Useful Phrases You’ll Need When Traveling in South Korea
The Korean peninsula is packed full of interesting sights and wonders to see and visit.
Whether your interests lie in hiking, partying, or even just wanting to go to the same places that your favourite Korean TV shows were filmed at, Korea has everything for you and more. That’s why more and more people are choosing to visit Korea these days.
Either way, regardless of your reasons for visiting, these phrases will surely come in handy and help you make the most out of your time in Korea.
1. An-yong-ha-se-yo – Hello
Use it as often as you can, especially when you meet someone or you’re entering a shop or a store.
Add a simple bow for extra politeness to score some extra points from the locals.
2. Yong-oh ha-shil-jul a-ha-se-yo – Do You Speak English?
The answer to this question will usually vary depending on where you are, but it doesn’t hurt to ask, especially since you don’t really know a lot of Korean phrases yourself.
A lot of people in Korea can speak English to some extent. Even if the person you’re asking probably does not know how to speak English, you’ll probably be able to find someone within earshot who can.
Make sure that you memorise this phrase as this can come in handy if you’re lost or stuck.
3. Han Ge Deo Butakam Ni-Da – One More, Please!
This will come in handy for that customary night out in Korea.
Drinking isn’t just welcome in Korea, it’s often encouraged and a crucial part of the culture. As long as you show some courtesy, you’ll be fine. As for what the proper etiquette is, it’s that you should never refill your own glass and yet make sure that you do it for everyone else. Also, use two hands to support the bottle you’re holding and add a slight bow and don’t forget to say “thank you” as a gesture of appreciation and respect.
4. Kam-sa-ham-ni-da – Thank You!
This one is pretty self-explanatory. You can pronounce the K at the start of the phrase as a G and Koreans will still understand what you’re saying (or trying to say at least).
If you’re saying the phrase when handing over something or receiving something from someone, use both of your hands. It’s considered as the polite thing to do.
Are These Phrases Enough?
You can technically get away with just these four phrases as a tourist because most Koreans are very accommodating. But, as far as whether your experience will be good, well, you won’t be getting the most out of your trip.
Learning Korean in Singapore will definitely help, either by enrolling in Korean courses in Singapore or taking private Korean classes in Singapore. Not only will you be able to understand the language better and have a better time during your trip, but you’ll also gain a better appreciation of the country’s culture if you take the time to learn Korean before going to the land of the Kimchi.