Word Wednesday #5: Thanks

This Wednesday is the birth of a new day: the day of audio Word Wednesdays.

That’ll mean there’s less text here on Wednesdays, save for the words themselves and their descriptions.

However, as I say in the clip, my pronunciation isn’t that great. I’m pretty awful with languages, and Korean’s a bit of a struggle, so take my accent with a grain of salt. I mention it in the clip, but the way I pronounce “Please turn right” sounds like “Adults go to die”. So: salt, grain – grab it by the fistful.


Thank you, Google Translate app…

Anyway, onto today’s word: thank you.

Or rather, words plural – because there are three ways to say thank you in Korean.

To briefly go over what my audio explains, there are many levels of hierarchy in the Korean language, but we’ll stick to the broader high/middle/low range. So I’ll order the words in that descending rank from most formal to least formal.

Word: 감사합니다 kamsahamnida (kahm-sah-hahm-nee-dah)

Definition: Thank you. Formal; used for those who are older than you as well as to strangers and those in positions of superiority (bosses, teachers, general crowds, government, royalty, etc).


Word: 고맙습니다 komapseubnida (koh-mahp-seum-nee-dah)

Definition: Most close English comparative word is like when Brits/Aussies say “cheers”. Informal polite; used when you’re being more casual, but you still don’t know the person that well (acquaintances, coworkers, neighbours, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, etc).


Word: 고마워komawa (koh-mah-wah)

Definition: Thanks. Informal; used when you know the person really well (friends, parents to their kids, kids to each other).


As an important note I also elaborate on in the audio, language hierarchy is based on age hierarchy – aka if a person is older than you, you have to be formal. If they’re younger than you, you get to be informal. It’s a sign of respect in Korea, so always make sure you use the most formal version first to avoid unintentionally offending people! In this case, it’s kamsahamnida.

So! Onwards to the audio lesson! Hope you enjoy. Please leave feedback about what you liked/didn’t like so that I can make it better for the following weeks. I’ll try and update my previous Word Wednesdays as well to add in some audio for if you ever want to look over them again, so I want to make them good! Komawa! (See what I did there? I used the informal buddy-buddy one cuz I love you all so much ^ ^).

(PS. I totally fail at keeping up with my own blog and say this is post #6…fail to me).

If the embedded player doesn’t work, try this link: https://soundcloud.com/martandrea/word-wednesday-thanks

7 thoughts on “Word Wednesday #5: Thanks

  1. Marta do you have any idea why I can never play the audio snippets you put in your blogs? I’m thoroughly enjoying the rest though. Next lesson: “I would like…”, “I want….” and what about “please”? Thanks


  2. oh wow, real audio, real (VOM) just like hearing someone on their first transatlantic phone call, but with more clarity and no echo. That was a great first audio lesson. The embedded player didn’t work for me so thanks for the successful link. As a reward we will send nummies. Are inflections important in pronunciations? e.g. higher vs lower.
    I will return to this post to practice. Can you slip Word Wednesday (or TIL) in one of your categories besides Recent Posts?
    Yeah I know I ask for a lot. Just asking . . .


    1. Eee I need to figure out a way to get the player to work. I might end up just making videos and uploading from YouTube instead (do the YouTube links work?).

      Each Word Wednesday should be tagged with “Word Wednesday” so if you go below the Instagram photos, Recent Posts, and Categories, you’ll see “Tags” – it’s all alphabetical so Word Wednesdays will be near the bottom. Let me know if that works for you!

      As for inflections, that’s a good question! Korean is a non-inflected language – which would make things really easy if not for the fact that English is, meaning we have inflection ingrained in our speech patterns. Usually our emphasis falls on the third syllable (ex, abracadabra is a-bra-CA-da-bra). So learning Korean is a lesson in training yourself to stop inflecting to way you do.

      If there’s ever any emphasis, it will fall on either the first or last syllable. So, hello being anyeonghasaeyo, you would say AN-yeong-ha-sae-YO instead of an-yeong-HA-sae-yo, as would be our natural inclination as English speakers.

      As for the end syllable, it’s more like a drawn out emphasis, like AN-yeong-ha-sae-YOOOOOooooo.

      Hope that helps!


  3. It all worked for me except the learning part. I am one of those people who will say, “Adults go to die”. I need an ocean of salt, several seas’ worth and a few mountain mines emptied as well. And the running with salt…not gonna happen. So I just listen to hear your voice ❤


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