Useful Korean Vocabulary for the Trail

You don't need to know Korean to enjoy the country's mountain parks, but it certainly helps to be able to read Hangul and understand some basic words a hiker might encounter. In the national parks, signage is often in both Korean and English. Some of the national parks have English pamphlets or vague trail maps. Many of the provincial parks, however, offer signs, maps, and brochures only in Korean.


You'll see these a lot on signs, in bus and train stations, and on maps. It's helpful to have an idea of what they mean, though some of these words don't perfectly translate into English. Most of these are used as suffixes, attached to the end of a name.

-do - province (ex: "Gangwon-do")
-gun - county (ex: "Hadong-gun")
-si (pronounced "shi") - city (ex: "Ulsan-si")
-gu - ward or urban district within a city (ex: "Bukgu")
-dong - neighborhood (ex: "Deokcheon-dong")

-myeon - rural district (ex: "Hwabuk-myeon")
-eup - town (ex: "Jeong-eup")
-ri / ni - village (ex: "Jungsan-ni")
마을 maeul - usually translated as village, but most often refers to a traditional community or folk village (ex: "Hahoe Maeul")


san - mountain (ex: "Gayasan")
bong - peak (ex: "Cheonwangbong")
바위 bawi - rock (ex: "Gatbawi")
-gol - valley (ex: "Piagol")
gang - river (ex: "Namgang")
시내 shinae - stream
폭포 pokpo - waterfall (ex: "Buril Pokpo")
동굴 donggul - cave
아이스 밸리 "aisu baelli" - ice valley (the English words spelled out with Korean letters)


국립 공원 gukrim gongwon - National Park
도립 공원 dorim gongwon - Provincial Park
관광단지 gwangwangdanji - tourist complex
매표소 maepyoso - ticket office/booth
pyo - ticket
사원 sawon - temple
-sa - temple (used as a suffix for names, ex: "Beopjusa")
암자 amja - hermitage
-am - hermitage or shrine (used as suffix for names, ex: "Gilsangam")
가신 gashin - trail
경로 gyeongno - path
대피소 daepiso - mountain shelter (ex: "Seseok Daepiso")
터널 "teoneol" - tunnel (the English word spelled out in Korean)
공원 gongwon - park
주차장 juchajang - parking lot
다리 dari - bridge
mun - gate
분수대 bunsudae - fountain (a place with potable spring water)
seong - mountain fortress (ex: "Jinju Seong")


dong - east
seo - west
nam - south
buk - north
우측 ucheuk - right side
좌측 jwacheuk - left side
오르막 oreumak - uphill
내리막 naerimak - downhill
직진 jikjin - straight ahead


정지 jeongji - stop
위험 wiheom - danger


버스 beosu - bus
버스 정류장 beoseu jeongryujang - bus stop
시외버스 shiwe beoseu - intercity bus
고속버스 gosok beoseu - express bus
기차 gicha - train
기차역 gicha yeok - train station
yeok - station(usually refers to a train or subway station, not a bus station)
택시 "taekshi" - taxi
지하철 jihacheol - subway
환불 hwanbul - refund
얼마입니까 Eolma imnikka? - How much does it cost? (Also: Eolmaeyo?)


모텔 "motel"
호텔 "hotel"
여권 yeogwon - inn
민박 minbak - guesthouse
bang - room
식당 shikdang - restaurant


하이킹 "hiking"
byeong - bottle
친구 chingu - friend
영어 yeongeo - English
지도 jido - map
bi - rain
폭풍우 pokpungu - storm
gom - bear

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