Public Transport

Hello everyone, it’s your Korean teacher Jun and welcome to another tutorial for Korean words. In Korea, public transportation goes anywhere usually and it’s often faster than driving your own car especially near Seoul. Of course, when you talk to native Koreans, knowing Korean words for public transportation is often very important because it’s very common for us. So, today we are going to learn very essential Korean words for public transport.







기차 means ‘train’. However, 기차 doesn’t mean other train-like transports such as ‘subway’, ‘monorail’ or ‘tram’ even though they are also sort of trains. Maybe it’s not so important to know for beginners but good to know.


In a subway station, you can hear some announcement like ‘the train is approaching’. That doesn’t make any sense in Korean.


저는 기차 여행 좋아해요
I like the train trip







지하철 means ‘subway’. 지하 means ‘underground’, so it’s matched to the English word subway. You can use 지하 alone to mean ‘underground’.


However, Korean subway also runs on the ground. Still, some Koreans use it anyway.


지하철 타야돼요
We have to take a subway





Transfer (between vehicles)


환승하다 is a really formal Korean word for ‘to transfer between vehicles (especially for public transport)’. You can often hear this Korean word in the subway or a bus. Even though it’s very formal and you don’t have many chances to use it in real life conversations, you must learn it because this is the word you need for traveling Korea. When you change the subway line, when you transfer from a subway to a bus, when someone explains how you get to some place, Koreans always use this Korean word.


환승은 무료입니다
Transfer is free






역 is a Korean word that means ‘transport station (especially for train-kinds)’. You can combine 역 to 기차, 전철, 지하철 to be more specific and that’s how we, native Koreans, say. Sometimes, we just say 역 also though. You will use these Korean words a lot while you are traveling Korean.


길을 잃었을 땐 역을 찾으세요
Find a subway station when you are lost





Fee / Charge / Fare


요금 is the most basic Korean word for ‘fee’ among all Korean words that can mean ‘fee’. ‘Fee’, ‘fare’, ‘charge’.  요금 is a payment you should give to use some services (not buying a product). Of course, it’s a formal Korean word so you can see this very often when you visit some tour sites.


요금이 얼마에요?
How much is the charge (or fee)?







Yes. Bus is bus in Korean language. However, native Koreans pronounce 버스 a bit werdrly. They pronounce it as 뻐쓰 [bbeosseu] which can sound like ‘peos’ to foreigners.


버스로 갈 수 있어요?
Can I get there by bus?





[beoseu jeongryujang]
Bus stop


정류장 is a formal Korean word that means ‘a stop or a station for transports such’ but the Korean word 정류장 also means ‘bus stop’ itself. You can drop 버스 when it’s clear that you refer to a bus stop.


버스 정류장이 어디에요?
Where is the bus stop?







Yes. Taxi is also taxi in Korean language. Awesome.







To be fast / quick / speedy / soon(er) / early(ier)


빠르다 is an informal Korean word that describes ‘something is fast or quick’. It also can mean ‘sooner’ or ‘early’. How can it mean so many different things?


Let’s imagine that a rabbit and a turtle raced, the rabbit arrived sooner (faster) than the turtle because it was faster. In Korean language, speed involves time always and that makes the meaning ‘soon’ or ‘early’ beyond ‘faster’ or ‘quick’.


거북이가 저보다 빨라요
Turtles are faster than me





To be slow


느리다 is an informal Korean word that means ‘to be slow’. It means the exact opposite of 빠르다. However, you can not use to describe the time like ‘later’ or ‘further’. It only describes the speed.


저는 한국어 읽는게 느려요
I’m slow for reading Korean




How To Use The Korean Words Like Natives

기차 여행 좋아해요?
Do you like train trips?


가까운 지하철 역이 어디에요?
Where is the near subway station?


여기서 환승하시면 돼요
You can transfer here


역이 어디에요
Where is the subway / train station?


요금이 너무 비싸요
The fee is too expensive


여기서 버스 타셔야 돼요
You should take a bus here


정류장에서 만나요
Let’s meet at the bus stop




지하철보다 버스가 더 빨라요
The bus is faster than the subway


너무 느려요
It’s too slow


References For Korean Words

Naver Dictionary


korean standard unabridged dictionary