When traveling to a new country, like Korea, it is important that you know how to introduce yourself in Korean so you are able to tell people all about yourself and ignite further conversations.
Learning how to introduce yourself in another language is one of the first things you should learn along with basic greetings and well wishes, so you are able to initiate social interactions, keep a conversation going and make lasting connections with others.
Korean culture is all based on respect, politeness, and a clear cultural hierarchy of social etiquette.
Knowing how to introduce yourself in a polite manner is an important part of Korean culture and you do not want to come across as rude by not introducing yourself to the people you meet.
Of course, there are many things to consider when introducing yourself, and introducing yourself fully will likely include saying your name, age, occupation, and where you are from.
This guide will break down all the different things you need to consider when introducing yourself in Korean so you can make a great first impression, make friends and immerse yourself in the culture.
Why Must You Learn to Introduce Yourself?
Although it can sometimes be daunting for some people to introduce themselves, especially in another country and in another language, it is important to learn how to do this for many reasons.
Firstly, introducing yourself and telling someone about yourself is a great way to break the ice when you first meet new people and will kick-start conversations.
In some situations, like in a new job, introducing yourself is often a requirement and so it is important to get used to talking about yourself to others so you are prepared when you have no choice.
And also it is a great way to make friends when you meet new people by showing others you are an open book who is confident about talking to new people about interesting things.
How to Introduce Yourself In Korean?
Before we get into the content of this guide it is important to talk about the nature of the Korean language and what you will need to consider before you even start speaking.
Korean culture is rooted in traditions of politeness and respect and there is a clear hierarchy present throughout the culture which is also seen in the Korean language too.
There are different levels of politeness that you need to use in your speech depending on the context of the situation and to who you are speaking.
There are three main speech levels that you will use in any given situation and these are informal, standard and formal.
The informal form is used when speaking to people who you know and who are the same age or younger than you, for example, your friends or family.
The standard form is used to speak to most people in most situations, especially people you are not overly familiar with who are on an equal standing to you in society like a coworker. The standard form is polite but not overly formal or too informal.
You would use the formal form when talking to strangers as well as people much older than you or people with a much higher social status, for example, your boss or your grandparents.
In any given situation you should think about how polite you need to be and use the correct level of formality. Of course, when introducing yourself in Korean you are going to want to be respectful and polite since you are probably meeting new people.
Therefore, this guide will mainly focus on the formal form.
1. Start With a Greeting in Korean: 안녕하세요 (Annyeonghaseyo)
Like in any language a great way to start off any interaction, including introducing yourself, is with a greeting.
The most common greeting in Korean is “안녕하세요 annyeonghaseyo” which simply means “hello” in Korean.
Not only is it common in Korea to use a “hello” greeting before you introduce your name in a situation, but it is also good manners, which of course is important.
Along with saying a greeting like “안녕하세요 annyeonghaseyo” you should bow your head, the lower the more formal, and you can use your right hand for a handshake.
Below we have listed some alternative greetings that you can use to preface your introduction:
|Pronunciation using romanized words
|It is good to see you.
|It’s nice to meet you!
|Good Day/ Hello (Formal)
2. Say Your Name in Korean: 제 이름은 __ 입니다 (Je Ireumeun __ Imnida)
The next, and most important, step is to of course introduce yourself by name.
To do this you would say “제 이름은 je ireumeun” followed by your name and then “입니다 imnida”.
All together the phrase would look like “제 이름은 je ireumeun __ imnida” which means “my name is __”.
You would of course fill the gap with your own name in its original pronunciation.
However, some people like to create or use a Korean name that can be written in Hangul to really immerse themselves in the culture. We have included a list of Korean names in the table below.
Often times people may ask you what your name is or you may wish to know other people’s name so it is important to be aware of this introductory question, which is “이름이 뭐에요? Ireumi mwoeyo?”.
See the example situation below:
- A: What’s your name? = 이름이 뭐에요? Ireumi mwoeyo?
- B: My name is Minjun = 제 이름은 민준입니다 (Je ireumeun Minjunimnida)
|Korean Girls Names (Hangul)
|Korean Boys Names (Hangul)
3. Mention Your Age in Korean: 저는 __살입니다 (Jeoneun __ Sarimnida)
Knowing someone’s age is very important in Korea since it is a key factor in determining what level of formality you need to speak to someone with.
Therefore, if you don’t mention your age when introducing yourself, you will probably be asked how old you are anyway.
The question “how old are you?” in Korean is “몇 살이세요? myeot sariseyo?”
To reply or to simply state your age you would say “저는 __살입니다 jeoneun __sarimnida” which means “I am__years old”
Koreans actually count their age differently to other countries and they will often say their Korean age.
Someone’s Korean age is one or two years older than what it would be in other countries since they start counting years while the baby is still in the womb. Additionally, someone’s Korean age changes every New Year’s Day, not on a birthday.
However, Koreans also have an “international age” which is calculated from the day they were born and celebrated on birthdays just like other countries around the world.
Therefore, when you are asked your age in Korea, it is perfectly acceptable to just use your own age and not try to figure out what your Korean age might be.
See the example conversation below and then look at how to write and pronounce different ages in Korean.
- A: How old are you? = 몇 살이세요? (Myeot sariseyo?) –
- B: I’m 24 years old = 저는 스물네 살입니다 (Jeoneun seumulle sarimnida)
4. State Your Occupation in Korean: 저는 __ 입니다 (Jeoneun __ Imnida)
After introducing your name and age, you can tell someone your occupation in Korean.
Not only are people’s occupation another form of social status that helps people determine what speech level to use with you, but they are also great conversation starters.
If you have found a stable job that you are passionate about, introducing your occupation in Korean will enable you to talk more about the job you love.
The word for occupation is “직업 jigeop” and the question “what is your occupation?” is “무슨 일이 직업이다 museun ili jigeobida”.
To reply to this question in Korean you would say “저는__입니다 jeoneun __imnida” which means “I am a __”. Obviously, you would fill the gap with your own occupation.
See the example conversation below and then browse the list of Korean occupation words.
- A: What’s your occupation? = 무슨 일이 직업이다 (museun il-i jigeobida)
- B: I’m a teacher = 교사입니다 (gyosaimnida)
5. Mention Where You Live in Korean: 저는 __에서 살고 있습니다 (Jeoneun __ eseo salgo isseumnida)
The next thing you can introduce about yourself is where you live.
If you live in Korea then don’t worry, the pronunciation of cities doesn’t change between Korean and English.
The question you need to be aware of for this situation is “어디에 사세요? eodie saseyo?” which means “where do you live?”
And to respond you would use the phrase “저는 __에서 살고 있습니다 jeoneun__eseo salgo isseumnida” which translates to “I live in__”.
See the example below and then look at the list of Korean cities to get inspiration for your travels!
- A: Where do you live? = 어디에 사세요? (Eodie saseyo?)
- B: I live in Seoul = 저는 서울에서 살고 있습니다 (Jeoneun seoureseo salgo itseumnida)
6. State What Country You Came From in Korean: 저는__에서 왔습니다 (Jeoneun __ Eseo Wasseumnida)
If you do not want to say where you live, or you are not living in the country you are from, you can always add this detail when introducing yourself in Korean.
Saying where you are from when introducing yourself is a great way to invite questions about your culture and create new topics of conversation with others.
If someone asks you where you are from in Korean they would say “어디 출신이세요? eodi chulsiniseyo?”.
You can reply by saying “저는__에서 왔습니다 jeoneun__eseo wasseumnida” which means “I am from…” or even “저는 __에서 왔어요 jeoneun __eseo wasseoyo” which is a slightly less formal, but still polite version meaning the same thing.
Take a look at the conversation below and then see if you can find your country in the list below.
- A: Where are you from? = 어디 출신이세요? (Eodi chulsiniseyo?)
- B: I am from the U.K = 저는 영국에서 왔습니다 (Jeoneun yeonggugeseo wasseumnida)
|The United States
7. Share Your Hobbies in Korean: 제 취미는 __이에요/예요 (Je Chwimineun __ Ieyo/Yeyo)
One final aspect of yourself that is always nice to mention during your introduction is your hobbies.
Of course, since your hobbies are the aspect of yourself that you enjoy and have actively chosen, they make for great conversation pieces and also open you up to making new friends who may share the same interests.
If you want to say what your hobby is in Korean you would say “제 취미는 __이에요/예요 je chwimineun __ieyo/yeyo” which means “my hobby is __”
The ending of the phrase will differ between “이에요 ieyo” and “예요 yeyo” depending on the specific Korean hobby word you use.
The question “what are your hobbies” in Korean is “당신의 취미는 무엇입니까? dangsin-ui chwimineun mueos-ibnikka?” and you can see this used in an example conversation below.
- A: What are your hobbies? = 당신의 취미는 무엇입니까? (Dangsin-ui chwimineun mueos-ibnikka?)
- B: My hobby is cooking = 제 취미는 요리예요 (Je chwimineun yoriyeyo)
Have a look at the following list of hobbies and see if you can see something you are interested in.
|watch a movie
|listening to music
How to Introduce Yourself in Korean – Video Guide
Introduce Yourself in Korean – Final Thoughts
After all the information from this guide, you will be fully prepared to talk all about yourself when in a situation with new people who you want to introduce yourself too.
You will now also be able to answer introductory questions about yourself such as “where are you from?” and “what is your occupation”.
Hopefully learning these introductory phrases will help you stand out from a crowd and make new friends in Korea by talking about interesting things about yourself.
All that is left now to do is to get out there and introduce yourself to people in Korean in real life!
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