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How Do You Say You're Welcome In Korean For Daily Conversation?

How to say you're welcome in the Korean language?

How do you say "you're welcome" in Korean? Or, when someone said 감사합니다 or 고맙습니다 to you, how do you respond him/her? Aim to several Korean dramas and textbooks, we will catch 천만에요 for a polite and formal expression of "you're welcome".

Unfortunately, 천만에요 is only written and used in textbooks. And for daily conversation in this modern Korean lifestyle, you will hear they will say something else than use 천만에요 to respond someone who said thanks.

The question is "can we do that in another expression?"

Hi, my name is Ruby Han. I am your student partner in the Korean language lesson. Currently, you are reading my study notes that I uploaded in Memrise Student's Blog.

Do you remember about our childhood life? When we started to understand how to call our mom and dad, then answer a question by saying "yes" or "no". And probably, some of us are cleverer because they can count even start to argue.

What will you say if someone says thanks?

But parents and teachers usually teach us about how to share our things, give a present, and say thank you after receiving a gift. Unfortunately, for some children, I guess they known too late for learning about what should they say when someone said "thank you" after receiving a present from them.

Alright! It doesn't matter. Because this is our time to fix the mistakes on the past.

As I said before, according to the Korean drama, fans fiction, web series, and so on, we can learn and follow easily about how to response "thank you" in Korean. That is 천만에요 (read as: cheon-ma-nae-yo). It means, "you're welcome" or "don't mention it".

For your information, that expression above is not a common expression. In another way, I can say that they are, the Korean people, not using it in their daily life. Even though, it's a polite Korean words. A polite language.

Here is it, I want to share the colloquially expressions for replying when someone said "thank you" to us.


1. 아니야 / 아니에요 / 아닙니다

Literally, this phrase means "No". But in another context, especially for this subject (thank you), we may give it a meaning as, "it's nothing", "it's just a small thing", or "don't mention it".

The different between 아니야, 아니에요, and 아닙니다 is the function in superlative forms. We can easily find the similar expression from another language by reading the article titled "Easy Korean That You Should Know".

How do you say you're welcome in Korean for daily conversation?

When we were talking to our friend and he/she is younger than us or probably in the same age with us, then we can use 아니야, because we don't need to act formal, and just being casual. In Indonesian, it sounds like we say, "santai aja, bro".

Then 아니에요. When we were talking to our friend that not close each other, or to someone that we have just met, we can say 아니에요. It shows a respect to that man/woman. Beside that, we are trying to be humble. Probably in Indonesian, it means, "sama-sama".

And the last is 아닙니다. This expression can be used when were talking to our teacher/sensei/senpai/선생님/guru, even to our parents, boss, or someone that we respect the most. In Indonesian, this expression is similar with, "ini bukan apa-apa hahaha".

We may use one of these expression based on our needs and the situation. Then, it would be strange if we said to the same person such as, "아니야, 아니에요, 아닙니다~". And also he will feel awkward, especially when he/she is older or has a higher statue than us.

It sounds like we disparage him/her by saying 아니야. Then it seems that we made a correction quickly by saying 아니에요, then 아닙니다. If we were kids or foreigners, probably it seems funny. But, when we did it frequently, it sounds rude and annoying.

My question is, "are people saying the same expression?" I don't think so.

What is you're welcome in Korean?

2. 괜찮아 / 괜찮아요 / 괜찮습니다

The second way is by saying 괜찮습니다 or 괜찮아요 for a formal term, or just 괜찮아 for a casual word. They have the same meaning, that is "No problem" or "It is fine".

Some people in Korean are prefer to use this phrase. Because it is more clear. Anyway, do you know how to read 괜찮아, 괜찮아요, and 괜찮습니다?

We can read 괜찮아요 as Gwen-cha-na-yo. If we break it, then it would be 괜 as Gwaen, 찮 as Chan, 아 as A, and 요 as Yo. And, it will be similar for 괜찮습니다 (Gwen-chan-sem-ni-da).

Let's go to the third expression.



3. 네~ or 응 (with a light smile)

Do you want to use a short expression? Okay, I will share my moments to you. In a long time ago, probably between 3-5 months ago, I get used to practice with my Korean vocabularies. Such as, say 고맙습니다 or 감사합니다 for saying Thank you.

And, when someone says thanks to me, I will say, 네 or 응. Because in my country, saying "yes" or give a smile only is usual, normal, and natural even between an elderly and a young.

In Korean, 네 and 응 can't be used in the same condition. 네 means "Yes", and can be used for both of a formal and casual condition. And 응 is similar with "Hmm-hmm", this expression can't be used in a formal condition, because it's not polite enough.



4. 별말씀을요

Like the others, 별말씀을요 also has the same meaning, that is "no problem, don't mention it, it's nothing" and of course "you're welcome".

As long as we add -요 in the ending of the word, then it would be polite enough, and also formal.

Can you say you're welcome in Korean?

5. Other Expressions

Actually, it is not easy to find the words which is exactly equivalent to the English words in the Korean language.

It's similar with our language, right? We have various ways to response "thank you". So, the Korean people also have several ways to express their feeling. Both formal and informal.

They are 아녜요, 뭘, 뭘요, 고맙긴, 고맙긴요, 어, and so on.

We should not to be confused by this case. Just pick one of them which is match with our habit and personality. And don't forget about the formal and informal condition. Because the Korean language and culture is totally different from the American and British.

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