Get 31% OFF With The Pretty Big Deal. Ends Soon!
Get 31% OFF With The Pretty Big Deal. Ends Soon!
KoreanClass101.com Blog
Learn Korean with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Essential Korean Phrases for Business

Thumbnail

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

Learn business Korean and boost your confidence today

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! 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Korean