Hello everyone, it’s your Korean teacher Jun and welcome to the Korean words tutorial. In this tutorial, you will learn 10 essential Korean words for describing accidents, injuries and many troubles and problems that we have in our life sadly. Also, this tutorial has the super duper important Koran word 나다. It is very essential more than any other Korean words so take a careful look so you can get how to use it.
사고 is a formal Korean word that means ‘accident’ but this Korean word doesn’t mean ‘coincident’ or ‘mistake’ at all. It only means typical events that occur damage or injury such as a car accident, a climbing accident or a medical accident.
Even though 사고 is formal, you can still find native Koreans use it very often in any kinds of conversations.
While you are reading a Korean book, you may often see another Korean word that shares the same spelling with 사고. That homonym means ‘thinking’, ‘thoughts’ or ‘mind(set)’. They are 2 different Korean words.
자동차 사고 때문에 늦었어요
I’m late because of a car accident
Problem / Trouble / Question
문제 is the really interesting Korean word that you can peek how Korean mindset works. The meaning of 문제 is ‘problem’, ‘trouble’, ‘question’, ‘quiz’ and ‘practice or exercise in a workbook’. If you looked at the meanings carefully, then you might notice they have a common. Yes, they are ‘something to solve or resolve’. That’s how Korean mindset see 문제.
문제 also means ‘something you need to focus on as an issue or a subject’ such as ‘issue’ or ‘matter’. It still has the nuance that you need to solve.
어떻게 게을러야 될까가 문제야
The matter is how to be lazy
To get hurt / to get injured
다치다 is an informal Korean word that is very similar to ‘get hurt’ in English. You can use it to describe a physical injury or emotional hurting. However, native Koreans really don’t often say ‘you hurt my feelings’ becuase that expression sounds too cringy sometimes.
Technically, you can not say ‘someone is hurt’ in Korean. You can only say ‘someone got hurt’. That’s why I taught you 다치다 is similar to ‘get hurt’, not ‘be hurt’. You have to use the past tense to describe someone’s injury.
I got hurt while I was playing a video game
To fall (down) / trip / tumble
넘어지다 is an informal Korean word that describes someone tumbles over to the ground accidentally. It can be ‘to fall’ or ‘to trip over (something like a stone)’. In Korean language, it doesn’t matter what causes the accident.
저는 사람들이 넘어지는 걸 종종 구경해요
I often watch people fall
To be careful / watch (out)
조심하다 is an informal Korean word that means ‘to be careful’. You can use it just like the English word ‘careful’. 조심하다 is often used for watching out something like the watch your step sign. Even though it’s an informal Korean word, you can often see native Koreans use it in formal situations.
Watch out your words
To fight / To argue
싸우다 is an informal Korean word that means ‘to have a confront such as a fight or an argue’. It has some dramatic nuance. So, it’s often used in not casual situations also like ‘this is our fight’, same as ‘fight’ in English.
Native Koreans usually don’t distinguish between fight and argue except the moment when you have to be very formal. Sometimes, 싸우다 can be used instead of ‘doing battle’ also.
싸우지 마세요. 안그럼 다 죽여버릴랑께
Don’t fight or I’ll kill you all
To help / To assist
돕다 is an informal Koraen word that means ‘to help’. It’s almost the same to the English word ‘help’ or ‘assist’. Easy.
ㅂ in 돕 very often disappears when 돕다 is conjugated.
가만히 있는게 도와주는 거에요
You doing nothing is a help
* a real Korean expression 🙂 lol it sounds so mean.
To grow / To happen / To occur
나다 is a very unique Korean word that English doesn’t have. There is no way to translate 나다 perfectly. But I can say ‘occur’ is the most similar word. This Korean word is super essential so if you don’t understand it perfectly, many Korean phrases will confuse you.
It’s better to understand what image 나다 has than memorizing the meanings. The image of 나다 is ‘something pops up through a layer, such as a surface, from the below’. Imagine a seed sprouts from the ground. Seeds sprout through the surface right? That is what 나다 is. In fact, ‘sprouts’ actually uses 나다 also : 싹나다.
나다 is used for so many expressions or compound Korean words. thoughts, war, feelings, tears, sweat, blood, smell, scent, path, heat, sickness, energy, courage, time, birth, resources, press and, of course, Accident.
치킨을 못먹어서 눈물이 나요
I’m crying because I didn’t eat fried chicken
An accident occurs
사고나다 is a compound Korean word that literally means ‘an accident occurs or happens’. There is no expression ‘to have an accident’ in Korean. Native Koreans always say ‘an accident occurs (to someone)’. That is how native Koreans say and that is how the Korean word 나다 works.
Technically, it doesn’t matter who has an accident in Korean language. The focus of the accident in Korean language is ‘what’, not ‘to whom’.
I had a car accident
Fire breaks out
불나다 is the compound Korean word that means ‘to be on fire’, ‘fire starts’ or ‘fire breaks out’.
The real meaning of 불나다 is ‘fire occurs’ like ‘사고나다 which means ‘an accident occurs’. Native Koreans never say ‘something is on fire’. The expression is the opposite in Korean language. They say ‘the fire is at/on something’.
공장에 불이 났어요
The factory is on fire
How To Use The Korean Words Like Natives
사고나면 저한테 먼저 전화해요
Call me first if you have an accident
I have a trouble
I hurt my leg
Be careful / Watch out
I fought with my friend
저 좀 도와주실 수 있나요?
Would you please give me some help?
어디다 뒀는지 생각이 났어요
I remember where I put it
어제 사고나서 다쳤어요
I got hurt because I had an accident yesterday
불나지 않게 조심해요
Be careful so you don’t burn something
References For Korean Words
korean standard unabridged dictionary
- Emily M
- Chris M
- Carly Sisson
- Lev Izraelit
- Tuoc Phan