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Hyeon Chung Il: Memorial Day in Korea

Each year, Koreans observe their Memorial Day in commemoration of all their fallen soldiers. Memorial Day in Korea is similar to the U.S. Memorial Day, though of course with its own cultural nuances (such as the South Korean Flag meaning in ceremonies).

At KoreanClass101.com, we hope to make learning about Korean culture and holidays both fun and informative, because this may be the most vital step in being able to master the language. That in mind, keep reading for more information on Memorial Day (South Korea).

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1. What is Memorial Day to Koreans?

Have you ever heard of Memorial Day in the United States of America? It’s a day to remember those who sacrificed their lives for the country.

In Korea, there is also a day like U.S. Memorial Day, known as Korean Memorial Day (Hyeon Chung Il). In Korea, in order to honor those who lost their lives for the country, the month of June has been known as the Month of Defense of Korea and Patriots and Veterans every year since 1954.

2. When is Memorial Day in Korea?

Memorial Day on June 6

For this holiday in Korean, June 6 is when South Korea celebrates its Memorial Day.

3. Reading Practice: How is Korean Memorial Day Celebrated?

How do Koreans commemorate this June 6 holiday in Korea? Read the Korean text below to learn about the traditions that accompany Korean Memorial Day, and find the English translation directly below it.

이 때가 되면 많은 사람들이 서울에 있는 현충원을 방문합니다. 국립 서울 현충원은 나라를 위해서 목숨을 잃은 분들이 묻힌 곳인데요. 6월 6일이 되면 이곳 현충원에 독립유공자와 국군 유가족, 대통령 그리고 국가 주요 인사들이 모여서 현충일 추념식을 갖습니다.

특히 현충일 추념식 중간에 순국선열을 위해서 묵념을 하는 시간이 있는데요. 이 때에는 현충원 뿐만 아니라 전국 여기저기에서 사이렌이 울리고, 전국에 있는 모든 사람들이 함께 묵념을 합니다. 사람들은 1분간 묵념을 하면서 고인의 명복을 빌게 됩니다. 또한, 서울 광화문로와 같은 전국의 주요도로에 다니는 모든 차량도 이 1분간은 잠깐 정지하게 됩니다.

현충일이 되면 초등학교나 중학교에서도 현충일과 관련된 다양한 행사가 열립니다. 특히 현충일 글짓기 행사와 포스터 그리기 행사가 대표적인데요. 이 행사에 참가한 학생들은 한국전쟁 때 나라를 위해서 싸웠던 국군 장병의 모습을 그리고, 지금도 휴전선 근처에서 나라를 지키고 있는 군인들에게 감사의 마음을 담은 글을 적습니다.

여러분 그거 아세요? 지금도 한국은 휴전 중이기 때문에, 아직도 휴전선 근처에서는 크고 작은 전투들이 종종 일어나고 있습니다. 그래서 최근까지도 적지 않은 국군장병들이 나라를 위해서 싸우다 목숨을 잃는 경우가 종종 생기는데요. 이렇게 목숨을 잃거나 다친 사람들을 한국 사람들은 “국가유공자”라고 부릅니다.

On this day, a lot of people visit Seoul National Memorial Cemetery in Seoul. Seoul National Memorial Cemetery is the burial site of those who lost their lives for their country. On June 6th, a ceremony that honors the veterans of Korean Memorial Day is held with the bereaved families of the dead soldiers, the contributors to independence, the President, and the National Key Personnel.

In particular, there is a moment of silence in the middle of the ceremony on Korean Memorial Day, to honor the Patriotic Martyr. During the moment of silence, a siren sounds across the country as well as in the Cemetery, and everyone in the country observes a moment of silence. For one minute of silence, people pray for the repose of the deceased. Also, all vehicles on the main roads of the country, such as Gwanghwamun ro, stop for one minute for the moment of silence.

When Memorial Day is drawing near, a variety of associated events take place in elementary and junior high schools. In particular, there are representative events such as creative writing and poster drawing on Korean Memorial Day. Students who participate in these events draw the soldiers who fought for the country during the Korean War, or write to the soldiers who still defend the country near the Military Demarcation Line, to express their gratitude to them.

Did you know that large and small battles are still often happening around the Military Demarcation Line despite Korea being under a flag of truce? So, until recently, a considerable number of soldiers have lost their lives during the fight for their country. Korean people call those who lose their lives or were injured “men of National Merit” (gukgayugongja).

4. Why June 6th?

Silent Tribute by Candlelight

Do you know why Memorial Day (Korea) is on June 6th?

In Korea, a year is divided into twenty-four. In those twenty-four divisions, June 6th is the first day of the ninth period. And since old times, various sacrifices have been made on this day. That’s why the South Korean government set June 6th as Korean Memorial Day (Hyun Choong Il) when the government decided the Memorial Day in 1954.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Korean Memorial Day

South Korean Flag

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Memorial Day in South Korea!

  • 현충일 (hyeonchungil) — “Memorial Day”
  • 태극기 (taegukgi) — “Flag of South Korea”
  • 묵념 (mungnyeom) — “silent tribute”
  • 애국 (aeguk) — “patriotism”
  • 국군 (gukgun) — “national army”
  • 애국가 (aegukga) — “national anthem”
  • 순국 선열 (sunguk seonyeol) — “martyr”
  • 목숨 (moksum) — “life”
  • 6월 6일 (yuwol yugil) — “June 6th”
  • 영웅 (yeongung) — “hero”
  • 명복 (myeongbok) — “happiness in the next world”
  • 호국 (hoguk) — “defense of one’s country”
  • 국립 서울 현충원 (gungnip seoul hyeonchungwon) — “Seoul National Cemetery”
  • 조의 (joui) — “mark of respect to the dead”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Korean Memorial Day vocabulary list. Here, each word is listed alongside an audio file of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What do you think about Memorial Day in Korea? Does your country observe a Memorial Day? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about the culture of Korea, its history, and of course the Korean language, visit us at KoreanClass101.com! We believe that language-learning should be both fun and informative, something to look forward to and a steady path toward your goals. There’s something here for every learner, from free Korean vocabulary lists, insightful blog posts like this one, and an online community forum to discuss lessons with fellow students. You can also begin using our MyTeacher program by upgrading to Premium Plus!

We hope that you took away something valuable from this article, and that you’ll continue to immerse yourself in everything Korean with us. Your hard work will pay off, and we’ll be here for every step of your Korean-learning journey!

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10 Most Highly Recommended South Korean Movies 2018

The Korean entertainment industry is currently booming and the global audience for Korean films is exploding across Asia and even in Europe and North America. We looked at the most popular ratings for the newly released films from South Korea in 2018, and based on the data, we’re going to introduce you to the best Korean movies of 2018 that are certainly worth watching. If you like these movies, we also have these other recommendations:

Recommended Korean Movies

Table of Contents

  1. Why are Korean Movies Popular
  2. Can You Really Learn Korean from Korean Films?
  3. List of Must-See 2018 South Korean Films
  4. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

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1. Why are Korean Movies Popular?

Movie genres

1- Cultural Appeal

Watching foreign films lets you absorb information about a different culture. You can learn about simple things like fashion or the way people use gestures, but you can also learn more about social norms and landscapes. By watching Korean films, you’ll be able to see some glimpses of Korean culture while learning certain Korean rules such as taking off your shoes before entering the house.

2- Vocabulary Stretch

When was the first time you heard “Oppa?” It was probably when watching Korean drama or films in the past. Because some Korean words are used in everyday life, you’ll already know several key Korean words and phrases that appear most often in these films. Also, Korean films have many famous quotes so you can memorize and use them next time you’re speaking with Korean friends.

3- Fresh Factor

By human nature, we’re attracted to those who are different from us. Korean films are popular because they’re different. For example, their programming in particular is very exciting to see due to the different film techniques, plots, storylines, and so on.


2. Can You Really Learn Korean from Korean Films?

Of course! Many language learners watch dramas and movies to learn a language. It may not be the best source to use for studying grammar, but learning Korean from movies is perhaps the most effective way to gain exposure to key words and phrases that are commonly spoken in that country. In order to study the language effectively by watching films, you need to have your own language Learning Strategies. Here are the most common Korean vocabulary that you may find in the movies.

Top verbs


3. List of Must-See 2018 South Korean Films

Here’s the list of 2018 Korean language films, but before we begin, we have a question for you. Do you know how you say “movie” in Korean? Before you move onto the list, let’s study some vocabulary.

※ Click on a word to practice your Korean pronunciation.
영화 (yeonghwa) — “movie”
촬영하다 (chwallyeonghada) — “to film”
극장 (geukjang) — “theater; movie theater”

These words are commonly used by Koreans when discussing films. Also remember that if you want to receive a discount for a movie ticket in South Korea, there are many ways to cut down on your spending.

Wolf Brigade poster

1- 인랑 (illang) — “Illang: The Wolf Brigade”

Set in the distant future where both North and South Koreas agree to establish a joint government, which has been in preparation for a duration of seven years, the plot focuses on political uprisings on opposing sides which grow fierce when a special police unit is formed to stop the chaos. (imdb)

This Korean action movie was directed by 김지운 (Kim Jee-Woon) who is one of the best film directors in South Korea. His previous movies include 장화홍련 (A Tale of Two Sisters [2003]) , 좋은 놈, 나쁜 놈, 이상한 놈 (The Good, The Bad, The Weird [2008]), 악마를 보았다 (I Saw The Devil [2010]). If the film was directed by him, you can’t afford to miss its great cinematography. This Korean film is listed as one of the latest South Korean action movies of 2018.

The main characters are played by 강동원 (Gang Dong-won), 한효주 (Han Hyo-joo), and 정우성 (Jung Woo-sung) who are all well-known actors/actresses in South Korea.

Quote:

거긴 개미지옥 같은데에요
(geogin gaemijiok gateundeeyo)

한 번 들어가면 그냥 나오질 못해
(han beon deureogamyeon geunyang naojil mothae)

근데 혹시 들어보셨습니까, 인랑이라고
(geunde hoksi deureobosyeotseumnikka, illangirago)

첩보에 의하면 특기대 내 비밀리에 결성된
(cheopboe uihamyeon teukgidae nae bimillie gyeolseongdoen)

암살 부대로 알려져 있습니다.
(amsal budaero allyeojyeo itseumnida.)

Translation:

“That place is an ant-lion’s pit.
Once you go in, you can’t just come out.
By any chance have you heard of ‘Inrang?’ According to intel they’re known as an assassination team, secretly organized within the ‘special Unit’.”

Vocabulary:

※ Click on a word to practice your Korean pronunciation

  1. ~들어보셨습니까 (~deureobosyeotseumnikka) — “Have you heard of ~”
  2. 첩보 (cheopbo) — “intelligence”
  3. ~에 의하면 (~e uihamyeon) — “according to ~”
  4. 비밀리 (bimilli) — “secretly”
  5. 결성되다 (gyeolseongdoeda) — “organized”
  6. 암살 (amsal) — “assassination”
  7. 부대 (budae) — “team”
  8. 알려져 있다 (allyeojyeo itda) — “known as”

Burning poster

2- 버닝 (beoning) — “Burning”

버닝 (Beoning) is a mystery drama film directed by Lee Chang-dong. This film is based on the story Barn Burning by the famous Japanese writer, Haruki Murakami. In addition, this film was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

The film stars in this wonderful Korean mystery drama are the famous 유아인 (Yoo Ah-in) and Steven Yeun, along with the up-and-coming actress 전종서 (Jeon Jong-seo) who just started her career as an actress in 2018.

The story starts when Jong-Soo runs into Hae-mi, who used to live in his neighborhood. She asks him to take care of her cat while she’s out of town, and when she returns, she comes back with a friend named Ben whom she met during the trip. Jong-Soo senses that Ben is being extremely suspicious, and so the story continues.

Quote:

※ Let’s practice your pronunciation and reading skills with this video on YouTube.

해미: 이종수
(Haemi: Lee Jongsu)

나 모르겠어?
(na moreugesseo?)

우리 어릴 때 같은 동네 살았잖아
(uri eoril ttae gateun dongne saratjana)

나 요즘 팬터마임 배우고 있잖아
(na yojeum paenteomaim baeugo itjana)

난 내가 먹고 싶을 때 항상 귤을 먹을 수 있어
(nan naega meokgo sipeul ttae hangsang gyureul meogeul su isseo)

내가 키우는 고양이 한 마리가 있는데
(naega kiuneun goyangi han mariga inneunde)

내가 아프리카로 여행 가는 동안 네가 밥 좀 줄 수 있어?
(naega apeurikaro yeohaeng ganeun dongan nega bap jom jul su isseo?)

Translation:

Haemi: Lee Jongsu
Don’t you remember me?
We used to live in the same village.
I am learning Pantomime these days,
I can eat tangerines whenever I want.
I have a cat right now.
Can you look after my cat while traveling in Africa?”

Vocabulary:

※ Click on a word to practice your Korean pronunciation

  1. 동네 (dongne) — “village”
  2. 팬터마임 (paenteomaim) — “Pantomime”
  3. (gyul) — “tangerine”
  4. 키우다 (kiuda) — “raise”
  5. 고양이 (goyangi) — “cat”
  6. 한마리 (hanmari) — “one” (usually used when counting animals)
  7. 아프리카 (apeurika) — “Africa”
  8. 여행 (yeohaeng) — “travel”
  9. ~하는 동안 (~haneun dongan) — “while”
  10. ~해 줄 수 있어? (~hae jul su isseo?) — “Can you please ~?”

Be With You poster

3- 지금 만나러 갑니다 (jigeum mannareo gamnida) — “Be with You”

지금 만나러 갑니다 (jigeum mannareo gamnida) is a Korean romance film and is a remake of the 2004 Japanese film, which is based on a novel by Takuji Ichikawa, and stars 손예진 (Son Ye-jin) and 소지섭 (So Ji-sub). This film may be the must-watch Korean romantic movie of 2018, since 손예진 (Son Ye-jin) is in it. Considering her fame for being in many Korean romance films with heartwarming storylines, this one is guaranteed to make you cry.

Soo-ah, before passing away, makes an unbelievable promise to her husband, Woo-jin, to return one year later on a rainy day. Miraculously, she keeps her promise and reappears before her husband and son, but all her memories have disappeared. Tragically, the relief at their reunion is short-lived, because it turns out that Soo-ah has to leave her family once again. (Wikipedia)

Quote:

우진: 지호야 엄마가 왜 아무것도 기억 못하지?
(Ujin: jihoya eommaga wae amugeotdo gieok mothaji?)

우리 비밀로 할까?
(uri bimillo halkka?)

지호:왜?
(Jiho: wae?)

우진: 엄마가 충격받아서 다시 가 버리면 안되잖아
(Ujin: eommaga chunggyeokbadaseo dasi ga beorimyeon andoejana)

지호: 엄마 다시 간단 말 하지 마
(Jiho: eomma dasi gandan mal haji ma)

수아: 저기요 이렇게 해 놓고 살았어요 제가?
(Sua: jeogiyo ireoke hae noko sarasseoyo jega?)

지호: 아팠어
(Jiho: apasseo)

수아: 내가?
(Sua: naega?)

우진: 어 맞아 당신이 많이 아파서 계속 병원에 있었거든.
(Ujin: eo maja dangsini mani apaseo gyesok byeongwone isseotgeodeun.)

Translation:

Woojin: “Jiho, How doesn’t your mum remember anything?
Should we keep it as a secret?”

Jiho: “Why?”

Woojin: “It wouldn’t be nice if she gets shocked and just goes away.”

Jiho: “Please don’t ever say that she will go away.”

Sooah: “Excuse me, did I really live like this?”

Jiho: “You were sick.”

Sooah: “Me?”

Woojin: “Ah, yes, you had been really sick in the hospital.”

Vocabulary:

※ Click on a word to practice your Korean pronunciation.

  1. 기억하다 (gieokada) — “remember”
  2. 비밀 (bimil) — “secret”
  3. 충격 (chunggyeok) — “shock”
  4. 저기요 (jeogiyo) — “excuse me”
  5. 계속 (gyesok) — “continuously”

4- 공작 (gongjak) — “The Spy Gone North”

공작 (gongjak) is a 2018 South Korean spy film directed by Yoon Jong-bin, starring 황정민 (Hwang Jung-min), 이효리 (Lee Hyori), 주지훈 (Ju Ji-hoon), and 조진웅 (Cho Jin-woong).

The story follows a South Korean spy who infiltrates North Korea to obtain intelligence on the country’s nuclear weapons plans in the mid-1990s. It’s loosely based on the true story of Park Chae-seok who was a former South Korean agent.

Quote:

술이야 왔으면 가는 게 예의죠
(suriya wasseumyeon ganeun ge yeuijyo)
받지 않으면 같이 사업할 의지가 없는 것으로 받아들이겠습니다.
(batji aneumyeon gachi saeopal uijiga eomneun geoseuro badadeurigetseumnida.)

이런 얘기까지 해야 돼?
(ireon yaegikkaji haeya dwae?)
사실 제 아버지가 술 때문에 돌아가셨습니다.
(sasil je abeojiga sul ttaemune doragasyeotseumnida.)

Translation:

“It is courtesy to give the alcohol since I accepted your drink.
If you don’t accept it, I will accept it as you are not serious about our business plan.”

“I really didn’t want to say this but
My father passed away because of drinking.”

Vocabulary:

※ Click on a word to practice your Korean pronunciation.

  1. (sul) — “alcohol”
  2. 예의 (yeui) — “manner”
  3. 사업 (saeop) — “business”
  4. 의지 (uiji) — “will”
  5. ~해야 돼? (~haeya dwae?) — “Do I have to ~?”
  6. 사실 (sasil) — “actually”
  7. ~때문에 (~ttaemune) — “Because of ~”
  8. 돌아가시다 (doragasida) — “pass away”
  • Here’s the The Spy Gone North Korean movie trailer on YouTube
  • Here are more pictures from this movie

Along with the Gods poster

5- 신과 함께 - 인과 연 (singwa hamkke - ingwa yeon) — “Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days”

신과 함께 (singwa hamkke) is a fantasy action South Korean movie, directed by Kim-Yong-hwa who has also directed the famous South Korean movie 부산행 (busanhaeng or Train to Busan). The story of this film is based on a webtoon by Joo Ho-min, which has the same title as the movie: Along with the Gods.

The main characters are played by 하정우 (Ha Jung-woo), 주지훈 (Ju Ji-hoon), 김향기 (Kim Hyang-gi), 마동석 (Ma Dong-seok), and 김동욱 (Kim Dong-wook). Some of the main actors are well-known in South Korea. For example, 마동석 (Ma Dong-seok) was in 부산행 (busanhaeng or Train to Busan). 김향기 (Kim Hyang-gi) was in a South Korean fantasy romance film called 늑대소년 (neukdaesonyeon or A Werewolf Boy).

The story of this Korean movie is about three grim reapers guiding their 49th soul to the underworld trials. Meanwhile, God of House will recover the grim reapers’ memories from one-thousand years ago. This film was extremely popular, so if you like a good fantasy action film, give it a try.

Quote:

이승에 모든 인간은 죄를 짓고 산다.
(iseunge modeun inganeun joereul jitgo sanda.)

그리고, 그들 중 아주 일부만이 진정한 용기를 내어 용서를 구하고,
(geurigo, geudeul jung aju ilbumani jinjeonghan yonggireul naeeo yongseoreul guhago,)

그들 중 아주 극소수만이 진심으로 용서를 받는다.
(geudeul jung aju geuksosumani jinsimeuro yongseoreul banneunda.)

이승에 인간이 이미 진심으로 용서받은 죄를
(iseunge ingani imi jinsimeuro yongseobadeun joereul)

저승은 더 이상 심판하지 않는다.
(jeoseungeun deo isang simpanhaji anneunda.)

Translation:

“In this world, all human beings sin and live.
And, among these people, only a small portion ask sincerely for their forgiveness.
Among them, only the minimum number of people receive the forgiveness.
A person who was already forgiven in this life
afterlife has no right to judge them.”

Vocabulary:

※ Click on a word to practice your Korean pronunciation.

  1. 이승 (iseung) — “in this life”
  2. 를 짓다. (joereul jitda.) — “commit a crime”
  3. 일부 (ilbu) — “part; portion”
  4. 진정한 (jinjeonghan) — “real; true”
  5. 극소수 (geuksosu) — “the minimum number”
  6. 진심으로 (jinsimeuro) — “sincerely”
  7. 저승 (jeoseung) — “afterlife”
  8. 심판하다 (simpanhada) — “judge”
  • Here’s the Along with the Gods Korean movie trailer on YouTube
  • Here are more pictures from this movie

Believer poster

6- 독전 (dokjeon) — “Believer”

독전 (dokjeon) is a Korean action crime film directed by 이해영 (Lee Hae-young). This film is a remake version of a film called Drug War, directed by Johnnie To. This film casts many well-known Korean actors and actresses including 김주혁 (Kim Joo-hyuk), 조진웅 (Cho Jin-woong), 차승원 (Cha Seung-won), 류준열 (Ryu Jun-yeol), and 김성령 (Kim Sung-ryung), along with many more.

The story follows a low-level drug dealer who joins forces with an ambitious cop to bring down a psychotic cartel kingpin.

Quote:

※ Let’s practice your pronunciation and reading skills with this video on YouTube.

내일 20시 에이커 호텔 스위트, 상무님 모시고 바이어한테 인사드리기로 했어요.
(naeil 20si eikeo hotel seuwiteu, sangmunim mosigo baieohante insadeurigiro haesseoyo.)

그 중국 바이어가 최상급 원료를 가지고 있거든요.
(geu jungguk baieoga choesanggeup wollyoreul gajigo itgeodeunyo.)

내일 만나서 그걸 내주겠다고 약속을 받아와야 해요.
(naeil mannaseo geugeol naejugetdago yaksogeul badawaya haeyo.)

그리고 그 원료로 약을 만들어서 다시 그 바이어를 찾아가야 최종 거래가 성사됩니다.
(geurigo geu wollyoro yageul mandeureoseo dasi geu baieoreul chajagaya choejong georaega seongsadoemnida.)

이 선생은 막판이 돼야 나오겠다는 소리네
(i seonsaengeun makpani dwaeya naogetdaneun sorine)

Translation:

“I am going to meet a buyer with senior vice president at 20 o’clock in the Acce hotel.
That Chinese buyer has the best materials.
I meet him tomorrow and have to get an appointment to give it.
And then we make a drug from that ingredients and go to the buyer again.
That means Mr. Lee comes out at the last minute.”

Vocabulary:

※ Click on a word to practice your Korean pronunciation.

  1. 상무님 (sangmunim) — “a senior executive”
  2. 최상급 (choesanggeup) — “the superlative degree”
  3. 원료 (wollyo) — “material”
  4. 약속 (yaksok) — “appointment”
  5. 최종 (choejong) — “final”
  6. 거래 (georae) — “deal”
  7. 막판 (makpan) — “the last minute”

Gonjiam poster

7- 곤지암 (gonjiam) — “Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum”

Are you into horror films? Then this film is for you. 곤지암 (gonjiam) takes place in the former Gonjiam Psychiatric hospital, which is known to be one of the most haunted locations in South Korea. In 2012, CNN travel selected it as one of the freakiest places on the planet.

This Korean horror movie was directed by Jung Bum-Shik. The story centers around six people who want to do a live broadcast of their exploration of the hospital with the goal of reaching one-million viewers. But what they initially thought would be just a simple horror experience, they start to sense that something else is following them around—haunting them. If you want to watch the scariest Korean horror movie of 2018, watch this Korean horror film.

Quote:

※ Let’s practice your pronunciation and reading skills with this trailer on YouTube.

우리 여기 어떻게 들어온 거야?
(uri yeogi eotteoke deureoon geoya?)

여기 아무래도 402호인 거 같아
(yeogi amuraedo 402hoin geo gata)

여기 사람이 들어가도 되는 거야? 차가?
(yeogi sarami deureogado doeneun geoya? Chaga?)

고프로는 두 사람당 한 대씩 지급될 거예요.
(gopeuroneun du saramdang han daessik jigeupdoel geoyeyo.)

여기가 2층으로 들어가는 곤지암 정문이야
(yeogiga 2cheungeuro deureoganeun gonjiam jeongmuniya)

들어가면 죽는다.
(deureogamyeon jungneunda.)

곤지암 공포체험,
(gonjiam gongpocheheom)

지금 시작합니다.
(jigeum sijakamnida.)

귀신 살고 있다잖아
(gwisin salgo itdajana)

체험에 앞서 방송 순서를 간략히 설명해…
(cheheome apseo bangsong sunseoreul gallyaki seolmyeonghae…)

대박이야
(daebagiya)

여기 다른 데랑 레벨이 좀 다른 거 같아
(yeogi dareun derang reberi jom dareun geo gata)

여기 지금 우리 말고 다른 애들 있는 거 아니야?
(yeogi jigeum uri malgo dareun aedeul inneun geo aniya?)

Translation:

“How did I enter this place?
By the look of it, we are inside the room 402.
Are people allowed to enter here? Even cars too?
Two Gopro will be provided per person.
Here is the main door of Gonjiam that goes to the second floor.
If you go inside, you will die.
Gonjiam experience fear, is starting now.
You heard me, there is a ghost.
Before the experience, I would like to explain briefly about the broadcasting sequences…
It’s awesome
I think that the level (eeriness) of this place is a bit different compared to other places.
Aren’t there other people apart from us here right now?”

Vocabulary:

※ Click on a word to practice your Korean pronunciation.

  1. 어떻게 (eotteoke) — “how”
  2. 아무래도 (amuraedo) — “by the look of it”
  3. 지급되다 (jigeupdoeda) — “provide”
  4. 정문 (jeongmun) — “main gate”
  5. 체험 (cheheom) — “experience”
  6. 귀신 (gwisin) — “ghost”
  7. 간략히 (gallyaki) — “briefly”
  8. 대박 (daebak) — “awesome” (Korean slang word)

Accidental Detective 2 poster

8- 탐정: 리턴즈 (tamjeong: riteonjeu) — “The Accidental Detective 2: In Action”

탐정: 리턴즈 (tamjeong: riteonjeu) is a Korean crime comedy film and sequel to the previous film 탐정: 더 비기닝 (The Accidental Detective). The film was directed by Lee Eon-hee and the main characters are played by 권상우 (Kwon Sang-woo), 성동일 (Sung Dong-il), and 이광수 (Lee Kwang-soo).

The story continues from the previous movie, so try to watch it before moving on to the second part of the story in this film. A Sherlock maniac 강대만 (gangdaeman) and Gwangyeok detective 노태수 (notaesu) finally open a detective agency and 여치 (yeochi), who used to work in a statistical analysis of a cyber crime agency, also joined the team. They expect to have many unsolved cases, but it doesn’t go as they expect. After a long wait, they receive a request which is worth fifty-million KRW as a reward. And so begins the story.

Quote:

※ Let’s practice your pronunciation and reading skills with this video on YouTube.

남자: 형사님은 여자랑 사귀다가 헤어지면,
(Namja: hyeongsanimeun yeojarang sagwidaga heeojimyeon)

그 여자 집에 막 불지르고 그럽니까.
(geu yeoja jibe mak buljireugo geureomnikka)

형사: 근데 왜 거기 있었어?
(Hyeongsa: geunde wae geogi isseosseo?)

남자: 사우나 갔다가 돌아오는 길이었다니까요.
(Namja: sauna gatdaga doraoneun girieotdanikkayo)

대만: 사우나? 몇시에?
(Dae-man: sauna? Myeotsie?)

남자: 열두시반쯤에 갔다가 한 한시간 정도 했을 거예요.
(Namja: yeoldusibanjjeume gatdaga han hansigan jeongdo haesseul geoyeyo.)

대만: 불은 언제 났늗네?
(Dae-man: bureun eonje nanneunne?)

형사: 근데 널 기억하는 사람이 한명도 없는게 말이돼?
(Hyeongsa: geunde neol gieokaneun sarami hanmyeongdo eomneunge maridwae?)

대만: 알았어 입다물고 있을게요.
(Dae-man: arasseo ipdamulgo isseulgeyo)

형사: 가라 좀.
(Hyeongsa: gara jom)

Translation:

Man: “So if you (detective) date and break up with someone,
do you just start a fire in her house?”

Detective: “Then why were you there?”

Man: “I was walking back from a sauna.”

Dae-man: “Sauna? At what time?”

Man: “I went there about 12:30 and stayed about an hour.”

Dae-man: “When did the fire start?”

Detective: “But there was no one who remembers you, does it make sense to you?”

Dae-man: “Okay, okay I will shut my mouth.”

Detective: “Please, just go.”

Vocabulary:

※ Click on a word to practice your Korean pronunciation.

  1. 형사 (hyeongsa) — “detective”
  2. 사귀다 (sagwida) — “be in a relationship”
  3. 헤어지다 (heeojida) — “break up”
  4. 사우나 (sauna) — “sauna”
  5. 기억하다 (gieokada) — “remember”
  6. ~게 말이돼? (~ge maridwae?) — “Does ~ make sense to you?” (or “It doesn’t make sense”)
  7. ~을 거예요. (~eul geoyeyo.) — “I assume that~”
  • Here’s the The Accidental Detective 2 Korean movie trailer on YouTube
  • Here are more pictures from this movie

Little Forest poster

9- 리틀 포레스트 (riteul poreseuteu) — “Little Forest”

The story of 리틀 포레스트 (riteul poreseuteu) revolves around the main character, Hye Won, who gets tired of her difficult life in the city and moves back to her hometown in the countryside. She heals her emotional wounds with the help of her long-time friends, nature, and food. The story is based on the manga series Little Forest by Igarashi Daisuke.

The main characters are played by 김태리 (Kim Tae-ri), 류준열 (Ryu Jun-yeol), 문소리 (Moon So-ri), and 박원상 (Park Won-sang). To add more information, 김태리 (Kim Tae-ri) is currently acting as a main character in the Korean drama called Mr. Sunshine (as of 2018). 문소리 (Moon So-ri) was in a Korean drama called 푸른바다의 전설 (pureunbadaui jeonseol or Legend of the Blue Sea). Lastly, 류준열 (Ryu Jun-yeol) has appeared in a number of films and dramas in the past few years, and the most famous of his Korean dramas was 응답하라1988 (eungdapara1988 or Reply 1988).

Due to the dialogue between characters in this Korean movie, it may be one of the best Korean movies for beginners.

Quote:

※ Let’s practice your pronunciation and reading skills with this video on YouTube.

은숙: 야, 너 갑자기 왜 온거야?
(Eunsuk: ya, neo gapjagi wae ongeoya?)
남자친구는? 걔도 붙었냐?
(namjachinguneun? gyaedo buteonnya?)

혜원: 응…
(Hyewon: eung…)

은숙:아, 알겠다. 시험 떨어지시고 남자친구는 붙고 으이그
(Eunsug: a, algetda. siheom tteoreojisigo namjachinguneun butgo euigeu)

혜원: 그게 아니고…나 배고파서 내려왔어
(Hyewon: geuge anigo…na baegopaseo naeryeowasseo)

은숙: 배가 아파서가 아니라?
(Eunsuk: baega apaseoga anira?)

혜원: 진짜 배고파서…
(Hyewon: jinjja baegopaseo…)

Translation:

Eunsuk: “Hey, what made you come suddenly?
How about your boyfriend? He passed (the exam)?”

Hyewon: “Yeah…”

Eunsuk: “Ah, I know. You failed, but your boyfriend passed the exam. Oh my.”

Hyewon: “You got me wrong. I came here because I am hungry.”

Eunsuk: “Not because you feel jealous?”

Hyewon: “I felt really hungry..”

Vocabulary:

※ Click on a word to practice your Korean pronunciation.

  1. 갑자기 (gapjagi) — “suddenly”
  2. (시험에) 붙다 ([siheome] butda) — “pass (the exam)”
  3. (시험에)떨어지다 ([siheome] tteoreojida) — “fail the exam”
  4. 배가 아프다 (baega apeuda) — Direct translation: “Having a stomach” but in this dialogue, it means “you are feeling jealous.”
  5. 배고프다 (baegopeuda) — “feeling hungry”
  6. 으이그 (euigeu) — “oh my”

Keys to the Heart poster

10- 그것만이 내 세상 (geugeonmani nae sesang) — “Keys to the Heart”

그것만이 내 세상 (geugeonmani nae sesang) is a Korean comedy-drama film directed by Choi Sung-hyun, starring famous celebrities such as 이병헌 (Lee Byung-hun), 윤여정 (Youn Yuh-jung), and 박정민 (Park Jung-min).

As you may already know, 이병헌 (Lee Byung-hun) appeared in many Korean dramas and movies, one of his recent Korean drama appearances being in 미스터 선샤인 (miseuteo seonsyain) or “Mr. Sunshine.” 윤여정 (Youn Yuh-jung) is another famous Korean actress, in such famous Korean movies as 돈의 맛 (donui mat) or “The Taste of Money” and 하녀 (hanyeo) or “The Housemaid.”

The story of this highly recommended Korean film follows a washed-up boxer who reunites with his estranged brother, a pianist with savant syndrome. It shows their daily life and the struggles that they go through. But despite these struggles, it’s a very heartwarming film.

Quote:

진태: 드라이빙 잘해요
(Jintae: deuraibing jalhaeyo)

조하: 니가?
(Joha: niga?)

진태: 네
(Jintae: ne)

조하: 아 저거저거저거? 게임?
(Joha: a jeogeojeogeojeogeo? Geim?)

진태: 네
(Jintae: ne)

조하: 아이고 못하는게 어디있냐 니가
(Joha: aigo mothaneunge eodiinnya niga)

진태: 네
(Jintae: ne)

조하: 덥다야 에어컨 좀 틀어봐
(Joha: deopdaya eeokeon jom teureobwa)
야 뭐해 이리 줘봐
(ya mwohae iri jwobwa)

진태: 고장났어요
(Jintae: gojangnasseoyo)

조하: 아이 새끼야 아까 얘기하던가
(Joha: ai saekkiya akka yaegihadeonga)

Translation:

Jintae: “I’m good at driving.”

Joha: “You?”

Jintae: “Yes”

Joha: “Ah, that one? The game?”

Jintae: “Yes”

Joha: “Oh my, there’s nothing that you are not good at.”

Jintae: “Yes.”

Joah: “It’s really hot, can you turn on the aircon?
What the hell are you doing, give it to me.”

Jintae: “It’s broken.”

Joha: “Hey moron, you should have told me before.”

Vocabulary:

※ Click on a word to practice your Korean pronunciation.

  1. ~잘해요 (~jalhaeyo) — “I am good at ~”
  2. 덥다 (deopda) — “feeling hot”
  3. 뭐해 (mwohae) — “what are you up to?”
  4. 에어컨 (eeokeon) — “air conditioning”
  5. 고장 (gojang) — “broken”
  6. 새끼야 (saekkiya) — “jerk”
  7. 아까 (akka) — “a little while ago”
  • Here’s the Keys to the Heart Korean movie trailer on YouTube
  • Here are more pictures from this movie


4. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

In summary, KoreanClass101 introduced the top ten Korean films from 2018. There are many Korean movies on Netflix as well, so if you have an account, browse through the Korean list. What’s your favorite Korean film? Leave us a comment below and share with us what you think of that film.

We also have several more “best Korean films of all time” for you to check out. Also, we have a free article on Words and Phrases for Enjoying the Cannes Film Festival for you too. Hopefully these will give you helpful info as well as guide you through learning the Korean language.

Lastly, KoreanClass101 offers many free lessons for Korean learners. Here, you can learn 15 Ways to Study Korean for FREE with KoreanClass101 to maximize your Korean studies with KoreanClass101. So feel free to navigate our website and download our free Korean study materials.

Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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어버이 날: How to Celebrate Parents’ Day in South Korea

How much do you express gratitude to your parents? Usually, people seldom express how thankful they are to their parents. That’s why there’s a day in South Korea for exactly this. It’s Parents’ Day, or 어버이 날 (Eobeoi Nal). Eobeoi means “parents,” both mother and father.

Parents’ Day largely reflects South Korea’s culture, particularly the concept of filial piety so prevalent here (though it is weakening). Thus, taking the time to learn about it will greatly increase your working knowledge of Korean culture. This, in turn, will improve your language skills and give you a greater respect for the country of your target language.

At KoreanClass101.com, we hope to make your learning experience both fun and insightful as you discover all about Korean Parents’ Day!

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1. What is National Parents’ Day in Korea?

At its core, National Parents’ Day is meant to a time to both celebrate and show respect for one’s parents. It’s also a day of gratitude of thanksgiving for all that one’s parents have done for them—parents do make a lot of sacrifices that we sometimes take for granted, don’t they?

Do you remember which national holiday is held on May 5th? It’s Children’s Day, right? Children’s Day and Parents’ Day both take place in May, so this month is called “the Month of Family.”

2. When is it?

Parents' Day is on May 8

In Korea, Parents’ Day is celebrated each year on May 8.

3. Reading Practice: How is it Celebrated?

Children Showing Affection to Mother

On Parents Day, Koreans seek to honor their parents. So how do they do this? How is Parents’ Day celebrated in South Korea? Read the Korean text below to find out, and find the English translation directly below it.

어버이날 하면 한국에서는 ‘카네이션’을 가장 먼저 떠올립니다.

한국에서는 5월 8일이 다가오면 학생들이 미술 시간에 색종이로 빨간 카네이션을 만드는데요. 아이들은 어버이날이 되기 전 직접 만든 카네이션 모형을 감사편지와 함께 준비합니다.

그리고 어버이날이 되면 이 카네이션을 부모님 가슴에 달아드리고 감사편지를 전달해드린다고 하네요.

어른이 되면 어렸을 때보다 부모님과 함께하는 시간이 적어지기 마련입니다. 그래서 어버이날이 되면 부모님을 찾아뵙고 함께 식사를 하는데요. 오랜만에 부모님과 식사를 하고 평소 부모님께서 갖고 싶었던 선물이나 상품권을 드리며 감사의 마음을 전하곤 합니다.

한국에서는 어버이날을 위한 특별한 노래가 있습니다. 초중고등학교에서는 어버이날이 되면 어머니와 아버지를 초청해서 어버이날 기념식을 여는데요. 이때에는 학생들이 다 함께 모여서 부모님께 ‘어버이날 노래’를 불러드립니다. 어버이날 노래 가사 중에는 ‘하늘 아래 그 무엇이 넓다 하리오. 어머님의 희생은 가이없어라’라는 내용이 있는데요. 하늘만큼 넓은 것이 바로 부모님의 사랑이라는 의미입니다.

In South Korea, usually the first thing that comes to mind about Parents’ Day is carnation flowers.

As May 8th approaches in South Korea, students make red carnations in art class. Before Parents’ Day, kids usually write a letter of thanks to go with the carnations they made.

And, on the day, they put the carnations on their parents’ chests and give them a letter of gratitude.

It’s natural to spend less time with your parents as you’re getting older. That’s why people visit their parents and have a meal with them on Parents’ Day. Usually, they have dinner with their parents, who they haven’t had a meal with for a long time, give them a gift or the gift certificates they wanted, and express their thanks.

There’s a special song for Parents’ Day in South Korea. In elementary, middle, and high schools, they invite their parents and hold a Parents’ Day Ceremony. During this event, the students gather together and sing the Parents’ Day song to their parents. One of the lyrics is “What else can be called as big under the sky. Mother’s sacrifices are endless.” It means that parents’ love is as big as the sky.

4. Additional Information: Origins

Do you know what country first started Parents’ Day?

The Korean Parents’ Day has roots in Mothers’ Day from the United States. In the U.S, it started out as a lady giving white carnations to people in remembrance of her mother. Later, when it came to South Korea, it changed to the day when people give red carnations to both parents as a Parents’ Day gift and show their gratitude to both mother and father.

5. Must-know Vocab

Reading a letter

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Parents’ Day in Korea!

  • 편지 (pyeonji) — “letter”
  • 가족 (gajok) — “family”
  • 어버이 날 (Eobeoi nal) — “Parents’ Day”
  • 아이 (ai) — “child”
  • 카네이션 (kaneisyeon) — “carnation”
  • 효도여행 (hyodoyeohaeng) — “tour for parents”
  • 공경 (gonggyeong) — “respect”
  • 어버이날 선물 (eobeoinal seonmul) — “Parents’ Day gift”
  • 부모님 (bumonim) — “parent”
  • 5월 8일 (owol paril) — “May 8th”
  • 호의 (houi) — “favor”
  • 어르신 (eoreusin) — “elderly”
  • 효자 (hyoja) — “devoted son”
  • 효녀 (hyonyeo) — “devoted daughter”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Korean Parents’ Day vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What do you think of Korea’s celebration of Parents’ Day? Does your country have a similar holiday? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about Korean culture and the language, visit us at KoreanClass101.com. Here, you’ll find all the study tools you need to master Korean, from free vocabulary lists to insightful blog posts on an array of topics. You can also use our online forum to discuss lessons with fellow students, or even upgrade to a Premium Plus account and take advantage of our MyTeacher program to learn Korean one-on-one with your own personal teacher!

You’ve put a lot of effort into learning Korean, and you’ll be so glad you did once you begin the reaping the seeds you sowed! You’ll be speaking Korean like a native before you know it, and KoreanClass101.com will be here with you for every step of your journey there.

Be sure to wish your parents a Happy Parents’ Day in Korean and start brainstorming Parents’ Day gift ideas! Best wishes.

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Best Korean TV Shows to Learn Korean

When it comes to learning a language, everyone wants to know what the best way to learn that language quickly is. It’s the same for our Korean learners; they want to know how to study the Korean language effectively. Here, we’re going to give you some tips on how to do this—namely through watching the best Korean variety shows.

Watching Korean TV shows can be a very useful supplement for Korean learners because some of the TV shows are very entertaining, and will give you opportunity to learn phrases that are commonly used in Korea. Moreover, watching TV shows with subtitles in Korean will certainly help you improve your vocabulary and your ability to understand the language. Today, KoreanClass101 will introduce ten famous Korean TV shows to help you learn Korean effectively.

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Table of Contents

  1. Benefits of Watching Korean TV Shows
  2. How to Practice Korean While Watching Korean TV Shows
  3. 10 Korean Variety Show Recommendations
  4. How to Study the Korean Language with KoreanClass101

1. Benefits of Watching Korean TV Shows

So, what are the benefits of watching Korean TV shows? If you’re a Korean language learner, it may be challenging for you to learn Korean by watching Korean variety shows, therefore it’s strongly recommended to learn from basic Hangul and learn how combinations of different consonants and vowels make the sounds. Start off by studying basic Hangul and slowly move onto learning other basic expressions such as self-introductions. If you’re an intermediate learner, you’ll find that Korean TV shows are a great source to use to practice speaking, reading, and listening. Also:

  • It’s entertaining and is one of the best ways to learn Korean.

Each South Korean TV show has its unique style. Therefore, depending on your interests, you can improve your vocabularies and expressions from TV shows. For example, if you want to understand how Koreans tease each other and want to learn more about Korean humor, watching Radio Star may help you meet your goals.

Also, the expressions that you learn in school may not be used in daily life in Korea, so if you want to learn “Real Korean Language” including slang words (e.g.일욜 or “shorten words for Sunday”), then the Korean reality show called 나 혼자 산다 (na honja sanda) or “I Live Alone” may help you understand how Koreans express themselves in daily life.

  • You’ll stay in touch with the trends in Korea.

South Korean TV shows always invite various celebrities, from singers, actors/actresses, comedians, and even Hollywood celebrities! For example, when a new film is released, you’ll most likely see celebrities from that film in these popular Korean variety shows. If you watch Korean TV shows, you’ll definitely be in touch with the most current trends.

2. How to Practice Korean While Watching Korean TV Shows

Everyone has their own techniques for studying Korean. Here are some of the most popular methods:

  1. Write down words or expressions that you don’t understand.
  2. Practice speaking and pronunciation repetitively.
  3. Replay the show, but focus on mimicking the words and annotations.

And so on. There are more techniques that you can help you learn Korean effectively and efficiently. If you have your own Language Learning Strategies, they’ll certainly help you study smarter and faster than others.

Let’s take a look at our list of famous South Korean TV shows. We’ve prepared a brief explanation of each TV show; if you’re interested to know even more details, click on the title of the show, and it will direct you to the Wikipedia page.

3. 10 Korean Variety Show Recommendations

So what are the most famous variety shows in Korea? We looked at Korean variety show ratings and now we’re going to introduce ten famous Korean TV series to help you learn Korean!

1- 라디오 스타 (radio seuta) — “Radio Star”

Radio Star

Korean TV show information:
Period: 5/30/2007 ~ present (as of 2019)
Channel: MBC

Why should you watch this Korean series?
Radio Star is a South Korean talk show hosted by Kim Gook-Jin, Yoon Jong-Shin, Kim Gura, and Cha Tae-hyun. The first episode aired on the 30th of May, 2007. Radio Star invites four to six guests every week for the talk show, and most of the time the hosts ask difficult questions that cause panic in the guests. Guests are aware of this, so they usually answer the questions in a humorous way, which is the whole point of this talk show.

Due to the nature of the talk show, top celebrities aren’t fond of being featured here. However, some less-famous celebrities became extremely popular after showing up on this Korean TV show because of their sense of humor, as well as their interesting and personal stories.

Korean TV show website: http://www.imbc.com/broad/tv/ent/goldfish/
YouTube video: Do you want to watch just a little bit of the show? You can watch some videos here.

Korean phrases and quotes:

  • 알아서 좋은 인연이 들어와요. (araseo joeun inyeoni deureowayo.)
    • “A good relationship will naturally come to you.”
  • 내가 번 돈 내가 안 쓰면 누가 꼭 쓴다. (naega beon don naega an sseumyeon nuga kkok sseunda.)
    • “If I don’t spend my own money, someone else will spend it all.”
  • 큰 일보다는 사소한 일에 신경을 많이 써라. (keunil bodaneun sasohan ire singyeongeul mani sseora.)
    • “Pay attention to small things not only to big things.”

Must-know Korean vocabularies:

  • 좋은 인연 (joeun inyeon) : “a good relationship”
  • 들어오다 (deureooda): “to come in”
  • 안 쓰다 (an sseuda) : opposite meaning of 쓰다 (sseuda) meaning “to use”
  • 번 돈 (beon don): “money earned by hard working”
  • …보다는 (…bodaneun): “…rather than”
  • 사소한 일 (sasohan il): “a mere trifle”
  • 신경 쓰다 (singyeong sseuda): “to show concern”
  • 많이 (mani): “much; lots; plenty”

2- 나 혼자 산다 (na honja sanda) — “I Live Alone”

I Live Alone

Korean TV show information:
Period: 3/22/2013 ~ present (as of 2019)
Channel: MBC

Why should you watch this Korean series?
It’s a South Korean television entertainment program aired every Friday from 11:10 pm to 12:50 am. I Live Alone broadcasts famous celebrities’ everyday lives, such as what they do and eat at home and their daily schedule including who they meet and so on. You’ll be surprised to see how transparent they are, and eventually you’ll come to realize that even the lives of famous celebrities are somewhat similar to our own. What makes this TV show popular in South Korea is that we can really relate to some of the personal troubles that these famous celebrities go through (e.g. dealing with debts, the death of a beloved pet, etc.).

Korean TV show website: http://www.imbc.com/broad/tv/ent/singlelife/index.html
YouTube video: Do you want to watch just a little bit of the show? You can watch some videos here.

Korean phrases and quotes:

  • 클락션은 싸움만 만들 뿐. (keullaksyeoneun ssaumman mandeul ppun.)
    • “You will most likely end up in a fight when you honk too much.”
  • 욕심이 많아지면 행복하자는 소원을 빈다. (yoksimi manajimyeon haengbokajaneun sowoneul binda.)
    • “When you become greedy, you end up making a wish to be happy.”
  • 초심을 잃지 말자. (chosimeul ilchi malja.)
    • “Let’s not forget our humble beginnings.”

Must-know Korean vocabularies:

  • 클락션 (keullaksyeon): “Honk; Klaxon”
  • 싸움 (ssaum): “fight”
  • 만들다 (mandeulda): “to make”
  • 욕심 (yoksim): “greed”
  • 많아지면 (manajimyeon): “to pile up”
  • 소원을 빌다 (sowoneul bilda): “make a wish”
  • 초심 (chosim): “one’s first intention”
  • 잃다 (ilta): “to lose”

3- 런닝맨 (reonningmaen) — “Running Man”

Running Man

Korean TV show information:
Period: 7/11/2010 ~ present (as of 2019)
Channel: SBS

Why should you watch this Korean series?
Running Man is an SBS Korean variety show, and is one of the longest-running Korean game shows in South Korea. The rule of the game is that Running Man contestants wear a nametag on their back while playing the game. Their main goal is to take off all the contestants’ nametags until one person is left. It may sound easy, but it’s not, because contestants also need to perform various tasks in order to win the game and sometimes you have no choice but to betray your own team. This survival game is very addictive and entertaining! Also, it’s a Korean variety show that invites and features a lot of idols from all over the world.

Korean TV show website: http://programs.sbs.co.kr/enter/runningman/
YouTube video: Do you want to watch just a little bit of the show? You can watch some videos here.

Korean phrases and quotes:

  • 포기하는 거야, 지금? 뭐가 그렇게 무섭다고 도전을 안해 (pogihaneun geoya, jigeum? mwoga geureoke museopdago dojeoneul anhae)
    • “Are you giving up, now? Why are you not even challenging yourself.”
  • 카메라 앞에서는 무엇을 해도 용서가 되지만 카메라가 꺼졌을 때에도 똑같이 행동하면 안된다 (kamera apeseoneun mueoseul haedo yongseoga doejiman kameraga kkeojyeosseul ttaeedo ttokgachi haengdonghamyeon andoenda)
    • “Whatever you do in front of the camera, you will be forgiven, but you should not act the same when the camera is turned off.”

Must-know Korean vocabularies:

  • 포기 (pogi): “give up”
  • 무섭다 (museopda): “scared”
  • 도전 (dojeon): “challenge”
  • 용서 (yongseo): “forgiveness”
  • 행동 (haengdong): “behavior”

4- 대국민 토크쇼 안녕하세요 (daegungmin tokeusyo annyeonghaseyo) — “Hello Counselor”

Hello Counselor

Korean TV show information:
Period: 11/20/2010 ~ present (as of 2019)
Channel: KBS2

Why should you watch this Korean series?
대국민 토크쇼 안녕하세요 (“Hello Counselor”) aims to help people take down communication barriers by sharing their personal life stories. The hosts try to evaluate the situation that a person’s going through and give advice. The hosts and guests try to do this is the most humorous way possible. At the end of the show, people on the stage vote on whether the problem which was addressed is severe and needs some “real” help or not. This Korean TV show invites many idols and famous celebrities, too.

Korean TV show website: http://program.kbs.co.kr/2tv/enter/hello/pc/
YouTube video: Do you want to watch just a little bit of the show? You can watch some videos here.

Korean phrases and quotes:

  • 여러분의 말 못할 고민을 응원해 드립니다. (yeoreobunui mal mothal gomineul eungwonhae deurimnida.)
    • “We will support your worries.”
  • 육아는 도와주는 게 아니라 같이 하는 것. (yuganeun dowajuneun ge anira gachi haneun geot.)
    • “Parenting is not helping, it is doing together.”

Must-know Korean vocabularies:

  • 여러분 (yeoreobun): “everybody”
  • 말 못할 (mal mothal): “something that you cannot say to people”
  • 고민 (gomin): “worries”
  • 응원 (eungwon): “cheering”
  • 육아 (yuga): “infant care”
  • 도와주다 (dowajuda): “to support”
  • 같이 하는 것 (gachi haneun geot): “to do things together”

5- 언프리티 랩스타 (Eonpeuriti Raepseuta) — “Unpretty Rapstar”

Unpretty Rapstar

Korean TV show information:
Period:1/29/2015 ~ present (as of 2019)
Channel: Mnet

What is it about?: 언프리티 랩스타 (Eonpeuriti Raepseuta) or “Unpretty Rapstar” is a rap competition reality show in South Korea, featuring only female rappers. One thing about this show that’s interesting is that in the first few episodes, show contestants introduce themselves through the same beat. Contestants need to win missions such as stage performance or “do diss” battle, in which contestants battle one-on-one with another rapper. This Korean competition TV show was famous already, but it became even more popular after the appearance of Jessi.

Korean TV show website: http://mnettv.interest.me/unprettyrapstar3/main
YouTube video: Do you want to watch just a little bit of the show? You can watch some videos here.

Korean phrases and quotes:

  • 너희가 뭔데 날 판단해? (neohuiga mwonde nal pandanhae?)
    • “Who are you to judge me?”
  • 각오 단단히 하고 나와라 아님 나 못이길테니까. (gago dandanhi hago nawara anim na mosigiltenikka.)
    • “Brace yourselves, everybody or you will not win me.”
  • 우린 팀이 아니야 이건 경쟁이야 (urin timi aniya igeon gyeongjaengiya)
    • “We are not a team. This is a competition.”

Must-know Korean vocabularies:

  • 우린 (urin): “we are”
  • 판단하다 (pandanhada): “judge”
  • 각오 (gago): “determination”
  • 아님 (anim): short for 아니다 (anida) or “not”
  • 팀 (tim): “team”
  • 이건 (igeon): “this is”
  • 경쟁 (gyeongjaeng): “competition”

6- 냉장고를 부탁해 (Naengjanggo-reul Butakhae) — “Please Take Care of My Refrigerator”

Please Take Care of My Refrigerator

Korean TV show information:
Period: 11/17/2014 ~ present (as of 2019)
Channel: JTBC

Why should you watch this Korean series?
Are you into cooking shows? Do you want to enjoy watching top chefs in Korea competing against each other by using limited resources from the fridge of a famous celebrity? 나의 냉장고를 부탁해 (Naengjanggo-reul Butakhae) or “Please Take Care of My Refrigerator” is a Korean cooking show starring various chefs and celebrity guests.

The really fun part of this show is that you’ll get to see a celebrity’s fridge—INSIDE. What better way to get a glimpse of the lifestyle of a celebrity? In this Korean reality show, two hosts open the fridge and investigate inside. The guests will come up with a theme for the cooking competition and the chefs have to cook the desired dishes within a limited amount of time with the ingredients available from the fridge. The host will taste the dishes and will decide who wins that cooking competition.

Korean TV show website: http://tv.jtbc.joins.com/replay/pr10010331/pm10026684
YouTube video: Do you want to watch just a little bit of the show? You can watch some videos here.

Korean phrases and quotes:

  • 가끔 음식 먹다 보면 엄마가 생각나나 봐요? (gakkeum eumsik meokda bomyeon eommaga saenggangnana bwayo?)
    • “Sometimes when you eat food, does this remind you of your mom?”

Must-know Korean vocabularies:

  • 가끔 (gakkeum): “sometimes”
  • 엄마 (eomma): “mother”
  • 생각나다 (saenggangnada): “to think”

7- 비정상회담 (Bijeongsanghoedam) — “Abnormal Summit”

Abnormal Summit

Korean TV show information:
Period: 7/07/2014 ~ 12/04/2017
Channel: JTBC

Why should you watch this Korean series?
비정상회담 (Bijeongsanghoedam) or “Abnormal Summit” is a South Korean TV show on JTBC which was aired on the 7th of July in 2014. It’s a debate show where people from different countries gather to discuss a topic in Korea. You’ll be surprised to see how fluent their Korean is; this TV show is a great source to learn many expressions in Korean.

Also, since it’s a debate show, it’s fascinating to see contestants with completely different views about a topic and debate passionately. A new guest is invited (usually a famous Korean celebrity or politician) every episode to introduce the debate topic. This TV show ended in 2017, and there is no set date for a new season. You can watch this Korean TV show on Netflix.

Korean TV show website: http://tv.jtbc.joins.com/nonsummit
YouTube video: Do you want to watch just a little bit of the show? You can watch some videos here.

Korean phrases and quotes:

  • 자기가 좋아하는 일을 하세요. (jagiga joahaneun ireul haseyo.)
    • “Do what you love.”
  • 성공이 무엇인지 한 가지로 정의 된 것은 없습니다. (seonggongi mueosinji han gajiro jeongui doen geoseun eopseumnida.)
    • “There is no universal definition of ‘success.’”

Must-know Korean vocabularies:

  • 좋아하는 일 (joahaneun il): “self-imposed work”
  • 성공 (seonggong): “success”
  • 무엇 (mueot): “what”
  • 정의 (jeongui): “definition”
  • 없다 (eopda): “there is no…”

8- 미스터리 음악쇼 복면가왕 (Miseuteori Eumaksyo Bokmyeon-gawang) — “King of Mask Singer”

King of Mask Singer

Korean TV show information:
Time: Sundays @ 4:50 pm
Period: 4/05/2015 ~ present (as of 2019)
Channel: MBC

What is this Korean reality show about?
미스터리 음악쇼 복면가왕 (Miseuteori Eumaksyo Bokmyeon-gawang) or “King of Mask Singer” is a
Korean singing show. Contestants wear a mask in order to hide their identity from the audience and the judges of the show. Since the singers cannot be identified, you’re better able to really enjoy the pure talent of the contestants.

Each round, two contestants compete against each other in three elimination rounds. Losing contestants will reveal their identity by taking off their masks while singing their last song, and this is one of the most exciting parts of the show! If you’re into K-pop singers and would like to listen to some extreme talent, this show is for you! Also, they use many adjectives to describe their feelings and to give feedback about the singing, so you’ll learn many vocabularies while you enjoy listening to some of the most beautiful voices in Korean culture.

Korean TV show website: http://www.imbc.com/broad/tv/ent/sundaynight/

YouTube video: Do you want to watch just a little bit of the show? Here’s the video of BTS Jungkook in the show.

Korean phrases and quotes:

  • 엄청 떨려요. (eomcheong tteollyeoyo.)
    • “I am tremble.” (Or “I’m really nervous.”)
  • 반전을 거듭하는 무대 (banjeoneul geodeupaneun mudae)
    • “repeated twists in the stage”

Vocabularies:

  • 엄청 (eomcheong): “very”
  • 떨리다 (tteollida): “tremble”
  • 반전 (banjeon): “twist”
  • 거듭하다 (geodeupada): “repeat”
  • 무대 (mudae): “stage”

9- 프로듀스 48 (peurodyuseu 8) — “Produce 48”

Produce 48

Korean TV show information:
Period: 6/15/2018 ~ 8/31/2018
Channel: Mnet

What is this Korean competition TV show about?
If you’re interested in competition TV shows that introduce you to the journey of how a Korean idol is made, this TV show is for you. This show is a Korean music show and is an ongoing competition where contestants ultimately aim to be in a girl group in the end.

Contestants need to be able to dance and sing very well, and also need to receive many votes from the audience in order to continue in this competition. The newest season has 96 contestants from South Korea and Japan, and the contestants from Japan are from a famous J-Pop idol group called AKB48.

Korean TV show website: http://produce48.mnet.com/pc/main
YouTube video: Do you want to watch just a little bit of the show? You can watch the videos here:

Korean phrases and quotes:

  • 그때의 나는 작은 왕관의 무게도 너무 버거워서 도망치고 싶었다.
    • “At that time, I wanted to flee because the weight of the small crown was too heavy.”
  • 하기 싫으면 안 할 거예요? 수업받기 싫으면 나가요.
    • “Are you not going to do it if you don’t want to? If you do not want to take classes, get out.”

Vocabularies:

  • 그때 (geuttae): “that time”
  • 왕관 (wanggwan): “crown”
  • 버겁다 (beogeopda): “be beyond one’s capacity”
  • 도망가다 (domanggada): “run away”
  • 수업 (sueop): “course”

10- 세상에 나쁜 개는 없다. (Sesange nappeun gaeneun eopda.) — “There are No Bad Dogs in this World.”

Two Dogs Biting a stick

Korean TV show information:
Period: 4/09/2015 ~ present (as of 2019)
Channel: EBS

What is this Korean TV series about?
You’ve probably seen many dog training-related TV shows in your own country; there are many dog training TV shows such as It’s Me or the Dog by a trainer named Victoria Stilwell or Dog Whisperer with Ceasar Milliam. If you’re a big fan of these TV shows, this one’s for you.

This Korean TV show is the latest Korean shoㅈ. 세상에는 나쁜 개는 없다 (sesangeneun nappeun gaeneun eopda) is a dog training Korean reality TV series run by a Korean dog trainer, 강형욱 (ganghyeonguk). Every episode he introduces cases and how to solve the problems presented. You can learn training tips as well as Korean!

Korean TV show website: http://home.ebs.co.kr/baddog/main
YouTube video: Do you want to learn how to train your dog while learning Korean? You can watch a video of this Korean TV reality show from here.

Korean phrases and quotes:

  • 최선을 다해 반려견을 사랑해주세요. (Choeseoneul dahae ballyeogyeoneul saranghaejuseyo.)
    • “Please do your best to love the dog.”
  • 강아지가 제일 좋아하는 사람은 백수다. (Gangajiga jeil joahaneun sarameun baeksuda.)
    • “Dogs love unemployed owner the most (since they stay at home all the time).”

Vocabularies:

  • 최선 (choeseon): “the best way”
  • 반려견 (ballyeogyeon): “a pet”
  • 사랑하다 (saranghada): “to love something or someone”
  • 강아지 (gangaji): “a dog”
  • 백수 (baeksu): “unemployed”

4. How to Study the Korean Language with KoreanClass101

Apart from watching TV shows in Korean, there are many other ways that you can improve your Korean. Here, you can learn the top ways to practice your Korean reading skills. We understand that learning a new language isn’t easy and it can be frustrating when you have a difficult time memorizing words. People have different techniques for memorizing vocabulary words and KoreanClass101 has prepared a number of techniques for remembering words. You can access all of these materials mentioned above for free.

KoreanClass101 offers the world’s largest study materials available online for you to study whenever you want, at your own pace. Learn Korean lessons with KoreanClass101 today.

What’s your favorite South Korean TV show? Leave a comment below and share why you like the TV show.

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April 19 Revolution in Korea: Student Protest Movement 1960

Do you know what political events happened in Korea after the Korean War ended? Although there was a lot of economic development, there was also a period of dictatorship. There were also various democratic groups that resisted the dictatorship.
In this lesson, you’ll learn about the civil Korea Revolution on April 19th that rose against the corrupt political power in the 1960s. As you’ll see, for Korea, 1960 was a year of great significance.

One of Korea’s most significant events, the Korean 1960 Revolution on April 19 is a vital piece of knowledge in your Korean learning journey. It will both open your eyes to Korea’s vast history and allow you to better understand its modern culture. So let’s get started!

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1. Reading Practice: What is April 19th Revolution Day in Korea?

So, what is April 19 Revolution Day in Korea? Read the Korean text below to find out (and you can find the English translation directly below it).

한국전쟁이 일어난 다음 한국에서는 이승만 대통령 정권이 시작됩니다. 하지만 한국전쟁 이후 이승만 대통령은 12년간 장기집권을 하게 되고, 독재 정권 아래서 여러가지 부정부패 문제가 일어나게 되었는데요. 결국 1960년 3월에 있었던 재선을 위한 선거과정에서 선거개표를 조작하였고, 이 사실이 세상에 알려지게 됩니다.

그 전부터 독재정치에 불만을 가졌던 사람들이 이 부정선거를 계기로 여기저기서 시위를 하기 시작합니다.

1960년 4월 초, 부정선거 사실이 알려진 뒤 가장 먼저 마산에서 시위가 일어났습니다. 하지만 당시 정부는 경찰과 폭력배를 시켜서 시위대를 무자비하게 진압하게 됩니다. 이러한 폭력적인 대처에 화가 난 시민들은 결국 전국 각지에서 시위를 하게 되는데요. 서울에서는 고려대학교 학생들을 중심으로 4천여명의 학생들이 모여서 국회의사당까지 걸어가며 시위를 하게 됩니다. 하지만 평화적으로 이루어졌던 시위를 끝내고 학교로 돌아던 학생들이 폭력배들에게 맞아서 큰 부상을 당하게 되면서 국민들의 불만은 최고조에 달합니다.

시민들과 학생들은 결국 ‘이승만 하야와 독재정권 타도’라는 구호를 외치며 더욱 큰 시위를 열게 됩니다. 이 시위를 진압하는 과정에서 또 다시 수많은 사람들이 다쳤음에도 시민들은 끝까지 자신들의 뜻을 굽히지 않았습니다. 그리고 4월 19일에 대규모 시위가 일어나게 됩니다.

이날 이후 결국 이승만대통령은 한국을 떠나 하와이로 망명을 가게 되었습니다. 시민들의 힘으로 독재정치를 내보낸 419 혁명은 한국 현대역사의 첫 민주주의 혁명으로 기록되고 있습니다.

After the Korean War broke out, Ri Seungman began his rule as president. After the war, he was in power for twelve years, and there was a lot of corruption under his dictatorship.

Finally, in the reelection of March 1960, the fact that the votes were being controlled became known to the world.

People who had complaints about the dictatorship prior to that started holding demonstrations here and there.

After the election fraud became known at the beginning of April 1960, the first demonstration occurred in Masan city. But the government ordered police and organized crime groups to mercilessly suppress the demonstrations. Citizens, angered by this rather violent way of handling the demonstrations, started demonstrating all over the country. In Seoul, a group of about 4,000 students, mostly from Korea University, began protesting in front of the National Assembly Building. The students finished the protest peacefully and returned to school, where they were beaten by organized crime groups. This was the peak of the citizens’ dissatisfaction. Students and citizens began protesting more while yelling, “Resign Ri Seungman and Overthrow the Dictatorship!” College professor groups and scholars alike gathered and demanded Ri Seungman’s resignation. Despite the method of suppressing the protests and how many people were injured, their will didn’t falter. And so, on April 19th, they had a large-scale protest.

After that day, Ri Seungman left Korea and was exiled to Hawaii. 419 Revolution Day, when the dictatorship was overthrown by the people’s power, was the first democratic revolution recorded in recent Korean history.

2. When is the April Revolution of Korea Celebrated?

Bastille Day

Each year, Koreans celebrate April 19th Revolution Day on—you guessed it—April 19 on the solar calendar, in commemoration of April 19, 1960.

3. How is the Korea 1960 Revolution Celebrated?

Performing a Demonstration

On April 19th, many people visit the 419 National Cemetery to honor the people who struggled for democracy.

There’s a 419 revolution memorial tower inside the cemetery. On 419 Revolution Day, people visit that tower and remember the people who were hurt and gave their lives for democracy leading up to the April 19, 1960 Korean Revolution.

4. Additional Information: More Special Days

419 Revolution Day is on April 19th of the solar calendar. In addition to 419 Revolution Day, there are a few other special days with their date in the name. Do you know which days those are?

Like 419 Revolution Day, there are a few other days with their date in the name. There’s the day marking the start of the Korean War on June 25th, which is called “625.” There’s also the pro-democratic resistance day on May 18th, called 518 Revolution Day.

5. Must-know Vocab

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for April 19th Revolution Day in Korea!

  • 학생 (haksaeng) — “student”
  • 교수 (gyosu) — “professor”
  • 피해자 (pihaeja) — “victim”
  • 민주주의 (minjujuui) — “democracy”
  • 시위 (siwi) — “demonstration”
  • 시민 (simin) — “citizen”
  • 분노 (bunno) — “anger”
  • 이승만 정권 (iseungman jeonggwon) — “Syngman Rhee government”
  • 혁명 (hyeongmyeong) — “revolution”
  • 하야 (haya) — “resignation”
  • 대통령 (daetongnyeong) — “president”
  • 국가 유공자 (gukga yugongja) — “men of national merit”
  • 독재정권 (dokjaejeonggwon) — “dictatorial government
  • 4.19 혁명 (sailgu hyeongmyeong) — “19th April of Bastille Day”
  • 불법 (bulbeop) — “illegality”

To hear each of these words pronounced, visit our 419 Revolution vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

As you can see, April 19 Revolution Day in Korea is a significant holiday that commemorates a pivotal time frame in Korea’s history. We hope you enjoyed learning about the 1960 Korean student revolution and its commemoration with us!

Is there a Revolution Day in your own country? How is it celebrated? Let us know in the comments!

For even more information on Korean culture and the Korean language, visit us at KoreanClass101.com and set up your account today! We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community to discuss lessons with fellow Korean learners. With a Premium Plus account, you can also take advantage of our MyTeacher program, and learn Korean one-on-one with your own personal Korean teacher.

Learning a new language can be a staggering task, but it’s completely worthwhile. Know that your hard work and determination will pay off, and one day you’ll speaking, reading, and writing Korean like a native! We wish you the best in your language-learning journey!

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How to Find a Job in South Korea

Working abroad is a great way to explore and immerse yourself in the local culture. Many Korean learners want to work in South Korea, and the number of foreigners who are employed by a Korean company is increasing every year. There are a few things that foreigners finding jobs in Korea need to know, so we’ve put together this guide for you.

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Table of Contents

  1. Benefits of Working in Korea
  2. The Most Popular Jobs in Korea
  3. Visa Requirements to Work in Korea
  4. Do I Need to Speak Korean to Work in South Korea?
  5. Popular Korean Job Hunting Sites
  6. Quick Tips for Korean CV and Resume
  7. Most Common Job Interview Questions in Korea
  8. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You with Finding a Job in Korea


1. Benefits of Working in Korea

So what’s the benefit of working in Korea? Many people wonder how much their income would be, but it totally depends on your work experience and the company you work for. So it’s important to consult with a recruiter if you want to know the average income you can expect in a specific position or an industry you wish to work in.

1- Overseas Work Experience

Working abroad gives you many benefits in your career development, as many companies appreciate candidates with abroad work experience. Korea has its unique working system and environment, and therefore by working and living in Korea, you’ll definitely enjoy your stay.

2- Korean Leisure Culture

There’s a lot to do for fun in South Korea and you can enjoy many leisures at a low cost. To give you a better idea of what to expect when working and living in Korea, we’ve explained in detail about how much it costs to live in Korea (focusing on Seoul). Feel free to read it.

3- Low Crime Rate

Korea possesses one of the lowest crime rates in the world. CCTVs are installed on every corner of every street and inside buildings. You’ll see a police car driving around the streets at night, and there’s even a free service, for women, where two volunteer workers walk home with you at night.


2. The Most Popular Jobs in Korea

We know it can be stressful searching for foreigners-friendly jobs in Korea, so we thought we’d put together a quick list of the most popular ones. One of the most common jobs that foreigners do in South Korea is teaching a language, especially English, due to high demand. Moreover, you can also find an office job in Korea. If you’re planning to stay in Korea for a year and want to find a part-time job in Korea, this is also a viable option. Below is a quick overview of the most famous jobs that foreigners do in South Korea:

Students Raising Hands

1- Language Teaching Jobs

If you’re a native English speaker who wants to have a career in teaching, finding a job will be a lot easier for you in Korea. There are many advantages of being a language teacher. Firstly, the majority of companies will provide free accomodation and take care of the visa process, meaning you don’t need to worry too much about the initial hiring process period. Some companies even provide free lunch as well. The pay for language teaching jobs in Korea is very decent, usually ranging between 2,000,000 KRW ~ 3,000,000 KRW, depending on your professional experience.

However, depending on which school you work for, you need to understand that working hours may not be flexible. For example, you may be expected to only teach grammar for the whole day, or be required to do extra activities like field trips or orchestral activities with the Korean students. So do check what your responsibilities are going to look like before applying for a job.

Researcher

2- Office Jobs

If you work at an office, you’ll have international experience. There are many international companies in South Korea that are aggressively hiring foreigners or 교포 (gyopos) also known as “Korean diaspora.” So if you’re qualified for a position, you’ll definitely be considered as a potential candidate. Moreover, if you work at a global company, many Korean employees are bilingual or multilingual, making it much easier for you to work on projects with them.

However, to find employment in Korea, it’s important to note that the majority of office jobs require fluency in Korean if your first language is not Korean. Therefore, you may struggle to find a job in Korea if you cannot speak Korean. You have to have a way to prove that you can speak the language, such as a TOPIK score or a Korean language school certificate.

If you’re an intermediate to advanced Korean speaker, or majored in Korean at a university in your country, you’ll be able to find many jobs available for you in Korea, such as translation jobs (Korean-to-English translation jobs are in demand) or language-related positions at a startup company or even global companies since these companies aggressively seek out bilingual candidates.

In contrast to language teaching jobs, many companies won’t provide free accomodation.

3- Blue-Collar Jobs

Jobs in the blue-collar industry such as automotive, chemical, electronic, and steel are of high employment need in Korea. Also, jobs like cleaning or farming are also highly in demand.

As these jobs usually don’t require Korean language skills or other specialized skills, they are perhaps the easiest way for foreigners to get a job. Many companies are foreigners-friendly and depending on the company you work for, accommodations may be provided. Finding a foreigners-friendly blue-collar job is similar to finding other work in Korea, so try to search blue-collar jobs with these keywords:

  • 공장 (gongjang) or “factory”
  • 화장품 공장 (hwajangpum gongjang) or “cosmetics factory”
  • 제품 생산직 (jepum saengsanjik) or “product production”
  • 단순포장 (dansunpojang) or “simple packing”
  • 야간 청소 (yagan cheongso) or “night shift cleaning”
  • 농장일 (nongjangil) or “working at a farm”

4- Health-, Science-, and Technology-related Jobs

Recently, more and more doctors from overseas are working in South Korean hospitals. Also, if you’re an engineer, many international companies, especially in the IT industry, hire foreign candidates in South Korea.

Going to Work


3. Visa Requirements to Work in Korea

We’re sure you know already that there are visa requirements for foreigners to work in Korea. There are many visas that you can choose from, and therefore it’s important for you to research each visa. Depending on the employment position in South Korea, you’ll need to acquire an appropriate visa in order to continue working and living in South Korea:

1- E2 Visa (The Standard English Teaching)

Career choice with E2 visa holders: Private schools, public schools, and language institutions.

2- E1 Visa (Similar to the E2 Visa)

Career choice with E1 visa holders: Any recognized Korean colleges and universities .

3- E5 Visa (Professional Employee)

Career choice with E5 visa holders: Corporations.

4- F3 Visa (Direct Family Member)

Career choice for F3 visa holders: Since this is an extended tourist visa, you’re not allowed to work in South Korea.

5- F4 Visa (For Korean Americans, Korean Canadians, etc.)

Career choice for F4 visa holders: You have the same rights as Korean citizens, therefore you can work in any business or organization in South Korea.

6- E7 Visa (12-month Working Holiday Visa)

Career choice for E7 visa holders: Depends. If you can speak Korean, you can work at a restaurant, shopping stores, and so on. If you cannot speak Korean, it may be difficult for you to work in a service industry.

The eligibility of each visa varies depending on your objective in working in South Korea. For this reason, if you’re uncertain which visa to obtain, consult with the South Korean embassy, or consulate in your home country or with your new employer. Also, make sure to apply two to three months early for a smooth visa process. Then, you’ll have fewer worries regarding finding a job in Korea.

Seoul


4. Do I Need to Speak Korean to Work in South Korea?

Korean language skill requirements completely depend on the company you’re applying for. However, if you can prove your language skills, you’ll definitely have an advantage above others applying for the same job. As for Korean skills, you’ll be asked to present a TOPIK test result (Test of Proficiency in Korean—website) or a certificate from 어학당 (eohakdang) which is a Korean language school that you went to.

For language teaching positions, you may need to be able to speak some Korean in order to communicate with students who otherwise would struggle to understand you. In addition, you’ll have a closer relationship with your students if you can speak Korean.

As for corporations, you do need to present proof that you can speak Korean. They don’t expect you to speak Korean fluently, but they’ll definitely appreciate and consider you more as a potential employee, since having a certificate or a TOPIK result demonstrates how ambitious you are to work in South Korea.

If you’re interested in finding the right Korean language institution for you, here’s a list for you to look at.

Website


5. Popular Korean Job Hunting Sites

There are many websites that you can use to find a job in South Korea. In general, these are the most popular Korean job searching websites for finding a job in Korea.

1- General Job (Available in English)

  • PeoplenJob — only international corporations in Korea
  • Indeed — for any corporation positions
  • Linkedin — for any corporation positions
  • Robert Walters — for any corporation positions
  • Craigslist — mainly English teaching jobs or waiter and waitress positions

2- General Job (Available only in Korean)

  • JobKorea — small to large corporations in Korea
  • Saramin — small to large corporations in Korea
  • Incruit — small to large corporations in Korea
  • Designerjob — for graphic designers
  • Mediajob — for video editors, writers, and so on

3- Part-time Job Search

  • 알바천국 — only available in Korean
  • 알바몬 — only available in Korean
  • Craigslist — mainly English teaching jobs or waiter and waitress positions
  • Apply Offline — this is explained below in “Others”

4- Community

5- Others

  • Volunteering in Korea
    • Language Exchange: Whether you want to make friends or gain teaching experience, if you speak English or any other popular languages (e.g. French, Japanese, Chinese, and so on), you can volunteer at a language exchange cafe. There are many language exchange events organized in South Korea, especially in Seoul and Busan. Your main duty is to converse with language learners in a casual and comfortable environment. If you search for language exchange events in South Korea, you can easily find many events, but if you’re not familiar with this, start off with Meetup Korea. All you need to do is select the location (e.g. Seoul, Busan, etc.) and go through the list of weekly events in your area.

      Also, depending on the time and the location, you may meet more university students or professional workers. Volunteering is a great way to make friends and consult about your career plans in Korea.

    • Other volunteering work: There are many volunteer groups organized by foreigners in Korea. Several locals and foreigners participate and do many activities together, therefore it’s a great opportunity to make friends while helping others who are in need. Here’s a list of volunteer groups:
  • Job Fair in Korea
    • Korea organizes a job fair annually, targeting foreigners in Korea. All of the companies that come to this job fair are foreigner-friendly, so keep an eye out for it. You can search for keywords like 외국인 취업박람회 (oegugin chwieopbangnamhoe) meaning “Job fair for foreign residents” or 외국인유학생 채용박람회 (oeguginyuhaksaeng chaeyongbangnamhoe) meaning “Job fair for international students” to find the date and the time. There will be many corporations offering job positions and internships for foreigners. Make sure to print your resume and your cover letter before attending the job fair.
  • Check Vacant Positions on a Website
    • You can always directly apply at the company you wish to work for. Many companies have a “career” page that lists all the open positions, so if you have some specific companies in mind, try to visit their websites and submit your application.
  • Apply offline
    • When finding a job in Korea, you can also apply offline if you want to find a part-time job, such as a waitress/waiter or cashier. If you’re looking for a part-time job in Korea, applying directly at the place is the best and quickest way to find a job. To do this, look for 스태프모집 (seutaepeumojip), 일할 사람 구함 (ilhal saram guham), 사람구함 (saramguham), or 직원구함 (jigwonguham) on the entrance of a shop. They usually put the hourly rate and preference, too. You do need to have a resume prepared and in-hand when you apply offline. As for larger corporations, applying offline is very rare. It’s recommended to submit the application directly to the company’s website or through recruiters.

Resume


6. Quick Tips for Korean CV and Resume

In Korea, you need to prepare 이력서 (iryeokseo), which is a Korean version of a resume. [image]. In addition, you’ll also need to write a 자기소개서 (jagisogaeseo) or “cover letter.” You can download a free template online or purchase the resume and cover letter documents at a convenience store. Below are some Korean job application tips that we think you’ll find useful.

1- Korean Resume Tips

Korean Resume Photo

You’ll need to attach a profile picture at the top right corner on the first page. Your profile picture for your resume is one of the most important elements of the resume, so try to get your pictures taken by a professional photographer in Korea. Koreans always wear a black business suit to look professional and your professional picture will most likely be photoshopped. This is because when your resume is handed to a potential employer, the first thing they’ll look at is your picture, and so it’s important to have a nice picture of yourself. The first impression matters in the business world, and this is no different in South Korea.

Education History

You need to arrange all of your education chronologically and you’ll also need to provide the year and the month of your graduation and entrance into schools. So try to write them down and save them somewhere in your drive. You’ll find this list helpful when finding a job in Korea.

2- Writing a Cover Letter in Korea

Koreans call the cover letter a 자기소개서 (jagiseogaeseo) or “self-introduction letter” [image] and Koreans usually write about the following:

  • 성장과정 (seongjanggwajeong) — Talk about your growth process
  • 학창시절 (hakchangsijeol) — Talk about your education
  • 성격소개 (seonggyeoksogae) — Talk about your personality
  • 지원동기 및 포부 (jiwondonggi mit pobu) — Talk about why you applied for this job and what you want to do

You can modify the topics if you want. When you write your self-introduction letter, make sure to emphasize your strengths and how your skills will benefit the company.

3- At the Interview

You need to:

  • Arrive for the interview 10 to 15 minutes early.
  • Print your resume and your cover letter and bring them with you.
  • Prepare the interview answers in Korean and English.
  • Bow to an interviewer and be polite!


7. Most Common Job Interview Questions in Korea

There’s not much difference when it comes to the job interview questions in Korea. Depending on which corporation you want to work for, the interview process may take two weeks to three months. Also, if you wish to apply for large corporations in Korea such as 삼성 (Samsung), 현대 (Hyundai), 엘지 (LG), or 대우 (Daewoo), you’ll take an examination which consists of testing your language ability and mathematical skills. For example, as for Samsung, once your job application (your cover letter and your resume) is submitted through their website, you’ll have a chance to undertake an exam called 삼성직무적성검사 (samseongjingmujeokseonggeomsa) called GSAT, which is an abbreviation for “Global Samsung Aptitude Test.” Normally, the exam is scheduled during the weeknd, and you can even take the exam in English. If you pass this exam, you’ll have the opportunity to go to the next round which involves group and individual interviews.

If you’re not sure what the interview process is going to be like, Koreans usually share their interview experiences online, such as on Specup, so if you’re confident in speaking Korean and want to find a job in Korea, take advantage of online community websites too.

The interview is one of the trickiest and most stressful activities in the hiring process. Since you can’t predict what kind of questions you’ll be asked, it’s important to prepare as many anticipated questions as possible with the appropriate answers.

Let’s have a look at common interview questions in Korea:

  • 자기소개를 해보세요. (jagi sogaereul haeboseyo.) — “Introduce yourself.”
  • 왜 저희가 당신을 고용해야 한다고 생각하십니까 ? (wae jeohuiga dangsineul goyonghaeya handago saenggakasimnikka?) — “Why do you think that we should hire you?”
  • 한국말 할 수 있나요? (hangungmal hal su innayo?) — “Do you speak Korean?”
  • 우리 회사에 대해 어떻게 알고 있나요? (uri hoesae daehae eotteoke algo innayo?) — “How did you find out about our company?”
  • 지금의 직장을 왜 그만두려고 합니까? (jigeumui jikjangeul wae geumanduryeogo hamnikka?) — “Why do you want to quit your current job?”
  • 5년 후의 당신의 모습은 어떨것 같나요? (onyeon huui dangsinui moseubeun eotteolgeot gannayo?) — “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
  • There are many more questions you can expect to hear. However, be careful with the question below in particular:

  • 당신의 강점과 약점은 무엇인가요? (dangsinui gangjeomgwa yakjeomeun mueosingayo?) — “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
    • This question is often asked in South Korea. They want to know your weaknesses and if you can’t turn your weaknesses into something positive, you’ll end up giving a negative impression to the interviewer, so be careful with this question. It’s vital to give a good answer to this question when looking for employment in Korea.

In addition, they’ll usually go through your resume and ask many questions on the basis of your work experience. So try to come up with as many questions as possible and prepare the answers in Korean and English.


8. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

The most important point is that there are many ways to find jobs in Korea, but if you speak the language, you’ll be able to find a job that you really like. Being able to speak Korean will definitely give you some advantages.

Also, before jumping into learning Korean, you’ll need to find someone who can support you, like a Korean native speaker and someone who can provide appropriate language study materials. In your case, they have to be related to finding a job in Korea.

MyTeacher at KoreanClass101 can definitely help you with business Korean and give practical advice on finding a job in South Korea. So why not sign up for a lifetime account today, assess your Korean language level, and have your own personalized learning program based on your needs?

We hope today’s lesson gave you some insight on working and living in Korea, and that our job application tips help you succeed and land your dream job. Thanks for reading and best of luck!

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What is White Day in Korea? Celebrate Korean White Day!

White Day in Korea

White Day—the day women in Korea get to receive all sorts of gifts and delicacies from the men in their lives! Essentially, White Day in Korea serves as a day for men to thank women for the gifts they received a month earlier on Valentine’s Day. White Day’s meaning in Korea has a lot to do with the concept that a gift received is a gift to be repaid.

Let KoreanClass101.com show you everything you need to know about White Day in Korea. In so doing, you’re allowing yourself to learn a great deal about Korean culture, thus providing context as you seek to master the language. We hope to make the process fun! Let’s get started.

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1. What is White Day in Korea?

White Day in Korea is a special holiday for Korean women—it’s the day they receive nice treats from the men in their lives whom they previously gifted on Valentine’s Day the month before. It’s an important notion in Korean culture to return gift favors, and in this day and age this concept has become quite commercialized. Continue reading below to learn more about White Day, including White Day in Korea’s date.

2. When is White Day?

March 14 is White Day

Each year on 3월 14일 (samwol sipsail) or “March 14th,” White Day is celebrated in Korea. Exactly one month after Valentine’s Day!

3. How is it Celebrated?

Man About to Give Flowers to Woman

In Korea, White Day is celebrated by a 남자친구 (namjachingu) or “boyfriend” giving his 여자친구 (yeojachingu) or “girlfriend” a White Day gift. While traditionally this was marshmallows (hence the name “White Day”), today it’s common for women to receive gifts of 사탕 (satang) or “candy” or even a 꽃다발 (kkotdabal) or “bouquet.” Sound familiar?

In Korea, Valentine’s Day is largely a day for men to receive gifts from women, and so on White Day this is switched around. It’s like a second Valentine’s Day, but just for the ladies this time.

White Day can also be a day to 사랑을 고백하다 (sarangeul gobaekada) or “confess one’s love.” Thus, men 선물을 주다 (seonmureul juda) or “give a gift” to women—the kind of gifts that say 사랑해요. (Saranghaeyo.) or “I love you.”

Keep in mind that while both Valentine’s Day and White Day are largely observed as romantic holidays, sometimes gifts are given on either of these days out of obligation rather than love or adoration. Many enjoy giving gifts (and receiving!), but regardless, it’s expected for men and women to exchange gifts on their respective days.

4. Additional Information

So how exactly did White Day come about?

First off, note that it’s common practice in Korea for receivers of gifts to return the favor. Thus, it makes sense that there’s a holiday dedicated to honoring this tradition and value. But what makes White Day special?

As you can probably guess, White Day started out as a commercial holiday developed by the National Confectionery Industry Association in 1978. A year before, a company called Ishimuramanseido, based in Fukuoka, actually began marketing its marshmallows as a fun and proper return gift for men to give women. They even called March 14 “Marshmallow Day!”

Eventually, other companies and markets caught on to this idea like wildfire. Today, the coming of White Day is a golden opportunity to market all kinds of white- or romance-related products—various shades of chocolate, flowers, jewelry, and even lingerie.

5. Must-know Vocab

Man and Woman Silhouetted Against Sunset

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Korean White Day!

  • 여자친구 (yeojachingu) — “girlfriend”
  • 남자친구 (namjachingu) — “boyfriend”
  • 사탕 (satang) — “candy”
  • 선물 (seonmul) — “present”
  • 사랑해요. (Saranghaeyo.) — “I love you.”
  • 데이트 (deiteu) — “date
  • 사랑을 고백하다 (sarangeul gobaekada) — “confess one’s love”
  • 사랑 (sarang) — “love”
  • 3월 14일 (samwol sipsail) — “March 14th”
  • 꽃다발 (kkotdabal) — “bouquet”
  • 선물을 주다 (seonmureul juda) — “give a gift”
  • 사랑하는 사람 (saranghaneun saram) — “loved one”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Korean White Day vocabulary list. Here you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

Now you know more about White Day in Korea. What do you think about this holiday? Is there a similar holiday in your own country, where women receive gifts from men? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about Korean culture and the language, visit us at KoreanClass101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community where you can discuss lessons with fellow Korean learners. You can also check out our MyTeacher program if you’re interested in a one-on-one learning experience with your own personal Korean teacher! There’s something for everyone, and for every kind of learner. Be sure to create your account today.

We hope you enjoyed learning about White Day with us, and that you took away something valuable from this article. Know that all of your studying and hard work will pay off, and you’ll be speaking Korean like a native before you know it!

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Daeboreum: Celebrate the Day of the First Full Moon in Korea

For a long time, in Korea, China, and other East Asian countries, people believed that there was a relationship between the size of the moon and their grain harvest. They believed that the moon growing larger over time was very similar to the growth of their grain in the fields; as the moon became larger, their grains would grow fatter.

Thus, you can see how Jeongwol Daeboreum (also called Day of the First Full Moon by Koreans) is a significant reflection of Korean culture. We at KoreanClass101.com hope to inform you well on all things Korean, so we hope you’ll let us be your guide for the Day of the First Full Moon in Korea.

Let’s explore Jeongwol Daeboreum Festival traditions (and the Moon Festival meaning), the Full Moon wishes made in some provinces, and more information on how Koreans celebrate the Great Full Moon!

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1. What is Korean Day of the First Full Moon?

정월 (Cheongwol) means “the first month of the lunar year,” and 대보름 (Daeboreum) means “big full moon.” So, 정월대보름 (Jeongwol Daeboreum) means something like “the day the first big full moon rises.”

On the Day of the First Full Moon, the night sky is brighter because of the big moon. Many villagers gather and enjoy festivities underneath the bright moonlight, including the Jeongwol Daeboreum Fire Festival.

Day of First Full Moon in Korea can also be considered a second New Year celebration.

2. When is it?

Full Moon In The Night Sky

As the name suggests, the Korean Day of the First Full Moon is celebrated when the first full moon of the year is in the sky (this is day fifteen of the first lunar year month). This holiday’s date varies year to year on the Gregorian calendar, but for your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years:

  • 2019: February 19
  • 2020: February 8
  • 2021: February 26
  • 2022: February 15
  • 2023: February 5
  • 2024: February 24
  • 2025: February 12
  • 2026: March 3
  • 2027: February 20
  • 2028: February 9

3. Reading Practice: How is it Celebrated?

Child Making a Wish

How do Koreans celebrate Jeongwol Daeboreum, and what is the Full Moon Game? Read the Korean text below it to find out (and find the English translation directly below).
—–
첫번째 행사는 ‘달맞이’입니다. ‘맞이’는 ‘맞이하다’라는 뜻의 동사에서 나온 말인데요. ‘달맞이’를 하기 위해서 정월대보름날이 되면 달빛을 확인하기 위해 마을 사람들이 밖에 모두 모입니다. 그 달빛으로 앞으로의 1년 농사를 미리 점을 쳤다고 하는데요. 달빛이 붉으면 그 해에는 흉년이 오고, 달빛이 희면 그 해에는 장마가 있을 징조라고 생각했습니다.
이렇게 한 해의 농사가 어떻게 될지 점을 친 다음에는, ‘쥐불놀이’를 합니다.
‘쥐불놀이’는 말 그래도 불을 가지고 노는 놀이인데요. ‘쥐불놀이’를 할 때에는 사람들이 모여서 조그마한 깡통에 짚을 넣고 그 안에 불을 붙인 다음, 깡통을 빙빙 돌립니다. 이렇게 깡통을 돌린 다음에 잡초가 있는 논이나 밭에 이 깡통을 던지는 놀이가 바로 ‘쥐불놀이’입니다. 이렇게 하면 잡초들이 불에 타면서 거름이 되고 그 거름으로 봄에 농사를 잘 지을 수 있는 효과도 있다고 하네요.
—–
The first event is Dalmaji. Maji is a word from the verb Majihada meaning “to welcome.” For Dalmaji, all the villagers gather outside to see the moonlight on the Day. It’s said they could predict the year of farming ahead by the moonlight. They believed that if the light was bright the year would be plentiful, and if the light was dim then there would be a rainy season.

After predicting how the farming would be for the next year, they would play Jwibul-nori.

Jwibul-nori or “small fire play” (also called the Full Moon Game) is playing with fire, as it literally says. When playing Jwibul-nori, people put straw into cans and set fire to it, then they spin the can around and around. After spinning the cans, they throw them into fields with weeds. The weeds then catch fire and become fertilizer for the spring farming.

A very special food is eaten only on the Day of the First Full Moon. It’s called Ogokbap. Five kinds of ingredients or Ogok such as rice, beans, barley, sorghum, and millet are put together to make ogokbap and is eaten together with the family. Usually, people only eat three meals a day—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—however, on the Day of the First Full Moon meals are split up nine times throughout the day. They also say that eating with at least three families brings more fortune than eating alone.

4. Additional Information

Do you know how people in the city celebrate the Day of the First Full Moon? It depends, actually, on where you are or who you happen to be with. For example, in the Gyeonggi province or 경기도 (Gyeonggi-do), people gather together, write their wishes on paper tied to a rope made of straw, and light the paper on fire.

5. Must-know Vocab

Jwibullori

To celebrate and understand the Korean Day of the First Full Moon to its fullest, there’s some basic vocabulary you should know.

  • 달 (dal) — “moon”
  • 전통 (jeontong) — “tradition”
  • 밤 (bam) — “chestnut”
  • 호두 (hodu) — “walnut”
  • 부럼을 깨다 (bureomeul kkaeda) — “crack nuts”
  • 잣 (jat) — “pine nut”
  • 오곡밥을 먹다 (ogokbabeul meokda) — “eat five-grain rice”
  • 쥐불놀이 (Jwibullori) — “Jwibullori” (this is when grass and weeds are burned)
  • 소원을 빌다 (sowoneul bilda) — “make a wish”
  • 대보름 (Daeboreum) — “Great Full Moon”
  • 귀밝이술을 마시다 (gwibalgisureul masida) — “drink ear-quickening wine”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, visit our First Full Moon Festival vocabulary list page. Each word is accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation to help you better learn them.

Conclusion

After learning about the Korean First Full Moon Festival with us, tell us what you think! We hope you enjoyed delving into this interesting facet of the Korean culture, and that you’ll take this knowledge with you on your language-learning journey.

For more information about Korea and its language, visit us at KoreanClass101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community where you can chat with fellow Korean learners about lessons. If you want to enjoy a one-on-one learning experience, you can also download our MyTeacher app to gain your very own personal Korean teacher.

With enough practice and determination, you can become proficient in Korean and we’re here to help you through each step. We wish you all the best!

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How to Say I Love You in Korean - Romantic Word List

Do you often feel lonely and sad? Do you long for romance and are willing to do whatever it takes to meet that special person? Speaking another language could revolutionize your love life! So, why wait? Learning how to say ‘love’ in Korean could be just what you need to find it.

Or perhaps you were lucky, and have found your Korean partner already. Fantastic! Yet, a cross-cultural relationship comes with unique challenges. Learning how to speak your lover’s language will greatly improve your communication and enhance the relationship. At KoreanClass101, our team will teach you all the words, quotes and phrases you need to woo your Korean lover with excellence! Our tutors provide personal assistance, with plenty of extra material available to make Korean dating easy for you.

Table of Contents

  1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date
  2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date
  3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary
  4. Korean Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day
  5. Korean Quotes about Love
  6. Marriage Proposal Lines
  7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines
  8. Will Falling in Love Help You Learn Korean Faster?

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1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date

So, you have met your Korean love interest. Congratulations! Who knows where this could take you…?! However, the two of you have just met and you’re not ready to say the Korean word for love just yet. Great, it is better to get to know him/her first. Wow your prospective love by using these Korean date phrases to set up a spectacular first date.

Korean Date Phrases

Would you like to go out to dinner with me?

  • 저랑 저녁 먹으러 가실래요?
  • Jeorang jeonyeok meogeureo gasillaeyo?

The important question! In most cultures, this phrase indicates: ‘I’m romantically interested in you’. Flirting in Korean is no different, so don’t take your date to Mcdonald’s!

Are you free this weekend?

  • 이번 주말에 시간 어때요?
  • Ibeon jumare sigan eottaeyo?

This is a preamble to asking your love interest on a date. If you get an immediate ‘Yes’, that’s good news!

Would you like to hang out with me?

  • 저랑 데이트하실래요?
  • Jeorang deiteuhasillaeyo?

You like her/him, but you’re not sure if there’s chemistry. Ask them to hang out first to see if a dinner date is next.

What time shall we meet tomorrow?

  • 내일 몇 시에 만날까요?
  • Naeil myeot sie mannalkkayo?

Set a time, and be sure to arrive early! Nothing spoils a potential relationship more than a tardy date.

Where shall we meet?

  • 어디서 만날까요?
  • Eodiseo mannalkkayo?

You can ask this, but also suggest a place.

You look great.

  • 멋져요. (to men) 예뻐요. (to women)
  • Meotjjeoyo. Yeppeoyo.

A wonderful ice breaker! This phrase will help them relax a bit - they probably took great care to look their best just for you.

You are so cute.

  • 정말 귀여워요.
  • Jeongmal gwiyeowoyo.

If the two of you are getting on really well, this is a fun, flirtatious phrase to use.

What do you think of this place?

  • 여기 어때요?
  • Yeogi eottaeyo?

This another good conversation starter. Show off your Korean language skills!

Can I see you again?

  • 또 볼 수 있을까요?
  • Tto bol su isseulkkayo?

So the date went really well - don’t waste time! Make sure you will see each other again.

Shall we go somewhere else?

  • 어디 다른 데 갈까요?
  • Eodi dareun de galkkayo?

If the place you meet at is not great, you can suggest going elsewhere. It is also a good question to follow the previous one. Variety is the spice of life!

I know a good place.

  • 좋은 데 알아요.
  • Joeun de arayo.

Use this with the previous question. However, don’t say if you don’t know a good place!

I will drive you home.

  • 집까지 태워다 줄게요.
  • Jibkkaji taewoda julgeyo.

If your date doesn’t have transport, this is a polite, considerate offer. However, don’t be offended if she/he turns you down on the first date. Especially a woman might not feel comfortable letting you drive her home when the two of you are still basically strangers.

That was a great evening.

  • 오늘 저녁 즐거웠어요.
  • Oneul jeonyeok jeulgeowosseoyo.

This is a good phrase to end the evening with.

When can I see you again?

  • 언제 다시 볼 수 있어요?
  • Eonje dasi bol su isseoyo?

If he/she replied ‘Yes’ to ‘Can I see you again?’, this is the next important question.

I’ll call you.

  • 전화할게요.
  • Jeonhwahalgeyo.

Say this only if you really mean to do it. In many cultures, this could imply that you’re keeping the proverbial backdoor open.

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2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date

You learned all the Korean phrases to make a date - congratulations! Now you have to decide where to meet, which can be tricky. Discuss these options with your lover to gauge whether you like the same things. Check out romantic date ideas in Korean below!

Date Ideas in Korean

museum

  • 박물관
  • Bangmulgwan

If you’re looking for unique date ideas that are fun but won’t break the bank, museums are the perfect spot! You won’t be running out of things to say in the conversations.

candlelit dinner

  • 촛불 저녁 식사
  • chotbul jeonyeok siksa

A candlelit dinner is perhaps best to reserve for when the relationship is getting serious. It’s very intimate, and says: “Romance!” It’s a fantastic choice if you’re sure you and your date are in love with each other!

go to the zoo

  • 동물원에 가다
  • dongmurwone gada

This is a good choice for shy lovers who want to get the conversation going. Just make sure your date likes zoos, as some people dislike them. Maybe not for the first date, but this is also a great choice if your lover has children - you’ll win his/her adoration for inviting them along!

go for a long walk

  • 긴 산책을 하다
  • gin sanchaegeul hada

Need to talk about serious stuff, or just want to relax with your date? Walking together is soothing, and a habit you can keep up together always! Just make sure it’s a beautiful walk that’s not too strenuous.

go to the opera

  • 오페라에 가다
  • operae gada

This type of date should only be attempted if both of you love the opera. It can be a special treat, followed by a candlelit dinner!

go to the aquarium

  • 아쿠아리움에 가다
  • akuariume gada

Going to the aquarium is another good idea if you need topics for conversation, or if you need to impress your lover’s kids! Make sure your date doesn’t have a problem with aquariums.

walk on the beach

  • 해변을 걷다
  • haebyeoneul geotda

This can be a very romantic stroll, especially at night! The sea is often associated with romance and beauty.

have a picnic

  • 소풍을 가다
  • sopungeul gada

If you and your date need to get more comfortable together, this can be a fantastic date. Spending time in nature is soothing and calms the nerves.

cook a meal together

  • 함께 요리를 하다
  • hamkke yorireul hada

If you want to get an idea of your date’s true character in one go, this is an excellent date! You will quickly see if the two of you can work together in a confined space. If it works, it will be fantastic for the relationship and create a sense of intimacy. If not, you will probably part ways!

have dinner and see a movie

  • 저녁 먹고 영화 보다
  • jeonyeok meokgo yeonghwa boda

This is traditional date choice works perfectly well. Just make sure you and your date like the same kind of movies!

3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary

Valentine's Day Words in Korean

Expressing your feelings honestly is very important in any relationship all year round. Yet, on Valentine’s Day you really want to shine. Impress your lover this Valentine’s with your excellent vocabulary, and make his/her day! We teach you, in fun, effective ways, the meanings of the words and how to pronounce them. You can also copy the characters and learn how to write ‘I love you’ in Korean - think how impressed your date will be!

4. Korean Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day

So, you now have the basic Valentine’s Day vocabulary under your belt. Well done! But, do you know how to say ‘I love you’ in Korean yet? Or perhaps you are still only friends. So, do you know how to say ‘I like you’ or ‘I have a crush on you’ in Korean? No? Don’t worry, here are all the love phrases you need to bowl over your Korean love on this special day!

Valentine's Day Words in Korean

I love you.

  • 사랑해요.
  • Saranghaeyo.

Saying ‘I love you’ in Korean carries the same weight as in all languages. Use this only if you’re sure and sincere about your feelings for your partner/friend.

You mean so much to me.

  • 당신은 나에게 무척 소중해요.
  • Dangsineun naege mucheok sojunghaeyo.

This is a beautiful expression of gratitude that will enhance any relationship! It makes the receiver feel appreciated and their efforts recognized.

Will you be my Valentine?

  • 나랑 사귈래?
  • Narang saguillae?

With these words, you are taking your relationship to the next level! Or, if you have been a couple for a while, it shows that you still feel the romance. So, go for it!

You’re so beautiful.

  • 정말 아름다우세요.
  • Jeongmal areumdauseyo.

If you don’t know how to say ‘You’re pretty’ in Korean, this is a good substitute, gentlemen!

I think of you as more than a friend.

  • 나는 너를 친구 이상으로 생각해.
  • Naneun neoreul chingu isangeuro saenggakae.

Say this if you are not yet sure that your romantic feelings are reciprocated. It is also a safe go-to if you’re unsure about the Korean dating culture.

A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.

  • 백 개의 심장도 너를 향한 내 모든 사랑을 담기에는 너무 모자랄거야.
  • Baek gaeui simjangdo neoreul hyanghan nae modeun sarangeul damgieneun neomu mojaralgeoya.

You romantic you…! When your heart overflows with love, this would be the best phrase to use.

Love is just love. It can never be explained.

  • 사랑은 그저 사랑이다. 절대 설명 될 수 없다.
  • Sarangeun geujeo sarangida. Jeoldae seolmyeong doel su eopda.

If you fell in love unexpectedly or inexplicably, this one’s for you.

You’re so handsome.

  • 정말 잘생기셨어요.
  • Jeongmal jalsaenggisyeoseoyo.

Ladies, this phrase lets your Korean love know how much you appreciate his looks! Don’t be shy to use it; men like compliments too.

I’ve got a crush on you.

  • 나는 너에게 반했어.
  • Naneun neoege banhaeseo.

If you like someone, but you’re unsure about starting a relationship, it would be prudent to say this. It simply means that you like someone very, very much and think they’re amazing.

You make me want to be a better man.

  • 당신 덕분에 난 더 좋은 사람이 되고 싶어졌어요.
  • Dangsin deokbune nan deo joeun sarami doego sipeojyeoseoyo.

Gentlemen, don’t claim this phrase as your own! It hails from the movie ‘As Good as it Gets’, but it is sure to make your Korean girlfriend feel very special. Let her know that she inspires you!

Let all that you do be done in love.

  • 당신이 하는 모든 일이 사랑으로 행해지기를.
  • Dangsini haneun modeun iri sarangeuro haenghaejigireul.

We hope.

You are my sunshine, my love.

  • 내 사랑 당신은 내 행복의 근원이에요.
  • Nae sarang dangsineun nae haengbogui geunwonieyo.

A compliment that lets your lover know they bring a special quality to your life. Really nice!

Words can’t describe my love for you.

  • 말은 당신을 위한 내 사랑을 설명 할 수 없습니다.
  • Mareun dangsineul wihan nae sarangeul seolmyeong hal su eopseumnida.

Better say this when you’re feeling serious about the relationship! It means that your feelings are very intense.

We were meant to be together.

  • 우리는 천생연분이야.
  • Urineun cheonsaengyeonbuniya.

This is a loving affirmation that shows you see a future together, and that you feel a special bond with your partner.

If you were thinking about someone while reading this, you’re definitely in love.

  • 만약 이 글을 읽는 동안 누군가에 대해 생각하고 있었다면, 당신은 분명 사랑에 빠졌습니다.
  • Mannyak i geureul ingneun dongan nugungae daehae saenggakago iseotdamyeon, dangsineun bunmyeong sarange ppajyeotseumnida.

Here’s something fun to tease your lover with. And hope he/she was thinking of you!

5. Korean Quotes about Love

Korean Love Quotes

You’re a love champ! You and your Korean lover are getting along fantastically, your dates are awesome, your Valentine’s Day together was spectacular, and you’re very much in love. Good for you! Here are some beautiful phrases of endearment in Korean that will remind him/her who is in your thoughts all the time.

6. Marriage Proposal Lines

Korean Marriage Proposal Lines

Wow. Your Korean lover is indeed the love of your life - congratulations! And may only happiness follow the two of you! In most traditions, the man asks the woman to marry; this is also the Korean custom. Here are a few sincere and romantic lines that will help you to ask your lady-love for her hand in marriage.

7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines

Korean Break-Up Lines

Instead of moving towards marriage or a long-term relationship, you find that the spark is not there for you. That is a pity! But even though breaking up is never easy, continuing a bad or unfulfilling relationship would be even harder. Remember to be kind to the person you are going to say goodbye to; respect and sensitivity cost nothing. Here are some phrases to help you break up gently.

  • We need to talk.
    • 우리 얘기 좀 하자.
    • Uri yaegi jom haja.

    This is not really a break-up line, but it is a good conversation opener with a serious tone.

    It’s not you. It’s me.

    • 네가 아니야. 나야.
    • Nega aniya. Naya.

    As long as you mean it, this can be a kind thing to say. It means that there’s nothing wrong with your Korean lover as a person, but that you need something different from a relationship.

    I’m just not ready for this kind of relationship.

    • 난 그냥 이런 종류의 연애를 위한 준비가 안 됐어.
    • Nan geunyang ireon jongnyuui yeonaereul wihan junbiga an dwaesseo.

    Things moved a bit fast and got too intense, too soon? Painful as it is, honesty is often the best way to break up with somebody.

    Let’s just be friends.

    • 우리 그냥 친구하자.
    • Uri geunyang chinguhaja.

    If the relationship was very intense, and you have sent many ‘i love u’ texts in Korean, this would not be a good breakup line. Feelings need to calm down before you can be friends, if ever. If the relationship has not really developed yet, a friendship would be possible.

    I think we need a break.

    • 우리에게 휴식이 필요하다고 생각해.
    • Uriege hyusigi piryohadago saenggakae.

    This is again honest, and to the point. No need to play with someone’s emotions by not letting them know how you feel. However, this could imply that you may fall in love with him/her again after a period of time, so use with discretion.

    You deserve better.

    • 너는 내게 과분한 사람이야.
    • Neoneun naege gwabunhan saramiya.

    Yes, he/she probably deserves a better relationship if your own feelings have cooled down.

    We should start seeing other people.

    • 우리는 다른 사람을 만나기 시작해야 해.
    • Urineun dareun sarameul mannagi sijakaeya hae.

    This is probably the least gentle break-up phrase, so reserve it for a lover that doesn’t get the message!

    I need my space.

    • 내 공간이 필요해.
    • Nae gonggani piryohae.

    When a person is too clingy or demanding, this would be an suitable break-up phrase. It is another good go-to for that lover who doesn’t get the message!

    I think we’re moving too fast.

    • 우리 진도가 너무 빠른 것 같아.
    • Uri jindoga neomu ppareun geot gata.

    Say this if you want to keep the relationship, but need to slow down its progress a bit. It is also good if you feel things are getting too intense for your liking. However, it is not really a break-up line, so be careful not to mislead.

    I need to focus on my career.

    • 나는 일에 집중해야 해.
    • Naneun ire jipjunghaeya hae.

    If you feel that you will not be able to give 100% in a relationship due to career demands, this is the phrase to use. It’s also good if you are unwilling to give up your career for a relationship.

    I’m not good enough for you.

    • 나는 너에게 충분하지 않아.
    • Naneun neoege chungbunhaji ana.

    Say this only if you really believe it, or you’ll end up sounding false. Break-ups are usually hard for the receiving party, so don’t insult him/her with an insincere comment.

    I just don’t love you anymore.

    • 난 그냥 너를 더 이상 사랑하지 않아.
    • Nan geunyang neoreul deo isang saranghaji ana.

    This harsh line is sometimes the best one to use if you are struggling to get through to a stubborn, clingy lover who won’t accept your break up. Use it as a last resort. Then switch your phone off and block their emails!

    We’re just not right for each other.

    • 우리는 그냥 서로 안 맞아.
    • Urineun geunyang seoro an maja.

    If this is how you truly feel, you need to say it. Be kind, gentle and polite.

    It’s for the best.

    • 이게 최선이야.
    • Ige choeseoniya.

    This phrase is called for if circumstances are difficult and the relationship is not progressing well. Love should enhance one’s life, not burden it!

    We’ve grown apart.

    • 우리는 멀어졌어.
    • Urineun meoreojyeosseo.

    Cross-cultural relationships are often long-distance ones, and it is easy to grow apart over time.

  • 8. Will Falling in Love help you Learn Korean faster?

    Most people will agree that the above statement is a no-brainer - of course it will! Your body will be flooded with feel-good hormones, which are superb motivators for anything. KoreanClass101 is one of the best portals to help help make this a reality, so don’t hesitate to enroll now! Let’s quickly look at the reasons why falling in love will speed up your learning of the Korean language.

    Three Reasons Why Having a Lover will Help you Learn Korean Faster!

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    1- Being in a love relationship with your Korean speaking partner will immerse you in the culture
    KoreanClass101 uses immersive methods and tools to teach you Korean, but having a relationship with a native speaker will be a very valuable addition to your learning experience! You will gain exposure to their world, realtime and vividly, which will make the language come alive even more for you. The experience is likely to expand your world-view, which should motivate you to learn Korean even faster.

    2- Having your Korean romantic partner will mean more opportunity to practice speaking
    Nothing beats continuous practice when learning a new language. Your partner will probably be very willing to assist you in this, as your enhanced Korean language skills will enhance the relationship. Communication is, after all, one of the most important pillars of a good partnership. Also, you will get to impress your lover with the knowledge gained through your studies - a win/win situation!

    3- A supportive Korean lover is likely to make a gentle, patient teacher and study aid!
    With his/her heart filled with love and goodwill for you, your Korean partner is likely to patiently and gently correct your mistakes when you speak. This goes not only for grammar, but also for accent and meaning. With his/her help, you could sound like a native in no time!

    Three Reasons Why KoreanClass101 helps you learn Korean Even Faster when you’re In Love

    Start with a bonus, and download the ‘How To be a Good Lover Cheat Sheet’ for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to be a Good Lover in Korean

    1- All the Resources and Materials Will Help Both of You
    Falling in love with a man or woman speaking Korean is an opportunity for both of you to learn a new language! For this reason, every lesson, transcript, vocabulary list, and resource at KoreanClass101 is translated into both English and Korean. So, while your partner can help you learn Korean faster, you can potentially also help him/her learn and master English!

    2- Lessons Are Designed to Help You Understand and Engage with Korean Culture
    At KoreanClass101, our focus is to help our students learn practical vocabulary and phrases used by everyday people in Korea. This means that, from your very first lesson, you can apply what you learn immediately! So, when your Korean partner wants to go out to a restaurant, play Pokemon Go, or attend just about any social function, you have the vocabulary and phrases necessary to have a great time!

    3- Access to Special Resources Dedicated to Romantic Korean Phrases
    You now have access to KoreanClass101’s specially-developed sections and tools to teach you love words, phrases, and cultural insights to help you find and attract your Korean soul mate. A personal tutor will assist you to master these brilliantly - remember to invite him/her to your wedding!

    Korean Honorific Titles: Oppa, Unni, Hyung, Nuna & more

    Whether you’re the youngest or oldest person in a group, you’re expected to behave in a certain way in South Korea. For example, it’s important to show respect to someone who is older or of higher status than you by following expected protocol. This blog will guide you through how to use Korean honorific names and offer you cultural insights, so that you don’t offend Koreans next time you travel to South Korea!

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    1. Master List of Korean Honorific Titles

    Before we begin, did you know that Korean and International age are different? Try to calculate your 한국 나이 (“Korean age”) the way that Koreans would. Also, keep in mind that there’s numerous ways to address someone who is older than you.

    Definition of Each Korean Title:

    • 오빠 (oppa)
      • Literal meaning: “older brother”
      • Is also used to call: A male friend or a male sibling who’s older than you (as a female)
      • Is used by: A younger female to call an older male friend or sibling
      • Example: 정국오빠, 사랑해요! (Jungkook oppa, saranghaeyo!)
    • (hyeong; hyung)
      • Literal meaning: “older brother”
      • Is also used to call: A male friend or a male sibling who’s older than you (as a male)
      • Used by: A younger male to call an older male friend or sibling
      • Example: 정국형 (Jungkook hyung)
    • 언니 (eonni; unnie)
      • Literal meaning: “older sister”
      • Is also used to call: A female friend or a female sibling who’s older than you (as a female)
      • Used by: A younger female to call an older female or sibling
      • Example: 수지언니 (Sooji unnie/eonni)
    • 누나 (nuna; noona)
      • Literal meaning: “older sister”
      • Is also used to call: A female friend or a female sibling who’s older than you (as a male)
      • Used by: A younger male to call an older female or sibling
      • Example: 수지누나 (Sooji noona/nuna)
    • 선배 (sunbae; seonbae)
      • Literal meaning: “senior”
      • Is used to call: A female or male student who’s older than you at school/university
      • Used by: A younger female or male student
      • Example: If you’re a senior at a university and your friend is a freshman, you’re 선배 (sunbae/seonbae) to them.
      • Opposite word of 선배 (sunbae; seonbae) is 후배 (hu-bae)
    • 후배 (hubae; hoobae)
      • Literal meaning: “junior”
      • Is used to call: A female or male student who’s younger than you at school/university
      • Used by: An older student to call someone who’s younger than him/her
      • Example: If your friend is a freshman at a university and you’re a senior, your friend is 후배 (hu-bae).
      • Opposite word of 후배 (hu-bae) is 선배 (sunbae; seonbae)
    • 동생 (dongsaeng)
      • Literal meaning: “younger sibling”
      • Is used to call: A younger male or female sibling or any friend who’s younger than you (as a female/male)
      • Used by: An older male/female or an older sibling to one who’s younger than them
      • Side note: You don’t use this word when you call them. Call them by name.
      • Example:
        • 걔는 내 여자친구가 아니야. 그냥 아는 동생이야.
        • Gyaeneun nae yeoja chinguga aniya. Geunyang aneun dongsaengiya.
        • “She’s not my girlfriend. She’s just a younger friend I know.”
    • 여동생 (yeodongsaeng)
      • Literal meaning: “younger sister”
      • Is used to call: A younger female sibling or any female who’s younger than you (as a female/male)
      • Used by: An older male/female or an older sibling to a female who’s younger than them
      • Side note: You don’t use this word when you call them. Call them by name.
      • Example:
        • 내 여동생 소개할게; 이름은 김수진이야. 수진아, 인사해.
        • Nae yeodongsaeng sogaehalge; ireumeun Kim Sujiniya. Sujina, insahae.
        • “Let me introduce my sister; her name is Kimk Sujin. Hey Sujin, say hi.”
    • 남동생 (namdongsaeng)
      • Literal meaning: “younger brother”
      • Is used to call: A younger male sibling or any male who’s younger than you (as a female/male)
      • Used by: An older male/female or an older sibling to call a male who’s younger
      • Side note: You don’t use this word when you call them. Call them by name.
      • Example:
        • A: 준철이 어디 있어? (Juncheori eodi isseo?) “Where is Juncheol?”
        • B: 아, 내 남동생? 지금 피씨방에 있어. (A, nae namdongsaeng? jigeum pissibange isseo.) “Ah, my brother? He is at PC bang.”
    • (ssi)
      • Literal meaning: “Mr./Miss/Mrs.”
      • Is used to call: Someone whom you need to show some respect to
      • Used for: Business environment
      • Example: 소희씨 (Sohuissi)
    • (nim)
      • Literal meaning: “Mr./Miss/Mrs.” (It’s more polite and respectful than 씨[ssi])
      • Is used to call: Someone whom you need to show some respect to
      • Used for: Business environment
      • Example: 소연님 안녕하세요 (Soyeonnim annyeonghaseyo)
    • 어머님 (umonim; eomeonim)
      • Literal meaning: 어머니 (eomeoni) “mother”
      • Is an honorific form of 어머니 (eomeoni) “mother”
      • Is used to call: A mother-in-law or your acquaintance’s mother
      • Used by: female/male
      • Synonyms: 엄마 (eomma) A casual way to say “mother”
    • 아버님 (abunim)
      • Literal meaning: 아버지 (abeoji) “father”
      • Is an honorific form of 아버지 (abeoji) “father”
      • Is used to call: A father-in-law or your acquaintance’s father
      • Used by: female/male
      • Synonyms: 아빠 (appa) A casual way to say “father”
      • Example: 좋은 말씀 감사합니다! (Joeun malsseum gamsahamnida) “Thanks for your kind words!”
    • 아주머니 (ajumoni)
      • Literal meaning: “middle-aged woman; madam”
      • Is used to call: A woman in her forties to sixties
      • Used by: female/male
      • Synonyms: 아줌마 (ajumma) A casual way to say 아주머니 (ajumoni)
      • Although 아줌마 is commonly used in daily life (compare to 아주머니) , it may offend some women. Therefore, if you’re not sure how to draw the attention of a middle-aged woman, just attract her attention by saying 죄송한데요… (Joesonghandeyo̷ ;) “Excuse me.”
    • 아저씨 (ajusshi)
      • Literal meaning: “middle-aged man; mister”
      • Is used to call: A man in his forties to sixties
      • Used by: female/male
      • Example: 아저씨, 이거 얼마예요? (Ajeossi, igeo eolmayeyo?) “How much is this?”
    • 할아버지 (halabuji)
      • Literal meaning: “grandfather”
      • Is used to call: An old man over seventy years old
      • Used by: female/male
      • Example: 할아버지 편찮으세요? (Harabeoji pyeonchaneuseyo?) “Are you feeling okay, grandfather?”
    • 할머니 (halmeoni)
      • Literal meaning: “grandmother”
      • Is used to call: An old woman over seventy years old
      • Used by: female/male
      • Example: 할머니, 새해 복 많이 받으세요! (Halmeoni, saehae bok mani badeuseyo!) “Happy New Year, grandmother!”
    • 아가씨 (agassi)
      • Literal meaning: “young lady; miss”
      • Is used to call: A young lady who isn’t married yet
      • Used by: older people
      • Example: 아가씨, 혈액형이 뭐예요? (Agassi, hyeoraekyeongi mwoyeyo?) “What is your blood type?”
    • 이모님 (imonim)
      • Literal meaning: “my aged aunt”
      • Is used to call: A woman in her fifties to sixties
      • Used for: Restaurants in the casual atmosphere
      • Used by: female/male
      • Example: (at a restaurant)
        • 이모(님)! 여기 소주 한 병 주세요!
        • Imo(nim)! Yeogi soju han byeong juseyo
        • Imo(nim)! Please give me a bottle of Soju!”

    Korean Friends

    To add a Korean title is very easy. What you need to do is ask a person’s Korean age and her/his name. After that, just add Korean honorifics after their names. For example:

    • 철수 (Chulsoo) + 형 (hyung) = 철수 형 (Chulsoo hyung)
    • 지민 (Jimin) + 오빠 (oppa) = 지민 오빠 (Jimmin oppa)
    • 효린 (Hyorin) + 언니 (unnie) = 효린 언니 (Hyorin unnie)
    • 현아 (Hyuna) + 누나 (noona/nuna) = 현아 누나 (Hyuna noona/nuna)

    In general, don’t use 여동생 (yeodongsaeng) or 남동생 (namedongsaeng) to call someone who’s younger than you. Call them by their name, such as 지민아 (jimina), 혜지야 (hyejiya). If you don’t have a Korean name, there won’t be any 아 or 야 after your name, so it will be only 제이슨 (jeiseun), 테레사 (teresa), 민탕 (mintang), 리하오 (rihao). For those who don’t know how to write your own name in Korean or want to have a Korean name, KoreanClass101 has a page dedicated to writing Korean names. In Korea, when you meet someone for the first time, the conversation below is often:

    소희: 소연 씨는 한국 나이로 몇 살이에요?
    Sohee: Soyeon ssineun hanguk nairo myeot sarieyo?
    “How old are you Soyeon?”

    소연: 한국 나이로 25살이에요.
    Soyeon: Hanguk nairo 25 sarieyo.
    “I am 25 years old (Korean age).”

    소희: 아, 난 올해 26살인데!
    Sohee: A, nan olhae 26 sarinde!
    “I see, I am 26 years old!”

    소연: 아, 그렇군요, 앞으로 소희언니라고 부를게요.
    Soyeon: A, geureokunyo, apeuro sohuieonnirago bureulgeyo.
    “I see, I will call you Sohee unnie from now on.”

    A. Cultural Insight: What it Means to be Older

    In Korea, age is important and addressing someone with an appropriate title is crucial. Also, you need to show respect to someone who is one year older or even just a few months older than you. This might sound crazy at first, but if you happen to be older than other fellows, there are many benefits you can enjoy:

    Korean Culture

    1- Benefits of Being Older in Korea

    1. You can order 동생 (dongsaeng) “young fellows” to do things for you.
    If you’re older (either 오빠/형 oppa; hyung/hyeong or 언니/누나 unni/unnie; noona/nuna) and want to ask someone to bring you something or do things for you, you’re allowed to do this simply because you’re older. You can request simple tasks such as bringing you the phone (if it’s far from you), buying some food for you from the supermarket, and many other small tasks that you don’t want to do.

    2. Others will show respect to you by bowing to you.
    Koreans don’t wave or shake hands to say hello or goodbye to their seniors. You need to bow to elders to show courtesy. Also, did you know that there are different degrees of the bow to show politeness? A fifteen-degree bow is a very common way of greeting elders, and a forty-five-degree bow is to show the highest degree of politeness. Pro tip: Pay attention to 한국 드라마 (hanguk deurama) “Korean dramas.”

    3. People will speak to you with formal language.
    Do you know how to say a formal and informal “hello” in Korean? You can not say 안녕 (annyeong)—which is an informal greeting in Korean—to someone who is older than you. 안녕 (annyeong) is used when you’re speaking with someone of the same age or someone who is younger than you. If you want to greet an older person, you need to use formal language. In this case, you need to say 안녕하세요 (annyeong haseyo) which is a formal greeting in Korean.

    Let’s see if you can distinguish the difference:

    A: 효린아, 안녕. 주말 잘 보냈어?
    Hyorina, annyeong. Jumal jal bonaesseo?
    “Hello, Hyorin. How was your weekend?”

    B: 효린 언니/누나, 안녕하세요. 주말 잘 보내셨어요?
    Hyorin unni/unnie; noona/nuna, annyeonghaseyo. Jumal jal bonaesyeosseoyo?
    “Hello, Hyorin unnie. How was your weekend?”

    Which sentence uses formal language? Which one uses informal language? That’s right. A is informal language and B is formal language. Here’s another example. Let’s say that you’re working on a group assignment and you found out that you’re the youngest in the group. Which expression is most likely used by you?

    A: 나 지금 어디 빨리 가야 해서, 나중에 얘기하자.
    Na jigeum eodi ppalli gaya haeseo, najunge yaegihaja.
    “Sorry, I have to go somewhere quickly, let’s talk later.”

    B: 선배님, 그럼 연락처 알려주시겠어요?
    Seonbaenim (or Sunbaenim), geureom yeollakcheo allyeojusigesseoyo?
    “Okay, seonbaenim (or Sunbaenim), can I have your contact number?”

    Korean Girl

    2- Disadvantages of Being Older in Korea

    However, regardless of how you can take advantages of these things mentioned above, there are also downsides about being older in a group:

    1. You are expected to pay for the lunch/dinner.
    Have you ever heard someone say 내가 한턱 쏜다! (Naega hanteok ssonda) or 내가 쏠께 (Naega ssolkke)? It means “This is on me!” and these expressions are often used in South Korea, so it’s good to memorize them. You may be expected to pay for many activities such as lunch, dinner, movies, and so on if you’re older, and this is accepted in the workplace as well.

    (You ordered some food at a café and 선배님 wants to pay for you.)

    선배: 내가 오늘 한턱 쏜다!
    Naega oneul hanteok ssonda!
    “Today, it’s all on me!”

    후배: 우와, 선배님 짱! 감사합니다!
    Uwa, sunbaenim jjang! Gamsahamnida!
    “Wow, thank you, sunbae (or seonbae)!”

    2. You need to lead the group.
    People show a decent respect to you, follow your orders, use formal language, and even bow to you when greeting. It does feel great, right? However, did you know that they expect you to show a strong leadership in return? Also, if they trust you, they will come to you to receive advice as well. So be prepared for it!

    3. It might become difficult for you to make friends.
    When you take advantage of your power, it may be fun for you in the beginning, but be prepared for consequences. No one wants to be with someone who likes controlling people. So be cautious of your actions.

    B. Cultural Insight: What it Means to be Younger

    Korean Child

    If you’re younger or the youngest in a group, there are a number of things you’ll need to do for older people, including:

    1- Use formal language/bow every time you meet them.
    As explained above, you need to show respect to someone who is older or who has higher status than you. This may be challenging at first if you’re not used to it, but using appropriate Korean honorific titles is important in South Korea, so do your best to use these! Also, show some respect by bowing to them. There may also be times where you have to follow their orders even if you don’t want to, but it really depends on the person, so don’t worry too much about this.

    A lot of students who are learning Korean struggle with 존댓말 (jondaenmal) “formal language,” but don’t worry, it takes time to get used to these Korean honorifics. If you’re able to use Korean honorific expressions when speaking to people in Korea, they will be surprised at first (because you’re fluent in Korean!) but they’ll also show great respect to you in return. Let’s try to learn a few different Korean honorifics:

    - When you speak to a professor:
    교수님, 집에 고양이 키우고 계세요? (formal language)
    Gyosunim, jibe goyangi kiugo gyeseyo?
    “Professor, are you raising a cat at home?”

    - When you speak to a male who’s older than you
    지민오빠, 집에 고양이 키우고 계세요? (formal language)
    Jimin oppa, jibe goyangi kiugo gyeseyo?
    Jimin oppa, are you raising a cat at home?”

    - When you speak to someone who’s the same age as you
    영웅아, 집에 고양이 키워? (informal language)
    Yeongung-a, jibe goyangi kiwo?
    Yeongung, are you raising a cat at home?”

    2- Unless they allowed you to do so, never use informal language.
    Not all Koreans strictly follow this rule as more and more people in Korea want to establish close relationships with others of different ages and backgrounds. Some 형 (hyeong; hyung), 누나 (noona; nuna), 오빠 (oppa), 언니 (unnie; unni), and 선배 (sunbae) allow 남동생 (namedongsaeng), 여동생 (yeodongsaeng), 후배 (hubae; hoobae) to speak 반말 (banmal) “informal language” in order to build a closer relationship with them and to erase hierarchy. However, it’s important to understand that you can’t use 반말 (banmal) unless you have been told to do so. If you start speaking informal language suddenly, there is a high chance that you’ll offend them.

    2. Business/Work Titles

    Korean Greeting

    We’ve learned from the list of Korean honorific titles that if there’s someone who is older or has higher status than you at work, he or she will most likely call your name by [name]씨. There are many other titles that you can use in the workplace. For instance, if you want to call your colleagues and superiors, you can use [name]님 or [name]대리님 or another work title accordingly.

    Here’s a list of commonly used work titles in Korea (ordered from higher status to lower status):

    Title Romanization Meaning
    회장님 hoejang-nim “Chairman(woman)”
    사장님 sajang-nim “President” or “CEO”
    전무이사님 jeonmuisa-nim “Sr. Managing Director”
    상무이사님 sangmooisa-nim “Managing Director”
    이사님 isa-nim “Director”
    부장님 bujang-nim “Division Head”
    차장님 chajang-nim “Vice Head of a Division”
    과장님 gwajang-nim “Head of a Unit”
    대리님 daeri-nim “Assistant Manager”
    팀장님 timjang-nim “Team Leader”
    사원 sawon “Employee”

    If you want to call someone from your work, simply add an appropriate title after his or her name.

    For example:

    • 윤서 대리님 (yunseo daerinim)
    • 민경 과장님 (mingyeong gwajangnim)
    • 민호 이사님 (minho isanim)

    Keep in mind that not all Korean companies strictly follow these rules. Other (foreign) companies 외국계 회사 (oegukgye hoesa) “a foreign-affiliated firm” or start-up companies use either English names or 님 to everyone to allow for flat organization.

    3. Be Careful When You Use Korean Honorific Titles!

    Korean Flag

    It can be difficult to learn at first because there are many rules that you need to remember. Here are some tips for you to memorize so that you don’t make these mistakes in the future!

    To call a taxi driver:
    - Don’t: 택시기사씨 (taeksigisassi)
    - Do: 택시기사님 (taeksigisanim); 기사님 (gisanim)

    To call an old lady:
    - Don’t: 아주머니씨 (ajumonissi); 아줌마씨 (ajummassi)
    - Do: 아주머니 (ajumoni), 아줌마 (ajumma)

    To call an old man:
    - Don’t: 아저씨씨 (ajusshissi); 아저씨님 (ajussinim)
    - Do: 아저씨 (ajusshi)

    To call a grandfather:
    - Don’t: 할아버지님 (halabujinim)
    - Do: 할아버지 (halabuji)

    4. KoreanClass101 Can Help You Improve Your Korean

    KoreanClass101 has a lesson that discusses Korean honorifics in detail, so please check out our free Korean lesson “Show People Respect with Korean Honorific Speech.”

    Even if you can read and understand Korean well, it can be problematic if you can’t pronounce the language properly. We have a free lesson on “How to Sound Like a Native: Korean Pronunciation” as well, so please check it out!

    If you have any questions regarding the Korean language, culture, and more, check out our KoreanClass101 forum.

    감사합니다 (polite form of “thank you” in Korean). We hope that you learned a lot of Korean honorifics today! Go put them to good use on your next visit to Korea!

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