How to Say Happy New Year

Five days to go and its going to be 2009 already.  Despite the economic depression that hit the world late this year and the gloomy projections on growth  for 2009, there is still hope.  Moreso, these global situation will not stop us from spreading cheers and greeting each other for a blessed new year.

So much for the intro, i just wanted to share how to greet Happy New Year in Korean: 

새해 복 많이 보내세요 (Saehae bok manhi bonaeseyo).  This is literally translated as To send many new year blessings.  Somehow this is similar to how we always say Have a Prosperous New Year. 

If you just want to stick to the usual Happy New Year, you can say 행복한 새해 보내세요  (Haengbokhan saehae bonaeseyo).  This means to send a happy new year.


Merry Christmas

I feel so guilty not being able to update these past days… December is such a busy month in the Philippines.  It’s usual to attend to series of Christmas parties.

Since its going to be Christmas in a little while then let me say:

성탄절 잘 보내요! (Seongtancheol jal bonaeyo) literally means spend a good christmas but this is the common greeting during Christmas.

It’s also okay to say 성탄절 행복해요! (Seongtancheol haengbokhaeyo) now this means Happy Christmas. But saying Merry Christmas in Korean is of course acceptable too.  This is how it is written in Hangul 메리 크리스마스.

Hangul for Real

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.

Happy Birthday

Few weeks ago I have been writing about days, months and numbers.  Today since someone is celebrating her birthday, its timely to know how to day the greetings in Korean.  Birthday in Korean is 생일 (saeng-il) so to day happy birthday:

  • 생일 축하합니다 (saeng-il chukha-hamnida) this is polite formal way to say it
  • 생일 축하해요 (saeng-il chukha-haeyo) this is the casual polite way

Birth of a child is known as 탄생 (tansaeng) in Korea and birthplace would be 출생지 (chulsaengji).  To ask date of birth one may use the word, 생년월일 (saeng-nyon-wo-ril).


Easter in Korean

It’s Easter Sunday today and it’s good to know how easter greetings are said in Korean.  I am not sure if Christianity is a major religion in South Korea but I read there are Christians there though most do not have specific religion but are following Confucianism.

I asked over at yahoo answers how to say Happy Easter in Korea and this is what I got:

부활절을 잘 보내세요 – Puh-wha-choreul Jal  Bo-nae-se-yo

I just realized its not so different to how you say merry christmas you just change  부활절을 to 성탄절 song-tan-chol.  부활절을 (minus 을 which is object marker)  means Easter so 부활절을 잘 보내세요 literally means ‘have a well blessed easter’. 

I was thinking Christians in English speaking countries uses Happy Easter so probably in Korean this can be said this way too:

부활절 행복해세요 – Pu-wha-chol Heng-bok-hae-se-yo (in honorific polite terms) or drop the 세 so you will have  부활절 행복해요 – Pu-wha-chol Heng-bok-hae-yo  in polite casual or again drop the 요 ‘yo’ to make it intimate.

Christmas Greetings

I missed writing on this site as I was aways for couple of days for a vacation.   Since it is nearing Christmas, I asked my Korean friend how to extend greetings this holiday the Hanguk way.

At least from movies and dramas I watched, Koreans celebrates Christmas too. My friend said that they also use Merry Christmas and Happy New Year when greeting people but there is of course the Hanguk way.  Christmas is called 성탄절 (seong-tan-jeol) in Korea as such Merry Christmas can be said this way in Korea:

  • 성탄절 잘 보내 (seong-tan-jeol jal boe-nae) jal means to be good so i think this is wishing someone to have a good christmas.
  • 기쁜 성탄 (gi-ppeun seong-tan) since gippeun is happy in Korean I think this means happy christmas.
  • 크리스마스 잘 보내 (ku-ri-su-ma-su jal boe-nae) is a more common greetings.  One may find it funny its romanized that way but this is simply because of some hangul phoenetic rules but pronunciation is really not that far with the smooth Christmas in English.

See You…Please to Meet You

After the usual greetings and introductions there are some common phrases that we use almost everytime we are in that situation.  It is usual to appreciate meeting someone regardless if a new friend or someone whom you have not seen for a while. The following are some common phrases for this:

처음 뵙겠습니다 (cheo-um-bwep-kess-sum-ni-da)  which means I am pleased to make your acquiantance. This is the formal and honorific way to say it same goes with this:

방갑습니다 (pang-gap-sum-ni-da) which means ‘I see you, I am pleased’.

Sometimes when we greet our friends it is usual for us to say we want to see them again.  In most cases reply is not expected but its normal to say back the phrase like these:

또 뵙겠습니다 (tto-bwep-kess-sum-ni-da) which could mean ‘see you again’ the formal way.  또 봐요 (Ddo bowayo)  means the same but this is less formal than the first.

Word for the day is 네, simply means yes.