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Frequently Used Emoticons by Koreans Posted by on Jul 12, 2017 in Korean Culture, Korean Language

Do you believe a picture is worth a thousand words? Emojis and emoticons are changing the way we communicate with the people around us. Can you count how many times you used them in your text messages today? How familiar are you with emoticons that Korean people often use in their text messages? In this post, we will explore the list of emoticons that are frequently used by Korean people.

Whether you are looking for a more convenient way to express your thoughts and emotions to your Korean friends, or you are trying to decode emoticons from their text messages, the following list of examples could be quite useful to you. If you are a beginning Korean language learner, you can use these as way to translate your feelings instead of spelling out what you want to say. If you are an advanced Korean learner, you can use these to convey your intended tones along with your Korean words, such as being friendly, sad, silly, angry, frustrated, etc.

  • Being happy or satisfied




  • Laughing sounds
ㅋㅋㅋ (keh keh keh / kah kah kah)
ㅎㅎㅎ (ha ha ha / hi hi hi / he he he)

  • Feeling shy or embarrassed



  • Wink


  • Crying: these are images of tears rolling down the face.



  • Whoops/mistakes: the ; sign is an expression of sweating. More ; signs mean you are sorrier for your mistakes.


^^;     ^^;;  ^^;;;

  • Being speechless or surprised





  • Feeling very angry



  • Being cold

{{ _ }}


  • Sleeping


  • Okay

There are many more emoticons that Koreans use, however try to become familiar with the above examples for now. I hope you will have fun learning and using these in communicating with your Korean friends in the future.

감사합니다! (Thank you!)

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About the Author:Kyung-Hwa

안녕하세요? My name is Kyung-Hwa, and I am a native of South Korea. I am accustomed to both English and Korean languages and cultures. I greatly appreciate and love both of them. I am passionate about learning different languages, and I have studied English, Japanese, and Spanish. In my spare time, I take joy in singing, playing the piano, and reading books. I also enjoy traveling around the world, meeting people, and embracing new cultures and languages...


  1. Allen:

    What does ~^^* mean ?