Up next in our family series is learning how to say sister in Korean. Like the words for brother, how you address your sister would depend on your age in relation to her. Also like the words for brother, whether you are male or female which dictate how you address her as well.
Let’s start with the first one:
언니 (eon-ni) = This is used by women to refer to their older sister. It would also be used if you are close friends with a woman who is older than you. Remember that 친구 (friend) is only used towards people who are the same age.
(여)동생 ([yeo] dong-saeng) = 동생 is used to refer to your younger siblings. Sometimes people add 여 (woman) or 남 (man) to make a distinction as to whether their younger sibling is their sister or brother. However most times, these are left out, and people simply say 동생.
누나 (nu-na) = This is used by men to refer to their older sister or a woman who is a close friend and also older than them.
And that’s it! Very simple. Check out some of our other posts on family vocabulary below:
Today, we’re talking about a commonly used word, mother. Like other words for family members, I find this one to be easy as well since the casual form sounds a bit like ‘Mama’ in English.
Let’s start with the first form:
어머님 (eo-meo-nim) = This is the formal form of the word mother, and should only be used when you’re addressing someone else’s mother. You would never use this to address your own mother.
This is also used to address your mother in law as well. I always use this to address Hyo’s mom and it is similar to the formal form of father, 아버님. Adding ‘님’ to a title for a person makes it formal. You may also hear this a lot in dramas (especially ones dealing with and focusing on family issues).
어머니 (eo-meo-ni) = This is more casual than the first one, and would be used to address your own mother. Most people will use this to address their own mother.
엄마 (eom-ma) = This is the most casual way to say mother in Korean. This should also only be used to address your own mother. Kids especially like to use this one.
If you want to say ‘My mother’ in Korean, you wouldn’t use the commonly used ‘내’ for my, but ‘우리’. For example:
우리 엄마 (u-ri eom-ma)
우리 어머니 (u-ri eo-meo-ni)
You may think that 우리 is only used for ‘we’, but it can mean ‘my’ in many cases.
Now you may ask, is their a mother’s day or father’s day in Korea. The answer is yes and no. Both mothers and fathers share a special holiday called Parent’s Day (어버의날) in May. It’s a pretty big day for parents, and they are usually given flowers, taken out to dinner, and given money.
Easy right? Now go practice and confuse your own mother with your new vocabulary!
Hey whatsup everyone! February has almost come to a close. This year is already passing by quickly. Hope you’re ready for another quick lesson today!
Today, we’re gonna talk about two words that get beginner Korean learners confused.
You will often hear Koreans refer to rice as “밥”. But did you know, that this only refers to the cooked version? The word “밥” can also refer to a meal as well. So you’ll often hear Koreans say:
The literal meaning for this phrase means “Have you eaten?”. This phrase on the surface may seem like someone is just asking have you eaten, but it also doubles as a way of checking up on someone or just a casual greeting (Kind of like how people always ask how’s the weather”.
The other word “쌀” refers to uncooked rice you find in the bags in stores or out in the fields.
As you know, rice is a huge part of the Korean diet and it’s now become a big part of mine as well since I’ve been here for so long now.
When you go to restaurants here in Korea, you will typically find that they give you standard white rice, however, there are many kinds of rice:
보리밥 (bo-ri-bap) = barley rice
콩밥 (kong-bap) = bean rice
메밀밥 (me-mil-bap) = buckwheat rice
녹두밥 (nok-du-bap) = mung bean rice
옥수수밥 (ok-su-su-bap) = corn rice
팥밥 (pat-bap) = red bean rice
There are also several dishes with rice as the main ingredient. Usually, if a food has “밥” at the end, it is easy to know that rice is it’s main ingredient. Here are some popular dishes:
비빔밤 (bi-bim-bap) = Rice mixed with various vegetables and red pepper paste
볶음밥 = (bo-kkeum-bap) = Fried rice. Can include other ingredients like various veggies, shrimp, pork, or beef
김밥 (kim-bap) = Rolled rice wrapped in seaweed and cut into individual pieces. Includes a variety of styles and ingredients.
국밥 = (guk-bap) = Rice mixed with hot soup
주먹밥 (ju-meok-bap) = Rice balls which may be filled with fermented radish, tuna, and dried seaweed
쌈밥 (ssam-bap) = Cooked rice wrapped in lettuce or perilla leaves along with pork or beef.
And there you have it! You should definitely try some of the dished above. Most Korean restaurants will sell bibimbap and ssambap, however, you may have to look a little harder for the others, or try making them yourself.
Hey everyone! Hope everyone had an awesome Christmas holiday with your family and friends. We had a pretty good holiday here. Being the introverted couple we are, we decided to chill at home, cook, watch movies, and drink some eggnog (made it myself and turned out great). I’m on vacation for a month, but sadly Hyo still has to work. However, with so much time off, expect more posts from now until late January as I will have more energy to do more work.
For today, we are getting ready for the new year by 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!
For today’s word, we’re talking about how to say dad/father in Korean. There are three main ways to say dad in the Korean language.
Let’s start with the first one:
This is the most common form you will see and use. You would call your own father by this name. However, you would never use this word for someone else’s father.
This is the formal version of the word father. You would address your own father by this terms in formal situations (like a special birthday dinner or wedding). You would also use this to refer to someone else’s father or for your father in law. I call Hyo’s father by this name all the time.
This is the informal/casual form of the word father and most children use this for this father in all situations except very formal ones. Like the word 아버지, you would only use this for your own father and not someone else’s.
Another thing to remember is when you want to say something like “My father.”, you wouldn’t use something like “내 아버지”.
The most common way of saying my father would be to say “우리 아버지”. Korean like to use 우리 not only for “we”, but “my” or “our” as well even when referring to one person. It is also acceptable to use the formal “저희” to refer to my as well:
저희 아버지가 선생님입니다 (jeo-hee a-beo-ji-ga seon-saeng-nim-im-ni-da) = My father is a teacher.
If you want to make some friends to help you with your Korean, this word is of course, very important. The word friend can be used in many situations here, but one thing I was confused about when I first arrived, is that you can’t use it for everyone, even if you would be considered friends back in your home country.
In Korea, there is a very strict hierarchy system which is very evident in the language. For instance, very rarely will you call someone, even family members or coworkers by their name. Everyone has titles. The same goes for friend. Let’s explain further:
This is the word that directly translates into ‘friend’ in English. However, you can only use this terms for people you are close to who are the same age as you (born in the same year). Anyone born in the same year can be considered your friend.
These words refer to someone older than you who you are very close to. Basically a friend, but because of the hierarchy, you would use a formal term to refer to them. 형 is used by younger men to refer to a male friend older than them. 언니 is used by younger women to refer to a female friend older than them. In a family sense, these are also used to refer to brother and sister in the same manner.
These also refer to someone older. 오빠 is used by younger women to refer to an older man they consider a friend (also used by women as a way to call their boyfriends/husbands). 누나 is used by younger men to refer to an older woman they consider a friend.
Other words that contain 친구:
여자친구/여친 (yeo-ja-chin-gu/yeo-chin) = Girlfriend
남자친구/남친 (nam-ja-chin-gu/nam-chiin) = Boyfriend
As you can see, it can be a little confusing at first. Most learners are used to using just one word for friend. But it quickly gets easier and you will remember them quickly if you can consistently studying Korean. it basically becomes second nature.