How to Talk Like Koreans (Rice version)

Just like other Asian countries, rice is a staple food for Korea. Koreans love to eat rice sticky and often mix rice with other types of grains and beans. In almost every house in Korea, a bag of rice and a rice cooker are must-have items. And, of course, stocking up packs of instant rice is a must for emergencies (as in when the rice runs out).

Rice has become something more than “just rice.” It has permeated the everyday conversations of Koreans.

Here are a few fun ways that you can talk like Koreans using “rice” in conversations.

너 콩밥 먹고 싶어?
Do you want to eat rice with beans?

It’s a Korean way of saying “Do you want to go to jail?” It’s a sarcastic question for those who do silly things.

Rice with beans represents “jail” in Korea because prisoners used to eat rice with beans back in the days. It was a cheap way to supplement protein.

밥 먹을 시간도 없어.
I don’t even have time to eat rice.

It’s often used when someone’s super busy. You can see how “being busy” turns into “no time to eat.”

언제 밥 한번 먹자.
Let’s grab rice sometime.

It’s used when saying bye to someone that you haven’t seen for a while. Saying this doesn’t mean that everyone will eat together next time though.

밥 먹었어?
Did you eat rice?

It’s a greeting that Koreans often use, both in person or over the phone. Whether meeting early in the morning or late at night, many Koreans ask this question.

밥 좀 잘 챙겨먹어.
Eat rice well.

It’s used when Koreans are worried about someone. It has the same meaning as “Don’t skip meals” and “Take care of yourself.”

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