Spoken Korean 

The basic expressions are presented in this section in both South and North Korean versions of the standardized Korean language. That also makes possible to see the difference in the usage of language in the two parts of Korea. It does not mean that one expression in not understandable in the other part of Korea but it mostly the matter of style and dialect. However, some words and phrases are mutually uncommon for Koreans in the North and the South and may not be understood at all. 

Common greeting means literally "Are you doing well?". So the reply goes as "Yes. Are you doing well?". The greeting is polite and appropriate for any time of day. 

South Korean standard 

안녕하세요? An-nyeong ha-se-yo

네, 안녕하세요? Ne, an-nyeong ha-se-yo?

North Korean standard 

안녕하십니까? An-nyeong ha-sim-ni-kka?

예, 안녕하십니까? Ye, an-nyeong ha-sim-ni-kka?

Farewell sayings differ depending on who is going to go and who is going to stay. So the leaving person(s) would say something like "Stay well!". The staying person(s) would say "Go well!" to the person(s) leaving. The examples below follow in the same order:  

South Korean standard 

안녕히 계세요.  An-nyeong-hi ke-se-yo.

안녕히 가세요. An-nyeong-hi ka-se-yo.  

 또 뵙겄어요. Tto poep-kess-e-yo.

North Korean standard 

안녕히 계십시오. An-neong-hi ke-sip-si-o.  

안녕히 가십시오. An-neong-hi ka-sip-si-o. 

또 마나 뵙겠습니다. Tto man-na poep-kess-seum-


Koreans use titles, addressing each other, because the names are usually not used except very close friends. Only your own name be yourself can be used without a title.
The most polite title for the older person or somebody in high status is 선생 (seon-saeng) that means "born earlier" but is translated usually as "teacher". In South Korea the title is enforced with honorific (polite) suffix 님 (nim): 선생님 (seon-saeng-nim). North Koreans prefer not to bother themselves with so much politeness in addressing each other, and they use only 선생 (seon-saeng) without 님 (nim). But it is mostly for addressing doctors, teachers, old persons. More common title in North Korea is 동지 (tong-ji) for high ranking people and 동무 (tong-mu) for equals, and the meaning is "comrade". In South Korea they use 씨 (-ssi) instead. All these titles are used after a name of a male ore female person.  
English title Mister and Miss are commonly used as neutral form of calling a person in South Korea. For example, 미스터 김 (Mister Kim) or 미스 최 (Miss Choi). So in contrary with the Korean original titles the "imported" ones are used before a name as in English. 
Addressing a young girl or unmarried woman South Koreans use the word 아가씨 (aga-ssi) which is not used in North Korea where the analogue of it is 처녀동무 (cheo-nyeo-tong-mu). It is appropriate to say it calling a waitress in restaurant or just in the street. 
For married and middle aged woman both side Koreans use the word 아주머니 (a-ju-meo-ni) or 아주마 (a-ju-ma), that means "aunty" and is good to use addressing aged waitress or the owner of the restaurant. For a respectful woman South Koreans use the title 사모님 (sa-mo-nim) "lady". 
A familiar title for a man can be 아저씨 (a-jeo-ssi) that is "uncle" and used to address, for example, a taxi driver.  
Common Phrases and Expressions

 Gratitude and appreciation in Korean can be expressed in a few ways. 

감사합니다.            (Kam-sa-ham-ni-da)                      Thank you! (in general)

고맙습니다.            (Ko-map-seum-ni-da)                     Thank you! (same)

수고하셨습니다.      (Su-go-ha-syeoss-seum-ni-da)      Thank you! (for your the efforts)

Apologies also have several different expressions.

미안합니다.            (Mi-an-ham-ni-da)                          Forgive me!

죄송합니다.            (Choe-song-ham-ni-da)                  I apologize! 

실레합니다.            (Sil-le-ham-ni-da)                           Excuse me!

The answer for appreciation and apologies would be (You're welcome! No worries):

South Korean standard

천만에요. (Chon-man-e-yo)  

괜찮습니다. (Kwaen-ch'an-seum-nida)

North Korean standard

천만의 말씀입니다. (Chon-man-e  mal-seum-


일없습니다. (Yi-rop-seum-ni-da)

Answering the telephone starts with an expression that means something like "Hey, listen!". It has some nuances in pronunciation in different parts of Korea. So it is easy to understand by just one word who picks up the phone, a person from South or North Korea.  

South Korean standard

여보세요. (Yeo-bo-se-yo)

North Korean standard

 여보시오. (Yo-bo-si-o)

There are some other common words and expressions which can allow to distinguish a North Korean speaker and a person from South Korea.  

South Korean standard

화장실 (hwa-jang-sil)   Restroom

가게 (ka-ge)                 Shop

우체국 (u-che-guk)      Post office

수표 (su-p'yo)               (Money) check 

싸인 (ssa-in)                 Signature

배터리 ( bae-teo-ri)      Electric battery    

웨이터 (we-i-t'eo)         Waiter

한국말 (han-guk-mal)  Korean language

North Korean standard

 위생실 (wi-saeng-sil)  Restroom 

상점 (sang-jeom)         Shop, store, supermarket

우편국 (u-pyeon-guk) Post office

돈표 (ton-p'yo)             (Money) check

수표 (su-p'yo)               Signature

전지약 (chon-ji-yak)    Electric battery

접대원 (cheop-tae-won) Waiter

조선말 (cho-seon-mal)  Korean language

                                         우로말 (u-ri-mal) Our (Korean) Language 

Questions and Question Words

어디 (eo-di) Where?     화장실 어딥니까? (haw-jan-sil eo-dim-ni-kka?)  Where is a restroom? 

                                   NK: 위생실 어딥니까? (wi-saeng-sil eo-dim-ni-kka?)  Where is a restroom? 

언제 (eon-je)  When?    그는 언제 옵니까?  (key-neun eon-je om-ni-kka)  When is he (she) going to come?  

뭣     (mueot) What?     이게 뭡니까? (i-ge muom-ni-kka)   What is it?      

누가 (nuga) Who?         누가 왔습니까?  (nu-ga-wass-seum-ni-kka) Who has come? 

왜     (we) Why?            돈 왜 없습니까?  (ton we op-seum-ni-kka) Why is there no money?

어느 (еo-neu) Which?  어느 나라 사람입니까? (ei-neu na-ra sa-ram-im-ni-kka? What country are you from?

얼마 (eol-ma)               얼맙니까? (eul-mam-ni-kka)              How much?

The basic word order in a Korean sentence makes it difficult to translate into European languages, because the verb, like in Japanese, usually comes at the very end. Pronouns are not necessary to use at all if it is clear who is the subject by the context. The verb in the sentence consists of the word stem, suffix and ending. Here is the example of using the verb 가다 (ka-da) where "ka" ia the stem, and "-da" is the ending of its infinitive form. To express various meanings, we will add different suffixes following the word stem "ka". 

Let's start with the phrase "I go to Seoul", that consists only of the two words: "Seoul" and "go". By a situation, it can also mean "We go to Seoul", "He goes to Seoul", "She goes to Seoul" or "They go to Seoul" depending on the situation. If it would be necessary to clarify who exactly we are talking about it is appropriate to use a pronoun. In this part, we are just studying the verb's forms, so it doesn't matter if we name the subject of the action. 

To express the direction the particle 에 (-e) is used after the name of the place, Seoul in this case. Each sentence is concluded by endings -"yo" or "-eo-yo", and "-kka" is a question particle.  

서울에 가요.              (Seo-ur-e ka-yo)                         I go to Seoul.

서울에 가요?             (Seo-ur-e ka-yo?)                        Do you go to Seoul?  

서울에 갈까?             (Seo-ur-e kal-kka?)                     Should I go to Seoul?

서울에 가겠어요.       (Seo-ur-e ka-gess-eo-yo)          I will go to Seoul.  

서울에 가고 있어요.   (Seo-ur-e ka-go iss-eo-yo)        I am on the way to Seoul.

서울에 가고 싶어요.   (Seo-ur-e ka-go sip'-eo-yo)       I want to go to Seoul. 

서울에 가기 싫어요.   (Seo-ur-e ka-gi sir-eo-yo)        I don't like to go to Seoul. 

서울에 가자요.          (Seo-ur-e ka-ja-yo)                    Let's go to Seoul.

서울에 갑시다.          (Seo-ur-e kap-si-da)                  Let's go to Seoul.

서울에 가세요.          (Seo-ur-e ka-se-yo)                   Go to Seoul.

서울에 가지 마세요.   (Seo-ul-e ka-ji ma-se-yo)          Don't to Seoul.

서울에 갔어요.           (Seo-ur-e kass-eo-yo)               He left for Seoul.

서울에 가지 않았어요. (Seo-ur-e ka-ji an-ass-eo-yo)  He did not go to Seoul.

서울에 안가요.           (Seo-ur-e an-ka-yo)                  I am not going to Seoul.

서울에 안갔어요.        (Seo-ur-e an-kass-eo-yo)         I didn't go to Seoul.

서울에 가지 않았어요. (Seo-ur-e ka-ji an-ass-eo-yo)  I didn't go to Seoul.

서울에 가지 못했어요. (Seo-ur-e ka-ji mot-haess-eo-yo)  I couldn't go to Seoul.

서울에 가보세요.         (Seo-ur-e ka-po-se-yo)           Try to go to Seoul. 

서울에 갔었어요.         (Seo-ur-e kass-eoss-eo-yo)    I had been away in Seoul. 

Particles in Korean language

There are some grammatical elements, that help to understand the relation between words in the sentence. Sometimes, in the spoken language particles can drop out. 

Subject is marked with a particle 이 (-i) after a word ending with consonant, and 가 (- ga) after a vowel. For example:

제가 서울에 가지 못했어요. (Je-ga Seo-ur-e ga-ji mot-haess-eo-yo). "I could not go to Seoul".

책이 재미 없어요. (Ch'aeg-i chae-mi eops-o-yo) "The book is not interesting". 

Object marker is the particle 을 (-eul) after a word ending with consonant, and 를 (- reul) after a vowel:

책을 읽어봅시다. (Ch'aeg-eul ilg-o-pop-si-da). "Let's read a book". 

편지를 쓰고 있습니다. (P'yeon-ji-reul sseu-go iss-seum-ni-da) "(I am) Writing a letter". 

Place and time of action or location is marked with particle 에 (-e), that means "to", "at" or "in":

집에 왔습니다. (Chib-e oass-seum-ni-da) "Came home".

어디에 있어요? (Eo-di-e iss-eo-yo?) Where is it? 

Direction and instrumental mark in Korean is the particle 로 (-ro) or 으로 (-eu-ro)

차로 왔어요. (Ch'a-ro oass-eo-yeo). Came by car. 

집으로 갑시다. (Chib-euro kap-si-da). Let's go home.

Particle 에서 (-eo-seo) means "from" in English and indicates a place of departure or any out-coming action. 

뉴욕에서 왔어요. (Niu-Yog-eo-seo oass-eo-yeo) Came from New York.