Ways To Say Sister In Korean

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you interested in learning how to say ‘sister’ in Korean? Look no further! This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide on the various ways to address your sister in Korean. Whether you’re looking for formal or informal terms, casual expressions, slang phrases, or even regional variations, we’ve got you covered.

You’ll also discover how to use honorifics with sister terms to show respect. With our detailed explanations and examples, you’ll be able to confidently communicate with your sister or refer to sisters in general.

So, if you’re ready to expand your Korean vocabulary and deepen your understanding of familial terms, keep reading. By the end of this article, you’ll have a wealth of knowledge to impress your Korean-speaking family and friends. Let’s get started!

Familial Terms in Korean

Do you know how to say sister in Korean?

In Korean, there are different words to describe sisters depending on your gender and age.

If you are a female and you have an older sister, you would call her ‘eonni.’

If you are a male and you have an older sister, you would call her ‘nuna.’

Younger sisters are called ‘dongsaeng’ regardless of gender.

It’s important to use the correct term based on the situation.

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Formal Ways to Address Sisters

Addressing your sister formally in Korean can be done in several respectful ways. One common way is to use the term ‘언니’ (eonni), which is used by females to address their older sisters.

Another formal term is ‘누나’ (nuna), which is used by males to address their older sisters. These terms show respect and maintain a polite tone when speaking to older siblings in Korean.

It is important to use the appropriate term based on your gender and the age of your sister.

Informal Ways to Address Sisters

Hey, sis! When it comes to talking to your sister in a more casual way, you can use terms like ‘언니’ (eonni) or ‘누나’ (nuna). Just remember to choose the right term based on your gender and age difference!

언니 is used by females to address older sisters, while 누나 is used by males to address older sisters. These terms show familiarity and affection between siblings.

Casual and Colloquial Expressions

Using casual and colloquial expressions in Korean can add a fun and lively touch to your conversations with your sister.

One common way to refer to your sister informally is ‘언니’ (eonni) if you are a female or ‘오빠’ (oppa) if you are a male.

These terms create a sense of closeness and familiarity, making your interactions with your sister more comfortable and relaxed.

So go ahead and try using these expressions to strengthen your bond with your sister!

Slang Terms for Sisters

Surprise your sis with some cool slang terms that’ll make her feel like your partner in crime!

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In Korean, you can use the slang term ‘언니’ (eonni) to refer to an older sister, and ‘누나’ (nuna) for an older sister by a male speaker.

For a younger sister, you can say ‘여동생’ (yeodongsaeng) or simply ‘동생’ (dongsaeng).

These slang terms add a touch of familiarity and playfulness to your conversations with your sister.

Terms for Older Sisters

If you’re looking for a way to show respect and affection to your older sister in Korean, you can use the terms ‘eonni’ or ‘nuna’.

These terms are commonly used to address an older sister in a polite and caring manner. ‘Eonni’ is typically used by younger siblings, while ‘nuna’ is used by younger males to address their older female siblings.

These terms reflect the cultural emphasis on respect and hierarchy within Korean society.

Terms for Younger Sisters

Now let’s move on to terms for younger sisters in Korean.

When referring to a younger sister, you can use the term ‘막내’ (maknae), which means the youngest in the family. This word is often used affectionately to address or describe a younger sister.

It’s important to note that the term ‘막내’ can also be used to refer to the youngest person in a group or team.

Expressions of Endearment for Sisters

My heart fills with warmth when I hear the tender expressions of endearment for our beloved sisters.

In Korean, there are various ways to express affection towards sisters. One common term is ‘nuna,’ which is used by males to refer to their older sisters. Another endearing term is ‘dongseng,’ which means younger sister.

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These expressions reflect the deep bond and love shared between siblings in Korean culture.

Regional Variations in Sister Terminology

One interesting aspect of expressing affection towards sisters in Korea is the regional variations in the terminology used to refer to them. In some regions, the word ‘nuna’ is commonly used to address an older sister, while ‘unni’ is more commonly used in other regions.

Additionally, some dialects have their own unique terms for sister, such as ‘eonni’ or ‘noona.’ These regional variations reflect the diversity and richness of the Korean language and culture.

Using Honorifics with Sister Terms

Imagine yourself in a traditional Korean setting, where honorifics add an extra layer of respect when addressing your beloved sister.

In Korean, you can use the term ‘eonni’ to refer to an older sister and ‘imouto’ for a younger sister. To show even more respect, you can add the honorific ‘nim’ after the term.

So, you would say ‘eonni-nim’ or ‘imouto-nim’ to show utmost respect to your sister.


In conclusion, there are various ways to say ‘sister’ in Korean, depending on the level of formality and the relationship between speakers.

Formal terms such as ‘eonni’ and ‘noona’ are commonly used, while informal expressions like ‘unnie’ and ‘nuna’ are used among close friends and family.

Additionally, there are casual and colloquial expressions, slang terms, and regional variations that add depth and nuance to the sister terminology.

Understanding these different terms allows for better communication and strengthens familial bonds in Korean culture.