What are some good questions that I can use as a Korean leaner to help expand my Korean vocabulary? In particular, how do I ask someone how to say an English word or phrase in Korean?

Examples (and my attempts at saying them in Korean):

  • "How do you say 'XYZ'?" 어떻게 말해요 "XYZ"? (I don't really know to handle quoted phrases in Korean, so I don't know if I did that correctly)
  • "What is this?": 이것 뭐예요? (this phrase is really only helpful for learning about nouns that are physically in your presence)

Did I write those questions in Korean correctly? Are there any other good questions I can ask people to help me learn Korean?

2 Answers 2


For the sake of this answer, we will assume that your listener has some basic understanding of English.

Suppose I wanted to ask a Korean speaker (using Korean)

"How do I say 'It is a pleasure to meet you' in Korean?"

I can then say

'It is a pleasure to meet you'는 한국말로 어떻게 말해요? (more formally 말합니까?)

The 한국말로 part indicates that you are asking them how to say the phrase in Korean.

A similar thing can be done with shorter phrases or nouns:

'Sunflower'는 한국말로 어떻게 말해요?

For a single word, we can also say

'Sunflower'는 한국말로 뭐라(고) 해요?

Suppose that a Korean speaker tells you that sunflower in Korean is 해바라기. You can then say

아, 예. 감사합니다. '해바라기' (attempt to say new word). 발음이 어때요? (Or 발음이 괜찮아요?)

This means "Oh, yes. Thank you. [attempt to say word]. How is my pronunciation?" This can verify your listening and your pronunciation skills while learning new words.


"How do you say 'XYZ'?"

‘XYZ’ 를 어떻게 부르나요? Or ‘XYZ’를 어떻게 발음 하나요

"What is this?"

이것은 무엇입니까? or 이게 뭡니까?
or as situation 이게 무엇인지 알 수 있을까요?

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