Guide: How to Say Welcome to South Korea in Korean

Welcome to South Korea! Knowing a few basic Korean phrases will go a long way in making your visit even more enjoyable. Saying “welcome” in Korean is a great start to show your appreciation for the country’s culture and hospitality. In this guide, we will explore the formal and informal ways of greeting someone in South Korea, along with some regional variations. Let’s get started!

Formal Greetings:

When greeting someone formally, it’s important to show respect. Here are a few phrases you can use:

  • Annyeonghaseyo (안녕하세요) – This is the most common way to say “hello” in Korean and can also be used as a formal way to say “welcome.” It’s suitable for any situation, such as when meeting someone for the first time, entering a store, or visiting a formal setting.
  • Hwan-yeong-ham-ni-da (환영합니다) – This phrase specifically means “welcome” and is commonly used in formal settings like business meetings, conferences, or when welcoming guests to official events.

Remember to bow slightly when saying these greetings to show your respect. Let’s explore the informal ways of saying “welcome” in Korean:

Informal Greetings:

When greeting friends, family, or people of the same age group, you can use more casual expressions. Here are a couple of phrases you can use:

  • Annyeong (안녕) – This is a casual and friendly way to say “hello.” It can also be used as an informal way to say “welcome” when greeting friends or people you are familiar with.
  • Mwol-geon hae (뭘 건 해) – This phrase roughly translates to “make yourself at home.” It’s a friendly and informal way to welcome someone into your home or when inviting them to feel comfortable in a familiar environment.

Regional Variations:

In South Korea, there are some regional variations in language and dialects. While the formal and informal greetings mentioned above are understood throughout the country, certain regions have their own unique phrases. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Buseongatda (부서 갔다) – This phrase is specific to the Gyeongsang region, where people say it to mean “welcome.” It’s similar to saying “welcome” in other regions, but the pronunciation may vary slightly.
  • Urin yeogiyeoseo banhaessda (우린 여기여서 반했어) – This phrase, used in the Jeolla region, translates to “we fell in love with this place because you’re here.” It expresses sincere welcome and admiration for the visitor.

Tips: When using these greetings, remember to smile and maintain good eye contact. Koreans appreciate when visitors make an effort to learn basic Korean phrases.


To further demonstrate the use of these greetings, here are a few examples:

  • Formal:
    • When entering a restaurant: “Annyeonghaseyo! Hwan-yeong-ham-ni-da!”
    • During a business meeting: “Annyeonghaseyo! Jeoneun ABC-gaibuseo-eseo hwan-yeong-ham-ni-da.”
  • Informal:
    • Greeting a friend: “Annyeong! Bangapseumnida!”
    • Welcoming a guest to your home: “Annyeong! Mwol-geon hae. Jeonwonhae jusyeosseo.”
  • Regional Variation:
    • Visiting the Gyeongsang region: “Annyeonghaseyo! Buseongatda!”
    • Arriving in the Jeolla region: “Annyeong! Urin yeogiyeoseo banhaessda!”

Now you have a good understanding of how to say “welcome to South Korea” in Korean. Remember to practice these greetings and adapt them to the appropriate levels of formality based on the situation. Enjoy your time exploring the rich culture, delicious food, and warm-hearted people in this beautiful country!

Remember: Learning a few basic phrases in the local language shows respect and appreciation for the country you are visiting. It also helps foster connections and creates memorable experiences.

Have a wonderful time and make lasting memories during your visit to South Korea!

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