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Navigating South Korea’s Roadway Signs Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in Korean Culture, Korean Language, Vocabulary

Whether you are navigating through the streets of South Korea on foot or using transportation, you will encounter many signs that guide and warn pedestrians and drivers throughout the country. Many of them provide instant communication for both Korean and English speakers, however, there are also signs that appear only in Korean.

Are you ready to test your knowledge of some of the roadway signs in South Korea? Can you look at the following pictures and guess what kind of information each one conveys?

1.                                                                                           2.


       3.                                                                                         4.


        5.                                                                                       6.


        7.                                                                                             8.



  2. 일방통행 (ONE WAY)
  3. 감속운행 (REDUCED SPEED AHEAD) – around the pedestrian crosswalks
  4. 사고잦은곳속도를 줄이시오 (ACCIDNET PRONE AREA-REDUCED SPEED AHEAD) – main roads or highways
  5. 진입금지 (DO NOT ENTER)
  6. 주차금지견인지역 (NO PARKING  – TOW AWAY ZONE)
  7. 주차금지 (NO PARKING) – You will also see some that look the same as the American sign.
  9. 공영주차장 (PUBLIC PARKING) – Please pay attention to the hours and fees

How about this sign? Can you figure out what this sign represents?

      10. 보행 스마트폰 주의 (Its direct translation is “watch out for a smartphone while walking”)

You will see this sign near the crosswalks downtown. It is urging pedestrians to pay attention to the road while they are walking or crossing the street. This sign is also warning the drivers to watch out for smartphone zombies around the crosswalk.

While exploring many streets and roads in South Korea, you will see many visible signs in red, blue, yellow, white, etc. colors. These simple signs with pictograms and words provide effective communication tools not only to Koreans but also to foreigners in Korea, helping to overcome the language barrier. Simple signs can say more than words in order to keep you safe and help you to navigate through the country effectively.

 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. Chu, Uchong(주우종):

    I do not express how much thank you each time for your ‘Learning Korean’ but I used to send my saying like this ‘Much appreciated’.
    Please be happy Summer.

    • Kyung-Hwa:

      @Chu, Uchong(주우종) 안녕하세요!
      I have truly appreciated your comments and kind words. I do enjoy writing this blog and sharing Korean language and culture with others.
      Have a wonderful summer, too.