10 Tricks for Learning Korean
안녕하세요! (An-nyong ha-se-yo!) I'm Billy from GO! Billy Korean on YouTube. Today I'm bringing you a special video lesson, with 10 tricks you can use to help you learn Korean faster--and better.
You can watch the video here and read along in the article.
1. Learn Hangul
• There are several different systems for writing Korean with English, but none are accurate. Using English letters (Romanization) learn Korean means that you will be learning the wrong pronunciation, spelling, or meaning of each word. Learning Hangul only takes a few hours, but will greatly improve your ability to learn Korean. You'll thank me later.
2. Focus on Grammar
• Don't worry about cramming vocabulary until after you have a strong foundation in Korean grammar. Someone who knows proper grammar and basic vocabulary will always sound better than someone who's simply a walking dictionary but can't create coherent sentences. Focus on grammar first, and pick up vocabulary on the side with your extra time.
3. Make Mistakes
• Everyone makes mistakes. If you’re not making mistakes from time to time, you’re doing it wrong. You don’t need to wait until you can speak perfect Korean before you can start speaking Korean. Learn from your mistakes so that you don’t keep making the same ones, but don’t be afraid to make new ones.
4. Keep a Schedule
• Studying 30 minutes a day for 5 days is going to help you much more than studying for 150 minutes at once. You’ll memorize things a lot better than if you had to cram, and it’ll also be easier to manage your time. Also, set realistic goals for yourself; maybe 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week isn't realistic, but maybe 3 days a week is. You can always raise your goal if it is too low, but if you set your goal too high and can't hit it, you will lose your motivation.
• Practice the grammar and vocabulary that you’re learning as much as possible. Every time that you learn something new, practice by making your own example sentences using it. And if you can, make some Korean friends who can help you practice. The more that you can use Korean, the better that you’ll remember it. If you can’t find any Koreans around you, try making some internet friends. But make sure that you’re still practicing speaking and listening as well, and not only reading and writing.
6. Be Polite
• When you’re talking to a friend in Korean who’s the same age as you or younger, it is okay to use slang – in fact it’s preferred. However, if you’re talking to someone who’s older than you (such as a boss at work, or a teacher, or a stranger), even if they’re your friend, you need to speak polite Korean (polite Korean includes using either the 요 form or the 니다 form). If you’re not sure whether to use polite or casual Korean in a situation, always use polite Korean. It’s much better to accidentally be too polite, than to accidentally be rude.
7. Be Creative
• There are a lot of different ways to study Korean, and some will work better for you than others. Be open to experimenting with different methods for learning, and whatever works for you, keep doing it; if it stops working then move onto another method. This’ll help make learning Korean more fun, and will also help to keep you motivated and learning faster. One method that you can try is writing new words you’re learning onto sticky notes, and posting them around the house to help you remember their Korean words.
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8. Use Multiple Sources
• I have to admit that I'm a bit biased on this point since I did write my own book, which you should check out, but I’m not the only source out there for learning Korean either. Try to use multiple sources when you’re learning. Everywhere might teach the same grammar and vocabulary, but each person and place might teach it in a different way. If you’re stuck on a concept, then try learning about it from another web site or another book. And if you don’t know what sources are good, try asking other people who have learned Korean already what they would recommend.
9. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
• You don’t need to compare yourself to other people. Every foreigner who learned to speak Korean started where you are now. With studying and practice, you’ll get better. And if you’re not as good as you’d like to be, just take a step back and look at your study habits. Are you studying regularly? Are you practicing what you’re studying? You can always adjust your schedule and keep going.
10. Keep Studying
• Once you have started learning Korean, you’re always going to be learning Korean. Even native Koreans are still learning their own language, and they’re practicing it every single day. The more that you study and practice, the better you’ll be able to speak Korean. If you have already been studying for a long time, then make sure to keep adjusting your schedule and study habits. Once you can hold full conversations in Korean, consider adding additional study methods, such as reading the newspaper, watching television shows, or even studying abroad in Korea. Above all, keep going. The better that you can speak Korean, the more opportunities that you’ll get to use it. Maybe you’ll become a Korean translator, or work at a Korean company, or even date a Korean.
This ends this lesson on learning Korean. If you have any questions for me, you can comment below this article. I love teaching Korean and I'd love to help you.
You can also check out my YouTube channel, where I upload weekly Korean videos, right here. --> GO! Billy Korean on YouTube
And if you're learning Korean for the first time, check out my book as well. --> Korean Made Simple: A beginner's guide to learning the Korean language