How to Say Mother in Korean

The Korean word for "mother" is "eomeoni" (어머니). The familiar word for "mother" (something like "mom" or "mommy") is "Umma" (엄마). Read on for pronunciations and context!


  1. Image titled Say Mother in Korean Step 1
    Say "Umma" (엄마). Pronounce it "Oh-ma". This is the familiar form of "mother," something like "mom" or "mommy."[1] You might use this word when speaking directly to your own mother, or when speaking fondly about her to someone else.
    • Be aware that this is the English spelling of a Korean word. The written syllables are approximations of the way that Koreans say the word. Some people also spell "umma" as "eomma."[2]
  2. Image titled Say Mother in Korean Step 2
    Say "Eomeoni" (어머니). Pronounce it something like "uh-muh-ni." This is the formal word for "mother.[3] You might use this form when speaking about your mother to someone else, or when referring to someone else's mother whom you have not met.
  3. Image titled Say Mother in Korean Step 3
    Listen to Koreans pronounce the word. If you know Korean people, ask them to say the word for you and coach you on the right inflection. Otherwise, look for YouTube videos, voice recordings, and other speaking samples on the Internet. There are a number of tutorials that can help you get the pronunciation down.[4] You may find that it is much easier to imitate the language if you hear it aloud.
    • Try watching Korean movies and shows to get an idea for the cadence of the language. There is no guarantee that you will hear a lot of the word "mother," but you may find that it's easier for you to naturally say the word if you understand the context.
  4. Image titled Say Mother in Korean Step 4
    Start slow and build up speed. The inflection on the word might be different from what you're used to, so take your time to fully grasp each syllable. String the syllables together once you can confidently and correctly pronounce each of them. Say it quickly: "Umma!" Native Korean speakers tend to say the word quickly, so you will sound more authentic if you follow suit.
  5. Image titled Say Mother in Korean Step 5
    Consider learning Korean.[5] You can call your mother "umma" out of context, whether or not you are a fluent Korean speaker – but you will be able to use the word more effectively if you can speak even a bit of the language. Explore online resources, buy a guide to basic Korean, and try to practice the language when you have the opportunity.


  • Don't say the word very slowly if you already understand the pronunciation. Most Koreans speak quickly, and you might sound out of place if you're struggling to enunciate each syllable.

Article Info

Categories: Korean