“Hello” and “Hi” in Korean Posted by Kyung-Hwa on Sep 19, 2018 in Korean Culture, Korean Language, Pronunciation, Vocabulary
Do you know how to greet someone in Korean? Learning how to say “hello” in Korean would be a great way to initiate conversation with Korean speakers. In this post, I will introduce you to three different ways to greet someone in Korean.
Unlike 영어 (English), 한국어 (the Korean language) does not have separate 인사 (greetings) for 아침 (morning), 점심 (afternoon), and 저녁 (evening). Once you learn the following, you can use them any time of the day when you greet someone. Therefore, you can kill three birds, not two, with one stone in this case.
- How to say “Hi!” in Korean: If you greet your 친구 (friends) or someone that you use 반말 (casual speech pattern), you can wave your 손 (hand) from side to side as Americans do, while you say this simple greeting in the following:
1. 안녕! [an-nyeong] : Hi! – Informal
- How to say “Hello” in Korean: You can say one of the following greetings, depending on your 관계 relationship with the speaker:
2. 안녕하십니까! [an-nyeong-ha-sip-ni-kka] : Hello! – Formal
3. 안녕하세요! [an-nyeong-ha-se-yo] : Hello! – Polite
Here is a useful tip on how to bow. When you use “안녕하십니까” or “안녕하세요,”don’t forget to bow to the person 공손히 (politely). Showing 존경심 (respect) for seniority and age is a significant part of Korean 문화 (culture). In formal situations, you can bend your 머리 (head) and 허리 (waist) about 45 degrees while looking down (no eye contact with the other person). To be polite, you can bend your head and waist about 15 or 30 degrees (no eye contact with the other person) depending on the occasion.
Here is another useful tip relating to “안녕.” As soon as learn to say 안녕! (Hi!) in Korean, you will be able to say “Bye” to your friends in Korean. Unlike formal and polite forms of “Hello” in Korean, informal 안녕! can be used for both “Hi!” and “Bye!”
I hope the above examples will help you to build fluency in your Korean learning.