Life is full of surprises and shocks, and being able to show your surprise is very important! One way to show your surprise is to say ‘oh my god’ or some variant of that phrase such as ‘oh my gosh’.
This article will show you how to say ‘oh my god’ in Korean. Like in English, there are several ways to say it. We’ll show you how!
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‘Oh my god!’ in Korean Overview
The most common way of saying ‘oh my god’ in Korean is 세상에 (sesange). This comes from the word 세상 (sesang), which means ‘world’ (another, more common word for ‘world’ is세계 [segye]). 세상에 can be interpreted more literally as something like ‘never in the whole world would I have expected that’.
Another expression sometimes used to say ‘oh my god’ is 맙소사! (mapsosa!). You may see this often in Korean subtitles in movies.
The word 이런 (ireon), which usually means ‘this’, can also be used to mean ‘oh my god’ in Korean. Its more literal meaning would be something like ‘how can this happen?’ or ‘how did it come to this?’
The English phrase ‘Oh my god’ is well known in Korean, and often it is used instead of a Korean word. When it is written in Korean, it becomes 오 마이 갓 (o mai gat) and it is pronounced in such a way by Koreans. This expression is also the basis of several Korean puns due to its similarity in sound to the word ‘mother’s’ (엄마의 – eommai). One example is the pun ‘엄마의 가스레인지’ (eommai gaseu reinji).
The sounds 오모 (omo) and 헐 (heol) can also sometimes be translated to ‘oh my god’ in some situations, often when there is some slight disappointment or concern due to something going wrong.
Standard ‘Oh My God’ in Korean
You should use this phrase when speaking to people you don’t know well or who are older than you.
맙소사! 전 몰라요. (Mapsosa! Jeon mollayo.)
Oh my god! I don’t know!
오 이런, 제가 이러지 마요. (O ireon, jega ireoji mayo)
Oh my God, don’t do this to me.
Informal ‘Oh My God’ in Korean
You can use this phrase with those younger than you or the same age who you are on familiar terms with.
세상에 내가 사람을 죽였어 (sesange naega sarameul jukyeosseo)
Oh my god, I just killed a man.
오 이런, 내가 방금 너의 칫솔을 사용했어. (o ireon, naega banggeum neoui chitsoleul sayonghaesseo)
Oh my god, I just used your toothbrush.
맙소사, 난 이 일 싫어 (mapsosa, nan I il shileo)
Oh my god, I hate this job.
오 이런, 너 진지한 거야? (o ireon, neo jinjihan geoya?)
Oh my god, are you serious?
A Word of Caution About Using Romanization
As you can see from the example of ‘oh my god’ when written in Korean, the sounds of the Korean language are different from the English language. The best way to be able to sound like a Korean is to learn the Korean Alphabet (Hangeul). That way, you can notice the different sounds used in Korean and get used to how Korean sounds. Learning Hangeul is very easy; it can be done in just a couple of hours!
‘Oh My God’ in Korean Wrap Up
Now that you know how to say ‘oh my god’ in Korean, let us know what things shock you and make you want to say ‘oh my god’ in Korean.
*Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!
Learn to read Korean and be having simple conversations, taking taxis and ordering in Korean within a week with our FREE Hangeul Hacks series: http://www.90DayKorean.com/learn