Language of Food

In addition to people with dietary restrictions or personal preferences, this page is aimed at learners of 🇰🇷Korean language🇰🇵, Korean foodies interested in improving their 🇬🇧English skills🇺🇸 and anyone fascinated by 🥢food culture🍴 in general.

On this page, you can find links to all corresponding articles, which deal with the themes language and food in Korea:

Are you overwhelmed by the extensive lists above, which mention too many items? If you would rather begin small and learn the essentials, here is a short overview of the most necessary Korean phrases and words regarding food below. 👇 With these basics, you know how to tell people that you are vegan🌱 / vegetarian🥕 and understand simple customs regarding eating etiquette in Korea.

Basic words

  • 🥕 (vegan or) vegetarian – 채식주의자 chaesik ju-ui-ja
  • 🥕🌱 vegan – 완전 채식주의자 wanjeon chaesik ju-ui-ja
  • 🌱 vegan – 비건 bigeon [new word that has not widely spread yet]
  • 🥩 meat – 고기 gogi
  • 🐟 fish – 생선 生鮮 saengseon
  • 🦐 seafood – 해산물 海産物 haesanmul
  • 🥛🧀 dairy – 유제품 乳製品 yujepum
  • 🥚🍳 egg – 계란 gyeran
  • 🐝🍯 honey – 꿀 kkul

  • 🍽 food – 음식 eumsik
  • 🍽 food (colloquial) / 🍚 cooked rice – 밥 bap
  • 🍽 food, meal – 식사 siksa
  • 🥦 vegetable – 야채 yachae / 채소 chaeso
  • 🍎 fruit – 과일 gwa-il
  • 🥛 milk – 우유 uyu
  • 🧀 cheese – 치즈 chijeu
  • 🐟 anchovy – 멸치 myeolchi [Used in broth of most soups and stews.]
  • 🐟 fish sauce – 젓갈 jeotgal [Used in most kimchi.]
  • 🐚 shellfish, clams 조개 jogae
  • 🦐 shrimp 새우 sae-u
  • 🦀 crab – 게 ge
  • 🦑 squid – 오징어 ojing-eo
  • 🐙 octopus – 문어 muneo
  • 🐄 beef – 쇠고기 so-gogi
  • 🐖 pork – 돼지고기 dwaeji-gogi
  • 🐓 chicken meat – 닭고기 dak-gogi
  • 🦆 duck meat – 오리고기 ori-gogi
  • 🐑 mutton – 양고기 yang-gogi
  • 🐕 dog meat – 개고기 gae-gogi
  • 🐇 rabbit meat – 토끼고기 tokki-gogi
  • 🥓 grilled marinated meat – 불고기 bulgogi [from beef, pork or other]
  • 🌭 sausage – 소시지 sosiji
  • 🍱 lunch box – 도시락 dosirak
  • 🥡 take-out / order to go – 포장 pojang

Simple phrases

  • 🌱🥕 I am a (vegan /) vegetarian. – (완전) 채식주의자예요. Wanjeon chaesik ju-ui-ja yeyo.
  • 🌱🥕 I eat vegan/vegetarian food. – 채식해요. Chaesik haeyo.
  • 🌱 I am a vegan. – 저는 비건입니다. Jeoneun bigeon imnida.
    [“bigeon” is a new word that has not widely spread yet.]
  • 🚫🥩🐟🦐 I cannot eat meat, fish or seafood. – 저는 고기, 생선이나 해산물 못먹어요. Jeoneun gogi, saengseon-ina haesanmul mot meogeoyo.
  • 🚫🥛🧀🥚🍳🐝🍯 I cannot eat dairy, egg or honey. – 저는 유제품, 계란이나 꿀 못먹어요. Jeoneun yujepum, gyeran-ina kkul mot meogeoyo.
  • 🤧 I have an allergy. – 저는 알레르기가 있어요. Jeoneun alereugiga isseoyo.
  • 🤧🚫 I have an allergy against [milk🥛 / pollen🌼 / cats🐈]. – 저는 [_우유🥛 / 꽃가루🌼 / 고양이🐈 ] 알레르기가 있어요. Jeoneun [uyu🥛 / kkotgaru🌼 / goyangi🐈] alereugiga isseoyo.

Common phrases of Korean food culture:

  • I will eat well. 잘 먹겠습니다. Jal meok-gessimnida!
    👉 Said BEFORE eating the meal.
    👉 Similar to 🇫🇷French “Bon appetit” or 🇩🇪German “Guten Appetit”.
  • I have eaten well. 잘 먹었습니다. Jal meo-geossimnida!
    👉 Said AFTER the meal.
  • Please help yourself! 많이 드세요! Manhi deuseyo! (literally ‘Please eat a lot!’)
    👉 Normally said by the host.
  • Please enjoy the food! 맛있게 드세요! Masikke deuseyo!
    👉 Similar to 🇩🇪German “Lass es dir schmecken! / Lassen Sie es sich schmecken!”
    👉 Normally said by the host.
  • Cheers! – 건배! Geonbae! [literally “Empty / dry the cups!”]
    👉 Similar to 🇫🇷French “Santé! / Tchin-tchin!”, 🇩🇪German “Prost! / Prosit!” or 🇮🇹Italian “(Alla) salute!”

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✍️ Work is still in progress! This list will be expanded gradually! ✍️

❓ Didn’t find the word/sentence you need?
❗️ Send me a message! Or comment below!

📝 Any questions, comments, vocabulary suggestions and language feedback are welcome! 🤗

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