A Korean Good Night! (cartoon)

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Jalja means goodnight.

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Jalja – you can say goodnight to those younger to you but if you are saying goodnight to someone older, you are usually using honorifics.

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*Gwenchana – means it is okay.
Have you ever made a mistake in the language that you are learning?

This happened on one of the first evenings I had stayed with my Korean friend in Busan. We were having a drink at her home and my friends parents, her mum specifically, popped her head around to say goodnight. She said goodnight in both English and Korean. Of course, wanting to show off my little known Korean, I replied in kind, ‘Jalja’ to which my friend looked angry and immediately, said ‘Nooooo.’ To older people and parents, you need to say goodnight respectfully, which is’ Anounghe jumosayo’ 안녕히 주무세요

Of course her parents were fine and completely understood me. The thing is I knew this, but had of course forgotten – but immediately felt embarrassed! My friend too was not that upset as I have shown here. Although it was funnier much later on.

Have you had such an experience?

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