Recently I learned the Korean/Chinese number system, or at least how to decipher it. I thought it was pretty dang interesting. As I learned and as many probably have so far, is that South Korea uses two sets of numbers.

Chinese numbers, also known as the Sino Korean numbers, (system 1 in above chart) is mainly used for money and phone numbers. (Edit: I have found that this system is also used for counting. Maybe it happens in certain situations but I've heard people counting using Sino-Korean numbers)

Korean numbers (system 2 in above chart) is mainly used for age, time, and counting.

The easiest (for me) was learning the Chinese/Sino Korean numbers. I'm not saying I'm an expert, I'm still learning. I do get a couple wrong. So let's take a look at the Sino Korean numbers first.

영 = 0 (regular number count)

공 = 0 (for phone numbers)

일 = 1

이 = 2

삼 = 3

사 = 4

오 = 5

육 = 6

칠 = 7

팔 = 8

구 = 9

십 = 10

As you see in the chart above, numbers beyond ten (10 십), contains the 십 + the coordinating number.

For example: 15 = 십 (10) + 오 (5)

After 19, its becomes a little longer but the concept still applies. Except the beginning character would be the coordinating number. So it's like multiplying the first two numbers and then adding. You would do this all the way up to 99.

For example: 25 = 이(2) x 십 (10) + 오 (5)

If someone came up to you, asking for your phone number, these are the numbers you would use. Keep in mind, when using 0 (zero), you would change the 영 to 공.

For example: 908-631-0005 = 구공팔 육삼일 공공공오

After 99, comes the hundreds, thousands, and million numbers. In which case, the number becomes longer but the formula stays the same. The chart above is in the millions but I wanted to give you an idea of what these numbers look like as they get bigger.

백 = 100

천 = 1,000

만 = 10,000

십만 = 100,000

백만 = 1,000,000

천만 = 10,000,000

억 = 100,000,000

For example:

258 = 이백오십팔

(이(2) x 백(100),오(5) x 십(10) + 팔(8)

2580 = 이천오백팔십 (2x1000, 5x100, 8x10)

₩on! (원 or KRW)

I almost forgot!

When it comes to counting 원, you still use the same formula but only adding 원 at the end.

For example: 10 won (coins) = 십원

or

1,000 won (bills) = 천원

4900 ₩ = 시천구백원 (4x1000, 9x100 ₩)

Coins:

10 ₩ = 십원

50 ₩ = 오십원

100 ₩ = 백원

500 ₩ = 오백원

Bills:

1,000 ₩ = 천원

5,000 ₩ = 오천원

10,000 ₩ = 만원

50,000 ₩ = 오만원

The longer the numbers got, I got a little confused. So I hope this has been helpful. I'll get the Korean number system posted soon.

Thank you!

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