The “Speak Foreign to Me” guides are meant to be used as a starting point for your language learning. Whether you want a quick reference for your next trip, or you want to start the path to fluency, these guides are for you. 

With the rise of Korean pop culture (music, dramas, movies, fashion), has come a rise in the desire to learn Korean language. After all, aren’t you a little curious about what exactly is happening in “Gangnam Style”? Do you even know what “Gangnam” is without having to look it up? Korean, spoken predominately in the Korean peninsula, is still used quite often through the world by 77.2 million people. With our guide, we hope to help jump start your studies as you learn Korean, and hey, maybe you’ll get to use it in K-town or on your next visit to the country!


Korean Alphabet (한글)

*Because we are giving you the alphabet, we are not Romanizing any of the translations. I strongly urge you to learn Hangul before you start learning phrases.


Hello- 안녕하세요

Thank you- 감사합니다, 고맙습니다

You’re welcome- 

Where am I?- 여기 어디에요?
*(In Korean, you’d ask “Where is this?”)

Do you speak English?- 여어 해요?

Where is the bathroom?- 화장실 어디에요?

How are you?- 잘 진에세요?

I’m good- 잘 진에세요.

I’m okay- 괞차나요.

I’m fine- 괞차나요.

I’m angry-화났어요

I’m upset- 속상해요.

Go to…- …. 가요.

Goodbye- 안녕이가세요, 찰가요.


Red- 빨간색

Orange- 주황색

Yellow- 노란색

Green- 초록색

Blue- 파란색

Purple- 보라색

Pink- 분홍색

Gray- 회색

Brown- 밤색

Black- 검정색

White- 하얀색




under- 아래, 밑

with- 하고, (이)랑




in front of- 


1- 하나/일

2- 둘/이

3- 셋/삼

4- 넷/사

5- 다섯/오

6- 여섯/육

7- 일곱/칠

8- 여덟/팔

9- 아홉/구

10- 열/십

20- 스물/이십

30- 서른/삼십

40- 마흔/사십

50- 쉰/오십

60- 예순/육십

70- 일흔/칠십

80- 여든/파십

90- 아흔/구십

100- -/백

 *Note: To learn the differences between the two numbers, Dom & Hyo have an awesome infographic here.


head- 머리

hair- 머리카락

face- 얼굴

eyes- 눈





shoulders- 어깨


elbows- 팔꿈치


fingers- 손가락

stomach- 배


legs- 다리

knees- 무릎


toes- 발가락



kitchen- 부엌, 키친

bathroom- 화장실

bedroom- 침실

living room/den-  서재

basement- 지하실

study- 서재, 공부방

table- 테이블, 상, 시탁

bed- 침대 

window- 창문


couch/sofa- 소파

shower- 샤워

toilet- 변기

sink- 싱크대

refrigerator- 냉장고

mirror- 거울


apartment- 아파트

hospital- 병원

grocery store-슈퍼마켓

shopping mall- 쇼핑센터

market- 시장

school- 학교

movie theater- 영화관

restaurant- 식당


bakery- 빵집


car- 자동차

bus- 버스

airplane- 비행기

train- 기차

subway- 지하출

bicycle- 자정거

taxi- 텍시


to be- 이다

to do- 하다

to have- 있다

to see/watch- 보다

to feel- 들다

to walk- 걷다, 걸어가다

to go-가다

to read- 읽다

to listen- 듣다

to play- 놀다

to make- 만들다

to learn- 배우다

to study- 공부하다

to eat- 먹다

to drink- 마시다

to buy- 사다

to live- 살다

to know-알다

to forget- 잊다

to not know- 모르다

to lose- 잃다 (misplace)

to find- 찾다

to look for/ search- 찾다

to use- 쓰다

to understand- 알아듣다

to want- 원하다, 싶다

to need-필요하다

to sleep- 자다

to come- 오다

to love- 사랑하다

to hate- 싫어하다

to say- 말하다

to explore- 탐험하다

to discover- 발견하다

to travel- 여행하다

to talk- 말하다

to sing- 노래하다

to dance- 춤추다

to yell-소리치다

to type- 타자기를 치다

to write- 쓰다

to draw- 그림을 그리다

to hide- 숨기다

to complain- 투덜거리다

to work- 일하다

to give- 주다

to receive- 받다

to get- 얻다, 입수하다

to look- 보다

to wait- 기다리다


Dom & Hyo– If you want some quick, colorful graphics tucked away for practice, this site is a must. Dom creates really cute infographics ranging from the basics (like colors and emotions) to giving you more of a peak into Korean culture with things like street food or Korea’s take on emoticons.

Korean Class 101 This is a good place to learn the basics online. They have a ton of videos and activities to choose from. I will say it does get a bit annoying because you can buy different plans, so obviously you’re going to click on categories that will have one of those “Upgrade to View” type things. Still the most expensive plan ($23/month) is still cheaper than if you took a real class.

How to Study Korean I don’t personally use this, but my friend has been using it with a lot success. It also often pops up when I google grammar questions about Korean, so it’s a good all around study tool and excellent for beginners. They also have little tests at the end of each unit, so you can see how much you’ve learned.

SweetandTastyTV– If you have time to sit down and watch, these videos are great for learning specific words, pronouncing them, and using them in a sentence. Professor Oh uses a bunch of different characters to make them entertaining and hilarious, plus she offers some Korean culture videos as well.

Talk to Me in Korean– While you could start with this as a beginner, I just couldn’t stick with it when I was first learning. I recommend building up a vocabulary with either of the first three options and then starting to use TTMIK. The podcasts are really helpful with listening comprehension as well, and they have exercises halfway through the levels and at the end so you can keep practicing.


GLOSS: Korean– My friend recommended this to me as something the government uses to train foreign officers in the language quickly. It’s a bit more intense, and the site is dated, but it works for everyday conversation and what you might here if you lived in Korea. I put it in realia and not just learning, because you definitely can’t just jump into this site as a beginner and it really focuses on using realia (weather reports, TV shows, etc) to boost your understanding.

Korean Dramas Duh! You’d be missing out if you were learning Korean and not using its pop culture to help with your realia practice. Use either Viki or Drama Fever (I personally find that Viki’s translations while less “pretty” are more accurate), or head over to MBC, KBS, or SBS’s Youtube channels to see all their shows.

K-pop- Ah, K-pop. While you might be thinking of Backstreet Boys-esque groups, K-pop actually covers a wide range of music (including K-Indie and K-Hip Hop). I recommend listening to a song you like, looking up the lyrics in Hangul to listen along with, and then try singing as well. Always fun, and then you can head to 노래방 and show off what you’ve practiced!

Humans of Seoul– If you want something easy that’ll just pop up on your newsfeed, I recommend following Humans of Seoul. Just like Humans of NY. S/he writes out the Korean transcription first and then translates it, so you can practice your comprehension quickly. I would also look-up the Korean versions of other things you’re interested in (like fashion magazines, music sites, food blogs) and follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

Webtoons- Pretty similar to a manga but designed for mobile apps are webtoons. Both Naver and Daum have their own versions, and you can practice reading while having pictures to aid your understanding. I’m currently reading Cheese in Trap and Imaginary Cat.

Learn Korean with this Basic GUide

For general tips, check out our real tips for learning a foreign language.

Guide and Photographs by Samantha

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