Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Survival Korean for Cyclists

Talking about bicycles. You're in luck, young grasshopper. Most bicycle parts can be expressed with Koreanized English (Konglish) words, like "pump," which becomes "pompuh." Here are some others:

bicycle: ja-jon-go

bicycle shop: ja-jon-go ka-gae

handlebars: handle

stem: staem

cranks: crahnkuh

pedals: petal

chain: chain

wheel: pak-hwee

tire: tire

seatpost: post-uh

bottom bracket: beebee (this also means 'beeper')

tube: tyoob-uh

bearing: bearing (Korea makes fine and cheap bearings, by the way. Stock up.)

wrench: wrenchy

puncture: punk (no kidding)

brake: buraek-uh

suspension: suspension

derailleur: derailleur



"Where is X?" "X ga oh-dee ee-soy-yo?"

"Help me."

hospital: byong-won

Gatorade: gatorade

"Let's go!" "Kaja!"

trail: deung-san-ro [note: there is no precise Korean word for trail. 'Narrow mountain way' or 'deung-san-ro' 'is as close as it gets, which can describe a dirt road in the mountains, or a backwoods singletrack. Use 'narrow mountain way' with caution. Sometimes Koreans use the word "course" or "corsuh" to talk about trails.]

beer: maekjoo

alcohol of any type: joo

mountain: san

this way: ee-jok

to the north: puk-jok

to the south: nam-jok

to the east: tong-jok

to the west: seo-jok

up: wee

down: ah-re

to the left: win-jok

to the right: orun-jok

straight ahead: cheek-chin

back, in the opposite direction: ban-dae-jok

You can use the following phrases to alert hikers to your presence. Korean hikers are generally very receptive to off-road cyclists, and are very impressed by the fact that bikes can negotiate the trails. There is little, if any, of the conflict found on US trails, despite huge numbers of trail users in Korea. There's a good chance you'll be the first mountain cyclist they've ever seen, and if you're not Korean, it's highly likely that you'll be the first non-Korean riding a trail that they've ever seen. This surprise sometimes produces a deer-in-the-headlights effect. Some hikers seem not to notice your alert no matter how polite or loud. In these situations you should just do as Korean mountain bikers do: pass them just like the buses and taxis drove past you on your way to the mountain. No really, you should just try to get their attention; most don't expect a bicycle to be on the trails, which tend toward the unrideable scale anyway. To wit:

"Coming through!" (very polite): "Shillye hamnida!"

"Hello." (polite): "Anyong hasaeyo."

"Watch out!" or "Careful!" (a little less polite): "Jo-shim-heyo!"


"It's broken." "Go-jang naseyo."

"I don't comprehend/understand." "Mol-ayo."

"I'm sorry." "Mee-an haeyo."

"Do you speak English?" "Yong-o mal haeyo?"

subway: ji-ha-chol

mountain spring: yaksoo

water: mool

good: cho-ayo

bad: napayo

o.k.: kwen-chon-ayo

fast: bali

slow: chon-chon-hee