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수영하다 vs 헤엄치다

Could you tell me what is the difference between these words? Both of them means to swim.

Thank very much! ^^

For learning: Korean
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    Best Answer - Chosen by Voting
    There is no true difference, but you could say that 헤엠하다 is more like the actual serious practice of swimming. 헤엠 on its own means "(a) swim stroke" and it's used like "헤엠 잘치는 사람" (a good swimmer), "헤엠치지 마시오" (No Swimming, like on signs). 수영하다 also means to swim, but in 수영하다 the concept of swimming is a bit loose, and you can use it as "bathing" as well, like "풀장에 수영하러 가자!" (let's go for a swim/bathe in the pool!).
    I'd say su is more commonly used, unless you're a professional swimmer where you'd maybe hear he often as well. I wouldn't say to my friends "헤엄 치러 갈께" (i'm going to go for a swim/take a swim) because that'd make me sound like I am going to go practice professional swimming, when I'm actually just going to loosely excercise swim or bathe.

    I hope this cleared it up a bit :-)

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