The word for "came" is 왔어요. But, as a beginner, if I was listening to someone say 왔어요 and trying to transcribe what I am hearing, I would probably have transcribed it as 와서요 or 와써요. Would a native Korean, looking at 와서요 or 와써요, be able to understand I meant 왔어요?

More generally, I would like to understand whether native Koreans read by reading the characters out loud in their head, or by recognizing the characters, or a bit of both.

  • 와써요 is the pronunciation of 왔어요, so it will definitely be understood; however, you may be misunderstood if you use 와서요 instead of 왔어요. 와서요 has other meanings like "by/after coming" and "because (someone/something) comes / has come / came / is/was coming / will come."
    – Klmo
    Sep 17, 2020 at 10:44

1 Answer 1


I am a Korean-American, and from personal experience, yes, it is understandable if you transcribed 왔어요 as 와써요. However, 와서요 has a different meaning than what 왔어요 means, but I guess if the person who was reading looked at the context they could figure it out.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.