For today, we are teaching you how to say Happy New Year in Korean.

In the graphic, you will see the polite version:

새해 복 많이 받으세요 (sae-hae bok man-i ba-deu-se-yo)

You can use this with pretty much anyone you meet. Friends, family, coworkers, etc. Saying this will not come across as rude in most situations.

Formal: 새해 복 많이 받으십시오 (sae-hae bok man-i ba-deu-ship-shi-o)

The formal version of happy new year would be used in formal settings and you will find these on formal greeting like cards, emails in the office, or on a billboard on the street. You will probably not use this one, but it’s still good to know and recognize it when you see it.

Informal: 새해 복 많이 받아 (sae-hae bok man-i bad-a)

You would use this towards kids or very close friends and family. However, it’s still very rare to use this and the polite version is still the best one to use.

Keep in mind that Koreans celebrate two new years. One for the changing of the Gregorian calendar year, and one for the lunar new year. You can use these greetings for both.

Now here is some useful vocabulary related to the new year for you to use!:

자정 = midnight

년 = year

건배 = cheers, toast

색종이 조각 = Confetti

불꽃놀이 = Fireworks

겨울 = Winter

파티 = Party

샴페인 = Champagne

새해 첫날 = New Year’s Day

새해 = New Year

And that’s it! What are your plans for the new year? Singing and dancing? Staying at home? Regardless of what you plan, we hope you have a happy one and enjoy it!


Here are the words and audio files for this infographic:


a. 새해 복 많이 받으세요 = Happy New Year (Standard)

b. 새해 복 많이 받으십시오 = Happy New Year (Formal)

c. 새해 복 많이 받아 (Happy New Year) = Informal

d. 자정 = midnight

e. 년 = year

f. 건배 = cheers, toast

g. 색종이 조각 = Confetti

h. 불꽃놀이 = Fireworks

i. 겨울 = Winter

j. 파티 = Party

k. 샴페인 = Champagne

l. 새해 첫날 = New Year’s Day

m. 새해 = New Year


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