After living in the country for 2 months, I can confidently say that you’re gonna learn most of your survival Korean while you stumble through your daily life. Hopefully, some of these will help you out!
To preface this post: I’m not Korean. If there are grammatical or spelling mistakes, then oops, but this is generally good enough to get me through my everyday life.
Format: Korean, [romanization, 🎵 how it sounds like]
Please give me ____________.
~주세요. [~juseyo, 🎵~chu say oh]
- “~please”, but used in the context of “Please give me ________”
- It’s gonna be “______ juseyo”, the ________ will be whatever you are asking for.
- Ex: 휴지 주세요. – Please give me tissues [hyuji/hyu-jee] | 물 주세요. – Please give me water [mul/mool]
- Literally what I said up there for “~juseyo”, but this time it’s “Please give me one ______”, “Please give me two _________”, etc.
- 하나 (hah na) = 1. Ex: 비빔밥 하나 주세요. [bibimbap hana juseyo/ pee beam bop hah na chu say oh] – Please give me one bibimbap. (You can totally just say bibimbap juseyo, but there will be instances where you have to specify how many sometimes)
- 두 (tu) = 2, 게 (geh) is a quantifier. So any number that doesn’t end in 1, you have to usually add the quantifier. (it becomes 두게, 세게, etc.).
- Ex. 비빔밥 두게 주세요 [bibimbap duge juseyo/pee beam bop tu geh chu say oh]
- Please refer to the interwebs to learn sino Korean numbers. (duolingo)
Please split the bill.
따로따로 계산해 주세요. [ddaro ddaro gyesan hae juseyo , 🎵 dallo dallo keh sahn hay chu say oh]
- SO!! DAMN!! IMPORTANT!!!! highkey the most important phrase I’ve learned lol
- Usually even if you just say 따로따로 (dallo dallo) and make a splitting gesture with your hands, they’ll get it and say yes (or no if they can’t do it)
Make it to-go please. (Or when you want to take home leftovers)
포장해 주세요. [pojang hae juseyo, 🎵 po jang hay chu say oh]
- When you’re getting coffee or something, you can just say take-out. if they don’t understand you, try saying ‘take out’ in a konglish accent — take-u out-u. if all fails, pull out this useful phrase.
Do you have _______?
~있어요? [isseoyo?, 🎵 ee suh yo?]
- Use it if you wanna ask a store clerk/anyone if they have something
- Ex : 비빔밥 있어요? [bibimbap isseoyo?/pee beam bop ee suh yo?] – Do you have bibimbap?
Where is _________?
~어디에요? [eodieyo, 🎵 ~ oh dee aye oh]
- Ex.: 화장실 어디에요? [huajangshil eodieyo/ hwa jang shil oh dee aye oh] – Where’s the washroom/bathroom/toilet?
- Literally just say whatever you’re looking for before saying “eodieyo” and that should do the trick.
- Not restricted to just locations, but also things you’re looking for in a store! Or people you’re trying to find.
Please go to __________.
~(으)로 가주세요. [~(eu)ro gajuseyo, 🎵 ~(ooo) lo ka chu say oh]
- VERY USEFUL IN A TAXI.
- Ex. 서을역 으로 가주세요. [seoul yeok euro gajuseyo/seoul yuck ooo lo ka chu say oh] – Please take me to Seoul Station.
- Might be easier if you pull up an address on your phone, show the driver, point, and just say 가주세요.
- If you completely take out the eu ro/ ooo lo, it really doesn’t matter. You’re just trying to get your point across that you want to go to ___________.
* Whether you keep the 으 (eu/ooo) in there depends on the ending of the previous word… so if the previous word ends in a consonant sound, you say 으로 (ooo lo). if it ends in a vowel sound, just say 로 (lo).
Please re-charge my T-Money card with ______ won.
T-Money를 _____원 충전해 주세요. [T-money reul ____ won chungjeon hae juseyo, 🎵 T-money lule ____ won choong john hay chu say oh]
- I don’t know if this is the proper complete sentence, to be honest, but it works for me and I am preeeeettty sure it’s right???? Maybe? Regardless it gets our point across 🙂
- You honestly can just go to the convenience store, stick out your T-Money card, hand over the cash, and say “choong john hay chu say oh” and tell them how much when they ask you a question.
*Tip: they only accept cash, don’t try to re-charge your t-money with a check card or credit card. it won’t work. What you could do is enable transportation on your check card when you set up your bank account! That way you don’t have to worry about the balance of the t-money. (T-money is the transportation bus/subway pass if you don’t already know!)
봉투 [bong tu, 🎵 bong tu — but “bong” is not like the ones you smoke out of lol, the “o” sound is more like the one you hear in “own” or “tone”. ]
- You have to buy garbage bags to throw away trash in this country.
- Pull out a “봉투 있어요?” (bong tu ee suh yo?) at your local convenience store/mart and you’ll be golden.
- Also helpful because when you buy things, the cashier will ask you if you want a bag (listen for the key word ‘bong tu’) and you can just either say yes or no
* if you’re buying garbage bags, make sure you’re buying the right one for your own region!
**What you should really do is download papago, my life saviour, because it can translate photos, audio, and text. **
Okay that’s it from me for now, if I learn more/realize I use other phrases in my daily life, I’ll be sure to update!