The Seoul Diaries: Faith’s Language Corner (언어 코너)

Hello or “안녕하세요!” It’s Faith 선생님 and today I will be reviewing some key phrases, terms, and slang words that I have picked up since being in South Korea. Knowing basic Hangul and the pronunciation of the letters will come in handy a lot, but I will try writing the romanization for the phrases. I hope it helps!

Basic Everyday Phrases: 🗣

  • 안녕하세요! [annyeong-ha-se-yo] – Hello! (typical greeting)
  • 이거 얼마나예요? [ee-go oh-ul-mana yeh-yo?] – How much is this/how much does it cost? (if you ask this, be prepared to know your numbers; Sino usually!)
  • 영수증 주세요/필요헤요 [young-su-jung juseyo/pil-yo-hae-yo] – Can I have a receipt please? (you usually don’t need to ask because many times it is assumed that you don’t need one, but I still ask for them often.)
  • (name of location) 어디예요? [oh-dee yeeh-yo] – Where is (name of location)?
  • QR코드 없어요 [QR co-du ob-soyo] – I don’t have a QR code. (Whenever you enter any place, you either have scan a QR code on your phone to “check in” or call a phone number for Covid contact tracing reasons. When you don’t have the QR code, say this and they’ll direct you to a physical sign-in sheet or phone number to call verifying that you were there.)
  • (amount of money)원 충전해 주세요 [won chung-jeon-hae ju-seyo] – Please recharge (amount of money) -> for recharging your T-money transportation card at convience stores
  • 한국번호 없어요 [hanguk-beon-hoe ob-soyo] – I don’t have a Korean phone number
  • 차갑게/따뜻하게 주세요 [dda-ddeut-ha-geh/cha-gab-geh ju-seyo] – I would like the drink to be cold please (usually asked whether you want the drink hot or cold at cafes)

Restaurants: 🍔 🍽️

  • (name of item) 하나 주세요 [hana ju-seyo] – Can I have one of (name of item) please?
  • 반반으로 낼 수 있어요? / 따로 주세요 [ban ban-u-ro nael-ul-su iss-so-yo/da-rro ju-seyo] – Can we split the check please? (Very useful to know when eating with other people!)
  • (name of food item) 빼주세요! [bbae-ju-seyo] – (*cough cough 깻잎*) Please take this out/remove it from my order. (Used for food that you don’t want on or in your meal. Example: cilantro or 깻잎)
  • 포장해 주세요 [po-chang-hae ju-seyo] – Please make this to-go. (Used when you want your food to-go or have leftovers that you want to take home and eat later. It isn’t normal to ask for to-go packaging after a meal, but sometimes the meal is too good to only eat in one sitting.)
  • 쌈장 더 주세요 [ssam-jang doh ju-seyo] – Can I have more spice sauce please? (To say when you are eating 삼겹살 or a place with a grill in the middle. That sauce is AMAZING!)

Random Words (헤헤): 😎

  • 금치 – prohibited
  • 주의 – caution
  • 방탈출 – escape room
  • 초파리 – fruit flies (those darn little things…)
  • 센스장 – you have good sense
  • 보름 – full moon
  • 대화 – conversation
  • 잠수함 – submarine
  • 과제 – assignment
  • 그늘 – the shade

Slang!! 💯

  • 단짠 – sweet (달콤하다) and salty (짜다); to eat sweet food and then go eat salty food right after
  • 멘투멘 – sweaters (Not those thick wool winter sweaters, but the casual ones. Apparently they are called this here)
  • 과잠 – school/university varsity jacket
  • 얼죽아 – someone who always orders a cold drink (so basically me as a slang word)
  • 아아 (이스 메리카노) – an abbreviation for iced americano
  • 국룰 – the national rule (ex: eating chicken at the Hangang River)
  • 자허블 (랙 티) – an abbreviation for ‘Grapefruit Honey Black Tea‘ at Starbucks (it also is my go-to drink!!)

Tip: Papago and NAVER save lives. Use them freely when you don’t understand a word or how to say a certain phrase. They aren’t 100% accurate but it helps.

*The writing and photos here are meant for use on and are not to be copied or redistributed by other entities without permission from the author.

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