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10 Korean Hand Gestures You Need to Know


In general, people are fascinated by body language. Body gestures are all about movements—whether they’re visible or subtle—made by people to deliver a specific message to the listener. Additionally, it helps us understand additional non-spoken messages by a sender.

There are many benefits of learning Korean gestures and body language. Firstly, you’ll be able to communicate with locals more effectively. Secondly, you’ll be more likely to avoid miscommunication. And lastly, it’s fun to see the cultural differences and how some of these body gestures differ from those in your country, and so on. Therefore, we’ll introduce ten Korean hand gestures you should know here at KoreanClass101.

Practice these common body gestures in Korea, and you’ll start sounding and acting more like a native around your Korean friends. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Korean Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

Table of Contents

  1. Peace Sign
  2. Korean Heart
  3. “Let’s Go for a Drink” Gesture
  4. Receiving and Giving Something to Someone
  5. Covering Mouth when Laughing
  6. Two Thumbs Up
  7. Promise Handshake
  8. Come over Here
  9. The Double Hand Wave
  10. Korean “Rock, Paper, Scissors” Sign
  11. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

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1. Peace Sign

Peace Sign

Everyone knows what the V sign is. However, the meaning of this gesture varies depending on the cultural context. In Korea, the peace sign is commonly used when taking pictures. Also, it can be used to show how proud you are of something. For example, when you’re praised by your friend for receiving a full mark for an exam, you can show this peace sign for “victory.” This is one of the more common hand gestures in Korean cultures.


A: 우와, 시험 100점 맞았어? 대박*.
A: uwa, siheom 100jeom majasseo? daebak.
A: “Wow you got a full mark for the exam? That’s awesome!”

B: (While showing the peace sign) 히히
B: hihi
B: “haha”
대박* is a Korean slang word for “awesome.”

C: 셀카* 찍자!
C: selka jjikja!
C: “Let’s take a selfie!”

D: 응 (While showing the peace sign) 치~즈!
D: eung chi~jeu!
D: “Okay, cheese!”

셀카* is a slang word for “selfie.”

2. Korean Heart

This Korean hand gesture is relatively new in Korea and to make this hand gesture is very easy. Take your thumb and index finger and cross them to make the shape of a heart—that’s it!

The heart gesture shows a tiny heart, but if you look at the entire hand, you’ll come to realize that it’s actually the shape of a human’s heart. Your fist is the shape of a heart and your two fingers, which are the index and the thumb, are two main vessels.

Human Heart

This Korean heart gesture is used to say “I like/love you” to someone and it’s commonly used to show how much you adore someone (e.g. K-Pop idol singers at a concert). You can also use this sign when you want to express how much you like something, such as food, toys, movies, and so on.

3. “Let’s Go for a Drink” Gesture

정승환 (Jung Seung-hwan), a Korean balad singer, in this video clip is telling someone in the crowd to go for a drink. The gesture indicates that the person is holding a small Soju glass and is emptying the glass by pretending to drink an invisible Soju.

Soju Glass

That’s the gesture of “Let’s go for a drink.” This hand gesture is commonly used among friends, as a friendly gesture. Therefore, don’t use this gesture toward elders or people of a higher status than you; this is against Korean cultural etiquette.

4. Receiving and Giving Something to Someone

Giving and receiving an object with only one hand is considered rude in Korea. This is one of the common mistakes that foreigners make, since doing this movement with one hand is completely okay in many countries.

In Korea, you need to receive or give something with both hands; this is to show that you’re showing respect. You don’t necessarily need to do this for your friends, but you’ll definitely need to use both hands for elders or people of higher status.


A: B씨, 이 자료들 오늘까지 처리 가능해요?
A: bissi, i jaryodeul oneulkkaji cheori ganeunghaeyo?
A: “Is it possible to finish working on these documents by today?”

B: 네, 팀장님. 오늘 중으로 처리하도록 하겠습니다. (Receives the documents with two hands)
B: ne, timjangnim. oneul jungeuro cheorihadorok hagetseumnida.
B: “Sure. I will try to finish them by today.” (Receives the documents with two hands)

C: 소주 한잔 드세요.
C: soju hanjan deuseyo.
C: “I will pour you a drink.”

D: 아, 네 감사합니다. (Holds a Soju glass with two hands)
D: a, ne gamsahamnida.
D: “Ah, sure, thank you.” (Holds a Soju glass with two hands)

Hold Two Hands

5. Covering Mouth when Laughing

When you travel to South Korea, you’ll notice that many women hide their mouth with their hand when laughing. This is commonly done by women since it’s very feminine.

We’re not sure where this popular gesture in Korea originated from. However, it could be influenced by Confucianism, where it’s believed that public displays of emotion shouldn’t be expressed to others. Another assumption is that Korean women are shy in general and by hiding their mouth while laughing, they can avoid embarrassment (for instance, of food stuck in their teeth).

Example: You (female) are on a date with someone. When he makes you laugh, use this hand gesture to show your feminine side.

Hand Gestures

6. Two Thumbs Up

The one thumb up gesture is to say 잘했어요 (jalhaesseoyo) or “great job,” but if you do the two thumbs up gesture, it’s equivalent to 진짜 짱이다 (jinjja jjangida) or “it’s super awesome.” This gesture is used only among friends.


A: 이번 방탄소년단 콘서트 어땠어?
A: ibeon bangtansonyeondan konseoteu eottaesseo?
A: “How was the BTS concert?”

B: [As you show two thumbs up] 진짜 짱이었어!
B: jinjja jjangieosseo!
B: “It was AWESOME!”

C: 이번에 새로 나온 게임하러 갈래?
C: ibeone saero naon geimhareo gallae?
C: “Do you want to go and play the new game?”

D: 아 그거? 나 벌써 해봤지. [As you show two thumbs up] 진짜 짱이야.
D: a geugeo? na beolsseo haebwatji. jinjja jjangiya.
D: “Ah that game? I already played. It was really great.”

Hand Gesture

7. Promise Handshake

Everyone knows how to make a “promise” hand gesture - it’s similar to a pinky swear. In Korea, a promise hand gesture itself isn’t enough; we have many more hand gestures after that. The most popular ones are “signature,” “scan,” and “handshake.” There are many varieties in Korea, so ask your Korean friends what their promise handshake gestures are.

Example: You made a vow to your friend that you’ll invite him over for dinner next Tuesday, but he seems doubtful. If you want to ensure that you’ll make it happen, do the promise hand gesture to gain his trust.


A: 다음주까지 빌린 돈 꼭 갚을께 약속!
A: daeumjukkaji billin don kkok gapeulkke yaksok!
A: “I promise to pay back the money I owe you!”

B: 그럼 손가락 걸고 약속 하자.
B: geureom songarak geolgo yaksok haja.
B: “Then let’s do the promise handshake.”

8. Come over Here

If you want to ask someone to come to you with a gesture, Koreans hold their hand up with their palm down, and move it up and down. This gesture is exactly the same as in America, expect it’s an upside-down version.

If you use the American gesture (to say come here), Koreans may feel offended because it conveys a different meaning to them. You can’t use this gesture for elders or superiors, so be careful when using this hand gesture.


A: 수미야! 일루와봐! (hand gesture)
A: sumiya! illuwabwa!
A: “Sumi! Come over here!” (hand gesture)

B: 왜, 무슨일있어?
B: wae, museunirisseo?
B: “What’s up?”

Hold Two Hands Up

9. The Double Hand Wave

This is another important body gesture in Korean cultures and is used when you want to strongly say “NO” to someone. You can use only one hand to say “no” to someone, but if you use two hands, it sends a strong message that you don’t want to do. Also, it can mean, “No thank you.”

For example: You spotted that someone dropped a wallet while walking in a busy street and you hand the wallet over to that person.

The conversation goes like this:

  • You: 저기요, 지갑 떨어뜨리셨어요. 여기 있습니다.
    You: jeogiyo, jigap tteoreotteurisyeosseoyo. yeogi itseumnida.
    You: “Excuse me, you dropped your wallet. Here it is.”
  • Person: 어머, 너무 감사합니다. 감사의 표시로 무료 커피 사용 증정권 드릴께요.
    Person: eomeo, neomu gamsahamnida. gamsaui pyosiro muryo keopi sayong jeungjeonggwon deurilkkeyo.
    Person: “Oh, thank you so much. Please accept this free coffee coupon as a small token of my appreciation.”
  • You: *[Gently waving your two hands] 아니에요. 괜찮습니다.
    You: anieyo. Gwaenchanseumnida.
    You: “No. It is okay.”

*It’s a friendly gesture to refuse something offered by the person you’re talking to.

10. Korean “Rock, Paper, Scissors” Sign

In Korea, “Rock, Paper, Scissors” is called 가위 바위 보 (gawi bawi bo). Unlike the gestures you may be used to, there’s another way to show scissors in Korea, and it’s the shape of a gun.

Three Women Smiling While Opening Box

How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

In summary, we introduced ten commonly used Korean gestures in Korea. Your conversation skills will definitely improve if you understand these Korean hand gestures. Speaking of improving your Korean skills, KoreanClass101 has many free study materials to help Korean learners master their language skills.

Do you want to improve your listening skills? Check out our vocabulary list called “How to Improve Your Listening Skills.” You can’t miss out on the latest Korean slang words either, so check out “Most Common Texting Slang” to level up your Korean slang words.

Why not create your lifetime account today and enjoy our Korean lessons? Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Korean Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

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Gwangbokjeol: Celebrating Independence Day in Korea

The National Liberation Day of Korea celebrates the Korean liberation from Japan, and commemorates those who sacrificed to attain this freedom. This Korean liberation took effect only after many years of struggle and oppressive living conditions, making this newfound freedom that much sweeter.

Learn more about Korean Liberation Day with KoreanClass101.com, and gain insight into Korea’s history and how it shapes its culture today. We hope to make this lesson both fun and informative!

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1. What is Korean Liberation Day?

On this day, Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces in World War II. At the same time, the Korean Peninsula was also freed from the domination of Japan. On Liberation Day, Koreans celebrate the granting of their long-held wish to be independent from Japan.

The Korean name of this holiday, Gwangbokjeol, is made of Chinese characters.
Gwang means “light” and Bok means “returning.” In other words, it means “the day the light came back.”

Did you know that even in the late 1990s, when the economic situation was bad enough to receive a bailout from the IMF, Koreans held a variety of events on National Liberation Day? This was done to encourage people in the economic crisis to overcome the hardship by reminding them of their ancestors, who overcame the harsh Japanese colonial period without losing hope.

2. When is Korean Liberation Day?

August 15, 1945

Each year on 15 August, Koreans celebrate their Liberation Day.

3. Traditions & Significance of Liberation Day

On National Liberation Day, many people visit the Independence Hall in Cheonan City. This is where people honor the activists who fought for the independence of the Republic of Korea. In particular, families come to visit with their children to instill a sense of respect and inspiration in them toward their country and those who sacrificed for its freedom.

Koreans raise the national flag on this day, as they do on Independence Movement Day and Korea Memorial Day. The flag is particularly prevalent in South Korea, though it can be seen around the world.

Since Liberation Day takes place in August, one of the most popular vacation months, it’s not uncommon for Koreans to gather in places around the world to celebrate this holiday. So if you happen to be in Paris, France on August 15, don’t be surprised to see a Liberation Day celebration taking place here! The Eiffel Tower is a hotspot for Liberation Day celebrations.

4. Outstanding Korean Activist

Firework Celebration

Of the independent activists, there was one man who organized the national liberation army, the independence army, and established the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea to establish the independence of the Korean peninsula. Do you know who that man is?

Kim Koo was the activist who argued strongly for the independence of the Republic of Korea to the world leaders who took the Japanese domination of the Korean peninsula for granted at the time. That is why Kim Koo has always been selected as the representative figure of Koreans’ respect.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Liberation Day in Korea

Map of Colony

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

  • 광복절 (gwangbokjjeol) — Liberation Day
  • 독립 기념관 (dongnip ginyeomgwan) — Independence Hall of Korea
  • 식민지 (singminji) — colony
  • 전쟁 (jeonjaeng) — war
  • 항복 (hangbok) — submission
  • 대한민국 정부 수립 (daehanminguk jeongbu surip) — Republic of Korea Government establishment
  • 기념 (ginyeom) — remembrance
  • 해방 (haebang) — liberation
  • 일본 제국주의 (ilbon jegukjuui) — Japanese imperialism
  • 독립 운동 (dongnip undong) — independence movement
  • 만세 (manse) — hurray
  • 청와대 (cheongwadae) — Blue House
  • 1945년 8월 15일 (cheongubaeksasibonyeon parwol siboil) — August 15, 1945

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Korean Liberation Day vocabulary list!

Conclusion: How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Master Korean

We hope you enjoyed learning about Korea’s Liberation Day with us! Does your country have a special national holiday like this one? Let us know about it in the comments!

To continue learning about Korean culture and the language, explore KoreanClass101.com and take advantage of our numerous learning tools:

If you prefer a one-on-one learning approach, or want to give it a try, be sure to upgrade to Premium Plus. This will give you access to your own personal Korean teacher as well as a personalized learning plan based on your needs and goals!

Whatever your reason for learning Korean, know that your hard work and determination will pay off! And KoreanClass101 will be here with you on each step of your journey to Korean mastery.

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Secret to Mastering Korean Slang and Abbreviations

Are you an active SNS user? If you are, there’s a high chance that you come across many Korean slang words that you’re not familiar with. We receive questions from our students about grammar structure, Korean culture, pronunciation, and so on. In addition, we noticed that there has been an increase in the number of Korean learners wanting to understand the meaning of slang words.

Have you seen ㅃㅃ or ㅋㅋ? Do you know what they mean? Like “brb” (abbreviation for “be right back”), ㅃㅃ is 빠이빠이 (ppaippai) meaning “goodbye” and ㅋㅋ is 크크 (keukeu) which is an Onomatopoeia for the sound of laughter, which is similar to “lol” (meaning “laugh out loud”). The difference is that 크크 (keukeu) is not as loud as “lol” in English. These words are frequently used, so let’s try to remember these basic Korean slang words.

Before we look into Korean texting slang words and symbols, try this mini test to see if you already know Korean texting slang or not:

Q1. What does “kkk” mean in Korean texting?
A. It’s the sound of laughing in Korean internet slang
B. It’s the sound of a mechanic in Korean internet slang
C. It doesn’t mean anything in Korean internet slang

Answer: A

Q2. What does “091012” mean in Korean texting?
A. It’s someone’s mobile number
B. It means “study hard”
C. It means a special date

Answer: B

Q3. What does “OTL” mean in Korean texting?
A. It’s an abbreviation for a famous department store in Korea
B. It shows someone kneeling down to show misery
C. It shows someone kneeling down to show that the person has just woken up

Answer: B

Q4. Choose the Korean internet slang for B.
수미: 오늘 내 생일이야!
소진: _________!
A. ㅉㅉ!
B. ㅊㅋㅊㅋ!
C. ^-^;;;;;

Answer: B

What score did you get on this mini test? Some questions are harder than others, so don’t worry if you didn’t get a perfect score. You’re here to learn, so let’s look into Korean text slang and expressions!

Table of Contents

  1. Korean Text Slang List — Simplified Korean Texting Slang
  2. Korean Text Slang List — Combined Words
  3. Korean Text Slang List — Swearing Words
  4. Korean Text Slang List — Emoticons
  5. Korean Text Slang List — Text slang with Numbers
  6. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

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1. Korean Text Slang List — Simplified Korean Texting Slang

Let’s take a look at a number of common Korean slang terms that Koreans use frequently.

  • ㄱㅅ, short for 감사 (gamsa) meaning “ty,” or “Thank you”
    • Example:
      • 선물 ㄱㅅ
        (seonmul gamsa)
        “Thank you for your present.”
  • ㄴㄴ, short for 노노 meaning “no no”
    • Example:
      • 노노 사진
      • (nono sajin)
        “No no picture,” which is a way of saying that these pictures are ugly.
  • ㄷㄷ, short for 덜덜 (deoldeol), a word to describe shivering, especially due to fright
    • Example:
      • 노래는 좋은데 가사가 ㄷㄷ.
        (noraeneun joeunde gasaga deoldeol.)
        “Melody is great but lyric is scary.”
  • ㅁㄹ, short for 몰라 (molla) meaning “idk” or “I don’t know”
    • Example:
      • 그거 난 ㅁㄹ.
        (geugeo nan molla.)
        “I do not know about that.”
  • ㅉㅉ, short for 쯧쯧 (jjeutjjeut) meaning “tsk tsk”
    • Example:
      • 또 늦은것 봐. ㅉㅉ
        (tto neujeungeot bwa.jjeutjjeut.)
        “He’s late again, tsk tsk.”
  • ㄹㄷ, short for 레디 (redi) meaning “Are you ready?”
    • Example:
      • ㄹㄷ? ㄱㄱ!
        (redi? gg!)
        “Ready? Let’s go!”
  • *ㅂㅂ, short for 바이바이 (baibai) meaning “Goodbye”
    • Example:
      • 내일 봐, ㅂㅂ!
        (naeil bwa, baibai!)
        “See you tomorrow, bye!”
  • *ㅃㅃ, short for 빠이빠이 (ppaippai) meaning “Goodbye.” This texting word sounds cuter than ㅂㅂ, and is therefore commonly used by young teenagers or ladies.
    • Example:
      • 오빠 내일 봐, ㅃㅃ!
        (oppa naeil bwa, ppaippai!)
        “See you tomorrow honey, goodbye!”
  • ㄱㄱ, short for 고고 (gogo) meaning “Let’s go!”
    • Example:
      • ㄹㄷ? ㄱㄱ!
        (rd? gogo!)
        “Ready? Let’s go!”
  • ㅇㅇ, short for 응 (eung) meaning “Yes.” If you use only “ㅇ,” it sounds rude, so try to use ㅇㅇ.
    • Example:
      • ㅇㅇ 알겠어.
        (Eungeung, algesseo.)
  • ㅊㅋㅊㅋ, short for 축하축하 (chukachuka) meaning “congratulations.” It’s usually used with the “!” sign.
    • Example:
      • 결혼 진심으로 ㅊㅋㅊㅋ!
        (gyeolhon jinsimeuro chukachuka!)
        “Congratulations on your wedding!”
  • ㅇㅋ, short for 오케이 (okei) meaning “okay”
    • Example:
      • ㅇㅋ, 그렇게 할께.
        (okei, geureoke halkke.)
        “Okay, I will do that.”
  • ㅎㅇ, short for 하이 (hai) meaing “hello” or “hi”
    • Example:
      • ㅎㅇㅎㅇ!
        “Hello hello!”
  • ㅈㅅ, short for 죄송 (joesong) meaning “sorry”
    • Example:
      • 내가 실수했네, ㅈㅅ.
        (naega silsuhaenne, joesong.)
        “I made a mistake, I am sorry.”
  • ㅁㅊ, short for 미친 (michin), meaning “crazy.” Use this word when someone’s acting or saying something insane or out of control.
    • Example:
      • ㅁㅊ, 너 돈이 어디있다고 이 비싼 차를 사?
        (michin, neo doni eodiitdago i bissan chareul sa?)
        “How did you even buy this expensive car when you are broke? You are insane.”
  • ㅇㄷ , short for 어디야 (eodiya) meaning “Where are you?” or “Where r u?”
    • Example:
      • ㄷ? 나 거기로 갈까?
        (Eodi? na geogiro galkka?)
        “Where are you? Should I go there?”
  • ㅇㄴ, short for 인남 (innam), which is a slang expression for 일어나다 (ireonada) meaning “to wake up”
    • Example:
      • 피곤, 나 지금 ㅇㄴ.
        (pigon, na jigeum innam.)
        “Tired, I’ve just woken up.”
  • ***ㅋㅋㅋ, short for 크크크 (keukeu) which is the sound of laughter
    • Example:
      • ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ 아 웃겨.
        (Keukeukeukeukeukeu a utgyeo.)
        “Hahahahahahahahahah that’s funny.”
  • ***ㅎㅎㅎ, short for 흐흐흐 (heuheuheu) which is the same as 크크크 (keukeu), except that 흐흐흐 (heuheuheu) represents a weaker laugh sound.
    • Example:
      • ㅎㅎㅎ;;
        To show that you’re feeling uncomfortable and are laughing it off
  • ㄱㅇㄱ? , short for 게임고? (geimgo?) which is a slang expression for 게임하러 갈래? (geimhareo gallae?) meaning “Let’s play the game?”
    • Example:
      • ㅇㄴ? ㄱㅇㄱ?
        (Innam? geimgo?)
        “Are you awake? Let’s go play the game?”
  • ㅎㄹ, short for헐 (heol) meaning “What the..” or “Oops”
    • Example:
      • ㅎㄹ;;;;;
        “What the…”
  • ㄷㅈㄹ , short for 더잘래 (deojallae) meaning “I want to sleep more”
    • Example:
      • 어제 3시에 잤어. ㄷㅈㄹ.
        (eoje 3sie jasseo.deojallae)
        “I went to sleep at 3am yesterday, I want to sleep more.”

2. Korean Text Slang List — Combined Words

Following are a few of the most frequently used Korean slang terms and words. These happen to be a bit more complex than the ones above, as they’re composed of more than one Korean expression. Let’s take a look.

  • 짐 (jim), short for 지금 (jigeum) meaning “now”
    • Example:
      • 나 진짜 급한데, 짐가면 안돼?
        (na jinjja geupande, jimgamyeon andwae?)
        “I’m really in a hurry, can’t we just go now?”
  • 샘 (saem) or 쌤 (ssaem), short for 선생님 (seonsaengnim) meaning “teacher”
    • Example:
      • 우리 썜 진짜 잘생긴것 같아.
        (uri ssyaem jinjja jalsaenggingeot gata.)
        “I think my teacher is really handsome.”
  • 어케 (eoke), short for 어떻게 (eotteoke) meaning “What should I do”
    • Example:
      • 헐 어케, 이거 엄마가 좋아하는 그릇인데.
        (heol eoke, igeo eommaga joahaneun geureusinde.)
        “Oops, what should I do, this was my mother’s favorite plate.”
  • 담 (dam), short for 다음 (daeum) meaning “Next time”
    • Example:
      • 담에 가지머 (=다음에 가지뭐)
        (dame gajimeo) or (daeume gajimwo)
        “Let’s go next time.”
  • 스샷 (seusyat) short for 스냅샷 (seunaepsyat) meaning “Snapshot”
    • Example:
      • 스샷 한번 찍자.
        (seusyat hanbeon jjikja.)
        “Let’s take a snapshot.”
  • 눈팅 (nunting) short for 눈 채팅 (nun chaeting) meaning to read a chat without interacting
    • Example:
      • 난 인스타그램은 그냥 눈팅만해.
        (nan inseutageuraemeun geunyang nuntingmanhae.)
        “I spend time lurking on Instagram.”
  • 강추 (gangchu) short for 강력 추천 (gangnyeok chucheon) meaning “highly recommended”
    • Example:
      • 이거 짱 맛있어 강추!
        (igeo jjang masisseo gangchu!)
        “This is really delicious, highly recommended!”
  • 비번 (bibeon) short for 비밀번호 (bimilbeonho) meaning “passwords”
    • Example:
      • 엄마, 아파트 비번 뭐야?
        (eomma, apateu bibeon mwoya?)
        “Mum, what’s the code for our apartment door?”
  • 컴 (keom) short for 컴퓨터 (keompyuteo) meaning “computer”
    • Example:
      • 컴터 넘 오래하면 잠이 안와.
        (keomteo neom oraehamyeon jami anwa.)
        “If I use the computer for a long time, I have trouble falling asleep.”
  • 멜 (mel) short for 메일 (meil) meaning “email”
    • Example:
      • 잠만, 나 멜좀 쓰고.
        (jamman, na meljom sseugo.)
        “Wait a moment, let me write an email.”
  • 겜 (gem) short for 게임 (geim) meaning “game”
    • Example:
      • 겜 하러 갈건데, 같이 갈래?
        (gem hareo galgeonde, gachi gallae?)
        “We are going to play a game, do you want to play too?”
  • 울 (ul) short for 우리 (uri) meaning “we”
    • Example:
      • 울 남친 사진 보여주까? (우리 남자친구 사진 보여줄까?)
        (ul namchin sajin boyeojukka?) or (uri namjachingu sajin boyeojulkka?)
        “Do you want me to show you a picture of my boyfriend?”
  • 설 (seol) short for 서울 (seoul) meaning “Seoul”
    • Example:
      • 설에 올라오면 연락줘. (서울에 올라오면 연락줘)
        (seore ollaomyeon yeollakjwo.) or (seoure ollaomyeon yeollakjwo)
        “Give me a call when you are in Seoul.”
  • 짱나 (jjangna) short for 짜증나 (jjajeungna) meaning “I am frustrated”
    • Example:
      • 날씨 엄청 더워서 넘 짱나.
        (nalssi eomcheong deowoseo neom jjangna.)
        “I feel so cranky because of this crazy weather.”
  • 근데 (geunde) short for 그런데 (geureonde) meaning “so what”
    • Example:
      • 근데? 너가 하고 싶은말이 뭔데?
        (geunde? neoga hago sipeunmari mwonde?)
        “So what? What are you trying to say?”
  • 땜에 (ttaeme) short for 때문에 (ttyaemune) meaning “because of”
    • Example:
      • 너 땜에 엄마가 화났잖아!
        (neo ttaeme eommaga hwanatjana!)
        “Mum is angry because of you!”
  • 아님 (anim) short for 아니면 (animyeon) meaning “or”
    • Example:
      • 초콜릿 먹을래? 아님 쿠키 먹을래?
        (chokollit meogeullae? anim kuki meogeullae?)
        “Do you want to eat some chocolates or some cookies?”
  • 알써 (alsseo) short for 알겠어 (algesseo) meaning “okay”
    • Example:
      • 알써, 집에 가는길에 우유 사갈께.
        (alsseo, jibe ganeungire uyu sagalkke.)
        “Okay, I will buy some milk on the way home.”
  • 첨 (cheom) short for 처음 (cheoeum) meaning “for the first time”
    • Example:
      • 너를 첨 만났을때…
        (neoreul cheom mannasseulttae…)
        “The first time I met you was…”
  • 낼 (nael) short for 내일 (naeil) meaning “tomorrow”
    • Example:
      • 낼 보자!
        (nael boja!)
        “See you tomorrow!”
  • 젤 (jel) short for 제일 (jeil) meaning “the most; the best”
    • Example:
      • 내가 젤 잘나가.
        (naega jel jallaga.)
        “I am the best.”
  • 조아 (joa) short for 좋아 (joa) meaning “I like”
    • Example:
      • 조아 눌러주세요.
        (joa nulleojuseyo.)
        “Please press the ‘like’ button.”
  • 방가 (bangga) short for 반갑습니다 meaning “nice to meet you”
    • Example:
      • 만나서 방가.
        (mannaseo bangga.)
        “Nice to meet you.”
  • 월욜 (wollyol) short for 월요일 (wollyoil) meaning “Monday”
  • 화욜 (hwayol) short for 화요일 (hwayoil) meaning “Tuesday”
  • 수욜 (suyol) short for 수요일 (suyoil) meaning “Wednesday”
  • 목욜 (mongnyol) short for 목요일 (mongnyoil) meaning “Thursday”
  • 금욜 (geumyol) short for 금요일 (geumyoil) meaning “Friday”
  • 토욜 (toyol) short for 토요일 (toyoil) meaning “Saturday”
  • 일욜 (illyol) short for 일요일 (illyoil) meaning “Sunday”
    • Example:
      • 그럼 [월욜]에 볼까?
        (geureom [wollyol]e bolkka?)
        “Shall we meet on [Monday]?”

3. Korean Text Slang List — Swearing Words

Korean curse words slang terms—hopefully you never have to use some of these, but they’re still good to know in case your conversations ever get heated or intense.

  • ㄷㅊ, short for 닥쳐 (dakchyeo) meaning “shut up”
  • Example:
  • 야 시끄러워 좀 ㄷㅊ.
    (ya sikkeureowo jom ㄷㅊ.)
    “Hey, you are too noisy, shut up.”
  • ㅅㅂ, short for 시발 (sibal) meaning “f***”
  • Example:
  • ㅅㅂ. 재수없어.
    “You suck!”
  • ㄲㅈ, short for 꺼져 (kkeojyeo) meaning “f*** off”
  • Example:
  • 좀 ㄲㅈ.
    (Jom kkeojyeo.)
    “F*** off.”
  • ㅗㅗ, short for “f***.” This is the shape of a middle finger. Depending on how angry the person is, the number of this sign in a text or chat can vary.
  • Example:
  • ㅗㅗㅗㅗ!!
    Showing middle fingers.

4. Korean Text Slang List — Emoticons


Sometimes emoticons are just the best (and most entertaining) way to express how you’re feeling during a text or chat. Learning Korean texting emoticons will help you immensely when it comes to communicating a range of emotions to your Korean friends. So, let’s take a quick glance at the world of Korean texting emoticons!

  • Crying face: (ㅠ_ㅠ), (ㅜ_ㅜ), (ㅜ.ㅜ), (ㅠㅠ), (ㅜㅜ), (;ㅅ;), (ㅜㅡ)
  • Smiley face: (^_^), (^^), (^0^)
  • Surprised face: (ㅇㅅㅇ) , (ㅇㅁㅇ), (ㅁㅅㅁ)
  • OTL = the shape of someone kneeled down in misery
  • ^^, ^^;^-^;;;;; = use this sweating face when you’re embarrassed or feel awkward
  • ㅡㅡ has the same meaning as this Korean texting emoticon: 헐.
  • ;;;;;; = sweating marks, used when you feel extremely embarrassed
  • @.@ = to show that you’re confused
  • *^^* = blushing
  • +_+ = use when you feel excited or when you have great ideas
  • ^_~ = winking
  • **ㅜㅜ = crying face
  • **ㅠㅠ = crying face (It has the same meaning as the emoticon above, but ㅠㅠ conveys more emotion)
  • -_-a = scratching one’s head
  • 0ㅠ0 = vomiting

This isn’t it—there are many more! You can even create your own emoticons, so feel free to invent your own.

5. Korean Text Slang List — Text slang with Numbers

One unique characteristic about these texting slang words is that these texting words deliver their meaning by using only numbers or the sound of the spelling. Often, the original meaning of numbers, signs, and spellings differ from that of the texting words used. So let’s take a look at some of these Korean slang words and phrases that contain numbers.

  • 하2루 = “hello”
    • Original texting word from 하이루 (hairu)
    • 2 is (i) or “two” in Korean
    • By replacing 이 with 2, it becomes 하2루
    • The meaning and the pronunciation are the same.
    • Example:
      • ㅎ2루, 오늘은 좋은 아침입니다.
        (Hairu, oneureun joeun achimimnida.)
        “Hairu, it’s such a wonderful morning.”
  • 감4 = “Thank you”
    • Original texting word from 감사 (gamsa)
    • 4 is (sa) or “four” in Korean
    • By replacing 사 with 4, it becomes 감4 and it has the exact same meaning.
    • Example:
      • 선물 감4!
        (Seonmul gamsa)
        “Thank you for the gift!”
  • 1004 = “angel”
    • 1004 is pronounced as (cheon) or “1000” and is (sa) or “four”
    • In addition, 천사 (cheonsa) is “angel” in the Korean language
    • Example:
      • 넌 나의 1004.
        (neon naui cheonsa.)
        “You are my angel.”
  • 8282 = “do it quickly”
    • “8” is (pal) and “2” is (i) in Korean; 8282 is 팔이팔이 (paripari) or “8282” which sounds similar to 빨리빨리 (ppallippalli) meaning “quickly”
    • 8282 is used when you want to make someone do something quickly
    • Example:
      • 8282와!
        “Hurry up!”
  • 바2 = “Goodbye”
    • Original texting word came from 바이 (bai) meaning “bye”
    • 2 is (i) or “two” in Korean
    • 바이 becomes 바2
    • The meaning and the pronunciation are the same.
    • Example:
      • 나 집에 갈래. ㅂ2!
        (na jibe gallae.bai)
        “I am heading home, goodbye!”
  • 밥5 = “stupid” or “moron”
    • Original texting word came from 바보 (babo) meaning “stupid”
    • 5 is (o) in Korean
    • 바보 (babo) becomes 밥5
    • 밥5 sounds cuter than 바보
    • The meaning and the pronunciation are the same.
    • Example:
      • ㅎㅎㅎ ㅂ5
        (Heuheuheu babo)
        “Hahaha, moron”
  • 미5 = “I dislike you” or “I hate you”
    • Original texting word came from 미워 (miwo) meaning “I hate you”
    • 5 is (o) in Korean
    • 미워 (miwo) becomes 미5
    • The meaning and the pronunciation are the same.
    • Example:
      • 너 정말 못됐다. 미5!
        (neo jeongmal motdwaetda. miwo!)
        “You are so mean, I hate you!”
  • 10C미 = “diligently” or “hard”
    • Original texting word came from 열심히 (yeolsimhi) “diligently”
    • 10 is in Korean
    • “C” is pronounced as in Korean
    • 10C미 is pronounced as 열+씨+미, which is very close to 열심히 (yeolsimhi) meaning “diligently.”
    • The meaning and the pronunciation are the same.
    • Example:
      • 공부 10C미.
        (Gongbu yeolsimhi.)
        “Study hard.”
  • 091012 = “study hard”
    • Original texting word came from 공부 열심히 해 (gongbu yeolsimhi hae) meaning “study hard.”
    • “0” is (gong) in Korean
    • “9” is (gu) in Korean
    • “10” is (yeol) in Korean
    • “12” is 십이 (sibi) in Korean
    • Together, it sounds like 공+구+열+십+이, which is very close to 공부 열심히 해 (gongbu yeolsimhi hae) meaning “study hard.”
    • The meaning and the pronunciation are the same.
    • Example:
      • 091012!
        (Gongbu yeolsimhi!)
        “Study hard!”

You’ll understand these number texting words more once you begin to better understand numbers in Korean. If you’re not familiar with it, you can learn 한국숫자 (hanguksutja) or “Korean numbers” for free.

6. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

In summary, we had a look at commonly used Internet slang words in Korean. We hope that you find these words useful and use them next time you speak to your Korean friends online.

As much as learning Korean slang words is important, it’s also important to learn other proper forms of speech and action in Korea. KoreanClass101 has the world’s number-one study materials available online for you to study. So why don’t you create a free lifetime account today and immerse yourself in the Korean language? You’ll never regret it!

Do you have more questions about Korean slang? Please leave a question on our forum page. We’re more than happy to help you with improving your Korean. What’s your favorite Korean slang word or expression so far? Leave us a comment!

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Jeheonjeol: South Korean Constitution Day

Are you good at abiding by the law? Laws are rules that were made so that people can live together peacefully, right? In 1948, South Korea created the first constitution. And they made Constitution Day to celebrate its founding.

The creation of the South Korea constitution is one of the most significant events in the country’s history, and learning about it is a huge step forward in your Korean studies. At KoreanClass101.com, we hope to make this learning adventure both fun and informative!

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1. What is South Korean Constitution Day?

On Constitution Day, South Korea remembers and celebrates the creation of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea. On this important holiday, many activities take place, most of which are directly related to the legal system and other government systems.

Did you know that since 2008, Constitution Day has been excluded from the list of public holidays after the implementation of the five-day work week? That’s why, even though it’s a national holiday, companies and schools are open as usual on this day.

Despite this inconvenience, on Constitution Day, Koreans wholeheartedly celebrate the forming of their constitution, as they should!

2. When is Constitution Day in South Korea?

July 17, 1948

Each year, Korea celebrates its Constitution Day on July 17, the date in 1948 that the Constitution of the Republic of Korea came into effect.

3. What Happens in South Korea on Constitution Day?

So, what kind of Constitution Day activities go on in South Korea?

The National Assembly Building, where Korean laws are passed, is located in Yeouido, Seoul. There is a Constitution Day celebration held in front of the National Assembly Building on the morning of Constitution Day. In this event, people selected as the National Representatives also participate. What should you do to become a National Representative? Just like everyone is equal under the law, anyone can apply online to become a National Representative without any special requirements.

There is also another special event held at the National Assembly Building, like the Constitution Day celebration. It’s the Korean College Student Debate. Students hold a heated debate on various topics such as the release of sex offenders’ private information and the legalization of same-sex marriage.

There are numerous events related to law-making held at elementary and middle schools. One of them is the mock legal court for children. Students become a judge or lawyer to learn how the law and daily life are related, in a court-like atmosphere. During this event, they address legal issues related to children, such as school violence.

4. South Korean National Assembly

Man Hoisting a Flag

Do you know how many congressmen and women—the people who make the laws—are in South Korea?

Currently, the South Korean National Assembly has 299 congressmen and women. They aren’t divided into the Senate and the House of Representatives, and they’re all elected every five years via an election.

5. Essential Vocabulary for South Korea’s Constitution Day

National Assembly Membership

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

  • 제헌절 (Jeheonjeol) — “Constitution Day”
  • 대한민국 (daehanminguk) — “The Republic of Korea”
  • 준법정신 (junbeopjeongsin) — “the law-abiding spirit”
  • 공포 (gongpo) — “promulgation”
  • 태극기 게양 (tageukgi gyeyang) — “National flag hoisting”
  • 국회의사당 (gukhoeuisadang) — “national assembly building”
  • 1948년 7월 17일 (cheongubaeksasippallyeon chirwol sipchiril) — “July 17, 1948″
  • 헌법 제정 (heonbeop jejeong) — “enactment of constitution”
  • 헌법 (heonbeop) — “constitution”
  • 국회의원 (gukhoeuiwon) — “a member of the national assembly”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Korean Constitution Day vocabulary list! Here, you’ll find each vocabulary word accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation, as well as images to help you better understand each concept.


We hope you enjoyed learning about South Korea’s Constitution Day with us! Did you learn anything new today? What does your country’s Constitution Day look like? Let us know in the comments! We look forward to hearing from you, as always. :)

To continue in your Korean studies, explore KoreanClass101.com and take advantage of our fun and practical learning tools! Read more insightful blog posts like this one, study free Korean vocabulary lists, and chat with fellow Korean learners on our community forums! By upgrading to Premium Plus, you can also begin learning Korean with our MyTeacher program using a more personalized plan with your own teacher!

Learning Korean is no easy feat, but fret not. Your hard work and determination will pay off, and with our constant support, you’ll be speaking, writing, and reading Korean like a native before you know it!

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10 Untranslatable Korean Words You Need to Know

Have you ever encountered some interesting Korean words, but they were just impossible to translate into another language?

All language learners know that there are many hard-to-translate words, because some words and expressions are specific to a given language and are often linked to its culture. Knowing these words will help you become more fluent in the language, know more about that country’s culture, and understand more about the native speakers’ mindset.

In truth, there are many Korean untranslatable words with no English equivalents, as well as untranslatable words in Korean that are difficult to translate. In this article, we’ll be going over some untranslatable words in South Korea. Study and practice this list of untranslatable Korean words to truly be an insightful Korean speaker!

Let’s learn ten untranslatable Korean words with deep meaning, at KoreanClass101!

Table of Contents

  1. 애교 (aegyo)
  2. 온돌 (ondol)
  3. 내숭 (naesung)
  4. 눈치가 빠르다 (nunchiga ppareuda)
  5. 눈치가 없다 (nunchiga eopda)
  6. 어이없다 (eoieopda)
  7. 효도 (hyodo)
  8. 답답하다 (dapdapada)
  9. 개이득 (gaeideuk)
  10. 엄친아 (eomchina)
  11. How KoreanClass101.com Can Help You with Korean

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1. 애교 (aegyo)

  • Literal Translation: “Being lovely”
  • Meaning: 애교 (aegyo) is used to describe someone who acts charmingly to appear cute and appealing. This behavior is commonly used by women, and many Korean men like this. Thus, this could be considered one of the most beautiful untranslatable Korean words in this respect.
  • Example Situation: Check out a short video clip of Lee Hye-ri’s aegyo in Real Man 300. This is a classic example of Korean aegyo.

1- Examples

  • 그녀는 애교많아서 남자들에게 인기가 많습니다.
    Geunyeoneun aegyoga manaseo namjadeurege ingiga manseumnida.
    “Because she acts cute, she is very popular among guys.”
  • 강아지는 애교가 많아서 주인에게 많은 사랑을 받습니다.
    Gangajineun aegyoga manaseo juinege maneun sarangeul batseumnida.
    “Dogs are loved by their owners since they know how to please them.”

2- Notes

  1. The word that negatively describes 애교 (aegyo) is 내숭 (naesung).

2. 온돌 (ondol)

  • Literal Translation: “Heated rock”
  • Meaning: According to Wikipedia, 온돌 (ondol) is an “underfloor heating that uses direct heat transfer from wood smoke to heat the underside of a thick masonry floor.” An alternative word for 온돌 (ondol) is 온돌바닥 (ondolbadak).

1- Examples

  • 옛날에는 겨울이 되면 온돌을 데워 추운 겨울을 따뜻하게 지낼 수 있었습니다.
    Yennareneun gyeouri doemyeon ondoreul dewo chuun gyeoureul ttatteuthage jinael su isseotseumnida.
    “A long time ago, Koreans used Ontol and were able to stay warm during the winter.”

A Lady Sneaking Out

3. 내숭 (naesung)

  • Literal Translation: “Coy.”
  • Meaning: A person who hides their true colors and acts differently (usually more coy) around people of his/her interest.
  • Example Situation: A lady has a crush on a man. She’s usually very outgoing and assertive, but she knows that he doesn’t like this type of person, so in order to attract him she hides her true colors and acts more feminine around him.

1- Examples

  • 저 여자는 남자들 앞에만 가면 변해. 완전 숭이야.
    Jeo yeojaneun namjadeul apeman gamyeon byeonhae. wanjeon naesungiya.
    “That girl acts differently around men. She is so coy.”
  • 남자들 앞에서는 약한 척하고 있어. 이제 숭은 그만 떨어.
    Namjadeul apeseoneun yakan cheokago isseo. Ije naesungeun geuman tteoreo.
    “You act weak around guys. Stop being coy.”

2- Notes

  1. 내숭이야 (naesungiya), means “You are being coy.”
  2. 내숭녀 (naesungnyeo) is used to describe a person who acts differently around people of interest. It’s commonly used.
  3. A similar word for 내숭 (naesung) is 여우짓 (yeoujit).

4. 눈치가 빠르다 (nunchiga ppareuda)

  • Literal Translation: “Observant; Perceptive.”
  • Meaning: This word is used to describe someone who’s able to comprehend that something is going on with someone (e.g. friends or family). It’s one of the many strong Korean words that are untranslatable.
  • Example Situation: You’re having dinner with your parents and you instantly feel that something is up with them. Perhaps they had a fight. You can’t tell for sure that they had a fight, but you can just feel it.

1- Examples

  • 사회생활을 하면 눈치가 빨라야 하는 상황이 자주 일어나곤 한다.
    Sahoesaenghwareul hamyeon nunchireul bwaya haneun sanghwangi jaju ireonagon handa.
    “Once you start a social life, there will be times where you need to be able to be observant.”
  • 내가 말을 끝나기도 전에 그녀는 내가 무슨 말을 하고 싶은지 알아챘다. 눈치가 정말 빠른 것 같다.
    Naega mareul kkeunnagido jeone geunyeoneun naega museun mareul hago sipeunji arachaetda. Nunchiga jeongmal ppareun geot gatda.
    “Even before I finished my statement, she understood what I was trying to say. I think that she is very observant.”

2- Notes

  1. A word that means the opposite of 눈치가 빠른 (nunchiga ppareun) is 눈치가 없는 (nunchiga eomneun).
  2. 눈치가 빠르다. (nunchiga ppareuda.)

    E. g. 저 사람은 진짜 눈치 빠르다.
    Jeo sarameun jinjja nunchi ppareuda.
    “That person is very observant.”

  3. 3. 눈치가 빠른 (nunchiga ppareun) + Noun

    E.g. 눈치가 빠른 사람
    Nunchiga ppareun saram
    “A person who is very observant.”

    눈치가 빨라야 하는 상황.
    Nunchiga ppallaya haneun sanghwang.
    “A situation where you need to be observant.”

A Confused Old Man

5. 눈치가 없다 (nunchiga eopda)

  • Literal Translation: “Clueless.”
  • Meaning: This phrase is used to describe someone who doesn’t read the air; someone who is slow-witted.
  • Example Situation: You bumped into your friend while walking with your girlfriend. You want him to go away, so you continue to give him hints that he should leave, but he’s so clueless that you end up having dinner together that day.

1- Examples

  • 내가 몇 번이고 거절했는데도 계속 데이트 신청이 와. 진짜 눈치가 없는 것 같아.
    Naega myeot beonigo geojeolhaenneundedo gyesok deiteu sincheongi wa. jinjja nunchiga eomneun geot gata.
    “I turned him down so many times but he still asks me out on a date. He is so clueless.”
  • A: 저 두사람 사내연애 하고 있는거 알아?
    A: Jeo dusaram sanaeyeonae hago inneungeo ara?
    A: “Did you know that those two people over there are dating at work?”

    B: 어? 진짜? 난 왜 몰랐지?
    B: Eo? Jinjja? Nan wae mollatji?
    B: “What? Really? How did I not know about this?”

    A: 모든 사람들이 알고 있는데? 너 진짜 눈치없다.
    A: Modeun saramdeuri algo inneunde? Neo jinjja nunchieopda.
    A: “Everyone knows about this! You are so clueless.”

2- Notes

  1. A word that means the opposite of 눈치가 없는 (nunchiga eomneun) is 눈치가 빠른 (nunchiga ppareun).
  2. 눈치가 느리다 (nunchiga neurida) is a synonymous phrase for 눈치가 없는 (nunchiga eomneun).
  3. 저 사람은 진짜 눈치가 느려. (Jeo sarameun jinjja nunchiga neuryeo.) 눈치가 느린 + Noun. 저 사람은 눈치가 느린 사람이다. (Jeo sarameun nunchiga neurin saramida.) 눈치가 느린 남편 (Nunchiga neurin nampyeon)

KoreanClass101 has a free vocabulary list to describe someone’s personality. Check out this page when you have time!

6. 어이없다 (eoieopda)

  • Literal Translation: “Unbelievable.”
  • Example Situation: The meaning slightly changes depending on the situation. It could also mean “What the hell,” “I cannot believe it,” “beyond common sense,” and so on.
  • Example Situations:
  1. You’re about to leave work and suddenly your manager comes and drops off more documents to work on. You could think to yourself: 어이없다 (eoieopda).
  2. You were watching a football game and your favorite team was winning. However, they lost due to silly mistakes at the end of the game. This is 어이없다 (eoieopda).
  3. Everyone thought that A would win to become president, and the opponent unexpectedly wins the campaign and becomes president instead. This is 어이없다 (eoieopda).

1- Examples

  • 축구 경기중에 상대 선수가 어이없는 자살골을 넣어 경기에 지고 말았다.
    Chukgu gyeonggijunge sangdae seonsuga eoieomneun jasalgoreul neoeo gyeonggie jigo maratda.
    “The opponent player scored a goal against their own team by accident and his team lost the football game.”
  • 내가 분명히 하지 말라고 몇 번이나 말했는데도, 계속하더라고. 진짜 어이가 없어.
    Naega bunmyeonghi haji mallago myeot beonina malhaenneundedo, gyesokadeorago. Jinjja eoiga eopseo.
    “I told him many times not to do this but he continued. It’s unbelievable.”

2- Notes

  1. A slang word that has the same meaning is 헐 (heol).

A Young Lady and An Old Lady with Flowers

7. 효도 (hyodo)

  • Literal Translation:Filial duty.”
  • Meaning: Another one of the most beautiful untranslatable Korean words, this means to devote yourself to your parents by taking care of them until they pass away.
  • Example situation: Anything you do to show your love or respect to your parents is 효도 (hyodo). For example, if your parents have never traveled outside the country and you use your savings to send them on an overseas trip, this would be called a 도여행 (filial duty trip).

1- Examples

  • 더 늦기 전에 부모님이 살아 계실 때 효도하는 것이 좋다.
    Deo neutgi jeone bumonimi sara gyesil ttae hyodohaneun geosi jota.
    “Before it’s too late, you should be good to your parents while they are here with you.”
  • A: 최근에 부모님이랑 같이 해외여행 1주일 다녀왔어.
    A: Choegeune bumonimirang gachi haeoeyeohaeng iljuil danyeowasseo.
    A: “I recently went overseas with my parents for a week.”

    B: 정말? 그 비용 모두 네가 지불했어? 너 진짜 효도 잘한다.
    B: Jeongmal? Geu biyong modu nega jibulhaesseo? Neo jinjja hyodo jalhanda.
    B: “Really? You also paid for all the expenses? You are such a great son!”

2- Notes

  1. The opposite word of 효도 (hyodo) is 불효 (bulhyo).
  2. A person who treats his/her parents and family well is called 효자 (hyoja) for a male and 효녀 (hyonyeo) for a woman.

8. 답답하다 (dapdapada)

  • Literal Translation: “Feeling frustrated.”
  • Meaning: You can use this word when a situation doesn’t go according to your expectations.
  • Example Situation: You recently hired a new intern and she has just finished training. It has been a few months and although you tried to explain a few things to her, she still makes many mistakes. In this case, you can say 답답하다 (dapdapada).

1- Examples

  • 그녀가 일하는 걸 보기만 해도 너무 답답하다.
    Geunyeoga ilhaneun geol bogiman haedo neomu dapdapada.
    “I get so frustrated watching her work.”
  • 그때 하고 싶은 말이 있었는데, 답답하게 아무 말도 못했어.
    Geuttae hago sipeun mari isseonneunde, dapdapage amu maldo mothaesseo.
    “I really wanted to say something at that moment, but I couldn’t say it.”

2- Notes

  1. There’s a Korean slang word that has the same meaning, 고답이, which is an abbreviation for 고구마를 100개 먹은 것 처럼 답답한 사람 (godabi [Gogumareul 100gae meogeun geot cheoreom dapdapan saram]). It means that you feel extremely frustrated.
  2. The opposite phrase for 답답해 (dapdapae) is 속이 시원하다 (sogi siwonhada). A slang word for this is 사이다 (saida).

9. 개이득 (gaeideuk)

  • Literal Translation: To convert these untranslatable Korean words to English: 개* (gae) means “a dog” and 이득 (ideuk) means “profit.”
  • Meaning: Young Koreans use 개 (gae) to say “very much,” so to say that it was a great deal, you say 개이득 (gaeideuk).

1- Examples

  • A: 이거 100만원 짜리 가방인데, 세일 가격에 40만원에 샀어!
    A: Igeo 100manwon jjari gabanginde, seil gagyeoge sasipmanwone sasseo!
    A: “The original price of this bag is one million won, but I managed to buy it for forty-thousand won!”

    B: 대박, 개이득인데!
    B: Daebak, gaeideuginde!
    B: “Wow, what a great deal!”

  • A: 나 학교 가는 길에 10만원 주웠어. 완전 개이득.
    A: Na hakgyo ganeun gire simmanwon juwosseo. Wanjeon gaeideuk.
    A: “I found a 100,000 KRW bill on the way to school. How lucky I am.”

    B: 10만원 잃어버린 사람 불쌍하다.
    B: Simmanwon ileobeorin saram bulssanghada.
    B: “I feel sorry for whoever lost that note.”

2- Notes

  1. This is a very casual slang word, so you can’t use this in a business setting.
  2. Some people take this word as a swear word, so be careful when you use it. (It’s usually used among younger generations.)

A Lady is Surrounded by Many People

10. 엄친아 (eomchina)

  • Literal translation: “Mother’s friend’s son.”
  • Meaning: This is an abbreviation of 엄마친구의 아들 (eommachinguui adeul). If we were to convert this untranslatable Korean word to English words, it would be “Mr. Right” or “Mr. Perfect.”
  • Example Situation: This word is used to describe a person who’s well-educated and skillful at everything—that is, the type of person that you can’t compete against. Has your mother or father made a comparison or any comments about one of the sons of their friends being better at doing something than you? (E.g. mathematics or school in general). The first friend that comes to your mind is a classic example of 엄친아 (eomchina).

1- Examples

  • 그는 과학도 잘하고 수학도 잘해. 심지어 미술이랑 음악도 모두 A+를 받고 있어. 엄친아인 것 같아.
    Geuneun gwahakdo jalhago suhakdo jalhae. simjieo misurirang eumakdo modu A+reul batgo isseo. Eomchinain geot gata.
    “He is good at science and math. He also gets straight A+s for art and music. He must be Mr. Perfect.”
  • 남자공부 잘하고, 도 잘 벌고 진짜 엄친아인 것 같아. 저런 남자랑 결혼하고 싶다.
    Jeo namjaneun gongbu jalhago, dondo jal beolgo jinjja eomchinain geot gata. Jeoreon namjarang gyeolhonhago sipda.
    “He is good at studying and earning money, he is just perfect overall. I wish I could marry someone like him.”

2- Notes

  1. The feminine version of 엄친아 (eomchina) is 엄친딸 (eommachinguui ttal), which is an abbreviation for 엄마친구의 딸 (eommachinguui ttal). A similar phrase to describe this word is “Miss Perfect.”

11. How KoreanClass101.com Can Help You with Korean

We introduced ten untranslatable Korean words in detail and hope you found this article interesting and educational. As you can see, there are several beautiful Korean words that don’t exist in English, and they’re sure to enrich your Korean vocabulary and cultural knowledge.

If you’re interested in learning other untranslatable Korean words, we suggest that you check out our common texting slang list. KoreanClass101 has many free Korean lessons and vocabulary lists for you to study at your own pace too, so feel free to visit our website!

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

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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


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.


  • 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.


  • 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.”


  • 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.


  • 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.”


  • 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).

“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.


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.”


  • 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 ~”


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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!


Hyeon Chung Il: Memorial Day in Korea

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

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

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1. What is Memorial Day to Koreans?

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

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

2. When is Memorial Day in Korea?

Memorial Day on June 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Why June 6th?

Silent Tribute by Candlelight

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

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

5. Useful Vocabulary for Korean Memorial Day

South Korean Flag

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

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

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


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.


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.)


“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’.”


※ 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.


※ 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?)


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?”


※ 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)


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

우리 비밀로 할까?
(uri bimillo halkka?)

(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.)


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.”


※ 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.


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.)


“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.”


※ 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.


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.)


“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.”


※ 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.


※ 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)


“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.”


※ 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.


※ 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…)


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?)


“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?”


※ 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.


※ 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)


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.”


※ 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.


※ 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…)


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..”


※ 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.


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)


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.”


※ Click on a word to practice your Korean pronunciation.

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

4. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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1. What is National Parents’ Day in Korea?

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

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

2. When is it?

Parents' Day is on May 8

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

3. Reading Practice: How is it Celebrated?

Children Showing Affection to Mother

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

어버이날 하면 한국에서는 ‘카네이션’을 가장 먼저 떠올립니다.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Additional Information: Origins

Do you know what country first started Parents’ Day?

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

5. Must-know Vocab

Reading a letter

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

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

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


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: https://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: https://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: https://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: https://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: https://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: https://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: https://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: https://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”


  • 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: https://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.”


  • 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: https://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).”


  • 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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