Language Learning Advice

First Month Learning Korean

Recently, I joined the swarms of people that are learning Korean whether it’s for a love of K-pop or Korean culture in general. I’m starting with the Korean alphabet (hangul)! It’s so different from my other target languages: Spanish and French. I think that’s a good thing… I can definitely keep Korean separated in my brain because it is inherently distinct from the languages that I know, but on the other hand it is so different that it will take longer to learn the basics. French and Spanish are languages that I have taken a few classes during my formal education.   Comparatively,  I have not been exposed to much Korean if any at all.  I have not taken any Korean classes and I don’t know anyone that  speaks it fluently. It’ll be a learning curve for sure.

My cousin has been self-studying Korean for awhile and plans to live in Korea to teach English. When I visit my cousin in Korea I want to be able to carry on basic conversations in Korean and experience the culture. Although, English is the international language of the world and I’m sure many Koreans study it,  I would love to connect with the locals in their language. Similarly to my other target languages, I don’t have an end goal with Korean; I think I’m going to continue to study a little bit regularly even after visiting Korea. I wouldn’t want to forget the Korean that I learn.  🙂 

I think I’m on week three of learning Korean. So, I really don’t know much at the moment. I’m starting to learn the alphabet, basic phrases, numbers, and sentence structure.  I’m paying extra attention to pronunciation because there are many sounds that just don’t exist in English.  Some people have asked me what resources I would recommend for Korean. Below are the resources that I’m using to learn Korean. I can’t speak in detail about these resources since I have just begun to study Korean, but, so far, they have been great. 

  1. www.koreanclass101.com  : This website is under the same parent company as spanishpod101.com, which I used for about a year to help me learn basic Spanish. It has been helpful because the premium version comes with full access to their library of lessons along with digital flashcards and other study aids. They have lessons for every level. There’s tons of lessons available for people that are just starting out with Korean like myself. They are currently having their cyber Monday sale too. I’m going to spend the next six months using this program. I think it will be one of my main resources. 
  2. talktomeinkorean.com : I have heard good things about this website so I decided to check it out. When you create an account you will have access to all their lessons for free. I think their lessons are great so far; I’m on level one lesson #5 at the moment. They have activities to reinforce the new vocabulary but it does cost money to use that portion of the program. I might buy into their program later. They also sell books and other study materials. I’m using their Hangul Master book as well.  
  3. Korean Lesson 101 Youtube Channel : I’ve watched their video about Hangul a few times. It’s only 20 minutes long and they did a great job breaking down the alphabet so that newbies can understand. From the looks of it, they have other videos about grammar, sentence structure and verbs. 
  4. Learn Korean with GO! Billy Youtube Channel: He’s made a beginner Korean course made up of 66 videos which is available on Youtube. I’ve done a few lessons and took notes.  I really like how he teaches you how to pronounce certain syllables and write each character correctly. 

Korean can seem daunting to new learners but learning a little more each day can make a huge difference in a time and you’ll see progress. Gotta stay motivated!I hope this was helpful for anyone else aspiring to become a Korean speaker!  Let me know if you are learning Korean and what resources you use in the comments. 

Happy learning friends,

Rosa Janelle

Image by Ethan Brooke from Pixabay. Follow Seoulinspired on Instagram.

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