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A Brief Overview of Korean Culture

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Every country has its own unique culture and South Korea is no exception. Understanding Korean culture and traditions is important if you’re planning to travel, study, or work in South Korea. This knowledge will also help you acquire the more advanced levels of the Korean language, since many idioms and old sayings are based on Korean culture. Finally, learning about South Korean culture will help you better understand the beliefs and customs of South Koreans, broaden your worldview, and make it possible to build closer relationships during your stay. 

Before we dive in, here are four interesting Korean culture facts:

1. You must take off your shoes when you enter someone’s house.

2. Korean women have little problem showing off their legs, but are very conservative about showing cleavage. 

3. Lots of Korean people, especially younger Koreans, can speak decent English.

4. Korean men are expected to pay for dinner when on a date.

And this only scratches the surface! Keep reading for more practical information about the culture of South Korea. By the way, we encourage you to check out “Korean Etiquette: 7 Do’s and Don’ts in Korea” and  “10 Korean Hand Gestures You Need to Know” on our blog to learn even more Korean culture specifics.

Now let’s dive in!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Korean Table of Contents
  1. Values and Beliefs
  2. Family and Work
  3. Food
  4. Traditional Holidays
  5. How Our Website Can Help You Master Korean

1. Values and Beliefs

A Statue of Confucius

A- 유교사상 (yugyosasang) – “Confucianism”

유교사상 (yugyosasang), or “Confucianism,” has had a major influence on Korean culture

It emphasizes the importance of harmonious human interactions and promotes the idea that relationships are unequal, defined by hierarchical roles. Confucianism formally believes that when you accept and respect inequality, it becomes a lot easier to maintain healthy, harmonious relationships with the people around you. 

In Korean culture, Confucianism plays a large role in how people interact with each other. Here are just a few examples:

  • Families are more important than individuals.
  • Men and women have separate roles.
  • Loyalty is an important trait to have.
  • Elders should be respected and obeyed.

However, Confucianism is slowly fading away and the younger generations are becoming more and more Westernized and individualistic. Moreover, younger Koreans reject the traditional idea of gender roles and promote gender equality. 

B- 철학과 종교 (cheolhakgwa jonggyo) – “Korean Philosophies and Religions”

In South Korea, all of the world’s major 종교 (jonggyo), or “religions,” peacefully coexist. 

A few popular religions and belief systems in South Korea include: 

  • 기독교 (gidokgyo) – “Christianity”
  • 불교 (bulgyo) – “Buddhism”
  • 유교 (yugyo) – “Confucianism”
  • 이슬람 (iseullam) – “Islam”

불교 (bulgyo), or “Buddhism,” arrived in Korea in 372, and since then, many Buddhist temples have been built across the country. 유교 (yugyo), or “Confucianism,” was adopted as the state ideology during the Joseon Dynasty and became extremely influential to the Korean culture. 

천주교 (cheonjugyo), or “Catholicism” was introduced to Korea in the late 조선시대 (joseonsidae), or “Joseon Era.” During that time, people who followed the Roman Catholic religion were subjected to persecution, but the religion continued to spread across the country. 

To learn more on the topic of religion in South Korea, you can check out the following materials on KoreanClass101.com:


Korean People Wear Hanbok on Special Occasions

2. Family and Work

Family and work are two key components in any society, so learning about Korean customs and beliefs concerning these topics will help you more easily integrate into the culture. 

A- 가족 우선주의 (gajok useonjuui) – “Family Always Comes First”

Korean culture values 가족 (gajok), or “family,” even placing family before the individual. 

For example, Koreans believe that every member of the family is connected and that the actions of one family member reflect on the entire family. Therefore, if someone commits a crime or does something wrongful to another person/group/society, it will put shame on that person’s entire family. This belief is influenced by Confucianism, which emphasizes the importance of putting family first, showing loyalty, and respecting elders. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Korean family culture, check out our blog articles:

You can also study our useful Korean family-related vocabulary lists:


B- 개인 업적보다 팀워크 (gaein eopjeokboda timwokeu) – “Teamwork Over Individuality”

Korean culture has clear hierarchical structures in the workplace. The higher your position, the more power and respect you will have. Therefore, the work environment can be very tough for those who are new to the workforce or company, since they’re at the bottom of the hierarchical structure. Their opinions won’t carry as much weight in team meetings, it will be difficult to say “no” to managers, and colleagues who have been working at the company for many years may purposely put them in difficult situations just for being new.

Also, Korean companies value “teamwork,” so team building events are very important to them. These events could focus only on your team members, though sometimes the whole company will participate. Usually, the group will go to the countryside together and stay there over the weekend. For younger employees, there will be parties in the evening as well.  

Here are a few useful Korean work-related vocabulary lists for you to review:


A Korean Lady in a Pink Hanbok

3. Food

한국의 음식 문화 (hangugui eumsik munhwa), or “Korean food culture,” is a crucial topic to study before heading over to South Korea!

쌀 (ssal), or “rice,” is the main staple of the Korean diet. It’s usually accompanied by side dishes such as various kimchis, vegetables, and soups. 

김치 (gimchi), or “kimchi,” is one of the most popular Korean dishes. Kimchi is fermented cabbage with a mix of vegetables and spicy pepper powder. Popular kimchi vegetables include cucumbers, radishes, and green onions. Beef and pork are very expensive in Korea, so the Korean diet usually focuses more on vegetables and fish. 

In Korea, it’s common to fight over who pays the bill at a restaurant, but people who are older or of a higher status are usually expected to pay. When at a restaurant with friends, you’ll have to act appropriately depending on the atmosphere. Younger people prefer to either ‘go dutch,’ or pay for one meal and expect his/her friend to pay for the meal next time.

Feeling hungry yet? Here are some useful food-related materials on our website:


4. Traditional Holidays

There are a few 한국의 전통 명절 (hangugui jeontong myeongjeol), or “traditional Korean holidays,” that you should know about before your visit. 

Koreans believe their ancestors are protecting their family, so it’s very important to keep their ancestors’ memorial days. Several times a year, family members gather together and celebrate their ancestors. This is commonly done on the Korean ‘Thanksgiving’ holiday 추석 (chuseok) and on 설날 (seollal), or “New Year’s Day.” 

Korean women (especially daughters-in-law) cook traditional Korean food and bring it to the ancestors’ graves. Traditionally, men are not allowed to be in the kitchen because Korean mothers don’t like seeing their sons help their wife cook and wash dishes. However, this traditional notion is slowly changing. Nowadays, the celebration happens less frequently, families rarely gather together, and men more actively help in the kitchen.

Interested in learning more about traditional Korean holidays? We have several lessons and blog posts we think you’ll love! 


Many Layers of Mountains in Korea

5. How Our Website Can Help You Master Korean

In this Korean culture overview, you learned about the most crucial elements of life in South Korea, from Confucianism to popular dishes. If you would like to learn even more about Korean culture, we recommend visiting our Korean Culture Class lessons. They will take you on a journey through South Korea with an assortment of tips, cultural points, and practical insight. Here are a few lesson series we recommend:

We hope you enjoyed this lesson! If you have any further Korean culture questions, please leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you. Good luck with your Korean studies and have a great day!

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17 Authentic Korean Foods You Must Try

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Many foreigners think that all Korean foods are spicy and hot, but this is not true. There are plenty of non-spicy dishes you can enjoy! 

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the top seventeen famous Korean dishes and give you a glimpse of the typical Korean restaurant atmosphere.

Restaurants are one of the most fun places to practice your Korean skills. The waiters and waitresses are friendly to travelers and will be willing to help you choose dishes that aren’t too spicy for you. 

Before we continue, we’d like to give a friendly warning: You’ll be hungry for Korean food by the time you finish reading!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Let's Cook in Korean Table of Contents
  1. Must-Try Dishes in Korean Restaurants
  2. Authentic Korean Food vs. Overseas Food
  3. Unique Korean Foods to Try
  4. Food-Related Vocabulary
  5. Simple Recipes to Make Authentic Korean Food at Home
  6. Hungry and Want to Go to Korean Restaurants?

1. Must-Try Dishes in Korean Restaurants

Bulgogi

Close-up shot of Bulgogi (Photo by brappy!, under CC BY-SA 2.0)

A- 불고기 (bulgogi) – Marinated Beef Barbecue – Recipe

불고기 (bulgogi) is a marinated grilled beef dish you must try when visiting a Korean restaurant. 

Interestingly, 불 (bul) means “fire” and 고기 (gogi) means “meat.” The name might make you think the dish is spicy, but that’s not the case at all. The “fire” refers to the barbecue-style cooking method. In order to cook 불고기 (bulgogi), people use sirloin, tenderloin, or ribeye with a sauce that’s both sweet and savory. This is one of the most popular non-spicy dishes in Korea.

Here’s an interesting fact about this dish: 불고기 (bulgogi) originated from the 고구려 (goguryeo) era. Meats were very expensive at that time, so the dish was served only for the wealthy nobles, such as kings and queens. How lucky we are to be able to enjoy such delicious food in modern times! 

If you want to try bulgogi and other Korean barbeque dishes, look for Korean restaurants with this label: 고기집 (gogijip). This means “Meat House” or “Meat Restaurant.”

Samgyetang

A close-up shot of Samgyetang (Photo by Eugene Kim, under CC BY 2.0)

B- 삼계탕 (samgyetang) – Chicken Soup – Recipe 

삼계탕 (samgyetang) is another non-spicy dish that you can enjoy in Korea. This dish is also known as “Ginseng chicken soup” and it’s extremely healthy. A whole chicken is filled with various healthful ingredients such as garlic, rice, and ginseng, and then boiled in a pot for many hours. 

You may be surprised to hear that this soup is a Korean cuisine staple during the summer. This is because of  a three-day period called 삼복 (sambok), or “Sambok days,” during which the weather reaches its hottest point. Koreans eat 삼계탕 (samgyetang) during the hottest days because the soup is believed to promote health.

There are many Korean restaurants that specialize in samgyetang. Look for signs that read: 삼계탕집 (samgyetangjip). This means “Samgyetang House” or “Samgyetang Restaurant.”

Japchae

A shot of Japchae on a white plate (Photo by Korean Culture and Information Service (Kim Sunjoo), under CC BY 2.0)

C- 잡채 (japchae) – Stir-Fried Noodles – Recipe 

잡채 (japchae) literally means “mixed vegetables.” 

This is a sweet and savory dish of stir-fried sweet potato starch noodles and vegetables. Ingredients vary from place to place, and you can skip the meat if you’re vegan. In fact, japchae is one of the most-loved dishes by vegetarians and vegans. 

By default, slices of beef are added to the dish. If you don’t want the meat, you can ask your waiter: 고기 빼주세요. (Gogi ppaejuseyo.) or “Please remove the meat.”

Bibimbap

A close-up shot of bibimbap (Photo by Satomi Abe, under CC BY 2.0)

D- 비빔밥 (bibimbap) – Mixed Rice – Recipe

A popular dish in Korean cuisine, bibimbap means “mixed rice.” You’ve probably heard of this dish before and you may have even tried it already!

There are many different kinds of bibimbap. The most popular type is 돌솥비빔밥 (dolsotbibimbap), or “mixed rice in a (hot) stone pot.” The rice and vegetables, meats, and egg are placed within a stone pot, which is then placed over a hot fire; the pot is sizzling hot when served. Most service staff will warn you that the pot is very hot and should not be touched until it cools. 

There’s also a variety of vegetarian bibimbap dishes that you can enjoy.

2. Authentic Korean Food vs. Overseas Food

Many famous dishes from outside of the country have been localized in Korea, making them far from authentic. Here’s a list of Korean foods that originally came from overseas. 

A- Korean Pizza vs. Italian Pizza 

피자 (pija), or “pizza,” is a popular delivery food item that Koreans love. Many Korean pizza companies have invented ‘Koreanized’ pizzas, some of which are only available in Korea. The price of pizza is relatively cheap since you can order a set menu item that includes a pizza, a large bottle of Coke, spaghetti, french fries, etc., for a reasonable price. 

Some Koreanized pizzas include:

  • Sweet potato pizza
  • Potato and sweet corn pizza
  • Steak and shrimp pizza
  • Cheese crust pizza 
  • And many more!

Are you curious about Korean pizzas? Then type 한국 피자 (hanguk pija), meaning “Korean pizza,” online and see some pictures of these delicious dishes. 

B- Korean Curry vs. Indian Curry

If you ask any of your Korean friends what Korean curry is, they’ll probably mention 3분 카레 (sambun kare), or “three-minute curry.” 

This dish is manufactured curry that’s purchased inside a reheatable aluminum package. All you need to do is put the package in boiling water and heat it in a microwave for three minutes. Meat and vegetables are already included inside and you can enjoy the curry with a bowl of rice that you prepare yourself. 한국 카레 (hanguk kare) tastes very different from the original curries from India. 

C- Korean Hot Dog vs. American Hot Dog

When you think of a hot dog, you instantly imagine the delicious grilled sausage that’s placed inside a bun with ketchup or other condiments. 

한국 핫도그 (hanguk hotdogeu), or “Korean hot dogs,” are very different. They taste slightly sweeter and look like a corn dog. Some include french fries in the batter, and street vendors sprinkle sugar and add ketchup or honey mustard sauce on the batter. 

D- Korean Macaron vs. French Macaron

Macarons are a very popular French dessert and Korea has its own unique version. 

The first notable difference is the size, with a 마카롱 (makarong) being a lot larger than the French original. Koreans also put triple the amount of filling in their version than the French do in theirs. So if you have a sweet tooth, try a Korean macaron!

3. Unique Korean Foods to Try

Now let’s look at a few Korean cuisine dishes you won’t find anywhere else. These are a bit different from the other foods we’ve covered so far, so brace yourself for a flavorful adventure!

Sannakji

Close-up shot of sannakji (Photo by LWY, under CC BY 2.0)

A- 산낙지 (sannakji) – Raw Octopus Dish – Recipe

산낙지 (sannakji) is a raw dish made with long-arm octopus. The octopus is chopped into small pieces and marinated with sesame oil and sesame seeds. You can eat it as-is or dip it in 고추장 (gochujang), or “spicy red pepper paste.”

What makes this dish unique is that the octopus pieces are still active when the dish is served. People who aren’t used to eating raw fish have difficulty eating this dish. Nevertheless, lots of visitors report having enjoyed the dish, so why not give it a try next time you visit Korea? This dish is available at Korean seafood restaurants that serve sliced raw fish.

Marinated Crab

A shot of marinated crab, bottom-right (Photo by LWY, under CC BY 2.0)

B- 간장게장 (ganjanggejang) – Raw Crabs Marinated in Soy Sauce – Recipe

To make 간장게장 (ganjanggejang), crab is marinated and fermented in soy sauce. There’s a spicy version of it too, called 양념게장 (yangnyeomgejang). You’d be hard-pressed to find this dish in a Korean restaurant in your country, so take your chances while in South Korea and have some delicious marinated crabs with a bowl of rice! 

Did you know that this dish is known as 밥도둑 (bapdoduk) in Korea? The translation of this word is “rice thief,” referring to the fact that the dish tastes so great you’ll end up eating a large quantity of rice.

Dotorimuk

Close-up shot of dotorimuk (Photo by HapaK, under CC BY-SA 2.0)

C- 도토리묵 (dotorimuk) – Acorn Starch Jelly – Recipe 

도토리묵 (dotorimuk) is a jelly made from acorn starch. 

Although dotorimuk itself is tasteless, it’s usually served with a sauce consisting of sliced carrots, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, red chili pepper powder, and sesame seeds—this ingredient combination tastes great! You’ll enjoy the soft texture of the acorn starch and the hint of spiciness from the sauce. 

It’s served as a side dish these days, usually at a Korean barbecue restaurant or in some authentic Korean restaurants, but it can be served as a standalone dish as well. If you order this, try it with a bottle of 소주 (soju) or 막걸리 (makgeolli), meaning “rice wine”!

Hongeohoe

A shot of Hongeohoe (Photo by Yun Seon Hong, under CC BY 2.0)

D- 홍어회 (hongeohoe) – Fermented Skate (Available at Markets)

Are you thinking about creating a hilarious video clip of you or your friends trying out a weird dish? Then 홍어회 (hongeohoe), a fermented fish dish from Korea, is the way to go!  

It’s made with skate and emits a very strong, unpleasant ammonia-like odor. It’s usually served  sashimi-style and eaten together with bossam and kimchi. It may also be served with 막걸리 (makgeolli), or “rice wine,” which supposedly helps with digestion. Do be cautious before trying this dish; not many Koreans like it and the odor is sometimes so strong that it makes people want to throw it out. 

Still want to give it a try? This dish is sold in various markets in Korea. 

E- 미더덕 (mideoduk) – Stylela Clava – Recipe

미더덕 (mideoduk), or “Stylela clava,” is one of the most popular Korean cuisine ingredients for 해물탕 (haemultang) or 해물찜 (haemuljjim), and it has an interesting texture. This ingredient is very healthy, and Koreans love it for that reason. 

4. Food-Related Vocabulary

Are you getting hungry yet? In the next section, we’ll show you some recipes for Korean food you can make at home! But first, let’s look at some basic Korean food vocabulary.

A- Restaurant-Related Vocabulary

Here’s a list of ten essential words that you can use at a restaurant.

계산서 (gyesanseo) – “check”
현금 (hyeongeum) – “cash”
카드 (cadeu) – “credit card”
할인 (harin) – “discount”
 메뉴 (menyu) – “menu”
무한리필 (muhanripil) – “unlimited refill”
셀프 (selpeu) – “self-(service)”
물 (mul) – “water”
국물 (gukmeul) – “soup”
주문 (jumun) – “order”

Example sentences:

  • 카드(현금)으로 계산할게요. 
    Kadeu(Hyeongeum)eulo gyesanhalgeyo.
    “I will pay with my card (cash).”
  • 메뉴 주세요. 
    Menyu juseyo.)
    “Please give me a menu.”
  • 물은 셀프입니다. 
    Mureun selpeuimnida.)
    “Water is self-service.”
  • 반찬은 무한리필이에요. 
    Banchaneun muhanripirieyo.
    “You can have unlimited side dishes.”
  • 여기 주문 할게요. 
    Yeogi jumun halgeyo.
    “I would like to order.”

B- Useful Phrases for the Restaurant

Here’s a list of ten commonly used phrases you can use in a Korean restaurant.

  • 물티슈 주시겠어요.
    Multisyu jusigesseoyo.
    “Can I have a wet tissue, please?”
  • 화장실은 어디에 있어요?
    Hwajangsireun eodie isseoyo?
    “Where is the bathroom?”
  • 죄송하지만, 이 음식은 제가 주문한 것이 아니에요.
    Joesonghajiman, i eumsigeun jega jumunhan geosi anieyo.
    “Excuse me, this is not what I ordered.”
  • 얼마나 매워요?
    Eolmana maewoyo?
    “How spicy is it?”
  • 덜 맵게 해주세요. 
    Deol maebge haejuseyo.
    “Please make it less spicy.”
  • 각자 계산해도 될까요? / 따로 계산해도 될까요?
    Gakja gyesanhaedo doelkkayo? / Ttalo gyesanhaedo doelkkayo?
    “Can we pay separately?”
  • 물 더주세요. 
    Mul deojuseyo.
    “Please give me more water.”
  • 반찬 더 주세요. 
    Banchan deo juseyo.
    “Please refill the side dish.”
  • 채식 메뉴 있어요?
    Chaesik menyu isseoyo?
    “Do you have a vegetarian menu?”
  • 맥주 주세요. 
    Makju juseyo.
    “I’ll have a beer.”

There are more useful Korean phrases you can use at any Korean restaurant. Check out our vocabulary list “Useful Phrases for Ordering Food” on KoreanClass101.com!

D- Vocabulary for Essential Ingredients in Korean Dishes

Here’s a list of ten words that are commonly used on Korean recipe websites.

간장 (ganjang) – “soy sauce”
 물엿 (mulyeot) – “sweet cooking syrup”
다진마늘 (dajinmaneul) – “chopped garlic”
후추 (huchu) – “pepper”
 참기름 (chamgireum) – “sesame oil”
식용유 (sigyongyu) – “cooking oil”
고추장 (gochujang) – “spicy pepper sauce”
 설탕 (seoltang) – “sugar”
 소금 (sogeum) – “salt” 
고춧가루 (gochutgaru) – “chili powder” 

5. Simple Recipes to Make Authentic Korean Food at Home

We’ve looked at many different Korean dishes that you can try in Korea and at Korean restaurants in your own country. Now, let’s discuss Korean food to make at home with simple ingredients that you can easily obtain from a Korean supermarket—or even your own pantry! 

A- 짜파구리 (jjapaguri) – Ramdon – Recipe

Ramdon is made by cooking 짜파게티 (jjapagetti), or “instant black noodle ramen,” and 너구리 (neoguri), or “neoguri udon ramen,” noodles together with slices of grilled beef. 

This dish was featured in the 2019 Korean movie 기생충 (gisaengchung), or “Parasite,” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture as well as the Cannes Palme d’Or. An interesting fact about the name of this dish is that the people who translated the movie couldn’t translate jjapaguri into English, so they decided to call it “ram-don” which is a combination of “ramen” and “udon.”

Cooking ramdon is extremely simple. 

Ingredients:

  • 짜파게티 (jjapagetti
  • 너구리 (neoguri
  • A piece of steak

Directions:

1. Cut the beef into bite-sized pieces and grill.

2. Boil the water and add the two types of noodles.

3. Add the vegetable mix from the packets (please don’t put the sauce packets in yet).

4. Transfer noodles to the pan with a strainer, along with the steak, and add a little bit of leftover water.

5. Add all of the sauce from 짜파게티 (jjapagetti) and half from 너구리 (neoguri). Stir everything well and the dish is ready.

Gimbap

Close-up shot of Kimchi and Ham gimbap

B- 김밥 (gimbap) – Korean Sushi Roll – Recipe

This is another easy recipe that you can try at home. 

There are many delicious variations of this dish, such as:

    ★ 참치김밥 (chamchigimbap) – “tuna gimbap”
    ★ 야채김밥 (yachaegimbap) – “vegetable gimbap”
    ★ 김치김밥 (gimchigimbap) – “kimchi gimbap”
    ★ 치즈김밥 (chijeugimbap) – “cheese gimbap”
    ★ 충무김밥 (chungmugimbap) – “chungmu gimbap”

This dish goes well with other savory dishes, including 떡볶이 (ddeokbokki), 튀김 (twigim), and 오뎅 (odeng). You can order these foods together at places called 분식점 (bunsikjeom) or 분식집 (bunsikjip), both meaning “snack shop” in Korean. You can find these restaurants anywhere in South Korea, with several of them located near universities; students love these dishes because they’re cheap. 

Making 김밥 (gimbap) is extremely simple, but you’ll need to have a tool called a “bamboo gimbap roller.” This will help you roll the ingredients in. 

Ingredients:

  • Various vegetables of your choice 
  • Rice 
  • 단무지 (danmuji) or “yellow radish pickle”
  • Dried seaweed sheets

Directions:

  • Slice all the vegetables into thin strips and lightly cook them in cooking oil.
  • Mix the cooked rice, sesame oil, and sea salt together.
  • Place one dried seaweed sheet on the bamboo mat and put some rice on the seaweed sheet. Spread it evenly.
  • Slowly roll the seaweed with all the ingredients inside.
Dalgona Coffee

A close-up shot of Dalgona coffee (Photo by Wikieditkid, under CC BY-SA 4.0)

C- 달고나커피 (dalgonakeopi) – “Dalgona Coffee” – Recipe

달고나커피 (dalgonakeopi), or “Dalgona coffee,” was originally introduced on a South Korean TV show and has become an extremely famous beverage since then. It’s also simple to make! 

Ingredients:

  • Instant black coffee
  • Sugar
  • Hot water
  • Milk

Directions:

  • Combine instant coffee, sugar, and hot water. Whip it until it becomes frothy.
  • Pour milk in a cup and pour the whipped coffee on top.

D- 삼겹살 (samgyepsal) – “Grilled Pork Belly” – Recipe

삼겹살 (samgyepsal) is a popular Korean barbecue dish. You can enjoy it while camping, at home, at parties, and on many other occasions! The ingredients are easy to obtain and the dish goes well with many other Korean dishes, such as 파채무침 (pachaemuchim) and 된장찌개 (dwenjangjjigae). 

Ingredients:

  • Pork belly
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sesame oil
  • Hot pepper flakes

Directions: 

  • Prepare sliced pork belly.
  • Combine sesame oil, salt, and sesame seeds together (for dipping sauce).
  • Prepare other small Korean side dishes to eat with this meal.

6. Hungry and Want to Go to Korean Restaurants?

Reading a menu and ordering dishes in Korean is a great way to practice your Korean language skills. Do you want to learn how to order Korean dishes in Korean? We can help you with that!

Of course, we provide many other free Korean study materials that you can study on KoreanClass101.com or download to look at later. We have lessons on various aspects of the Korean language and culture, including several food-related materials. So if you enjoyed this article, make sure you check out our website when you have time! 

What’s your favorite Korean dish? Comment below and share why you like the dish!

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Korean Grammar Rules: Everything You Need to Know

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Learning a new language has many benefits, such as boosting your brain power and improving your understanding of the world. To master any language, you must have a good foundation of basic grammar knowledge. 

Once you master the basic Korean grammar rules, communication and many other aspects of the language will become a lot easier for you. Grammar is the foundation of effective communication, so let’s make sure that you gain a good understanding of the basic Korean grammar rules today! As you continue in your language studies, feel free to refer back to this Korean grammar overview to keep your skills sharp.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Korean Table of Contents
  1. Before We Start: General Korean Grammar Rules
  2. Special Grammar Point 1: Word Order and Sentence Structure
  3. Special Grammar Point 2: Tenses
  4. Special Grammar Point 3: Simplifying Pronouns and Plurals
  5. Special Grammar Point 4: Korean Particles
  6. Want to Learn Even More Korean Grammar Rules? We Can Help!

1. Before We Start: General Korean Grammar Rules 

To begin, we’ll look at a couple of Korean grammar topics that are fairly simple but absolutely crucial to your language studies. We’ll be covering these a bit more throughout the article, but we wanted to introduce them to you here. 

1) Word Order 

As a Korean learner, you’ll quickly learn that English and Korean have a different word order and sentence structure. For example, English sentences follow this basic structure:

SUBJECT (S) + VERB (V) + OBJECT (O)

But in Korean grammar, sentences follow this basic structure, with the verb at the end:

SUBJECT (S) + OBJECT (O) + VERB (V)

Since the object comes right after the subject, you’ll have to listen to every word in a sentence to understand the meaning and the context.

 2) Tenses 

Did you know that Korean tenses are a lot simpler than those in English? In Korean, there are only three tenses: past, present, and future. In comparison, English has these tenses as well as the present progressive and present perfect. 

You’ll notice that many Korean students who are learning English struggle to understand the concept of present progressive and present perfect since we only use three tenses in Korea.

Learning Korean Grammar Isn't Too Difficult

2. Special Grammar Point 1: Word Order and Sentence Structure

Here’s a short list of basic sentence structures you may want to memorize. Learning these now will make the rest of your studies go a lot smoother. 

SUBJECT + NOUN

SUBJECT + VERB

SUBJECT + ADJECTIVE

SUBJECT + OBJECT + VERB

1) SUBJECT + NOUN

The S + N word order is very similar to its English counterpart, and is used to say that the subject is something. While in English, we use the word “is” to make the association, in Korean, we simply put the words next to each other and add 이다 (ida)—the Korean positive copula—to the end of the second noun.

Here are some examples.

  • 조쉬학생이다. (Joswineun hagsaengida.) – “Josh is a student.”
  • 레슬리변호사이다. (Leseullineun byeonhosaida.) – “Leslie is a lawyer.”
  • 연아한국인이다. (Yeonaneun hanguginida.) – “Yeona is Korean.”

2) SUBJECT + VERB

You’ll learn how to use the past, present, and future tenses in the next section, so for now let’s focus on the present tense of S + V.

  • 효선요리한다. (Hyoseon-eun yorihanda.) – “Hyosun cooks.”
  • 주현먹어요. (Juhyeoneun meogeoyo.) – “Juhyung eats.”
  • 카오린자요. (Kaorineun jayo.) – “Kaorin sleeps.”
  • 달려요. (Poreun dalryeoyo.) – “Paul runs.”

Keep in mind that verbs don’t conjugate for person or number. In English, there has to be an “s” at the end of “cooks” since the subject is third person. You don’t need to think about this in Korean because we don’t have this feature. All verb forms are used the same way regardless of the subject.

3) SUBJECT + ADJECTIVE

In Korean grammar, adjectives can also be used as verbs and can therefore change depending on the tense. For example, 예뻐요 (yeoppeoyo) is a word used to say that something is “pretty,” and if you want to say that something “was pretty,” then the word changes to 예뻤어요. (yeppeotseoyo). 

You’ll learn about the tenses in the next section, so for now, let’s focus only on the present tense form of adjectives:

  • 민경예뻐요. (Mingyeongeun yeppeoyo.) – “Minkyung is pretty.”
  • 미키작아요. (Mikineun jagayo.) – “Miki is small.” 
  • 날씨 좋아요. (Nalssiga joayo.) – “The weather is nice.” 

Want to learn new adjectives to practice with? Check out our article “The Top 100 Korean Adjectives You Must Know” and practice the S + A grammar rule with your favorites! 

4) SUBJECT + OBJECT + VERB

This S + O + V grammar rule is very important because it’s used every day and mastering it will immediately make your conversations much smoother. Here are some examples of how to use this pattern in the present tense:

  • 조쉬사과먹어요. (Joswiga sagwaleul meogeoyo.) – “Josh eats an apple.”
  • 토끼건초먹어요. (Tokkiga geoncholeul meogeoyo.) – “A rabbit eats hay.”
  • 친구 설거지해요. (Chinguga seolgeojireul haeyo.) – “A friend washes dishes.”

Now, Tomorrow, and Yesterday Written on Road Signs

3. Special Grammar Point 2: Tenses

Korean tenses aren’t that complicated, especially when compared to those in English. In Korean grammar,  tenses are categorized as past, present, and future. Keep in mind, though, that there are two tense systems—absolute tense and relative tense—which you might want to have a look at after mastering the basic three Korean tenses. 

1. PAST TENSE

Here’s the rule for constructing a past tense sentence in Korean:


 verb/adjective stem  + 아/어 + ㅆ + closing end

For example:

  • 먹다 (meokda), “to eat” -> 먹었다 (meogeotda) – written / 먹었어 (meogeosseo) – spoken
    • 먹 + 어 (eo) + ㅆ + 다 (da)
  • 받다 (batda), “to receive” -> 받았다 (badatda) / 받았어 (badasseo)
    • 받 + 아 (a) + ㅆ + 다 (da)
  • 앉다 (anta), “to sit” -> 앉았다 (anjatda) / 앉았어 (anjasseo).
    • 앉 +아 (a) + ㅆ + 다 (da)
  • 예쁘다 (yeppeuda), “to be pretty” -> 예뻤다 (yeppeotda) / 예뻤어요 (yeppeosseoyo) – polite form
    • 예 + 뻐 (ppeo) + ㅆ + 다 (da)
  • 있다 (itda), “to be” -> 있었다 (isseotda) / 있었어요 (isseosseoyo) – polite form
    • 있 (it) + 어 (eo) + ㅆ + 다 (da)

2) PRESENT

Here’s the rule for constructing a present tense sentence in Korean:


verb stem + ㄴ + closing end

For example:

  • 가다 (gada), “to go” -> 간다 (ganda) – written / 갔어 (gatseo) – spoken
    • 가 (ga) + ㄴ + 다 (da)
  • 먹다 (meokda), “to eat” ->먹는다 (meongneunda) / 먹어 (meogeo)
    • 먹 (meok) + ㄴ+ 다 (da)

You don’t need to change adjectives for the present tense.

  • 예쁘다 (yeppeuda), “to be pretty” -> 예쁘다 (yeppeuda)
  • 나쁘다 (nappeuda), “to be bad” -> 나쁘다 (nappeuda)
  • 무섭다. (museopda), “to be scary” -> 무섭다 (museopda)

3) FUTURE


verb/adjective stem + 겠 + closing end

For example: 

  • 가다 (gada) -> 가겠다 (gagetda) – written / 가겠어 (gagesseo) – spoken
    • 가 (ga) + 겠 (get) + 다 (da)
  • 먹다 (meokda) -> 먹겠다 (meoggessda) / 먹겠어 (meoggesseo)
    • 먹 (meok) + 겠 (get) + 다 (da)
  • 예쁘다 (yeppeuda) -> 예쁘겠다 (yeppeugetda) / 에쁘겠어 (yeppeugesseo)
    • 예쁘 (yeppeu) + 겠 (get) + 다 (da)
  • 나쁘다 (nappeuda) -> 나쁘겠다 (nappeugetda) / 나쁘겠어 (nappeugesseo)
    • 나쁘 (nappeu) + 겠 (get) + 다 (da)

1. PAST

Verb form:


verb stem + (으)ㄴ

Example:

  • 가다 (gada), “to go” -> 간 (gan)
    • 가 (ga) + ㄴ
  • 먹다 (meokda), “to eat” -> 먹은 (meogeun)
    • 먹 (meok) + ㄴ
  • 오다 (oda) “to come” -> 온 (on)
    • 오 (o) + ㄴ
  • 받다 (batda) “to receive” -> 받은 (badeun)
    • 받 (bat) + ㄴ

Adjective form:


adjective stem + (아/어)ㅆ던

Examples: 

  • 예쁘다 (yeppeuda), “to be pretty” -> 예뻤던 (yeppeutdeon)
    • 예 (ye) + 뻐 (ppeo) + ㅆ + 던 (deon)
  • 나쁘다 (nappeuda), “to be bad” -> 나빴던 (nappattdeon)
    •  나 (na) + 빠 (ppa) + ㅆ + 던 (deon

Phrase examples: 

  • 철수먹은 사과 (Cheolsuga meogeun sagwa) – “An apple that Cheolsu ate
  • 수미받은 소포 (Sumiga badeun sopo) – “A parcel that Sumi received” 

2. PRESENT

Verb form:


verb stem + 는

Examples:

  • 가다 (gada), “to go” -> 가는 (ganeun)
    • 가 (ga) + 는 (neun)
  • 먹다 (meokda), “to eat” -> 먹는 (meogneun)
    • 먹 (meok) + 는 (neun)
  • 자다 (jada), “to sleep” -> 자는 (janeun)
    • 자 (ja)  + 는 (neun)

Adjective form:


adjective stem + (으)ㄴ

Examples: 

  • 예쁘다 (yeppeuda), “to be pretty” -> 예쁜 (yeppeun)
    • 예 (ye) + 쁘 (peu) + ㄴ 
  • 좋다 (jota), “to be good” -> 좋은 (joeun)
    • 좋 (joh) + ㄴ
  • 나쁘다 (nappeuda), “to be bad” -> 나쁜 (nappeun)
    • 나쁘 (nappeu) + ㄴ

Phrase examples:

  • 지금오는 음악 (jigeum naoneun eumak) – “The music that plays now
  • 수미듣는 음악 (sumiga deudneun eumak) – “The music that Sumi is listening to

3. FUTURE

Verb and adjective form:

verb/adjective stem + (으)ㄹ

Example: 

  • 가다 (gada), “to go” -> 갈 (gal)
    • 가 (ga) + ㄹ
  • 먹다 (meokda), “to eat” -> 먹을 (meogeul)
    • 먹 (meok) + ㄹ
  • 예쁘다  (yeppeuda), “to be pretty” -> 예쁠 (yeppeul)
    • 예쁘 (yeppeu) + ㄹ
  • 좋다 (jota), “to be good” -> 좋을 (joeul)
    •   좋 (joh) + ㄹ
  • 나쁘다 (nappeuda), “to be bad” -> 나쁠 (nappeul)
    • 나쁘 (nappeu) + ㄹ

Phrase examples: 

  • 내가 먹을 라면 (naega meogeul ramyeon) – “The ramen that I will eat
  • 내가 학교 (naega gal hakgyo) – “The school I will go to

Learning Basic Korean grammar Will Help You in Many Situations.

4. Special Grammar Point 3: Simplifying Pronouns and Plurals 

Now let’s take a look at how to make a singular noun plural:

  • 국가 (gukga), “a country” / 국가 (gukga), “countries” 
  • 호수 (hosu), “a lake” /  호수들 (hosudeul), “lakes”
  • 언어 (eoneo), “a language” / 언어들 (eoneodeul), “languages” 
  • 여자 (yeoja), “woman” / 여자들 (yeojadeul), “women” 
  • 남자 (namja), “man” /  남자들 (namjadeul), “men”  

While some plural forms are the same as the singular forms, most words require that you add 들 (deul) to the end. 

By the way, Wikipedia has some useful information on how to use 들 (deul) with personal pronouns. Check it out!

5. Special Grammar Point 4: Korean Particles

You may find Korean particles tricky because there is nothing like them in the English language, and they therefore cannot be translated. But the good news is that they’re easy to learn! Here are the basic particles that you must master. 

Subject: 는 (neun) or 은 (eun)

These particles are placed after a word to indicate that it is the subject of a sentence. The rule that you need to remember is very simple: 

  • If the subject’s last syllable ends in a vowel, use 는 (neun).
  • If the subject’s last syllable ends in a consonant, use 은 (eun).

Examples:

1. Subject’s last syllable ends in a vowel: 

토끼 바나나를 먹는다. (Tokkineun bananaleul meogneunda.) – “A rabbit eats a banana.”
철수 사과를 먹는다. (Cheolsuneun sagwaleul meogneunda.) – “Cheolsu eats an apple.”

2. Subject’s last syllable ends in a consonant:

소연 밥을 먹는다. (Soyeoneun babeul meogneunda.) – “Soyeon eats some rice.”
효선 청소를 한다. (Hyoseoneun cheongsoreul handa.) – “Hyosun cleans the house.”

Check out our forum on the topic and read what others have said about it. 

Object: 를 (reul) or 을 (eul) 

These particles are placed after a word to indicate that it is the object of a sentence. The rule that you need to remember is: 

  • If the last syllable of the object ends in a vowel, use 를 (reul).
  • If the last syllable of the object ends in a consonant, use 을 (eul).

Examples:

1. Object’s last syllable ends in a vowel:

토끼는 바나나 먹는다. (Tokkineun bananaleul meogneunda.) – “A rabbit eats a banana.”
철수는 사과 먹는다. (Cheolsuneun sagwareul meogneunda.) – “Cheolsu eats an apple.”

2. Object’s last syllable ends in a consonant:

소연은 먹는다. (Soyeoneun babeul meogneunda.) – “Soyeon eats some rice.”
강아지는 마신다. (Gangajineun mureul masinda.) – A dog drinks water.”

Check out our forum page “About OBJECT PARTICLE – 을 [eul] / 를 [reul]” and learn more. 

Want to practice using more particles and conjunctions? Check out our article “Korean Conjunctions List: Essential Korean Conjunctions“!

KoreanClass101 Is Here to Help You with Your Learning!

6. Want to Learn Even More Korean Grammar Rules? We Can Help!

You learned a lot of Korean grammar rules in this article. I hope you’re not too overwhelmed! Learning a language takes time, so don’t pressure yourself by trying to learn everything in one go. Take your time to understand each grammar rule and practice it by writing a Korean diary or talking with a native Korean speaker. 

Here are some recommendations for your further studies:

Do you have a question about anything we covered today? Feel free to leave us a comment or contact us

Good luck with your studies!

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Motivational and Inspirational Korean Quotes

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We can apply quotes to so many different aspects of our lives. For example, some people read inspirational quotes to keep themselves motivated; others read them to feel better about themselves or to move forward after a hardship. 

But did you know that the benefits of reading quotes don’t end there? You can also expedite your language learning by studying popular quotes in that language. 

In this article, we’ll introduce you to many inspirational Korean quotes on various topics, from love to language learning (and everything in-between). We’ve included a mix of original Korean quotes and popular English quotes translated into Korean. Enjoy!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Korean Table of Contents
  1. Quotes About Success
  2. Quotes About Life
  3. Quotes About Time
  4. Quotes About Love
  5. Quotes About Family
  6. Quotes About Friendship
  7. Quotes About Language Learning
  8. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Improve Your Korean Skills

1. Quotes About Success

We’ll start with a few Korean quotes about success. How many of these are familiar to you in English? 

꿈이 있다면 절대 포기하지 마라.
Kkumi itdamyeon jeoldae pogihaji mara.
“If you have a dream, never give up.”

실패는 성공의 어머니이다.
Silpaeneun seonggongui eomeoniida.
“Failure is the mother of success.”

잘 될 거예요.
Jal doel geoyeyo.
“Everything will be okay.”

너는 무엇이든 할 수 있어.
Neoneun mueosideun hal su isseo.
“You can do anything.”

고생 끝에 낙이 온다. 
Gosaeng kkeute nagi onda.
“At the end of hardship comes happiness.”

항상 믿음을 유지하자.
Hangsang mideumeul yujihaja.
“Always keep the faith.”

네 꿈을 펼쳐라.

“Follow your dreams.”

나는 내 인생에서 실패에 실패를 거듭했다. 그런데 그것이 바로 내가 성공하는 이유이다.  – 마이클 조던
Naneun nae insaengeseo silpaee silpaereul geodeupaetda. geureonde geugeosi baro naega seonggonghaneun iyuida. – maikeul jodeon
“I have failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

인생은 과감한 모험이던가, 아니면 아무 것도 아니다. – 헬렌 켈러
Insaengeun gwagamhan moheomideonga, animyeon amu geotdo anida. – hellen kelleo
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

꿈을 추구하는 용기가 있다면 우리의 모든 꿈을 이룰 수 있다. – 월트 디즈니
Kkumeul chuguhaneun yonggiga itdamyeon uriui modeun kkumeul irul su itda. – wolteu dijeuni
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

인생에서 가장 나쁜 죄악은 옳은 것을 알면서도 행동하지 않는 것이다. – 마틴 루터 킹
Insaengeseo gajang nappeun joeageun oreun geoseul almyeonseodo haengdonghaji anneun geosida. – matin luteo king
“Perhaps the worst sin in life is knowing right and not doing it.” – Martin Luther King., Jr.

운이란 준비가 기회를 만나는 것이다. – 얼 나이팅게일
Uniran junbiga gihoereul mannaneun geosida. – eol naitinggeil
“Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity.” – Earl Nightingale


An Elderly Man Holding Hands with a Younger Person

Speaking with elders is a great way to get inspired, too.

2. Quotes About Life 

Life is a great mystery that people have long been trying to unravel. Here are Korean quotes on life to give you some perspective and make you think. 

우리는 행복한 줄 모르기에 행복할 줄 모른다. – 정순철 
Urineun haengbokan jul moreugie haengbokal jul moreunda. – eongsuncheol
“We don’t know how to be happy because we don’t know we are happy.”

성공한 사람을 찾아서 따라하지 말고 항상 자기 생각대로 행동하고 표현하며 스스로에게 믿음을 가져라.
Seonggonghan sarameul chajaseo ttarahaji malgo hangsang jagi saenggakdaero haengdonghago pyohyeonhamyeo seuseuroege mideumeul gajyeora.
“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”

고통이 없이는 얻는 것도 없다.
Gotongi eopsineun eonneun geotdo eopda.
“No pain no gain.”

인생은 모험이거나 아무것도 아니거나.
Insaengeun moheomigeona amugeotdo anigeona.
“Life is a venture or nothing.”

보는 것이 믿는 것이다.
Boneun geosi minneun geosida.
“Seeing is believing.”

인생은 모험이다.
Insaengeun mohomida.
“Life is an adventure.”

웃음은 최고의 명약이다.
Useumeun choegoui myeongyagida.
“Laughter is the best medicine.”

길을 아는 것과 그 길을 걷는 것은 분명히 다르다.
Gireul aneun geotgwa geu gireul geonneun geoseun bunmyeonghi dareuda.
“Knowing the road and walking the road are clearly different.”

오늘 걷지 않으면 내일 뛰어야 한다.
Oneul geotji aneumyeon naeil ttwieoya handa.
“If you don’t walk today, you must run tomorrow.”

너의 기분은 너의 태도가 되면 안된다. 
Neoui gibuneun neoui taedoga doemyeon andoenda.
“Your mood should not be your attitude.”

나 자신에게 더욱 집중하라.
Na jasinege deouk jipjunghara.
“Focus more on yourself.”

언제나 나를 1순위에 두어라.
Eonjena nareul ilsunwie dueora.
“Always put myself first.”

다른 이의 삶에 한눈팔며 살기엔 내 인생이 너무 소중하다.
Dareun iui sarame hannunpalmyeo salgien nae insaengi neomu sojunghada.
“My life is too precious to live at a glance in the lives of others.”

3. Quotes About Time

Here are a few Korean quotes about life that focus specifically on the concept of time.


jumari jjalge neukkyeojineun iyu
“The reason why weekends feel too short”

평일: 월화수목금
Pyeongil: wolhwasumokgeum
Weekdays: Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, and Fri

주말: 토일
Jumal: toil
“Weekend: Sat and Sun”

실제로 짧음.
Siljero jjalbeum.
“It is short indeed.”

시간은 금이다.
Siganeun geumida.
“Time is gold.”

로마는 하루 아침에 이루어진 것이 아니다.
Romaneun haru achime irueojin geosi anida.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day.”


A Scene from Weathering with You

Reading Korean quotes about love will put butterflies in your stomach.

4. Quotes About Love 

Are you madly in love with someone? Or maybe you’re a hopeless romantic? Either way, you’re sure to enjoy these Korean quotes on love!

내가 웃는 이유는 너야.
Naega urneun iyuneun neoya.
“You are the reason I am smiling.”

내 마음이 들리니.
Nae maeumi deullini.
“Can you hear my heart?”

내 손 잡아줄래?
Nae son jaba jullae?
“Can you hold my hand?”

세상 모두가 변해도 너만을 사랑해.
Sesang moduga byeonhaedo neomaneul saranghae.
“Even if the whole world changes, I will only love you.”

자신을 사랑하는 법을 아는 것이 가장 위대한 사랑이다.
Jasineul saranghaneun beobeul aneun geosi gajang widaehan sarangida.
“Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”

사랑 받고 싶다면 사랑하라, 그리고 사랑스럽게 행동하라. – 벤자민 프랭클린
Sarang batgo sipdamyeon saranghara, geurigo sarangseureopge haengdonghara. – benjamin peuraengkeullin
“If you would be loved, love and be lovable.” – Benjamin Franklin

우리는 오로지 사랑을 함으로써 사랑을 배울 수 있다. – 아이리스 머독
Urineun oroji sarangeul hameurosseo sarangeul baeul su itda. – airiseu meodok
“We can only learn to love by loving.” – Iris Murdoch

사랑하는 것은 천국을 살짝 엿보는 것이다. – 카렌 선드
Saranghaneun geoseun cheongugeul saljjang yeotboneun geosida. – karen seondeu
“To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven.” – Karen Sunde

사랑은 눈으로 보지 않고 마음으로 보는 거지. – 윌리엄 셰익스피어
Sarangeun nuneuro boji anko maeumeuro boneun geoji. – willieom syeikseupieo
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.” – William Shakespeare

눈에서 멀어지면, 마음에서도 멀어진다.
Nuneseo meoreojimyeon, maeumeseodo meoreojinda.
“Out of sight, out of mind.”


A Family Showing Their Tickets to a Lady at the Movie Theater Ticket Booth

There are many inspirational Korean quotes in films.

5. Quotes About Family 

What does family mean to you? Here are a few Korean quotes about family to read while you’re thinking!

상욱 씨에게 ‘가족’은 어떤 의미예요?
Sangung ssiege ‘gajok’eun eotteon uimiyeyo?
“What does ‘family’ mean to you, Sanguk?”

저에게 가족은 ‘영어’ 같아요.
Jeoege gajogeun ‘yeongeo’ gatayo.
“As for me, family is like ‘English’.”

왜요?
Waeyo?
“Why?”

마음에 있는 게 표현이 안돼.  
Maeume inneun ge pyohyeoni andwae.
“I can’t express how I feel properly.”

– 하상욱
(– Hasanguk)
– Ha Sanguk

가족은 자연의 걸작 중 하나이다.
Gajogeun jayeonui geoljang jung hanaida.
“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.”

형제는 자연이 준 친구이다.
Hyeongjeneun jayeoni jun chinguida.
“A brother is a friend given by nature.”

피는 물보다 진하다.
Pineun mulboda jinhada.
“Blood is thicker than water.”

나쁜 아내를 가진 자는 재물 속에서도 가난하다.
Nappeun anaereul gajin janeun jaemul sogeseodo gananhada.
“Who has a bad wife is poor in the midst of riches.”

부모의 의심이 자녀를 교활하게 만든다.
Bumoui uisimi janyeoreul gyohwalhage mandeunda.
“A suspicious parent makes artful children.”

가지 많은 나무에 바람 잘 날 없다. ( = 아이가 많은 집안에서 휴식은 없다. )
Gaji maneun namue baram jal nal eopda. ( = aiga maneun jibaneseo hyusigeun eopda. )
“There is no rest for a family with many children.”

피는 못 속인다.
Pineun mot soginda.
“Blood will tell.”

사방을 둘러봐도 집이 최고다.
Sabangeul dulleobwado jibi choegoda.
“East, west, home is best.”

내 집만한 곳은 어디에도 없다.
Nae jimmanhan goseun eodiedo eopda.
“There is no place like home.”


Four Women Staying Close to Each Other

6. Quotes About Friendship

Friends are some of the most important people in our lives, but how exactly do we define friendship? Check out these Korean quotes about friendship to gain some perspective!

새로 사귄 친구는 나를 설레게 하지만오래된 친구처럼 내 아프고 쓰린 눈물을 닦아줄 수는 없을 것이다.
Saero sagwin chinguneun nareul seollege hajiman oraedoen chingucheoreom nae apeugo sseurin nunmureul dakkajul suneun eopseul geosida.
“New friends make me excited, but they will not be able to wipe away my sore and bitter tears like an old friend.”

돈으로 우정을 살 순 없다.
Doneuro ujeongeul sal sun eopda.
“You can’t buy friendship with money.”

어둠 속에서 친구와 함께 걷는 것이 밝은 곳을 혼자 걷는 것보다 낫다.
Eodum sogeseo chinguwa hamkke geonneun geosi balgeun goseul honja geonneun geotboda natda.
“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”

진정한 친구는 세상 모두가 나를 떠날 때 내게로 오는 사람이다.
Jinjeonghan chinguneun sesang moduga nareul tteonal ttae naegero oneun saramida.
“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

네 이웃을 네 몸처럼 사랑하여라.
Ne iuseul ne momcheoreom saranghayeora.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

성공은 친구를 만들고, 역경은 친구를 시험한다.
Seonggongeun chingureul mandeulgo, yeokgyeongeun chingureul siheomhanda.
“Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them.”

친구라면 친구의 결점을 참고 견뎌야 한다.
Chinguramyeon chinguui gyeoljeomeul chamgo gyeondyeoya handa.
“A friend should bear his friend’s infirmities.”

누구에게나 친구는 어느 누구에게도 친구가 아니다.
Nuguegena chinguneun eoneu nuguegedo chinguga anida.
“A friend to all is a friend to none.”

친구에게 충고할 때는 즐겁게 하지 말고, 도움이 되도록 하라.
Chinguege chunggohal ttaeneun jeulgeopge haji malgo, doumi doedorong hara.
“In giving advice, seek to help, not to please, your friend.”


A Hand Holding a Korean Flag with a Stick

7. Quotes About Language Learning 

Our final category in this Korean quotes list is words of wisdom you can apply to your language learning. 

멈추지 말고 계속 해나가기만 한다면 늦어도 상관없다.
Meomchuji malgo gyesong haenagagiman handamyeon neujeodo sanggwaneopda.
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

뛰기 전에 걷는 것을 배워라.
Ttwigi jeone geonneun geoseul baewora.
“Learn to walk before you run.”

모험이 없으면, 아무 것도 얻는 것이 없다.
Moheomi eopseumyeon, amu geotdo eonneun geosi eopda.
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

학문에는 왕도는 없다. 
Hangmuneneun wangdoneun eopda.
“There is no royal road to learning.”

새로운 언어는 새로운 삶이다.
Saeroun eoneoneun saeroun salmida.
“A new language is a new life.”


8. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Improve Your Korean Skills 

In summary, we’ve introduced many quotes on a variety of topics. By now, we’re sure you’re feeling more inspired! Do you know any inspirational quotes in your language? Leave a comment below to share them with us.

KoreanClass101 provides a number of free study materials for Korean learners. If you want to learn Korean in detail or advance your Korean language skills with the help of Korean instructors, you can create your account today. You’ll be able to access all of our content and study at your convenience! 

Good luck with your Korean studies!

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Essential Korean Phrases for Business

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Do you plan on working in South Korea or visiting for a business trip? If so, it’s important that you learn the most common business Korean phrases. 

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the most essential Korean for business, so that you’ll be prepared for any situation. By the time you finish reading, you should feel more confident in your abilities to navigate a variety of workplace or business situations, from performing well in your job interview to chatting with coworkers.

Let’s get started!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Korean Table of Contents
  1. Why is it Important to Study Business Phrases?
  2. Nail Your Job Interview in Korean
  3. Business Phrases to Interact with Coworkers
  4. Business Phrases to Sound Smart in a Meeting
  5. Business Phrases to Handle Business Phone Calls & Emails
  6. Phrases for Your Business Trip
  7. Business Phrases to Greet Your Colleagues & Boss at Work
  8. It’s Important to Understand Business Etiquette in Korea

1. Why is it Important to Study Business Phrases? 

Jobs

If you’re planning to work in Korea or find a job position that requires you to speak Korean, a working knowledge of business Korean is crucial. For example, in business settings, you must use the highest politeness form to communicate with native Korean speakers; if you fail to speak business Korean, your opinions may not be heard. 

By studying business Korean, you will not only be able to work effectively with Korean colleagues, but you’ll also gain their respect. Korean business is all about building relationships and respecting each other so that you can work as a team. 

Are you ready to learn business Korean phrases with KoreanClass101? Then let’s go!

2. Nail Your Job Interview in Korean

Job Interview

Job interviews are intimidating enough in one’s native language, let alone in a foreign language! In the following sections, we’ll provide you with some practical business-level Korean for your interview.

Greetings and Introductions

Many interviewers will start by asking you to introduce yourself. As simple as it sounds, we know that self-introductions can be difficult, especially since you want to impress your interviewer.

Use the Korean phrase below to kick off your self-introduction in Korean! 

안녕하십니까. [company’s name] [name of the position] 지원자 [name]입니다.
(Annyeonghasimnikka. [company’s name] [name of the position] Jiwonja [name]imnida).
“Hello. I am [name], an applicant for [company’s name] [position].”

Always start with a greeting, because neglecting to do so will make you sound rude to the interviewer. First of all, there are two common greetings you can use:

  • The Korean business greeting 안녕하십니까 (annyeonghasimnikka) is the most commonly used.
  • Some people opt to use 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo) to sound less serious and more friendly.

Which greeting you use is totally up to you and how you want to approach the interview. In addition, you can replace 안녕하십니까 (annyeonghasimnikka) with 처음 뵙겠습니다 (cheoeum boebgessseumnida), which means “Nice to meet you.” Better yet, you can say the two phrases together!

Examples: 

안녕하십니까. 코리안클래스101 인턴 지원자 박효선입니다.
Annyeonghasimnikka. Koriankeullaeseu101 inteon jiwonja bakhyoseonimnida.
“Hello. I am Hyosun Park, an applicant for a KoreanClass101 internship.”

안녕하세요, 처음뵙겠습니다. 코리안클래스101 마케팅 지원자 매커드 미카엘입니다.
Annyeonghaseyo. Cheoeum boebgessseumnida.Koriankeullaeseu101 maketing jiwonja maekeodeu mikaelimnida.
“Hello, I am Mccard Michael, an applicant for KoreanClass101 marketing.”

Using one of these sentences is a safe way to start your self-introduction, so do memorize them. You can check out our lessons “Tell us about yourself in Korean” and “Introduce yourself in a Korean business meeting” to learn many other ways of introducing yourself in Korean. 

How to Sound Smart When Asking Questions

At the end of the interview, interviewers will ask: 

질문있으십니까?
Jilmunisseusimnikka?
“Do you have any questions?”

Or:

마지막으로 하고 싶은 말이나 궁금하신 점 있으십니까?
Majimageuro hago sipeun marina gunggeumhasin jeom isseusimnikka?
“Is there anything else you want to say?”

You can ask any questions, but the following business phrases in Korean tend to be favored by HR managers. 

이 회사에서 성공하려면 제가 지원하는 직무에서 필요한 자질은 무엇입니까?
I hoesaeseo seonggongharyeomyeon jega jiwonhaheun jikmueseo piryohan jajireun mueotimnikka?
“What qualities do I need in my job application to be successful in this company?”

이 회사에서 직원의 자기계발을 위해 어떠한 교육을 지원합니까?
I hoesaeseo jikwonui jagigyebareul wihae eotteohan gyoyugeul jiwonhamnikka?
“What training does the company support for employee self-development?”

Note that if you’re still a beginner in Korean, you should skip these phrases for now. But if you are an upper-intermediate or advanced learner, we recommend that you memorize these sentences and make the most of your chance to impress your interviewers.

A Guy Checking His Schedule for Upcoming Business Trips

3. Business Phrases to Interact with Coworkers

Building personal relationships is a crucial part of doing business in Korea. This is because Koreans believe that by turning business relationships into personal relationships, they can establish trust and build better working relationships between business partners. To facilitate this, colleagues often go out for drinks to build or maintain their relationships. 

If you go drinking or have dinner with your coworkers, you’ll have a chance to get to know your colleagues a lot better. After all, you spend more than forty hours a week at work, and you never know if some of your coworkers will turn out to be your best friends. 

Also, depending on the company’s culture, after-work drinking may be considered “extended” work, so it’s important to behave as such. This style is fading away slowly. We recommend adjusting your behavior according to the atmosphere of the event.

Here are some useful Korean business phrases for interacting with your coworkers! 

Do you want to go drinking with us?

이번주 금요일 회식할 예정인데 시간돼요?
Ibeonju geumyoil hoesikhal yejeonginde sigandwaeyo?
“We are going to have dinner next Friday, do you want to join us?

오늘 저녁 회식하려고 해요. 같이 가지 않을래요?
Oneul jeonyeok hoesikharyeogo haeyo. Gachi gaji aneullaeyo?
“We are going to have dinner tonight. Would you like to come with us?”

오늘 금요일이니까 같이 한 잔 하러 갈까?
Oneul geumyoirinikka gachi han jan hareo galkka?
“It’s Friday, shall we go drinking?” 

Of course, you can adjust the phrases above to match your circumstances. 

Examples: 

폴, 다음주 월요일 회식할 예정인데 시간돼요? 
Pol, daeumju woryoil hoesikhal yejeonginde sigandwaeyo?
“Paul, we are going to have dinner next Monday, do you want to join us?”

오늘 저녁 회식하려고 하는데, 같이 가지 않을래요? 
Oneul jeonyeok hoesikharyeogo haeyo. Gachi gaji aneullaeyo?
“We are going to have dinner this evening, would you like to go with us?”

내일 금요일이니까 같이 한 잔 하러 갈까? 
Naeil geumyoirinikka gachi han jan hareo galkka?
“Since tomorrow is going to be Friday, shall we go drinking (tomorrow)?”

Did you know that there’s a Korean gesture that means “Let’s go drink”? Check out the “Let’s Go for a Drink” section of our blog article “10 Korean Hand Gestures You Need to Know” for more details! 

Yes, I would love to!

If you don’t have any plans and want to hang out with your coworkers, you can agree to go with them by saying: 

네, 그럼요. 
Ne, geureomyo.
“Yes, of course.”

네, 시간 괜찮아요. 같이 가요. 
Ne, sigan gwaenchanayo. Gachi gayo.
“Yes, I’m available. Let’s go.” 

Now, let’s put it into context using the phrases we covered earlier:

폴, 다음주 월요일 회식할 예정인데 시간돼요? 
Pol, daeumju woryoil hoesikhal yejeonginde sigandwaeyo?
“Paul, we are going to have dinner next Monday, do you want to join us?”

네, 시간 괜찮아요. 같이 가요. 
Ne, sigan gwaenchanayo. Gachi gayo.
“Yes, I’m available. Let’s go.”

If you want to learn more Korean business phrases for accepting an invitation, check out the “Accepting an Invitation” lesson on our website. 

No, I can’t go, sorry!

You don’t have to say “yes” to every drinking-out event with your coworkers. They’ll understand if you say no, so don’t feel guilty about declining their invitation. If you have other plans, you can say: 

죄송해요, 그날 약속이 있어서 못 갈 것 같아요. 
Joesonghaeyo, Geunal yagsogi isseoseo mot gal geot gatayo.
“I am sorry, I have some plans on that day, so I won’t be able to come.” 

다음에 기회가 되면 초대해주세요. 
Daeume gihoega doemyeon chodaehaejuseyo.
“Please invite me next time you have a chance.”

너무 가고 싶지만 못 갈 것 같아요.  
Neomu gago sipjiman mot gal geot gatayo.
“I would love to go, but I can’t.” 

Let’s put it into context:

내일 금요일이니까 같이 한 잔 하러 갈까? 
Naeil geumyoirinikka gachi han jan hareo galkka?
“Since tomorrow is going to be Friday, shall we go drinking (tomorrow)?”

죄송해요, 그날 약속이 있어서 못 갈 것 같아요. 
Joesonghaeyo, Geunal yagsogi isseoseo mot gal geot gatayo.
“I am sorry, I have some plans on that day, so I won’t be able to come.”

We have study materials for “Declining an Invitation,” where we discuss this in more detail. Check it out when you have time!

Business Phrases

4. Business Phrases to Sound Smart in a Meeting

Depending on where you plan to work, there may be required business meetings. Don’t worry! In this section, we’ll introduce you to some practical Korean for business meetings. 

Shall we begin?

The business phrase below is commonly used by whoever leads the meeting. When your manager says this phrase, you can reply to him or her with 네 (ne), meaning “yes,” or simply use the silence to indirectly say that you are “ready.”

다들 모였으니, 시작할까요?
Dadeul moyeosseuni, sijakhalkkayo?
“Since everyone is here, shall we start?”

Example: 

매니저: 다들 모였으니, 시작할까요?
Maenijeo: Dadeul moyeosseuni, sijakhalkkayo?
“Since everyone is here, shall we start?”

소연: 네. 
Soyeon: Ne.
Soyeon: “Yes, please.”

Let’s think of a different situation. What if you are the one who needs to lead a meeting? The phrase below is commonly used to begin a meeting, and is versatile enough to be used with your partner, a client, or even your coworkers. 

바쁘신 와중에 시간 내주셔서 감사합니다. 그럼 시작하겠습니다.
Bappeusin wajunge sigan naejusyeoseo gamsahamnida. Geureom sijakhagessseumnida.
“Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule. Let’s get started.”

I agree with you.

네, 동의합니다.
Ne, donguihamnida.
“Yes, I agree.” 

저도 같은 생각을 가지고 있습니다.
Jeodo gateun saenggageul gajigo itsseubnida.
“I have the same idea.”

Example: 

다른 분들도 동의하시나요? 
Dareun bundeuldo donguihasinayo?
“Do you agree with me?”

네, 동의합니다. 
Ne, donguihamnida.
“Yes, I agree.”

After you’ve expressed agreement with someone’s idea, you may want to add more information or your point of view on the topic. Here’s a useful phrase for this: 

~님의 의견에 조금 더 덧붙이자면 
~nimui uigyeone jogeum deo deotbuchijamyeon
“I would like to add a little opinion to (someone)~” 

Example: 

다른 분들도 동의하시나요? 
Dareun bundeuldo donguihasinayo?
“Do you agree with me?”

네, 동의합니다. 추가로 대리님의 의견에 더 덧붙이자면… 
Ne, donguihamnida. Chugaro daerinimui uigyeone jogeum deo deotbuchijamyeon…
“Yes, I agree. I would like to add my opinion to daerinum…”

I disagree with you.

In business, it’s normal to sometimes disagree with each other. Just remember to stay calm and communicate with each other respectfully. Here are some business phrases you can use to disagree with someone during a meeting. 

죄송하지만 동의할 수 없는데요. 
Joesonghajiman donguihal su eomneundeyo.
“I am sorry, but I can’t agree with you.”

음, 그렇군요. 하지만 저는 조금 다른 생각을 갖고 있습니다.
Eum, geureokunyo. Hajiman jeoneun jogeum dareun saenggageul gatgo itseumnida.
“Hmm, right. But I have a slightly different idea.”

Example: 

다른 분들도 동의하시나요? 
Dareun bundeuldo donguihasinayo?
“Do you agree with me?”

대리님, 저는 조금 다른 생각을 갖고 있습니다.
Daerinim, jeoneun jogeum dareun saenggag-eul gatgo itsseumnida.
“I have a slightly different idea.”

아 그래요? 말씀해보세요. 
A gerlaeyo? Malsseumhaeboseyo.
“Oh, is that so? Please tell me.”

Check out the “Essential Phrases for Doing Business Successfully” vocabulary list on KoreanClass101.com. There, you’ll learn twenty Korean business phrases that you can use at work right away!

A Businesswoman Expressing Her Opinions in a Meeting

5. Business Phrases to Handle Business Phone Calls & Emails

Handling business phone calls can be daunting for non-native speakers. All of the other elements you could usually apply to understand what a person is saying—such as facial expression and body language—become invisible, and you’ll have to solely rely upon the tone of their voice. However, there is always a simple manual that you can use as guidance when handling business phone calls.

When You Pick Up the Phone

Let’s say that you’re in charge of picking up phone calls. 여보세요 (yeoboseyo), a phrase that’s commonly used in daily life to say “Hello?” is rarely used in business environments. 

Instead, you should use one of these two phrases when answering a phone call at work: 

네 [company] 입니다.
Ne [company] imnida.
“Yes, this is [company].”

네, [company] 의 [name]입니다.
Ne [company]eui [name] imnida.
“Yes, this is [company]. [Name] speaking.”

Example: 

네, 코리안클래스101의 김지연입니다. 
Ne, koriankeullaeseu101ui gimjiyeonimnida.
“Hello, this is KoreanClass101. Kim Jiyeon speaking.”

After you’ve used one of those phrases, the person who called will introduce themself as well. 

안녕하세요, [company]의 [name] 입니다. [reason] 때문에 전화드렸습니다.
Annyeonghaseyo, [company]ui [name] imnida. [reason] ttaemune jeonhwadeuryeotseumnida.
“Hello, this is [name] of [company]. I called for [reason].”

Let’s put it into context:

네, 코리안클래스101의 김지연입니다. 
Ne, koriankeullaeseu101ui gimjiyeonimnida.
“Hello, this is KoreanClass101 Kim Jiyeon speaking”

안녕하세요, ABCD의 김철수입니다. 오늘 미팅 건때문에 전화드렸습니다. 
Annyeonghaseyo, ABCDui gimcheolsuimnida. Oneul miting geonttaemune jeonhwadeuryeotseumnida.
“Hello, this is Kim Cheol-soo from ABCD. I called you for the meeting today.”

Usually, the receiver will continue the conversation with: 

아, 네 안녕하세요. 
A, ne annyeonghaseyo.
“Ah, yes hello.”

Or:

네 네 말씀하세요. 
Ne ne malsseumhaseyo.
“Yes, yes, tell me.”

Here’s a tip for you: If you find it too difficult to understand the speaker on the phone, kindly ask them to email you instead. It’s also okay to request them to send a summary of the phone call, because in practice, it’s quite common to do this in Korea. You can say:

말씀하신 내용을 이메일로 받을 수 있을까요?
Malsseumhasin naeyongeul imeillo badeul su isseulkkayo?
“Could you send the summary (or request) from the phone call to my email?” 

When Someone is Not Available for a Phone Call

When a caller wants to speak to someone else on your team, but he or she is not available due to a meeting, you can use one of these common Korean business phrases to let the caller know that he or she is not available. 

죄송하지만, [name] 은/는 지금 미팅중이세요.
Joesonghajiman, [name] eun/neun jigeum mitingjungiseyo.
“I am sorry, but [name] is in a meeting at the moment.” 

Or:

지금 미팅중이신데 메모라도 남겨드릴까요?
Jigeum mitingjungisinde memorado namgyeodeurilkkayo?
“He/she is in the meeting right now, would you like me to write a message for him/her?”

지금 미팅중이신데 전화 왔었다고 전해드릴까요?
Jigeum mitingjungisinde  jeonhwa wasseotdago jeonhaedeurilkkayo?
“He/she is in a meeting right now, would you like me to let him/her know that you called?”

Example: 

지금 미팅중이신데 메모라도 남겨드릴까요?
Jigeum mitingjungisinde memorado namgyeodeurilkkayo?
“He/she is in a meeting right now, would you like me to write a message for him/her?”

괜찮습니다. 다시 전화하겠습니다.
Gwaenchansseumnida. Dasi jeonhwahagetseumnida.
“It’s okay. I will give him/her a call again later.”

Want to learn some more business phrases to communicate effectively on the phone in Korean? Check out our lesson “Asking for Someone on the Phone” on KoreanClass101.com! 

Writing an Email

Let’s briefly cover how to write Korean business emails.

Remember, your email should start with the following sentence, or something similar:

안녕하세요, [name of the company] [name] 입니다.
Annyeonghaseyo, [company]ui [name] imnida.
“Hello, this is [name of the company] [name].”

Example: 

안녕하세요, 코리안클래스101 김지연입니다. 
Annyeonghaseyo, koriankeullaeseu101ui gimjiyeonimnida.
“Hello, this is Kim Jiyeon from KoreanClass101.”

Once you have finished the body of the email, end it with:

감사합니다.
Gamsahamnida.
“Thank you.”

[name] 드림
[name] deurim
“From [name]”

A Man Studying Business Plans

6. Phrases for Your Business Trip

When you’re traveling abroad for a Korean company, there’s normally someone who books hotels and flight tickets, and builds an itinerary for you and your team.

In this section, let’s focus on phrases for getting yourself checked into and out of your hotel. 

Checking in at a Hotel

안녕하세요, [name]으로 예약 해놨는데요.
Annyeonghaseyo, [name]euro yeyak haenwanneundeyo.
“Hello, I made a reservation under the name of [name].”

안녕하세요, 체크인을 하고 싶습니다. 
Annyeonghaseyo, chekeuineul hago sipseumnida.
“Hello, I would like to check in, please.”

Checking out of a Hotel

체크아웃을 하고 싶습니다.
Chekeuauseul hago sipseumnida.
“I would like to check out, please.”

Check out our lessons “Korean Travel Phrases” and “Going Out to Meet with a Client in South Korea” to learn more essential travel and business phrases before you head out.

Five People Having a Regular Meeting

7. Business Phrases to Greet Your Colleagues & Boss at Work

Now, let’s go into detail about how to greet in Korean business settings.

Generally, you can speak casually with your colleagues. However, you need to be able to adjust your level of politeness depending on the situation. For example, you can call your colleague by their name followed by unni outside the company building, or when you and your colleague are the only people in the meeting room. Just remember not to use that title during a meeting, as it will make you sound unprofessional. During a meeting, you must address your colleague with the proper title (e.g. daeri, gwajang, etc.).

How to Say Hello at Work

안녕하세요. 
Annyeonghaseyo.
“Hello.”

This phrase is the most commonly used greeting.

안녕하십니까. 
Annyeonghasimnikka.
“Hello.” 

This business phrase is also used, but only by new employees. You can also use this when you need to introduce yourself to your team for the first time.

Example:

[As you enter the office]

안녕하십니까. 
Annyeonghasimnikka.
“Hello.”

How to Say Goodbye at Work

There are many phrases for saying goodbye to your colleagues. It’s considered rude to leave the office without greeting your colleagues, so remember to say goodbye properly.

내일 뵙겠습니다. 
Naeil boebgessseumnida.
“See you tomorrow.” 

먼저 가보겠습니다.
Meonjeo gabogessseumnida.
“I’m going to leave first.” 

먼저 가보겠습니다. (Meonjeo gabogessseumnida.) is the most commonly used phrase. It sounds natural, and people usually reply with 내일 뵈어요 (naeil boeeoyo.) or 안녕히 가세요 (annyeonghi gaseyo).

That said, don’t be disappointed if no one responds to you; usually, people are too focused on their work and just don’t hear you.

Example:

먼저 가보겠습니다.
Meonjeo gabogessseumnida.
“I’m going to leave first.”

내일 뵈어요 
Naeil boeeoyo.
“See you tomorrow.”

How to Greet During Lunchtime

In Korea, lunchtime is usually around noon or one o’clock, and may last one or two hours depending on the company you work for. Here, you’ll learn a few phrases that you can say to your colleagues or boss at lunchtime, or when otherwise leaving the office.

[If you’re leaving the office to meet a client]

다녀오겠습니다.
Danyeogesseumnida.
“See you later (I’ll go and come back).”

[If you’re leaving the office to have lunch]

점심 먹으러 다녀오겠습니다.
Jeomsim meogeureo danyeoogesseumnida.
“I’m going for lunch.”

[If you’re replying to someone]

점심 맛있게 드세요.
Jeomsim masitge deuseyo.
“Have a great lunch.” 


A Woman in a Business Suit about to Cross a Red Finish Line

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8. It’s Important to Understand Business Etiquette in Korea

Korea’s working style and etiquette are very different from those in Western countries. Therefore, it’s important to understand Korean etiquette at work.

Although more and more companies have deployed many methods to improve the work atmosphere—such as removing job titles for a flat organizational structure—you still need to be able to read the air and adjust your behavior accordingly. Don’t worry, because these etiquette rules can be learned very quickly. Check out the pages below to learn more about business etiquette and Korean culture at work. 

By understanding these cultural differences, you’ll be able to work with Korean colleagues more effectively. Make sure to read our article on “How to Find Jobs in Korea” if you’re planning to work in South Korea one day. It explains in detail about what kind of jobs are available for foreigners and how to land your job in South Korea! 

Lastly, KoreanClass101 discusses many business-related topics where we teach you business Korean phrases, talk about work etiquette, and help you explore Korean culture. We also provide free vocabulary lists, so feel free to check out our website in your spare time.

In summary, we’ve looked at key business phrases in Korean that you can start using right away. Have a question? Feel free to leave us a comment! 

Good luck with your studies and have a great day! 

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