15 Korean Expressions That I’ve Learned

Having been married to a Korean for 4 years gives me the opportunity to develop my understanding about the Korean culture. Learning how to speak Korean fluently can be challenging and frustrating at the same time. I don’t know why I find it difficult to master the Korean language. When I decided to move to Korea with my husband and our 2-year-old son, I have accepted the fact that whether I like it or not, I have to learn the language in order for me to communicate well with other Koreans especially with my in-laws who couldn’t speak and understand English. When we arrived in South Korea on April 2, 2015, we stayed at my parents-in-law’s residence in Uiryeong County, Gyeongsangnamdo for 3 months. I’ve learned some Korean phrases/expressions just by listening to their daily conversation.

Here are the Top 15 Korean Daily Expressions that I’ve learned so far…

1.) Annyeonghaseyo!

This is their way of saying “Hello!” or “Hi!”. I know some of you are very much familiar with this expression. Koreans are known to be very polite and respectful especially to elderly people. If you don’t greet people who are older than you, they would often label you as “rude”.

You can also say “Annyeong!” when you want to say “Goodbye!” or “Bye!” to someone you speak casually with. Don’t ever use this word when talking to older people if you don’t want to be scolded. LOL

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2.) Kamsahamnida or Gomapsumnida

This expression means “Thank you” in Korean.

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3.) Gwenchana

You can use this expression when you want to say “That’s okay” or “That’s fine.”

Please take note that in Korea, it’s very important to use formal words when talking to someone older than you as a sign of respect. In this case, you have to add “-yo” at the end of the word. So it becomes “Gwenchanayo” instead of “Gwenchana”.

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4.) Geurae

This expression means “Alright”. I personally like this expression and I use it too often. LOL

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5.) Jinjja?!

This expression means “Really?!” or “Seriously?!”

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6.) Daebak!

This expression means “Awesome!” or “Amazing!”

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7.) Ottoke?!

This expression means “What should I do now?!” This is usually used when you’re in a difficult situation.

For example:

I forgot where I put my Alien Registration Card. Ottoke?! (What should I do now?!)

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8.) Aigoo!

This expression means “Oh my gosh!” or “Oh my goodness!”. I often hear this expression from my mother-in-law. LOL

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9.) Wae?

A very simple word which is commonly used by Koreans. It means “Why?”

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10.) Jamkkanmanyo

This expression means “Just a moment” or “Excuse me for a second”.

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11.) Eobseo

This word has different meanings and I find it hard to explain everything in detail. One thing I know is that it means “I don’t have it.”

Example:
Do you have some extra money?
Eobseo. (No, I don’t have.)

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12.) Gaja!

This expression means “Let’s go!”.

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13.) Mworago?

This expression means “What did you say?”

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14.) Pali! Pali!

This expression means “Hurry up!” or “Faster!”. Koreans are known for their “pali-pali system”. It seems that they are always in a rush.

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15.) Hajima!

This expression means “Stop doing that!”.

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Alright, there you have it folks! Those are the expressions that I’ve learned since the day I arrived in South Korea. I hope you enjoyed reading my blog. Catch ya next time! Bye!

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6 thoughts on “15 Korean Expressions That I’ve Learned

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