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A business card is quite small in size but plays a key role when you meet someone. This tiny business card represents you or your counterpart’s face displaying their name, title, job, company, contact information, etc. It becomes a useful tool to initiate a conversation or in helping to figure out how to deal with each other accordingly.
When you meet someone for the first time, especially in a business setting, you will exchange business cards with your counterpart. A business card is called a 명함 in Korean. Even though 명함 is a tiny piece of paper, 명함 presents a good source of information to initiate a conversation: 이름 (name), 직업 (job), 직함 (title), 회사 (company), and 연락처 (contact information), etc.
Korean culture is based on respecting others. When you meet someone for the first time and exchange business cards, it is important to treat their business cards with respect. The following video and note will explain appropriate manners that you can apply when you exchange business cards with Koreans.
* It is important to take a look at the card and confirm the person’s name, title, etc. before you put it away.
* A person with a lower rank first passes the card to a higher-ranking person. However, when you are in an equal status with your counterpart, you might exchange business cards simultaneously.
Every situation will be slightly different, however, remember to apply these basic protocols and show politeness during your meeting. Beside your effort to use proper etiquette, don’t forget to try to use Korean phrases such as 감사합니다 (Thank you.) and 천만에요 (You are welcome). Korean people will appreciate your effort to follow appropriate etiquette and display interests in the Korean culture.
감사합니다! (Thank you!)