One of the most common questions you’ll likely be asked in Korea is where are you from. So you’ll definitely want to know how to answer! Of course, you’re likely to be asked this question in English, but why wouldn’t you want to know how to answer it in Korean?
Moreover, your Korean-speaking friends would be more than delighted to hear you introduce them to your country, especially if you do so in Korean! It’s just one of a few small things you can do to impress your Korean friends. Now, we unfortunately cannot teach you all the vocabulary you might need in one article, but we can get you started on learning how to. So, first and foremost, let’s learn how to say country in Korean.
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‘Country’ in Korean
The word for ‘country’ in Korean is 나라 (nara). It’s a very quick and simple word for you to learn! Unfortunately, just like in many other languages, you have to learn each country’s name separately as the word 나라 is not attached to any of them. Even so, it’s a good word to add to your vocabulary as one of the first staple vocabulary words you learn.
Another word for ‘country’ in Korean is 국가 (gukga). The difference between the two is that, as the word 국가 derives from Chinese, it has a more official sound to it, thus used in legal terms and in news articles. Meanwhile, 나라 is more frequently used in conversation, or when saying phrases such as ‘our country’, which in Korean translates to 우리 나라 (uri nara).
List of Countries
Here is a list of country names you might want to add to your vocabulary:
South Korea – 한국, hankuk
North Korea – 북한, bukhan
United States – 미국, miguk
Japan – 일본, ilbon
China – 중국, jungkuk
Hong Kong – 홍콩, hongkong
United Kingdom – 영국, yeongkuk
England – 잉글랜드, inggeullaendeu
Ireland – 아일랜드, aillaendeu
Germany – dokil, 독일
France – 프랑스, peurangseu
Spain – 스페인, seupein
Italy – 이탈리아, itallia
Brazil – 브라질, beurajil
Mexico – 멕시코, meksiko
Thailand – 태국, taeguk
Indonesia – 인도네시아, indonesia
Vietnam – 베트남, beteunam
India – 인도, indo
South Africa – 남아프리카, namapeurika
A word of caution about Romanization
While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.
After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea will suddenly seem so much easier and the country won’t appear so foreign for you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?
어느 나라에서 오셨어요? (Eoneu naraeseo osyesseoyo?)
Which country did you come from?
어느 나라에서 왔어요? (Eoneu naraeseo wasseoyo?)
Which country did you come from?
내가 제일 가고 싶은 나라는 필리핀이야 (Naega jeill gago sipeun naraneun pillipiniya)
The Philippines are the country I want to visit the most
Now that you know how to talk about your 나라 you can go out and share your culture with your Korean friends! What country are you from? Try introducing your home country in the comments below!
*Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!
Photo credit: BigStockPhoto
Learn to read Korean and be having simple conversations, taking taxis and ordering in Korean within a week with our FREE Hangeul Hacks series: http://www.90DayKorean.com/learn