How to say goodbye in Korean (Part. 2)

Now that you know how to say goodbye in Korean, it’s time to add some more handy farewell phrases to your vocabulary. During this lesson, you’ll tackle some new expressions which you won’t find in English.

First of all, we’re going to look at what you can say when you’re leaving. If you studied our previous blog lesson, you’ll know that you can use 안녕히 계세요, which literally means “stay peacefully.” However, one important thing to remember is that before you say goodbye, you need to tell someone that you’re about to leave. If you just say goodbye without an explanation you will come across as rude.

To do so, you can use the phrase 먼저 갈게요 which translates as “I have to leave first.” This is especially important if you’re with a group of people or with someone older than you. Reason being that in Korean culture it is seen as disrespectful to leave before someone older than you, so using 먼저 갈게요 is considered as a way of apologising for going first.

먼저 갈게요I will go first (Polite)
먼저 들어가겠습니다I will go first (Polite)

The opposite of 먼저 갈게요 is 먼저 가세요 and this can be used to mean “please go first.” You can also use 먼저 들어가세요 when you wish to say “please go home first.” If you told someone to leave in English, it might come across as rude and that you can’t wait to get rid of him or her! But, rest assured, it is very polite in Korean, and you can use these expressions to practically anyone.

먼저 가세요You go first
먼저 들어가세요You go home first
조심히 들어가세요Please go ahead

들어가세요 is a versatile phrase and it can even be used to end a conversation on the phone, by taking on the meaning “you hang up first.”

Be aware that 들어가세요 has a formal nuance to it and is therefore only really used towards older people and when ending a business call. When talking to friends, you can simply say 네, 응 or 끊을게.

들어가세요You hang up first

Next, we’re going to introduce you to a unique phrase. 수고하세요 is a little difficult to translate into English, as there is no real equivalent. It is often used at the end of the day to say “continue working hard,” “thanks for the hard work,” or “good effort.”

For example, say you’ve been working on a project all day, such as a photo shoot. You can use this phrase at the end of the shoot as a way of ‘wrapping up.’

수고하세요 can be used in different situations, such as when you want to make a comment on someone’s hard work. You can say this to show your appreciation for their effort.

Remember, that as always, when speaking someone you are expected to show respect towards, such as a boss or an elder, you need to use the formal versions of the phrase.

수고하세요Good effort (Polite)
수고하셨어요You worked hard (Polite)
수고하십니다Good effort (Formal)
수고하셨습니다You worked hard (Formal)

In the last of the expressions, we’re going to teach you some quick phrases that you can also use to say goodbye and goodnight.

다음에 봐요See you next time
내일 봐요See you tomorrow
잘자요Good night
안녕히 주무세요 Sleep peacefully
좋은 꿈 꾸세요Sweet dreams

…and we’re done! Phew. There was a lot to get through, but you made it to the other side! 수고하셨어요 😀

August 24, 2016

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