I learned to speak Korean, So can you!
The main reason why i learned Korean is obviously because i want to move there to teach. Having the ability to speak and understand Korean isn’t required to gain teaching positions in South Korea, but i could never go into a country completely blind about their language and culture. And honestly, i’d just feel a bit rude if i shipped myself off to their country without any intentions of communicating properly with them in their own language.
I’ve actually had a few friends I’ve met online ask me how my Korean Is at the level it is, and how I even began learning it in the first place! So I thought I’d make a post so that if you’re looking to learn Korean yourself you can get an idea of where to start… It’s not as hard as it looks… So here goes:
1- Learn to read and write the Hangul Alphabet, before you even start to learn to speak Korean. Some letters in Korean share the same character, for example this character ㄹ is used or both R and L. Korean syntax also is very different to English and often won’t make much sense at all unless you understand the way their words and sentences are formulated.
2- Learn the basics first. Hello, Goodbye, Please, Thank you etc… By learning single words you’ll be able to put sentences together yourself without needing to use a translator.
3- Take advantage of Apps! My favourite app for learning and refreshing my memory on Hangul is the ‘Korean Letter’ app. For learning words and sentence structure I recommend the ‘EggBun’ app. Honestly, it isn’t fabulous but it does the trick for the basics. I also recommend the ‘Learn Korean Phrasebook’ app, which contains basic phrases spoken in Korean for you to listen to.
4- KoreanClass101. This is a website that teaches basic Korean online for free, or more in depth lessons for a cost. They also have a really good and helpful YouTube channel, where they post short Korean language lessons. I’d say their YouTube videos combined with my next point, are what helped me get my Korean to the level it’s at now.
5- Listen to Kpop and watch K-Dramas. Honestly this helps the most with pronunciation. The Hangul alphabet isn’t made up of single letters, it is also made up of sounds. Some of these sounds aren’t pronounced the same in Korean as they are in English. Koreans also naturally speak quickly, so this will help improve your understanding. (You can check out my ‘Let’s Talk Kpop’ posts to get some song recommendations and I also recommend watching Hwarang & Goblin.)
Thanks for reading and good luck if you’re going to try learning Korean!