What do you do if you live in Korea and get sick? Well, you might just decide to stay at home and ride out the storm but you maybe will want to go the hospital in case it gets worse. And who works in a hospital? In today’s Word of the Day, we will learn how to say “doctor” in Korean. For this, we use the word:
(in Hangul: 의사)
But in Korean, we want to show respect and so we should add seonsaengnim (선생님) to this word to form:
(in Hangul: 의사선생님)
This is how you should address them in person. You can even omit of the uisa (의사) part and just use seonsaengnim (선생님). This title is used for both teachers and doctors so keep that in mind in case you get confused.
Note: for a doctorate (degree), you use the word baksa (박사)
jeoneun uisa yeyo (저는 의사예요)
= I am a doctor.
uisaga dwoego shipoyo (의사가 되고 싶어요)
= I want to become a doctor
If you have any friends from Korea, you should take notice on how they will go to the hospital for just the smallest symptoms. Of course not everyone is the same but if someone notices that you have caught a minor cold or if you tell them, they will tell you the famous line that so all foreigners will sooner or later hear: “you should go to the hospital.” This is of course just one of many cultural differences that can confuse foreigners. Luckily, the health care system in Korea is really good so it wont hurt the wallet that much.