How to Introduce Yourself in Korean | Simple Introduction and Basic Greetings

*** Note: I do not use romanized lettering for the conversation below. Please refer to my Learn Hangeul post series to learn the Korean alphabet to learn the pronunciation of the letters for the phrases below. Thank you πŸ™‚ ***

Β  Β  Β This is the first of hopefully many to come of conversational learning posts. I will begin with one or two small dialogues, explain the conversation piece by piece, and then give you all more phrases or vocabulary that may be commonly used or heard in a typical conversation. I’m pretty bad at small talk in my native language, so if you have any suggestions of topics you would like to cover or have other phrases or vocabulary words you think would be useful, please feel free to comment below.

Person 1: μ•ˆλ…•ν•˜μ„Έμš”!
Person 2: μ•ˆλ…•ν•˜μ„Έμš”!

Person 1: 제 이름은 μ€ν˜œμž…λ‹ˆλ‹€.
Person 2: λ§Œλ‚˜μ„œ λ°˜κ°‘μŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€! 제 이름은 μ˜ν¬μž…λ‹ˆλ‹€.
Person 1: λ°˜κ°‘μŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€!

Person 2: μ•ˆλ…•νžˆκ³„μ„Έμš”!
Person 1: μ•ˆλ…•νžˆ κ°€μ„Έμš”!

Β  Β  Β All right! Now, let’s break this short (and maybe somewhat awkward) conversation down. We can think of this scenario as two people meeting for the first time. As mentioned in the past, present, and future tense posts, there are different levels of endings we can use based on the age or status of the person you’re speaking to. To keep this simple, we’re going to use the formal version.

Person 1: μ•ˆλ…•ν•˜μ„Έμš”!Β – “Hello!”
Person 2: μ•ˆλ…•ν•˜μ„Έμš”!Β – “Hello!”

Β  Β  Β The phrase “μ•ˆλ…•ν•˜μ„Έμš”” is the most commonly used form of “Hello”. Therefore, in the first section of this conversation, we can see Person 1 and Person 2 greeting each other with “μ•ˆλ…•ν•˜μ„Έμš”!”, or “Hello!”.

Person 1: 제 이름은 μ€ν˜œμž…λ‹ˆλ‹€.Β – “My name is Eun Hye.”

Β  Β  Β Let’s look at just the first line (Person 1), 제 is a humble way to say “my” and used in conjunction with the polite (μš”) and formal speech patterns (as seen above).

Β  Β  Β Next, we see “이름은“. The word “이름” translates to “name”. Directly following “이름” we see “은“. This is what is known as the Topic Marker / Topic Particle and shows the topic of the sentence or who the sentence is referring to; there are two versions of the Topic Marker (-은 and -λŠ”). -은 is used when the last letter of the word before it ends is a consonant (곡원은 – the park), and -λŠ” is used when the last letter of the word before it ends in a vowel (μ‹œκ³„λŠ” – the clock). This particle basically means that you are only talking about this person/thing, nothing else. Going back to the sentence “제 이름은 μ€ν˜œμž…λ‹ˆλ‹€.” this person is saying “ONLY my name is Eun Hye.” or “As for me, my name is Eun Hye.” The Topic Marker can be a pretty confusing topic for many learners, and there will be another post fully dedicated to explaining it in the future. πŸ™‚

Β  Β  Β Lastly, we see “μ€ν˜œμž…λ‹ˆλ‹€.” μ€ν˜œ is the name of Person 1 in this conversation, and “μž…λ‹ˆλ‹€” is the formally conjugated form of the verb 이닀 (to be). Therefore, “μ€ν˜œμž…λ‹ˆλ‹€.” is literally “Eun Hye is” or “Eun Hye equals”.

Β  Β  Β Putting all of the above explanations together, we can see that “제 이름은 μ€ν˜œμž…λ‹ˆλ‹€.” translates to “My name is Eun Hye.”

*** BONUS: Another (and shorter) way to introduce yourself is “μ €λŠ” _____μž…λ‹ˆλ‹€.” Literally “I am _____.” or “I equal _____.”

Person 2:Β λ§Œλ‚˜μ„œ λ°˜κ°‘μŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€! 제 이름은 μ˜ν¬μž…λ‹ˆλ‹€.Β – “Nice to meet you! My name is Yeong Hui.”
Person 1:Β λ°˜κ°‘μŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€! – “Nice to meet you!”

Β  Β  Β Person 2 then replies to Person 1 with “λ§Œλ‚˜μ„œ λ°˜κ°‘μŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€! 제 이름은 μ˜ν¬μž…λ‹ˆλ‹€.” The first sentence, “λ§Œλ‚˜μ„œ λ°˜κ°‘μŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€!” basically means “It’s nice to meet you.” For a more in-depth look, let’s break it down into its literal meaning. The first part, “λ§Œλ‚˜μ„œ” is a conjugation ofΒ λ§Œλ‚˜λ‹€Β (to meet) andΒ -μ„œ, which can be added onto the end of verbs that are not at the end of the sentence to mean “because”. The second part, “λ°˜κ°‘μŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€!” is a formally conjugated form of λ°˜κ°‘λ‹€Β (to be glad). So, the phrase “λ§Œλ‚˜μ„œ λ°˜κ°‘μŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€!” literally means “Because I meet you, I am glad.” or more grammatically correct “Because I (have met/am meeting) you, I am glad.” The second part of the sentence is the same format as mentioned in the last section and gives the name of Person 2, Yeong Hui.

Β  Β  Β Eun Hye replies to Yeong Hui by saying “λ°˜κ°‘μŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€!” Here, she is also saying “Nice to meet you.” while omitting λ§Œλ‚˜μ„œ“, which makes the sentence more simple while still having the same meaning and politeness.

Person 2: μ•ˆλ…•νžˆ κ³„μ„Έμš”!
Person 1: μ•ˆλ…•νžˆ κ°€μ„Έμš”!

Β  Β  Great job! You’ve made it to the last block of text! Let’s finish strong and start having super simple conversations!

In this block of text, we see that each person is saying something similar, but not quite the same. This is another situation where new learners might get confused, I know I did before I began practicing aloud. Each of the sentences above means “good-bye,” but each is used in different situations.Β 

μ•ˆλ…•νžˆ κ³„μ„Έμš”Β  is used when the person speaking is leavingΒ and the person the speaker is speaking to isΒ staying wherever they are (literally means “stay in peace”)

μ•ˆλ…•νžˆ κ°€μ„Έμš”Β is used when the person speaking is staying and the person the speaker is speaking to is leaving (literally means “go in peace”)

Β  Β  Β To clarify the difference a bit more, let’s imagine Person 1 is sitting at a desk reading and Person 2 is getting ready to leave the library. Person 2 begins to walk away from the table, says to Person 1 “μ•ˆλ…•νžˆ κ³„μ„Έμš”!“, and begins walking out of the room. Person 1 looks up from their books to see Person 2 walking toward the door and says “μ•ˆλ…•νžˆ κ°€μ„Έμš”!“. That is a simple situation in which each of the two “good-bye” phrases above would be used. Hopefully, that example helped distinguish the difference between the two!

Β  Β  Β You did it! You’ve made it to the end of the conversation and have learned how to greet someone, introduce yourself, and say good-bye to someone in less than 900 words! Go you! If you want to challenge yourself by trying out some other phrases related to greetings, check out the extra vocabulary listed below, and I’ll talk to everyone in the next post! ❀


Phrases and Vocabulary:

μ•ˆλ…•ν•˜μ„Έμš”. = Hello.

쒋은 μ•„μΉ¨μž…λ‹ˆλ‹€. = Good morning.

μ•ˆλ…•νžˆ μ£Όλ¬΄μ„Έμš”. = Goodnight.

제 이름은 μ€ν˜œμž…λ‹ˆλ‹€. = My name is ____.

μ €λŠ” _____μž…λ‹ˆλ‹€.Β = I am _____. (an alternative to “My name is _____.”)

λ§Œλ‚˜μ„œ λ°˜κ°‘μŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€! = It’s nice to meet you!

μ•ˆλ…•νžˆ κ³„μ„Έμš”. = Good-bye (the speaker is leaving, the listener is staying)

μ•ˆλ…•νžˆ κ°€μ„Έμš”. = Good-bye (the speaker is staying, the listener is leaving)

수고 ν•˜μ„Έμš”. = Good-bye (to someone still working when you leave ***NOTE: Only use if the person is younger than you. Don’t use if the person working is older than you.)

제 = my (humble/polite)

이름 = Name



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