South Korea is home to one of the world’s most fascinating and dynamic languages. As a result, learning Korean will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. South Korea is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. It has four official languages: Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese. South Koreans have also adopted many other languages over time, giving rise to numerous dialects across the country.
These dialects are all mutually intelligible with each other but may sound different from their parent language due to regional differences in grammar and pronunciation. The spoken dialects vary significantly even between cities and villages within a single province or county. However, it is possible for you to master the language if you are willing to put in the necessary effort. In this article we will outline some key tips for learning South Korean that you can use as a base from which you can grow your knowledge and fluency in the beautiful yet complex language known as ‘Hanguk’
One of the first things you should do to learn Korean is to brush up on your Hangul. Have no fear! The alphabet used for Korean has only 24 letters, and it is super easy to memorise. Check out this fantastic video that will help you learn the basics of Hangul. Hangul is so important that even if you know how to read in English or another language, it’s not enough. You need to be able to read and write in Hangul as well.
Build Your Vocabulary
This may seem like an obvious tip but it is arguably the most important thing for you to do if you want to learn Korean. The more words you know, the easier it will be for you to form sentences in Korean and understand what others are saying.
Konglish is a combination of English and Korean. Konglish words can be seen in everyday South Korea. Some are translated literally, for example ‘computer’ is 그래픽카드 (geuraeppi kadeu). Other words are given a new meaning like ‘aigoo’ which means ‘yes’. Konglish gives you an insight into how the Korean language works and how it comes together with English in certain contexts.
Surround Yourself With Korean Speakers
It is important to speak, read and write in your target language as often as possible. This will help you feel more comfortable with the language as it becomes familiar to you. Listen to Korean music and talk with people of different backgrounds so that you can practice with native speakers.
Define Your Type Of Learning
The first step in learning Korean is to define what type of learner you are. Are you a beginner, intermediate or advanced student? The answer will determine which resources you need in addition to the language. If you are a beginner, then we recommend learning from an app like Duolingo. The app has helped over 100 million people learn languages and it has been designed for users to learn through repetition. It’s best for those who have no prior knowledge of the language and are just starting out. If you are an intermediate learner, then the Tae Kim’s Korean-English Dictionary-eBook is a good resource that combines cultural insights with detailed definitions that make it easier for intermediate learners to understand their new language. If you are more advanced, then we recommend listening to audio lessons or watching videos on YouTube as they provide vocabulary and grammar explanations that give students insights into how South Korean works.
Work With Korean Teachers
Learning a language is difficult and can be expensive. One of the best ways to make it less painful is to find a great teacher who can help you learn Korean in an efficient manner. If you are looking for a teacher, we suggest starting with native speakers who are willing to work with people from all over the world. It is also important to note that there are many professional tutors out there who have been trained specifically for teaching South Korea, so make sure that you search online for reviews before making your selection.
Another key tip would be to use authentic materials. The easiest way to do this is by getting yourself some Korean textbooks and audio books. Another established company that makes learning Korean easier than ever is Sogang University’s Korean Language Learning Centre. This website offers free lessons and assessments as well as other resources such as video lessons, flashcards, games, podcasts, and quizzes that will help you learn more about the language much quicker than without these resources.
Find Companions / Korean Friends
Many major cities in South Korea have international communities that provide a space for international students to meet and make friends. If you are new to the language, it is highly recommended that you seek out other expatriates who are willing to teach or learn with you at this stage. Working through a set of lessons together can be an efficient way of learning and can often be more engaging than simply watching a Korean language program on TV.
Engage In Groups
One of the best ways to learn a new language is by engaging with people who speak it. One way you can do this is by joining local language clubs in your area. Another option is to check out online forums that are dedicated to learning Korean and find like minded learners who share your interest in learning the language. The more you engage with others who speak Korean, the more comfortable you will feel speaking and understanding it.