Continue from Lesson 24 – Korean Counting Units. Today we come to Learn Korean Lesson 25 – Korean Currency. In this Learn Korean Language Lesson, we will learn Korean Currency – Won. We will learn how to read prices in Korean by using Sino-Korean numbers which was derived from Chinese numbers. Korean question word – how much – 얼마 [ eol-ma], is always use together with Korean Sentence Endings Expressing Identification – 예요 to ask “How much is this?” – 얼마예요? [ eol-ma-ye-yo ].
얼마예요? is used to ask the price of an item. We will learn this in the future. In the mean time, just use 얼마예요? like English “How much is this?” You must learn this lesson in order to shopping in Korea. The unit of Korean currency is won – 원 [ won ]. Korean won is considered as the national currency both in north and South Korea. The Central Bank of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea issues the Won. Korean won has originated from the Japanese Yen and the Chinese Yuan. In Korean, prices are read with Sino-Korean numbers. Although a comma is commonly placed after three digits, numbers are read with the basic unit 만 [ man ] – 10000, the fourth digit.
When reading prices, the Sino-Korean/Chinese derived Korean numbers such as 일, 이, 삼, 사, 오 are used (view Korean Numbers for more). See examples below.
- 500원 – 오백 원 [ o-baek-won ]
- 28350원 – 이만 팔천 삼백 오십 원 [ i-man-pal-cheon-sam-baek-o-sip-won ]
- 350000원 – 삼십 오만 원 [ sam-sip-o-man-won ]
Although in English we say “one thousand,” “one hundred,” etc. In Korean, when there is number starting with one, the “one” is not said.
- 100원 – 백 원 [ baek-won ]
- 129원 – 백 이십 구 원 [ baek-i-sip-gu-won ]
- 1200원 – 천 이백 원 [ cheon-i-baek-won ]
- 10000원 – 만 원 [ man-won ]
- 130000원 – 십 삼만 원 [ sip-sam-man-won ]
You must be careful that when the “one” is not the first digit, it is pronounced!
- 1100 – 천 일백 [ cheon-il-baek ]
- 21300 – 이만 일천 삼백 [ i-man-il-cheon-sam-baek ]
- 210000 – 이십 일만 [ i-sip-il-man ]
However, most of the Koreans omit the 일 [ il ] when they use the currency with the Korean number. For the examples above, by saying
- 1100원 – 천 백 원 [ cheon-baek-won ]
- 21300원 – 이만 천 삼백 원 [ i-man-cheon-sam-baek-won ]
will be correct too. Please don’t confuse with 210000원 – 이십 일만 원, we cannot just say 이십 만 원 (200000원), because both of them are 10000원 different! Please take note that the pronunciation of the following will be change due to Korean pronunciation rules (will cover in the future).
- 16 – 십육 will be read as 심뉵 [ sim-nyuk ]
- 60000 – 육만 will be read as 융만 [ yung-man ]
- 100000 – 십만 will be read as 심만 [ sim-man ]
- 1000000 – 백만 will be read as 뱅만 [ baeng-man ]
See table below:
Now, you can try to make your own Korean sentences with Korean Currency, Korean numbers and what you have learned from the previous Learn Korean Lessons. Try to ask 얼마예요? when you have a chance to shopping in Korea. Don’t forget to memorize the Korean Verbs and Korean Adjectives, with Korean Sentence Ending Form. Continue to Learn Korean Language Lesson 26 – Korean Requests, Suggestions, or Commands.