Survival Korean for PyeongChang 2018

TandemFebruary 12, 2018

It’s Winter Olympics time!

The Winter Olympic Games is a major international sporting event that celebrates sports played in the ice and snow. It happens every four years and has been happening since 1924. This February, the 23rd Winter Olympics are taking place in Pyeongchang province in South Korea. Korea is famous for K-pop, barbecue and amazing technology. But it’s also famous for the Korean language - a unique language that has few linguistic relations. Around 80 million people worldwide speak Korean.


The Winter Olympics are a great way to find out a bit more about Korean culture, and get your first start with the Korean language. To help you, we’ve put together a survival kit of Korean for the Olympics. Whether you’re travelling to Pyeongchang yourself, or just planning to make a new Korean friend on Tandem, these phrases are sure to be invaluable! Because Korean uses Hangul script, we’ve also included the Latin transliteration.

Basic Korean

Hello (formal) 안녕하세요 Annyeonghaseyo Hi (informal) 안녕 (비격식체) Annyeong Please 부탁드립니다 Butakdeurimnida Thank you! 고맙습니다! Gomabseubnida You’re welcome 별말씀을요 Byeolmalsseumeuryo My name is… 제 이름은… Je ireumeun… What’s your name? 이름이 어떻게 되세요? Ireumi eotteoke doeseyo?

Olympics vocabulary

Winter Olympics 동계 올림픽 Donggye ollimpik Snow 눈 Nun Ice 빙상 Bingsang Skiing 스키 Seuki Biathlon 바이애슬론 Baiaeseullon Curling 컬링 Keolling Ice skating 빙상 스케이팅 Bingsang seukeiting Ice hockey 아이스하키 Aiseuhaki Snowboarding 스노보드 Seunobodeu

Tandem Olympic conversation starters

Are you watching the Winter Olympics? 동계 올림픽 보고 계신가요? Donggye ollimpik bogo gyesingayo? What’s your favorite sport in the Winter Olympics? 동계 올림픽에서 가장 좋아하는 스포츠는 무엇인가요? Donggye ollimpigeseo gajang joahaneun seupocheuneun mueosingayo? Who is your favorite athlete? 가장 좋아하는 운동 선수는 누구인가요? Gajang joahaneun undong seonsuneun nuguingayo? Which country do you want to win? 어느 나라가 우승하길 바라십니까? Eoneu naraga useunghagil barasimnikka?