How to Speak Korean: Basic Korean Phrases

How to Speak Korean

Learn Hangeul, the Korean alphabet. The alphabet is a good place to start when you’re learning to speak Korean, especially if you hope to progress to reading and writing later on. Korean has a fairly simple alphabet, although it may seem strange to most English speakers at first because it is completely different than the Roman alphabet.


  • Hangeul was created during the Joseon Dynasty in 1443. Hangeul has 24 letters, consisting of 14 consonants and 10 vowels. However, if you include 16 diphthongs and double consonants, there are 40 letters in total.[1]
  • Korean also uses around 3,000 Chinese characters, or Hanja, to represent words of Chinese origin. Unlike Japanese Kanji, Korean Hanja are used in more limited contexts like academic writing, religious (Buddhist) texts, dictionaries, newspaper headlines, classical and pre-WWII Korean literature, and family names. In North Korea, the use of Hanja is almost non-existent.[2]

Basic Korean Phrases

neh.  Yes.

ah-nee-oh.  No.

jwe-song-ha-ji-mahn.  Please.

gahm-sah-hahm-ni-da.  Thank you.

chon-mahn-eh-yo.  You’re welcome.

sil-le-hahm-ni-da.  Excuse me.

ahn-nyong-ha-se-yo.  Good morning.

ahn-nyong-hee ga-se-yo.  Good-bye.

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