Ways To Say Fish In Korean

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you interested in learning ways to say fish in Korean? Look no further! In this article, we will explore various words and phrases related to fish in the Korean language.

Whether you’re a language enthusiast, a traveler planning a trip to Korea, or simply curious about Korean culture, this article will provide you with the knowledge you need.

We will cover:

  • Common words for fish
  • Specific fish varieties
  • Fish market terminology
  • Seafood dishes
  • Fishing techniques
  • Fish anatomy
  • Fish-related expressions, proverbs, and cultural references

By the end of this article, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of the different ways to talk about fish in Korean.

So, let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world of fish-related vocabulary in Korean!

Common Word for Fish: 생선 (saengseon)

The term commonly used to refer to fish in Korean is 생선 (saengseon), a word that encapsulates the essence of aquatic life.

It is a versatile and widely recognized term, used in various contexts, from everyday conversations to restaurant menus.

생선 represents the rich cultural significance of fish in Korean cuisine, where it is a staple ingredient.

It symbolizes freshness, health, and the connection to the sea, making it an integral part of Korean culinary traditions.

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Specific Fish Varieties: 참치 (chamchi) – Tuna, 연어 (yeoneo) – Salmon, 고등어 (godeungeo) – Mackerel

Chamchi, yeoneo, and godeungeo are all delicious varieties of fish commonly found in Korean cuisine.

Chamchi, also known as tuna, is often enjoyed raw in dishes like kimbap or as a grilled steak.

Yeoneo, or salmon, is popular for its rich flavor and is often served as sashimi or in sushi rolls.

Godeungeo, or mackerel, is loved for its fatty and flavorful meat, often grilled or pan-fried.

These fish varieties add depth and taste to many Korean dishes.

Fish Market Terminology: 수산시장 (susansijang)

Explore the vibrant world of 수산시장 (susansijang) and discover exciting fish market terminology that’ll make your seafood shopping experience even better.

When you step into a 수산시장, you’ll be surrounded by rows of fresh seafood. Look for the sign ‘생선’ (saengseon) to find the fish section.

You’ll see a wide variety of fish, such as 삼치 (samchi) – Spanish mackerel, 꽁치 (kkongchi) – Pacific saury, and 갈치 (galchi) – hairtail.

Don’t forget to haggle with the fishmongers for the best prices!

Seafood Dishes: 회 (hoe) – Raw Fish, 조개찜 (jogaechim) – Steamed Clams

Picture yourself sitting at a bustling Korean seafood restaurant, eagerly anticipating the arrival of a plate of mouthwatering 회 and a steaming bowl of 조개찜.

회, also known as raw fish, is a popular dish in Korea. It is often served sliced thinly and accompanied by various side dishes.

조개찜, on the other hand, is a dish made by steaming clams with a flavorful broth. The clams become tender and succulent, bursting with delicious flavors.

Fishing Techniques: 낚시 (naksi) – Fishing, 투망 (tumang) – Casting Net Fishing

Imagine yourself on a serene Korean coastline, where skilled fishermen utilize the ancient technique of 낚시 to reel in a bountiful catch. 낚시, or fishing, is a popular pastime in Korea, with various techniques and equipment used depending on the location and target species.

Expertly cast 투망 nets are another common fishing technique used by Korean fishermen. 투망, or casting net fishing, involves throwing a large net into the water and then pulling it back in, trapping fish and other marine creatures in the process.

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Both 낚시 and 투망 require patience, skill, and knowledge of the sea.

Fish-related Idioms: 물고기 생각 (mulgogi saenggak) – Thinking about fish, 물고기 눈 (mulgogi nun) – Fish eyes

As you stroll along the Korean coastline, you can’t help but notice the sparkle in their eyes, reminiscent of the shimmering scales of a fish. Locals use the idiom 물고기 생각 (mulgogi saenggak) to express deep contemplation. This idiom reflects the association between fish and deep thoughts in Korean culture. It signifies the idea of being lost in one’s thoughts, just like a fish swimming freely in the vast ocean.

Similarly, the expression 물고기 눈 (mulgogi nun) refers to someone’s eyes being round and bulging, resembling the eyes of a fish. It is often used to describe someone who looks surprised or shocked.

Fish Anatomy: 지느러미 (jineureomi) – Fin, 비늘 (bineul) – Scale, 아가미 (agami) – Gills

Fish anatomy includes several fascinating features that contribute to their captivating beauty. Let’s explore three key elements: fins, scales, and gills.

Fins, resembling graceful wings, play a crucial role in a fish’s movement through water. These delicate structures provide both stability and propulsion, allowing fish to navigate with precision and grace. Whether it’s the powerful caudal fin that propels the fish forward or the pectoral fins that help with steering and braking, fins are essential for a fish’s survival.

Scales, like shimmering armor, cover a fish’s body and serve multiple functions. These protective plates not only provide defense against predators but also help regulate body temperature. Scales are often adorned with vibrant colors, reflecting the surrounding environment and aiding in camouflage. As sunlight dances off the scales, they create a mesmerizing spectacle for all who observe.

Beneath the surface, hidden from view, lies another remarkable feature: gills. Fish rely on these specialized organs to extract oxygen from the water, enabling them to breathe underwater. Gills are composed of thin, feathery filaments that increase the surface area available for gas exchange. Through the constant movement of water over their gills, fish can extract oxygen and release carbon dioxide, allowing them to thrive in their aquatic habitat.

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In summary, fish anatomy is a testament to the wonders of nature’s design. Fins provide the grace and precision needed for movement, scales offer protection and beauty, and gills enable fish to breathe underwater. Together, these elements create the captivating beauty that mesmerizes all who gaze upon these remarkable creatures.

Fish-related Expressions: 물고기 냄새 (mulgogi naemsa) – Smell of fish, 물고기 향 (mulgogi hyang) – Fishy odor

The pungent aroma of the sea lingers, carrying hints of the deep ocean and the unmistakable scent of fish, a reminder of the bountiful life teeming beneath the waves.

In Korean, there are two expressions to describe the smell of fish. The first one is ‘물고기 냄새 (mulgogi naemsa),’ which literally means the smell of fish.

The second expression is ‘물고기 향 (mulgogi hyang),’ which refers to the fishy odor.

These phrases capture the essence of the sea and its inhabitants, embodying the unique characteristics of fish.

Fish-related Proverbs: 물고기 잡는 방법을 알아야 한다 (mulgogi jabneun bangbeobeul araya handa) – You must know how to catch fish, 물고기는 물가에서 잡는다 (mulgogineun mulgaeseo jabneunda) – Fish are caught in the water

To successfully reel in your desires, mastering the art of fishing is essential – for in the water’s embrace, fish await their capture.

In Korean culture, there are two fish-related proverbs that emphasize the importance of understanding how to catch fish.

The first proverb, ‘물고기 잡는 방법을 알아야 한다 (mulgogi jabneun bangbeobeul araya handa),’ highlights the necessity of knowing the proper techniques to achieve your goals.

The second proverb, ‘물고기는 물가에서 잡는다 (mulgogineun mulgaeseo jabneunda),’ emphasizes that fish are caught in their natural habitat, reinforcing the idea that success comes from being in the right place at the right time.

Fish-related Cultural References: 어부 (eobu) – Fisherman, 어장 (eojang) – Fishing ground

Now that you know some fish-related proverbs in Korean, let’s dive deeper into fish-related cultural references.

In Korean, the word for fisherman is ‘어부’ (eobu). They play an important role in the fishing industry, using their skills and knowledge to catch fish.

Another important term is ‘어장’ (eojang), which refers to a fishing ground. These locations are carefully chosen by fishermen to maximize their catch.

Understanding these cultural references gives you insight into Korean fishing traditions.


So there you have it, a comprehensive guide to talking about fish in Korean.

From the common word for fish, 생선 (saengseon), to specific fish varieties like 참치 (chamchi) for tuna and 연어 (yeoneo) for salmon, we covered it all.

We also explored fish market terminology, seafood dishes, fishing techniques, fish anatomy, fish-related expressions, proverbs, and cultural references.

Now you can confidently navigate conversations about fish in Korean and impress others with your knowledge.

Happy fishing!