How to Learn Korean: Learning Korean in Simple Steps

Korean is a fascinating and pleasurable language to learn, and the Koreas, both North and South, are often the subjects of today’s world headlines, South Korea for developing into a great commercial and scientific powerhouse and North Korea, of course, for its controversial political framework, making Korean quite a relevant language to master. Studying the Korean language may seem tricky when first approached, because of its unfamiliar written characters. If you adhere to the 3 techniques outlined below, however, you should have absolutely no trouble whatsoever studying this interesting and increasingly relevant language.

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Step One: Understand the Alphabet

At first, the Korean language seems quite difficult to master, but it really is not. Its entire alphabet consists of 14 consonants, 10 vowels and 11 diphthongs. Diphthongs, for people who don’t know, are sounds created when a pair of vowels are combined, such as the “oi” in the English word “boil.” In total, that is just 35 characters that you need to understand, as opposed to a language like Chinese where you must learn about 1000s of characters.

Furthermore, although the characters of the Korean alphabet appear very different than the letters found in English, they sound very similar, which makes learning to read them very easy. So, your very first task is to master the pronunciation of the Korean alphabet.

Step Two: Studying Korean Grammar

There is much disagreement among linguists in regards to the relevance, or lack thereof, regarding mastering grammar when getting to know a second language; many say it is vital, others point out the point that totally uneducated native speakers of a language can communicate without understanding their own grammar. In regards to studying Korean, though, trust me, it is vital to comprehend the grammar. One reason is because Korean grammar is so different than the grammar we use in English, and attempting to make sense of Korean by using what you feel are normal sentence patterns is a recipe for failure and frustration.

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An additional good reason is because Korean grammar structures are quite uncomplicated and logical, a direct result of the whole language being developed by a small group of scholars, as opposed to other languages which have developed and evolved over many years–not always in straightforward and logical ways. So, after you master the Korean alphabet, acquire a good understanding of Korean grammar.

Step 3: Learning how to Speak Naturally

Of course, the purpose of mastering a language is to be able to communicate verbally in your target language, and there is absolutely no more suitable way to do that than to speak to native speakers. You could visit Korea, assuming you have the time and resources, but most people don’t, so I’ll propose some more feasible alternatives. First, there are plenty of Korean language-learning software applications that contain recordings of native Korean speakers. These kinds of software programs are a fine place to begin. Furthermore, you can search out and employ a Korean tutor. This can be a great solution for those who reside in larger cities that have sizeable Korean populations. Lastly, you can participate in an Internet language exchange. Just check out a language-learning discussion board and locate someone to talk with; you teach him or her English, and he or she teaches you Korean. I recommend that you take advantage of the free communication software program Skype for such lessons.

Summary

The Korean language is fascinating and enjoyable to discover, and it is getting increasingly relevant as we move further into the 21st century. It can be a tricky language to master, or a relatively simple language to understand, based on your own language learning strategy. To enjoy a successful learning experience, first master the Korean alphabet. After that proceed to learning sentence structure, and, lastly, perfect your speaking by practicing with a native speaker.

Best of luck, and enjoy a new language learning experience.

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