How Are You in Korean // Essential Phrases to Know Before Your Trip to Seoul!

Next week I’m going to Seoul for the first time and I’m SO excited!

Since I don’t want to land there and be totally unprepared, I’ve been looking at the very basic sentences that I can use once I arrive (this guide is lifesaving:

Something that I find very complex and interesting at the same time is how much words and sentences can change according to the context they’re used in.

For example, “how are you” in Korean can be:

  • 잘 지내요? (jal ji-ne-yo?) if used in an informal situation
  • 잘 지내셨어요? (jal ji-ne-syeo-seo-yo?) if used in a formal context

What do you find more complex about Korean language?

Also, if you guys have any recommendations about what to do/eat in Seoul, please drop a comment below :heart_eyes:

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Apart from hello and how are you in Korean, I’ve already learned my essential phrase for Seoul!

아이스 바닐라 라떼 주세요
aiseu banilla latte juseyo

I’m sure you can guess what it means :wink:

What I have learnt from Koreans is that you shouldn’t worry too much about the formalities.

Just to hear a foreigner speaking Korean, especially at beginner level, is more than enough.

I’ve been taking Korean lessons lately actually and here is some feedback so far.

– If you have time. Learn the Korean alphabet. It’s super easy and the ability to read will help (especially for those coffee shop orders @Hannah - because many are transliterated).

– Your saviour is 이거 주세요 (igeo juseyo). It means this one please (think 这个). It helps in nearly every situation.

– Additionally 주세요 (juseyo) means please. Just add a noun in front of it and you can ask for something. Kimchi 주세요, 바닐라 라떼주세요, Bibimbap 주세요 etc

– Age is often asked by Koreans (in order to understand which level of formality to speak). Don’t be offended by this.

How old are you in Korean is 몇 살이에요? (myeoch sal-ieyo) or slightly more informal 몇 살이야? (myeot sariya)

You can reply with

저는 AGE 살이에요

However, I actually discovered that in Korea it’s common to give your year of birth for age. I actually prefer this because my age changes (meaning I need to learn/change to a new number each year), my birth year doesn’t :wink: lazy I know but it all helps (plus my birth year is all the 8’s which is lucky)!

To say this…

– 저는 팔십팔 년생 입니다 (jeo neun 88 nyeon saeng ip ni da).

Notice how year sounds similar to Chinese. You’ll discover a few of those which will help. Korean does have two number systems which is confusing at the start. but don’t fret about those.

I think that’s a good base for you to start with :slight_smile:

That is a very good guide Max!!

I would say that learning how to read Hangul will be very helpful, especially in restaurants as you just said, many words are directly transliterated from English.

For example I would order a ham egg and cheese toast which is:

햄 에그 치즈 토스트
haem egeu chijeu toseuteu

Exactly the same words but with a Korean pronunciation! The same goes for many coffee orders as well, making it super easy

I find it so funny saying English words in other languages being from England :rofl:

You have to put the accent on and adjust your pronunciation slightly. I’ve found this in every single language I’ve learnt.

When I speak in Italian I don’t say the word as I would in English - I’d try and roll any R for example Marketing, I’d roll the R.

The same with names. Andrea and Nicola are spoken quite differently in both English and Italian (not least because Andrea is female in English but male in Italian :sweat_smile:)

Odd sensation

Interested to hear if you pick up any other useful phrases @Hannah @Ottavia-Mandarin_Simplified_HS - keep us updated :slight_smile: