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Korean Etiquette: 7 Do’s and Don’ts in Korea

Korea has its own customs, traditions, and rules for manners, just like your own country does. Some of these customs are completely fine in your country, but are considered offensive in Korea. These fascinating differences are necessary to learn before your visit to Korea.

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Table of Contents

  1. Korean Dining Etiquettes
  2. Basic Korean Drinking Etiquette
  3. Asking Someone’s Age in Korea
  4. Place Setting Rules for Dining in Korea
  5. Don’t Write Names in Red in Korea
  6. Never Sit in Priority Seats in Korea
  7. Take Your Shoes Off at Home in Korea
  8. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Learn More Korean

Today, KoreanClass101 is going to explain to you seven important Korean etiquettes in detail so that you can avoid making these mistakes while in Korea! Also, keep in mind that Koreans are not afraid of calling you out on behavior they find offensive, which is where our vocabulary learning will come in handy.

Table Manner

Do’s and Don’ts in Korea #1 : Korean Dining Etiquettes

1- Do: Wait Until Elders Start Eating Their Food

In Korea, you cannot start eating until the elders grab the chopsticks and start eating their own meal. The order of eating has to be according to age. For example, if you are sitting with your grandfather, parents, parents’ friends, and your younger sister at a dining table, the order should be :

Korean Vocabulary List

  1. 할아버지 (harabeoji) - “grandfather”
  2. 부모님 (bumonim) - “your parents”
  3. 부모님의 친구 (bumonimui chingu) - “parents’ friends”
  4. 나 자신 (Na chashin) - “myself”
  5. 여동생 (yeodongsaeng) - “younger sister”

2- Do: Chew with Your Mouth Closed and Try to Hide the Bones

Try not to make noise when you chew your food in South Korea. It is considered rude if you do make any noise when chewing, so try to chew with your mouth closed.

Also keep in mind that Koreans eat grilled fish, marinated chicken, and so on. It is advised that if you have bones, you hide them by wrapping them in some tissue or placing them under the rice bowl.

Korean Vocabulary List

  1. 생선 가시 (saengseon gasi) - “fish bone”
  2. 생선 가시를 발라내다 (saengseon gasireul ballanaeda) - “debone a fish”
  3. 우리 밥 먹을 때 조용히 먹자. (uri bam meogeul ttae joyonghi meokja.) - “Let’s just eat quietly.”

3- Do Not: Leave the Table Until You Are Done with the Meal

If you need to go to the 화장실 (hwajangsil) “bathroom”, try to go before sitting at the dining table; it is considered rude to leave the table while eating. However, if you really need to leave the table for some urgent reason, the best way is to politely explain the situation to the eldest person.

Also note that it’s considered rude to place your elbow on the table as well, especially if you are dining with the elders or someone who is older than you.

4- Are You the Youngest Person in a Group? Rules to Remember

Here are a couple of important rules in the Korean table manner that you need to remember if you are the youngest person in a group:

When you go to a restaurant or prepare the dinner at home with your Korean homestay family, you are expected to prepare 수저 (sujeo) “spoon and a pair of chopsticks”, as well as other amenities such as water.

Also, you may need to grill the meats for elders or those of higher status when you go to a restaurant with other colleagues. However, this is not mandatory as the task of grilling the meats for everyone depends on who sits closest to the barbecue grill.

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Soju

Do’s and Don’ts in Korea #2: Basic Drinking Etiquette

1- Do: Make Sure Everyone’s Glass is Full

If you are the youngest, check to see if others’ glasses are empty, as it is rude to allow anyone to have an empty glass. Fill up the person’s glass first who is older or of higher status than you, by politely saying 한 잔 더 받으세요 (han jan deo badeuseyo) “Let me refill your glass.”

There are a couple of South Korean basic drinking etiquettes that will prove helpful when you go drinking with colleagues, friends, or elders in the future. Firstly, you need to hold the bottle and shot glasses with two hands when someone pours 막걸리 (makgeolli) “rice wine” or 소주 (soju) “Korean distilled liquor” for you. Also, it is polite to turn away from elders while you drink.

2- Do Not: Pour Your Own Drink

In Korea, it is considered rude to pour your own shot. Therefore, wait until someone offers to pour for you; this will usually be done by the youngest person. Sometimes, however, older or higher-status people may offer to pour for you. This usually means that the person wants to establish a great relationship with you, especially if the person is your boss or someone whom you cannot usually interact with in daily life. So, if he or she offers to pour you an alcoholic drink, accept it. If you refuse firmly, it may greatly harm the atmosphere. If you do not want to drink alcohol, just leave the glass as it is and order a different drink, or politely say 죄송하지만, 저는 술을 한 방울도 못 마십니다 (Joesonghajiman, jeoneun sureul han banguldo mon masimnida), “I am sorry, but I don’t drink even a drop.”

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Asking Someone's Age

Do’s and Don’ts in Korea #3: Asking Someone’s Age

1- It is Very Normal to Ask Someone’s Age

It’s absolutely normal to ask someone’s age in South Korea, so don’t get offended if you’re asked. Seeing as it is rude to ask someone’s age in most Western countries, this is a great example of etiquette differences between countries.

Koreans ask your age in order to determine what kind of language they need to use when talking with you. For example, if you meet someone in class for the first time, you would ask 몇 년생이세요? (myeot nyeonsaengiseyo) “What year were you born?” or 나이가 어떻게 되세요? (nai-ga eotteoke doeseyo) “How old are you?”. Then, if he or she is older than you, you need to start using formal language and show respect to him or her.

On the other hand, if a person is younger than you, you can speak casually with them, whereas he or she must speak to you in formal language.

Did you know that international and Korean age are different?

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Korean Food Setting

Do’s and Don’ts in Korea #4: Place Setting Rules for Dining

Did you know that there is a number of place setting rules for dining in Korea? For example, a spoon and a set of chopsticks should be placed next to the rice bowl, on the right-hand side. Also, a spoon stays to the left while chopsticks stay to the right.

Stew (such as Kimchi stew) is usually placed in the middle so that everyone can share the soup together, surrounded by many different kinds of side dishes such as: 김치 (Kimchi - a Korean dish of spicy pickled cabbage) and 야채 (yachae - vegetables).

Typically, 고기반찬 (gogibanchan) “meat side dishes” stay on the right-hand side and 야채반찬 (yachaebanchan) “vegetable side dishes” stay on the left-hand side of the dining table.

In summary:

  • Right-hand side: Warm and hot dishes, watery food, meat dishes, and so on
  • Left-hand side: Cold dishes and dry foods, vegetable dishes, and so on

Red Pen

Do’s and Don’ts in Korea #5: Don’t Write Names in Red!

Did you know that it is considered extremely offensive to write someone’s name in red ink? Writing a person’s name in red ink means that he or she is deceased, and if he or she is still alive, it means that the person who wrote your name wishes that you were dead. 빨간 잉크 (ppalgan ingkeu) “red ink” was used in the past to write a deceased person’s name. So it should go without saying that you shouldn’t write your friend’s name down in red ink!

Learn these top 10 phrases in Korean and amaze your Korean friends

Priority Seat

Do’s and Don’ts in Korea #6: Never Sit in Priority Seats

When riding on buses or subways, you should avoid sitting in the priority seats; they are for the handicapped, the elderly, and pregnant women. You can easily identify them because there is a label that says 노약자석 (noyakjaseok) “For the handicapped, the elderly, and pregnant women” above the seating area, depicting the profiles of the three groups. It is important not to take these seats even if they are empty.

This is what you are going to see at priority seats: 장애인, 노약자, 임산부, 영유아 동반자 좌석입니다 (jangaein, noyakja, imsanbu, yeongyua dongbanja jwaseogipnida) “Seats for the handicapped, weak, pregnant women or accompanied with baby.” Also, you will frequently hear announcements such as 노약자석에 앉지 마세요 (noyakjaseoge anjji maseyo) “Please don’t sit on priority seats” to let everyone know that these seats need to remain available at all times.

Take Your Shoes Off

Do’s and Don’ts in Korea #7: Take Your Shoes Off at Home

In Korea, you will always find a 신발장 (sinbaljang) “shoes shelf,” or an area where Koreans keep their shoes. For example, if you are at a 레스토랑 (reseutorang) “restaurant” where you sit on the floor at a low table, you will need to take off your shoes beforehand. Also, when you enter someone’s house, you must take off your shoes and leave them at the entrance.

Hangul

How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Learn More Korean

In summary, we introduced seven important Korean etiquettes and relevant Korean vocabularies for you to remember! KoreanClass101 has many study materials that you can download for free. Also, have you come across any Korean words that you don’t know? Look them up on KoreanClass101 dictionary with free audio for you to practice pronunciation! We are here to help you improve your Korean, so feel free to use our website anytime. You can learn more Korean etiquettes, along with polite ways to speak Korean, on KoreanClass101. Check out our Culture Classes and Business Korean Series!

Thank you and have a great day!

Life in Seoul: What is the Cost of Living in South Korea?

Due to Korean Dramas and Kpop influences, the number of foreigners traveling to Korea or living in Korea has doubled in the last decade. This means that more and more foreigners come to Korea to learn its culture, language, customs and so on. Traveling to Korea certainly helps you understand Korea and also helps you expand your perspective.

However, it’s important to understand the difference between traveling and moving abroad. Travelers’ main concerns may be where to stay throughout the trip, or where to shop or to eat in Seoul. But for foreigners who want to live in Korea, one of the main concerns may be the cost of living in Korea. I am sure that you are reading this blog because you have been considering moving to Korea and you want to gather as much information as you can.

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Table of Contents

  1. Cost of Renting an Apartment or a House in Korea
  2. Cost of Food in Korea
  3. Cost of Entertainment in Korea
  4. Cost of Transportation in Korea
  5. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Learn more Korean

Don’t worry, KoreanClass101 will look into the living costs, such as renting an apartment, purchasing food, enjoying entertainment etc, in Korea, focusing on Seoul. Also, KoreanClass101 will share some tips on how you can save some money while living in Korea, like locals do, so that you can apply these tips once you start living in Seoul, Korea. We will share some useful Korean phrases and words for you to learn from this article so please keep reading!

Apartment

1. Cost of Renting an Apartment or a House in Korea

If you are going to be an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in Korea, you do not need to worry about accommodations, as the company will cover all the expenses including the utility fees. However if you need to find your own place to stay, there are some important things that you need to understand about renting an apartment in Korea.

Firstly, depending on where you want to live, your rent will be different. For example, if you want to live in Gangnam, Hongdae or any other main district in Seoul, the rent is going to be extremely expensive in comparison to other areas far from the main districts.

Secondly, Koreans usually search for an apartment to rent through a real estate agent. Koreans believe that it is the safest way to find an apartment and usually the real estate agent will take care of all the work including negotiating with the landlord and reading through the contract for you. If you want to lower the apartment rent, you may want to increase the default deposit. Usually, if you increase the deposit by 10,000,000 KRW, you may be able to lower the rent by 50,000 KRW. Also, sometimes you will notice that the water utility fee is included in the rent. This is certainly negotiable as well. The real estate agent will negotiate this with the landlord on your behalf, and there is no guarantee as it’s really up to the landlord to decide. Also, if you find a house then you will need to pay approximately 10% of your rent to the real estate agent. Koreans also use a number of apps or websites to save on the agency fee, which are 다방 (dabangapp), 직방 (Zigbang), 피터팬의 좋은방 구하기 (peterpanz) and so on.

List of Korean words for renting an apartment in South Korea:

  1. 월세 (wolse) - “monthly rent”
  2. 관리비 (gwanribi) - “maintenance fee”
  3. 수도요금 (sudoyogeum) - “water bill”
  4. 전기요금 (jeongiyogeum) - “electricity bill”
  5. 계약서 (gyeyakseo) - “contract”

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Food in Korea

2. Cost of Food in Korea

It is relatively cheap to eat out or do grocery shopping in South Korea. For example, a carton of milk costs around 2,500 KRW and the price of snacks and sweets usually start from 1,000 KRW. Also, the majority of supermarkets offer special discounts such as 1+1 events or coupon events. So look out for these signs when you go to a supermarket. In addition, a good thing about doing grocery shopping at supermarkets such as major wholesale stores like emart, Home plus and some local supermarkets, is that some supermarkets offer free delivery if you purchase over a certain amount.

Regarding eating out in South Korea, dishes usually cost from 7,000 KRW if you go to an inexpensive restaurant. Just to give you some hints about the cost of food in Korea, a McDonalds meal usually costs from 6,000 KRW and beers cost from 3,000 KRW. Waiters and waitresses often can speak English if you go to the city area, but if you are living outside the main districts, you will need to order food in Korean. If you learn a few phrases and order food at a restaurant, using honorific Korean, Koreans will appreciate you for trying to speak Korean.

List of Korean words for food:

  1. 닭 가슴살 (dalg gaseumsal) - “chicken breast”
  2. 사과 (sagwa) - “apple”
  3. 바나나 (banana) - “banana”
  4. 감자 (gamja) - “potato”
  5. 소주 (sojoo) - a Korean alcoholic drink typically made from rice or sweet potatoes.

Click here to learn more Korean essential vocabulary for fruits and vegetables!

Entertainment

3. Cost of Entertainment in Korea

The cost of entertainment in South Korea really depends on what you want to do as a hobby or for pleasure. For now, let’s focus on movies. If you purchase movie tickets at the counter, the tickets cost usually around 12,000 KRW, without any snacks or drinks. The price of the ticket becomes more expensive based on the type of movie. For a 3D or IMAX film, expect to pay a lot more.

But don’t worry, there are many ways to enjoy the entertainment without spending a fortune. Here are some tips on what locals do to receive some discounts on their movie tickets.

1) Try to purchase a movie ticket online as tickets are usually around 7,500 KRW online. Also, try to sign up to receive more discounts, ranging from 10% to 30%.
2) If you are an active SNS user, many South Korean companies offer free movie tickets or drinks if you share their contents on your SNS pages.
3) Look out for special discounts offered by different cinemas, such as 조조할인 (jojohal-in), 심야할인(sim-ya-hal-in), 무비데이 (mubidei) and so on.

List of Korean words for entertainment:

  1. 영화 (yeonghwa) - “movie”
  2. 티켓 (tikes) - “ticket(s)”
  3. 조조할인 (jojohal-in) - discount tickets offered to customers who come to the cinema early in the morning
  4. 무비데이 (mubidei) - Every Wednesday is called “movie day,” and you will receive some discount on the movie tickets.
  5. 심야할인 (sim-ya-hal-in) - discount tickets offered to customers who come to the cinema late at night

Do you want to challenge yourself by memorizing 100 essential Korean words?
Click here to access Korean Core 100 Word List for free!

Transportation

4. Cost of Transportation

Transportation in South Korea is extremely convenient and cheap. You will need to purchase a T-Money card, which is a prepaid rechargeable touch-and-go transportation card. You can purchase this card at the ticket machine inside the subway. If you can apply for a credit card in Korea, you can also apply for a card that offers discounts for people who use transportation often. You can consult your bank if you are interested. When you scan your transportation card at a subway station, usually it costs 1,250 KRW for an adult and 720 KRW for a child (with the transportation card). For buses in South Korea, the price differs, from 1,200 KRW to 2,500 KRW, depending on the company and time of the day. Regarding the cost of taxis in Seoul, 일반 (Ilban - “regular taxis”) start from 3,000 KRW and 모범 (mobeom - “deluxe taxis,” black with a yellow top )cost from 5,000 KRW. If you catch a taxi late at night, there will be a late night surcharge.

List of Korean words for transportation:

  1. 대중교통 (daejung-gyotong) - “public transport”
  2. 버스 (beoseu) - “bus(es)”
  3. 지하철 (jihacheol) - “subway(s)”
  4. 택시 (taegsi) - “taxi(s)”

What should we watch in Korea? Learn how to express your intentions!

5. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Learn more Korean

In summary, we looked at different areas’ of cost of living in South Korea, focusing only on Seoul. The price range may vary depending on which area you go to, therefore it’s important to compare the prices and do a little bit of research in order to save some money while you are in Korea.

Regardless of how cheap or expensive it is to live in South Korea, it’s important to study the language before. If you understand Korean language, it will be a lot easier for you to navigate around in South Korea.

If you have more questions about Korea (apart from cost of living in Korea) why not visit our KoreanClass101 forum? You can get a lot of advice from Koreans or foreigners living in Korea. Also KoreanClass101 has many Korean resources where you can access many study materials for free, so sign up for KoreanClass101 today to receive a free trial!

Good luck :)

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Blood Type Personality in Korea: What It Says about You

If you have ever visited Korea or stayed in Korea for quite some time, you have probably noticed that a lot of Korean people ask “what is your blood type?”. This question is one of the most common questions that Korean people ask, apart from “How old are you?”. In Korea, it is perfectly fine to ask about a person’s blood type, especially if you want to get to know someone very well instantly, in particular, on a blind date. The reason is that Korean people believe that each blood type has its own distinct personality and it is the quickest way to determine a person’s temperament and even compatibility with others. You may feel confused as to why people ask about blood types in Korea, but don’t worry. If you are asked this by a Korean, that means that the person wants to get to know you better.

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So who developed this concept? The blood type personality theory was developed by a Japanese person named Masahiko Nomi who graduated from the University of Tokyo. He began his first career as a journalist and his first book “Understanding Affinity by Blood Type” became a bestseller in the 1970s. The idea then spread outward and it is popular in some Asian countries, such as South Korea and Taiwan. You are probably wondering, ‘so what’s this all about?’, so let’s have a look at the description of each blood type to see if it matches with your personality. Then let’s look at the compatibility of blood types, followed by the blood types of famous Korean celebrities.

Blood Type A

1. Blood Type A

According to the Korean blood type personality chart, it is said that people with blood type A are known to be diplomatic and friendly, however due to their sensitive natures, they prefer staying alone to being in a group; therefore they may feel uncomfortable in crowded areas or parties. Also, they are fragile-hearted and easily get hurt, therefore it takes time for them to open up to people. Others may take this negatively and view them as snobs, since people with blood type A are good at hiding their feelings and do not express themselves a lot compared to other blood types such as blood type B or O. If you want to be friends with a person with Blood Type A, the best way is to be patient and get to know them slowly. Once you get to know them you will find that they are very friendly and down to earth! Also, they are punctual and always expect the best results in everything they do, therefore others seem them as perfectionists. When people describe blood type A, you will often hear:

A형은 성실하고 예민한 것 같아요.
e-i-hyeong-eun seong-sil-ha-go ye-min-han geot ga-ta-yo
“People with type A blood are earnest and sensitive.”

Blood Type A Personality in Korean

  • 성실하다 (seong-sil-ha-da) = “to be earnest”
  • 신중하다 (sin-jung-ha-da) = “to be cautious”
  • 고집이 세다 (go-ji-bi se-da) = “to be stubborn”
  • 예민하다 (ye-min-ha-da) = “to be sensitive”

Blood Type Compatibility for A

  • The best blood type compatibility is O, followed by A.
  • The worst blood type compatibility is B.

Famous Celebrities with Blood Type A

  • 장나라 (Jang Na-ra)
  • 이효리 (Lee Hyori)
  • 최지우 (Choi Ji-woo)
  • 닉쿤 (Nichkhun)
  • 배용준 (Bae Yong-joon)

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Blood Type B

2. Blood Type B

According to the Korean blood type personality chart, it is said that B types are the most outgoing compared to other blood types. Also they are independent and are passionate about the things that they are interested in. Type Bs always seek stimulation and they are not afraid of speaking their minds. Therefore, they can be seen as self-centered because they express their opinion, regardless of what the other person might feel.

In Korea, men with blood type B have a negative reputation for being playboys and for not suitable for a stable relationship. The interesting fact is that there was even a song called “Blood Type B Man” by Kim Hyun Jung, and this song became extremely popular when it was released.But don’t worry, although blood type B has a negative reputation for being the blood type of playboys, there are many positive traits too. They are curious, honest and enjoy attention, therefore people with blood type B can make friends easily, like a social butterfly! When people describe blood type B, you will often hear:

B형은 창의적이고 낙관적인 것 같아요.
B-hyeong-eun-chang-ui-jeo-gi-go-nak-gwan-jeo-in geot ga-ta-yo
“People with blood type B are creative and optimistic.”

Blood Type B Personality in Korean

  • 창의적이다 (chang-ui-jeo-gi-da) = “to be creative”
  • 낙관적이다 (nak-gwan-jeo-gi-da) = “to be optimistic”
  • 이기적이다 (i-gi-jeo-gi-da) = “to be selfish”
  • 무책임하다 (mu-chae-gim-ha-da) = “to be irresponsible”

Blood Type Compatibility for B

  • The best blood type compatibility is AB, followed by O.
  • The worst blood type compatibility is A.

Famous Celebrities with Blood Type B

  • 이동욱 (Lee Dong Wook)
  • 이승기 (Lee Seung Gi)
  • 탑 (T.O.P)
  • 제시카 (Jessica Jung)

Blood Type O

3. Blood Type O

They are known to be energetic, practical and friendly. Also blood type O is labeled as a natural leader. They are experts at expressing their opinions in a constructive way, making sure that everyone listens to them, while still being friendly to everyone. They know how to control their emotions very well, giving others a great impression of being stable and under control. Research in Korea indicates that blood type O is the most prefered blood type by CEOs and coworkers because of the traits mentioned above. However, although they might have a reputation of being strong outside, they are very sensitive inside. People with blood type O have some difficulties expressing their feelings due to a fear of rejection and also they tend to burn themselves out trying to get things done perfectly. The best way to describe type Os in Korean is:

O형은 외향적이고 타고난 리더예요.
O-hyeong-eun-chang-ui-jeo-gi-go-ta-go-nan ri-deo-ye-yo
“People with type O are outgoing and natural leaders.”

Blood Type O Personality in Korean

  • 외향적이다 (chang-ui-jeo-gi-da) = “to be outgoing”
  • 타고난 리더이다 (ta-go-nan ri-deo-i-da) = “to be a natural leader”
  • 거만하다 (geo-man-ha-da) = “to be arrogant”
  • 질투심이 많다 (jul-tu-si-mi man-ta) = “to be jealous”

Blood Type Compatibility for O

  • The best blood type compatibility is A, followed by B.
  • The worst blood type compatibility is AB.

Famous celebrities with Blood Type O

  • 원빈 (Won Bin)
  • 박효신 (Park Hyo Shin)
  • 장동건 (Jang Dong-gun)
  • 이민정 (Lee Min-jung)
  • 김유정 (Kim Yoo-jung)

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Blood Type AB

4. Blood Type AB

They are the most interesting type compared to the others because this blood type is labeled as either genius or psycho. They are unpredictable because they often jump around from one activity to the next and their temperament is mixture of blood type A and B, therefore their personalities change quickly depending on their mood and the situation, and sometimes they don’t have control over it. Also type ABs are rational thinkers, therefore they cannot stand it when they find some situations to be irrational. As a result, they may have some difficulties interacting with people, giving others the wrong impression of being moody or two-faced. One of the ways to describe blood type ABs is:

AB형은 합리적이고 재능이 있어요.
AB-hyeong-eun-ham-ni-jeo-gi-go jae-neung-i it-eo-yo
“People with type AB are rational and talented.”

Blood Type AB Personality in Korean

  • 합리적이다 (ham-ni-jeo-gi-da) = “to be rational”
  • 재능이 있다 (jae-neung-i i-tta) = “to be talented”
  • 비판적이다 (bi-pan-jeo-gi-da) = “to be critical”
  • 별나다 (byeol-na-da) = “to be eccentric”

Blood Type Compatibility for AB

  • The best blood type compatibility is AB, followed by B.
  • The worst blood type compatibility is O.

Famous Celebrities with Blood Type AB

  • 박진영 (Park Jin-young)
  • 한가인 (Han Ga-in)
  • 택연 (Ok Taecyeon)
  • 김수현 (Kim Soo-hyun)
  • 박봄 (Park Bom)

Now, let’s have a look at few useful Korean sentences which you can use right away.

Talking about Blood Type

5. Talking about Your Blood Type in Korean

“What’s your blood type?”

  • Informal: 혈액형이 뭐야? (hyeo-raek-hyeong-i mwo-ya?)
  • Polite: 혈액형이 뭐예요? (hyeo-raek-hyeong-i mwo-ye-ya?)
  • Formal: 혈액형이 어떻게 되세요? (hyeo-raek-hyeong-i eo-tteo-ke doe-se-yo?)

“My blood type is…”:

  • ___형이야. (___hyeong-i-ya)
  • ___형이에요. (___hyeong-i-e-yo)
  • ___형입니다. (___hyeong-im-ni-da)

Example:

A: 방탄소년단 RM의 혈액형은 뭐예요?
Bang-tan-so-nyeon-dan RM-ui hyeo-raek-hyeong-i mwo-ye-yo?
A: “What’s the blood type of RM from BTS?”

B: RM의 혈액형은 O형이에요.
RM-ui hyeo-raek-hyeong-eun O-hyeong-i-e-yo
B: “RM’s blood type is O.”

Seoul

6. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Learn more Korean

You’ve learned some secret Korean blood type personalities with useful Korean phrases to describe your blood type personality.

To sum up, we had a look at each blood type and its personality and temperament, and blood type compatibility for each type. Do you think that they are true? Also, do you know how to describe your personality in Korean? KoreanClass101 has prepared a list of useful Korean adjectives to describe your personality for you to study. It is available online, so feel free to download it for free. Also, are you a big fan of Kpop and do you want to know what your favourite celebrities’ blood types are? Download your ultimate K-pop guide to learn Korean and get interesting facts about your favourite celebrities. It is absolutely free!

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So next time you run into a Korean person and want to understand their personality quickly, why not ask a simple question, like:

혈액형이 뭐예요?
hyeo-raek-hyeong-i mwo-ye-yo?
“What is your blood type?”

KoreanClass101 has many vocabulary lists available on our website for you to download for free. Why don’t you prepare a self-introduction, including your blood type and your personality in Korean? Click “10 Lines You Need for Introducing Yourself” to learn practical phrases in Korean.

Thank you and we hope that you enjoy learning Korean!

How to Celebrate April Fools’ Day in Korean

How to Celebrate April Fools' Day in Korean!

Most everyone is familiar with this day, as it is celebrated nearly everywhere the world. Yet, when exactly is April Fools’ Day? And where did April Fools come from? April Fools’ Day is observed on April 1st every year. This day of jokes and pranks is believed to have stemmed from the 16th-century calendar change in France, when New Year’s Day was moved from April 1 to January 1. This action was taken due to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar.

However, a few people were resistant to the calendar change, so they continued to observe New Year’s Day on April 1st, rather than the new date. They were referred to as the “April Fools”, and others started playing mocking tricks on them. This custom endured, and is practiced to this day around the world!

Table of Contents

  1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day
  2. Korean Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day
  3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody
  4. How Can KoreanClass101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?
  5. Top 1000 Most Useful Phrases in Korean - Testing New Technology

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1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day

Do you want to know how to say April Fools’ Day in Korean? Well, there are millions of ways and words, but here are the top one million Korean words you really need to know! Simply click this link. Here are some of them you will find useful:

  1. funny - 웃기는 - uggineun
  2. joke - 농담하다 - nongdamhada
  3. lie - 거짓말 - gyeojinmal
  4. surprise - 놀라다 - nollada
  5. sneaky - 몰래 - mollae
  6. prankster - 장난꾸러기 - jangnankkureogi
  7. prank - 장난 - jangnan
  8. play a joke - 장난을 치다 - jangnaneul chida
  9. humor - 유머 - yumeo
  10. fool - 바보 - babo
  11. deceptive - 속이는 - sogineun
  12. April 1st - 4월 1일 - sawol iril

2. Korean Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day

Korean Phrases for April Fools' Day

Don’t limit yourself to practical jokes - use these April Fools’ phrases in Korean to prank your favorite Korean friend or colleague!

  1. I learned Korean in 1 month.
    • 나는 1 달 만에 한국어를 배웠어.
    • Naneun han dal mane hangugeoreul baewoseo.
  2. All classes for today got canceled.
    • 오늘 모든 수업이 취소됐어.
    • Oneul modeun sueobi chwisodwaeseo.
  3. I’m sorry, but I’ve just broken your favorite pair of glasses.
    • 미안한데 나 방금 네가 가장 좋아하는 안경을 부러뜨렸어.
    • Mianhande na banggeum nega gajang joahaneun angyeongeul bureotteuryeoseo.
  4. Someone has just hit your car.
    • 어떤 사람이 방금 네 차를 쳤어.
    • Eotteon sarami banggeum ne chareul chyeoseo.
  5. I’m getting married.
    • 나 결혼해.
    • Na gyeolhonhae.
  6. You won a free ticket.
    • 공짜 티켓에 당첨되셨습니다.
    • Gongjja tikese dangcheomdoesyeotseumnida.
  7. I saw your car being towed.
    • 네 차가 견인되는 걸 봤어.
    • Ne chaga gyeonindoeneun geol bwaseo.
  8. They’re giving away free gift cards in front of the building.
    • 사람들이 건물 앞에서 무료 상품권을 나눠주고 있어.
    • Saramdeuri geonmul apeseo muryo sangpumgwoneul nanwojugo iseo.
  9. A handsome guy is waiting for you outside.
    • 잘 생긴 남자가 밖에서 널 기다리고 있어.
    • Jal saenggin namjaga bakkeseo neol gidarigo iseo.
  10. A beautiful lady asked me to give this phone number to you.
    • 예쁜 여자가 너한테 이 전화 번호를 전해달래.
    • Yeppeun yeojaga neohante i jeonhwa beonhoreul jeonhaedallae.
  11. Can you come downstairs? I have something special for you.
    • 아래층으로 내려 올래? 널 위해 특별히 준비한 게 있어.
    • Araecheungeuro naeryeo ollae? Neol wihae teukbyeolhi junbihan ge iseo.
  12. Thank you for your love letter this morning. I never could have guessed your feelings.
    • 오늘 아침 러브레터 고마워. 나는 절대 네 마음을 알아차리지 못했을 거야.
    • Oneul achim reobeureteo gomawo. Naneun jeoldae ne maeumeul arachariji motaeseul geoya.

Choose your victims carefully, though; the idea is to get them to laugh with you, not to hurt their feelings or humiliate them in front of others. Be extra careful if you choose to play a prank on your boss - you don’t want to antagonize them with an inappropriate joke.

3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody

Choose Bad or Good

Right, now that you know the top million April Fools’ words in Korean, let’s look at some super pranks and tricks to play on friends, colleagues and family. Some April Fools ideas never grow old, while new ones are born every year.

Never joke in such a way that it hurts anyone, or humiliates them badly in front of others - the idea is for everybody to laugh and enjoy the fun! Respect is still key, no matter what day of the year it is.

Cockroach prank

1- Infestation

This trick is so simple, yet so creepy, it’s almost unbelievable. Take black paper, cut out the silhouette of a giant cockroach, a spider or another insect, and stick it inside the lampshade of a table lamp. When the lamp is switched on, it will look like a monstrous insect is sitting inside the lampshade. Or, get a whole lot of realistic-looking plastic insects, and spread them over a colleague’s desk and chair, or, at home, over the kids’ beds etc. Creep-factor: stellar.

2- Which One Doesn’t Fit?

Put the photo of a celebrity or a notorious politician in a frame, and take it to work on April Fools’ Day. Hang the photo on the staff picture wall, and wait. You’ll be surprised how long it can take for people to notice that one picture doesn’t fit.

3- Something Weird in the Restroom

At work, replace the air freshener in the restroom with something noxious like insect killer, oven cleaner or your own odious mixture in a spray bottle. Be sure to cover the bottle’s body so no one suspects a swap.

Or paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish, and leave it at the hand wash basin. It will not lather.

Or, if your workplace’s restroom has partitioned toilets with short doors, arrange jeans or trousers and shoes on all but one of the toilet covers, so it looks like every stall is occupied. Now wait for complaints, and see how long it takes for someone to figure out the April Fools’ Day prank. You’ll probably wish you had a camera inside the restroom. But, unless you don’t mind getting fired, don’t put your own recording device in there!

Funny Face

4- Call Me Funny

Prepare and print out a few posters with the following instructions: Lion Roar Challenge! Call this number - 123-456-7890 - and leave your best lion’s roar as voicemail! Best roarer will be announced April 10 in the cafeteria. Prize: $100. (Lion’s roar is just an example; you can use any animal call, or even a movie character’s unique sound, such as Chewbacca from Star Wars. The weirder, the funnier. Obviously!) Put the posters up in the office where most of the staff is likely to see them. Now wait for the owner of the number to visit you with murderous intent. Have a conciliatory gift ready that’s not a prank.

5- Minty Cookies

This is another simple but hugely effective prank - simply separate iced cookies, scrape off the icing, and replace it with toothpaste. Serve during lunch or tea break at work, or put in your family’s lunch boxes. Be sure to take photos of your victim’s faces when they first bite into your April Fools’ cookies.

6- Wild Shopping

At your local grocer, place a realistic-looking plastic snake or spider among the fresh vegetables. Now wait around the corner for the first yell.

7- The Oldest Trick in the Book

Don’t forget probably the oldest, yet very effective April Fools’ joke in the book - smearing hand cream or Vaseline on a door handle that most staff, family or friends are likely to use. Yuck to the max!

8- Sneeze On Me

Another golden oldie is also gross, yet harmless and utterly satisfying as a prank. Fill a small spray bottle that you can easily conceal with water. Walk past a friend, colleague or one of your kids, and fake a sneeze while simultaneously spraying them with a bit of water. Expect to be called a totally disgusting person. Add a drop of lovely smelling essential oil to the water for extra confusion.

9- Word Play Repairs

Put a fresh leek in the hand wash basin at home or work, and then tell your housemates or colleagues this: “There’s a huge leak in the restroom/bathroom basin, it’s really serious. Please can someone go have a look?!” Expect exasperation and smiles all around. Note that this prank is only likely to work where people understand English well.

10- Scary Face

Print out a very scary face on an A4 sheet of paper, and place it in a colleague’s, or one of your kid’s drawers, so it’s the first thing they see when they open the drawer. You may not be very popular for a while.

11- Wake Up To Madness

Put foamy shaving cream, or real whipped cream on your hand, and wake your kid up by tickling their nose with it. As long as they get the joke, this could be a wonderful and fun way to start April Fools’ Day.

Computer Prank

12- Computer Prank

This one’s fabulous, if you have a bit of time to fiddle with a colleague, friend or your kid’s computer. It is most effective on a computer where most of the icons they use are on the desktop background itself (as opposed to on the bottom task bar).

Take and save a screenshot of their desktop with the icons. Set this screenshot as their background image. Now delete all the working icons. When they return to their computer, wait for the curses when no amount of clicking on the icons works.

13- Monster Under the Cup

This one will also work well anywhere people meet. Take a paper cup, and write the following on it in black pen: “Danger! Don’t lift, big spider underneath.” Place it upside-down on prominent flat surface, such as a kitchen counter, a colleague’s desk or a restaurant table. Expect some truly interesting responses.

Door Prank

14- Prank Door

Write in large letters on a large and noticeable piece of paper: PUSH. Tape this notice on a door that should be pulled to open, and watch the hilarious struggle of those clever souls who actually read signs.

4. How Can KoreanClass101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?

If you happen to visit Korea, or if you work for any Korean company, knowing the above Korean prankster phrases can really lighten up your day. Showing you have a sense of humor can go a long way to cement good relationships in any situation. These phrases are at your disposal for free, as well as are these 100 core Korean words, which you will learn how to pronounce perfectly.

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Also, don’t stop at learning April Fools’ phrases in Korean - bone up your Korean language skills with these FREE key phrases. Yes, KoreanClass101 doesn’t joke when it comes to effective, fun and easy learning.

Now, as a bonus, test our super-learning technology, and learn the Top 1000 most useful phrases in Korean below! But that’s not all. Read on to learn how you can be eligible for large enrollment discounts at KoreanClass101.

5. Top 1000 Most Useful Phrases in Korean - testing new technology

Help us by being a language guinea pig! Listen to this video above with embedded cutting-edge, frequency-based learning technology that enables you to learn large amounts of data in record time.

  • Note: This technology is in beta-phase of development, and we invite your input for fine-tuning.
  • To participate: Watch the video for instructions, and leave a comment to rate it. Your comment will make you eligible for large enrollment-fee discounts. To watch the video, please click the play button.

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Seollal, the Korean New Year’s Day!

Hi everyone! In this blog post, we will focus on the importance of 설날(seollal) and the festivities that native Koreans enjoy during this important holiday.

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Table of Contents

  1. 설날(Seollal) and Its Importance in Korea
  2. Paying Tribute to Ancestors During 설날(seollal)
  3. 세배(sebae), the New Year Bowing
  4. 떡국(tteokguk) and other Korean Traditional Dishes
  5. Traditional Games

1. 설날(Seollal) and Its Importance in Korea

설날(seollal)= The ”Lunar New Year Holiday” is one of the most important holidays for native Koreans as this is a time when nearly everyone heads back to their 고향(gohyang)=”hometown” to visit their 부모님(bumonim)=”parents” and 친척(chincheok)=”relatives” to celebrate the New Year, enjoy food, and to hold memorial ceremonies for their ancestors.

This means that tourists planning to visit Korea at the beginning of a new year need to check every year to see which day 설날(seollal) falls upon, as it is different from the New Year that western countries celebrate. In actuality, native Koreans take time off twice to celebrate the New Year Holidays!

The first celebration takes place on January 1st every year as it does in western countries–native Koreans call this holiday 신정(sinjeong), or the “Solar New Year Holiday”. 설날(seollal), or 구정(gujeong)= the ”Lunar New Year Holiday”, is a bit trickier–as the actual date of celebration changes every year. This means you will sometimes people take time off in January, and sometimes in February. Why is this?

This is because 구정(gujeong), which native Koreans also call 설날(seollal)= “Lunar New Year’s Day”, goes by the 음력 달력(eumnyeok dallyeok), or “Lunar Calendar”.

So if you want to check which day 설날(seollal), or 구정(gujeong) lands on, you could ask:

올해 구정은 언제입니까?
Olhae gujeongeun eonjeimnikka?
“When is the Lunar New Year’s Day this year?”

Or

올해 설날은 언제예요?
Olhae seollareun eonjeyeyo?
“When is the Lunar New Year’s Day this year?”

In 2018, 설날(seollal) falls on February 16th.

While 설날(seollal) is actually just a day, most native Koreans brave hours on the road to visit their 부모님(bumonim)=”parents” and their 고향(gohyang)=”hometown”, so the government designates approximately 3 days as public holidays. If the last day of the holidays is a 금요일(geumyoil)=”Friday” or the beginning of the holidays is a 월요일(woryoil)=”Monday”, you can consider the connecting 주말(jumal)=”weekend” as a part of the holidays and plan your trip accordingly.

Most people will plan their visits strategically as the 귀경길(gwigyeongkkil) =”the road/trip home” may take hours and you may find yourself stuck in traffic. So some people book 기차표(gichapyo)=”train tickets” and 비행기표(bihaenggipyo)=”airplane tickets” months in advance to avoid the traffic congestion.

Of course, in recent times, some people use this holiday period to go overseas, but most native Koreans will endure the long hours on the road for time with their family.

Paying Tribute to Ancestors

2. Paying Tribute to Ancestors During 설날(seollal)

One of the reasons why native Koreans head back to their hometowns to meet with their parents and relatives is to get together to pay tribute to their ancestors through a ceremony called 차례(charye), or 제사(jesa), which means ”a memorial ceremony for ancestors”.

For this ceremony, family members will prepare various dishes to be placed on a low table, including fish, meat, rice, fruit and other dishes and alcohol that the deceased ancestors liked. Once the table has been set, family members will light 향(hyang)=”incense”, then 절하다(jeolhada)=”bow” to the ancestors to show respect. They will also stick chopsticks straight up into the 밥그릇(bapgeureut)=”bowl of rice” and ask the spirits of the ancestors to visit and enjoy the food prepared by the living members of the household.

This is why after the holidays are over, you may overhear native Koreans having a conversation such as:

A: 설날에 뭐했어요?
Seollare mwohaesseoyo?
“What did you do during ‘seollal’?”

B: 가족도 만나고 제사도 드렸어요.
Gajokdo mannago jesado deuryeosseoyo.
“I met my family and we had a memorial ceremony for our ancestors.”

Korean New Year

3. 세배(sebae), the New Year Bowing

세배(sebae)=”bowing” is a very important part of the Lunar New Year holiday. 세배(sebae) is kneeling on the ground and bow one’s head to the floor. Usually, younger people will bow to members of the family that are older and wish them a happy new year by saying:

새해 복 많이 받으세요.
Saehae bok mani badeuseyo.
“Wishing that you receive a lot of luck in the new year.”

In return, the family members on the receiving side prepare 세벳돈(sebetdon)=”money in return for receiving a bow”. As this act is done for someone older/senior, people will describe it using the verb 드리다(deurida)=”honorific form of the verb ‘give’”.

Example:

할머니께 세배 드렸어요.
halmeonikke sebae deuryeosseoyo.
“I bowed to my grandmother.”

would mean ‘I did the sebae bow’. When bowing, you can say 새해 복 많이 받으세요 (sehae bok mani badeuseyo), which means ‘Have lots of luck in the new year’.

Korean Dish

4. 떡국(tteokguk) and other Korean Traditional Dishes

One traditional dish that every native Korean will eat during the 설날(seollal) holidays is 떡국(tteokguk)=”rice cake soup”. The base of the soup differs depending on the province, but most families will prepare a bone marrow soup and add sliced rice cakes, egg, and chopped spring onions. The reason why native Koreans eat this dish is because people believe that in order to become a year older, you need to eat a bowl of this rice cake soup. Some people jokingly state after they’ve cleared two bowls of 떡국(tteokguk) that they have aged not one, but two years as they finished two bowls instead of one!

Another dish you will see is 전(jeon)=”fried pancakes”. This is not actually a pancake, but various ingredients such as meat or fish, or sometimes vegetables, which are rolled in flour and dipped in raw beaten egg before being fried. It takes time to prepare, but is very delicious and commonly found in every household during the 설날(seollal) holidays.

Traditional Games

5. Traditional Games

Once family members gather, there is only so much to talk about. So everyone gathers around to play various traditional games. The most commonly played game is 윷놀이(yunnori), a traditional Korean board game. It is a very simple game–there are four wooden sticks, which are rounded on one side and flat on the other. You split into two teams, with each member represented by a ‘piece’ you move around the board. Each member throws the sticks and moves their pieces around the board according to how the sticks have landed. All the members of the team need to finish the game before the opposing team in order to win.

How to Say Happy New Year in Korean & New Year Wishes

Learn all the Korean New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join KoreanClass101 for a special Korean New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in Korean

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in Korean? Let a native teach you! At KoreanClass101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Korean New Year wishes!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in Korea
  2. Must-Know Korean Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Korean
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Learn Korean

But let’s start with some vocabulary for Korean New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in Korea

Did you know every Korean get 1 year older on January 1st on New Year’s Day? Yes, that’s how Korean age works and how Koreans get older, and that’s why New Year’s Day is more special in Korea.

There are two New Year’s Day in Korea; one is 구정 (gujeong) and 신정 (sinjeong.) 구정 (gujeong) is the New Year holiday based on the lunar calendar. It’s considered more traditional than the other one, 신정 (sinjeong), which is based on the solar calendar.

During the traditional new year holiday, family get-togethers take place. However, recently fewer and fewer people are visiting their hometown during 구정 (gujeong), because of the heavy traffic jams from Seoul to other cities. Instead, more and more people are visiting their family on 신정 (sinjeong), the New Year holiday on the solar calendar, or other weekends. Moreover, sometimes parents visit their sons’ or daughters’ houses instead. In Korean, this trend is called 역귀성 (yeok-gwiseong) which means “Reversed homecoming.” As it takes too much time to go from Seoul to other cities, the parents take a trip to Seoul instead.

Happy New Year!
새해 복 많이 받으세요!
Saehae bok mani badeuseyo.

2. Must-Know Korean Words & Phrases for the New Year!

Korean Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year


nyeon

This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in Korea could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight

자정
jajeong

The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day

새해 첫날
saehae cheonnal

In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

4- Party

파티
pati

A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing


chum

Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne

샴페인
syampein

Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks

불꽃놀이
bulkkotnori

These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

8- Countdown

카운트 다운
kaunteu daun

This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

연말 연시
yeonmal yeonsi

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10- Confetti

색종이 조각
saekjjongi jogak

In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve

섣달 그믐
Seotdal Geumeum

This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast

건배
geonbae

A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution

새해소원
saehaesowon

Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade

퍼레이드
peoreideu

New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At KoreanClass101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Korean New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

So, you learned the Korean word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at KoreanClass101 - what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your Korean friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

다독하기
dadokhagi

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Korean in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Korean language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

가족과 더욱 많은 시간 보내기
gajokgwa deouk maneun sigan bonaegi

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

체중감량하기
chejunggamnyanghagi

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

소비절약하기
sobijeoryakhagi

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to KoreanClass101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

금연하기
geumnyeonhagi

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

새로운 것 배우기 새로운 것 배우기
saeroun geot baeugi

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

절주하기
jeoljjuhagi

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

규칙적으로 운동하기
gyuchikjjeogeuro undonghagi

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

건강한 식습관 가지기
geonganghan siksseupkkwan gajigi

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study Korean with KoreanClass101

KoreanClass101.com으로 한국어 공부하기
KoreanClass101.comeuro hangugeo gongbuhagi

Of course! You can only benefit from learning Korean, especially with us! Learning how to speak Korean can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. KoreanClass101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Korean new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in Korean, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Korean incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with KoreanClass101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Korean could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Korean - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Korean - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with KoreanClass101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Korean! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that KoreanClass101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Korean at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Korean that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Korean with KoreanClass101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Korean

How to Say Merry Christmas in Korean

Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Korean? KoreanClass101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Korean Christmas phrases!

Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Korean speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, KoreanClass101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Korean!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Korea
  2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
  3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
  4. Twelve Days of Christmas
  5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
  6. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Korea

Christmas Words in Korean

Do you know what day the 25th of December is? Many nations celebrate that day as Christmas. And Korea is no exception. In this blog, you’ll learn about how Koreans celebrate Christmas Day.

Now, before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question: when you think of Christmas, I bet you can’t help but think of Santa Claus, right? But in Korea, Santa Claus is usually called by another name. Do you know what that name is?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

In South Korea, you can’t take the “donation” out of Christmas, so around Christmas time, you’ll see many Salvation Army charity donation pots or 구세군 냄비(gusegun-naembi). You’ll run into these donation pots all over the city from the beginning of December. It’s the season of giving, and many people donate money to people who have to bear the harsh winter around this time of year. If you visit Korea during this season, you’ll see people putting 1,000 won and 10,000 won bills into the pot.

Also during the Christmas season, you can often hear Christmas carols. Every year in Korea, famous comedians release a carol. Using their own buzzwords to make lyrics and the music of a famous carol, they release their own special Christmas carols. You’ll almost certainly hear these carols in South Korea.

Since about thirty percent of Koreans are Christian, many people go to church on Christmas. After lunch time, they spend time with their families or partners. That’s why you can see many people gathering downtown or in shopping malls.

Additionally, there are people, sometimes called “One Thousand Four Angel Santas” or 1004(천사)명의 산타 (cheonsamyeong-ui santa) who spend Christmas giving gifts to orphans and bringing food to the elderly who live alone. Christmas is the day, regardless of religion, when people can show kindness to one another.

Here’s our fun fact for the day! Did you know that Christmas has another name in Korea? It’s 성탄절(Seongtan-jeol.) 성(Seong), is the Chinese character meaning “holy” and 탄(Tan) means “birth.” So together 성탄(seongtan) means “the day the holy person was born.” This can be used as another name for Christmas.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question: what is Santa Claus called in Korea? In Korea, Santa Claus goes by another name; he’s called “Grandfather Santa.” or 산타 할아버지 (santa-hallabeoji) When you call him grandfather, you feel much closer, right? These days, sometimes you can also see or hear about Grandmother Santa or 산타 할머니(santa halmeoni).

2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

1- Merry Christmas!

메리 크리스마스!
Meri Keuriseumaseu!

Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Korean? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

2- Happy Kwanzaa!

해피 콴자!
haepi kwanja!

Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

3- Have a happy New Year!

행복한 새해 되세요!
haengbokan saehae doeseyo!

In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

4- Happy Hanukkah!

해피 하누카!
haepi hannukah!

Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

5- Have a great winter vacation!

겨울 휴가 잘 보내세요!
gyeoul hyuga jal bonaeseyo!

This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

6- See you next year!

내년에 뵙겠습니다!
naenyeone boepkketsseumnida!

Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

7- Warm wishes!

행운을 빌며!
haenguneul bilmyeo!

An informal, friendly phrase to write in Korean Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

8- Happy holidays!

행복한 휴일 보내세요!
haengbokan hyuil bonaeseyo!

If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Korean, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

9- Enjoy the holidays!

휴일 잘 즐기세요!
hyuil jal jeulgiseyo!

After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Korean, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

10- Best wishes for the New Year!

새해 복 많이 받으세요!
saehae bok mani badeuseyo!

This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Korean! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At KoreanClass101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

1- Christmas

크리스마스
keuriseumaseu

This is the Korean word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Korean will include this word!

2- Snow


nun

In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

3- Snowflake

눈송이
nunsongi

Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

4- Snowman

눈사람
nunsaram

As you guessed - a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

5- Turkey

칠면조
chilmyeonjo

Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

6- Wreath

화환
hwahwan

Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

7- Reindeer

순록
sunnok

Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

8- Santa Claus

산타 클로스
santa keulloseu

Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

9- Elf

꼬마 요정
kkoma yojeong

An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

루돌프 사슴코
rudolpeu saseumko

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

11- North Pole

북극
Bukgeuk

The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

12- Sled

썰매
sseolmae

A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

13- Present

선물
seonmul

Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

14- Bell

크리스마스 종
keuriseumaseu jong

On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

15- Chimney

굴뚝
gulttuk

The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

16- Fireplace

벽난로
byeognanro

In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

17- Christmas Day

크리스마스
Keuriseumaseu

This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

18- Decoration

장식
jangsik

Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

19- Stocking

크리스마스 양말
keuriseumaseu yangmal

According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

20- Holly

호랑 가시 나무
horang gasi namu

Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

21- Gingerbread house

과자집
gwajajip

According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

22- Candy cane

사탕 지팡이
satang jipangi

According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

23- Mistletoe

겨우살이
gyeousari

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

4. Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Korean, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

Top 10 Christmas Characters

This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Korean! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

6. KoreanClass101 Is One Of The Best Online Language Schools Available!

Visit KoreanClass101!

We don’t just say this - we can prove it! Geared to your personal needs and goals, we have several learning paths from which to choose. From Korean for Absolute Beginners to Advanced Korean, lessons are designed to meet you where you are, and increase your language abilities in fun, easy and interactive lessons! Mastering a new language has never been this easy or enjoyable.

We have over a decade of experience and research behind us, and it shows! With thousands of audio and video lessons, detailed PDF lessons and notes, as well as friendly, knowledgeable hosts, KoreanClass101 is simply unbeatable when it comes to learning correct Korean. Plenty of tools and resources are available when you study with us. New lessons are added every week so material remains fresh and relevant. You also have the option to upgrade and enjoy even more personalised guidance and services. This is a sure way to fast-track your learning!

So, this Christmas, why don’t you give yourself a present and enroll in KoreanClass101? Or give an enrollment as a present to a loved one. It will be a gift with benefits for a whole lifetime, not just over Christmas!

How to Start Thinking in Korean

Learn 4 tools and techniques to stop translating in your head and start thinking in Korean

Going through Korean lessons is enough to get by and learn the basics of Korean, but to truly become fluent you need to be able to think in Korean. This will allow you to have conversations with ease, read smoothly, and comprehensively understand natives. To do this, you need to go beyond just completing daily or weekly lessons.

We naturally translate in our heads because it’s viewed as the easiest way to learn the definitions needed when learning a language. This way of learning can actually hinder your skills and fluency later on. If your brain has to make neural connections between the word you’re learning, what it means in your native tongue, and the physical object the connection will not be nearly as strong. When you bypass the original translation between Korean and your native language then there is a more basic and strong connection between just the Korean vocabulary word and the tangible object.

start thinking in Korean

In this blog post, you will learn the 4 important techniques to easily and naturally begin to speculate about the daily occurrences in your life. The best part is all of these techniques are supported and can be achieved through KoreanClass101.com.

Create Your Free Lifetime Account and Start Learning the whole Korean Language from the Beginning!

1. Surround yourself with Korean

Surround Yourself

By surrounding yourself with Korean constantly you will completely immerse yourself in the language. Without realizing it you’ll be learning pronunciation, sentence structures, grammar, and new vocabulary. You can play music in the background while you’re cooking or have a Korean radio station on while you study. Immersion is a key factor with this learning process because it is one of the easiest things to do, but very effective. Even if you are not giving the program your full attention you will be learning.

One great feature of KoreanClass101.com is the endless podcasts that are available to you. You can even download and listen to them on the go. These podcasts are interesting and are perfect for the intention of immersion, they are easy to listen to as background noise and are interesting enough to give your full attention. Many of them contain stories that you follow as you go through the lessons which push you to keep going.

2. Learn through observation
learn through observation

Learning through observation is the most natural way to learn. Observation is how we all learned our native languages as infants and it’s a wonder why we stop learning this way. If you have patience and learn through observation then Korean words will have their own meanings rather than meanings in reference to your native language. Ideally, you should skip the bilingual dictionary and just buy a dictionary in Korean.

KoreanClass101.com also offers the materials to learn this way. We have numerous video lessons which present situational usage of each word or phrase instead of just a direct translation. This holds true for many of our videos and how we teach Korean.

3. Speak out loud to yourself
talk to yourself

Speaking to yourself in Korean not only gets you in the mindset of Korean, but also makes you listen to how you speak. It forces you to correct any errors with pronunciation and makes it easy to spot grammar mistakes. When you speak out loud talk about what you did that day and what you plan to do the next day. Your goal is to be the most comfortable speaking out loud and to easily create sentences. Once you feel comfortable talking to yourself start consciously thinking in your head about your daily activities and what is going on around you throughout the day.

With KoreanClass101.com you start speaking right away, not only this, but they have you repeat words and conversations after a native Korean speaker. This makes your pronunciation very accurate! With this help, you are on the fast path to making clear and complex sentences and then actively thinking about your day.

4. Practice daily

If you don’t practice daily then your progress will be greatly slowed. Many people are tempted to take the 20-30 minutes they should be practicing a day and practice 120 in one day and skip the other days. This isn’t nearly as effective because everyday you practice you are reinforcing the skills and knowledge you have learned. If you practice all in one day you don’t retain the information because the brain can realistically only focus for 30 minutes at most. If you’re studying for 120 minutes on the same subject little of the information will be absorbed. Studying everyday allows you to review material that you went over previous days and absorb a small amount of information at a time.

It’s tough to find motivation to study everyday, but KoreanClass101.com can help. It’s easy to stay motivated with KoreanClass101.com because we give you a set learning path, with this path we show how much progress you’ve made. This makes you stick to your goals and keep going!

Conclusion

Following the steps and having patience is the hardest part to achieving your goals, it’s not easy learning a new language. You are essentially teaching your brain to categorize the world in a completely new way. Stick with it and you can do it just remember the 4 tools I taught you today! With them, conversations, reading, and understanding will become much easier. The most important thing to remember is to use the tools that KoreanClass101.com provides and you will be on your way to being fluent!

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How to Learn Korean Through Fairy Tale Stories

Top 6 Korean Fairy Tale Stories and Characters

Hi Listeners,

Do you know what the top 6 Korean fairy tales are?

Reading short stories in Korean is a fun way to learn the Korean language and culture. Check out the 6 Korean fairy tale stories below and learn must-know folk story words and phrases in Korean!

1. Top 6 Korean Fairy Tales

Top 6 Korean Fairy Tales

1. Heungbu and Nolbu

The Korean title is 흥부와 놀부 (Heungbuwa nolbu). Heungbu and Nolbu are two brothers, with opposite personalities. Their vicissitudes show how caring about the others brings wealth and, most of all, happiness.

2. A Filial Daughter, Sim Chong

The Korean title is 효녀 심청 (Hyonyeo simcheong). Sim Chong sells herself to restore her father’s sight. During a storm, the sailors sacrifice her and instead of dying, she becomes the sea queen.

3. The Rabbit’s Liver

The Korean title is 토끼의 간 (Gyeonuwa jingnyeo). The Dragon King must eat a rabbit’s liver to recover from an illness. The rabbit tells him that he didn’t bring his liver and escape.

4. Gyeonu and Jiknyeo

The Korean title is 견우와 직녀 (Gyeonu and Jiknyeo). Two lovers marry but then begin to neglect their duties. Angry, the heavenly king only allows them to meet once a year on a bridge of magpies.

5. The Fairy and the Woodcutter

The Korean title is 선녀와 나무꾼 (Seonnyeowa namukkun). A man steals the robe of a fairy and is told not to return it until she has three children. He returns it and she leaves with his two children.

6. The Gold Ax and the Silver Ax

The Korean title is 금 도끼와 은 도끼 (Gum dokkiwa eun dokki). A woodcutter loses his axe. A wizard appears and gives him a choice of an iron, gold, and silver axe. The woodcutter takes his own axe and is rewarded.

2. Fairy Tale Characters and Words in Korean

Here are some common fairy tale characters and words in Korean you may come across while reading Korean folktale stories.

Korean Romanization Meaning
요정 yojeong fairy
유니콘 unicon unicorn
seong castle
마법 mabeop magic
마녀 manyeo witch
주문 jumun spell
yong dragon
도깨비 dokkaebi Ogre
wang king
왕자 wangja prince
공주 gongju princess
옛날 옛적에 yennal yeotjeoge once upon a time
마법사 mabeopsa wizard
인어 ineo mermaid
거인 geo-in giant
난쟁이 nanjaengi dwarf
계모 gyemo stepmother
여왕 yeowang queen

Check out even more fairy tale words in the video below!

Conclusion

You might not understand every single word in Korean stories at first but try to guess what they mean in context. Illustrations will also help you understand the story. After reading it, make sure to look up the words in the dictionary and read the story a few more times. If you do that, you’ll surely get better at reading Korean.

So what Korean tale would you like to read first? Do you know any other fairy tale stories in Korea? Did we miss any Korean fairy tale words? Let us know in the comments!

How To Learn Korean with Korean Dramas

We always see this kind of advice on the Internet: “You should listen to Korean songs, it helped me to quickly progress” or “There is nothing better than Korean dramas without subtitles for learning Korean”.

How to learn Korean with Korean dramas

Can you really learn a language without much effort by watching K-dramas?

Following this advice can bring many advantages:

  • Attuning your ears to Korean by listening to native speakers
  • Boosting your vocabulary
  • Boosting your dialogue-related listening comprehension
  • Letting you hear a language used in context
  • Learning passively while having fun

    At the end of the day, it seems like a great idea, but in reality it’s not totally true… Actually, it varies! We definitely recommend that you expose yourself to a lot of resources in their original language such as movies, drama, anime, music…for the reasons above. But you will never learn Korean like that.

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    Click here to download our free App and listen to native speakers for free!

    Dramas as a complement to your learning tools
    It’s best to see these videos as a Korean learning complement. You need to acquire a certain amount of vocabulary and grammar in order to better comprehend a Korean video or conversation.

    This is our approach: KoreanClass101.com brings you tons of audio and video lessons, from songs to dialogues and cultural insights, and each of these lessons has a grammar focus, a vocabulary list, a lesson transcript and notes so that you don’t miss any points. We give you the foundation you need to be able to understand dramas and benefit from watching it.

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    Here are the top 5 Korean songs to learn Korean!

    The myth of learning by only watching Korean dramas

    The “watch dramas and learn Korean” concept is just a myth. A lot of high school students improve their English level by reading books and comics, or watching dramas and movies in English with subtitles in their own language. You, meanwhile, might watch all episodes of Heirs or Running Man in Korean but still not make any progress!

    The difference? Those foreign students are not starting from scratch when they use this method to learn Korean. Even though they might still be at a low level, they were working on some solid foundations.

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    Basically, what you will hear after 6 months of watching dramas in Korean, while hiding the subtitles, would probably be something like:

    bla bla bla bla bla Hello bla bla bla bla Thank you bla bla bla bla You A**hole bla bla bla You’re so handsome bla bla bla bla bla It hurts! bla bla bla bla I love you bla bla bla bla bla bla really!?

    Still quite far from fluency, right?

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    Start learning Korean for free right now!

    The key to learning through K-dramas

    The key is the amount of passive vocabulary you already have. It’s all the vocabulary you understand when listening to or reading Korean, without having the need to search in the dictionary. Our brain has limited capacity and if it doesn’t recognize 70-80% of the words in a sentence, it will be incapable of filling in the blanks to give a sense to the unknown words based on the context.

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    Let’s look at these two cases:
    1. You are at a beginner level of Korean
    2. You are at an intermediate level of Korean

    In both cases, you must expose yourself to a lot of Korean media: podcasts, videos and so on…

    In the first case, your brain won’t be able to analyze what you hear when you’re watching Korean dramas because you miss too many words. Of course we don’t forbid you from doing this, but be aware that you are only training your ears to become accustomed to the sounds of Korean. This is a good start, though. But you will also need to start learning grammar basics and vocabulary.

    Our Korean for Absolute Beginners series will offer you the resources you need to quickly understand the foundations of the Korean language, through entertaining topics.

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    If you are at an intermediate level, you will need to acquire a lot of vocabulary covering a large range of topics. Challenge yourself with our Listening Comprehension series on YouTube, listen to our podcasts and verify through the lesson notes and transcripts that you understood everything, from the grammar point to the explanation of the kanji used in the lesson.

    Access all the reading, audio and video resources you need to become fluent in Korean!

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    Korean dramas can be great learning tools because there are fun and there is a lot of it around. Just make sure to do a little extra work to optimize their use! Don’t forget to sign up for your Free Lifetime Account to access all our resources and be able to watch dramas without subtitles!