Do you want to learn a new language or experience Korean culture? Maybe you want to understand your favorite K-pop music or K-dramas without subtitles?
If you want to fulfill your dream of conversing with native Korean speakers, you should try learning Korean for beginners. Through this language-learning journey, you get to build a strong foundation for basic grammar skills, words, and phrases.
When you learn Korean speech, you need to brush up on standard greetings. These conversational Korean words are used in everyday situations, after all.
Here are three examples:
Hello: Four Versions to Use When You Start Speaking Korean
Annyeong: A Casual Greeting in the Korean Vocabulary
In the Korean writing system, annyeong (안녕) is the informal way of saying “hello.”
For Native Koreans, annyeong can only be said to those who are younger, regardless of gender. It is said to be the equivalent of the English words, “hey” or “what’s up?”
As you’ll learn from your Korean lessons, some vocabulary words are spoken either formally or informally.
annyeong is a casual greeting, and as such, cannot be used to greet your superiors. Absolute beginners must refrain from saying this to strangers as well!
Annyeonghaseyo: Used in Formal Korean Sentences
Annyeonghaseyo (안녕하세요) is another typical Korean word beginners get to learn quickly. In contrast to Annyeong, which is used casually,aAnnyeonghaseyo is a formal way of saying “hello.”
When used in sample sentences, annyeonghaseyo is something you can say to an older person or a stranger.
So how about talking to a person the same age as you? Native speakers recommend using annyeonghaseyo. It’s a way to show respect.
Likewise, it’s a safe option if you’re unsure about the person’s age.
Annyeonghasimnikka: Used Formally and With Respect
When you learn Hangul or practice pronunciation, you won’t encounter the word annyeonghasimnikka or 안녕하십니까 often. Although this is the case, it’s good to include it in your Korean learning exercises.
This will come in handy if you often go to South Korea for business. After all, annyeonghasimnikka is the greeting used in such formal atmospheres.
Annyeonghasimnikka is also utilized in the military, as you need to read Korean formally here.
Annyong or Hai: The Slang for Korean Language Learners
Similar to the English language, you’ll find some slang words in the Korean dictionary. Examples include annyong (안뇽) or hai (하이.)
These new words are often spoken by women mainly because they sound feminine.
Hai, for one, is a romanized version of “hi.” It’s a straightforward way to say hello casually!
How to Speak Korean to People You Just Met
You can say three greetings in the Korean language when you meet someone for the first time.
- Mannaseo bangawo (Informal) or mannaseo bangapseumnida (Formal)
Whether you’re in the intermediate or advanced level, these are two ways you can say, “Nice to meet you.”
Remember to use this greeting in the proper context. Mannaseao bangawo (만나서 반가워) is informal, while mannaseo bangapseumnida (만나서 반갑습니다) is formal.
- Cheoeum boepgetseumnida
When learning Korean words, mastering formal salutations like cheoeum boepgetseumnida (처음 뵙겠습니다) is essential.
It also means “nice to meet you,” though it translates to “I am meeting you for the first time.”
Cheoeum boepgetseumnida should be used in formal settings or when greeting the elderly.
- Jal butakae (Informal) or Jal butakdeurimnida (Formal)
As you’ll learn in online lessons, these words translate to “please take good care of me.” Although it sounds intimidating, Korean people don’t see it that way.
Imagine that you’re a new employee in a South Korean firm. When you introduce yourself, it’s best to say jal butakdeurimnida or 잘 부탁드립니다. In Korean grammar, this means, “I will do my best” or “I look forward to working with you.”
Saying “How Are You?” in the Korean Language
When you learn Korean, you can try any of these three ways to say, “How are you?”
- Jal jinaesseo? (Informal) or Jal jinaesyeosseoyo? (Formal)
Say you’re studying Korean with people from other countries. By saying jal jinaesseo (잘 지냈어) or jal jinaesyeosseoyo (잘 지내셨어요), you’re essentially asking them how they’re doing.
- Mwohago jinae? (Informal) or Eotteoke jinaeseyo? (Formal)
Maybe you’ve missed a few days at class learning languages. You’re eager to see your mates so you should say mwohago jinae (뭐하고 지내) or eotteoke jinaeseyo (어떻게 지내세요.)
When translated, this is akin to asking your colleagues, “What are you doing these days?”
- Mwohago jinaesseo? (Informal) or Eotteoke jinaesyeosseoyo? (Formal)
If you haven’t seen your classmates in online courses for a long time, you can ask them mwohago jinaesseo (뭐하고 지냈어) or eotteoke jinaesyeosseoyo (어떻게 지내셨어요?) This statement translates to “What have you been up to?”
If you want to learn Korean well, memorizing these greetings is exactly what you need to do. They make for good practice exercises, especially if you wish to improve your language learning abilities.
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