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Key Korean Phrases: Introducing Yourself in Korean

Today, we’re going to study key phrases for introducing yourself in Korean. This article is aimed toward beginners, but it’ll be a good review for intermediate learners as well.

Table of Contents

  1. Identifying Yourself
  2. Placing Yourself in Society
  3. Sharing Personal Details
  4. Culture Insights
  5. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You with Korean

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1. Identifying Yourself

1- Stating your Name

In a Formal Setting

안녕하세요, 반갑습니다. 저는 000이라고 합니다.
annyeonghaseyo, bangapseumnida. jeoneun 000irago hamnida.
“Hello, nice to meet you. My name is 000.”

This is the most basic self-introduction in Korean and can be used in any situation, such as introducing yourself to your new classmates or colleagues, and to any strangers. It’s important to know how to introduce yourself in Korean formally, so that you can give a good first impression to those you’ll live and work with.

Say “Hello” and “Nice to meet you.” And then replace “000” with your name. If you don’t know how to write your name in Korean, ask our teachers on our Korean Names page! You won’t get very far in Korea without talking about your name in Korean!

Alternatively, you can say:

  • 제 이름은 000입니다.
    • je ireumeun 000imnida.
    • “My name is 000.”
  • 저는 000이라고 합니다.
    • jeoneun 000irago hamnida.
    • “I call myself 000.”

These are the two most commonly used phrases in Korea. There’s not much difference in these two phrases, so feel free to choose the one you like most.

Example:

  • 소연: 안녕하세요, 반갑습니다. 저는 박소연이라고 합니다.
    • Soyeon: annyeonghaseyo, bangapseumnida. jeoneun baksoyeonirago hamnida.
    • Soyeon: “Hello, nice to meet you. I am Park Soyeon.”
  • 수지: 안녕하세요, 반갑습니다. 이수지입니다.
    • Sooji: annyeonghaseyo, bangapseumnida. Lee Soojiimnida.
    • Sooji: “Hello, nice to meet you. I’m Lee Sooji.”

In Korea, you need to say your family name first, followed by your given name. For example, if your family name is Jackson and your first name is Michael, you’ll need to say “Jackson Michael” in Korea, since Koreans address their family name first. Also, if you want to make sure that everyone hears your name clearly, say your family name first, pause, then state your last name.

Example:

  • 안녕하십니까, 제 이름은 잭슨 마이클이라고 합니다.
    • Annyeonghasimnikka, je ireumeun jaekseun maikeurirago hamnida.
    • “Hello, my name is Michael Jackson.”
  • 안녕하십니까, 제 이름은 스미스 윌입니다.
    • Annyeonghasimnikka, je ireumeun seumiseu wirimnida.
    • “Hello, my name is Will Smith.”
In an Informal Setting

안녕, 만나서 반가워. 000이라고 해.
annyeong, mannaseo bangawo. 000irago hae.
“Hello, nice to meet you. I’m 000.”

It’s also good to know how to introduce yourself in Korean casually. This casual self-introduction is used when you introduce yourself to friends, or someone who’s younger than you. You can’t use this phrase in a formal setting.

Alternatively, you could say:

  • 내 이름은 00이야.
    • nae ireumeun 00iya.
    • “My name is 00.”
  • 난 00야.
    • nan 00ya.
    • “I’m 00.”
  • 난 00이야.
    • nan 00iya.
    • “I’m 00.”

When to Use 야 or 이야:

To distinguish when to use 야 (ya) and 이야 (iya) when introducing yourself in Korean is very simple. However, many Korean learners struggle to use the appropriate subject marker. The rule is very simple: When a word ends with a consonant, 이야 (iya) is added and when a word ends with a vowel, 야 (ya) is added.

Here are a couple of examples of what we mean:

  • 에밀리 (emilli) or “Emily” ends with a vowel (ㅣ), therefore 야 (ya) is added.
    • 난 에밀리야. (nan emilliya.) or “I’m Emily.”
  • 셴셴 (syensyen) or “Shenshen” ends with a consonant (ㄴ), therefore 이야 (iya) is added.
    • 난 셴셴이야. (nan syensyeniya.) or “I’m Shenshen.”

Example:

  • 소연: 안녕, 난 박소연이야. 만나서 반가워.
    • Soyeon: annyeong, nan Park Soyeoniya. mannaseo bangawo.
    • Soyeon: “Hello, I’m Soyeon Park. Nice to meet you.”
  • 수지: 안녕, 반가워. 이수지라고해.
    • Sooji: annyeong, bangawo. Lee Soojiragohae.
    • Sooji: “Hello, nice to meet you. I’m Sooji Lee.”

More and more Korean learners make their own Korean name. You can make your Korean name based on your birthday on KoreanClass101. Please check it out!

2- Nationality

When learning how to introduce yourself using Korean, it’s important to know how to describe your nationality. To do this, attach the suffix 사람 (saram) meaning “person” to your country in Korean:

저는 00사람입니다. [Formal]
jeoneun 00saramimnida.
“I am 00.”

For example:
저는 한국 사람입니다. [Formal]
jeoneun hanguk saramimnida.
“I am Korean.”

To say that you are Korean, simply attach the suffix 사람 (saram) meaning “person” to 한국 (hanguk) meaning “Korea.” The resulting clause, 한국사람 (Hanguksaram) translates literally to “Korea person.” Alternatively, you can say 한국인 (Hangukin). The word 인 (in) meaning “person” is derived from the Chinese character 人 and has the exact same meaning as 사람 (saram). So, all you need to do is attach the suffix 인 (in) meaning “person” to 한국 (Hanguk) meaning “Korea” which results in 한국인 (“Korean”). If you’re not sure how to say your country in Korean, you might find vocabulary for nationalities useful.

Examples:

  • 저는 말레이시아 사람입니다. [Formal]
    • jeoneun malleisia saramimnida.
    • “I am Malaysian.”
  • 나는 말레이시아 사람이야. [Informal]
    • naneun malleisia saramiya.
    • “I am Malaysian.”
  • 저는 일본 사람입니다. [Formal]
    • jeoneun ilbon saramimnida.
    • “I am Japanese.”
  • 나는 일본 사람이야. [Informal]
    • naneun ilbon saramiya.
    • “I am Japanese.”
  • 저는 프랑스 사람입니다. [Formal]
    • jeoneun peurangseu saramimnida.
    • “I am French.”
  • 나는 프랑스 사람이야. [Informal]
    • naneun peurangseu saramiya.
    • “I am French.”

Alternatively, you could say:

You can also say 한국에서 왔습니다. (hangugeseo watseumnida.) which means “I came from Korea.” All you need to do is add your country, followed by 에서 왔습니다 (eseo watseumnida) meaning “I came from.” For example, to say that “I came from England,” England is 영국 (yeongguk) in Korean, therefore you could say:

저는 영국에서 왔습니다. (jeoneun yeonggugeseo watseumnida) which translates to: “I came from England.”

Examples:

  • 저는 미국에서 왔습니다.
    • jeoneun migugeseo watseumnida.
    • “I came from America.”
  • 저는 싱가포르에서 왔습니다.
    • jeoneun singgaporeueseo watseumnida.
    • “I came from Singapore.”

Here’s a list of vocabulary for countries. Learn how to say your country in Korean and introduce yourself to others!

3- Age

저는 00살입니다.
Jeoneun 00salimnida.
“I am 00 years old.”

저는 (jeoneun) is a formal way to say “I am” in English. 살 (sal) means “age” and 입니다 (imnida) means “to be.” For example, if you’re twenty-one years old, you say:

저는 스물한살입니다. (jeoneun seumulhansarimnida.) in Korean.

Did you know that international age and Korean age are different? To find out your Korean age, use our Korean Age Calculator, and learn how to say how old you are in Korean. Talking about your age in Korean is a fairly important skill to learn!

Another way of stating your age is:

  • 저의 나이는 00 입니다. [Formal]
    • jeoui naineun 00 imnida.
    • “My age is 00.”
  • (나는) 00살이야. [Informal]
    • (naneun) 00sariya.
    • “My age is 00.”

The sentence structure is the same for this phrase. Insert your age in Korean and you’re done! For example, if you’re twenty-one years old, the phrase becomes 저의 나이는 스무살입니다 (je naineun seumusarimnida).

1988년생입니다.
cheonpalbaekpalsip-pallyeonsaengimnida.
“I was born in 1988.”

Here’s another way to state your age in Korean. If you don’t want to say your age out loud, or if you’re not sure about your Korean age, just let the listener figure out your age on their own by using this phrase:

  • A: B씨는 몇 살이에요?
    • A: Bssineun myeotsariyeyo?
    • A: “How old are you, B?”
  • B: 저는 한국나이로 스무살입니다.
    • B: jeoneun hangungnairo seumusarimnida.
    • B: “I’m twenty years old in Korean age.”
  • C: D씨는 몇년생이에요?
    • C: Dssineun myeonnyeonsaengiyeyo?
    • C: “What year were you born, D?”
  • D: 1990년생 이에요..
    • D: cheongubaekgusimnyeonsaeng ieyo..
    • D: “I was born in 1990.”


2. Placing Yourself in Society

1- Information About Your Family

우리 가족은 모두 4명입니다.
uri gajogeun modu nemyeongimnida.
“There are four members in my family.”

Talking about your family in Korean is essential, and this is the simplest way to introduce your family. 명 (myeong) is the counter for people (informal). 분 (bun) is a formal counter for people, but we don’t use this to count family members. Let’s say that you have five family members. The phrase should be:

우리 가족은 모두 5명입니다 (uri gajogeun modu daseonmyeongimnida).

You may also want to extend the sentence by adding the name of a family member. For this, we have a list of family members which will come in handy. Also, note that we have different ways of referring to sisters and brothers based on the gender of the speaker.

Examples:

If you’re female and have a younger brother and an older brother, you should say:

  • 우리 가족은 모두 5명입니다.
    저의 아버지, 어머니, 오빠와 남동생, 그리고 저입니다.
    • uri gajogeun modu daseonmyeongimnida.
      jeoui abeoji, eomeoni, oppawa namdongsaeng, geurigo jeoimnida.
    • “There are five family members.”
      “There are my father, mother, older brother, younger brother, and me.”

If you’re male and have an older brother and an older sister, you should say:

  • 우리 가족은 모두 5명입니다.
    저의 아버지, 어머니, 형과 누나, 그리고 저입니다.
    • uri gajogeun modu daseonmyeongimnida.
      jeoui abeoji, eomeoni, hyeonggwa nuna, geurigo jeoimnida.
    • “There are five family members.”
      “There are my father, mother, older brother, younger sister, and me.”

Alternatively, you can say:

  • 저의 가족은 아버지, 어머니 이렇게 3명이 있습니다.
    • jeoui gajogeun abeoji, eomeoni ireoke semyeongi itseumnida.
    • “In my family there are three: my father and my mother.”
  • 우리 가족은 아버지, 어머니, 오빠 그리고 저를 포함해 4명입니다.
    • uri gajogeun abeoji, eomeoni, oppa geurigo jeoreul pohamhae nemyeongimnida.
    • “In my family there are four people including me: my father, my mother, my older brother, and me.”


3. Sharing Personal Details

1- Describing Hobbies

Talking about your hobbies in Korean is one of the most interesting topics you may cover, so let’s take a look at some examples of how to introduce this in Korean.

~ 이/가 취미에요.
~ i/ga chwimieyo.
“My hobby is ~.”

When to use 이 or 가:

You may be bewildered by these two subject markers: -이 (i) and 가 (ga). Many Korean learners struggle to use the appropriate subject marker. Don’t worry though, it’s very simple: Just remember that when a word ends in a consonant, 이 (i) follows the word. When a word ends in a vowel, 가 (ga) is added to the word. For example, 독서 (dokseo) or “reading a book” ends in a vowel (ㅓ), therefore 가 (ga) needs to be added. So the sentence becomes 독서가 취미에요. (dokseoga chwimieyo.) meaning “My hobby is reading.” Here’s another example: 수영을 하는 것 (suyeongeul haneun geot) or “to swim” ends in a consonant (ㅅ), therefore 이 (i) is added after 수영. The sentence should be 수영을 하는 것이 취미에요. (suyeongeul haneun geosi chwimieyo.) meaning “My hobby is swimming.”

Examples:

  • 독서가 취미에요.
    • dokseoga chwimieyo.
    • “My hobby is reading.”
  • 운동이 취미에요.
    • undongi chwimieyo.
    • “My hobby is working out.”

Alternatively, you can say:

  • ~ 을/를 좋아해요
    • ~ eul/reul joahaeyo.
    • “I like ~”

Examples:

  • 책 읽기를 좋아해요.
    • chaek ilgireul joahaeyo.
    • “I like reading a book.”
  • 수영을 좋아해요.
    • suyeongeul joahaeyo.
    • “I like swimming.”
  • 영화보기를 좋아해요.
    • yeonghwabogireul joahaeyo.
    • “I like watching movies.”

Sometimes just addressing your hobby may not be enough, and you may need a more detailed explanation regarding your hobby. KoreanClass101 has a vocabulary list for hobbies and weekend activities.

2- Pets

(저는) 강아지를 키우고 있어요.
(jeoneun) gangajireul kiugo isseoyo.
“I have a dog.”

Literal translation of 키우고 있어요 (kiugo isseoyo) is “I am raising ~” in English. To say that you have a dog, which is 강아지 (gangajir) or “a puppy” in Korean, add the word in front of eul kiugo isseoyo, as shown above.

If you have more than one pet, you need to know how to say the numbers. Koreans use different counter words for various topics, such as animals, objects, and so on. For animals, we say the number in Korean followed by 마리 (: mari) which is the counter for animals.

For example:

  • 한 마리 (han mari) — “one animal”
  • 두 마리 (du mari) — “two animals”
  • 세 마리 (se mari) — “three animals”
  • 네 마리 (ne mari) — “four animals”
  • 다섯 마리 (daseon mari) — “five animals”
  • 여섯 마리 (yeoseon mari) — “six animals”
  • 일곱 마리 (ilgom mari) — “seven animals”
  • 여덟 마리 (yeodeol mari) — “eight animals”
  • 아홉 마리 (ahom mari) — “nine animals”
  • 열 마리 (yeol mari) — “ten animals”

Let’s say you have a dog and two cats, the phrase would be:

강아지 한마리와 고양이 두마리를 키우고 있어요.
gangaji hanmariwa goyangi dumarireul kiugo isseoyo.
“I have a dog and two cats.”

More examples:

  • 고양이 두마리를 키우고 있어요.
    • goyangi dumarireul kiugo isseoyo.
    • “I am raising two cats.”
  • 토끼 세마리를 키우고 있어요.
    • tokki semarireul kiugo isseoyo.
    • “I am raising three rabbits.”
  • 햄스터 한마리를 키우고 있어요.
    • haemseuteo hanmarireul kiugo isseoyo.
    • “I am raising a hamster.”

Alternatively, you could say:

  • 집에 강아지 한마리 있어요.
    • jibe gangaji hanmari isseoyo.
    • “I have a dog at home.”

집에 (jibe) means “at home” and 있어요 (isseoyo) means “there is” in English. The direct translation is “There is a dog at home,” meaning the person has a dog at his or her house as a pet. You can use this phrase to explain that you own a pet.

If you want to know how to say “your pet” in Korean, we have a vocabulary list for animals in Korean, so feel free to check it out. With all of this information, you shouldn’t have any problems talking about your pets in Korean!

3- Your Current Interests

K-pop에 관심이 많아요.
keipabe gwansimi manayo.
“I have a great interest in K-pop.”

When you introduce yourself in Korean, you may want to talk about your interests. 관심 (gwansim) means “interest” and 많아요 (manayo) means “(there is) a lot” in Korean—by combining these two words, the phrase becomes 관심이 많아요 (gwansimi manayo), meaning “I am very interested in…” in English. In addition, you can only use a noun or noun phrase for this phrase.

Examples:

  • 시사 프로그램에 관심이 많아요.
    • sisa peurogeuraeme gwansimi manayo.
    • “I am interested in current affair.”
  • 뉴스에 관심이 많아요.
    • nyuseue gwansimi manayo.
    • “I have a great interest in news.”
  • 한국어 공부에 관심이 많아요.
    • hangugeo gongbue gwansimi manayo.
    • “I have a great interest in studying Korean.”

In addition, you could easily extend the phrase by adding more information.

Examples:

  • 방탄소년단에 관심이 있어서, 그룹 멤버들의 사진을 모우는 것을 좋아합니다.
    • bangtansonyeondane gwansimi isseoseo, geurup membeodeurui sajineul mouneun geoseul joahamnida.
    • “I am interested in BTS, so I like collecting pictures of each member.”
  • 동물에 관심이 많아서, 동물의 사진을 찍는 것을 좋아합니다.
    • dongmure gwansimi manaseo, dongmurui sajineul jjingneun geoseul joahamnida.
    • “Since I have a great interest in animals, I like taking pictures of animals.”
  • 뉴스에 관심이 많아서 매일 밤 뉴스를 보고 있습니다.
    • nyuseue gwansimi manaseo maeil bam nyuseureul bogo itseumnida.
    • “Since I have a great interest in news, I watch the news every night.”


4. Culture Insights

1- Bowing is Important

When learning how to introduce yourself in Korean, expressions are only part of the equation. Keep in mind that bowing is a big part of Korean culture, since Koreans bow in every situation. Hence, it’s considered good manners. When you plan to visit South Korea, the first thing you need to learn is when to bow according to the situation you’re in. In addition, if you want to learn more about Korean etiquette, we have an article that explains Seven do’s and don’ts in Korea which explains in detail things that you need to know before traveling to Korea.

2- Be Careful when You Make Eye Contact

It’s alright to make eye contact when you’re speaking with people around your age. However, it’s NOT okay to make direct eye contact with people of higher status or someone older than you. In many countries, such as America and European countries, making eye contact is a friendly way to connect with people. However, Koreans will interpret it differently, thinking that you’re trying to overpower them.


5. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You with Korean

Let’s review what we discussed. We explained to you about how to introduce yourself in Korean. While the phrases we introduced are for beginners, intermediate learners can also use this article to review what they’ve learned so far. In addition, we have an article on ten lines that you can use when introducing yourself, so feel free to use our free materials.

KoreanClass101 offers a variety of free study materials online. We also have teachers standing by to answer your questions about Korean. So if you have any questions regarding Korean grammar, expressions, or even cultural insights, create your lifetime account today, so that you can get access to our forums or even receive answers from our teachers regarding any questions you may have during your Korean studies.

Good luck with studying Korean! Be sure to practice introducing yourself in Korean using our examples of how to introduce yourself in Korean, so that you can master it in no time!

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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).

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills!

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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Top 10 Must-Try Korean Street Foods in Seoul

Are you planning to travel to Seoul sometime soon? You shouldn’t miss these foods! Today, we’re going to introduce the top ten must-try street foods in Seoul, South Korea. Also, we’ll introduce essential phrases to use when you order food in Korea.

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1. List of 10 Must-Eat Korean Street Foods

There are many delicious and exotic Korean traditional foods that you can—and should—try. However, many travelers struggle to find what to eat in Seoul. Don’t worry; in this article, we’re going to introduce ten Korean street food names, along with their description and many pictures and information about each food so that you’ll know exactly what you’re ordering next time you go to the market in Korea. We’re sure you’ll find a food you love here, maybe even some tteokbokki street food!

Let’s have a look at the list of Korean street foods:

1- 해물파전 (haemulpajeon) — Seafood Pajeon

Seafood Pajeon

해물파전 (haemulpajeon) is a seafood scallion pancake which is a traditional Korean-style pancake. You can eat this versatile Korean street food as a main dish, or a side dish, or even as an appetizer or snack. The most famous Korean-style pancake is the seafood pancake, and if you’re going to cook this by yourself, you can put any ingredients in it such as Kimchi or vegetables.

해물파전 (haemulpajeon) can be found in any markets in Seoul and each store may have a variety of Korean-style pancakes such as 김치전 (gimchijeon) meaning “Kimchi pancake,” 야채전 (yachaejeon) meaning “vegetable pancake,” and so on. So have a look and enjoy the variety!

  • If you’re not familiar with Korean-style pancakes, here are some food images.

2- 김밥 (gimbap) — Korean Traditional Seaweed Rice Rolls

Korean Traditional Seaweed Rice Rolls

김밥 (Gimbap) is a Korean dish of steamed white rice and other ingredients such as ham, egg, and various vegetables, rolled in sheets of dried laver seaweed and served in bite-size slices. Koreans prepare 도시락 (dosirak) or a “lunch box,” which is filled with gimbap when they go on a picnic. Or sometimes they eat it with 떡볶이 (tteokbokki), 순대 (sundae), or 튀김 (twigim) at a 분식집 (bunsikjip) or “snack stand.”

In addition, there’s a variety of Gimbap, including:

  • 참치 김밥 (chamchi gimbap) or “Tuna Gimbap”
  • 야채 김밥 (yachae gimbap) or “Vegetable Gimbap”
  • 김치 김밥 or “Kimchi Gimbap”
  • 불고기 김밥 or “Bulgogi Gimbap”

The price varies depending on which Gimbap you buy, but do read through the long list of gimbap because there are so many! 김밥 can be found easily at markets in Seoul, so don’t miss out on this.

  • If you’re not familiar with Gimbap, here are some food images.

3- 순대 (sundae) — Black Pudding

Black Pudding

순대 (sundae) is a pork sausage, filled with a mix of sweet rice and sweet potato vermicelli noodles. This is normally called “black pudding” in Korea, and many food stands sell this with 떡볶이 (tteokbokki) and 튀김 (twigim) as a set meal.

The sauce offered contains a mixture of salt, ground pepper, and 고춧가루 (gochugaru) or “red chili pepper flakes” to add more flavor.

순대 (sundae) can be found in any markets in Seoul, and also comes in various meals such as:

  • 순댓국 (sundaetguk) which is black pudding soup served in ttukbaegi
  • 순대볶음 (Sundaebokkeum) which is stir-fried black pudding with vegetables and gochujang

These are specialized dishes, so try to find a few famous restaurants in Seoul that make various 순대 (sundae) meals.

  • If you’re not familiar with Sundae, here are some images.

4- 떡볶이 (tteokbokki) — Stir-fried Rice Cake in Gochujang Sauce

Stir-fried Rice Cake in Gochujang Sauce

Your trip isn’t complete if you don’t try this delicious Korean food. 떡볶이 (tteokbokki) is a popular South Korean spicy food that’s made from rice cakes called 떡면 or “rice cake noodles.”

Many ingredients are added when making this meal, such as boiled eggs, fish cakes, scallions, carrots, onions, and more. This meal comes in two different flavors: the original 떡볶이 (tteokbokki) that’s seasoned with spicy gochujang, and 궁중떡볶이 (gungjungtteokbokki) which is a soy sauce-based Tteokbokki.

If you want to add more flavor, simply order extra ingredients (it will cost a little extra). Some popular ingredients are melted cheese or 라면 (ramyeon) meaning “Korean noodle.” You’ll easily find tteokbokki in any Seoul market.

  • If you’re not familiar with Tteokbokki, here are some images.
  • If you’re not familiar with Soy Sauce Tteokbokki, here are some images.

5- 튀김 (twigim)

Twigim

튀김 (twigim), direct translation being “fried” in English, is Korean-style fried vegetables that taste great with 떡볶이 (tteokbokki) and 순대 (sundae). You can even order 순대튀김 (sundaetwigim) or “fried black pudding” which is one of the most famous dishes that Koreans order at food stands. If you’re looking for some very tasty Korean exotic food, this might just be for you. If you want something more adventurous, we suggest eating it with Ttokbokki sauce to add spiciness.

  • If you’re not familiar with 튀김 (twigim) here are some images.

6- 한과 (hangwa)

Hangwa

한과 (hangwa) are traditional Korean confections and they have a variety of sweets. These Korean confections appear in traditional Korean ceremonies such as weddings and ancestral rites.

In addition, if you go to a touristic area such as 인사동 (insadong), there are a number of Korean traditional tea cafes that sell 한과 (hangwa). There are several varieties of hangwa you can try while traveling in South Korea:

Ingredients in these confections are very healthy, so you can’t miss out on these delicious Korean confections!

  • If you’re not familiar with original 한과 (hangwa), here are some images.

Do you want to try some more sweets? Try some Korean rice snacks such as:

7- 만두 (mandu)

Mandu

If you’re a big fan of dumplings, you can’t miss out on 만두 (mandu) in Korea. You can easily find frozen dumplings at any supermarket in South Korea, and of course you can eat them at a restaurant too. There are many kinds of dumplings, including:

8- 회오리 감자 (hoeori gamja)

Tornado Potato with Sausage

회오리 감자 (hoeori gamja) or “spiral potatos,” also known as 트위스트 감자 (teuwiseuteu gamja) meaning “twist potatoes” or ‘토네이도 감자 (toneido gamja) meaning “tornado potatoes,” are a popular street food in South Korea. They’re deep fried spiral-cut whole potatos on a skewer. You can enjoy this food with different kinds of spices.

  • Here are some images, if you’re not familiar with this food.

9- 뽑기 (ppopgi)

Korean Candy

뽑기 (ppopgi) or 달고나 (dalgona) is a Korean candy made with melted sugar and baking soda. This was a popular Korean street food back in the 70s and 80s, but it’s become difficult to find these days. Koreans aged between thirty and forty may feel nostalgic when they see this on the street since it was the most popular street food during their childhood.

  • Here are some images, if you’re not familiar with this food.

10- 호떡 (hotteok)

Hotteok

호떡 (hotteok) is a Korean pancake and a popular street food in Korea, especially during the winter. The original is filled with brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts, and cinnamon. It also comes in different flavors, including:

  • 녹차 호떡 (nokcha hotteok) — “green tea hotteok” [Image]
  • 복분자 호떡 (bokbunja hotteok) — bokbunja rubus coreanus hotteok [Image]
  • 옥수수 호떡 (oksusu hotteok) — “corn hotteok” [Image]
  • 피자 호떡 (pija hotteok) — “pizza hotteok” [Image]

If you like it, you can buy a DIY 호떡 (hotteok) package at a local supermarket. This is perhaps one of the easiest Korean street food recipes that you can find in South Korea.They are easy to make, so give it a try.

  • If you’re not familiar with the original 호떡 (hotteok), here are food images.

2. Phrases to Use When Ordering Korean Street Food

When someone asks “What’s the most popular food in South Korea?” you’re now confident enough to talk about our local Korean street food. You’ve also learned about must-have Korean street foods. So now, let’s try to learn some Korean phrases that’ll come in handy when you order food in South Korea. These are basic phrases, so if you want to learn more, feel free to visit KoreanClass101. We have many free lessons on how to order at a restaurant.

1- What to Say when You Enter a Cafe or Restaurant

2- What to Say When You Order Some Food

  • ~ 주세요 (~juseyo) — “Please give me ~”
  • 추천해 주시겠어요? (chucheonhae jusigesseoyo?) — “Do you have any recommendations?”
  • 이거 많이 매워요? (igeo mani maewoyo?) — “Is this spicy?”

3- What to Say When You Leave a Cafe or Restaurant

3. How Can KoreanClass101 Help You with Korean?

We hope you enjoyed reading our Seoul food guide and hope you have a great time trying different kinds of traditional Korean food in Seoul.

Do you want to learn more about essential phrases in Korean? KoreanClass101 has many lessons to teach you what to say when you enter a cafeteria or a restaurant in South Korea, so feel free to check out these pages as well:

Got some questions about grammar or Korean culture? We have a forum page where you can ask a question to Korean natives. We hope you enjoyed reading this article and good luck with your Korean studies! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

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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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The 10 Best Korean Markets in Seoul and Market Locations

The 10 Best Seoul Markets

Are you looking for the best Seoul markets to visit? Then continue reading this article, because we’re going to introduce the top ten famous Seoul street markets so that you can enjoy trying our local Korean food right away! You’ll also find some must-eat restaurants in Seoul on this list!

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1. 서울 광장시장 (Seoul Gwangjang Market) — (map)

Seoul Gwangjang Market

When Koreans think of the famous Korean street market in Seoul, 광장시장 (Gwangjang market) is the first thing that comes to mind. This place is well-known by locals, and of course by tourists. The market has been open for more than 100 years, and you’ll instantly love the place because of the atmosphere and the vibe from the people in the market. Further, this place gives off a very vintage feeling.

Just go around the market and feel free to take a seat if you find a spot for dining. The price is affordable as well and only cash is accepted, so prepare some cash before heading to this market.

Popular Food at Gwangjang Market

※ Click the links below for more information about the food.

Touristic Areas Near Gwangjang Market:

※ Click the names below to check the locations.

2. 서울 망원시장 (seoul mangwonsijang) — (map)

mangwonsijang

This place was introduced in a very famous TV show called “I Live Alone” and since then this market has become a lot more popular. This is a very local place (perhaps not known to tourists) so if you want to blend in with the locals, this place is a must-go.

Popular Food:

Touristic Areas:

3. 서울 구로시장 (seoul gurosijang) — (map)

Korean Street Food

If you’re into vintage style, then 서울 구로시장 (seoul gurosijang) is a must-go spot in Seoul. It has a mixture of past and modern style and is famous for selling clothes, foods, tools, and ingredients that you can hardly find in any other supermarkets in Seoul. Want to go treasure hunting? Then you must go to 서울 구로시장 (seoul gurosijang)!

Popular Food:

Touristic Areas:

4. 서울 세종마을음식문화거리 (seoul sejongmaeureumsingmunhwageori) — (map)

Gyeongbok Station

This place isn’t listed on Google Maps, but it’s very easy to find. The place is located between exit 3 and 4 from 경복궁역 (gyeongbokgungyeok) or “Gyeongbok station.” In addition, there are signs in different languages explaining where to go so you won’t get lost. This place is great for trying different kinds of traditional Korean foods and drinks at an affordable price.

Do you want to experience a glimpse of what young local people have for dinner with their colleagues or friends? Then try this place.

Popular Food:

Touristic Areas:

5. 서울 수유재래시장 (seoul suyujaeraesijang) — (map)

Kkwabaegi

Three different markets are congregated in this market, so you can buy souvenirs for your friends, buy clothing for yourself and others, and most importantly, eat traditional Korean foods. Also, since this place is well-known by many tourists, information is available in four different languages so you won’t have any problem getting around this market.

Popular Food:

  • 꽈배기 (kkwabaegi) — “twisted donuts covered in sugar” [Image]
  • 찹쌀도넛 (chapssal doughnut) — “Korean doughnuts made with glutinous rice flour” [Image]
  • 족발 (jokbal) — “pig’s trotters cooked with soy sauce and spice” [Image]
  • (gim) — “dried seaweed” [Image]

Touristic Areas:

6. 서울 동대문시장 (seoul dongdaemunsijang) — (map)

Dongdaemun_Design_Plaza

동대문시장 (dongdaemunsijang) is the must-go place if you love going shopping. You can negotiate prices and even enjoy shopping in the late evening. There are many street foods around the shopping mall and many shops are located in this area. In addition, you’ll see many free events such as dance competitions for entertainment, so don’t miss out on this.

Popular Food:

Touristic Areas:

7. 서울 경동시장 (seoul gyeongdongsijang) — (map)

Gyeongdong Market

If you’re into health, then this place is a must-go. It was built in 1960 and is specialized in selling all sorts of ingredients for oriental medicine. It’s the biggest ginseng market in South Korea. If you’re interested in oriental medicines, then you can try to visit 한의약박물관 (hanuiyakbangmulgwan) or the “Herb Medicine Museum” to learn about herbs in detail. Also keep in mind that 오미요리연구소 (omiyoriyeongu) or “OME Korean Cooking Class” organizes cooking classes, using different herbs.

Popular Food:

Touristic Areas:

8. 방산시장 (bangsansijang) — (map)

Samgyeopsal

At 방산시장 (bangsansijang), you can buy many DIY materials such as wrapping paper, baking tools, and candles. If you’re into buying tools or any ingredients to make candles or soaps with, this place is the best market to go to, since the price is more affordable than other places.

There’s a very famous restaurant here which has been open for more than sixty years that makes ox bone soup. Also, there’s another famous restaurant which has been open for more than fifty years and this restaurant makes noodles in cold soybean soup. So try them out too.

Popular Food:

Touristic Areas:

9. 남대문시장 (namdaemunsijang) — (map)

Namdaemun Sijang

This market has been open for more than 600 years and therefore many tourists from around the world visit this historical market in Seoul. The great thing about this place is that you can compare different products and prices freely and you’re able to buy stuff at a reasonable price. Since the Seoul Olympics in 1988, 갈치조림 (galchijorim) or “simmered largehead hairtail” has been the most popular dish at this market, so try it out when you can.

Popular Food:

Touristic Areas:

10. 돈암시장 (donamsijang) — (map)

Gamjatang

돈암시장 (donamsijang) was established in the 1970s and is only five minutes from 성신여대역 (seongsinyeodaeyeok) or “Sungshin Women’s University Station.” Since the market is located very close to the Sungshin Women’s University, you’ll see many students from there as well as tourists in this area. This place is famous for selling 감자탕 (gamjatang) or “pork back-bone stew” and 족발 (jokbal) or “pig’s trotters cooked with soy sauce and spice.”

Popular Food:

  • 감자탕 (gamjatang) — “pork back-bone stew” [Image]
  • 족발 (jokbal) — “pig’s trotters cooked with soy sauce and spice” [Image]
  • 보쌈 (bossam) — “belly pork that is boiled in spices and thinly sliced” [Image]
  • 김밥 (gimbap) — “rice and different ingredients wrapped in dried seaweed” [Image]

Touristic Areas:

Korean Phrases to Use in the Market

You’ve also learned about must-have Korean street foods and Seoul market locations. So now, let’s try to learn some useful Korean phrasesyou can use in a market in South Korea. These are basic phrases, so if you want to learn more, feel free to visit KoreanClass101. We have many free lessons on how to order at a restaurant.

How Can KoreanClass101 Help You with Korean?

We hope you enjoyed reading our Seoul Market Guide and hope you have a great time trying different kinds of traditional Korean food in Seoul.

Do you want to learn more about essential phrases in Korean? KoreanClass101 has many lessons to teach you what to say when you enter a cafeteria or a restaurant in South Korea, so feel free to check out these pages as well:

Got some questions about grammar or Korean culture? We have a forum page where you can ask a question to Korean natives. We hope you enjoyed reading this article and good luck with your Korean studies! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

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10 High-Rated Korean Dramas to Improve Your Korean

Must-Watch Korean Dramas

There are many Korean dramas available for you to watch online, but how do you know if the drama is good or not? Based on the data, we’ve prepared a list of the top ten highest-rated Korean dramas in 2018. We’d like to introduce each drama and how to study the Korean language by watching these Korean dramas. We’ve written down a small part of the script from each drama for you so that you can have a glimpse of the language (e.g. the show’s Korean level, if and how they use informal language or jargons, and so on).

Some Korean dramas use jargons from law, some use rich vocabulary to describe the taste and texture of foods. Some Korean dramas use lots of slang words as well. Nevertheless, using a Korean drama to study the language is a great way to enjoy a great Korean drama while learning more about the Korean culture as well as conversational Korean.

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How to Learn Korean Using TV Dramas

There are many ways to study the language, and using TV shows is one of the most effective ways to broaden your vocabulary, as well as work on pronunciation and accent. In addition, you’ll be able to have a closer look at Korean culture and improve your listening skills.

In order to work on your Korean while watching TV dramas, find a spare notebook so that you can write down new words, slangs, sentences, and dialogues that you want to study. After that, try to memorize them so that you can practice them next time you’re chatting with Korean-speaking friends.

Also, stop the show and repeat the sentences or phrases after the actors, or even at the same time. This is an effective way of working on your pronunciation skills and improving your accent.

1. 미스터 션샤인 (miseuteo syeonsyain) — “Mr. Sunshine”

This drama is a story that you’re guaranteed to love. The story centers on a young boy who traveled to the United States during 1871 and returned back to Korea as a United States Corps officer. He meets and falls in love with the daughter of an aristocrat. (Wikipedia)

This drama became popular even before the episodes were released because the story was written by one of the top South Korean screenwriters, named 김은숙. She wrote many popular Korean television dramas, such as 파리의 연인 (Lovers in Paris [2004]), 시크릿 가든 (Secret Garden [2010]), 태양의 후예 (Descendants of the Sun [2016]), 도깨비 (Guardian: The Lovely and Great God [2016-2017]), and many more. This show’s production quality is extremely beautiful as well, so if you appreciate the beauty of cinematography, this drama is for you.

Quote:
※ The story takes place during the late 1870s, and therefore characters speak old Korean language, which sounds a little different compared to our current Korean language.

애신: ‘러브’가 무엇이오 (‘reobeu’ga mueosio)
유진: 한데 그건 왜 묻는 거요 (hande geugeon wae munneun geoyo)
애신: 하고 싶어 그러오. (hago sipeo geureoo.)
벼슬보다 좋은 거라 하더이다 (byeoseulboda joeun geora hadeoida)
유진: 뭐 생각하기에 따라서. (mwo saenggakagie ttaraseo.)
한데 혼자는 못하오. (hande honjaneun mothao.)
함께할 상대가 있어야 해서 (hamkkehal sangdaega isseoya haeseo)
애신: 그럼 나와 같이 하지 않겠소. (geureom nawa gachi haji anketso.)
내 총도 쏘는데 (nae chongdo ssoneunde)
유진: 총 쏘는 것보다 더 어렵고, (chong ssoneun geotboda deo eoryeopgo,)
그보다 더 위험하고, (geuboda deo wiheomhago,)
그보다 더 뜨거워야 하오 (geuboda deo tteugeowoya hao)
애신: 꽤 어렵구려 (kkwae eoryeopguryeo)

Translation:
A: “What is ‘love?’”
Y: “Why do you ask about ‘love?’”
A: “Because I want to do it. I heard that it is better than working in a government.”
Y: “Well, it depends, but you cannot do it alone. You need a partner.”
A: “Then, would you like to do it with me? I’m good at shooting guns.”
Y: “It is more difficult than shooting guns, more dangerous and it must be hotter than that.”
A: “It sounds really difficult.”

Vocabulary:
※ Click on a word to listen to the Korean pronunciation.

벼슬 (byeoseul): “government position.” Modern Korean word is 정치 (jeongchi)
한데 (hande): “but; however.” Modern Korean word is 하지만 (hajiman)
상대 (sangdae): “a partner”
(kkwae): “quite; rather; fairly”
어렵구려 (eoryeopguryeo): “It sounds/seems difficult.” Modern Korean phrase is 어렵군요 (eoryeopgunyo)

2. 내 아이디는 강남미인 (nae aidineun gangnammiin) — “Gangnam Beauty”

This story is centered around a character named Kang Mirae, who decides to get plastic surgery after being bullied for being ugly. At her university, she’s teased as the “Gangnam plastic surgery monster.” This story covers her journey to recover self-esteem as she gets to know Do Kyungseok. (Wikipedia)

The original version of this story is available on Webtoon, Naver. If you’re interested in reading the cartoon version with much simpler Korean phrases, you can start off with the Webtoon version first.

Quote:
※ This drama is a great way to learn conversational phrases and slangs in Korean.

강미래: 네가 내 일에 자꾸 엮이는 거 같은데,
(nega nae ire jakku yeokkineun geo gateunde)
말 안 했으면 좋겠어
(mal an haesseumyeon jokesseo)
도경석: 왜 했냐. 왜 고쳤냐고, 얼굴
(wae haennya. wae gochyeonnyago, eolgul)
강미래: 알잖아. 내 옛날 얼굴.
(aljana. nae yennal eolgul.)
내가 수아처럼 예뻐지자고 한 것도 아닌데
(naega suacheoreom yeppeojijago han geotdo aninde)
평범한 정도로 못 되는 얼굴이 있어.
(pyeongbeomhan jeongdoro mot doeneun eolguri isseo.)
도경석: 너 남들 얼굴에 급 매기냐.
(neo namdeul eolgure geup maeginya.)
얼굴이 아니라 질 떨어진 마인드를 수술하지 그랬냐.
(eolguri anira jil tteoreojin maindeureul susulhaji geuraennya.)

Translation:
Gangmirae: “It seems that you constantly get involved in my business.
I do not think you should be talking to me.”
Dogyeongseok: “Why did you do it. Why did you do a plastic surgery.”
Gangmirae: “You know my face before.
I didn’t want to be as pretty as Sooa,
but my face was not pretty enough.”
Dogyeongseok: “Are you giving scores to faces of others.
You should have done a surgery to fix on your mind, not your face. “

Vocabulary:
※ Click on a word to listen to the Korean pronunciation.

엮이다 (yeokkida): “be involved in”
평범하다 (pyeongbeomhada): “ordinary; common; normal”
했냐 (wae haennya): “Why did you do it?”
~처럼 (~cheoreom): “as~as”
떨어지다 (jil tteoreojida): “poor quality”
수술 (susul): “surgery; operation”

3. 서른이지만 열일곱입니다 (seoreunijiman yeorilgobimnida) — “Thirty But Seventeen”

Gong Woojin, who is now thirty years old, works as a set designer. Due to his past experience, he has difficulty maintaining relationships with others. Woo Seori, seventeen, fell into a coma due to an accident. Thirteen years later, she wakes up from her coma. However, her mental age is still that of a seventeen-year-old, but she is now thirty years old. This story is about how these two characters get involved with each other and fall in love along the way. (Wikipedia)

One of the main characters is played by a famous actress in South Korea, named 신혜선 (Shin Hyesun) whose previous appearance in Korean dramas was in 푸른 바다의 전설 (Legend of the Blue Sea). It’s believed that if she is in a drama, it’s guaranteed to be a good story. This drama has several great actors and actresses, so you’ll definitely enjoy this one!

Quote:
서리: 아, 부모님은 14살 때 돌아가셨어요. 터널 붕괴사고로 갑자기.
(Seori: a, bumonimeun 14sal ttae doragasyeosseoyo. teoneol bunggoesagoro gapjagi.)
그 후론 외삼촌 외숙모랑 같이 산 거고.
(geu huron oesamchon oesungmorang gachi san geogo.)
유찬: 아… 근데 외삼촌분은 왜 그렇게 급하게 집을 파셨을까요?
(Yuchan: a… geunde oesamchonbuneun wae geureoke geupage jibeul pasyeosseulkkayo?)
서리: 나도 궁금해 미치겠어요.
(nado gunggeumhae michigesseoyo.)
여기 계속 살고 계실 줄 알았는데…
(yeogi gyesok salgo gyesil jul aranneunde…)
경찰서 가도 해줄 수 있는 게 없다고 하고,
(gyeongchalseo gado haejul su inneun ge eopdaego,)
친구들도 어디로 갔는지 모르겠고…
(chingudeuldo eodiro ganneunji moreugetgo…)
내가 아는 사람들이 전부 세상에서 사라져 버린 느낌이에요.
(naega aneun saramdeuri jeonbu sesangeseo sarajyeo beorin neukkimieyo.)

Translation:
Seori: “Ah, my parents passed away when I was 14. Suddenly from collapse accident.
After that I lived with my uncle and aunt.”
Yuchan: “Ah… But I wonder why did your uncle sell the house so suddenly?”
Seori: “I want to know too and it’s driving me crazy.
I thought he would still be living here…
The police said there was nothing they could do,
I don’t know where my friends are…
It feels like everyone I know in this world have disappeared completely.”

Vocabulary”
※ Click on a word to listen to the Korean pronunciation.

부모님 (bumonim): “parents”
돌아가시다 (doragasida): “pass away”
붕괴사고 (bunggoesago): “collapse accident”
경찰서 (gyeongchalseo): “police station”
전부 (jeonbu): “all”
느낌이에요 (neukkimieyo): “feels like”

4. 김비서가 왜 그럴까 (gimbiseoga wae geureolkka) — “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?”

This drama is a love story between a vice chairman of a major cooperation, Lee Young-joon, and his secretary, Kim Mi-so. After working with Lee Young-joon, the secretary, Kim Mi-so decides to resign her position and their love story begins from there. (Wikipedia)

The story is based on a web novel, written by Jun Kyung-yoon. Later on, the story was published again as a web cartoon. Also, this drama inspired in many young audience members a sense of style similar to Kim Mi-so’s.

Quote:
박서준: 그만하자
(Bakseojun: geumanhaja)
이러다 또 싸우게 되면 어떡해
(ireoda tto ssauge doemyeon eotteokae)
기껏 화해했는데
(gikkeot hwahaehaenneunde)
그리고 너무 예뻐서
(geurigo neomu yeppeoseo)
더 이상 화를 낼 수는 없군
(deo isang hwareul nael suneun eopgun)

Translation:
Bakseojun: “Let’s stop
What happens if I fight again
We just made up with each other
And because you are too pretty
I cannot be angry to you anymore.”

Vocabulary:
※ Click on a word to listen to the Korean pronunciation.

그만하다 (geumanhada): “stop”
(tto): “again”
기껏 (gikkeot): “at the most; at best”
~와 화해하다 (~wa hwahaehada): “make up with somebody”
예쁘다 (yeppeuda): “to be pretty”

5. 라이프 (raipeu) — “Life”

This South Korean drama was written by 이수연 (Lee Soo-yeon), whose most famous Korean drama series previously was 비밀의 숲 (Stranger [2017]). There are two very famous main actors in this drama, who are 이동욱 (Lee Dong-wook) and 조승우 (Cho Seung-woo). To give you an idea of where these two actors appeared in the past: 이동욱 (Lee Dong-wook)’s previous appearance in Korean drama was in 도깨비 (Guardian: The Lovely and Great God) and 조승우 (Cho Seung-woo)’s previous appearance in Korean drama was in 비밀의 숲 (Stranger [2017]).

This story is a medical drama dealing with power struggles within the hospital. Ye Jin-Woo (Lee Dong-Wook) is a doctor in the emergency medical center at Sangkook University Hospital. He has a warm heart and charisma. Koo Seung-Hyo (Cho Seung-Woo), on the other hand, is the president at Sangkook University Hospital, and tends to be cool-headed and ambitious. (Asianwiki)

Quote:
※ Do you want to practice your pronunciation with the script below? Watch this video and practice speaking.

왜 이 길을 택했냐는 질문이 그 다음이더군요.
(wae i gireul taekaennyaneun jilmuni geu daeumideogunyo.)
사람 살리는 방법을 죽도록 공부했으니까
(saram sallineun bangbeobeul jukdorok gongbuhaesseunikka)
그리고 용기가 없어서.
(geurigo yonggiga eopseoseo.)
내 눈앞에서 사라지는 생명을 외면할 용기가 없어서.
(nae nunapeseo sarajineun saengmyeongeul oemyeonhal yonggiga eopseoseo.)

Translation:
“The next question is why I chose this road.
I studied how to save people from death.
And I do not have the courage.
I do not have the courage to turn away the life that disappears before my eyes.”

Vocabulary:
※ Click on a word to listen to the Korean pronunciation.

택하다 (taekada): “choose”
질문 (jilmun): “question”
그리고 (geurigo): “and”
용기 (yonggi): “courage”
눈앞 (nunap): “before one’s eyes”
외면하다 (oemyeonhada): “turn one’s face away; look away”

6. 라이프 온 마스 (raipeu on maseu) — “Life on Mars”

Have you seen Life on Mars? This is a remake version of the British drama, Life on Mars.

Quote:
증거, 과학수사 뭐 법대로 하면 좋지.
(jeunggeo, gwahaksusa mwo beopdaero hamyeon jochi.)
그런데, 그런 것들 다 따지다가 사람이 죽어 나가요.
(geureonde, geureon geotdeul da ttajidaga sarami jugeo nagayo.)

Translation:
“Evidence, scientific investigation well it’s good if we abide by the law.
But, as we caught up in following all these rules, innocent people are dying.”

Vocabulary:
※ Click on a word to listen to the Korean pronunciation.

증거 (jeunggeo): “evidence; proof”
과학수사 (gwahaksusa): “scientific investigation”
그런데 (geureonde): “but; however”
사람 (saram): “human”
죽어 나가다 (jugeo nagada): “die”

7. 친애하는 판사님께 (chinaehaneun pansanimkke) — “Your Honor”

This drama tells the story of identical twin brothers who have the same level of intellect, but lead entirely different lives. (Wikipedia)

Quote:
일단 반성문은 50장 정도로 가시죠.
(ildan banseongmuneun oo-ship jang jeongdoro gasijyo.)
판사가 일주일에 처리하는 사건만 100개가 넘는데,
(pansaga iljuire cheorihaneun sageonman Baek gaega neomneunde,)
반성문이 얼마나 많이 들어오겠어요?
(banseongmuni eolmana mani deureoogesseoyo?)

[skip]
시작합시다!
(sijakapsida!)
아아아! 판사 존경해요?
(aaa! pansa jongyeonghaeyo?)
판사도 알아요, 자기 존경 안하는거.
(pansado arayo, jagi jongyeong anhaneungeo.)
근데 다 무슨 존경하는 판사님이야?
(geunde da museun jongyeonghaneun pansanimiya?)
읽나? 안 읽지! 첫 줄부터 거짓말인데.
(ingna? an ilji! cheot julbuteo geojinmarinde.)
받아 적으세요. 친애하는 판사님께!
(bada jeogeuseyo. chinaehaneun pansanimkke!)
아 좋은 말이에요. 그냥 받아쓰셔!
(a joeun marieyo. geunyang badasseusyeo!)

Translation:
“Firstable, let’s start off with 50 letters of apology
There are over 100 cases a judge handles in a week,
Can you imagine how many letters of apology comes in?
Let’s start!
Ah! Do you respect a judge?
Any judges already know, they are not respected.
But why do you say that you respect judges?
Do you read? No you don’t! Because it is a lie from the first line.
Write it down, Dear Judge!
Oh good. Just write this down!”

Vocabulary:
※ Click on a word to listen to the Korean pronunciation.

일단 (ildan): “first; at first”
반성문 (banseongmun): “letter of apology”
판사 (pansa): “judge”
처리하다 (cheorihada): “treat; handle”
존경 (jongyeong): “respect”
거짓말 (geojinmal): “lie”

8. 식샤를 합시다 3 (siksyareul hapsida 3) — “Let’s Eat 3”

This is the Korean drama that will make you hungry. They’ve just started airing season three of this TV drama, and if you love Korean food, it’s strongly recommended to watch from season one. Apart from well-known traditional Korean foods such as 비빔밥 (bibimbap), 불고기 (bulgogi), and 떡볶이 (Tteok-bokki), you’ll see many Korean foods that you’ve never seen before.

The story centers around two main characters named Goo Daeyoung (played by Yoon Doo-joon) and Lee Jiwoo (played by Baek Jin-hee). Thirty-something Goo Daeyoung struggles with his life. In order to heal his wounds, he decides to go on a journey to revisit the food that he loved in his twenties with his classmate, Lee Ji-woo. (Wikipedia)

Quote:
※ Do you want to practice your pronunciation with the script below? Watch this video and practice speaking.

대영: 야이 니들끼리 다 먹으면 어떻게
(Yundujun: yai nideulkkiri da meogeumyeon eotteoke)
친구: 야 물 부어서 다시 먹으면돼지, 이렇게
(Chingu: ya mul bueoseo dasi meogeumyeondwaeji, ireoke)
대영: 싱거워지잖아 그러면!
(Yundujun: singgeowojijana geureomyeon!)
지우: 아 됐다.
(Baekjinhui: a dwaetda.)
대영: 어? 뭐하는거야?
(Yundujun: eo? mwohaneungeoya?)
지우: 이러면, 부대찌개로 바뀌면서 간도 맞다. 먹어봐라
(Baekjinhui: ireomyeon, budaejjigaero bakkwimyeonseo gando matda. meogeobwara)

Translation:
Daeyoung: “What the… How did you eat all of them (without me?)”
A friend: “Well, we can eat more if we pour water, like this.”
Daeyoung: “If you do that it (the Kimchi soup) is going to be bland!”
Jiwoo: “Hey, stop.”
Daeyoung:“Ah? What are you doing?”
Jiwoo: “If we do like this, the soup is going to become sausage stew and it taste just right. Try it out.”

Vocabulary:
※ Click on a word to listen to the Korean pronunciation.

붓다 (butda): “pour”
이렇게 (ireoke): “like this”
싱겁다 (singgeopda): “insipid; not properly salted”
그러면 (geureomyeon): “and, then, if you do”
부대찌개 (budaejjigae): “Sausage Stew”
간이 맞다 (gani matda): “be well seasoned”

9. 너도 인간이니? (neodo inganini?) — “Are You Human?”

Oh Laura is a scientist who was forced to separate from her son named Nam Shin. In order to cope with her loss, she builds various AI robots of her son, naming them Nam Shin one, two, and three. Nam Shin Three was sent to a corporation in order to protect the real Nam Shin’s position, because the real Nam Shin is in a coma. Meanwhile, Kang Sobong is hired as Nam Shin Three’s bodyguard. However, she starts to fall in love with him. (Wikipedia)

Quote:
남신3: 왜 나한테 거짓말했죠?
(namsin3: wae nahante geojinmalhaetjyo?)
회사 간다고 해놓고 병원에서 엄마 만났잖아요.
(hoesa gandago haenoko byeongwoneseo eomma mannatjanayo.)
인간 남산이 한국에 온 것도 말해주지 않았죠.
(ingan namsani hanguge on geotdo malhaejuji anatjyo.)
지영훈씨는 믿어도 되는 인간인가요, 아닌가요?
(jiyeonghunssineun mideodo doeneun inganingayo, aningayo?)
영훈: 뭘 착각하나 본데, 그쪽은 진짜 신이가 아니에요.
(yeonghun: mwol chakgakana bonde, geujjogeun jinjja siniga anieyo.)
날 믿든 안 믿든 내가 시키는대로만 해요.
(nal mitdeun an mitdeun naega sikineundaeroman haeyo.)
뭐하는겁니까 지금?
(mwohaneungeomnikka jigeum?)
남신3: 행동 모방학습.
(haengdong mobanghakseup.)
방금 지영훈씨 행동을 따라 해봤어요.
(banggeum jiyeonghunssi haengdongeul ttara haebwasseoyo.)
할 말이 남아서요.
(hal mari namaseoyo.)

Translation:
Namsin3: “Why did you lie to me?
You told us that you will go to work, but you met my mum instead.
You didn’t even tell me that human (real) Namsin is in Korea.
Should I trust you or not?”
Yeonghun: “I think you are confused, you are not real Sin (casual way to call Namsin)
(I don’t care) whether you trust me or not. Just follow my order.
What are you doing now?”
Namsin3: “Behavioral imitation learning
I tried to mimic your behaviour because I still have more to say.”

Vocabulary:
※ Click on a word to listen to the Korean pronunciation.

거짓말 (geojinmal): “lie”
인간 (ingan): “human being.” Synonyms — 사람 meaning “a person”
착각하다 (chakgakada): “confused; mistaken”
시키다 (sikida): “to order”
지금 (jigeum): “now; right now”
모방 (mobang): “imitation.” Synonyms — 따라하다 (ttarahada) meaning “to mimic”
학습 (hakseup): “study; learning”

10. 시간 (shigan) — “Time”

Soo-Ho (played by Kim Jung-Hyun) is the CEO of a restaurant and the son of a family that runs the large company W. Because of him, Ji-Hyun’s (played by Seohyun) life is ruined. Ji-Hyun used to have a bright personality and easily socialized with others; however, after she lost her younger sibling, everything is changed.

The female lead is played by a member of Girls’ Generation. After they decided to disband the group, Seohyun changed her career to become an actress, and this is her eighth appearance in Korean drama. Her previous appearance was in 도둑놈, 도둑님 (Bad Thief, Good Thief [2017]).

Quote:
※ Do you want to practice your pronunciation with the script below? Watch this video and practice speaking.

지현: 무슨일이십니까 고객님
(Jihyeon: museunirisimnikka gogaengnim)
수호: 너 시력이 몇이야?
(Jeonghyeon: neo siryeogi myeochiya?)
지현: 네?
(ne?)
수호: 번호판 안보이냐고!
(beonhopan anboinyago!)
지현: 죄송합니다. 제가 안내를 잘못해드렸습니다.
(joesonghamnida. jega annaereul jalmothaedeuryeotseumnida.)
저쪽으로 가시면됩니다.
(jeojjogeuro gasimyeondoemnida.)
수호: 수신호는 왜 안해
(susinhoneun wae anhae)
수신호를 해야 할 거 아냐 혹시 나 지금 무시하는 거야?
(susinhoreul haeya hal geo anya hoksi na jigeum musihaneun geoya?)
수호: 사랑이 가득한 더블유 백화점에 오신것을 환영합니다.
(sarangi gadeukan deobeullyu baekwajeome osingeoseul hwanyeonghamnida.)
행복한 쇼핑 되십시오.
(haengbokan syoping doesipsio.)
행복은 개뿔
사람1: 미친거 아냐?
(saram1: michingeo anya?)
수호: 방금 뭐라고 그랬어?
(banggeum mworago geuraesseo?)
지현: 그게..
(geuge…)
사람1: 저 고객님 그게
(jeo gogaengnim geuge)
수호: 이젠 별게 날 무시하네?
(ijen byeolge nal musihane?)
지현: 너무한거 아니에요
(neomuhangeo anieyo)
지금 사람이 넘어진거 안보이시냐구요
(jigeum sarami neomeojingeo anboisinyaguyo)
수호: 지금 나한테 화내는거야?
(jigeum nahante hwanaeneungeoya?)
지현: 그럼 이 상황에서 화가 나지 안나겠어요?
(geureom isanghwangeseo hwaga naji annagesseoyo?)
사람이 넘어졌으면 괜찮댜고 물어보셔야죠.
(sarami neomeojyeosseumyeon gwaenchantyago mureobosyeoyajyo.)
그게 최선의 도리 아닌가요?
(geuge choeseonui dori aningayo?)

Translation:
Ji-Hyun: “How can I help you, sir?”
Soo-Ho: “How good is your sight?”
Ji-Hyun: “I beg your pardon?”
Soo-Ho: “Don’t you see my license plate?”
Ji-Hyun: “I’m sorry. I gave you the wrong directions.
VIP customers can go that way.”
Soo-Ho: “What about your hand signals?
You have to signal us so we can go.
Are you looking down on me?”
Ji-Hyun: “Welcome to W department store full of love.
Please have a great time shopping.”
Soo-Ho: “Great time? What a joke.”
Person 1: “Is he crazy?”
Soo-Ho: “What did you just say?”
Ji-Hyun: “Well…”
Person 1: “I… Actually, it.”
Soo-Ho: “Even things like these are looking down on me now.”
Ji-Hyun: “You are being too harsh
can’t you see that you made her fall?”
Soo-Ho: “Are you getting mad at me?”
Ji-Hyun: “Who wouldn’t get mad in this situation?
If someone fell, you should ask if they’re okay.
That’s common sense.”

Vocabulary:
※ Click on a word to listen to the Korean pronunciation.

무슨일이 십니까? (museuniri simnikka?): “What’s the trouble?”
고객님 (gogaengnim): “customer”
시력 (siryeok): “eyesight”
무시하다 (musihada): “ignore”
번호판 (beonhopan): “number plate”
수신호 (susinho): “hand signal”
백화점 (baekwajeom): “department store”
넘어지다 (neomeojida): “fall”
화내다 (hwanaeda): “angry; get mad at”
도리 (dori): “duty”

How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Learn Korean

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Do you have more questions about the Korean culture, language, or even the Korean dramas discussed in this blog post? Leave us a comment below, or use our forum. We hope you enjoyed our list of the top ten highest-rating Korean dramas, and we truly hope that you can master the language!

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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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