HOW TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF IN KOREAN

Watch the video to learn how to introduce yourself in Korean, and listen to the expressions in this blog post!


One of the most basic language functions is being able to introduce yourself, and as with most things in Korean, depending on who we're introducing ourselves to and where that introduction is taking place, we have to use different expression and follow different language rules. So in this article, we're going to explore a full range of expressions you can use when introducing yourself and various rules you need to follow when using them.


1. Hello

Generally, there are two forms of hello you can use when you're introducing yourself.

  • 안녕하십니까?
  • 안녕하세요.

Both mean 'hello', and both are formal enough to be used in various formal settings and also with people we need to be respectful towards. So we can use these expressions when introducing ourselves at workplace, and we can also use these expressions when we're introducing ourselves to our girlfriend's or boyfriend's parents. However, 안녕하십니까 is more formal, so it's generally only used in very formal settings, such as at work, and it's also more commonly used by men.

If a young Korean, such as a high school student or a university student, were to introduce themselves to their peers, then they will likely say 안녕. However, in general, adults use the formal forms 안녕하십니까, or 안녕하세요.


2. My name is...

There are three ways to say our name in Korean.

1. 저는 .....(이)라고 합니다/해요. (I'm called...)

This expression uses 라고 하다(라고 합니다) means 'to be called something', so when we use this expression to say our name, we're literally saying 'I'm called...'. If we're introducing ourselves at a formal setting, such as at workplace, we would use the formal verb ending 합니다. However, if we're introducing ourselves at a more social setting, we would use 해요.

2. 저는 .....입니다/이에요. (I'm...)

This expression literally means 'I'm...'. 이다 functions like the English verb 'to be', and it can be conjugated to the formal form 입니다 and the polite form 이에요. And same as before, we use the formal verb ending 입니다 in more formal settings, but use 이에요 at more social settings.

3. 제 이름은... 입니다/이에요 (My name is...)

This literally means 'My name is...', and of the three ways of saying our name in Korean, this is the most formal way. Generally, this way is only used in formal setting, such as at work, or if you're giving a speech to a large audience. Koreans hardly ever say 제 이름은 ...입니다/이에요 to say our names at social settings.


3. It's nice to meet you.

There are 2 expressions we can use to say 'It's nice to meet you'.

1. 처음 뵙겠습니다.

This expression literally means 'I'll meet you for the first time'.

  • 처음 - first time
  • 뵙다 - to meet (used to talk about meeting someone with seniority)
  • 겠다 - will (used to talk about intentions)

So when we use this expression, we're saying 'this is my first time meeting you', and this functions in the same way as 'It's nice to meet you'. This expression is a formal expression, so it's more often used in formal settings. However, some people also use this expression when they're introducing themselves in more social settings.

2. 만나서 반갑습니다.

This expression literally means 'I'm happy because I'm meeting you'.

  • 만나다 - to meet
  • (아,어)서 - because
  • 반갑다 - please to see someone

This expression is very similar in meaning to 'It's nice to meet you' in English. One important rule regarding this expression is that we don't use this expression when we're introducing ourselves to someone with significant seniority. So if I'm introducing myself to a very senior manager at work, or girlfriend or boyfriend's parents, or anyone who's significantly older, then I would not use 만나서 반갑습니다. Instead, it's better to use 처음 뵙겠습니다.


4. I've heard a lot about you.

If we want to say 'I've heard a lot about you' to someone with seniority, we can say.

1. 말씀 많이 들었습니다.

This expression literally means 'I've heard a lot of things'

  • 말씀 - someone's words (polite form)
  • 많이 - a lot
  • 들었습니다 - heard (formal form of 들었다)

And 말씀 많이 들었습니다 is a formal expression, so we generally only say this to those with seniority.

If you want to say 'I've heard a lot about you' to someone of similar age, you can say.

2. 얘기 많이 들었어요.

애기 is a shortened form of 이야기 which means a tale, or a story, and instead of using the formal and honorific verb form 들었습니다, we can just use the polite form 들었어요. And we can use this expression if we're meeting a friend's friend, girlfriend, or sibling.


5. Make polite request for cooperation

In Korean, when we meet someone for the first time, or when we're doing something for the first time, we use a particular expression to politely request the other person to be kind and understanding of us, and this is.

1. 잘 부탁드립니다

잘 means 'well', and 부탁드리다 means 'to make a request', and this is the honorific form of 부탁하다. And when we use this expression, we're asking the other person to be kind, helpful, cooperative and understanding of our needs or situation. For example, on your first day at your new job, if you were introducing yourself to your colleagues, you can say 잘 부탁드립니다, and this is a polite way of asking others to help you or be understanding of you as it's your first day in your job.

If you want to be less formal, perhaps you are joining a social club, you can say 잘 부탁합니다 or 잘 부탁해요.


Okay, so that's it for this article, to listen to how the expressions in this article are pronounced, please watch the video at the top of this article.

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