.Learning Korean for your travel #1.Basic
Many of us travellers have learned foreign language for travel. If you learned and tried to say it then you would know even one word ‘hello’ in their language can bring a whole lot different outcome.
Few weeks ago I saw one website graded many languages by Difficulty, Popularity and Transparency. Guess what? Korean gets most difficult and least popular. They said “Very interesting language and a great country but one of the most difficult languages to speak fluently.”
You can check it from this website;
Well, everyone has differenct perspective. Korean is hard mainly because not many people are using it. Many of my friends who studied Korean just little bit always say Korean characters are the easiest among foreign languages. Well, like I said, everyone has different perspective.
Besides all that, many of travellers come to Korea for many reasons. Now I present you simple Korean just for you! Who traveling or preparing travel to Korea.
Let’s get to the point, shall we?
(I used English-Korean for translate. )
It called ‘Han-guel’. King Se-jong created it in Choson dynasty. He is the king whos statue is in Gwanghwamun square.
Korean characters are one of the most scientific languages of all. King Sejong made characters modeled after the shape of mouth and tongue when you pronounce it. This unique design is the reason why Korean is the hardest and easiest language to learn.
*Significantly different pronounciation
– F or P : Nothing sounds like ‘f’ in Korean. Both sounds like more similar to P
– V or B : both pronounce as B
– R or L : Korean doesn’t have both. Little more similar to L
*Formal and friendly expression
We are influenced by the Conflucian culture, so that effects in language also. Many of formal expressions are a significant character of Korean. I use soft-formal expresstion here.
1. The basic – Greetings
We have very formal and friendly expressions to stranger, elderly or friends.
|Hello||An nyung ha sea yo||An nyung|
|Thank you||Gam sa hap ni da||Go ma war|
|Nice to meet you||Man na sea ban gap seop ni da||Man na sea ban ga war|
|I’m sorry||Mi an hap ni da||Mi an hae yo / Mi an hae|
(Compliment the shef)Jal muk get sep ni da ByeAn nyung hi gae se yoAn hyung
2. Special occasion
|Happy New Year!||Sae hae bok mani bodu sea yo|
|Happy birthday!||Sang il chook ha hap ni da|
3. Phrases (U as [ʌ])
|I’m sorry||Mi an hae yo / Mi an hae|
|Cheers! (for drinks)||Gun bae!|
|“Make it less spicy” (food)||An map gae|
|I don’t know||Mol la yo|
|Excuse me||Si lae hap ni da|
(simpler) Ju gi yo I’m from ****** e se what u yoAmerica : Mi guk
England : Young guk
Germany : Dok il
Japan : Il bon.
China : Jung guk
Austrailia : Ho ju
*Same as English : Finland, Malaysia, France, Netherland, Singapore, Hong kong, Russia, Canada, New Zealand
# You can add ‘saram’ after your country, for example “Mi guk saram”, that means “I’m American”
If you are fron Finland, “Finland saram”. Don’t say “Finish” 🙂 *Buying something How much?Ul mae yo? [ʌl mae yo] Can you do a little chipper?Ggak a ju se yoYou can use it in flee market or traditional market. When you buy clothes on the street, they usually but a price little if you ask.So expensive!Numu bi ssa yoAlso, use it for bargain.Give me ***, please*** Ju sae yoRestaurant, store, etc.
Can use this expression pretty much anywhere.
.“Maek ju Ju sae yo!” (Beer, please)*Location Where am I?Ji gum udieyo? How can I get there?U tucke ga yo? Where is *** ?*** Udie it seo yo?
(Simpler) Udie?Also can use it in Taxi and Bus.
Use this mixing with appropriate amount of finger pointing and facial expression is more effective. Yes / NoNe / Ani yo
4. Simple words
|Bus station||Bus jung gu jang|
|Hot / cold||(weather) dup da / chup da|
(food) dde gup da / cha gap daHot (spicy)Map da / Mae war yo“Make it less spicy”An map gae WhereUdiHowUdutkeWhenUn jaeWhatMu ut INaYouNu [nʌ]goGa daneedPil yo ha daFavorBu tak 1, 2, 3, 4(number) il, e, sam, sa
(Count) hana, dul, set, net
This is right amount I want to show biginners. Next time, I will post Learning Korean with actual Korean character.
My personal experience, when I was traveling Taiwan during Chinese New Year. I didn’t and still don’t know Chinese but I picked up some phrases like thank you and Excuse me. Still Chinese is not like any language I know so very hard to learn in few days. But near Chinese New Year, I learn “happy new year” in Chinese from a crew worked at the hostel. And first I tried to a clerk at Seven eleven, I was not sure I say it right, but right after I say “Happy new year” in chinese, she smiled really big and said it back to me. So I said it to everyone I met on the road or in a shop. They were just very happy!
It was almost just simply right thing to do. Learn local language while you were there. I realize everytime I go somewhere, and this memory in Taipei realizes me again.
Happy journey in amazing Korea!