learning the words/phrases for:
- Hello = 안녕 pronounced “anyeaong” (in a casual way) and “anyeong-haseyo” in a formal way
- Yes = 네 pronounced “ne” or “un”
- No = 아니요 pronounced “ani” or “aniyo”
- Thank you = 감사합니다 pronounced “kam-sa-ham-nee-da”
- My name is… = 저는 ___ 입니다 pronounced “joneun ___ imnida”
- How are you? = 어떠십니까? pronounced “otto-shim-nikka”
- Pleased to meet you = 만나서 반가워요 pronounced “mannaso bangawo-yo” or “mannaso bangawo”
- Goodbye = 안녕히 계세요 pronounced “an-nyounghi kye-sayo”
Korean Phrases for Meeting and Greeting
yong-o-rul hahl-jool asim-ni-ka? Do you speak English?
jeo-nun han-kook-o-rul jo-gum-bah-ke mo-tahm-ni-da. I only speak a little Korean.
song-ha-mi o-teo-ke dwe-si-ji-yo? What is your name?
je-i-rum-eun Mee-Young im-ni-da. My name is Mee-Young.
ahn-nyong-ha-se-yo? How are you?
neh jal-i-soum-ni-da. I’m fine, thank you..
gahm-se-hahm-ni-da. I’m fine, thank you.
mahn-na-bwep-ge dwe-o-seo bahn-gahp-soum-ni-da. I am very glad to meet you.
jal mo-dara dut-ge-soum-ni-da. I don’t understand.
mo-ra-go greo-shut-ji-yo? What did you say?
jom-chon-chon-hee mahl-soum-hae joo-se-yo? Can you speak more slowly?
choong-boon-hee i-hae-hah-go i-soum-ni-da. I understand perfectly.