Various Phrases for Well Wishes in the Korean Language

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Published: 17th November 2010
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Greeting someone with a warm "hi" is a universal expression that makes the other person feel welcome and it lets him perceive that the person is happy to see him. This kind of greeting is usual to men all over the world no matter what gender, age, beliefs or ethnicity.

In Korea, the commonly used greeting when seeing someone is "annyeonghaseyo" which is translated as "hi." The country is predominantly influenced by Confucianism thus as a result, there is an emphasis on hierarchy in society and respect for the elderly. Customs and traditions which demonstrate great respect for others and for older members of the community are still existent these days. It is a tradition for Koreans to bend when greeting people. If the two persons greeting one another have similar social status, they both bow. But, when one of the two men has a lower social position, he, who has a lower social status, only is required to bow during the salutations. An example of a relationship to which this traditional practice is employed is the instructor-pupil relationship. The pupil will bend towards the teacher. The instructor then nods to acknowledge his student's gesture. Bending is not the sole form of salutation practiced in Korea. A different form of greeting is by waving at each other when two close friends meet. In the business sphere, colleagues practice handshaking when they meet each other.

Always remember the rule of thumb to use the polite form of words or greetings when speaking to Koreans, which can be done by appending the suffix 'yo.' The word "annyeonghaseyo" is also translated as hi but the 'yo' suffix at the end turns it into the courteous form of hi. Those older than you, strangers or anyone in a higher social position should be spoken to using the polite form.

Aside from "annyeonghaseyo" there are added fundamental salutations you can get to know. To ask about somebody's well being and ask how the person is doing, the word "Jaljineseyo" can be spoken. To become more acquainted with somebody and when presenting yourself, you may say: "Hi, I am ." and the way to say this in Korean is "Anneyonghaseyo, ....... imni da." To ask someone what is his line of work in Korean, you may use "Jikup-I Mu-uht-ipnika?" or "What do you do?" in English. If you like the person's company or appreciate meeting him then you could say "Mannasuh Bangapseupni da" which translates to "happy to meet you!" There are other common expressions in Korean you may want to use some of which are "Shiksa-neun Hashutnayo?" which is "Have you had a meal yet?" and "Nalseega Johtseupnida" and it means "It's a fine weather."

One can employ different ways of greeting a person. When studying to greet people in the Korean lingo, it is important that you become acquainted with the basic words, phrases and sentences. Studying both the informal and formal greetings and their appropriate usage is also important.

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