I was talking to someone and he thanked me in Korean. It was at that moment that I realized, I could not remember how to say, “You’re welcome!” So of course I asked and he told me, “천만에요 (cheonmaneyo)”.
It’s not the most natural way to say, “You’re welcome” in Korean and it’s also a bit more formal. It’s something that you would say to someone older than you, your superior, etc. A more natural way to say “you’re welcome” would be, “아니에요 (anieyo)”. We hear this word all the time in K-dramas and it has a few different meanings, “you’re welcome”, “it’s nothing”, and “no problem”, etc. I’m sure you can think of more ways to use that phrase.
Sample conversation with a friend:
Person 1: 선물 줘서 고마워(요)! (seonmul jwoseo gomawo(yo))! —- “Thank you for the gift.”
Person 2: 아니에요! (anieyo!)
So that’s it today! Hopefully now if you are ever in a situation to use “천만에요 (cheonmaneyo)” or “아니에요 (anieyo)”, you’ll remember which one to use and won’t be like me.