When you started to learn Korean, did you try to teach your family members how to say a few words in Korean? Sometimes the best method of learning Korean is to teach someone else, as it would mean that you must be an expert on everything you would teach someone. We also know that it is a great review tool for yourself. Earlier, we have learned how to say sister in Korean. Today, you will learn how to say Brother in Korean.
How to Say Brother in Korean
Remember that we had couple of ways of calling sister, depending on the gender of the caller who is calling the sister, and also it differentiates by whether it is an older sister or younger sister. Brother is the same.
Here is how to say brother in Korean: 형 [hyung] if you are a boy, calling an older brother and 오빠, [oppa] if you are a younger female calling an older brother. 남동생 [nam-dong-seng] can be used to call younger brother regardless of sex.
If you would like to use the universal term for ‘male sibling’, you can use the term형제 [hyung-jae] which literally translates to describe the relationship between two male sibling in Korean. Also, the term 형, or 오빠 can be widely used to refer to any slightly older male individual in Korean friendship. Finally, this explains why many female idol fans would love to call their favorite male idols ‘oppa’.
우리 오빠를 소개시켜 줄께. [woo-ri oppa-reul so-ghe-shi-kyeo jul-gge]
I will introduce my brother to you.
*note here that the brother is referring to an older brother, and also you could guess that the speaker is female, as she referred the older brother as 오빠.
우리 형은 나보다 두살 많아. [woo-ri hyung-eun na-bo-da doo-sal man-a]
My older brother is two years older than me.
Note that the male older brother form 형 was used and thus, we know that the speaker was younger male, describing his older brother.
Brother in Korean in the Formal Way
As we have mentioned previously, it is important to address the person in formal way of speaking to show the respect towards the other party. Therefore, you will see many phrases have ‘yo’ attached at the end, which usually helps reforming the word into a formal form of the phrase. However, when describing sister in a formal way, there are couple different ways to describe them.
If you are referring to an older brother in the formal way, you would say 형님 [hyung-nim] as a younger male referring to older brother, and 오라버니 [o-ra-be-nee] when younger sister is respectfully referring to an older brother. These days, these highest respected forms are only used in traditional Korean Drama.
Now that you know how to use the word ‘brother’ in various forms in Korean, please go and let your friends know how many 오빠 or 형 you have!