Reason : Learning The Korean Alphabet Is Easy
Compared to languages like Chinese and Japanese, learning the Korean alphabet is super easy! The Korean alphabet is phonetical in nature and so each letter corresponds to a particular phonetic sound. Many people can learn how to read Korean in as little as 24hours. Of course, it takes longer to master it, but once you learn the Korean alphabet you can read and write in Korean, which is essential for learning the language.
To show you just how easy the Korean alphabet is, heres an example. The letter makes a sound like the b in beer, the letter makes a sound like the a in apple and the letter makes a sound like the n in nose. So thats = b , = a, = n. Now try and read the following word from left to right, sounding out each letter: . If you just said ba-na-na, congratulations! You just read the Korean word for banana! Easy right? Learn how to read Korean with this free Korean alphabet lesson.
Pros And Cons Of Korean
Here below are some pros and cons that Ive found so far while learning Korean.
- Easily make friends and practice speaking with native Koreans.
- Most people speak very good English to travelers because of tourism.
- Korean has less grammar than Japanese, so it should be easier to learn Korean compared to Japanese.
- Everyone speaks in a polite manner, especially when they are talking to strangers.
- Korean use different honorifics to elderly people, which can be confusing at first.
- Korean TV is hard to watch since its not subbed in English.
Use Flashcards For Those Korean Words That Wont Stick
We all have some stubborn words that just wont stick. They dont necessarily need to be in a foreign language. Sometimes we get this kind of slip of the tongue moment even in our native tongues.
Luckily, flashcards can help a great deal in this situation. Identify these stubborn Korean words, write them on sticky notes so theyll stick both literally and figuratively and put them by the bed, in the bathroom, in the kitchen or wherever you spend the most time during a day. Next thing you know, the very same words that didnt seem to stick, will now follow you everywhere.
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Deal With The Difficult Parts Of Korean Down The Road
When learning Korean, you can put off the difficult parts of the language for later.
One difficult aspect of Korean is that itâs a hierarchical language. This means you use different words depending on who you speak to.
While this sounds daunting, if you use the regular form of the word then nobody will be offended. Stick to the âyoâ, and youâll be good to go!
As you get better at Korean, you can start using the different levels of language. But you donât have to get worked up about it early on in your language study.
If you are wondering how honorifics and hierarchy work in Korean, basically there is a way of speaking for people who are close to you, and a way for speaking to people more distant.
The more distant version often comes up in textbooks early on.
But you will only ever use it if you are doing a job interview, giving a presentation, or speaking on the news .
So you should focus on the âyoâ system, which you will be using much more often.
If you are speaking to somebody who is younger than you and close to you, then you can drop the âyoâ. This will be handy when you begin making Korean friends and acquaintances.
These different levels of Korean often scare people, but English and other languages also have these levels. For example, âto dieâ vs. âto pass awayâ.
Once youâve learned the more approachable parts of Korean, youâll feel comfortable using Korean conversationally.
Uncommon Vocabulary And Phrases
The vastness of the Korean vocabulary is frequently a source of contention among learners. This is because there arent many common words between Korean and English, aside from a few words like sauna, radio, and so on.
Korean has borrowed some English and other language loan words. Still, most of them have a different meaning than the original English word. And as well as Korean-influenced pronunciation.
Konglish is also prevalent and refers to the variety of English unique to Korea. Sadly, this isnt a standard version and has many errors, and many learners fail to learn the proper English.
Take into account loan words like remote control and apartment.
Even though the root words are the same, they are pronounced as Rimokon and Apateu respectively.
Most students hit a brick wall when it comes to Korean vocabulary retention.
To the uninitiated, most vocabulary sounds strange. Except for a handful of loanwords, almost no terms are shared with other languages.
There is another factor that makes learning Korean vocabulary more demanding. And that is the lack of a clear connection with existing English words. Same issue with other famous languages such as French and Spanish.
Consider the term kitchen, which is called cuisine in French and cocina in Spanish. Because similar words exist in English, both can be memorized. .
However, the Korean word for kitchen is bueok.
Bulky and complex words
Grammar rules are different
Use Of Particles
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Why Should You Learn The Korean Language
Have you heard that Park Seo-Joon, an award-winning Korean actor, will play a role in one of the greatest superhero media franchises, the Marvel cinematic universe? Have you watched the Korean series Crash Landing On You, which was included in the Top 10 on Netflix? Who was surprised when BTS, a Korean boy band, was included in the most-awaited Friends Reunion? They were also featured in one Carpool Karaoke episode with James Corden. And who will forget their historical nomination on Grammy?
These are just one of the many proofs that the Korean culture and Korean language are already making their way to be known internationally. These reasons make the Korean language an interesting language to learn in East Asian languages like Japanese and Chinese. Yes, they are known as a tech-savvy country that is home to smartphones like LG and Samsung. They are also known for their life-changing beauty products and procedures. But, these past few years, they have really climbed up to be known globally.
Before well answer the question Is Korean hard to learn? lets discover some advantages if you study Korean
Learn Korean: The World’s Coolest Language
So you want to learn Korean? Or as the South Korean locals call it: Hangugeo
The Korean Wave is washing over the world right now. No, were not talking about a tsunami!
The Korean Wave describes the global influence of South Koreas popular culture. Including Korean-Pop bands like BTS, Korean TV dramas like the Swoon, and Korean films like Parasite and Old Boy’ . Put simply: the world is falling in love with Korean culture. The result? More people than ever are desperate to learn Korean language. In fact: Korean is arguably the coolest language to learn right now.
Long overlooked in favour of learning Japanese or Chinese, this new boom in Korean language learning means Korean is THE coolest language to learn right now.
So what do you say? Are you in?
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Advanced Learners: Find Free Korean Language Reading Materials
Korean uses its own unique writing system so reading practice is an important part of your learning journey.
Finding material appropriate for your level in the language can be a challenge. Thankfully, thereâs a decent selection of Korean reading resources available to you as a learner online for free.
Tip #1: Have An Immersion Experience
If you have the time and resources, the best way to learn Korean fast is through complete immersion in Korean culture. Take a trip to Korea, and youll be challenged to speak and read in Korean at every turn. After all, there are so many reasons to visit Korea.
Go on a solo adventure or join a group tour group, which is a prime option for those who are still learning the language. Depending on the tour group, the guides may even plan the entire trip for you, from your accommodation to your meals.
Although many Koreans will be able to speak to you in English, commit to only speaking in Korean. If you have to, explain that you are trying to learn the language. You might just be surprised at how many people are willing to help you practice.
If visiting Korea is not a possibility, try to find a way to have a complete immersion experience locally. Is there a Korean town nearby? Take a day trip there and only speak in Korean, whether youre ordering at a Korean restaurant or shopping for groceries. This is also a great way to strike up conversations with locals and get more comfortable speaking the language. You may even pick up some slang or local lingo!
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Fsi Estimates For Reaching Korean Fluency
When language learners wonder how long it takes to learn their target language, they often turn to the estimates created by the United States Foreign Service Institute . This estimate takes into account the difficulty of the language compared to English. However, it leaves out a lot of important factors, such as your personal motivations, your study methods, or what kind of learner you are. So, please, take these numbers with a grain of salt.
The FSI puts Korean as a Category V language. Which means, its one of the hardest languages to master. They estimate 2200 hours of study before you can reach fluency in Korean. Or 88 weeks of extremely intense study.
But if you want a more accurate estimate of how long it will take you to learn Korean, you need to go deeper than the FSI estimate. Thats because there are a TON of variables that can affect how long it takes you to reach fluency. And if you dont account for them, you might end up getting frustrated or put too much pressure on yourself when trying to learn Korean.
Learn Korean Greetings And Introductions
Next, its a good idea to focus on actual Korean phrases and sentences. Hopefully, youll be utilizing the core vocabulary youve learned earlier, but lets first start with the essential greetings.
This is the time to learn your hellos, how are yous, goodbyes and My name is. Even if you dont know much Korean, native speakers can still appreciate a quick basic greeting when you first meet them.
Heres a basic list of just a few Korean greetings to get you started:
- ___ My name is ___
- Good morning
- Good night
- ? How are you?
Greetings are gestures of courtesy
Remember that, like in most cultures, greetings are a gesture of courtesy for Koreans. Forgetting to say them, especially to those older than you, can be immediately noticed.
Greetings are also commonplace when youre a newcomer to an establishment, whether its a new workplace or an apartment building with next-door neighbors.
Practical immersion tips
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Understand Your Type Of Learning
There are lots of different kinds of learning .
Knowing what type works best for you is integral to building a plan for success in the language.
For example, if you know that auditory learning, or listening, is best for you, it would be helpful to listen to conversations in Korean.
If visual learning, or seeing, is optimal, looking over notes and analyzing a textbook might be the most effective way to learn.
If kinetic learning is your forte, then writing notes or participating in hands-on activities and games can help cement new language in your mind.
Most students use a combination of all three, but if you know which one works best for you, it could be a helpful way to hack your brain and increase the retention of essential language skills.
Tip #: Take A Group Korean Class
While learning a language can be a lot of fun, you might find yourself losing some motivation after a period of time. Find ways to keep your practice routine fresh, such as taking a group Korean class with other like-minded learners. Korean is easy to learnin a group!
Group Korean classes are more dynamic than independent learning, with instant feedback from an instructor and interaction with other students. Theyre another excellent way to practice your conversation skills while learning about important topics such as grammar and pronunciation.
offers fun and interactive for students at every level. With a free month-long trial for all classes, its a no-brainer to try it out for yourself. Classes are held at varying times throughout the week to fit into any busy schedule.
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Benefits Of Learning Korean
There are many reasons to learn Korean. For one, it can be a useful language for business and travel.
Korea is a major economic power, and many businesses are looking for employees who can communicate in Korean.
In addition, as a rapidly developing country, Korea is an increasingly popular tourist destination.
However, even if you dont have any immediate plans to visit or do business in Korea, learning the language can still be beneficial.
Korean uses a different alphabet than English, it can help to broaden your horizons and improve your skills in other areas, such as critical thinking and problem-solving.
Ultimately, whether youre looking to boost your resume or simply expand your horizons, learning Korean can be a rewarding experience.
Final Verdict: Is Korean Hard To Learn By Yourself
As mentioned above, Korean is a useful and beautiful language. It may broaden your horizons and help you make new friends. Although Korean has different parts from English, you will find out it is not as tricky as people always think.
The alphabet in Korean is easy to read, and the verbs dont have conjugations. Moreover, you will enjoy learning it with the abundant online recourses. Dont hesitate, and take your first step bravely!
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Study Up On Korean Grammar
Unfortunately, you cant really avoid grammar when learning any language. And at this point, youve already spent a while looking at plenty of Korean sentences, so youve probably noticed a few patterns at work.
Luckily, the rules of Korean sentence structure arent overly complicated. Id say Korean grammar is a lot more consistent and straightforward than English grammar.
Korean sentences typically follow a Subject-Object-Verb format
In English, our sentences typically utilize a subject-verb-object order. For example, I eat cheese.
However, Korean sentences switch up the format a bit, to say something more like I cheese eat. The Korean sentence for that, by the way, would be .
Youve probably already realized this in your own encounters with Korean sentences, but reviewing the sentence structure at this point will be helpful.
Korean grammar doesnt utilize cases
In English, we have three cases: subjective, objective and possessive. They describe a noun or pronoun as it works with the rest of the words in a sentence. Changing cases usually means a change in the form of the noun itself.
Korean grammar doesnt concern itself with this business. That already cuts down on a good deal of grammatical stress. Instead, they use something referred to as particles.
Particles are key for Korean grammar
Dont be fooled by their name because particles play a huge role in Korean sentences. Knowing the most basic of Korean particles will help you understand most phrases.
How To Learn Korean On Your Own
The answer to this question depends on your goal. If you are planning to study or work in Korea, the answer is “No way.” Seriously. Find a good tutor right away or sign up for a language course. Korean is not the language that you can master yourself to a decent level. However, for the amateur level, you can try. How to do it?
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What Are The Basics Of Learning Korean
Learn to speak Korean aloud
You need real-world language competence. And to achieve this: BE CONFIDENT! Try speaking aloud, just go for it. Banish fear and embrace those mistakes because they help us learn.
To fast forward your Korean language learning, harness your time and motivation.
Ahhh the age-old saying. Hard work pays off. At Memrise: we like to think relevant work pays off. Learn what you need to know to understand people and communicate in real life.Our appcuts to the chase and makes that possible.
Hangul: what to learn first when learning Korean!
Learning the 24 letters that make up the Korean alphabet is your first step. These will help you understand written Korean easily and how syllables are formed.
Ride the Korean wave
Looking for an easy way in? Let your K-Pop, K-Drama and Korean film obsession begin. Watch and listen both with and then without subtitles to pick up words, phrases, and sentence structure. K-Pop fans even look for their favourite articles or magazine interviews in Korean and use them for reading practice, or print out lyrics and follow them as they listen to their favourite songs!
How Different Is Korean From English
If youre an English native speaker, Korean is very different than anything youre used to. No need to sugarcoat this. But, you can also use this to your advantage. Comprehensible input is the key to language learning. Its how babies learn languages too.
By looking at the context, and building up the lesson difficulty levels, you can easily incorporate comprehensible input into your language learning routine. This language learning method is the reason that anyone can learn a foreign language. And with Korean, you can surely succeed. Even if its much different from English.
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