I’d like to list a few sentences that are most basic when travelling in Korea.
1. Thank you
감사합니다 – kam sa ham ni da
2. I’m sorry. (as an apology)
죄송합니다 – chae song ham ni da
This is used when you apologize, and not when you feel sorrowful such as at a funeral. Here’s another version:
미안합니다 – mi ahn ham ni da
3. Excuse me.
실례합니다 – shil lae ham ni da
4. It’s/you’re beautiful.
아름답습니다 – ah reum dab seum ni da
Yes, you can say it to ladies, and they will be extremely flattered. It is the highest form of complementing an aesthetic appearance. Don’t say it to men. If you want to make her less nervous, you can tone it down a bit and use the following:
이쁩니다 – yi peum ni da
5. No, thank you.
괜찮습니다 – ghen chan seum ni da
Its literal meaning is ‘I’m ok/fine.’ It is to use when you’re offered something, and you want to refuse it. In Korea, a blunt ‘no’ is often considered rude, and we have a roundabout way of saying as above.
예 – ye
Although it sounds almost identical as the same word for English, the tone is quite opposite. It’s monotone and polite.
아니오 – No
This is a flat decline. As I said above, a right-off-the-bat ‘no’ a needs careful consideration in Korea. Be gentle when you use it.
I work as a professional Korean translator. You can trust me on these.