10 Korean Phrases to Make You Sound Like A Local

Eastasy Media

2017 September 30

Written by: Nigel Ong



Koreans can be proud of their own culture. Sure many are learning English, and more and more are conversant in it, but if you could whip out a few Korean phrases there and then when needed, why not right?


Plenty of practical benefits come with knowing the basics of the local language. Plus, you’ll find that this is a great way to enhance your travel experience. Ready to impress the locals? Whip out your notebook and start taking notes. Who knows you might even get to chat with the handsome men and ladies!




The Basics:


1. Kam sa ham nida


There are many ways of saying ‘thank you’ in Korean but the safest and most common term is ‘Kamsahamnida’. Again, slightly nodding while saying this conveys your respect for the recipient.


Check out the pronunciation here.




2. Jwe song ham nida


It’s very important to be polite, and so here is the phrase you could use: ‘Jwesonghamnida’, which means sorry.


Check out the pronunciation here




3. Ahn nyeong hee Geseyo


Goodbyes are inevitable, especially when you are travelling. When you are leaving someone, remember to say this phrase!


Check out the pronunciation here





Need To Go Somewhere?


4. Hwa jang shil eodi yeyo?


When nature calls, the last thing you want to worry about is trying to ask for the bathroom. Have this handy for the ‘emergencies’.

Check out the Pronunciation here




5. XXX eoddeo kke ga yo?

Lost? What about asking a local where is a certain place? For example, if Gwanghwamun is what you are looking for, then try ‘Gwanghwamun eoddeoke ga yo?






Feasting Time!


6. Kawpi Ju Se Yo

This goes out to the coffee addicts – this phrase means ‘May I have Coffee’? Feel free to substiture the phrase ‘Kaw Pi’ with Cappucino, Latte or Espresso if needed.


Check out the Pronunciation here




7. Mah Sit Sso Yo

Like what you are eating? Or you have an eager host who just worked hard cooking you Korean food? Use this phrase to express how good is taste! Mah sit sso yo means ‘It’s Delicious!’


Check out the Pronunciation here




Beautiful People!

8. Jal Seng Gyut Sso yo

Saw a good looking Oppa? Why don’t you walk over and say this to him? It means ‘you are handsome!’


Check out the Pronunciation here





9. Nam Ja Chingu It Sso yo?

I know it, you are the kind the shoot straight. So next time when you see a beautiful Korean girl, walk up to her and ask straight ‘Nam Ja Chingu It Sso Yo’? which means - do you have a boyfriend? For the ladies, if you meant to ask that handsome oppa about girlfriend, that swap the ‘Nam’ to ‘Yaw‘.


Check out the Pronunciation here




When all else fails…

10. Yeongeo hashil jul ahseyo?

Sometimes, we could try our best to speak Korean, but when all else fails, it’s a good idea to fall back to the international language – English. If you do need to ask if the person speaks English, this is the phrase!

Check out the pronunciation here.





Nigel Ong is a Malaysian that enjoys mountain hiking, long walks, and jungle trekking.He is also the co-founder of FlyMe360 Travel & Lifestyle Magazine.


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