Your classes and textbooks will skip them. Sounds counter-intuitive when you’re out to speak Korean like a natural but thats why we’re here. Here are the next top 10 Korean conversational phrases you might want to brush up on.
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Tip: Memorize them and practice saying them quickly. Once they’re solidly stuck in your head, just blurt them out at the next opportune occasion without stopping to think.
11. 네? ne (excuse me? literally, Yes?)
When you want to ask someone say something one more time… because either you forgot to clean your ears this morning… or they’re a low talker, you can simply say 네? It literally means ‘Yes?’, but it’s not rude in Korean.
12. 야! ya (Hey)
To call friends, you can simply say 야 ya. It’s exactly like Hey in English. But remember that you can use it only between friends.
13. 선생님 seonsaengnim (Mr. Literally Teacher)
If you don’t know someone’s name, you can simply call someone as 선생님. It really means ‘teacher’, but this word can be used to mean ‘Mr’ or ‘Mrs.’ If you know someone’s family name, you can put the family name in front of the word 선생님 such as 김 선생님 (Kim seonsaengnim)
14. 나도 nado (Me too)
나 means ‘I, me’, and 도 means ‘too’. All together it means ‘me too.’ When you agree with someone’s suggestion or opinion, you can simply say 나도 twice as 나도나도.
15. 근데.. geunde (Anyway)
When someone’s boring you with complaints about their life or you just want to talk about yourself instead, you say “…..Anyyyywayyy…” Do just that in Korean! You can simply say 근데 then talk about something else. When you’re talking to someone older than you, simply put the particle 요 at the end as 근데요 (geundeyo).
16. 좋아합니다. joahamnida (I like, I love)
This literally means ‘I like [something/someone].’ However, many people use it to mean ‘I love you’ since it’s less direct. If someone says ‘I like you’, consider yourself lucky (or unlucky)! They’re admitting love!
17. 부탁합니다. butakamnida (Please)
In English, you can say [noun] then please to ask something. Same in Korean. Simply say nouns, then say 부탁합니다. It’s polite way to ask something in Korean.
18. 안돼요 andeyo (No, Don’t do it)
No! Don’t speak to me in English! When you want to say ‘Don’t do something’, say 안돼요 instead of 아니요(aniyo). Both means ‘No’, but you can only say 안돼요 when you ask someone not to do something.
19. 도와주세요 dowajuseyo (Help!)
You won’t use this phrase, but it’s better to remember. When you need help, simply use this one. It’s also good to ask ladies over 30s, since they are more likely help someone even if they don’t know you. There’s hope for humanity yet!
20. 괜찮아요 genchanayo (Okay?)
It means ‘Okay’. You can use it to ask someone if he/she is okay, or answer questions. Kinda like when you type out a whole message to a friend and they reply with a “K.” >_>
Also it means ‘to like’. So when someone say ‘괜찮아요’, it means ‘I like it’, not ‘It’s okay’. Remember, that less direct is always the better in Korean.
There you go! Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Leave a comment!
– The Main Junkie
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