Clothes in Korea

(This is an excerpt from the newest book, Korean for Tourists. More about that in a minute.)


Korea remains a trendy place to shop, and a fine place to pick up the high-end names (either the real thing or a very good fake).

Do you have…? …있어요? (…iss-seo-yo?). Note that the thing you’re looking for goes first in the Korean.

Bra = 브라 (beu-ra)

Dress (one piece) = 원피스 (won-pi-seu) or 드레스 (deu-re-seu)

Dress shirt = 와이셔츠 (wa-ee-syeo-cheu) – the Konglish term ‘Y-shirt’ is used for a button-down shirt. Think of the ‘Y’ the collar makes just below your neck.

Glasses = 안경 (an-gyeong) Protip: Korea is a great place to get glasses. They’ll do a eye test on the spot, so no prescription is needed. They don’t accept insurance in most cases, but like most over-the-counter medicine you won’t really need it.

Hanbok (Korean traditional robe) = 한복 (han-bok) – A hanbok is only worn on special occasions or holidays (Chuseok, Seolnal). You’ll almost never see a non-Korean wearing one.

Panties = 팬티 (paen-ti)

Pants = 바지 (ba-ji)

Shoes = 신발 (shin-bal)

Shorts = 반바지 (ban-ba-ji) – (ban) means half – and it makes logical sense to think of shorts as ‘half-pants’.

Skirt = 치마 (chi-ma)

Socks = 양말 (yang-mal)

Sunglasses = 선글라스 (seon-geul-la-seu) like only one ‘sunglass’.

Swimsuit = 수영복 (su-yeong-bok)

T-shirt = 티셔츠 (ti-syeo-cheu)

Underwear = 속옷 (sok-ot)

This may be the only time you need colors while traveling, so here you go. Put the color before the noun:

Red = 빨간색 (bbal-gan-saek) sounds like ‘sack’.

Orange = 주황색 (joo-hwang-saek)

Yellow = 노란색 (no-ran-saek)

Green = 초록색 (cho-rok-saek)

Blue = 파란색 (pa-ran-saek)

Purple = 자주색 (ja-joo-saek)

Brown = 갈색 (gal-saek)

Gray = 회색 (hwa-saek)

Black = 검은색 (geon-eun-saek)

White = 흰색 (hwin-saek)

Presenting Korean for Tourists, version 2.0:

Korean for tourists PDF 600px

Order a beer, ask for a discount, and get around Korea easier – learn a few basics and have an even better time.

One Weird Globe language guides are your way to leapfrog other tourists and know what’s really going on. They’re written to be read quickly (like on the plane!) and be a reference guide once you’ve arrived. Each major section is linked to other major sections, making them only a tap away.

The Korean language book for people that don’t like learning languages.

One Weird Globe’s mission is to make travel awesome, and to set you up to succeed. With language books, that means giving you the basics to making yourself understood. This is not a complete guide to the Korean language, so there’s no fancy grammar points. No irrelevant vocabulary. If there’s a fair chance you’ll use it as a tourist, it’s here, along with some local knowledge and humor.

Revamped and updated for 2016!

Buy now and start exploring the awesome side of Korea.

A few highlights:

  • A thorough but easy-to-follow primer on hangeul, Korea's alphabet
  • Numbers, money, and plenty of practical stuff
  • The different types of hotels, and how to tell the difference
  • Food, glorious food! What to try and how to order it
  • How to get around the country by plane, bus, or train


December 18th: Clothing, from Korean for Tourists ()
December 18th: Clothing, from Korean for Tourists ()

About One Weird Globe language books

One Weird Globe language books are set up to help you find what you’re looking for quickly. While not intended for serious study, these are perfect for using while traveling the country, while offering insights and humor along the way.

About the author

Headshot square smallChris Backe is the blogger behind One Weird Globe, a popular blog about offbeat destinations and life as an expat. His mission in life is to make travel awesome, and to set you up to succeed while traveling. He’s lived in Korea, Thailand, Colombia, and traveled to weird destinations across Europe. He’s also the founder of the Choose a Way series, the interactive travel guidebooks that put you in charge. He’s been seen in Atlas Obscura, io9, Fark, Mental Floss, Groove Magazine, and many other publications. When not traveling or writing, he enjoys swing dancing and a good game of Cards Against Humanity.


December 18th: Clothing, from Korean for Tourists ()
December 18th: Clothing, from Korean for Tourists ()

Also published on Medium.