잘 먹겠습니다 [ jal meokget-seumnida ]

Koreans usually say this expression before starting to have a meal, often even when they are alone.

The direct translation is ‘I will eat well’ and this does not convey the true meaning of 잘 먹겠습니다.

잘 먹겠습니다 has sort of compounded meaning. It means ‘I know you cooked this for me using your time and energy with love, and thank you so much. I will fully enjoy the meal with gratitude’ or/and ‘thank you all who harvested or produced these ingredients, and the sun, wind, air, soil and etc.. I am really happy to have this meal’.

* Koreans also say 맛있게 [ masitge ]먹겠습니다, whose direct translation is ‘I will eat deliciously’, for the same intention as 잘 먹겠습니다.

* Koreans often say 잘 먹었습니다 [ meogeot-seumnida ], 맛있게 먹었습니다 or 맛있게 잘 먹었습니다 after the meal, too.

* When Koreans treat somebody with food, they say 맛있게 드세요 [ deuseyo ]  (드세요 is a polite form of 먹다) but 잘 드세요 is not used.