So, you have decided to learn the Korean language. That is an excellent choice! Not only is Korean one of the more accessible languages to study, but it will also open the door to a whole new culture for you to experience. No matter what your reasons for learning Korean are, this is undoubtedly a worthy endeavour.
Deciding on the language you want to pick up is just the first step in your Korean learning journey. You may wish to learn Korean quickly, but everyone has their own pace, and it is best not to rush the process. However, there are various ways you can gain a head start. Let us share with you four helpful tips so that you can get a better grasp of the language.
1. Focus on mastering Hangeul
The first step in learning any new language is to master the alphabet. While it may seem daunting to study an entirely new alphabet system, Hangeul is relatively simple to grasp compared to the other writing systems. The Hangeul system only consists of twenty-four basic letters – 14 consonants and 10 vowels. It is also entirely phonetic, so when you have learnt all 24 letters, you can read anything in Korean. This system was intentionally designed to be as easy to learn as possible. Hangeul consonants are based on the shapes the mouth makes when articulating the sound. Its vowels consist of vertical and horizontal lines, with a dot ‘•’ representing the sun, a horizontal line ‘ㅡ’ symbolising the Earth, and a vertical line ‘|’ representing humans, who connect the sun and Earth.
You can dedicate about a week to learning the basic vowels, followed by another week on the remaining vowels and their various combinations before moving on to learning the consonants. With hard work and dedication, you can gain an understanding of Hangeul within a month.
2. Practice reading aloud
Once you are comfortable with Hangeul, you can move on to practising your reading skills. You need not concern yourself with understanding the words you are reading yet. At this stage, you should focus on familiarising yourself with the language and recognising the sound each word makes.
As they say, practice makes perfect. The more you read, the more you will be acquainted with the language. You can make learning more fun by watching Korean dramas and paying attention to their pronunciation before trying to replicate and match the sound you hear on screen.
Similar to the English language, the Korean language has specific rules when articulating certain words. As a beginner learning Korean, it is easy for you to make rookie mistakes when pronouncing these words. Reading aloud allows you to catch these errors that you may have otherwise overlooked.
3. Chat with native Korean speakers
There is no better way to practise speaking Korean than chatting with native speakers. Thanks to modern technology, you can easily connect with anyone globally. Seeking out native Korean speakers to converse with can now be done with a click of a button.
It can be daunting to strike a conversation with a native speaker when you are only beginning to learn their language. Start small by posting on online forums dedicated to the Korean language. You can also browse Korean-related posts and videos on popular social media platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube, and add to their comment sections to get a conversation flowing. Once you are more comfortable conversing in Korean, you can move on to speaking the language with your native Korean friends.
4. Focus on achieving small goals initially
Everyone learns at a different pace. It is crucial to acknowledge that you may not be able to master the Korean language within a short timeframe. However, you should not let this knowledge dishearten you from learning Korean. After all, motivation plays a significant role in language learning.
When starting your Korean learning journey, focus on setting yourself small goals to achieve along the way. It can be something as simple as memorising a specific set of vocabulary or words. When you have accomplished your objective, you will get the drive to continue learning more.
We hope these tips are helpful to you as you begin your first step on this incredible learning journey. It takes time and dedication to learn a new language, so it is vital that you remain patient. Avoid being hard on yourself when you make a mistake and instead learn from them.
Suppose you find yourself struggling with the subject and you are looking for the best way to learn Korean. In that case, you should consider signing up for Korean classes so you can take your skills to the next level. At ONLYOU, we can provide you with the resources you need to achieve your desired level of fluency in Korean.