How to Say Merry Christmas in Korean🎄Key Vocab & Phrases

3 Ways to Say Merry Christmas in Korean, Essential Vocab AND a Bonus Christmas Quiz!

🎅 Ho ho ho, ’tis the season to learn Korean!

Just like in most western countries, Christmas is a public holiday in Korea and is celebrated on the 25th of December.

So, want to wish your Korean friends and classmates a Merry Christmas this year and chat about all things festive?

Keep reading to learn exactly that!

Merry Christmas in Korean || The 2 Names for Christmas

Merry Christmas in Korean || 3 Ways to Say Merry Christmas in Korean

Merry Christmas in Korean || Korean Christmas Vocabulary

Merry Christmas in Korean || Christmas Vocabulary Quiz

Merry Christmas in Korean || FAQs

Merry Christmas in Korean || The 2 Names for Christmas

Korean can be a pretty confusing language.

There are many examples ‘mixed systems’ where native and imported words are used simultaneously – just take a look at numbers in Korean!

Unsurprisingly, Christmas is no different.

When working or studying in Korea, you may notice that there are two names for this holiday: the native Korean version and the loanword from English.

Let’s first take a look at the native Korean way to say Christmas: 성탄절 seongtanjeol. This word actually originates from Chinese and can be broken down in this way:

seong: holy

tan: birth

jeol: holiday

The other name for Christmas in Korean is the phonetic English loanword: 크리스마스 keuriseumaseu.

The loanword for Christmas 크리스마스 (keuriseumaseu) is used far more often in daily Korean than the native word 성탄절 (seongtanjeol)

So whilst you might sound a little more ✨fancy✨ when using 성탄절 (seongtanjeol), we’d recommend to stick to 크리스마스 (keuriseumaseu) for when you’re talking about Christmas this year to sound more natural.

Happy Birthday in Korean || PLUS Birthday Traditions Thumbnail

Happy Birthday in Korean || PLUS Birthday Traditions

Little did you know, there exist many Korean birthday traditions. And were you aware that Korean people do not age on their birthday? Intriguing!

Merry Christmas in Korean || 3 Ways to Say Merry Christmas

As you may already know, Korean has several different levels of formality.

What you might not already know is that this also applies to wishing someone a Merry Christmas!

This means the holiday greetings to give to your boss/teacher/older relatives would be different to ones you’d say to your close friends and classmates.

Let’s take a look at the three ways of saying Merry Christmas, starting from the least formal:

The Informal Merry Christmas in Korean

The least formal is also the least difficult, as it’s actually a phonetic translation from the English greeting.

To wish your friends and people close to you a Merry Christmas, you could simply say:

메리 크리스마스 (meri keuriseumaseu)

It’s considered less formal as there are no polite grammatical indicators in this sentence.

Remember it’s not just ‘Merry Christmas’ – you need to ‘Koreanify’ your accent!

Want to practice talking about Christmas in Korean with native speaker teachers? Check out our Flexi Classes to start speaking Korean today!

The Standard Merry Christmas in Korean

If you’re going to learn one, learn this one.

It can be used in almost any situation without you looking overly formal or informal.

In Korean, the standard way to say Merry Christmas is:

크리스마스 잘 보내세요 (keuriseumaseu jal bonaeseyo)

If the 잘 보내세요 (jal bonaeseyo) sounds familiar, that’s because it’s used in other common phrases, like ‘have a good weekend’ ( 주말 잘 보내세요 jumal jal bonaeseyo).

Use this version of Merry Christmas and you’ll sound both friendly and polite!

The Formal Merry Christmas in Korean

The most formal version of Merry Christmas is also the one you’re least likely to hear in daily life. It’s most likely to be spotted on Christmas cards and posters.

That being said, you can still use this in most situations and as it’s so polite you’ll avoid insulting anyone!

  행복한 크리스마스 되십시오 (haengbokan keuriseumaseu doesipsio)

It’s precisely because of the –십시오 (sipsio) ending that this phrase is so polite.

The first part of the phrase, 행복한 (haengbokan) is another way to say ‘happy’.

How many languages will you learn in 2024?

👉 Want to impress even more friends this Christmas? Learn how to say Merry Christmas in Chinese , Merry Christmas in Japanese AND Merry Christmas in Vietnamese!

Merry Christmas in Korean || Christmas Vocabulary

Why stop at learning how to say Merry Christmas in Korean? There’s so much more to learn!

Here’s our list of essential Christmas vocabulary to set you up for the festive season:

EnglishKoreanHangeul
Christmas Day 크리스마스 날 keuriseumaseu nal
Presents 선물 seonmul
Snowman 눈사람 nunsaram
Christmas Card 크리스마스 카드 keuriseumaseu kadeu
Christmas Tree 크리스마스 트리 keuriseumaseu teuri
Christmas Lights 크리스마스 조명 keuriseumaseu jomyeong
Santa Claus 산타 클로스 santa keulloseu
Reindeer 순록 sunrok
Elf 엘프 elpeu
Toys 장난감 jangnangam
Sleigh 썰매 sseolmae
Christmas Carols 크리스마스 캐롤 keuriseumaseu kaerol
Mulled Wine 뱅쇼 baengsyo
Turkey 칠면조 chilmyeonjo
Stockings 스타킹 seutaking
Mistletoe 겨우살이 gyeousari
Chimney 굴뚝 gulttuk

Have you ever spent Christmas in another country? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!

Merry Christmas in Korean || Christmas Vocab Quiz

Ok now that we’ve learned lots of new words and phrases in Korean, it’s time to put that knowledge to the test with a bonus Korean quiz!

Try answering without peaking at any of the answers above and see how much you learned…

Welcome to the Christmas in Korean Quiz! Enter your First name and email to begin. Don't worry you can unsubscribe at any time!

First Name
Email
What does 선물 (seonmul) mean?

What does 순록 (sunrok) mean?

What does 눈사람 (nunsaram) mean?

What does 크리스마스 캐롤 (keuriseumaseu kaerol) mean?

What does 칠면조 (chilmyeonjo) mean?

What is the correct Hangul for Santa Keulloseu (Santa Claus)?

What is 'Christmas Day' in Korean?

How do you say 'elf' in Korean?

What is the correct Hangul for jangnangam (toys)?

What is the correct Hangul for keuriseumaseu kadeu (Christmas card)?

Merry Christmas in Korean || FAQs

How do you say Merry Christmas in Korean?

There are a few ways to say Merry Christmas in Korean. Two of the most common are 메리 크리스마스 (meri keuriseumaseu) and 크리스마스 잘 보내세요 (keuriseumaseu jal bonaeseyo).

How do you say Santa Claus in Korean?

In Korean, Santa Claus is 산타 클로스 santa keulloseu.

On which day is Christmas celebrated in Korea?

In South Korea, Christmas is a public holiday and is celebrated on the 25th of December

What is Christmas called in Korea?

In South Korea, Christmas has two names: 성탄절 seongtanjeol, which is the native Korean word and 크리스마스 (keuriseumaseu), a loanword from English.

In daily life, you’re much more likely to hear 크리스마스 (keuriseumaseu).

Where can I practice speaking about Christmas in Korean?

To learn from native-speaker teachers on your schedule, check out our Flexi Classes platform.

Psst… we’re currently offering a 7 day free trial!

Want More From LTL?

FANCY LEARNING KOREAN? Check out our online Korean courses here.

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