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~만하다 "Worth Doing" | Live Class Abridged

This past Sunday we had a live Korean classroom about the grammar form ~만하다. This form attaches after verbs and means "worth doing," among several other translations. It can attach to both Action Verbs and Descriptive Verbs.

We also learned about a similar-looking form, ~만 하다, which is used to compare the size of things.

The post ~만하다 "Worth Doing" | Live Class Abridged appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

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A Polite Way to Ask Favors Using 부탁하다 | Korean FAQ

부탁하다 and 부탁드리다 are two commonly used verbs that are a bit tricky to translate, but mean "to request" or "ask for" something. These verbs are used together with nouns to politely request someone to do something. Another way to think of these verbs is to mean "I ask that you" or "I ask for your."

I explain what they mean and how to use them, and give a few examples in this latest Korean FAQ episode, which you can watch right here.

The post A Polite Way to Ask Favors Using 부탁하다 | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Korean Names – List of Common First and Surnames

In this article,  you will learn all about Korean names.

Knowing someone’s name is important to properly address the person. But it’s more than just that in the Korean culture.

Identification card with Hangul name written on it

Listed below are the different Korean last names and first names. We’ve also added the meaning of some of these names to help you have a better grasp of Korean names. Let’s get started!

List of Korean Names

Below are lists of common South Korean family names and Korean first names.

List of Korean last names

Here is a list of the top Korean last names in both English and Hangul, along with their meaning.

Korean Family NameHangulMeaning
KimMeaning: Metal, gold or iron
LeeMeaning: Plum tree
Park/BakMeaning: Gourd
GwanMeaning: Tube or pipe
JeongMeaning: Tablet or quiet
YangMeaning: Amount or positive
AnMeaning: Within
JinMeaning: Camp lost or a sign of the dragon
YooMeaning: Willow tree
HanMeaning: The One
Meaning: A Man or south
ChoMeaning: Second or beginning
YunMeaning: Cloud or luck
PaeMeaning: Loosely or The name of the 'Pae' clan
MaMeaning: Horse, hemp
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List of Korean first names

Below are the top Korean first names in English and Hangul. It also includes the meanings of these native Korean words.

Ara아라FemaleMeaning: Beautiful
Areum아름FemaleMeaning: Beautiful
AYeong아영FemaleMeaning: Refined
BoBae보배FemaleMeaning: Treasure, precious
BomFemaleMeaning: Spring
BoRa보라FemaleMeaning: Purple color
ByeolFemaleMeaning: Star
ChoHee초희FemaleMeaning: Beautiful, joy
Daehyun대현MaleMeaning: Wise man
DaeSeong대성MaleMeaning: Great success
DaEun다은FemaleMeaning: Young girl or Silver
DaJeoung다정FemaleMeaning: Loving and understanding
DoHyun도현Male or FemaleMeaning: An intelligent person
Donghyun동현MaleMeaning: A symbol of strength.
DoYoon도윤MaleMeaning: A government post
DoYun도연FemaleMeaning: Lotus blossom
Eun Ae은애FemaleMeaning: Grace and love
EunHee은희FemaleMeaning: Wish
EunHye은혜FemaleMeaning: Grace
EunJeong은정FemaleMeaning: Warmth
EunJi은지FemaleMeaning: Wisdom or mercy
Eunsuh은서FemaleMeaning: Mercy or west
EunYoung은영FemaleMeaning: Talent
GaHee가희FemaleMeaning: Beauty or elegance
Hana하나FemaleMeaning: One
Haru하루FemaleMeaning: Spring
HaYoon하윤Male or FemaleMeaning: Morality or richness
HeeJin희진FemaleMeaning: Honest
HyeJin혜진FemaleMeaning: Bright
HyeonJeong현정FemaleMeaning: Virtuous or worthy
HyeonJu현주FemaleMeaning: Jewel or pearl
HyeonU현우MaleMeaning: Manifest or clear
HyunYoung현영FemaleMeaning: Able
Iseul이슬FemaleMeaning: Dew
Jaehyun재현MaleMeaning: Wisdom
JangMi장미FemaleMeaning: Rose
JeongMale or FemaleMeaning: Gentle
JeongHui정희Male or FemaleMeaning: Right or beauty
Jia지아FemaleMeaning: Clear or good
JiEun지은FemaleMeaning: Branch or kindness
JiHo지호MaleMeaning: Brave spirit

JiHoo지후Male or FemaleMeaning: Wisdom or elegant
JiHye지혜FemaleMeaning: Intelligent
JiMin지민Male or FemaleMeaning: Gentle or jade
JinMale or FemaleMeaning: Jewel or truth
JinHwa진화Female,MaleMeaning: Most wealthy
JinSol진솔FemaleMeaning: Become a leader
JiSoo지수Male or FemaleMeaning: Gorgeous
JiU지우Male or FemaleMeaning: Ambition or universe
JiWon지원Male or FemaleMeaning: First beautiful woman
JiYoung지영Male or FemaleMeaning: Honor

Jiyun지윤FemaleMeaning: Glossy
JooEun주은FemaleMeaning: Silver pearl
JooMi주미FemaleMeaning: Pretty
JoonMaleMeaning: Strict
JooYeon주연FemaleMeaning: Gentle or relaxed
JunA준아FemaleMeaning: Swift horse
JunHo준호MaleMeaning: Summer sky
Junwoo준우MaleMeaning: Handsome
KiPpeum기쁨FemaleMeaning: Joyful
KyungHee경희FemaleMeaning: Hope
MiHee미희FemaleMeaning: Beautiful or joy
MinMale or FemaleMeaning: Jade
Minho민호MaleMeaning: Fall sky
MinJi민지FemaleMeaning: Sharp or comprehend
MinSeo민서FemaleMeaning: Composed or People
Nari나리FemaleMeaning: Lily
SaeRom새롬FemaleMeaning: Bamboo
SangHoon상훈MaleMeaning: Eternal or teach
Sena세나FemaleMeaning: Neatly
SeoHyeon서현FemaleMeaning: Felicitous omen or worthy
SeoJoon서준MaleMeaning: Slowly
SeokMaleMeaning: Tin
SeolFemaleMeaning: Snow
SeoYeon서연FemaleMeaning: Make clear

Seunghyun승현Male or FemaleMeaning: Succession
ShinMaleMeaning: Center or belief
SiWoo시우MaleMeaning: Honest
SoHee소희FemaleMeaning: Young or honest
Soo A수아FemaleMeaning: Talent or lofty
Soobin수빈Male or FemaleMeaning: Sparkle
SooHo수호MaleMeaning: Guardian
SooJin수진Male or FemaleMeaning: Truth
Soomin수민Male or FemaleMeaning: Smart
SooYeon수연FemaleMeaning: Lotus flower or lovely
SungMin성민Male or FemaleMeaning: Star or clever
Taeyeon태연FemaleMeaning: Proud or big
WookMaleMeaning: Dawn or rising sun
YeEun예은FemaleMeaning: Rainbow
YeJi예지FemaleMeaning: Study or Beautiful
YeJoon예준MaleMeaning: Trout or humble
YeonAh연아FemaleMeaning: Beauty or better
YeongMale or FemaleMeaning: Flower
YeRim예림FemaleMeaning: Azure
YooJin유진FemaleMeaning: Generous
YoonFemaleMeaning: Shine
YoonAh윤아FemaleMeaning: Highly beauty
YuMi유미FemaleMeaning: Willow or beauty
YunSeo윤서FemaleMeaning: Allow or lazy
Yuri유리FemaleMeaning: Comfortable or glass bead

All About Korean Names

What’s in a name? Well, in Korea — a name can mean quite a bit actually!

Many South Korean parents will spend a lot of time and money to come up with the perfect name for their child. It’s not just about choosing a name in Korean that will make their child popular. They believe that names can determine their destiny.

Almost all names in Korean have a deeper meaning through Hanja characters (Chinese characters). These names are called Sino-Korean, but more on that later.

A mom and a dad playing with their baby

With a child’s future on the line, it’s important to come up with a good name in Korean. The family doesn’t necessarily choose a name because it’s popular, but will often choose one that means something in Korean.

How do South Korean Names Work?

You may have seen South Korean names before. Maybe you have a favorite K-pop star, K-drama character, Korean movie character, or Korean athlete. Do any of these popular Korean individuals ring a bell?

Kim Yuna  (김연아)

Lee Hyo-ri(이효리)

Lee Min-ho (이민호)

Bae Yong-joon (배용준)

As you can see, most names in Korean have three syllables.

There are some names with more than three syllables and some names with less than three syllables. However,  the large majority of names have three.

You should try to stick with a three-syllable name as well when coming up with a name in Korean for yourself. It’ll make it much easier for your Korean friends and acquaintances that way.

Name Structure in Korea

The second part is the given name. The name above is 김 민수 (Kim Min-su).

Korean Name Structure

Korean names usually consist of three phonetic units or syllables. They’re made up of the last name and the first name with two syllables. Let’s look at an example name:


  • 김 is the first unit, and also the person’s family name. It’s written first.
  • 민수 takes the second and third unit places and is the person’s given name. It can be written on its own or after the family name.

Korean First Names

Although the first names (given name) of Koreans are typically two phonetic units, it is possible to have one-syllable names in Korean. For example, you may see one-syllable names like 박 (Park) and three-syllable names, like 빛나리 (Bit-nari). These are infrequent in South Korea though.

Here are some examples.

One-Syllable First Name

  • First name: 준
  • Last name + first name: 김준

Three-Syllable First Name

  • First name: 빛이찬
  • Last name + first name: 김빛이찬

There will be many different Korean first name combinations. Although some will be more common than others, you’ll constantly run into new ones you’ve never heard of!

Korean Last Names

South Korean last names usually have a single syllable. However, sometimes there are two-syllable last names, but they are rare. Some examples are 사공 (Sa-gong) and 남궁 (Nam-gung)

In the culture in South Korea, it’s proper for the Korean family name to be written first. So the first character you see is the family name. There are about 250 last names in South Korea. The most common Korean surnames 김 (Kim), 최 (Choi), 이 (Lee), 박 (Park) make up over half of all last names in Korea

Some other common South Korean last names are 김, 박, 정, 윤, 문, 이, 최, and 강.

Korean Name Traditions

In South Korean culture, the same name (Korean given name) is usually not passed down from generation to generation (i.e. from father to son, mother to daughter). However, it’s possible and quite common for South Korean parents or a South Korean family to have a generational name.

Basically, a generational name syllable means a single Korean character with an individually distinct syllable (Hangul or Hanja characters) is shared within the family. Although this isn’t practiced as much in modern Korean names.

For example, it’s popular for parents in South Korea to name their kids with the same first syllable if the genders are the same, i.e. 지우 (Ji-woo) and 지훈 (Ji-hoon), 유진 (Yu-jin) and 유림 (Yu-rim)

Korean Hanja Names

Almost all names have a Hanja spelling. Hanja is the word used to describe a Chinese character in Korean and is an important part of the language. You can see this in Sino-Korean names such as Eun (은 | 恩 = kind) or Hyeon (현 | 賢 = virtuous).

Hanja adds an additional aspect to the meaning behind a name in Korean.

How to Pronounce Korean Names

If you’re not used to pronouncing Korean names it’s best to brush up on that before diving in with a name of your own! And that means learning to read the Korean alphabet. It takes about 1 hour and you will be able to pronounce names in Korean correctly.

You can also estimate their pronunciation by writing them out in English. The next section below will show you how to change South Korean names to English letters.

How to Write Korean Names in English

If you need to convert a name from Hangeul to English letters, your best bet is to follow the standard Romanization of the Korean System. If you use these rules, you’ll reduce your chances of confusion.

Consonant Characters

Below are the consonants included in the Korean alphabet:

HangeulRomanized (First)Romanized (Final)

Vowel Characters

Here is the complete list of Korean vowels:

English한국어 (Korean)

Let’s Romanize the name “윤민지” using the rules above.

윤 = Yun

민 = Min

지 = Ji

Put them together and you’ve got “Yun MinJi”.

You will definitely see variations on how Korean names are spelled in Romanized Korean, but that’s how it’s done according to the Romanization rules.

Why Korean Names in English Are Confusing

Let’s say you see a name in South Korean written in Romanized Korean that looks like this:


Does this mean 재훈 (JaeHoon) or 재헌 (JaeHeon)?

This is a common problem that most South Korean learners face with writing names in South Korean using English letters. Koreans will use various combinations of English letters to spell their names in English depending on their personal preferences, so it’s hard to know how to pronounce their name in Korean until you ask or you make a mistake trying it.

Therefore, it’s easier and more precise to use Hangeul!

The post Korean Names – List of Common First and Surnames appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

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Ingaksa Temple – 인각사 (Gunwi, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

Ingaksa Temple in Gunwi, Gyeongsangbuk-do.

Temple History

Ingaksa Temple is located in the southeastern part of Gunwi, Gyeongsangbuk-do. The temple was first founded in 643 A.D. by the famed monk Wonhyo-daesa (617-686 A.D.). The name of the temple means “Giraffe Horn Temple” in English. More specifically, the temple is located next to the Wicheon River and Mt. Hwasan (828.1 m). Interestingly, people thought that Mt. Hwasan looked like a giraffe. And where Ingaksa Temple is located, people believed that’s where the giraffe’s horn should have been located; and hence, the temple’s name.

During the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), Ingaksa Temple was further expanded. And as the temple grew in size, Ingaksa Temple also grew to be one of the most prominent temples on the Korean peninsula. Also of note, Ingaksa Temple is closely associated with the famed monk Ilyeon (1206-1289) because it’s believed that he wrote the Samguk Yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms) at Ingaksa Temple over a five year period starting in 1281. Ingaksa Temple would flourish until the mid-Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

There was an extensive excavation conducted at Ingaksa Temple from 1992-2009. And while there were no specifics discovered about the exact date of the temple’s founding, it’s believed that Ingaksa Temple already existed at the end of Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.). This assumption comes as a result of findings found at where the Daeung-jeon Hall was estimated to have been located.

In total, there are two Korean Treasures. One is the Stupa of State Preceptor Bogak and Stele at Ingaksa Temple, which is Korean Treasure #428. And the other, which can be found at the Central Buddhist Museum in Seoul, is the Set of Utensils Used to Contain Food Offered to Buddha at a Ritual Unearthed from Ingaksa Temple in Gunwi. As for the temple itself, it’s Historic Site #374.

Temple Layout

You first approach Ingaksa Temple in a bend in the Wicheon River. Having passed through the temple parking lot, you’ll next pass by a field with stone artifacts from the previously mentioned excavation. These stone artifacts date back to Unified Silla. Having passed by these historical items, you’ll finally enter into the large temple courtyard. Straight ahead of you is the Geukrak-jeon Hall. Out in front of this main hall is a three-story stone pagoda. This pagoda is based on a Silla Dynasty (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.) design, but the pagoda actually dates back to the early Goryeo Dynasty (18-1392). The top of the pagoda, the finial, is in good condition, while the two-tiered based has a fan-shaped bottom which supports the weight of the square body stones. The pagoda, which is officially known as the Three-Story in Ingaksa Temple, is Gyeongsangbuk-do Cultural Heritage Material #427.

As for the Geukrak-jeon Hall, the exterior walls are adorned in simple dancheong colours and a collection of colourful floral murals. Stepping inside the Geukrak-jeon Hall, you’ll find a triad of statues on the main altar centred by Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). This central image is joined on either side by statues of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) and Daesaeji-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom and Power for Amita-bul). To the left of this triad are a pair of paintings. The first is a Banya Yongseon-do (Dragon Ship of Wisdom Mural), and the other is dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars). And hanging on the far right wall is the temple’s Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural).

To the right of the Geukrak-jeon Hall is the Guksa-jeon Hall (The State Preceptor Hall). In this case, this Guksa-jeon Hall is dedicated to Ilyeon-guksa. The exterior walls of this temple shrine hall are adorned with the Shimu-do (The Ox-Herding Murals). And housed inside this large shrine hall are a pair of murals dedicated to Ilyeon. To the rear of the Guksa-jeon Hall are a few stone artifacts. The first is a seated stone image dedicated to Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) which dates back to the 10th to 11th century. This statue is Gyeongsangbuk-do Tangible Cultural Heritage #339. This stone statue is joined to the right by the Stupa of State Preceptor Bogak and Stele at Ingaksa Temple. It’s believed that this Korean Treasure dates back to between 1289, the date of Ilyeon’s death, and 1295. The middle octagonal stone is engraved with obscure animals, while the upper octagonal stone of the stylobate is engraved with simple lotus flower patterns. This stupa is known as “Bogak-guksa Jeongjoji-tap” in Korean, which is inscribed on the front of the main body of the stupa. The six other sides of the stupa are adorned with the Four Heavenly Kings and Boddhisattvas standing on lotus flowers. The rear image of the stupa has a door design on it.

And to the left rear of the Guksa-jeon Hall, you’ll find the accompanying stele dedicated to Ilyeon, which is also a part of the Stupa of State Preceptor Bogak and Stele at Ingaksa Temple Korean Treasure. Unlike the stupa that seems to have been well preserved, the stele has not been. The stele is in rough shape. Originally, it was erected by the monk Beopjin, who was a disciple of Ilyeon. And the inscription on the stele was composed by Minji, who was a famous writer at this time, at the command of Chungnyeol of Goryeo (r. 1274-1308). And because the stele has been so badly damaged, a copy of the stele’s inscription has been preserved at Woljeongsa Temple in Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do. It’s believed that the stele was erected in 1295.

Between the Geukrak-jeon Hall and the Guksa-jeon Hall is the temple’s Myeongbu-jeon Hall. Like the Geukrak-jeon Hall, the Myeongbu-jeon Hall is adorned in simple dancheong colours around its exterior walls. Stepping inside the Judgment Hall, you’ll find a smaller, green haired statue dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) on the main altar. This statue is joined by ten smaller sized statues dedicated to the Siwang (The Ten Kings of the Underworld).

To the rear of the Myeongbu-jeon Hall, and up a slight incline, is the Sallyeong-gak Hall. This stand-alone shrine hall houses a fading mural dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). And the final shrine hall that visitors can explore at Ingaksa Temple is the Mireuk-dang Hall, which is a modern building. Housed inside the Mireuk-dang Hall is a damaged image of Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha). The damaged image of Mireuk-bul rests all alone on the main altar. The statue is believed to date back to Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.). It was found during the extensive excavation that took place from 1992-2009. It was found in the middle of a field about 60 metres from the main temple grounds. It’s right arm has been lost, and some of its facial features have been damaged. The statue, which is officially known as the Seated Stone Buddha in the Maitreya Shrine at Ingaksa Temple, is Gyeongsangbuk-do Tangible Cultural Heritage Material #426.

And no trip to Ingaksa Temple would be complete without a visit to the museum. This museum is located at the front of the temple grounds.

How To Get There

From the Gunwi Intercity Bus Terminal, you’ll need to board a bus that reads “Gunwi-Nakjeon, 군위 – 낙전” on it. You can take this bus or the “Gunwi – Hakam, 군위 – 학암” bus. Either bus ride will last about an hour, or 21 stops. You’ll need to get off at the “Hwabuk 1-ri – 화북 1리” stop. From where the bus drops you off, you’ll need to walk an additional 900 metres, or 15 minutes, to get to Ingaksa Temple.

And if public transportation isn’t your thing, you can simply take a taxi from the Gunwi Intercity Bus Terminal. The taxi ride will take about 35 minutes, and it’ll cost you around 25,000 won (one way).

Overall Rating: 7/10

Ingaksa Temple has one of the more storied pasts. First, it was founded by Wonhyo-daesa, and then it was the temple where Ilyeon wrote the Samguk Yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms). It’s also the final resting place of the earthly remains of the famed monk, as well. There’s a beautiful stupa that houses these remains and a damaged stele that records the monk’s life. Other interesting features to Ingaksa Temple is the Goryeo-era pagoda out in front of the Geukrak-jeon Hall, the Guksa-jeon Hall, and the various stone artifacts from the extensive excavation conducted at the temple. While this temple is lesser known, it’s definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re interested in the history of Korean Buddhism.

Stonework at the entry of Ingaksa Temple from the 1992-2009 excavation.
The temple museum.
The Geukrak-jeon Hall and Goryeo-era three-story pagoda out in front of it.
A look inside the Geukrak-jeon Hall at the main altar.
The Guksa-jeon Hall to the right of the Geukrak-jeon Hall.
One of the Shimu-do (Ox-Herding Murals) that adorns the Guksa-jeon Hall.
The mural of Ilyeon on the main altar inside the Guksa-jeon Hall.
The nearly completely destroyed stele dedicated to Ilyeon at Ingaksa Temple.
The seated stone image of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) that dates back to the 10th to 11th century.
The stele that is dedicated to Ilyeon, which is Korean Treasure #428.
A look inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall at Ingaksa Temple.
The Sallyeong-gak Hall, which is an outdoor shrine dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit).
Housed inside of the Sallyeong-gak Hall is this fading image of the Mountain Spirit.
The Seated Stone Buddha in the Maitreya Shrine at Ingaksa Temple.

The Ukraine War is Teaching N Korea that Nukes Can Keep the Americans Out of Your Conflicts

  North Korea ICBMRussia’s success at blocking NATO intervention in the Ukraine war via its nuclear weapons is a huge learning moment for North Korea. This is a re-post of an essay I wrote at after the recent missile test.

Usually we say that NK wants nukes on missiles for:

1) Deterrence and Defense: to keep the Americans from ever striking NK, as they threatened in 1994 and 2017

2) Level the Military Playing Field: NK is too poor and technological backward to compete conventionally with SK or the US anymore. So nukes are a great equalizer.

This is true, but as we are all seeing in Ukraine, nukes are also a great way to keep the Americans at bay, to keep them from intervening in your conflict with an American ally. If Russia weren’t nuked up, it’s safe to say that NATO would be more heavily involved. And pundits have been very honest about admitting that we can’t do more, such as a no-fly zone, because we fear escalation with nuclear-armed Russia. I have argued this too.

So if you are NK, nuclear ICBMs, which give you direct deterrence with the US, are a possible way to prevent the Americans from helping SK in a conflict, just as Russian nukes are keeping us out of the Ukraine war. This is to drive wedge between the US and SK. At some point, we are going to have to reckon with this threat, and missile defense is not an answer, because it does not work well enough.

Here is my essay from 1945:

North Korea just tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile. It appears that this is Pyongyang’s longest-range missile yet. The goal, obviously, is to strike the United States if necessary. North Korea has sought, and now likely achieved, the ability to directly threaten the US mainland with substantial nuclear force.

ICBMs normally are designed to deliver a nuclear payload. North Korea first detonated a nuclear weapon in 2006. It is widely assumed that it now has several dozen nuclear warheads. North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un has also hinted that he wishes to develop MIRVs (multiple, independently-targetable re-entry vehicles). This would permit each ICBM to carry multiple warheads. So even if only one North Korean ICBM were to survive American missile defense, it could then still devastate multiple American cities.

Read the rest here.

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University




How speaking Korean affects your English (feat. Forrest)

How has speaking Korean affected YOUR Korean? What sorts of things do you say now in English, after having learned some (or more) of the Korean language?

I sat down with my friend Forrest and we talked about some common things that English speakers do after they've started studying Korean, as well as the reasons why we do those.

The post How speaking Korean affects your English (feat. Forrest) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Korean address – General format and how to write one

Having an idea of Korean address can come in handy. Especially when you would like to send mail to someone you know living in South Korea or your loved ones are hoping to send you a care package while you’re in South Korea.

an envelope with a text saying how to write a Korean address, and a pen, pencil and eraser beside it

How to Write a Korean Address

If you stay in South Korea and send mail to someone else in the country, you’ll also want to know how to write the address in Korean first before sending anything out. Writing a Korean address can seem complicated or intimidating at first. It is of great advantage to check out an article like ours for some assistance.

South Korean Address Format

Regardless of whether you are sending a package or a postcard, you will similarly format the address. Typically, you are expected to include your information on each mail item – aka sender’s information. The placement of this generally is in the upper left corner. Essentially, you are writing two addresses each time for the sender and the receiver.


In the address format, you’ll first write the name. This applies to both the sender and receiver’s information. For Korean names, the family name should come first.

Address Line

Below the name, you will write the address itself. Unlike in many Western countries, you’ll write the address in the opposite way. Instead of the street number or name, you’ll start with the largest division like the city or province, going to the smaller division. This is the usual order of writing the address:

  • City or Province
  • District or Municipality
  • Street name
  • Building number
  • Apartment number/House number

Postal Code

Finally, below the address, you will add the postal code. They used to be six digits, but only five are now used under the new address system.

Other relevant information on Korean addresses

On top of the format of writing Korean addresses, below is other helpful information that you should note.

New Korean address system

The information above shows the new system of writing an address in South Korea, which has only been in use for a few years. In the previous system, you would include the area within the district, but that is no longer necessary. Instead, you will use the names of South Korean streets, as displayed above.

Due to this change, buildings were designated with new building numbers, which has been received with some negative reactions from Koreans. However, especially for us foreigners, it makes navigating South Korea much easier.

Both address systems are still in use, so you will still see addresses written using the old mail system. Your mail may still go through even with the old address system but try your best to rely on the new format of addresses in South Korea.

Road designations for South Korean addresses

There are three different road designations in the address system used in South Korea.

대로 (daero)

대로 (daero) is designated for the biggest streets in each city where the big roads are.

로- (ro-)

The next one is 로- (ro-), designated for roads or streets smaller than 대로 (daero). These roads usually have 2 to 7 lanes.

길 (gil)

Lastly, roads designated as 길 (gil) are typically the smallest of the bunch having only one lane. This often branches as smaller streets off a bigger 로- (ro-) designated street.

Writing addresses with multistory buildings

An apartment or officetel is a typical building in South Korea. If you are sending mail to someone living in multistory buildings like these, you also need to know and write down the floor number and the apartment or suite number. Just writing down building numbers isn’t enough.

So, for example, if someone lives on the 6th floor, in apartment 33, and the building number is still the 114, as presented in the example above, then the written address would look like this:

서울특별시 강남구 선릉로190길 114 6층 33호

#33, 6th Floor, 114, Seolleungro-190gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

What about if the address looked like this instead?

서울특별시 강남구 선릉로190길 33-6?

33-6, Seolleungro-190gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

In this case, the building is located on a street, branching off a bigger street that’s too short to have its own street name. All of the buildings on this small street probably have the same building number, 33 in our example, and a separate number follows the hyphenation.

Example of a Korean address in Korean

Before learning how to write Korean addresses, it’s best to learn the Korean alphabet first to help you understand the process better. Here is an example of a South Korean address written in the Korean language. We have also included its Korean romanization below.


서울특별시 강남구 선릉로190길 114




Kim Seojun

Seoulteukbyeolsi Gangnamgu Seolleungro-190gil 114



Example of a Korean Address in English

And here is how you can write that address in English. It will be useful to know if you are sending or receiving mail from abroad. You can also use this within South Korea, but mail carriers will find the receiver much faster if you write it in Korean.

Seojun Kim

114, Seolleungro-190gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

06010 South Korea

Helpful tools for Korean Address

Understanding the concept of Korean addresses may be a bit difficult at first. We’ve added some resources below that you can use if you need to write down or locate a Korean address.

Korean Address Generator


To help you become more familiar with Korean addresses, you can use this tool to generate random addresses in Korea.

Korean Address Converter

Road Name Address

If you have the address details in Korean, you can run it in this Korean address converter to know how it is written in English.

The generated information also includes the land lot, zip code, and the exact location of the address on their map.

Vocabulary Related to Korean address

The following are important details to know regarding writing addresses in South Korea. They will also teach you how each city and town in South Korea is constructed. Note that not all of the below information is required to write each and every address.

주소 (juso)Address
봉투 (bongtu)Envelope
속달 (sokdal)Express mail
광고성 우편 (gwanggoseong upyeon)Junk mail
편지 (pyeonji)Letter
편지를 쓰다 (pyeonjireul sseuda)Write a letter
집배원 (jipbaewon)Mail carrier
이름 (ireum)Name
소포 (sopo)Package
엽서 (yeopseo)Postcard
소인 (soin)Postmark
우체국 (ucheguk)Post office
받는 사람 (banneun saram)Recipient
보내는 사람 (bonaeneun saram)Sender
등기 (deunggi)Registered mail
우표 (upyo)Stamp
우편번호 (upyeonbeonho)Zip code
도 (do)Province
시 (si)City
군 (gun)Municipality
읍 (eup)Center of a municipality
리 (ri)Specific area within a neighborhood
면 (myeon)Villages surrounding the municipality's center
구 (gu)District within a big city
동 (dong)Area within a district
가 (ga)Block
대로 (daero)Big road
로 (ro)Road (with 2 to 7 lanes)
길 (gil)Road (with 1 lane)

Useful Sentences related to Korean addresses

Here are some sentences that you can use when talking about addresses in South Korea.

이거 제 주소예요.
(igeo je jusoyeyo.)
This is my address.
제일 가까운 우체국이 어디예요?
(jeil gakkaun ucheguki eodiyeyo?)
Where is the closest post office?
우표 하나 주세요.
(upyo hana juseyo.)
Can I have one stamp, please?
항공편으로 보내 주세요.
(hanggongpyeoneuro bonae juseyo.)
Please send it as air mail.
이 소포를 프랑스로 보내고 싶어요.
(i soporeul peurangseuro bonaego sipeoyo.)
I want to send this package to France.

Now that you have learned about writing South Korean addresses, you are well equipped to start sending out mail! You can also start sharing your address with others so that you can also receive mail! Next up, maybe you would like to know how to survive a trip to a Korean bank using Korean?

The post Korean address – General format and how to write one appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

Songbulsa Temple – 성불사 (Sariwon, Hwanghaebuk-to, North Korea)

Songbulsa Temple [Seongbulsa Temple] in 1927 (Picture Courtesy of the Buddhist Art of North Korea – Documentation in Gelatin Dry Plates).

Temple History

Songbulsa Temple [Seongbulsa Temple] is located in Sariwon, Hwanghaebuk-to, North Korea. Additionally, Songbulsa Temple is located inside the Mt. Jongbangsan [Jeongbangsan] Fortress in the southwest corner. The fortress was rebuilt in 1632 to ward off Japanese pirates. And for the rest of this article, it should be noted, that the spelling of North Korean places will use the North Korean style of spelling. As for the temple, it was first founded in 898 A.D. by Doseon-guksa (826-898 A.D.). After falling into disrepair, Songbulsa Temple was rebuilt in 1374 by Naong (1320-1376). The temple was then expanded in 1569 and 1632. In 1751, the temple was repaired by the monk Chan-hoon. Songbulsa Temple was repaired, once more, in 1924. And during Japanese Colonization (1910-1945), the temple acted as one of the 31 head temples that oversaw the administration of Korean temples. In total, Songbulsa Temple oversaw some 36 neighbouring temples.

In total, there are currently six buildings at Songbulsa Temple. Some of these buildings are some of the oldest wooden structures in North Korea like the Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall] that was rebuilt in 1374. And an even older temple shrine hall at Songbulsa Temple is the Ungjin-jeon Hall [Eungjin-jeon Hall] that was rebuilt in 1327.

Songbulsa Temple, as a whole, is North Korean National Treasure #87.

A picture of where Songbulsa Temple is located in the Jongbangsan [Jeongbangsan] Fortress. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
A drawing of the temple grounds from the Joseon Gojeok Dobo in 1932.
And a drawing of the historic Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall] at Songbulsa Temple from the Joseon Gojeok Dobo in 1932.

Temple Layout

As you make your way towards the temple grounds, you’ll first pass through the Chongpung-ru Pavilion [Cheongpung-ru]. The pathway leading through the entry gate is slightly lower than the two slightly elevated pavilions where people can rest or meditate. As for the Chongpung-ru Pavilion, it’s decorated with beautiful dancheong colours. Also housed inside this pavilion is a green mokeo (wooden fish drum). The mokeo has a fish body and a large dragon head.

Having passed through the wide Chongpung-ru Pavilion, you’ll enter into the main temple courtyard at Songbulsa Temple. Standing in the centre of the temple courtyard is a five-story stone pagoda that dates back to the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). Backing this slender pagoda is the Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall]. The Kukrak-jeon Hall is the main hall at Songbulsa Temple, and it dates back to 1374. This makes it one of the oldest wooden structures in North Korea. The Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall] rests atop a raised stone platform. The exterior eaves of the main hall are adorned with intricate dancheong colours. And the front latticework is floral in design. Stepping inside the Kukrak-jeon Hall, you’ll find that the main hall is spacious and uncluttered. Resting on the main altar is a triad centred by Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise), who is joined by Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) and Daesaeji-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom and Power for Amita-bul). Conspicuously absent is the datjib (canopy) over top the main altar triad. Looking around the interior of the Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall], you’ll find that it’s also adorned with beautiful dancheong colours, as well as murals of dragons, white elephants, and blue haetae.

To the left of the Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall] is the Unha-dang Hall. And to the right of the main hall is the historic Ungjin-jeon Hall [Eungjin-jeon Hall]. This is the oldest building at Songbulsa Temple, which is saying something because the Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall] dates back to 1374. The historic Ungjin-jeon Hall dates back to 1327, making it one of the oldest wooden structures in North Korea, as well. The Unjin-jeon Hall sits atop a raised stone platform. To the left and right of the shrine hall’s entryway are a pair of Geumgang-yeoksa (Vajra Warrior). As for the eaves of this historic structure, they are adorned with different Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. As for the Ungjin-jeon Hall [Eungjin-jeon Hall] itself, it’s rather long; longer, in fact, than the main hall at Songbulsa Temple. Stepping inside the Ungjin-jeon Hall [Eungjin-jeon Hall], you’ll find a main altar triad centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). This triad is then surrounded by 500 statues of the Nahan (The Historical Disciples of the Buddha). Hard to tell what they’re made of, whether it’s wood, stone, or something else, but they are all expressive and colourful.

To the right of the Ungjin-jeon Hall is the temple’s Myongbu-jeon Hall [Myeongbu-jeon Hall]. Like the Ungjin-jeon Hall, the Myongbu-jeon Hall rests atop a stone platform. The exterior walls are adorned with understated dancheong colours. To the right and left of the signboard that identifies the shrine hall, you’ll see two intricate, swirling wooden designs dedicated to Gwimyeon (Monster Mask). They rest in a opening between a structural beam and the eaves of the building. As understated as the exterior is, the interior is filled with bold colours. The statue of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) rests alone on the main altar under a massive red datjib (canopy). On either side of the main altar are ten total paintings dedicated to the Siwang (The Ten Kings of the Underworld). They are fronted by three statues on either side, six in total, of the Siwang and a pair of guardians. The interior of the Myongbu-jeon Hall is beautifully illustrated with a pair of swirling dragons at the front of the large, red canopy. The ceiling is adorned with Bicheon (Flying Heavenly Deities), as well as lotus flower paintings.

Somewhere on the temple grounds, probably between the Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall] and the Unjin-jeon Hall [Eungjin-jeon Hall], you’ll find the compact Sanshin-gak Hall. This shaman shrine hall is a rarity at a North Korean temple. The front of the diminutive structure is adorned with bamboo murals. As for the painting of Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) inside the Sanshin-gak Hall, it’s a modern painting. And Sanshin is joined by a inquisitive tiger and a large dongja (attendant) in the altar painting.

How To Get There

For now, in today’s political climate, you don’t. But hopefully one day soon we can. Below is a map of where to find Songbulsa Temple in Sariwon, Hwanghaebuk-to, North Korea.

Overall Rating: 9/10

Anytime there’s a North Korean temple, which Songbulsa Temple [Seongbulsa Temple] is, it rates a little higher because of its off-limit nature. With that being said, Songbulsa Temple has a couple beautiful highlights. They are the Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall] and the Ungjin-jeon Hall [Eungjin-jeon Hall]. Both of these structures date back to the 14th century and are architecturally impressive both inside and out. Another highlight to this temple is the colourful interior of the Myongbu-jeon Hall [Myeongbu-jeon Hall] and the rare Sanshin-gak Hall.

Historical Pictures of Songbulsa Temple

The five-story Goryeo-era stone pagoda that was once just outside the main temple courtyard.(Picture courtesy of the Buddhist Art of North Korea – Documentation in Gelatin Dry Plates).
The Chongpung-ru Pavilion [Cheongpung-ru Pavilion]. (Picture courtesy of the Buddhist Art of North Korea – Documentation in Gelatin Dry Plates).
The Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall]. (Picture courtesy of the Joseon Gojeok Dobo in 1932).
A look up and around the exterior of the Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall]. (Picture courtesy of the Joseon Gojeok Dobo in 1932).
The floral latticework that once adorned the Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall]. (Picture courtesy of the Joseon Gojeok Dobo in 1932).
The main altar Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) statue inside the Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall]. (Picture courtesy of the Buddhist Art of North Korea – Documentation in Gelatin Dry Plates).
The Ungjin-jeon Hall [Eungjin-jeon Hall] at Songbulsa Temple. (Picture courtesy of the Joseon Gojeok Dobo in 1932).
A look around the interior of the Ungjin-jeon Hall [Eungjin-jeon Hall]. (Picture courtesy of the Joseon Gojeok Dobo in 1932).
The main altar image of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) inside the Ungjin-jeon Hall [Eungjin-jeon Hall]. (Picture courtesy of the Buddhist Art of North Korea – Documentation in Gelatin Dry Plates).
A long look at the historic Ungjin-jeon Hall. [Eungjin-jeon Hall]. (Picture courtesy of the Joseon Gojeok Dobo in 1932).
One of the three historic stupas at Songbulsa Temple. (Picture courtesy of the Buddhist Art of North Korea – Documentation in Gelatin Dry Plates).

Songbulsa Temple Now

The Chongpung-ru Pavilion [Cheongpung-ru]. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
A look around the interior of the Chongpung-ru Pavilion [Cheongpung-ru Pavilion]. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
And the mokeo (wooden fish drum) inside the Chongpung-ru Pavilion [Cheongpung-ru Pavilion]. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
The Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall] and five-story Goryeo-era pagoda at Songbulsa Temple. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
The floral latticework adorning the front of the Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall]. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
A look inside the Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall]. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
A look up inside the Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall]. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
The historic Ungjin-jeon Hall [Eungjin-jeon Hall]. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
Inside the Ungjin-jeon Hall [Eungjin-jeon Hall]. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
And one more look inside the Ungjin-jeon Hall [Eungjin-jeon Hall]. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
A look up at the Myongbu-jeon Hall [Myeongbu-jeon Hall]. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
One of the decorative Gwimyeon (Monster Masks) that adorns the Myongbu-jeon Hall [Myeongbu-jeon Hall]. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
A look around the inside of the Myongbu-jeon Hall [Myeongbu-jeon Hall]. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
The rare Sanshin-gak Hall at Songbulsa Temple. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
The painting of Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) inside the Sanshin-gak Hall at Songbulsa Temple. (Picture courtesy of Prof. David Mason).
And the historic stupas on the Songbulsa Temple grounds. (Picture courtesy of Naver).

~고자 "Desiring to Do" | Live Class Abridged

In Sunday's live Korean classroom (which we have almost every Sunday), we most recently learned about the grammar form ~고자 (하다). This form is used to show that someone has the desire to do something, or intends to do something. It's a formal grammar form, and is similar to the (으)려고 form.

The full live stream was about an hour long, but you can learn about this form in just 8 minutes here in the abridged version.

The post ~고자 "Desiring to Do" | Live Class Abridged appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.


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