Dialogue - Korean



저기요 jeogiyo excuse me
ssi Mr., Ms., Mrs.
안녕하세요 annyeonghaseyo Hello.
처음 뵙겠습니다 cheoeum boepgesseumnida. Nice to meet you. How do you do?

Lesson Notes


Lesson Focus

Grammar Point #1 - The Honorific Suffix - 씨

In Korean 씨 (ssi) is the honorific suffix. Just as the title suggests, it gestures respect to the name it is suffixed to. Its usage is a bit different than the English counterparts: Mister, Misses, Miss.

Here are a few properties of the honorific suffix 씨 (ssi).

1. It can be used to respect anybody. It is unisex and can be used regardless of age (although children tend not to be honored).

2. It is used more frequently than the English titles, Mister, Misses, and Miss. If two people are not on casual terms, they will typically suffix 씨 (ssi) to the other person's name. This can even apply if two people have been acquaintances or even friends for a long time.

3. It is only used when referring to someone else. One cannot suffix 씨 (ssi) to their own name.

4. When it is suffixed to a name, it must be suffixed to a person's given name. As Korean names typically have family names in front with given names following that, the honorific suffix must always be attached to the person's given name, as the given name is always at the end. If the honorific suffix is attached to only the person's family name, the honorific suffix becomes demeaning and disrespectful.

♣ More Examples ♣
A typical Korean name is:

이수한 (Lee, Suhan) - Full name.
이 (Lee) - Family name.
수한 (Suhan) - Given name.

Attached with the honorific suffix.

이수한 씨 (LeeSuhan ssi) - respectful.
이 씨 (Lee ssi) - disrespectful.
수한 씨 (Suhan ssi) - respectful.

☞ remember ☜
Attaching 씨 (ssi) with a full name is a bit more respectful than attaching it only to the given name.

이수한 씨 (LeeSuhan ssi) is a bit more respectful than 수한 씨 (Suhan ssi).

Grammar Point #2 - Rising Intonation

Many Korean statements can be turned into questions simply with a rising intonation. This is especially true with the standard politeness level. In this conversation both parties simply said the other person's name with a rising intonation. Because of this rising intonation we can assume correctly that the speakers were asking a question.

▷ In This Dialog
(1)갈시아: ... 김수한 씨? (1)Galsia: ...KimSuHan ssi? (1)Garcia: ...Ms. SuHan Kim?

Because of the rising intonation, Garcia is asking the other person if she is Kim SuHan. If there was no rising intonation, it would simply be a statement, and Juan Garcia would be addressing Kim SuHan.

Grammar Point #3 - Hello - 안녕하세요

The phrase 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo) can be used in almost any situation where the English greeting "Hello" can be used. It is typically used when meeting someone for the first time. It's also used when meeting someone for the first time throughout the day. This is a polite way of greeting someone.

☞ remember ☜
Here are a few examples in which 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo) is appropriate to use.

Meeting someone for the first time.
Seeing co-workers in the morning.
Meeting an acquaintance for lunch.
Greeting family members at a family gathering.
Greeting the public.

It is the polite greeting in Korean.

Grammar Point #4 - Nice to Meet You - 처음 뵙겠습니다

In this conversation, after both parties had said 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo, hello), both said 처음 뵙겠습니다 (cheoeum boepgetseumnida). This last phrase literally means, "I'm meeting you for the first time," but this phrase is used just like the English "Nice to meet you." 처음 뵙겠습니다 (cheoeum boepgetseumnida) is a set phrase and should be used only when actually meeting someone for the first time.

Cultural Insights

When meeting someone for the first time, a bow is usually expected. This bow should be similar to a lowering of the head. In certain situations, a handshake is also expected (dominantly in business settings). However, a handshake always supplements a bow. Bowing shows respect, and humility to the other party. These two virtues are very important in Korean society.



Below is a list of the grammar points introduced or used in this lesson. Click for a full explanation.


Lesson Transcript

Seol: 안녕하세요 윤설입니다. (annyeonghaseyo yunseorimnida.)
Keith: Keith here. First encounters. All rights, Seol.
Seol: Hi.
Keith: How are you doing?
Seol: Fine.
Keith: Well we're starting a new series today.
Seol: Yes.
Keith: And this is the newbie series, and this is designed for the listeners to get used to the sounds of Korean and we're not going to be teaching grammar points, it says a lot of them can be very difficult but we're going to be going over a lot of useful phrases. You’ve looked over the scripts a little bit, right?
Seol: Yes.
Keith: And what do you think about the phrases?
Seol: The basic one that we have to know to survive in Korea.
Keith: So these scripts have all the basic phrases.
Seol: Right.
Keith: And not even just phrases, we have basic words such as 밥(bap)
Seol: Ah yes.
Keith: That’s very important, right? 밥(bap) is “rice” and well.. well meals, but we'll get into that later. We are things like that we got words we got adjectives we have verbs, and you know these are just basic things that you need to know.
Seol: Right.
Keith: So, Seol, can you give us an introduction of the first lesson?
Seol: So here we have Garcia and Kim Suhan, and they did not know each other yet so they are looking for each at the airport.
Keith: That's right Garcia is a baseball player. Kim Suhan is a sports agent.
Seol: I love the name Garcia.
Keith: Do you really?
Seol: Yeah.
Keith: Why?
Seol: I like the pronunciation. Garcia, wow!
Keith: I think it's a.. well.. I'm not qualified to teach Spanish but it's supposed to be like.. Garcia..
Seol: Okay..
Keith: Maybe?
Seol: Very hard pronunciation.
Keith: Well. you guys can comment on how bad my pronunciation was, but yeah. All right, let's get into this conversation.
갈시아: 저… 저기요. 김수한 씨? (Jeo...jeogiyo. KimSuHan ssi?)
김수한: 갈시아 씨? 아. 안녕하세요. (Galsia ssi? A. Annyeonghaseyo.)
갈시아: 네. 안녕하세요. 처음 뵙겠습니다. (Ne. Annyeonghaseyo. Cheom boepgesseumnida.)
김수한: 네. 처음 뵙겠습니다. (Ne. Cheom boepgesseumnida.)
Seol: 한번 더 천천히. (hanbeon deo cheoncheonhi.)
갈시아: 저… 저기요. 김수한 씨? (Jeo...jeogiyo. KimSuHan ssi?)
김수한: 갈시아 씨? 아. 안녕하세요. (Galsia ssi? A. Annyeonghaseyo.)
갈시아: 네. 안녕하세요. 처음 뵙겠습니다. (Ne. Annyeonghaseyo. Cheom boepgesseumnida.)
김수한: 네. 처음 뵙겠습니다. (Ne. Cheom boepgesseumnida.)
Seol: 영어로 한 번 더. (yeongeoro han beon deo.)
Garcia: Uh... Excuse me. Ms. SuHan Kim?
SuHan Kim: Mr. Garcia? Oh. Hello.
Garcia: Ah. Hello. It’s nice to meet you.
SuHan Kim: Yes. It's nice to meet you.

Lesson focus

Keith: Alright so, what did you think?
Seol: Oh, it's great. They found each other.
Keith: 다행이네요. (dahaengineyo.)
Seol: Yeah..
Keith: So this means.. “it turned out good” but when we’re not going to deal with this phrase right now, we're gonna get into the conversation.
Seol: So all the conversation and all the phrases here will be really easy for you and new beginners.
Keith: It's going to be very useful too.
Seol: Right.
Keith: So let's get into some of these useful vocabulary. Seol, can you start this off?
Seol: 저기요? (jeogiyo?)
Keith: Excuse me.
Seol: 저기요? (jeogiyo?), 저기요? (jeogiyo?)
Keith: Next, we have.
Seol: 씨 (ssi)
Keith: mister miss or mrs.
Seol: 씨 (ssi), 씨 (ssi)
Keith: And the next one we have is?
Seol: 안녕하세요? (annyeonghaseyo?)
Keith: Hello
Seol: 안녕하세요? (annyeonghaseyo?), 안녕하세요? (annyeonghaseyo?)
Keith: And lastly, we have?
Seol: 처음 뵙겠습니다 (cheoeum boepgetseumnida)
Keith: Nice to meet you.
Seol: 처음 뵙겠습니다 (cheoeum boepgetseumnida), 처음 뵙겠습니다 (cheoeum boepgetseumnida).
Keith: Let's go over the conversation really quickly and just hit those key points. Now the first line we have is.. 저..저기요? (jeo..jeogiyo?)
Keith: Now what do you imagine when you hear this?
Seol: Somebody is tapping your shoulder.
Keith: Yes, so it’s like tik tik tik, 저기요? (jeogiyo?)
Seol: Yeah.
Keith: So this means “Excuse me.” Once again so you can use this all the time. Umm.. a lot of the times I use in a restaurant.
Seol: Right. Right.
Keith: When I need the attention of a staff, I say 저기요? (jeogiyo?) and they come over sometimes they're happy sometimes are not but anyway. Yes. So whenever you need the attention of somebody, this is what you use. Can you break it down for us please?
Seol: 저기요? (jeogiyo?) 저기요? (jeogiyo?)
Keith: And if you're in Korea, you're going to be using this all the time because restaurants, shops, shopping malls, marketplace's, whenever you need the attention of somebody, say 저기요? (jeogiyo?)
The next part we have is 김수한 씨? (KimSuHan ssi?)
Now, let's do it really slowly. 김수한 씨? (KimSuHan ssi?)
The first part is the name 김수한 (gimsuhan), and this is followed by 씨 (ssi), which is the honorific suffix. Whenever you want to respect somebody, you say their name and you add
Seol: 씨 (ssi)
Keith: That's right, so 설 씨 (Seol ssi).
Seol: Keith 씨 (ssi).
Keith: That's right, so anybody else out there, you can say Peter 씨 (ssi), Mark 씨 (ssi)...
Seol: Smith 씨 (ssi).
Keith: Or even the next one..
Seol: Garcia 씨 (ssi).
Keith: That's right. So here it's just the name and 씨 (ssi). This is mister, miss, mrs.. Here we have 김수한 씨, name followed by 씨 (ssi) The intonation of this is very important because here 김수한 씨? (KimSuHan ssi?) it goes up at the end and that's asking “Are you Kim Suhan?” If it doesn't go up, 김수한 씨 (KimSuHan ssi), then you're addressing the person. Remember to pay attention to the intonation. In Korean, just like an English, if you raise the intonation, it's a question. so here 김수한 씨? (KimSuHan ssi?) can translate into “Miss Kim Suhan?” And in this context once again the next line we have is the same exact thing.
Seol: 갈시아 씨?(Galsia ssi?)
Keith: Your Spanish pronunciation was excellent on that one.
Seol: Actually it’s Koreanized Spanish pronunciation.
Keith: No no no. really. It was very good. Anyway so here we have Garcia, the name followed by
Seol: 씨 (ssi).
Keith: Once again, the rising intonation. So it's a question “Are you Garcia?” and after that we have
Seol: 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo).
Keith: “Hello” Now this is hello in the morning, the day, at night, at three o'clock in the morning, anytime you're seeing somebody for the first time. Not necessarily your first meeting but whenever you see someone for the first time. So the first time I saw Seol today I said 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo).
Seol: Yes you did. 안녕하세요, Keith.
Keith: 어.. 안녕하세요 (A… annyeonghaseyo). Seol, can you please break it down for our listeners?
Seol: 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo), 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo).
Keith: Thank you.
Seol: You’re welcome.
Keith: The next one we have is the same exact line. So 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo), 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo). Here, once again it’s just “hello” “hello”. very simple, very straightforward. The next part we have is 처음 뵙겠습니다 (cheom boepgesseumnida). Now, what is this, Seol?
Seol: “Nice to meet you”
Keith: or..
Seol: “how do you do”
Keith: Yes, just one of those things you say when you first meet somebody. Just to be polite. And this has a deeper meaning but once again we're not going to get into those meetings, we're just gonna give you these phrases. This phrase conveys a lot of politeness so anytime you wanna be polite you can say.
Seol: 처음 뵙겠습니다 (cheom boepgesseumnida).
Keith: Remember, Seol, our listeners are newbies.
Seol: 처음 뵙겠습니다 (cheom boepgesseumnida). 처음 뵙겠습니다 (cheom boepgesseumnida).
Keith: All right. The next line is the same exact thing.
Seol: 네. 처음 뵙겠습니다 (Ne. cheom boepgesseumnida).
Keith: The first syllable we have is?
Seol: 네 (ne).
Keith: This just means “yes” or “I agree” but here we're just gonna pass over that and we're going to get to the same phrase that we just did before that's what we want to focus on today. 뵙겠습니다 (boepgesseumnida). One more time please?
Seol: 뵙겠습니다 (boepgesseumnida)
Keith: If you take anything from today's lesson there's three things we want to know. 씨 (ssi) which is the honorific suffix so if I wanna be polite to Seol, I say 설 씨 (Seol ssi), but I don’t want to be polite, I will just call 설 (Seol).
Seol: Sure.
Keith: No it's okay because they're on friendly terms, though but yes. If you’re meeting someone for the first time, be sure to use this honorific suffix. Be sure to say name 씨 The second thing we want you to get out at this lesson is
Seol: 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo).
Keith: “hello” “hello” any time a day. And the last phrase we have..
Seol: 처음 뵙겠습니다 (cheom boepgesseumnida).
Keith: “It's nice to meet you”, “How do you do?” It's just one of those phrases you use when you wanna be polite. Remember folks this is newbie lessons, we're not going to go into the grammar. We're just gonna give you a couple of phrases and give them as is. Hopefully the series will get you used to the sounds of Korean and they will get you a little more acquainted with the customs of Korea. Now we can actually go over any customs here so let's talk about this little bit. Seol, when you meet someone for the first time what typically happens?
Seol: You are bowing to that person and say 처음 뵙겠습니다 (cheom boepgesseumnida).
Keith: And you can also bow when you say 안녕하세요. 처음 뵙겠습니다 (annyeonghaseyo. cheom boepgesseumnida). Two bows? Sometimes?
Seol: Mmm I think that enough and you should introduce yourself to him.
Keith: And Korea has become very westernized these days so they bow but they also put out their hands for a handshake at the same time.
Seol: If you're a businessman yes.
Keith: Yeah businessmen - it’s shake, bow.
Seol: Yeah it's a little bit odd but we do that.
Keith: But sometimes is just bow, sometimes is just.. No it's always there's always bow.
Seol: Yes, you should.
Keith: Yes, there is always a bow, sometimes there's a handshake involved, but remember always a bow. All right. I think that’s going to do it for today.
Seol: 안녕 (Annyeong).
Keith: See you.