I was in Seoul for five days and it was a fascinating experience to personally hear Koreans speak and try out my little skills. Being able to read Hangul is an advantage at least, so having that pocket dictionary will at least help you in case you can’t speak the language.
Some of the most helpful greetings I have used are:
- 안녕하세요 – annyeonghaseyo, which is an overly used phrase equivalent to good morning, good evening, hi or hello
- 감사합니다 – kamsahamnida, to say thank you and i have also used 고마와요 (komawayo) after being served when we dined in.
- 괜찮아 / 괜찮아요 (gwaenchana/gwaenchanayo) is very handy to say its okay, no problem or are you okay? (just change the intonation).
Honestly I am not confident to speak the language but there are times that I am forced, instead of just doing some sign language. It really helps to know the basics:
- 예/어니오 (ye/aniyo) which mean yes and no respectively are very basic as a reply to simple questions.
- ~ 즈세요 (~juseyo) the polite ending which means please give me. This has been very useful when asking for something specially on traditional Korean restaurant where people don’t speak English at all. I remember ordering rice and requesting for water using this phrase and it goes like this:
- 밥 즈세요 (Bap juseyo) – ordering rice.
- 물 즈세요 (mull juseyo) – requesting for water.
- 얼마나요? (olmanayo) simple but polite way to ask ‘how much?’
- ~이/에요 (i.eyo/eyo) noun plus this ending is proven to be very helpful its like asking or saying..’is this ~’. I remember using this to ask if the building in front of us is what we are looking for. Orange Shock 이에요? (Is this Orange Shock?)
- ~ 좋아요 (chuayo) this verb ending could mean ‘to like’, and I had the guts to say to an 아즈씨 (ajusshi or polite way to address an old man) 휘성씨 좋아해요 (Wheesungsshi chuahaeyo). Got it 😉 Wheesung is the famous R&B singer in Korea who is under Orange Shock label.
It was fun roaming around Seoul Korea. Having a first hand experience trying at least a part of these things that I kept on studying since last year was worth it. Much more, saying the above phrase the Korean way is fun. I love the intonation. I need to be better in speaking the language when I go back. 한극말을 잘 하고싶어 (Hangukmareul jal hagoshipo) I wish to be good in Korean.