Korean|October 18, 2011 4:55 am

How to Learn Korean in 3 Easy Steps

Photo Credit Brendan Lally

Article Summary

  • The Korean Language is Becoming Popular
  • Difficult for Many Westerners to Learn
  • Easy to Learn With Proper Learning Strategy
  • This Post Teaches You How to Learn Korean

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Want to know how to learn Korean? You should! With the increasing popularity of Korean movies, TV dramas, and pop music acts, this language is becoming quite popular. It can be difficult to learn, however, if you don’t take the right approach. Follow the 3 steps laid out below, on the other hand, and you’ll learn Korean with ease.

How to Learn Korean Step 1: Get Friendly With the Korean Alphabet

Having lived in Korea for 5 years, I’ve seen lots of Westerners try to learn to speak Korean without first learning the Korean alphabet. It seems like a quick shortcut to speaking the language. Unfortunately, skipping this step causes much more harm than good. The reason is because the Romanized versions of Korean language sounds just don’t translate well. For example, here is how you say, “Korean has four distinct seasons.” Hangugeun ne gyejeori tturyeothada. Read that and try to get the pronunciation correct! It’s not going to happen.

What will happen is that you’ll learn Korean with terrible pronunciation, and, as everybody knows, fixing poor pronunciation is much more difficult than learning it correctly in the first place. If you want to try and learn the Korean alphabet on your own, you can try out my free Korean alphabet page. It will get you started. If you’d like something a bit more comprehensive I recommend this software. Yes, you have to pay for it, but it’s pretty cheap and it will teach you how to learn Korean much quicker than my free Korean course.

How to Learn Korean Step 2: Get Cozy With Korean Grammar

Yes, if you want to know how to speak Korean you have to study the grammar. I see you cringing, and I feel your pain, but hear me out. First, I’m not telling you to get deep into Korean grammar, studying every aspect of the language’s structure. What I’m saying is that you should get familiar with the basics. Why? Because Korean sentence structure is “backwards” when compared to English. For example, in English we use the structure Subject + Verb + Object. So, we would say, “I threw the ball.”

In Korean, sentences are structured Subject + Object + Verb. So, in this case, we would say “I ball threw.” Also note that I left out the word “the” in the Korean sentence. That’s because articles (a, an, the) aren’t used in the Korean language. Now, look at these two simple grammar rules I have given you. Then imagine that you want to learn how to say something in Korean like, “I went shopping.” How much easier is it going to be to accomplish your goal in light of the two simple grammar structures that you’ve just learned. Much easier, I think you’ll agree.

How to Learn Korean Step 3: Get Speaking

Actually, you should be speaking from day one, but I’m trying to make a point here. My point is that when learning Korean it is really important to master the sounds of the alphabet and become familiar with grammar before you focus too much on your speaking; otherwise you’ll end with with poor pronunciation and grammar skills. I make this point because with other languages, like Spanish or Italian, these steps aren’t really necessary–you can just dive right into those languages.

Also, the Korean alphabet only takes a few days to master, so it’s not like you have to invest a huge amount of time before you move into speaking. Finally, when you do get into speaking conversations, make sure you practice with a native Korean speaker.If you want to learn how to speak Korean but don’t have a native-speaking Korean person handy, just use Korean language learning software. Today’s programs have well-designed,  highly interactive dialogues that are recorded by native-Korean speakers. As I mentioned earlier, this is the #1 Korean learning software.

Now you know how to learn Korean! Why don’t you get started right now?

Best of luck to you, and if you have any questions or comments please write them below.
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