Sweet Dreams Are Made Of These: Saying Goodnight in Korean

Ellison Clapton10 min
Created: Dec 19, 2023Last updated: Dec 19, 2023
Goodnight in Korean

Learning to say goodnight in Korean is essential for anyone seeking proficiency in this language. Since Koreans highly value respect and hierarchy, it is vital to know which late-night farewell to choose, depending on various circumstances. In today’s article, we’ll explore many different phrases suitable for various occasions, as well as expand your vocabulary with useful bedtime terms. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

How to Say Goodnight in Korean: Common Expressions

The Korean language and grammar are based on the principles of honorifics, meaning that the choice of words always depends on the formality and the respect level you want to show to your interlocutor. These rules are applicable to different words and phrases, including morning greetings and evening farewells. Below, you’ll find the most common examples of both formal and informal goodnight phrases in Korean.

Good Night in Korean: Formal Phrases

Let’s begin with polite and respectful goodnight farewells. They are typically used with elders, superiors, or others you respect. Moreover, such expressions are great to use with strangers, as they cover the appropriate formality and politeness. Here are four popular ways to say goodnight in the Korean language.

  • 잘 자요 (jal jayo) – [t͡ɕal t͡ɕa.jo] – Sleep well.

This phrase is considered polite and formal. It’s suitable for saying goodnight to elders and colleagues, or in formal settings like business meetings or with individuals you want to show respect towards. For example:

엄마, 잘 자요! 내일 봐요. (Goodnight, Mom! See you tomorrow.)

오늘 하루도 수고했어요! 잘 자요, 친구들. (Thanks for another great day! Goodnight, friends!)

  • 안녕히 주무세요 (annyeonghi jumuseyo) – [an.njʌŋ.çi t͡ɕu.mu.se.jo] – Sleep well / Have a peaceful sleep.

It is another extremely formal way to say have a good night in Korean. It’s used when addressing elders, superiors, or people you want to show the highest level of respect. For example:

오늘 하루도 수고 많으셨어요. 안녕히 주무세요. (Thanks for a great day. Goodnight)

잠이 소중한 거 알아요. 안녕히 주무세요. (I know how precious the sleep is, so goodnight.)

  • 좋은 꿈 꿔요 (joeun kkum kkwoyo) – [t͡ɕo.ɯn k͈um k͈wo.jo] – Sweet dreams.

This phrase is polite and friendly, suitable for saying goodnight to friends or acquaintances in a formal yet warm manner. It is the most common way to say sweet dreams in Korean. For example:

꿈 속에서도 만나요. 좋은 꿈 꿔요. (I’ll see you in my dreams. Sweet dreams!)

사랑해. 좋은 꿈 꿔요. (I love you. Sweet dreams.)

  • 편안한 밤 되세요 (pyeonanhan bam doeseyo) – [pʰjʌ.nan.han pam dwe.se.jo] – Have a comfortable night.

The last phrase on our formal list is polite and caring. It is appropriate for wishing someone a peaceful night in official settings. For example:

마음 편하게 쉬세요. 편안한 밤 되세요. (Relax your mind. Have a peaceful night.)

힘든 하루였습니다. 편안한 밤 되세요. (It’s been a rough day. Have a peaceful night.)

Goodnight in Korean Informal Sayings

And now, it is time to explore casual phrases for wishing someone a good night. These phrases are typically used with peers, friends, and family members. Here are four informal and slang expressions you can use to wish someone sweet dreams.

  • 잘 자 (jal ja) – [t͡ɕal t͡ɕa] – Sleep well.

This is the most common informal way to say goodnight, suitable for use with close friends, family, or people of similar age or status. For example:

내일 뵙겠습니다! 잘 자. (See you tomorrow! Sleep well!)

잘 자, 아가야. 내일은 매우 중요한 날입니다. (Sleep well, sweetheart. Tomorrow is a significant day.)

  • 굿밤 (gut bam) – [ɡut̚ bam] – Goodnight.

This slang phrase is fairly informal and trendy, often used in casual settings among friends or peers. For example:

굿밤 형제. 또 봐요! (Goodnight, bro. See ya!)

굿나잇 친구. (Goodnight pal!)

  • 굿나잇 (gut nait) – [ɡut̚ nait̚] – Goodnight.

The next phrase is just a Korean way of spelling and writing the English phrase “goodnight.” It is very popular among youngsters in informal and casual settings. For example:

굿나잇, 여보. 아침에 뵙겠습니다. (Goodnight, honey. See you in the morning.)

캐시에게 굿나잇이라고 전해주세요! (Say goodnight to Kathy for me!)

  • 꿀잠 (kkuljam) – [k͈ul.d͡ʑam] – Sweet dreams.

Literally, this phrase translates to “honey sleep,” but it is actually a great casual way to wish someone sweet dreams. For example:

잘 자, 꼬마야. 학교에서 보자. (Sweet dreams, kid. See you at school.)

꿀잠, 여보. 낮잠 좀 잘게요. (Sweet dreams, honey. I’m going to take a nap.)

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Sleep Well Korean: Bedtime-Related Vocabulary

Now that you know how to say goodnight in Korean, it is time to expand your vocabulary even more. Check out this list of useful Korean terms related to bedtime and goodnight sleep and the ways you can use them in simple sentences.

  • 잠 – [d͡ʑam] – Sleep.

퇴근 후에는 항상 잠이 필요합니다. (I always need sleep after work.)

잠은 제가 가장 좋아하는 취미입니다. (Sleeping is my favorite hobby.)

  • 꿈 – [k͈um] – Dream.

제 꿈은 유명한 배우가 되는 것입니다. (My dream is to become a famous actor.)

어젯밤에 이상한 꿈을 꿨어요. (I had a weird dream last night.)

  • 밤 – [pam] – Night.

밤에 혼자 걷는 것이 두렵습니다. (I’m afraid to walk alone at night.)

저는 밤에 더 잘 일합니다. (I work better at night.)

  • 포근한 – [po.ɡɯn.han] – Cozy / Snug.

비가 오면 포근한 느낌이 듭니다. (It feels cozy when it rains.)

침실이 매우 포근해 보입니다. (Your bedroom looks very cozy.)

  • 베개 – [be.ge] – Pillow.

새 베개를 사야겠어요. (I need to buy a new pillow.)

저는 항상 머리가 베개에 닿자마자 잠이 듭니다. (I always fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.)

  • 침대 – [tɕimdɛ] – Bed.

제 침대는 제가 집에서 가장 좋아하는 공간입니다. (My bed is my favorite place in the house.)

이 침대는 매우 편안해 보입니다. (This bed looks very comfortable.)

  • 취침 시간 – [tɕʰwitɕʰim siɡɑn] – Bedtime.

잘 자, 꼬마야! 취침 시간이 훨씬 지났어요. (Goodnight, kid! It’s way past your bedtime.)

딸의 취침 시간은 9시에 시작됩니다. (My daughter’s bedtime begins at nine o’clock.)

  • 담요 – [dam.jo] – Blanket.

담요가 너무 따뜻해요. (Your blanket is so warm.)

할머니에게 알록달록한 담요를 뜨고 싶어요. (I want to knit a colorful blanket for my grandmother.)

  • 일어나기 –[iɾʌnɑɡi] – To wake up.

일찍 일어나는 게 싫어요. (I hate waking up early.)

내일 일찍 일어나야 해요. (I need to wake up early tomorrow.)

  • 잠들기 – [tɕɑmdɯlɡi] – To fall asleep.

잠들기가 왜 그렇게 어려운가요? (Why is it so hard to fall asleep?)

매니저의 연설 도중 잠이 들었습니다. (I fell asleep during the manager’s speech.)

  • 알람 시계 – [ɑllɑm siɡjɛ] – An alarm clock.

예쁜 분홍색 알람 시계를 새로 샀어요. (I just bought a pretty pink alarm clock.)

아침이 되면 알람 시계를 버리고 싶어요. (I want to throw away my alarm clock in the morning.)

  • 불면증 – [pulmjʌndʑɯŋ] – Insomnia.

불면증이 있습니다. (I have insomnia.)

명상은 불면증에 도움이 되었습니다. (Meditation has helped me with insomnia.)

  • 낮잠 – [nɑttɕ*ɑm] – Nap.

출근 전에 잠깐 낮잠을 자야겠어요. (I’m going to take a quick nap before work.)

낮잠을 자고 싶어요. 빈 객실이 있나요? (I would like to take a nap. Do you have any available rooms?)

Learning Korean Greetings and Farewells with Promova

Although Korean is considered one of the hardest languages to learn for English speakers, we are confident that becoming fluent in it is not as impossible as it looks. With some patience, effort, a bit of practice, and the right set of tools, you can definitely become fluent in it. And while the first three factors depend solely on yourself, we are happy to help you with the last one! It is time for you to check out Promova – a convenient language-learning application created with learners in mind. Why should you try it?

  1. Installing the Promova app on your iOS or Android device allows you to implement language learning in your busy schedule. We know how difficult it is to find time to study. With Promova, you can practice anywhere and anytime you want.
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Conclusion

How do you say goodnight in Korean? This question often appears in the minds of those aiming to learn this language. Luckily, now you have a handful of phrases to choose from! We hope that this article was helpful, and now you know which one to select for informal and formal settings. And that’s it for now! We’ll see you in the next article. Stay tuned if you don’t want to miss it!

FAQ

How important is it to consider honorifics and formality when saying goodnight in Korean?

Honorifics and formality are crucial in Korean communication, including even the ways of saying goodnight. In Korean culture, showing respect through language is highly valued, especially when addressing someone older, in a position of authority, or simply someone you want to show respect to. The level of formality used in saying goodnight depends on the relationship and the context.

Can I mix formal and informal phrases while saying goodnight in Korean?

Mixing formal and informal phrases when saying goodnight in Korean might not be ideal. It’s generally better to maintain consistency in the level of formality throughout the conversation as a sign of respect. However, in very close relationships where both parties are comfortable with each other, a mix of formal and informal language might be acceptable.

Is it possible to learn Korean by myself?

Sure thing! Many resources are available to self-study Korean, such as textbooks, online courses, language exchange apps, and much more. Also, immersing yourself in the language is a great way to learn it. Watch movies and Korean dramas, listen to popular songs, or try to find a conversational partner. But remember that it’s also essential to have a structured approach, set goals, and practice regularly.

What are some other ways to bid farewells in Korean?

Depending on the time of day and context, there are numerous expressions to say goodbye in Korean. For example, the phrase 안녕히 가세요 (annyeonghi gaseyo) [ɑnnjʌŋi ɡɑsɛjo] is used when saying goodbye to someone who’s leaving. The expression 안녕히 계세요 (annyeonghi gyeseyo) [ɑnnjʌŋi ɡjɛsɛjo], on the other hand, also means “bye” but is used when you’re leaving instead.

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