Korean in Korean

If you googled and found it, it means google didn’t give you the answer you wanted. And oddly nobody explains about Korean in Korean. How frustrating. However, you luckily found this tutorial. I’m your teacher Jun and I’m the native Korean guy who will make perfect explanations for 5 ways to say it.

What’s 한국?

Before you start, you have to know 한국 [hanguk] which means Korea as a country. It’s a shortened name of 대한민국 which is the full name of Korea. Anyway, We are going to use 한국 a lot in this tutorial. So you should memorize it now.

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Korean in Korean img

Korean in Korean as Person / People

한국 사람 [hanguk saram]

Korea + person / people


1st what we are going to learn is 한국 사람. 한국 means ‘Korea’, 사람 means ‘person’. So, 한국 사람 means Korean as a person or people. Even though it’s singular, it can be used as a plural without changing it into the plural form. You can use this method to describe your nationality, where you are from. Country name + 사람. (eg. 캐나다 사람)


한국인 [hangugin]

Korea + person / people


인 is an affix that means ‘person’, ‘human’ and ‘people’. So, 한국인 has the exact same meaning to 한국 사람. However, 한국인 sounds a little bit more formal so, Koreans use 한국인 especially to fill out some forms. Also, country name + 인 sounds to have a nuance for ‘entire people or race from the country’. It’s the best way to describe nationality or race. You also can use it to describe your nationality : Country name + 인 (eg. 필리핀인. But in this case, there is no spacing between the country name and 인)

Korean in Korean img

Korean in Korean as Language

한국말 [hangukmal]

Korea + Speech / Language


2nd what we are going to learn is 한국말. 말 means ‘speech’, ‘language’. Yes, I know you already figured out the meaning. It means Korean language. It’s less formal than the next word. But this word is often used in formal situations also because 말 is pure Korean word. (like Latin language affected a lot to English, Chinese affected a lot to Korean) so when Koreans emphasize pure 한국말 like in a campaign, they use 한국말.


한국어 [hangugeo]

Korea + Language


어 is an affix that means ‘language’. Ooh an affix, it’s already fancy right? 😂 Yes, as you can guess 한국어 is a formal version of 한국말 but the meaning is the exact same.. Even though it’s formal. It’s often used in casual conversations. Probably, native Koreans use 한국어 more than 한국말.


When native Koreans learn about Korean, they say ‘국어’, instead of ‘한국어’ because 국어 means ‘national language’, ‘country language’.


You can use this method to say what kind of language you speak. You can say ‘Country name + 어 (eg. 프랑스어, 인도네시아어, By the way, English is 영어 not 잉글리쉬어, I’ll write a new tutorial about it soon)’.


Korean in Korean as an Adjective

The Korean language doesn’t have the adjective form of Korea. So, It uses the country name 한국 just like an adjective. For example, the music is 한국 음악. The culture is 한국 문화.


You can describe anything with ‘한국 + something’. No matter what you wanted to describe.This is the 3rd one that we are learning. Of course, you can use the exact same method to describe something from your culture or country. Just say ‘Country name + something’


한국 음식 : Korean food
영국 노래 : British song
독일 음악 : German music
아르헨티나 지하철 : Argentine subway
인도네시아 문화 : Indonesian culture


Just like this, add the country name before a noun what you want to say, then it becomes an adjective.

as an Affix

So, it seems all done. We did people, language and all the other things. However, there is the 4th one you should really know. Which is Korean as an affix. There are only 2 things you have to remember about this. When you look up some words, if the word looks like ‘한 + something’, then it mostly means 한국 as an adjective.


However, in this case, the nuance often becomes ‘traditional’. For example, 한과 should mean any snack from korea but it actually means only traditional snacks.


한식 : food (mostly means traditional that we have had for a long time)
한복 : traditional clothes
한과 : traditional snacks
한글 : alphabet

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In Korean Style

한국적이다 [hangukjeogida]

To be Korean-ish


The last one that we are going to learn is ‘한국적이다’. You can use it in many different situations like when you enter a tea house or when you see some clothes that describe Korea vibe so well and you can say ‘oh it’s so Korean’. In that case, native Koreans use an adjective 한국적이다.


이 카페 진짜 한국적이다
This cafe has Korean vibe so much


But if you use it before a noun, you can use 한국적인 instead. Because 다 is like a full stop or a period mark. You shouldn’t use it in the middle of a sentence.


한국적인 카페네요
It’s a Korean style cafe.

Sample Sentences

Before we finish the tutorial, I want to tell you something… Google said I’m saying Korean too many times, so my post won’t be appear in the front page 😂 so I’ll consore the word that we shouldn’t mention 😂 from all sentences. Oh Google… AI will never win against us in the near future 😂 Enjoy [censored] sample sentences! 😂😂😂 By the way, I wrote ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ in ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ too many times in this tutorial. It was like a tongue twister when I read it. 😂😂😂


저는 한국 사람이에요.
I’m ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛


저는 한국인 아니에요.
I’m not ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛


저는 한국말을 좋아해요
I like ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ language


저는 한국어를 잘 못해요
I don’t speak ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ language well


저는 한국어를 잘하고 싶어요
I want to be good at ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ language


저는 한국 음식을 좋아해요
I like ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ foods


저는 한국 음식을 먹어보고 싶어요
I want to try ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ foods


저는 한국 여행을 하고 싶어요
I want to travel ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛


저는 한복을 사고 싶어요
I want to buy hanbok


이 집은 진짜 한국적이네요!
This house is really ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛!


저는 한국적인게 좋아요
I like something in ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ style

If You Like This Tutorial

I can guarantee other tutorials on this website are more awesome than this one. And all tutorials are free! Hey, did you know the ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ language can ignore sentence patterns like S + V + O? Why don’t you jump into the tutorial to check how and why? Also, if you liked this tutorial, join us in Patreon! 😂😂😂

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