Every month you probably find a booklet attached to your door. Inside are seemingly hundreds of restaurants menus, waiting for you to call. While this seems like it should be a very difficult task, it can be quite simple and extremely rewarding. If you speak some Korean, this will be easier, but even if you can only say and understand a limited amount you will hopefully find that it can be done. Pizza is probably the easiest to order, but once you get the hang of it, you will find there isn’t anything you can’t order.
Variations to the basic formula can happen, but for the most part, if you still to the following dialogue you should be able to have piping hot food delivered, with no delivery charge!!
They will say something when they answer.
Reply : “Weigh-gook-een Em-Nee-Da.” This means “I am a foreigner.” Sometimes this will elicit English, but most of the time, you will just get a pause.
Continue: “(food you would like) Chew-Say-Oh.” If you are ordering one of something, this should be enough. With pizza, for example, you can add “Large-e,” and/or “han-gay” (one) “Do-gay” two, etc.
They will ask if you want a drink. Even if they don’t they will understand the following
Reply: “Cola Chew-Say-Oh” (Cola, please.) “Suh-Puh-L/Right-Uh, Chew-Say-Oh” (Sprite, please), or “Cola, up-sigh-oh” (I don’t want a drink)
Next they will need your address. This may be the hardest part at first. If you don’t know your address, ask your boss, or head co-teacher. Have them write it out for you, numbers included. They use the ill, ee, sam, sa, etc. Numbers for addresses, NOT hana, duel, set, net.
First say your dong, then the numbers that correspond to your building, or your building’s name, then your floor, then your room number.
____ dash-e ____ OR ______Apart-uh/Bil-Ding/Ah-Piss-Tell,
For example: “Sangnam-Dong yuk-ship-sam Dash-e yuk, Sam chung, sam beck sam.”
This translates to: “Sangnam dong 63-6, 3rd floor, #303.”
Or: “Sangnam-Dong Lotte Apart-uh Sa Chung, Sa Beck Sam.”
translates to: “Sangnam Dong Lotte Apartments, 4th Floor, #403.”
They may tell you the price, or how long it will take, but if you can’t understand just say:
“Kahm-Sahm-Nee-Da?” with a question in your voice and wait to say if they sound confused or hang up. Normally, that is all you have to do.
Then you wait. Sometimes it will take over 40 minutes. When they get to your house, you can give them cash and they will have change for you. You don’t need to tip. Just say “Kahm-Sahm-Nee-Da!!”
Some Western chains, like McDonalds, might ask you to call back for a person who speaks English. The wonderful thing is that a lot of places have caller ID, so once you have called once, you will not have to go through the pain of saying your address again. Instead, they will say it and you can confirm “Nay” (Yes).
If you order from a place that gives you real dishes, there is one added step. After you finish eating, stack up your dishes and place them ourside your door. They will be by later in the day to pick them up.
While this looks like a lot of work, the payoff on those lazy Saturday mornings, or cold weekday nights will be worth it.