One of the first words that we learn as language learners is none other than Hello. We all know how to say it in the Korean language, but do you know there can be 10 different ways to say Hello in Korean?
Third one will definitely be something new for you!
The most common and first words learned by any student is 안녕하세요 (annyeong-haseyo). It comes from 안녕하다 (annyeong-hada), and unlike English’s Hello, this adjective has a meaning. It means “peace, well being”.
안녕하세요? Used to come with a question mark since it was a question when asked meant that the person wanted to ask you “Are you at peace?”, “Are you good?”.
안녕하십니까 (annyeong-hashimnikka) is the honorific version of 안녕하세요. However, as the first version is used widely in everyday language, this formal one differs from the situation.
안녕하십니까 has been used only in extremely formal settings, maybe in the news channel or political discussions on the television.
People don’t choose to use this in daily life.
3) 밥 먹었어요?
If we were to breakdown 밥 먹었어요? (bab-meog-eoss-eoyo?), we get 밥 which means cooked rice and 먹었어요? Which means “have you had?” or “did you have?”.
However, 밥 also stands for “meal” in Korean language. Not grammatically or linguistically, but culturally. Since Korea’s main food is rice, they love to have it everyday. Which is why it’s culturally a factor to ask somebody if they have eaten sometimes as even Hello.
Interesting, isn’t it?
4) 잘 지내세요?
Sometimes people skip 안녕하세요 and directly mean to ask “How are you?”. And for this we have 잘 지내세요? (Jal Jinaeseyo?). This is purely in the honorific format and you can use this with your superior, colleagues, even your friends parents, and whoever you use a formal tone with.
The literal meaning is “Are you good?, Are you well?”.
Also read: Benefits of learning Korean in India in 2022
5) 좋은 아침이에요
좋은 아침입니다/아침이에요 literally means Good Morning. One can definitely replace Hello with Good morning.
6) 만나서 반갑습니다.
만나서 반갑습니다 (mannaseo phangapseumnida) literally meaning, “After meeting you, I feel pleased, glad”. The phrasal meaning however is Nice to meet you.
The next time you meet someone, you have 6 different ways to greet them!