Are you planning to visit South Korea? If yes, then it is prudent to know some common Korean conversational phrases and words.
Conversation between two persons when neither knows the other’s language can only be through body language, which sometimes may lead to some unpleasant situations. Understanding a bit of the Korean language will undoubtedly help you in your travels and please the locals!
The phrases we have included here are for everyday situations any tourist will come across in South Korea. It will certainly make your shopping experiences more enjoyable and fun!
The phrases in English have different meanings depending on the context of use, while their equivalent in Korean is more context-specific. There are different phrases for varying levels of formality or situation.
You can use words and phrases exactly as you would use their English equivalents and practice speaking them quickly. Learning these phrases will make sure your time in Korea is smooth sailing!
We have listed the Korean conversational phrases in English first followed by the Korean phrase pronunciation in roman characters, for learning the pronunciation along with expression in Korean characters (Hangeul).
Common Korean Words & Phrases
Some common phrases for simple conversations like “Yes/No,” “Good” and “I don’t know.”
|Bad||an joayo||안 좋아요|
|So-so||geujeo geuraeyo||그저 그래요|
|I don’t know||Mollayo||몰라요|
|I don’t understand||ihae mothaeyo||이해 못해요|
“Thank You,” “Sorry” kind of phrases are probably the most important and will be often used during your Korean travels.
|Excuse me (to apologize/ask for help politely)||Sillyehamnida||실례합니다|
|Excuse me (to get attention/ask for help)||Jeogiyo||저기요|
|Excuse me (Just a moment)||Jam-shi-man-yo||잠시만요|
Korean Words & Phrases for Greeting
”Hello” is the most common phrase anyone in Korea will use. There are dozens of variations of it to account for different levels of respect and situations. Some greetings phrases are given below.
|Have a nice day||joeun haru bonaeseyo||좋은 하루 보내세요|
|Sweet dreams||joeun kkum kkwoyo||좋은 꿈 꿔요|
Read more to learn more about Korean greetings phrases.
Korean Phrases Useful While Shopping in South Korea
Travel to South Korea without shopping is unimaginable! For shopping, you are definitely going to need some of these phrases. Make sure you learn these before you head out for the next shopping spree. You will certainly add a lot of fun to your shopping experience!
|What is this?||ige mwoyeyo||이게 뭐예요|
|How much is this?||igeo eolmayeyo?||이거 얼마예요?|
|How much is it?||eolmayeyo?||얼마예요?|
|Please give me <item>||_______ juseyo||_______ 주세요|
|Do you have <item>?||_______ isseoyo?||_______ 있어요?|
|Please give me a discount||jom kkakka juseyo||좀 깎아 주세요|
|Can I pay with credit card?||kadeu dwaeyo?||카드 돼요?|
|Please give me a receipt||yeongsujeung juseyo||영수증 주세요|
|Please wrap it for me||pojanghae juseyo||포장해 주세요|
|Put it in a bag||bongtue neoeo juseyo||봉투에 넣어 주세요|
Restaurant and Coffee Shop Korean Phrases
A Korean meal is unique with drinks, appetizers, multiple side dishes, main dishes, and desserts. But be careful, Koreans love spicy food. Coffee is also popular in Korea and in Seoul, you can’t walk more than a few minutes in any direction without running into a cafe or coffee shop. Here are some useful Korean conversational phrases for when you are enjoying food and drinks in restaurants and café.
|Please give me 2 ice coffees||aiseu amerikano dujan juseyo||아이스 아메리카노 두잔 주세요|
|Please give me 1 hot coffee||ttatteuthan amerikano hanjan juseyo||따뜻한 아메리카노 한잔 주세요|
|Do you have wifi here?||waipai isseoyo?||와이파이 있어요?|
|What is the wifi password?||bimil beonho allyeo juseyo||비밀 번호 알려 주세요|
|Do you have a table for 4?||nemyeong jari isseoyo?||네명 자리 있어요?|
|Please give me a menu||menyupan juseyo||메뉴판 주세요|
|Is this spicy?||igeo maewoyo?||이거 매워요?|
|The meal was good||Jal meo-geo-sseum-ni-da||잘 먹었습니다|
|I don’t like it||Maseopseoyo||맛없어요|
Phrases for Moving Around in the Beautiful Country
In Korea, especially in Seoul, you can go all day without having to speak or read a word of Korean. Signs in English are everywhere, more than a few Koreans speak English too. Still, these expressions will help you to communicate, with locals as you explore South Korea, for asking directions and going places. By knowing these not only will you make sure you get to your destination smoothly, but you’ll likely have a more interesting experience.
|I’m lost||gireul ileobeoryeosseoyo||길을 잃어버렸어요|
|Do you know where <place> is?||_______ eodiinji aseyo?||_______ 어디인지 아세요?|
|How far is it from here?||yeogieseo eolmana geollineunji aseyo?||여기에서 얼마나 걸리는지 아세요?|
|Is it far from here?||yeogieseo meoreoyo?||여기에서 멀어요?|
|Go left||oenjjok gaseyo||왼쪽 가세요|
|Go right||oreunjjoge gaseyo||오른쪽에 가세요|
|Go straight||jjuk gaseyo||쭉 가세요|
Moving around by Taxi is also common as fares are low, easy to find and drivers are usually friendly. Learning a few taxi-related Korean conversational phrases will make your trip smoother.
|Please take me to <place>||_______ euro gajuseyo||_______ 으로 가주세요|
|Please stop at <place>||_______ eseo sewo juseyo||_______ 에서 세워 주세요|
|Please stop in front of <place>||_______ ape sewo juseyo||_______ 앞에 세워 주세요|
The city bus system in Korea is one of the best systems in the world with fast, clean, and on-time buses and modern bus stops with digital displays and mobile apps. Some Korean conversational phrases below will help in using city buses.
|Where does this bus go?||i beoseuneun eodiro gayo?||이 버스는 어디로 가요?|
|What time is the last bus?||majimak beoseu eonjeyeyo?||마지막 버스 언제예요?|
|How much is the bus fare?||beoseu yogeum eolmayeyo?||버스 요금 얼마예요?|
|One ticket to <place>, please||_____ e ganeun pyo han jang juseyo||_____ 에 가는 표 한 장 주세요|
|Does this bus stop in <place>?||i beoseuneun _____ e seoyo?||이 버스는 _____ 에 서요?|
Some Other Useful Korean Conversational Phrases
Finally, following phrases may be useful at times.
|Nice to meet you||Ban-gap-sum-ni-da||반갑습니다 –. –.|
|I can’t speak Korean||hangungmareul mothaeyo||한국말을 못해요|
|I can speak a little Korean||hangungmareul jogeum hal su isseoyo||한국말을 조금 할수 있어요|
|I feel sick||Apayo||아파요|
|I love you||Sa-rang-hae||사랑해|
You can also learn Korean language using mobile apps.