Korean Words for Phone

Hello everyone, it’s your Korean teacher Jun and welcome to another Korean words tutorial. What’s the device that you use most often everyday? Probably, 99% of people would say it’s the phone. Nowadays, it feels like a critical device for survive lol. I don’t even know how I lived without my phone! It’s pretty necessary for life now. So, today we are going to learn super essential core Korean words that we can use with a phone everyday!

Korean Words for Phone Featured




핸드폰 is a Korean English word, also called Konglish, that you can easily guess the meaning. Hand + phone. Yes, 핸드폰 means ‘cellphone’. Since Korean language doesn’t have f sound. P sound replaces f sound.


Native Koreans very often say ‘폰’ instead of saying ‘핸드폰’. It’s similar to the English word. However, 폰 doesn’t mean any phones such as pay phones or normal phones. It only means ‘cellphone’ in Korean.


매일 아침 9시 내 핸드폰 사라진다
9 am every morning, my phone disappears

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To make a phone call


전화하다 means ‘to make a phone call’ or simply ‘to call’ in Korean. However, you must understand it’s different than the English word ‘call’. You can use 전화하다 only for making a phone call, not for calling someone else.


전화 is a Korean word for ‘phone’. In this case, it means any sorts of phones or it also can mean ‘phone call’ as a noun.


전화로 싸울 땐,
When you fight through the phone,
제발 스피커 폰으로 전화하세요.
Seriously, call on speakerphone.
누가 잘못했는지 궁금하니까.
Because I want to know who did wrong.


To text someone


문자 is a formal Korean word that means ‘letter of a language’ or ‘text’ (however, both are not the perfectly same to the Korean word 문자). When you make it as a verb by adding ‘하다 (do)’. It becomes ‘to text someone’ just like the English word text. However, in Korean language, it often means ‘text’ without using an app such as ‘whatsapp’ or ‘kakaotalk’.


Since every single Koreans use ‘kakaotalk’, so they prefer to say ‘카톡하다 (katalk)’ instead of ‘문자하다’. If they say ‘문자하다’, then it specifically means basic text messaging, not using any apps.


10년 뒤에 문자할게요
I’ll text you 10 years later


Photo / photos


사진 means ‘photo’ or ‘photos’ in Korean.


There are many same spelled Koreans word with 사진. You really don’t need to care any of them because I have never heard of them either. Maybe I’ve seen one or two in really old books but it’s hard to say they are actually used nowadays even for literature.


사진 찍어주세요
Take a photo of me


To receive / To download


받다 is an informal Korean word for receiving or downloading. However, it’s hard to say 받다 only means ‘receive’ since it’s an informal Korean word, it’s more natural when you translate it differently based on the context. It has an image that you receive something from others. So, you can translate 받다 as ‘accept’, ‘to get (something from other)’ and ‘to take’.


You can find another Korean word for 받다 which means ‘hit’ or ‘bump’. They are homonyms, not the same word.


받다 makes a lot of new Korean words when it’s compounded to another Korean words. Mostly it makes verbs become passive. (e.g. 벌받다 : be punished)


제 팔꿈치 사진 받았어요?
Did you get the photo of my elbow?


To send


보내다 is an informal Korean word that means ‘to send’. This Korean word has an image that you make something / someone leave to another place. In casual conversation, native Koreans often use 보내다 with any kind of text communications such as ‘mail’, ‘e-mail’, ‘text’.


보내다 is a very important Korean word that is involved to a lot of Korean expressions.
국회로 보내다 : to elect him to the National Assembly
박수를 보내다 : to send applause
시집 보내다 : to marry off one’s daughter
신호를 보내다 : to signal
시간을 보내다 : to spend time


편지 보냈어요?
Did you send a letter?

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To search something online or databases


검색하다 is a formal Korean word that means ‘to investigate something for a crime or an accident’ or ‘to search something from a book’. More precisely, 검색하다 used to mean only those things before the internet existed. Nowadays, it usually means ‘to search something by using a computer’. It’s the same to the English word ‘to google’


Now, native Koreans usually don’t use 검색하다 to mean ‘to search something from a book’. For investigation? Yes, they still use it sometimes like ‘차량 검색 (vehicle inspection / car search)’ but it’s normally used in extremely formal situations,


코리안 준을 검색하세요!
Google Korean Jun!


To charge a battery / To fill resources


충전하다 is a formal Korean word that means ‘to recharge money, gas, power or such things’. This Korean word has an image for filling up a tank with some fuel or resources to run some machanically stuffs. So, you can use it with ink for a printer, gas for a car, battery for a phone, computer, money for a transportation card.


Even though it’s a formal Korearn word, native Koreans use it very casually especially for recharging their phone.


핸드폰 충전하는 걸 깜빡했어요
I forgot to charge my phone




충전기 means ‘charger’ in Korean.


You can learn a new Korean word with 충전기. 충전 is ‘charging (a battery or an energy)’ as a noun.


폰 충전기는 인생에서 가장 필요한 것
The phone charger is what you most need for your life




Yes, battery is battery in Korean language, it’s pronounced without r sound. 배터리 doesn’t have any other meanings that the English word battery has except for a device that produces electricity to provide power. Yes, that battery that we commonly use.


Many old Korean people often call it ‘빠때리 [bbattery] or 빳때리 [bbtattery]’. It’s a Konglish word. I think it can be a measurement for how Korean-ish you are lol. If you say 빠때리 unconsciously, then it means you are becoming a Korean lol. Even young native Koreans often call it 빠때리. I also say 빠때리 really really often because it’s really addictive and you can never get away from it once you are addicted lol.


배터리가 없어요. 너무 슬프네요…
I have no battery. I’m so sad…

How To Use The Korean Words Like Natives

제 핸드폰 어디있는지 알아요?
Do you know where is my phone?


이따가 전화해요
Call me later


알겠어요. 내일 문자해요
OK, Text me tomorrow


사진 찍어주실 수 있어요?
Would you please take a pic (of me)?


제 문자 받았어요?
Did you get my text?


사진 보냈어요?
Did you send the photo?


구글에 검색해봐요
Google it


Do you need to charge your phone?


핸드폰 충전기 있어요?
Do you have a phone charger?


배터리가 거의 없어요
My phone is almost dead

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References For Korean Words

Naver Dictionary


korean standard unabridged dictionary