JaKWOW-K #7 – 감사합니다 ‘Kamsahamnida’


jakwow KOREAN transparent2

안녕하세요 물결 타는 사람들! 다시 만나서 반가워요!
[Annyeonghaseyo Mulgyeol Taneun-saramdeul! Dasi mannaseo bangawoyo!]
Hello Wave Riders! 
It’s good to see you again!

It’s time again for our weekly feature! JaKWOW! – JaK’s Word of the Week; KOREAN EDITION!

In this weekly segment I show you a word or phrase that we think you should know! Some are useful for everyday situations, some will help if you visit Korea or go to a restaurant, and others will just be for fun! And we want to know what you Wave Riders would like to learn! Leave your suggestions and requests down below in the comments, or on our official Facebook page.

After last week’s BUMPER TRIPLE FEATURE of phrases, I thought it would be good to dial it back to basics this week and talk about one of the essential words you will need to use on a daily basis – let’s learn how to say Thank You!

This week’s word is:
Kamsahamnida ~!

When learning Korean, this should be one of the first few words you come across, alongside ‘안녕하세요‘ [Annyeonghaseyo] for ‘Hello’. ‘감사합니다 is generally the most polite and formal way to express your thanks. It’s the highest form of verbally expressed gratitude.

You can add to its emphasis in two ways –

– ‘대단히 감사합니다‘ [Daedanhi Kamsahamnida] – Thank you very much (where ‘대단히’ means ‘very’).

-‘너무 감사합니다[Nomu Kamsahamnida] – Thank you so much (where ‘너무‘ means ‘too’ but can translate to ‘so’ in this context).

Pronunciation is like ‘Kahm-sa-ham-ni-da’.

There are a couple of other ways to express your thanks as well! I’ll take you through them now – they vary in politeness levels, so pay attention!


고맙습니다‘ is semi-formal, in that you can use it when talking to people of a higher status than you BUT that you know well and/or are familiar with, like a Teacher, higher-ranked colleagues still below the boss, and with the older members of your family. It’s not as respectful as ‘감사합니다‘, but still quite polite. You can also use it with your friends if you want to express stronger thanks than the most informal ones that I will explore next.

Roughly pronounced like ‘Goh-mab-seum-ni-da’.


감사해요‘ is semi-informal – you use it with your friends and those younger than you, but it is a little stronger and more polite than the most informal form of thanks because of the addition of ‘‘ at the end of the word. So you can use it if you are feeling a little extra nice to your closest friends or younger relatives and buddies.

You pronounce it like ‘Kam-sa-eh-yo’.


고마워should only be used with those of the same age or younger, your CLOSEST friends, and those who aren’t going to get offended if you are informal with them. You should know who this fits in your relationships! This is the MOST informal way of expressing your gratitude. When talking to people clearly younger than you but you aren’t familiar with, you can choose to add ‘‘ to the end to make ‘고마워요‘ [Gomawoyo] which is just a tiny bit more polite, but by no means a formal way to say it.

You say it like ‘Goh-mah-wo’.

아니오, 괜찮아요
[Aniyo, Kwenchanhayo]

This is basically a way to say ‘No, thank you’ when you have to politely decline something. It translates most closely to ‘No, that’s alright’.

Roughly pronounced like ‘Ah-ni-yoh, kwen-chan-ha-yo’.

And, of course, when someone says Thank You to you, it’s always good to be able to reply to it in turn – it’s the nice thing to do!

When you want to say ‘You’re Welcome’, you can say it in one of two ways:


괜찮아‘ means ‘okay’, so it’s just like saying, ‘That’s alright’ or ‘It’s okay’. Again, if you add ‘‘ to the end of it you can make it more polite – ‘괜찮아요‘ [Kwenchanhayo].

Pronounced roughly like ‘Kwen-chan-ha’.


아니에요‘ is the equivalent to ‘No problem’, or ‘It’s nothing’. It essentially translates to saying ‘no’ or ‘it’s not’, just like saying ‘No need to thank me’.

You say it like ‘An-ee-eh-yo’.

And that is our WOW for now!

Come back next week for another instalment of JaKWOW – K-Edition!

안녕히 가세요, 친구들! 다음에 또 뵙겠습니다~!
[Annyeonghi-gaseyo, chingudeul! Daeumeh ddo behpgetseumnida~!]
Goodbye, Friends! See you next time~!

Published by SurfinHaruru

SurfinHaruru is Sub-Editor, Head Graphic Designer/Coordinator, and Resident Photographer at JaK Wave, and manages the Korean Language section of the site. He loves Asian culture - living with Chinese culture day-to-day, and studying Korean in his spare time. He has a passion for Asian cookery, dramas, and music, and enjoys attending Traditional and Modern cultural events frequently.

Loading Facebook Comments ...