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Learn Korean Language Lesson 2 – Korean Basic Conversation

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Learn Korean Lesson 2 - Korean Basic ConversationToday, we will start learn some Korean basic conversation (기본회화) such as normal greetings, thank you, sorry in Korean. The Korean language has various expressions according to specific situations and age and status of the people one is addressing to. In simple, there are two ways when you start a conversation, whether formally or informally.

Basically, the formal way will be use in formal situation and relationships. On the other hand, informal way will be use in informal situations and relationships. The difference between formal and informal is the Korean Sentence Ending Form. There are two sentence ending form – Formal polite and informal polite, both are essential in Korean language, we will learn this in the next lesson. Now, let’s see some Korean basic conversation.

Korean Basic Conversation




네/예 yes [ ne/ye ]
아니오 no [ a-ni-o ]
안녕하십니까? (F)
good morning
good afternoon
good evening
[ an-nyeong-ha-se-yo ]
[ an-nyeong-ha-sim-ni-gga ]
안녕히 가세요
안녕히 가십시오 (F)
good bye (to person leaving) [ ann-yeong-hi-ka-se-yo ]
[ ann-yeong-hi-ka-ship-si-yo ]
안녕히 계세요
안녕히 계십시오 (F)
good bye (to person staying) [ ann-yeong-hi-kye-se-yo ]
[ ann-yeong-hi-kye-ship-si-yo ]
여보세요 hello? (on the phone) [ yeo-bo-se-yo ]
어서 오세요 welcome / hello [ eo-seo-o-se-yo ]
고맙습니다 (F)
감사합니다 (F)
thank you [ go-ma-wo-yo ]
[ go-map-seum-ni-da ]
[ kam-sa-ham-ni-da ]
천만에요 you’re welcome [ cheon-ma-ne-yo ]
미안합니다 (F)
죄송합니다 (F)
sorry [ mi-an-nae ]
[ mi-an-ham-ni-da ]
[ jwe-song-ham-ni-da ]
괜찮습니다 (F)
it’s all right, it’s ok, don’t worry [ gwaen-cha-na-yo ]
[ gwaen-chan-sseum-ni-da ]
실례합니다 excuse me [ sil-rye-ham-ni-da ]

*Phrases use the informal level of politeness except those denoted with (F).

Yes/no questions can be answered affirmatively with 네/예, 예 gives a polite impression but 네 is more frequently used, and negatively with 아니요.

안녕하세요 is the most common greeting used when meeting someone. No matter the time of day, greet someone with 안녕하세요 when you meet him/her. There is no equivalent to good morning, good afternoon or good evening. It can be used either greet someone you meet for the first time or someone older than you (parents, grandparents) or greet someone you see everyday. So you can always use 안녕하세요 greeting a stranger, or greeting someone you know but need to speak polite to (teachers, older neighbors, co-workers).

If you want to speak more formally or when meeting someone of higher status, or with whom you have a working relationship (boss, customer), use 안녕하십니까. On the other hand, informally, 안녕 is use when greeting a friend of the same age (especially a friend from youth (childhood friends, school friends). Although this phrase is a greeting, you should pronounce it like a question, with your tone rising at the end. If you are meeting someone for the first time, bow your head a bit as you make your greeting.

안녕히 가세요 which also means good bye is say by the host who is bidding his/her guests good bye. You may say 안녕히 가세요 to the person who is leaving. On the other hand, 안녕히 계세요 means good bye, say by the guest who is leaving. You may need to say 안녕히 계세요 to a person who is staying.

어서 오세요 means welcome/hello. You say this to greet a guest or your friend whoever when they come to your house. 고맙습니다/감사합니다 both means thank you. Use 고마워/고마워요 in informal situations and relationships.

괜찮습니다 /괜찮아요 means it’s all right, it’s ok or don’t worry. Informally, 괜찮아. Do you know why is it Koreans say 괜찮아요 so much? The expression 괜찮아요 occurs in many kinds of situations, with many different meanings. Not only a polite substitute for when one’s mood is bad, 괜찮아요 is also used to accept thanks and apologies. The many varied uses of 괜찮아요 can cause confusion for someone just learning to speak Korean.

Continue to Learn Korean Language Lesson 3 – Korean Sentence Ending Form.

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