YouTube: KoreanUnnie – Learn Korean Phrases (Yes, No, Thank you, You’re welcome, Excuse me)

안녕하세요!

Okay everyone, I know you are probably tired of reading a lot of things – so let’s do some listening! This is another YouTube channel that was recommended to me (by – of course – 영조) that I have found is completely useful and fun.

Korean Unnie has a lot of fun things – different phrases, video snippets and just a bunch of available videos to help or enjoy. She even does songs and other things to help have a lot of different content.

Today, we are doing one of her first ones to cover words we have already done before so you can hear them PLUS some new words I hadn’t gone over yet. Go ahead and watch and then we’ll break it all down and go into detail!

Short, to the point, and fun!

We will be going over a few things in the video, as well as some explanations (because I bet you are super curious as to why she said something different for “thank you” – we will explain that in a moment!).

Let’s first look at the ones we know!

네 and 아니요!
We all know “agree” and “disagree”! So I won’t go into much of explanations, but do pay attention to her pronunciation! She may sound a little different than you though, but she is definitely saying “Ne” and “ah-nee-yo”!

There was a question in the comments about why sometimes it sounds like “de”. She confirms it is definitely “ne” but someone pointed out how many natural born Korean speakers tend to say their “n” with their tongue closer to the teeth, and sometimes gives a ‘d’ sound. Don’t worry too much about particulars and do your best! How you say it now will probably sound a little different than how you say it in a few months because of practice and familiarity!

Now let’s get to some of the words that we may have heard before but haven’t done in this blog yet.


Let’s hit the word that we may have been surprised by:

고마워요.

This word means “Thank you.”
Wait, what?
Yup, just like in English, there are many different ways to say “Thank you.” I know that me, myself, have used phrases like “Thank you,” “Thanks,” “You’re the best!”. All can mean thank you.

So what is the difference between 고마워요 and 감사합니다?
Well, 감사합니다 is seen as just a smidge more polite. Both are formal enough to be used with someone older than you and both are acceptable. But again, 감사합니다 has a little bit formality.

…. that’s it. Seriously. I even searched to make sure I was right.
iTalki can have good sources for answers and they confirmed. (They even went mentioned sino-Korean – we are not even going to get into that yet. I am not even ready for that myself.)

giphy2


Next word!

천만에요

“You’re welcome.”
I put it in quotation marks for a reason. This phrase doesn’t literally translate into “you’re welcome.” I think because of culture norms, they don’t have a direct translation for “You’re welcome.”  but this is a phrase you could use.

In fact! TTMIK had a great answer to what it literally translates to in their Ask Hyojin section! (In fact, you can heard the podcast and everything if you click on that link!)

Many Korean textbooks introduce 천만에요 as an expression that you can use when someone says “Thank you.” to you. So, it can be translated as “You are welcome.” or “Don’t mention it.” in English.
Here, 천만 literally means ten million, which is basically a very large number. In the past, when people were talking about something unlikely to happen, they used this word “천만” and here, -에 means “in” or “at” referring to a location and “요” makes the sentence 존댓말, the polite form.
So all together, it means “even in thousands or tens of thousands of situations like this, you don’t have to say “Thanks” to me.”

In everyday conversations in modern-day Korean, however, the expression 아니에요 is more commonly used than 천만에요. You can still hear 천만에요 being used in some TV dramas, movies or in books, but not many people actually “say” this in their daily conversations.

Essentially, they are saying “Oh, no thanks is needed!” type of thing. How cool is that?

giphy3


And the last word that was covered is:

실례합니다

I know we covered a few ways to say “Excuse me” in a previous TTMIK “I’m Sorry/Excuse Me” Podcast Post, so what makes this different? Thank you iTalki because they offered an explanation as the the main difference. (Their main comparison is between 실례합니다 and 저기요).

You use 저겨 mainly to call somebody’s attention (a waiter, a sales person, a passerby etc).

실례합니다 you are excusing yourself for disturbing the person and taking some of her/his time to answer your question.

So if someone is not looking at you or is doing something else you would say 저겨. After that, it is good manners to start by saying 실례합니다 before stating your question.

If the person is already looking at you and knows that you are going to ask a question then there is no need to call his attention. In that case you would not use 저겨.


Phew! I don’t know about y’all, but I am tired out! But I did enjoy learning these new words and finding out the differences between them.  And a huge plus is being able to hear them!

Definitely check out Korean Unnie’s Channel if you have time! I will use it in the future as well so we have that to look forward to.

But I am going to go for now and let some of this sink in.

Until next time:

안녕히계세요!

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