Many students choose to learn Korean language because they were exposed to Taekwondo, the traditional martial arts originated from Korea. When you get to learn Taekwondo, many students get to learn how to count in Korea. Have you guessed what we are going to learn today? Correct, we are going to learn how to count one to ten in Korean. There is more than one way to count in Korean language, so this would be interesting.
How to Count 1 to 10 in Korean
You can see the pattern, where each day is spelt with ‘요일’ [yo-ill], meaning ‘day’ in Korean, and just like in English, there are special words to represent each day of the week in Korean.
Native Korean Numeral Sino – Korean Numeral
One -하나 [ha-na] 일 [il]
Two – 둘 [dool] 이 [ee]
Three – 셋 [Set] 삼 [sam]
Four – 넷 [net] 사 [sa]
Five – 다섯 [da-sut] 오 [oh]
Six – 여섯 [yeo-sut] 육 [yook]
Seven – 일곱 [ill-gob] 칠 [chil]
Eight – 여덟 [yeo-dulb] 팔 [pal]
Nine – 아홉 [ah-hop] 구 [goo]
Ten – 열 [yeol] 십 [s(h)ip]
What??? Why two completely different system for Korean numbers? Well, one is Sino Korean Numerals, which is originated from Chinese and native Korean Numerals which is created from Korean language.
Sample Sentences Using 1 to 10 in Korean
나는 벌써 여섯번이나 신청했어. [na-neun beol-sseo yeosut-beon eena shinchung-hae-sseo.]
I applied for six times already.
우리가 가기로한 음악회가 4월 2일 맞아? [woori-ga ga-gee-ro-han eumak-heo-ga sa-wol-ee-ill maja?]
Is it April 2nd that we are going to the concert?
Which Numeral System Should I use?
The distinction between the two different Korean numeral systems is essential. It is not easy to determine at first, but you will get a hang of it once you practice enough. Most things that can be counted will be using either one of the two systems, and it will be rare to find occasions where both numeral systems are used. Everything that can be counted will use one of the two systems, but seldom both. Sino Korean numeral system can be used for describing date, to count money, to denote time (minutes and months) and sometimes for measurements while native Korean numeral system can be used to describe age, number of physical objects, number of locations, people and types. Also, when telling the duration of time, you use native Korean numeral system.
Now that you know how to count from 1 to 10 in Korean go tell your friends how to count in Korean!
Happy Studying everyone!