The lesson for today is on 인사 which is, Korean Greetings!
I’m sure if you’ve watched any Korean drama or rather heard your favorite idol speak, you would be familiar with what we’ll be learning today but for those who are not familiar, don’t worry because we got you covered with today’s lesson. In the upcoming lessons this week, we’ll be learning the different greetings in Korean and our topic for today is – How to say “Hello” in Korean!
Now, we’ll be dividing it into Informal and Formal – including the standard way, and the more formal way of saying these greetings, and a bonus too. Let’s get started with the Informal way first!
The informal way of saying Hello is – 안녕 (Romanised pronunciation – Annyeong). Now, you can use 안녕 to greet your friends, peers or someone who is younger to you. If you meet someone for the first time and that person is the same age as you, it would be better to get close to them before you use this informal way of greeting.
The formal way of saying Hello is –
- STANDARD WAY – 안녕하세요 (Romanised pronunciation : An-nyeong-ha-se-yo). This is a formal/polite but most standard way of saying hello in Korean. You can use this to greet anyone who is older than you, someone you’re meeting for the first time, your colleagues, etc.
- MORE FORMAL WAY – 안녕하십니까 (Romanised pronunciation : An-nyeong-ha-sim-ni-kka). This is the most formal way of saying hello in Korean. It is often used in speeches, announcements, or sometimes to greet someone’s super boss, it is used to show high level of respect to someone.
If you noticed the romanised spelling has a “m” even though the Korean spelling has “ㅂ” which has the sound of ‘b’. That’s because, when “ㅂ” is followed by an “ㄴ” , it sounds more like a ‘m’ rather than a ‘b’.
안녕하다 – is the basic dictionary form and it means “to be peaceful/healthy”, and all three ways of saying Hello are derived from it. When you ask someone 안녕하세요?, you’re literally asking them “How are you?/Are you peaceful or healthy?”.
BONUS – In the English language, we tend to use a simple “Hello” in many ways even while talking on the phone but in Korean, there is another way of saying Hello on the phone. It’s 여보세요 (Romanised pronunciation : yeo-bo-se-yo). You can use this when you answer your phone, even when you don’t know who has called you. But keep in mind that this way of greeting has to be used only when you’re talking on the phone, don’t greet people using this in person.
With this we end today’s lesson! I’m sure it was a very simple one for most of you but it’s never too bad to do a revision of something you’ve already learnt. I’ll be back with another lesson tomorrow. Till then, Happy Learning!