If you are here it means you are ready and eager to study Korean.
Korean is one of the fun languages that so many K-pop and Kdrama fans love to learn.
South Korea is also one of the big countries when it comes to business and technology which makes this language even more essential to be learned.
the benefits of learning Korean:
when I started learning Korean I was not thinking about the benefits Korean language had but as I walked through it and learned a lot I saw how many good opportunities Korean can bring.
you might want to learn Korean just for fun or you might have watched and listened to Korean so many times that makes you want to learn it badly.
I need to tell you that:
Korean is one of the most expensive languages in the world.
when I read the profits of translating Korean I was shocked! being a Korean translator might be hard to start but as soon as you learned it, it will all be all good for you.
if you already have a job, learning Korean can help you a lot with your business and job. learning an extra language which is not common between language learner can leave a good impact on your salary.
When did I start learning Korean?
I was a big fan of Kpop music and Korean dramas when I was about 14 years old. At that age, I became a fan of a Korean group name “JJCC” which didn’t have too many fans especially in my country so it was hard to always find subtitles or local fans to talk to about fandom activities. that’s how I learned English as well. every time I wanted to talk to someone I had to talk English and my English was bad enough that I don’t dare to look back at those days. thanks to friends I made those days they were so patient with the lack of skill I had in English and didn’t make me feel bad about it. however, still, I wanted to know and understand what is going on. I hate watching a screen and not know what they are talking about. I even remember the moment that I told myself:” I want to understand what they are saying.” and that was the moment that I started studying.
of course, it wasn’t serious at first. I knew a few words from dramas and songs but I wanted to know more and better. when I turned 16, the whole journey started. the main decision was taken on a low moment of my life which has a big story. I might tell you later.
but I wanted to get better. I’ve been procrastinating for god knows how long. I started it by searching online and looking for websites but there was not that much good information there. it was only for basics which I knew it pretty well. there was no class in my city and I was not sure if I wanted to pay for online classes. then I found websites that sell Korean self-study books. I tried them by buying only one book from them and I ended up loving it. I continued learning Korean and I found my happiness in learning new languages so I never stopped it.
a few months later I took my first TOPIK exam and I passed TOPIK I. now I’m studying hard to get prepared for higher levels. (wish me LUCK!)
now it’s your turn!
do you want to learn Korean? don’t worry. if you take the right steps, it won’t be as hard as people tell you it is.
first of all, let’s start with the alphabet.
I was so lucky to find a Persian website that taught the Korean alphabet in the BEST way possible. now that I look at so many alphabet teachings, I wish they all could use the same method. don’t worry. I’m going to tell you how I learned it then you can start doing it too.
Korean has 24 letters which 14 of them are consonants and 10 of them are vowels.
vowels can be so challenging since they are close to each other and you might not be sure where you should use what.
the way that helped me learning the Korean alphabet pretty easily was starting writing Korean from the very first day.
don’t try to learn all the consonants and vowels one by one instead you should combine them. pick a consonant letter and vowel letter and make new words. it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense. you are trying to learn the alphabet.
pick a consonant and combine it with all the vowels. while you are doing it, read it out loud so it would stay in your mind for a good long time.
after learning the alphabets, you have the entry ticket to start your journey on learning Korean. take a deep breath and be patient. I’m sure you can do it very well.
studying Korean has different parts:
yes. they are no different from other languages.
after watching and listening to so many Korean movies and songs, listening was not challenging for me at all. find the lyrics of Korean songs and listen to them as they sing it. I even print them so I can use them to learn more vocabulary. since you listen to the songs more often they are amazing in helping you remembering vocabulary.
listen to podcasts and watch YouTube videos from Korean YouTubers. try to focus on what they are saying. it’s okay if you don’t understand it. it would stay in your mind after being repeated for several times.
try to start a diary or a journal and feel it with Korean stuff. Naver’s blog section has so many Korean posts that are written by Korean people. I love reading these blog posts because it helps me to not only become better at reading but also get some ideas for writing too.
they say if you want to write well, you should read a lot.
don’t be afraid of being wrong. just try to write and if you needed to know a word, just check it out from the dictionary.
the more you write the better you’ll become at it. so don’t stress over right and wrong and just write.Tweet
I already told you what is a good thing to try for reading however you can also try reading Korean comics from the Naver website. there are also books that you can find online through websites that can help you.
it doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or advanced Korean learner. while you are reading, don’t over worry about the words that you don’t know. just pass the words and move on. if you got super curious about the meaning, then check it out. if you keep trying to find all the word’s meaning in a text that you are reading, you’ll forget all of them and your reading process won’t be useful anymore.
maybe that’s the hardest part of the Korean language but don’t worry. take small steps slowly and build your way through Korean grammar.
verbs are a challenging part of the language. verb conjugation might cause you some troubles but all you need to do is to practice practice and practice. find Korean verbs and try to conjugate at least 5 of them daily.
keep a small notebook for your grammar lessons. keep all the grams that you learn in that notebook by small explanations.
make new sentences by new words you have learned and try new grammar that you also have learned in your sentences.
just remembering these things has no use for you. you have to learn how to use them all.
making sentences, no matter small or in your diary, help you to get more comfortable around this grammar and words.
I… don’t like this part.
but there are so many fun ways to learn new words. one of my favorite ways to learn new vocabulary is to find them in songs or texts. sometimes I hear a new word in a Korean movie and I get curious so I find the meaning of it.
remember that. all the words are not necessary to be learned. don’t waste your time with words that you might not even use once in your life.
2000 essential words for beginners is one of the best books to help you study new vocabulary. it has all the necessary words for you. don’t mind the name when it says for beginners. I can tell you it has more useful words for more than just beginners. this series has 2 books which one of them is 2000 essential words for beginner and the second one is 2000 essential words for advanced. go for the advance one if you already had finished the beginners’ part. however, I’m sure the first book can be enough for you if you just want to learn Korean for daily conversations.
last but not least, it’s speaking.
If you ask me I would say, speaking is kind of the same as writing. the skills that you need are just the same except, you need to be faster and more familiar with what you are doing. what I do is to talk loudly to myself is Korean. I don’t bother thinking and worrying about it if I’m right or wrong. I just talk and while I do it, I find so many new questions that I can check later.
one of the reasons that we might lack the skill of speaking in a foreign language is because we are not used to hearing our voice in another language.
to solve this problem you can read your Korean books out load or create imaginary conversations with whoever you want. when you get used to it, you can develop other parts of your skills.
Studying for TOPIK:
TOPIK is the official Korean exam that shows what is your level in Korean.
usually, if you want to study in a Korean university or work as a Korean translator, you need this certificate, however, you can add it to your resume and show your skills in this language.
if you want to take this exam, you should first check for the examination dates and locations and then register for the exam.
let’s assume you have done this all and you just need to study for it.
what I do is to answer previous TOPIK exam questions to get familiar with the exam. I also practice writing by finding good subjects to write about.
if you want to take TOPIK 1 and 2, you don’t need to worry about writing. if you practice and study and explore more in the language, you won’t have any problem with your exam.
Last words about skills:
if you want it, you’ll get it.
use every aspects of your life a chance to learn your favorite language. show commitment and passion and never stop learning.
look everywhere and see what can be helpful for you. combine all of these skills and put yourself in an environment that helps you learn Korean.
people who live in a different country, learn the language easier because they are right in the middle of the environment.
they are going for shopping? they need to speak the language. they are watching TV? they hear the language. they are buying a newspaper? they read the language.
it’s okay if you can’t go to Korea anytime soon, I couldn’t too. but you can bring the environment by social media or books. read Korean blog posts or listen to Korean songs, watch Korean movies, and talk Korean to yourself. I’m sure you will see the results faster than you expect.
I hope this post was helpful for all of my good friends who want to learn Korean.
don’t forget to pin this post so others can use it too.