Native-Like Korean Honorifics Usage Pt2

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이름 name → 성함

집 house → 댁

생일 birthday → 생신

밥 meal(rice) → 식사/진지

사람 person → 분

나이 age → 연세

말 words → 말씀


예약하신 분 성함이 어떻게 되나요? What name is the reservation under?

대표님 생신 축하드려요. 기념으로 같이 저녁 식사할까요? Happy birthday president. How about we celebrate with dinner?

제 의견에 반대하시는 분은 손을 들어 주세요. Please raise your hand if any one disagrees with me.

Conjugation of 말씀 말씀 is often used as honorific verbs 말씀하다 or 말씀하시다, which means “to talk”. As you can see 말씀하시다 is formed with 말씀 and 하시다, the honorific suffix that means “to do”. The interesting thing is that 말씀 can be also used as humble form, when you refer to yourself in polite situations. Also it can be used as a verb – 말씀드리다, 말씀 plus 드리다, the suffix that means a polite act. 말씀 + 하다/하시다 → 말씀하다/말씀하시다 to talk (honorific) 말씀 + 드리다 → 말씀드리다 to talk (humble)

선생님께서 수업 마치고 바로 집에 가라고 말씀하셨어요.

My teacher told me to go straight home after class.

선생님 말씀대로 수업 마치고 바로 집에 갔어요.

As my teacher told me to, I went straight home after the class.

더 이상 드릴 말씀이 없어요.

I have no words to say. 솔직하게 말씀드려도 될까요?

May I put it straightforwardly?

Family Titles I guess you know how to call your family members in Korean.

Also we already learned the suffix -님 last time.

Simply add -님 after words to make honorific family titles.

할아버지 grandfather → 할아버님

할머니 grandmother → 할머니

아버지 father → 아버님

어머니 mother → 어머님

형 a man’s older brother → 형님

누나 a man’s older sister → 누님

오빠 a woman’s older brother → 오라버니

언니 a woman’s older sister → 형님

아들 son → 아드님

딸 daughter → 따님

See? Every title ends with -님 except the honorific form of 오빠, 오라버니.

These titles are usually used to refer to other people’s family members, not your own.

For example, you address your father as 아버지, not 아버님. 아버님 and 어머님 are often used to address your father in law and mother in law. You may have heard these titles in Korean dramas a lot.

할머님 건강은 어떠세요? How is your grandmother’s health?

어머님께 제 인사 전해주세요. Please send my regards to your mother.

따님의 결혼을 축하해요. Congratulations on your daughter’s wedding.

Speech levels There are 7 speech levels in total in the Korean language.

Don’t worry. We are not going to dig into all those, and we don’t need to. Some of the levels are hardly used these days. Each Korean speech level has its unique set of verb endings which are used to indicate the level of formality of a situation. Technically, higher speech level does not mean honorifics. Honorifics are used to show respect towards someone mentioned in a sentence, but speech levels are used to show respect towards listers, or reflect the formality of the situation. Still, I recommend following higher speech levels when you use honorifics. 해요체(Casually polite): ends with -요 해요 → 하세요 This conversational style is most common nowadays in Korea. Most Korean textbooks for foreigners follow this speech style. Simply add -요 at the end of basic conjugations. This style is used between colleagues and in any daily conversation. You can use this to strangers, shop clerks, any people you meet in daily life. This style is casual, still fairly high in the politeness level. 길 좀 물어봐도 될까요? May I ask for directions? 수현 씨 집에 놀러가도 돼요? 수현, Is it okay to visit your home? 한국어를 조금 할 수 있어요. I can speak a little Korean. 하십시오체(Formally polite): ends with -ㅂ니다 하다 → 하십니다 This conversational style is very formal. Your Korean friend would be surprised if you use 하십시오체. It is used by TV announcers, in public speeches and between strangers at the start of a conversation. How do you say “It is nice to meet you” in Korean? Yes, it is 만나서 반갑습니다. This style is also used to colleagues in more formal settings and to customers. 방금 들어온 속보를 말씀드리겠습니다. We have some breaking news. 한국 방문을 환영합니다! Welcome to Korea! 배송비는 고객님께서 부담하셔야 합니다. You’ll be charged for shipping.



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