Korean|May 17, 2011 10:42 am

How to Learn Korean: 3 Essential steps for Learning the Korean Language

Because it uses an alphabet much different than our own, called Hangeul, which you can learn here, the Korean language can be challenging to pick up. Like all languages, however, if you learn how to learn, and then make a good learning strategy, prior to hitting the books, you can progress quickly and easily. This article is going to give you three steps you must follow when learning the Korean language.

Define Your Korean Fluency Goals

One does not sit down and learn a language. One sits down and learns pieces of a language. For example, most language textbooks are divided into sections, such as shopping, eating, family, and transportation. Before you sit down and start studying, decide which part of the language is most important to you. If you are going to Korea to be an English teacher, your first goal could be, for example, to learn “classroom Korean.” If you are going to Korea on business, start with basic business Korean. If you’re traveling, learn travel phrases. Set small but important fluency goals and your learning will move along swiftly and smoothly.

Have Structure From the Beginning

When learning the Korean language it is important to have structure. You must first learn how to pronounce the letters of a new and unfamiliar alphabet. Then you must gain an understanding of Korean sentence structure and grammar, which is very different than it is in English. Then you can start to memorize vocabulary words, phrases, and, eventually, complete sentences. Failure to follow this structured approach will cause frustration and poor learning progress. Get it right from the beginning, on the other hand, and you’ll progress nicely. Using a good online language learning system, like this one, is the best way to get the structure you need.

Be Consistent With Your Studying

Consistency is an important part of learning any language; studying for five hours one day and then skipping the next four days is not nearly as effective as studying for one hour each day for days in a row. This you probably already know. It is worth noting again, however, because this consistency is particularly important when studying a language, like Korean, that has an alphabet that is unfamiliar to you.

The reason is because you have to not only learn new words and phrases, but you also have to remember how to pronounce a whole new set of characters, characters that you cannot sound out, as you could if learning, for example, Spanish.

Final Thoughts

Learning Korean can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Define your Korean language fluency goals, create a structured learning plan, and be consistent with your studies and you’ll pick up the Korean language quickly and easily.

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