For sure, you already know what this word means in Korean—it’s a casual way of saying ‘hi’ or ‘hello’ to someone, particularly when starting a conversation. There’s no doubt the Korean wave has been pacing back and forth in different parts of the globe. From their trendsetting K-pop music to popular K-drama series, skincare routine and products, unique sense of style and fashion, interesting culture, and gastronomic cuisine, you have all the reason to love everything that screams Korean.
As you can see, loving Korean culture comes easy for most people. Perhaps you’re here and looking for ways to learn their language. After all, it’s more fun and engaging to watch their K-dramas or listen to their energetic music if you know what the artists are actually saying, right? Imagine how amazing it would be to no longer need to read subtitles and captions when binging on your favorite K-drama series. Daebak! (PS: In Korean, that means a big win or a great success.)
Clever Tips And Tricks For Learning Korean
Now’s the perfect time to learn Korean. It’s not only something you’ll enjoy and benefit from—you can use your fluency to apply for jobs related to the language. It’s also a great way to boost your credentials or resume, particularly if you’re hoping to get a promotion or look for a greener pasture in a Korean-related industry. You’re lucky because the rising popularity of the Korean wave makes it easier to access helpful resources, allowing you to learn Korean in the smartest and easiest way possible.
Ready to get started? If yes, take a look at the list below for five ways to learn Korean, and have an enjoyable time while at it:
1. Learn The Korean Alphabet
Keep in mind that you’re about to learn a new language, and there’s no better way to do so than to start from the basics. That means understanding how the Korean alphabet works. Yes, it’s a brand-new system, but it doesn’t have to be daunting or scary. You can think of fun and clever ways to learn ‘Hangul,’ which is what they call their alphabet system.
The bright side is that hangul is pretty easy to learn, as it was invented and designed for everyone who wants to learn how to read and write. It consists of 10 vowels and 14 consonants, which are entirely phonetic, making the learning process even easier. A smart trick is to learn hangul by focusing on the sounds of the words and not on understanding their meanings.
2. Write In Korean
You’re one step closer to learning Korean when you’re already comfortable with the hangul characters and how they sound. To keep the momentum, you should always practice writing in those characters and translating anything from English (or your native language) to Korean. It could be a recipe you plan to try for the day, a poem you wrote for your crush, or even your schedule for the day. Practice makes perfect, and in this case, practicing the language helps you learn it quickly.
The easiest way to learn Korean is to integrate it into your daily activities and hobbies. If you still go to school or, perhaps, you’re an employee who works eight hours a day, why not allocate at least an hour or two every day to writing in Korean? You’ll notice you’re getting better at it as days pass, and when it’s time to visit the beautiful country, you’ll feel more confident communicating and interacting with its people.
3. Read Aloud
While this tip may seem pretty obvious already, it’s still worth mentioning. Even if you don’t really understand what you’re reading, practicing your Korean reading skills can go a long way in learning the language smartly and efficiently. It doesn’t have to be something too complex or lengthy—as long as you get to read more each day.
Real-world competence can only happen if you can apply what you’ve learned so far. It doesn’t matter if you only know a few words or phrases. Start from there, and before you know it, you’re gaining Korean language mastery. You can read what you’ve written for the day. You can also look for online articles written in Korean and practice reading aloud the text.
4. Binge-Watch K-Drama Series
If there’s one thing that really brought you closer to the Korean language, it’s the entertaining, heartwarming, and tear-jerking k-drama series you can’t stop binge-watching on Netflix.
Watching Korean content is an excellent learning approach since it exposes you to the language in a way that textbooks can’t, allowing you to develop more natural articulation, expand your vocabulary, and even pick up cultural nuances.
Most K-drama series come with scripts written in conversational Korean, allowing you to hear how the natives actually speak. You can learn Korean through Korean dramas in a variety of methods. Most significantly, these scripts are written in conversational Korean. You may then hear how the Korean people speak. Watch the series with Korean subtitles to improve your ability to read hangul quickly.
5. Be Around Koreans
Learning Korean will be more immersive if you surround yourself with people who can speak Korean fluently. If you have the budget, you can travel to Korea to learn more about the country and its people. Some people even take the time to study or work in Korea to integrate its culture and way of living fully. But if this is something you can’t afford, don’t worry, because you still have other options.
You can find Korean language groups in your area or in Korean communities where you can befriend someone or a group of people who can commit to becoming your language partner. Meeting with them at least once a week with the rule of communicating exclusively in the Korean language can significantly help improve your comprehension. You can think of topics to discuss and questions you want to ask to enhance your Korean speaking and listening skills. Lastly, consider taking Korean lessons with an experienced tutor who can help fast-track your progress.
Learning a new language is fun and exciting, but only if you make it so. As you learn Korean, you’ll realize there can be stumbling blocks along the way, but don’t let those discourage you from achieving your goal.
The key is identifying which method works best for you and capitalizing on that. Learn how to motivate yourself and stay focused on what you want to accomplish. Before you know it, you’re rubbing elbows with Koreans and binge-watching your fave K-drama series without English subtitles.