Basic Korean #3 – Asking for Directions

Asking for Directions is often the major problem when foreigners visit Korea by themselves. Equipping yourself with some of the most basic direction vocabularies will definitely help you along the way.

For a start, approaching young people and asking them in English will be the very first option to try out your luck. If they understand your question and then reply you with what you want to know, good for you. If not, it is time to try asking them in Korean, using what you know.

First of all, greet them with a smile.

  1. 안녕하세요 Annyeong Haseyo (Hello)

Then, you can ask them to direct you to the location which you want to go. Say for example, you are lost and you want to go to the nearest Metro station. You can say:

(지하철) 어디에 있어요?
(Ji-ha-cheol) o-di-eh issoyo?
Where is the (Metro Station)?

OR

(이태원 역) 어떻게 가요?
(Itaewon york) ot-toh-kkae ga yo?
How do I get to (Itaewon Station)?

Some of the words that you can look out for while they are answering:

  1. 여기 Yorgi (Here)
  2. 저기 Chorgi (Over There)
  3. 왼쪽 Wen-Jok (Left)
  4. 오른쪽 Oren-Jok (Right)
  5. 쭉 Jook (Straight)
  6. 뒤 Dui (Behind)
  7. 앞에 Ah-Ppeh (In Front)

If you think that asking for directions from foreigners is not for you, then it will be best to do a thorough research on the attractions that you will be going. Buy WIFI egg or SIM Card the first thing you reach Korea Airport. Then install apps to help you navigate through the Metro and the attractions.

One of the Metro app that is worth downloading is “Korea Subway“.

  • This app support 6 languages : English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Malay.
  • You can choose the starting point (where you are currently) and ending point (where you want to head to). After which, the app will show you the fastest route, as well as the number of transfers (if any) and number of stations to reach your destination.
  • You can also know the estimated time to reach your destination.
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Basic Korean #2 – Topping Up T-Money

One of the very first thing to have when going Korea is to have their T-Money, also known as EZ-Link Card to Singaporeans. T- Money can be used for many purposes. One of the main purpose is for Transportation purposes. It can also be used when Purchasing items in Convenience Stores.

Topping up of T-Money is very convenient since it can be done at any convenient store or subway station. But the main question here is: HOW TO SAY IT?

Just remember this statement:


Please top up 5,000 won on my T-money card.
티머니 카드에 오천원 충전해 주세요.
T-money card-de-eh oh-chon-won chung-jon-hae ju-sae-yo.
티머니, T-money, T-money
카드에, card-de-eh, card
오천원, oh-chon-won, 5000 + won
충전해, chung-jon-hae, recharge
주세요, ju-sae-yo, give me

The value can be changed of course.

10,000 won: man-won
20,000 won: ee-man-won

Basic Korean #1 – Ordering in Korean Restaurants

One of the most common headache problems travelers get is when your stomach is growling and you need to EAT!

As a foreigner, you might not know Korean fluently. But fret not, practise and remember these common expressions and you will at least be able to eat something and not starve yourself while in Korea.


주세요.
Juseyo.
Please give it to me.

이거 주세요.
Eguh juseyo.
Please give me/us this.

김치 더 주세요.
Kimchi duh juseyo.
Please give me/us more kimchi.


안맵게 해주세요.
Ahnmepgae haejuseyo.
Please don’t make it spicy.


삼겹살 일인분 주세요.
Samgyupsal eelinboon juseyo.
Please give me/us one serving of pork belly.

Or maybe you want two servings.

삼겹살 이인분 주세요.
Samgyupsal einboon juseyo.
Please give me/us two servings of pork belly.

What if you want three servings?

삼겹살 삼인분 주세요.
Samgyupsal saminboon juseyo.
Please give me/us three servings of pork belly.

See a pattern yet? To change the number of servings, you pair a Sino-Korean number with “INBOON.”

One serving: 일인분
Two servings: 이인분
Three servings: 삼인분
Four servings: 사인분
Five servings: 오인분
Six servings: 육인분


계산서 주세요.
Gyesansuh juseyo.
Please give me/us the bill.

계산해 주세요.
Gyesanhae juseyo.
Check, please.


After you have eaten and want to compliment the owner for cooking such a delicious meal? Try saying this.

맛있어요.
Masshisuhyo.
It’s delicious.


Not sure of how to say it? Watch this video to hear how it’s being said.