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What is Itadakimasu in Korean?


In this article, we will explore the meaning and significance of the word “Itadakimasu” in Korean culture. Itadakimasu is a popular expression used by Koreans before they begin their meals. We will delve into the history and cultural context of this phrase and explore its importance in Korean society.

What is Itadakimasu?

Itadakimasu is a Japanese phrase which means “I humbly receive” or “I gratefully receive.” It is often used in Korea as a way to express gratitude for the food that is being presented on the table. Koreans believe that food is a gift from nature and should be treated with respect and gratitude.

The Cultural Significance of Itadakimasu

In Korea, food is more than just sustenance. It is an integral part of their culture and plays an important role in their daily lives. The act of saying Itadakimasu before a meal is a way to show appreciation for the food and the effort that went into preparing it. It also reflects the Korean’s belief that food should be shared and enjoyed with others.

When to Say Itadakimasu

Itadakimasu is usually said just before starting a meal. This expression can be used in formal or informal settings, and it is considered polite to say it when dining with others. In addition to being said at the beginning of a meal, it can also be used when receiving a gift or when someone does something nice for you.

The History of Itadakimasu

The origins of Itadakimasu can be traced back to ancient Japan, where it was used as a way to show gratitude for food offerings to the gods. Over time, it became a common expression used during meals to show appreciation for the food that was being served. Today, Itadakimasu has spread beyond Japan and is used in various other Asian cultures.

Itadakimasu and Korean Cuisine

Korean cuisine is famous for its rich flavors and unique ingredients. The use of Itadakimasu before a meal reflects the deep respect Koreans have for their food and the art of cooking. It is also a way to acknowledge the hard work of the farmers and producers who grow and harvest the ingredients.

How to Say Itadakimasu in Korean

In Korea, Itadakimasu is pronounced “jal meokkesseumnida,” which means “I will eat well.” This phrase is commonly used before meals, and it is considered polite to say it when dining with others.

Other Korean Phrases Used Before Meals

While Itadakimasu is the most common phrase used before meals in Korea, there are several other expressions that are used as well. One example is “Jal ja,” which means “enjoy your meal.” Another common expression is “Bon appetit,” which has been borrowed from French culture.

The Role of Food in Korean Society

Food plays an important role in Korean society. It is a way to bring people together, share experiences, and connect with others. The act of cooking and sharing food is deeply ingrained in Korean culture, and it is seen as an important way to express love and gratitude.

Korean Food Etiquette

Korean food etiquette is complex and intricate. There are many rules and customs that must be followed when dining with others. For example, it is considered impolite to start eating before the eldest person at the table has started. Additionally, it is customary to use chopsticks instead of a fork and knife.

The Health Benefits of Korean Cuisine

Korean cuisine is known for its health benefits. Many Korean dishes contain a variety of vegetables, which are rich in vitamins and minerals. Additionally, Korean food is often low in fat and high in protein, making it an excellent choice for those who are watching their weight.


In conclusion, Itadakimasu is a popular expression used by Koreans before they begin their meals. It reflects their deep respect for food and the art of cooking. By saying Itadakimasu, Koreans express their gratitude for the gift of food and the hard work that goes into preparing it. Food plays an integral role in Korean culture, and it is seen as a way to connect with others and express love and gratitude.

What does Itadakimasu mean in Korean?

The culture in Korea values politeness, so showing appreciation can have a positive impact. If you are comfortable with the language, you can say ‘jal meokkessumnida’ before a meal, which is similar to the Japanese phrase ‘itadakimasu’ and means ‘I will eat well’.

What do Koreans say after eating?

The phrase “jal meogeotseumnida” translates to “I ate well”, but it can also be used in place of “thank you” when someone treats you to a meal.

How do you say thank you for food in Korean?

In Korean, if someone has treated you to a meal and you want to show your appreciation, you can use the phrase 잘 먹었습니다 (jal meogeotseumnida). This is a polite way of saying “thank you for the food” or “thank you for the meal,” and it essentially means “I enjoyed the food.”

What is Korean slang for eat?

Muk-stagram is a term coined in the early 2010s in South Korea, by combining the Korean word “muk-da” which means “eat” and the popular social media platform “Instagram.” This neologism is gaining popularity among the younger generations in South Korea.

What is Korean slang for dinner?

One of the most frequently used Korean slang terms for food is Matjeom, which is short for “delicious lunch” in Korean (masinneun jeomsim). If it’s dinner time, you can use Matjeo, which stands for “delicious dinner” (masinneun jeonyeok) in English.

What is Korean etiquette while eating?

Korean etiquette involves showing respect by using both hands when passing bowls, glasses, or dishes. Refilling one’s own drink, especially with alcohol, is considered impolite, so it is customary to pour for others at the table and allow them to fill your glass as well.

Korean cuisine is also known for its fermented foods, such as kimchi, which is a staple in Korean meals. Fermented foods have been shown to have numerous health benefits, including improving digestion and boosting the immune system. In addition to being healthy, Korean food is also delicious and diverse, with a range of flavors and textures to satisfy any palate.

Korean food has gained popularity around the world in recent years, with Korean restaurants and dishes popping up in cities across the globe. This has helped to spread awareness of Korean culture and cuisine, introducing new people to the rich flavors and traditions of Korean food.

In Korea, food is not just about sustenance or enjoyment; it is also a way to connect with nature and honor the natural world. Many traditional Korean dishes are based on seasonal ingredients, with each season bringing its own unique flavors and ingredients. This connection to nature is reflected in the respect and gratitude Koreans show for their food when saying Itadakimasu.

Overall, Itadakimasu is a powerful expression that reflects the deep cultural significance of food in Korean society. By saying Itadakimasu before a meal, Koreans express their appreciation for the food and the effort that went into preparing it, while also honoring the natural world and the role it plays in sustaining human life. So, it’s not just a word, but a reflection of the values and traditions that make Korean cuisine so special.

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