Make Sure You’re Not Totally Clueless in Korea (눈치, nunchi)!

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In Korean, there’s a really useful and common phrase that’s used to describe those really clueless friends you have. And we want to make sure that you’re not THAT friend. Make sure you’re not totally clueless in Korea… or at least… learn how to say it in Korean :)

In Korean, the phrase 눈치 없다 (nunchi eopta) refers to someone that is clueless, someone that doesn’t know what’s going on, or simply doesn’t have any common sense. That’s when someone doesn’t have any 눈치 (nunchi).

And the opposite is when someone has 눈치 (nunchi). The phrase 눈치 있다 (눈치 있다) refers to someone who’s quick witted, can understand the situation quickly, or has common sense. Another way to say this is 눈치 빠르다 (nunchi ppareuda) – to have quick nunchi.

If you’re not sure what all this means, find out what this super commonly used Korean phrase is talking about with this video :)

What are some other examples of having no nunchi is? Write a comment!

Keith Kim is a Korean-American content producer based in Seoul. With his unique perspective and experience balancing these two cultures, he’s produced a guide on How to Survive in Korea - Survival Korean. Follow his journey at, Facebook, and Instagram.

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  1. Holly Ibach says:

    Your comment…
    I’m a mother that has raised 7 children. I have super, super, SUPER nunchi, much to my children’s chagrin.

  2. Guillaume Brière says:

    hahahahha Orders captain ? I knew the game would be starcraft
    I wouldn’t challenge you at this game in 100 years

  3. Guillaume Brière says:

    ok that wasn’t really nunchi I guess but, my respects sir :)

  4. Hui W says:

    Haha gosh you explain this kind of stuff perfectly! It took me a while to get it when my Korean friend first tried to explain what 눈치 means in English. But then I realized there is a similar word to 눈치 in Chinese. “眼色(Yan Se)”, I thought that’s pretty neat too because it literally means “colors in your eyes”, as if, you will be able to notice stuff better if you have “colors in your eyes”.
    Can’t wait to read/see more from you guys! :)

  5. Guillaume Brière says:

    maybe it can mean…you know, I understand your state of mind now, because I saw it into your [revealing] eyes, I can see your soul through them.

    perhaps I’m over thinking but at least I’m trying my best ^^ regards

  6. Jie says:

    Wahahahahahaha!!!!! Hyojin and Seokjin!!! HAHAHAHA xD

  7. April says:

    Will use on friends before I visit South Korea!!

  8. Fahd from MOROCCO says:

    Nunchi exists in Morocco too ! We say that someone with nunchi is “mtawer” and the nunchi eopta is “demduma” 😀
    Such a funny thing !

  9. Daniel says:

    I nunchi itta’d so hard yesterday walking along Songpa-daero. I heard a little bell and noticed I was walking in the bike lane (along with everybody else) so I quickly stepped out of the bike lane just in time to watch another dude get clipped by mr. bike man. nun chi ftw.

  10. 엑소팬 says:

    엑소엠의 멤버, 레이가 눈치없음 ㅋㅋ

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