Guide: How to Say “Country” in Korean

Greetings! If you’re interested in learning the Korean language and expanding your vocabulary, understanding how to say “country” in Korean is a great place to start. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore both the formal and informal ways to express the word “country” in Korean, along with some useful tips, examples, and even region-specific variations. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the enchanting world of Korean vocabulary!

Formal Ways to Say “Country” in Korean

If you want to use the formal expression for “country” in Korean, you can choose between two commonly used terms:

1. 나라 (Nara)

The word “나라” is a versatile term that can be used in various contexts to refer to a nation or country. It is the standard and neutral term used in formal settings or official contexts.


“저는 한국이라는 나라에서 태어났어요.” (Jeoneun Hangukiramyeon Naraeseo Taeeonasseoyo) – “I was born in a country called Korea.”

2. 국가 (Gukga)

Another formal term to express “country” is “국가.” Similarly to “나라,” it can be used interchangeably, but “국가” might be more commonly used in official documents, speeches, or political discussions.


“저는 국가 안전보장에 관심이 많아요.” (Jeoneun Gukga Anjeonbojang-e Gwansim-i Manayo) – “I am interested in national security.”

Informal Ways to Say “Country” in Korean

When communicating in a casual or informal context, you may prefer using the following terms to refer to a country:

1. 나라 (Nara)

Yes, “나라” can also be used informally. It is a versatile term that works well across different speech levels and situations in the Korean language.


“한국 나라 정말 좋아!” (Hanguk Nara Jeongmal Joa!) – “I really like Korea (the country)!”

2. 나라이름 (Naraireum)

When emphasizing the specific name of a country, using “나라이름” or “country name” in English can be more suitable in informal conversations.


“미국이라는 나라이름은 영어로 United States야.” (Migukiramyeon Naraireum-eun Yeong-eoro United States-ya) – “The country name for the United States is ‘미국’ in Korean.”

Region-Specific Variations

While the terms mentioned above work universally across Korea, it’s worth noting that some region-specific variations exist. Let’s take a look:

1. 도 (Do)

In some regional dialects, “도” is used to refer to a province, region, or state. Although it’s not a widely accepted term for “country” in Korea, you may encounter this usage in certain parts of the country.


“경상도 출신이에요.” (Gyeongsangdo Chulsin-ieyo) – “I am from the Gyeongsang Province.”

2. 나연 (Nayeon)

Occasionally, in the Jeolla region, locals use “나연” to mean “country.” This usage is more colloquial and rarely heard outside of Jeolla and its neighboring areas.


“우리 나연은 정말 아름다워!” (Uri Nayeon-eun Jeongmal Areumdawo!) – “Our country is really beautiful!”

Tips for Using “Country” Vocabulary

To effectively use the Korean word for “country,” keep the following tips in mind:

1. Context Matters

Understanding the context in which you are using the word “country” is crucial. Adjust your speech level and choice of term accordingly, whether it’s formal or informal, depending on the situation.

2. Listen for Nuances

As you engage with native Korean speakers, pay attention to how they refer to their own and other countries. By listening to their language choices, you can grasp the subtle nuances and adapt your vocabulary usage.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice

The key to mastering any language is practice. Incorporate the vocabulary into your daily language learning routine by writing sentences, speaking with native Korean speakers, or even engaging with online learning resources.


Congratulations on completing our comprehensive guide on how to say “country” in Korean! We explored the formal and informal terms, provided examples, and even introduced some region-specific variations. Remember, “나라” and “국가” are the go-to options for formal situations, while “나라” and “나라이름” work well in informal settings. If you come across the regional terms “도” or “나연,” know that they have specific regional connotations.

Keep in mind the tips and examples we’ve shared, and don’t hesitate to continue your adventure into Korean vocabulary. Language learning is an enriching journey that opens doors to new cultures and experiences. Best of luck on your Korean language learning endeavor!

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