Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

In Korea, the currency is Won. The proper pronunciation for this is 원 (won). One time slowly, 원 (won). A lot of English speakers say 완 (wan), but really it’s 원 (won). In recent years, the Won has grown stronger due to the Asian economic boom and recently has reached one of its highest marks against the dollar. As of March 15, 2007, the exchange rate is roughly a 1000 Won to a $1.05. The exchange rate with the Euro is roughly 1200 Won to €1. Paper currency includes a 1000 Won bill, a 5000 Won bill and a 10,000 Won bill.
Coins come in denominations of 10, 50, 100 and 500 Won. Now, there are smaller coins but you don’t see them too often. So let’s not worry about that right now. All right, let’s move on to today’s lesson. Let’s learn to say and understand these denominations. First up, a 1000 Won, 천 원 (cheon won). One time slowly, 천 원 (cheon won). And now by syllable, 천 원 (cheon won). The first half is 천 (cheon) which means 1000. The last part is 원 (won) which as you can guess mean Won. Next off the bat, 5000 Won, 오천 원 (ocheon won). One time slowly, 오천 원 (ocheon won). And now by syllable, 오-천 원 (o-cheon won).
The very first syllable is 오 (o). This is 5. The next syllable is 천 (cheon) which once again means a 1000. Put these two together and you get 5000, simple and the last syllable is Won which we covered. 오천 원 (ocheon won). Let’s move on to the largest bill 10,000 Won. 만 원 (man won). One time slowly, 만 원 (man won). The first half 만 (man) means 10,000. The last is once again Won. Now, if you noticed, when I broke it down by syllable, I said 원 (won) with Won but if I say it a little fast, it kind of sounds like 눤 (nwon). It’s a slight phonetic change but you will get used to it. Here is one more example side by side.
Let’s use a 1000 Won, 천 원 (cheon won). 천 원 (cheon won), 처눤 (cheonwon). 100 Won is 배권 (baegwon). One time slowly, 백 원 (baek won). And by syllable, 백 (baek) is 100, 원 (won) is Won. Next is 200, add the number 2 and then say 100 and then add Won afterwards. This would be 이백 원 (ibaek won). 이 (i) is 2, 백 (baek) is 100 and 원 (won) is Won. Next is 300 Won. 삼백 원 (sambaek won). 삼 (sam) is 3, 백 (baek) is 100 and 원 (won) is Won. 400 is 사백 원 (sabaek won). 사 (sa) is 4. And last is 500, 오백 원 (obaek won). 오 (o) is 5. The same can be done for 1000s as well. If you remember, 1000 is 천 (cheon). A 1000 Won is 천 원 (cheon won). Let’s go with 2000 Won. 이천 원 (icheon won). Now 5000 Won is 오천 원 (ocheon won). Now since 10,000 Won is the largest bill and is roughly equivalent to USD10, you may find yourself with quite a thick wallet and just for this reason, Korean banks issue a 100,000 Won check. This check is accepted almost everywhere and it’s pretty much used like cash.
The word for 100,000 Won is 십만 원 (simman won). One time slowly, it’s 십만 원 (simman won). And now by syllable, 십-만-원 (sip-man-won). The first syllable is 십 (sip) which means 10. One time slowly, 십 (sip). The next is 만 (man) which once again means 10,000 and the last is Won 원 (won). 십만 원 (simman won). Put these all together and you get a literal translation of ten 10,000 Won. The counting system may take a little getting used to as it differs from the western languages. Now, if you get your hands on a 100,000 Won check, there is something you need to know. On the back of the check, you must sign your name and write down a phone number and/or address.
It’s similar to any other check you’d use. So, if you are on vacation, remember to bring your hotel address with you.
Okay. To close our today’s lesson, we’d like for you to practice what you’ve learned. I will provide you with the English equivalent of the phrase and you are responsible for shouting it out loud. You will have a few seconds before I give you the answer. So 화이팅 (hwaiting)!
A 1000 Won - 천 원 (cheon won).
5000 Won - 오천 원 (ocheon won)
10, 000 Won - 만 원 (man won)
A 100,000 Won - 십만 원 (simman won)
All right, that’s going to do it for today.