The Korean language is a language widely loved by a massive population across the world. Most of us, being enthusiastic, want to learn Korean and understand it efficiently. So, let’s learn the basics of how to study Korean to master the language which will help you understand Korean as a whole.
It is useful in many ways like to understand and relate to the story or person more precisely or perhaps to succeed in the professional atmosphere, we wish to learn or study Korean.
1. Is it Important to Learn or Study the Korean Language?
We human beings always tend to learn new things, new languages, and new words. There might be many reasons like to learn them for fun while some learn to understand and build communication with the other person. Language learning comes with lots of exciting and fun ways to either with new words or master their skills. So, it lets us understand how to study Korean through this article.
The Korean language has been well admired by millions of people as they are in love with Korean. You must be one of the countless individuals who have a burning desire to learn Korean. Well, most of the people who are all set to learn a new language face the confusion on how and when to start. Henceforth, they are forever stuck in the loop of whether to take that step to clear that confusion and start learning something.
This article is for all the people who are stuck in that loop but want to give it a try and start the journey. At least start it to study something new and unique which will set you apart from many others. Do give yourself a try to learn something new and make a better use of it for a better you.
2. Start Your Language Journey Today with the Road Map to Learning Korean
2.1. Goal-Setting for Language Learning
Understanding the purpose of determining the objectives and motivation for learning the Korean language is essential before beginning the language program.
Every human being has some motivation behind learning the Korean language. Be it their immense love for K-pop idols or K-Dramas or some might want to study Korean to get their dream jobs available globally that require or demand the Korean language.
Y’all remember how we were taught English at our schools?
We started from scratch with the alphabet, words, grammar, interacting sessions, and improving our vocabulary. As you can see it is a process and every language has its process of learning it. But what it takes is patience, lots of time and dedication toward the language.
If you are a person who needs a company and needs a language partner for it then you definitely should motivate your friends or family who are also interested in the language. Eventually, this will boost both of your confidence and with a learning partner, it makes learning much more fun and interesting.
Moreover, a language partner can also be found online as in modern times people of the same interest are easily found where we can connect and learn together. In some instances we could also learn other languages from the person we meet online as through social media we can explore and exchange languages, culture & traditions, foods, and everything.
Before getting into technical things it is important to know the language’s history, and culture, and then comes the basics like alphabets, words, and grammar explanations.
2.2. Get Familiar with Culture Before Learning Korean
Studying Korean Culture also becomes important as it familiarises them with different cultures and traditions. This helps the audience to connect with their similarities. For a better comprehension of the Korean language, one needs also be familiar with Korean culture. Although the originally practiced religion since ancient times is Shamanism. Shamanism still holds value to the people residing even today. Apart from Shamanism, other religions emerged due to cultural exchanges in South Korea including Buddhism and Confucianism.
2.3. Korean Language – History
Let’s take just a moment to understand the origin and history behind the Korean language.
Although Korean is spoken by approximately 80 million individuals and is the spoken language of Korea, Korean has historically been a minority language in China. The origin of the Korean language can be discovered from ancient times with its long history influenced by Chinese characters and cultures. Hangul, also pronounced as Hangeul, is a Korean alphabet and is known as an official writing language system. Hangul is acquired from a Chinese character that means ‘Han’ refers to Korean and ‘Gul’ refers to a letter. Firstly. you should get comfortable with Hangul script which is also the Korean Script. As a result, learning to read Hangul is crucial if you want to gain an understanding of Korean.
2.4. Important Korean Alphabets
The alphabet system of learning the Korean language is entirely based on Hangul letters. Additionally, this has been formally followed by North and South Korea. Therefore, the Korean alphabet is composed of consonants and vowels similar to the English language.
The Korean alphabet includes a total of 14 consonants with 10 vowels, altogether they add up to become 24 Korean Words/letters.
ㄱ : [g/k]
ㄴ : [n]
2.5. Common Words and Phrases used in Korean
Here are a few example words which are very basic and commonly used in daily life.
annyeong haseyo (Hello)
annyeonghi gaseyo (Goodbye)
gamsahabnida (Thank You)
2.6. Weekdays in Korean
The weekdays in Korean are a mixture of Sino-Korean and native Korean words.
2.7. Loan Words Used in the Korean Language
Loan words are words that are derived from foreign languages for instance such as English words with minimum changes. The growth in Western culture has raised the bars of loan words used in daily life.
2.8. Understanding Korean Grammar
Learning Korean is simple but the grammar could be challenging but a fun task to study in Korean. In fact most of us avoid Korean grammar as it gives us a tough time and it needs lots of patience and dedication from you.
As we all know the English language follows the grammar structure of the pattern SUBJECT VERB OBJECT. However in the Korean language, it will differ as the order of the sentences in Korean is SUBJECT OBJECT VERB, which means the subject comes first, then the object, and then followed by the verb. To give an example, the Korean version of “I Eat an Apple” would be “Naneun sagwareul meogeoyo”.
Every spoken language has a distinct predetermined set of guidelines and restrictions. Similarly, Korean sentences are grammatically right and they follow certain guidelines. So, to understand grammar better read the book Korean Grammar in Use: Beginning to Early Intermediate is a very useful book that contains grammar structures and sentences which is a guide that simplifies the grammar structures for the beginner to easily grasp and learn. While you go through the book with all the grammar structures make sure you mark down the grammar points with a highlighter. Whenever you flip through pages you remember them and by following this technique it gets easy to memorize them.
A few grammar books recommended for beginners guide are; Korean for Beginners: Mastering Conversational Korean, My First 500 Korean Words, Korean Grammar in Use: Beginner to Early Intermediate, and Korean Made Simple. These are a few books available that can be your partner to help you learn the Korean language fluently.
3. Implementing Resources and Apps for Language Learning
3.1. Workbooks and Reading Books to Study Korean
A beginner’s best guide to studying Korean is to start with words followed by the alphabet. Additionally with this they can practice it in the workbook so that they get familiarised with new words and memorize them well.
We as a learner learning Korean have to maintain a few resources when they are learning Korean like workbooks, flashcards, and online platforms. Also just practicing writing Korean isn’t our goal but to speak fluent and efficient Korean. Not ignoring the fact that it would be beneficial to know Korean vocabulary better.
If you are one of the people very passionate and enthusiastic about learning Korean it hardly takes a few hours from your daily life to sit back and learn the language. While you study you must follow up with a small test within yourself to understand how much your brain remembers it. Here you can make use of the flashcards as play an important role in self-study sessions that make sure you memorize the alphabet or words well. If flashcards aren’t available physically they can even opt for a flashcard app that is present virtually for the learner to learn Korean in their ways.
3.2. Online Platforms; One of the Best Platforms for Studying Korean
For instance, a learner can take Korean classes offered by many professionals available online that provide courses with systematic curricula for example Talk To Me In Korean. Learning from a professional with a proper Korean course is helpful to learn much better than just on your own. Another benefit of getting lessons from experts involves the fact that you will be awarded a certificate once you have finished.
Additionally, you can also make use of online forums and social media groups that focus on learning Korean which is an efficient way you can start your language learning process. Platforms like these bring interest to people and keep them engaged while they learn Korean by interacting with each other, asking questions, etc. You will also find many language learning apps you can use to start your Korean online learning sessions. To learn Korean the apps you can consider are Duolingo, Kakao Talks, and Naver Dictionary in Korean-English language. These mentioned apps are the most popular platforms that offer efficient ways of Korean learning from basic to moderate levels.
As after you are familiar with the alphabet, words, and phrases your next aim or step is to build your vocabulary using flashcards with flashcard apps or through physical flashcards. These flashcards will play a role in memorizing them through visual associations. Visual associations help the new learner/you to create your own stories and imaginations about particular words or alphabets or to make grammar easier to learn.
It becomes very important for you while learning the Korean language to have self-study Korean sessions. This will assist you in absorbing the use of flashcards during evaluation. Both of these are very helpful in self-study Korean Sessions as they will help you memorize the words and sentences faster and better.
3.3. Communicating with Natives to Enhance your Korean Languages
If you are a residing candidate in Korea then it’s much better to converse in Korean language as you will have practice speaking with native speakers of Korea. It is said that when a person travels from one region to a different one they tend to adapt to the changes quickly and also being in the same surroundings as the regional people is beneficial as a native speaker would play an important role in learning the language.
Once you start your journey of learning Korean you have to keep going without taking long gaps in between the learning. In addition you should keep learning new words or phrases of Korean very frequently which makes your brain have time to register them for a long time.
4. Enhancing your Korean Vocabulary through Context
A candidate can seek help from language exchange partners or their Korean friends for better fluency in the Korean language. It is believed that listening to K-pop songs, audio files, K-dramas, Korean movies, Korean Songs, and Korean Dramas can enhance a learner’s listening skills.
4.1. K-drama Recommendations
1. Boys over flowers
2. The legend of the blue sea
3. What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim
4. Descendants of the Sun
4.2. Music Recommendations
1. Gee – Girls Generation
2. Fake Love – BTS
3. As if it’s your Last – Black Pink
4. Dynamite – BTS
5. Bang Bang Bang – Big Bang
6. Sweet Little Kitty – Cherry Filter
The above recommendations are some of the famous and popular ones of South Korea and trust me these are some of the best K-dramas and music which are super interesting.
Further most of us binge-watch movies, series, and music from all across the world with the help of subtitles, this can be an effective way of learning Korean as a language as just by watching it we can pick up on a few basic and easy Korean word that will end up becoming beneficial to understand the words and the usage of the setting in a more transparent manner. Also, enthusiastic learners like you can even read books with English translations of each Korean word and sentence translated into English words which improves their reading skills and also understand the underlying meanings of many words used in that particular book.
Additionally few people are hooked on books while few don’t feel like reading. In cases like those, the best thing they could do to study Korean is to watch some YouTube videos from numerous free options. You can even refer to the following links to start your journey of learning where they provide a guide to learn Korean.
And if you are a person who is interested in watching vlogs or insights and more tips about Korea you can surf through YouTube channels like “Pooh in Korea” and “Breanna Quan” for interesting and fun videos related to Korea and life in Korea.
5. Advantages of Studying the Korean Language
Firstly, the Korean language or any language learning is known to have been beneficial for a person in their life as they can have a better understanding and perspective about the global world.
Learning Korean is beneficial in a personal sense as the learner can understand Korean customs and also interact with the natives efficiently. By knowing about the Korean language as a whole you will be introduced to many new and varied cuisines which can be useful when you go to travel and explore Korea.
In a professional sense language learning is given importance as it adds value to your personality as a whole and besides this Korean language learning has been advantageous to students as they have received well-off jobs in many MNCs and big companies which gives a boost to a person.
Also, many people who are based out of South Korea are very fascinated by Korean cities and their people so many of them try to find Jobs in and out of Korea or Korean-based companies. So, learning the Korean language will be advantageous for the person’s future and career. Korean learning can lead to job seekers working for direct translations such as identifying Konglish words and phrases. Also who knows you might even get an opportunity to work to translate Korean to English for Korean entertainment companies.
So, summing up this was it from our end as we reached to the end of this article but I hope this article provided you with an insight into learning the Korean language and also gave a clear objective on how to start studying Korean. The language has many benefits and advantages with many opportunities awaiting you. So, take the first step and go on this beautiful journey of learning something new with the resources available with proper dedication and consistency.
Q.1 How much time is required to learn Korean?
It usually takes 2200 hours of study and 88 days of severe study sessions to converse basic Korean but it takes more than the estimate given by FSI.
Q.2 Is learning Korean hard?
According to FSI Korean is rated as a hard language for English speakers. Although Korean as a language might seem particularly intimidating it isn’t hard to decode if learned with dedication.
Q.3 How to study Korean all by myself?
Learning it without someone’s guidance isn’t that hard. Moreover you have to start from the basics like the Korean alphabet and then learn common words in Korean. By watching K-dramas, Movies, and Music you can be successful in your Korean learning journey.
Q4. From where do I start Studying Korean, Words or Alphabets?
If you learn the vocabulary words of Korean first you will be able to grasp the language better and more precisely than starting it from the alphabet. So better start with words and then go with the Korean alphabet.
Q5. Is it possible to study Korean by viewing and observing Korean music and dramas?
Yes, you definitely can learn Korean by watching K-Drama, K-Pop music, and movies as watching these will increase your listening skills as your key point is understanding the pronunciations of the language, and also it improves the learner’s vocabulary.
Supriya is a joyful soul who loves chasing her life with tales of imagination. A person with curiosity ignited mind, here to embrace a beautiful journey.A Journalism and Mass Communication student who has immense love for fiction stories. The art of storytelling filled with creativity has no limits, nor sky or my keyboard. Supriya has explored her ways through lifestyle and fiction and looks forward to keep experimenting with different types of content.