How to Say ‘What Is Your Name’ in Korean
When you first meet someone, it’s important to be able to ask what is your name in Korean. It’s good manners!
This is especially true in Korea! There are a few reasons for this:
1. You may be unfamiliar with Korean names
2. Koreans don’t always say their name up front
3. Korean is a hierarchial language, so you need to know how to address the person you’re meeting
When making Korean friends, you’ll want to know how to say what is your name in Korean. We’ll show you how!
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Formal ‘What is Your Name’ in Korean
1. 성함이 어떻게 되세요? (seonghame eoddeoke dwesaeyo?)
Use this phrase to ask ‘what is your name’ in Korean to adults you don’t know or someone higher in the social hierarchy. For example, you might use this at a business meeting or talking to a person who is much older than you.
Some of the components are:
• 성함 = formal way of saying ‘name’ in Korean. You might hear this if you make a dentist appointment and they ask for your name
• 어떻게 = this means ‘how’ or ‘what’ in Korean
This is a very formal way of asking what is your name in Korean, so you can use it with everyone! However, if you’re talking to a small child and you’re an adult, you could also use the standard and informal versions below.
Standard ‘What is Your Name’ in Korean
1. 이름이 뭐예요? (ereume mwoyeyo?)
This is the everyday version of asking ‘what is your name’ in Korean. It’s similar to the formal version, except slightly less polite. It’s still ok to use with the majority of people.
The components of the phrase are similar. It’s made up of:
• 이름 = standard way of saying ‘name’ in Korean. This is the most common way of saying it.
• 뭐 = this is how you say ‘what’ in Korean.
Since this phrase is a standard way of asking for names, you might want to use this with people that are similar in age to you, or to those younger than you. You have to feel out the situation to know how formal you should be.
In general, if you’re unsure about how formal to be, stick with the higher version. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed!
Informal ‘What is Your Name’ in Korean
1. 이름이 뭐야? (ereume mwoya?)
This is how you’d ask the name of a young child. The ending is 야, which is the most informal version of the verb 이다 (to be).
2. 이름이 뭐니? (ereume mwoni?)
This is the same as #1, except the ending is different. This one is slightly more plite, but you can use either versions.
Bonus ‘What is Your Name’ in Korean Phrases
When asking for someone’s name in Korean, it’s possible you’ll run into other situations where you don’t get the name right away.
Here are some helpful phrases to help you navigate those tricky situation, and make sure you make a good impression on your new friend or acquaintance!
1. 다시 말해 주세요 (dashi malhae jusaeyo)
Please say that again
If you didn’t hear the other person’s name, use this phrase to ask him or her to repeat it.
2. 철자 말해 주세요 (cheolja malhae jusaeyo)
Can you spell your name, please?
If you are having a hard time understanding the other person’s name, ask for the spelling. It might make it easier for you to remember!
3. 한국 이름이 뭐예요? (hanguk ereume mwoyeyo?)
What is your Korean name?
It’s possible that when you meet a Korean, he or she will give you his or her English name. Use this to ask ‘what is your Korean name?’
4. 만나서 반갑습니다 (mannaseo bangapseumnida)
First impressions are important! After you exchange names, makes sure you throw in a 만나서 반갑습니다 to show that you’re please to meet him or her.
Now that you know how to say what is your name in Korean, go out there and make some Korean friends!
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