Talk to Me in Korean: Navigating the Subway

Survival Korean includes the most essential Korean phrases you need to know while traveling or living in Korea. The expressions come with detailed explanations as well as fun and useful information about the situations in which they are used.

Survival Korean

Common Phrases

(Station Name) + 역 [(station name) yeok] : … station

This is one of the most essential words for surviving in Korea and one of the first words learned by those who come to live in Korea. It is used in regards to navigating subway routes, but subway stations are also used when directing taxi drivers to a certain destination. Additionally, subway stations are used as meeting points and as reference points when giving directions.

Sample Sentences 

이번 역 [i-beon yeok] = this station/stop

다음 역 [da-eum yeok] = next station/stop

무슨 역에서 내려야 돼요? [mu-seun yeo-ge-seo nae-ryeo-ya dwae-yo?] = Which station do we have to get off at?

~호선 [ho-seon] / ~선 [seon] : line

When referring to subway lines, you will need to add either 호선 or 선 to the line you are talking about. Subway lines that are numbered from 1 to 9 have 호선 following the number (e.g. 4호선 [sa-ho-seon]). For subway lines with names, 선 is added to the names (중앙선 [jung-ang-seon]).

…번 출구 [beon chul-gu] : Exit (number)…

Directions in Korea are often given in relation to subway stations and their exit numbers (i.e. first right out of exit 3, Gangnam Station). Subway station exits are also often used as meeting points. Some subway stations are very large and have multiple exits that seem miles away from each other. Each exit is marked with a number.

Sample Sentences 

3번 출구 [sam-beon chul-gu] = Exit 3

5번 출구 [o-beon chul-gu] = Exit 5

This is an extract from the book, Survival Korean, available at

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