[Ask Hyojin] How to address strangers in Korean

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In our last Ask Hyojin video, we talked about how to address someone you know. (Watch the “How to Address Your Friends / Acquaintances in Korean” video)
In this video, we continue to talk about how to address or call people in Korean but this time we talk about how to address strangers.
Again, Hyunwoo joined to explain the topic with Hyojin.

If you haven’t watched the previous video or want to brush up before you learn new titles, please click HERE

After watching this video, you will now know how to sound more polite and natural when addressing not only your friends but also anyone on the street or in any other places!
Enjoy! ^^

If you have any questions that you’d like Hyojin to answer in the next episode, leave them in the comment below! You can also browse through and watch all the episodes of Ask Hyojin here!


  • Krishna

    Thank you 선생님 for a very useful sentences. I’ve been wondering how to say it too^_^!
    저는 채식 주의자 에요. “고기, 생선, 랑 달걀 알레르기 있어요!

  • Krishna

    안녕하세요 선생님들! 가르쳐주셔서 고마워요!^_^

  • Krishna

    가르처주셔서 고마워요! Can 손님 be use to address both male and female costumer?

  • Dan

    A couple of more terms that have become popular over the last few years – for addressing older people who would normally be called 할머니, 할아버지 – I hear people, especially people in service and sales jobs, using 어머님 and 아버님. I guess some older people like that, and maybe younger people think all of us old people prefer to be thought of as younger. I frankly do not care for it; it feels patronizing. But there it is.

  • sofia

    감사합니다! this is a very importanta lesson, thanks for your time & effort …greetings from Costa Rica 🙂

  • Ling

    안녕하세요!

    Thanks for an enlightening video. I have a question which, coincidentally, I had in mind for sometime.

    I am 65 years old. When I go to a shop and the owner/sales lady is about 35-50 years old, will she be offended if I addressed her as “아줌마”? What is an alternative term, please?

    • Dan

      We’ll see what kind of response the proprietors give us, Ling, but I’m of a similar age, and in that situation I tend to go for 아주머니 instead – it feels a bit more polite/formal. It’s an interesting balance for us old guys; when should we use the polite forms and maybe come across as overly so, when should we use the informal speech to avoid sounding pompous. I hope TTMIK takes this topic up soon, although if we’re the only gentlemen (and ladies if any) of age around here, I understand their tendency to speak to the majority.

  • Lilia

    I’ve heard in dramas boys calling other girls 언니 or 언니들. Why can a guy call a girl 언니 ?

    • sabiq

      ya i also heard that in heartstring..and my friends said maybe looks like cute..hahaha

    • Or maybe just joking? Like f(x) members call Amber ‘형’ or like Myungsoo (Z:EA’s Hyungsik) call Youngdo (Woobin) ‘오빠’ in 상속자들.

  • 유범수

    I Love these videos!!!! 수고하셨어요!!!

  • Manon Camous

    Thanks for this video ! I love it !
    I just have a question though.. How would a korean person (either a kid or an adult) if a foreign person call him/her using these terms ?
    Wouldn’t it be kind of awkward ?? I’m curious

    감사합니다 ! 😉