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Learn Basic Greetings in Korean – Hi, Hello, Goodbye & More

Last Updated : 22 Sep, 2023
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Korean language and Korean people both are very polite. They greet each other very respectfully as their culture says the same. Korean greetings are not just about saying hello but much more and their courteous nature is famous all over the world. So if you want to visit the country then it is important that you know some basics. As it will help you to impress the host and also knowing the local language enhances the interaction with local people. 

But yes sometimes is not that easy to learn a new language from scratch so knowing some bits can take you through! So the first thing that we should know is the way of greeting of any place we are going and when its country like Korea it is essential because their they truly respect their culture and expect same from everyone. 

Basic Korean Greetings with English Translation:

So now, let’s start and learn the different ways of greeting people in Korea:

1. Hello/Hi – Annyeong Haseyo

This is the most common and usual phrase used by people in Korea. However, there are numerous variations of “Hello” and keep on changing according to the situation, but the most common one is “Annyeong Haseyo”. This particular phrase when said complete can be used in both formal and informal situations as it is a respectful way of saying hello. But if you only say “Annyeong” then it is specifically used for close friends or someone younger than you. You can also say this to the local people you meet as it is the casual way and can be used in any typical situation like meeting someone or entering a room or addressing people publically. 

2. Goodbye – Annyeonghi Gyeseyo

We say goodbye while departing from someone or somewhere, but in Korean, it is called “Annyeonghi Gyeseyo“. It is a high degree of respect and can be said to both elders and people younger than you. Whether the situation is formal or informal this can be used in both situations. So now if you go to Korea then saying “Annyeonghi Gyeseyo” will create a good impression on people around you, because it will show the respect you have for their culture. Meanwhile, a different or shorter way of saying goodbye also exists, “Jal Itsuh” which simply means “Bye” or “stay well”.

3. Good Morning – Joeun Achimieyo

We start our day with this phrase and in Korea, it is called “Joeun Achimieyo” ah yes! it is very different from English. It is also the same for Good Afternoon, and Good Evening, so you are safe till night as it has a bit different phrase called, “Anyoung-hi jumu ship shiyo“, yes you read it right. Also, sometimes rather than just saying good morning we say Good Day, and the Korean phrase for this is “Annyeong Hasibnikka. So if you want to go to Korea then learning how to say “Good Morning, Good Day, and Good Night” can save you from a lot of embarrassment. 

4. Thank You – Kamsahamnida

One of the most vital expressions used in Korea is Thank You, “Kamsahamnida“. It is a kind of formal version of thanking someone and specially said professionally or people who are elder to you. If you want to know the informal way, then it is “Gomo Woyo” you can say this to your close ones or people younger than you. Also, Thank You has a lot of importance in Korean culture therefore, do learn all the ways of speaking it before you visit the country. 

5. Welcome – Hwangyong Hamnida

Now when you have learned to say Thank You, it’s time for Welcome, “Hwangyong hamnida“. Obviously, it is said after ‘thank you’ and also for welcoming someone, might b in a shop or in someone’s house. Other than this, if you want to give a more formal reply to someone you can say, it’s nothing, “ahnibneeda”, it’s a bit cooler, so do give it a try along with your beautiful smile. 

6. How Are You – Eotteohge Jinaeseyo/ Yojeum Eottae?

It is one of the common things which people say to each other in Korea and also have different ways of saying it, that is formal and informal. So if you are talking to someone who is older than you or professionally then you should say “Eotteohge Jinaeseyo” as it shows the feeling of respect towards the person you are talking to. On the other hand, if you are talking to your close friends or people younger than you then choosing an informal way is better and you can simply say “Yojeum Eottae“. 

7. Sorry – Joe Song Ham Ni Da

As we all know that Korea has a very polite culture, hence Sorry connects them with their roots. Spoken as “joe song ham ni da“. Also, while speaking in Korean it is important that you make proper gestures like you must bow your head while apologizing as not doing so is imposed to be rude. Therefore, in order to avoid that situation then you must not make eye contact with the person standing in front of you and remember to be polite while speaking so as to respect their culture. 

List of Few More Korean Greetings:

English Translation Korean Greetings
Nice to meet you Mannaseo Bangapseumnida
What’s up? Museun ir-iya?
Long Time No See Oraenmanieyo
Please stay well Annyeong Hi Gyeseyo
Excuse me Jam-shi-mahn-yo

One of the best ways to learn Korean (or any other language) is by watching the content in that particular language whether it be movies, podcasts, web shows, etc. Here is the list of the 10 best K-Dramas that you can watch.

Hence, these were some important greetings that are commonly used in Korea, so if you like the Korean language and find it difficult or planning a trip to Korea then you can start with these baby steps and learn these basic greetings. As it is also the way in which you can show respect towards their culture and will be accepted happily by the locals. 

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