Basic expressions

I’ve previously talked a bit about how I started off using Korean with Alice. One of the most helpful things I had when starting was a small piece of brown cardboard on which Han had written a bunch of basic expressions for me to use. I could already use Korean quite comfortably with adults, but was daunted by the task of using it with Alice, so we brainstormed the list together, and with that as a base, I started introducing expressions. From there, I added more and more ..and then left English behind.

So here, for those who are equally unsure where to start, I have compiled a similar list.

This list very roughly covers the daily activities of a small baby, has some playful expressions, instructions, admonitions and reassurances. My next few posts will be focusing on grammar and speaking style, and I will provide many more detailed expressions in the coming weeks.

I think this list is easy and brief enough that you could start using it straight away. There is obviously more than one way to say many of the things on the list, you can adapt it to your level of confidence. I have typed the way the expressions might be spoken to a child, so the spelling is not necessarily dictionary accurate and there are a few baby words in the mix.

Translations:

1.

Hi

Did you sleep well?

Good job!

I love you

Sorry

Please give me (that)

Thank you

 

2.

My, what a pretty baby!

Oh.. Is that so? (a response to use for early conversations with baby when she uses babbling baby talk)

Tickle tickle

Let’s play!

 

3.

Stand up/get up please

Sit down please

Come here

Time to go

Let’s eat

Yum Yum! (to encourage baby to eat, or when pretending to share baby’s food)

Let’s have a bath

Let’s get dressed

Let’s change your nappy

 

4.

No (you mustn’t do that)

That’ dirty!

That’s hot! (to touch or taste)

You’re okay/are you okay?

  • Cate Han

    This is funny to me because most of these are expressions that my husband feels appropriate to use with me. Especially “아이구 아뻐라” which he also says often to our cats…