1 Billion in Korean Is “10억” (Ship-O-Eok).

Have you ever wondered how to express the concept of ‘1 billion’ in Korean? Well, fret no more, because in the fascinating world of Korean numerals, ‘1 billion’ is represented by the characters ’10억’ (ship-o-eok).

But what do these characters mean and how do you pronounce them correctly? In this discussion, we will explore the intricacies of the Korean number system, delve into the writing and pronunciation of ’10억’, and uncover some interesting facts about Korean numerals that you may not have known before.

So, buckle up and get ready to unravel the mysteries of counting in Korean!

The Korean Number System: An Overview

The Korean number system, known as ’10억, is a fundamental aspect of the language and plays a crucial role in everyday life. Understanding the history of the Korean number system is key to appreciating its cultural significance. The origins of the Korean number system can be traced back to ancient times, with influences from Chinese characters and the indigenous Korean writing system, known as Hangeul. The use of Chinese characters in the Korean number system was prevalent until the 15th century when King Sejong the Great introduced Hangeul. This shift allowed for greater accessibility and ease of use for the Korean people.

The cultural significance of Korean numerals is deeply ingrained in Korean society. Numerals are used in various aspects of daily life, including counting money, telling time, and expressing age. In addition, numbers hold symbolic meaning in Korean culture. For example, the number four is considered unlucky because it sounds similar to the word for death in Korean. On the other hand, the number three is considered lucky and is often used to represent harmony and balance.

How to Say ‘1 Billion’ in Korean

After understanding the cultural significance of Korean numerals, it’s important to know how to say ‘1 billion’ in Korean. To count to 1 billion in Korean, you need to first learn the Korean number system. The word for ‘1 billion’ in Korean is ’10억’ (ship-eok). It’s formed by combining the word for ’10’ (ship) and the word for ‘100 million’ (eok).

To avoid common mistakes when saying ‘1 billion’ in Korean, it’s important to pronounce the word correctly. The ‘eok’ sound at the end of ’10억’ is pronounced as a short ‘uhk’ sound, similar to the ‘o’ in ‘lock’. It’s essential to stress the ‘uhk’ sound to ensure accurate pronunciation.

When counting beyond ‘1 billion’ in Korean, you can simply add the appropriate Korean numeral before ‘억’. For example, ‘2 billion’ is ’20억’ (ee-ship-eok) and ‘3 billion’ is ’30억’ (sam-ship-eok).

Writing ’10억’ in Korean Characters

To write ’10억’ in Korean characters, you can use the combination of the characters for ’10’ and ‘100 million’. In Korean language and culture, the number ’10억’ is commonly used to represent one billion. It’s often used in discussions about money, population, and economic statistics. For example, when talking about a company’s revenue or a country’s GDP, the number ’10억’ is frequently mentioned.

When comparing the Korean number system to other Asian number systems, it’s interesting to note that some countries, such as China and Japan, use a similar system for counting large numbers. In Chinese, the character ‘亿’ is used to represent one hundred million, and the character ‘十’ is used for ten. In Japanese, the character ‘億’ is used for one hundred million, and the character ‘十’ is used for ten as well. However, the placement of these characters in the number system may vary slightly between languages.

Pronouncing ‘Ship-O-Eok’ Correctly

If you want to pronounce ‘Ship-O-Eok’ correctly, follow these tips.

The pronunciation of ‘Ship-O-Eok’ is crucial to ensure effective communication in Korean.

One common mistake to avoid is pronouncing ‘Ship’ with a long ‘ee’ sound like ‘sheep.’ Instead, pronounce it with a short ‘i’ sound, like ‘ship’ in English.

The ‘O’ in ‘O’ is pronounced as a short ‘o’ sound, similar to ‘hot’ in English.

Lastly, for ‘Eok,’ make sure to pronounce the ‘eo’ as a short ‘uh’ sound, like ‘uh-ok.’

To summarize the pronunciation tips for ‘Ship-O-Eok’: pronounce ‘Ship’ with a short ‘i’ sound, ‘O’ with a short ‘o’ sound, and ‘Eok’ with a short ‘uh’ sound.

Fun Facts About Korean Numerals

Now let’s explore some fascinating facts about Korean numerals, building upon your understanding of pronouncing ‘Ship-O-Eok’ correctly.

In Korean culture, numbers hold a significant cultural significance. Koreans have unique number gestures that are often used in daily life. For instance, to indicate the number one, Koreans hold up their index finger. To show the number two, they use their index and middle fingers. This pattern continues up to number ten, where all ten fingers are shown. These number gestures are commonly used in various situations, such as ordering food or bargaining at markets.

Additionally, numbers have cultural significance in Korean society. The number four, for example, is considered unlucky because it sounds similar to the word for death. Many buildings in Korea omit the fourth floor or label it differently to avoid the association with death. On the other hand, the number seven is considered lucky, as it’s believed to bring good fortune.

Understanding these cultural aspects of numbers in Korean society can help you navigate social situations and demonstrate your cultural awareness. So, next time you’re in Korea, try using the number gestures and be mindful of the significance of certain numbers. It’s a fun way to immerse yourself in the rich traditions and customs of Korean culture.


In conclusion, ‘1 billion’ in Korean is ’10억’ (ship-o-eok).

The Korean number system is unique and requires learning new characters and pronunciation.

It’s fascinating to explore different numeral systems and appreciate the diversity of languages around the world.

By understanding how to express ‘1 billion’ in Korean, we can better communicate and connect with Korean-speaking individuals.