Language Lifestyle

A New Language Guide for a New Year


Check out this month’s new year language guide to pick up on some useful phrases you can use to talk to friends about new year customs, wishes, and plans. The new year is a great opportunity to commit to a new skill, or to improve upon an old one. We want to help you to do just that by giving you a place to start, or the materials you need month-by-month to keep improving. Take a look below and give it a try.


New year 새해 Sae-hae

(Lunar) New year’s day 설날 Seol-nal

Traditional holiday 명절 Myeong-jeol

(New year’s bow) 세배 Sae-bae

Rice cake soup 떡국 Tteok-kuk

Relatives 친척 Chin-cheok

Allowance 용돈 Yong-don

Hometown 고향 Go-hyang

Magpie 까치 Gga-chi

Wish(hope) 소원 So-won



Happy new year. 새해복 많이 받으세요. Sae-hae-bok man-ee ba-deu-sae-yo.

What did you wish for? 무슨 소원을 빌었어요? Mu-seun so-won-eul bil-eo-sseo-yo?

New year’s day is the biggest Korean holiday. 설날은 한국의 가장 큰 명절이다. Seol-nal-eun han-kuk-eui ga-jang keun myeong-jeol-ee-da.

I am going to my hometown to get together with my relatives. 고향에 친척들을 만나러 가요. Go-hyang-e chin-cheok-deul-eul man-na-reo-ga-yo.

You should perform a new year’s bow to receive an allowance. 세배해야 용돈을 받을 수 있어요. Sae-bae-hae-ya yong-don-eul ba-deul-su ee-sseo-yo.



Koreans believe that you add one year to your age by eating rice cake soup on new year’s day. 한국인들은 설날에 떡국을 먹으면 한 살 더 먹는다고 믿어요. Han-kuk-in-deul-eun seol-nal-e tteok-kuk-eul meok-eu-myeon han sal deo meok-neun-da-go mi-deo-yo.

The lunar new year’s day normally falls in late Jan or early Feb. 설날은 보통 1월말이나 2월초에 있어요. Seol-nal-eun bo-tong il-wol-mal-ee-na ee-wol-cho-e ee-sseo-yo.

(New year’s song lyrics) Magpie’s new year’s day was yesterday, and our new year’s day is today. 까치까치 설날은 어저께고요, 우리우리 설날은 오늘이래요. Ggachi-ggachi seol-nal-eun eo-jeo-ggae-go-yo, wu-li-wu-li seol-nal-eun o-neul-ee-rae-yo.

The magpie is a bird that’s considered to be lucky in Korea. 한국에서 까치는 행운을 가져다주는 새로 여겨진다. Han-kuk-e-seo gga-chi-neun haeng-un-eul ga-jeo-da-ju-neun sae-lo yeo-gyeo-jin-da.


If this language guide has helped you, we’d love to know! Follow us on our social media below and send us a message, and follow for more great Korean culture.

Featured Image Source: ©Song Y Yoon, 16-11-18,






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