We return to our Korean lessons with a slightly longer, more versatile phrase today. You can use this phrase to find out the meaning of something if you really don’t understand!
영어로 이거 뭐예요?
(yeon-geo-ro ee-geo mweo-ye-yo)
영어 – This means ‘English’ in Korean. Literally, ‘english word/language’, so you can’t use this word to describe a person as being English, for example.
로 – This word is tacked onto the end of a noun to relate it closely to the verb. Here, it makes the sentence mean ‘in English’. Another example would be ‘to use a pen/to write with a pen’ / 펜으로 쓰다 (pen-eu-ro sseu-da). Here, 로 gives the meaning of with.
이거 – We have covered the meaning of this in a previous lesson, including its sister words too. It is made of two words and literally means ‘this thing’, but we can just say ‘this’.
뭐 – In English, this word means ‘what’.
예요 – This is the conjugated verb in the present tense for ‘is’ with the polite, honorific ending. In simple terms, this just means ‘is’!
If you are struggling to understand something, perhaps you can use this phrase to ask somebody to translate for you. Fortunately, you don’t even have to know anything else in Korean if you use this because the answer will obviously be in English! Therefore, this could be your number one Korean survival phrase.
If there are any phrases you’d like to know in Korean or if you have any Korean-language related questions, please ask us in the comments below and we’ll cover it in a future lesson.