I’ve been living in Korea for a little over 7 years now and I often get asked by friends and family to bring them back Korean gifts when I visit home during the vacations. My mom loves the green tea and although I’m not really into Kpop or dramas hardcore, some of my friends are and I’ll bring them back a poster or trinket of some sort. I also have several friends who love the variety of snacks and instant noodles.
However, some of you may not have friends or family in Korea or you may not be going anytime soon, so I’ve made a list of some of my favorite things that you can find online or at your local Korean mart to satisfy that need.
Most of these can be found on Amazon and some on other great sites. So without further ado, let’s get started!
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
Korean Clothing/Wall Art/Stationery
So as you can see, there is lots of variety to cater to all tastes. If you find something unique that you don’t see here, just shoot us an email and we will add it asap.
Title: √Root Korean: A Dictionary of Korean Root Words (Hanja)
Author: Andrew Livera
Price: $10.99 on Kindle and PDF
*Please note that I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Many learners of Korean are not familiar with the Hanja relationship that many Korean words have. Just like many English words have their roots in Latin, many Korean words are based on Hanja characters.
Most don’t study these characters extensively (as it can be quite boring), but knowing many of them can help you remember vocabulary easier and quicker as you can quickly see the deeper meaning of a word and its relationship to other words.
For example, the Korean word 입구 (entrance) can be written in Hanja as 入口 where 入 means ‘to enter’ and 口 means ‘opening.’
Another benefit to learning Hanja is it will give you some knowledge to help you when traveling around countries like China and Japan. Many characters that you will learn are used there (with some slight differences).
Koreans learn hanja during their school years (but many forget) and most Koreans know how to write their name in hanja (it’s sometimes needed for certain documents). Hanja is also still used in many newspapers and restaurants when ordering.
So here’s where √Root Korean comes in. The author, Andrew Livera has compiled quite a bit of info in this book.
In this book, there are two sections. It is broken down into the Korean-Hanja dictionary, and the Hanja-Korean dictionary. If you know the Korean pronunciation but not the Hanja, you would use the Korean-Hanja dictionary. If you know the Hanja but not the Korean pronunciation, you would search in the Hanja-Korean dictionary.
All words contain the simplified Chinese character of a Hanja word, its pinyin reading, its Hanja, the Yale romanization, it’s stroke count, and finally, its definition. (See images below)
The information in this book is very thorough and extensive containing over 700 pages of information. It may be overwhelming to beginners just starting out (however I’d still find it very useful), but can be very helpful for those are deep into their Korean studies.
I myself found it very useful as I never really focused on learning any Hanja outside of the most basic ones I would see throughout my daily life here in Korea. I still haven’t had near enough time to get through even a quarter of the book, but I plan on using it to search for words as I continues to build my vocabulary.
I’ve even created a separate section in my study notebook for Hanja characters that I plan on studying/reviewing once a week or so.
You can purchase this book on Kindle over at Amazon. A paperback version will be released soon and we will update this page when it does.
This is a word that you will come across often in real life and in dramas/kpop. Who doesn’t wanna say “cute!” when they see a baby, dog, or other furry little animal. For some reason, cute in Korean sounds cuter (not trying to make a joke) than its English counterpart. Maybe it’s the way Koreans say it as they have a tendency to really like cute things or make things as cute as possible.
Let’s start with the basics:
This is the basic dictionary form of cute. It literally means to be cute and you can often just say this as it is in most situations. However unless you’re pretty sure of how to use it, you will need to conjugate it.
Let’s take a look at the different forms you can use.
Formal Version: 귀엽슴니다 (gwi-yeop-seum-ni-da)
This is the formal version of saying cute. It’s not very likely that you will use cute in a formal situation though. For instance I highly doubt you would call your boss or teacher cute to their face. It really sounds kind of awkward even if you’re not using it towards someone older or higher in position than you.
Standard Version: 귀여워요 (gwi-yeo-weo-yo)
This is the standard version that you will want to use around people who you are not close to or people older than you. Notice the 요 ending.
Casual Version: 귀여워 (gwi-yeo-weo)
This is the one that you will probably hear most often and it is used around your close friends, family, and people younger than you.
Remember when in doubt, just use the standard version to be safe.
At the bottom of our infographic, you will see another word – 귀요미 (gwi-yo-mi)
This is a Korean slang word used to describe someone who is cute or acts cute. You could use this to describe a baby, child, pet, significant other etc. It’s a very versatile slang word.
Some people also use this to describe someone who uses a lot of aegyo (cute actions or noises). Hyo likes to use this for me when she jokes around.
Corny Joke for cute in Korean:
What do you call a cute person with no ears? 귀 없다!
귀 = ears
없다 = verb that means to be without
귀 없다 = to be without ears
Now here is a simple word that you should know in any language. You don’t want to be caught in an awkward situation where you want to tell someone no, but don’t know how to.
Like many other phrases we’ve covered, there are formal and informal ways to say no in Korean as well as other variations.
Let’s start with the ones we covered in the infographic.
One of the more confusing things for a beginner learning Korean is when they come across the many meanings for the word ‘heart’. In English the same word is used to describe the physical organ and things related to love and feelings of the mind.
However in Korean, these words can be broken down into three words that have a specific meaning.
Let’s talk about the first word in the infographic.
Thanks to LingoDeer for contacting us and giving us this idea for a post. Koreans really aren’t familiar with the names for different types of deer because they really don’t have any chances to see many types of deer except for at the zoo. I’ve seen most types back in the states on various trips to the wilderness.
As you can see, the word for deer is 사슴 and we’ve listed the 6 most common types along with the cute mascot from LingoDeer.
LingoDeer is a very helpful app that focuses on helping people learn Korean, Chinese, and Japanese.
You can start off with the basics by learning how to write and then move on to other lessons (along with helpful tips and flashcards) that will get you speaking your target language in no time. Check out more info about the app at the official LingoDeer website.
The pronunciation of the word flower in Korean can be a little difficult for beginners. Usually the syllable ‘ㅊ’ sounds like a ‘ch’ sound. However, when it is in the final position of a word, it has a soft t sound. It’s a very abrupt t sound and sound similar to the Korean word for clothes ‘옷’.