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How To Learn and Master Korean Language: 5 Simple Tips

Updated on June 5, 2017

These days, Korean entertainment and culture is all the rage. Almost every teen girl loves Korean – be it dramas, bands, and a lot more. Not only teen girls, adults like it as well. I have a teacher who loves Korean drama and all the hot actors in it. In addition to that, my grandma loves watching Korean drama as well. My friends are the fan of Bangtan Boys – the army. Korea is literally everywhere. Well, I wouldn’t blame them though. The music is cool, the dramas have good plot – what’s there not to like? Oh, and don’t get me started with the food. It’s yummy! Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

Of course, since the country is popular, a lot of people would be interested in learning the language. The way Korean talks make it intriguing. The accent and how they talk so fast. You want to understand it . . . but, how? Korean language looks so hard, especially the Hangul. It’d take forever to learn it. Plus, p

Wait, it’s too early to give up! So, read all the way down. Well, I suppose if you are here, you haven’t given up yet or you’re just getting started. All I can say is don’t give up. It takes time to master a language. Down below is the tips to make it easier to learn. As long as you’re passionate about it, you can do it!

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1. Learn Hangul

I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Wait, this is not easy at all. You just told me it’s gonna be easy.”

Don’t back out just yet! So, this is the key. It might look difficult, when you first saw it. It’s like a bunch of circles and random lines that just don’t make sense. That’s where you’re wrong. It’s actually easier than it looks. It makes so much sense and there are only 24 letter and 27 digraphs to remember!

It might look as hard as Chinese characters but nope. Remembering it is not as hard as Chinese language. You basically just have to learn some shapes and just combine it in order from up to down. That’s it. Here, take a look at the Hangul picture down below.

No. Don’t give up just yet. I’m sure you can do it. This is an essential part of understanding Korean language. By remembering it, you can practice reading the Hangul. As you read, you can search the meaning of words you don’t understand. Gradually, you’ll be able to master Korean language! Korean’s grammar structure is not that hard to understand as well.

For example:

Subject – object – verb.

Ex: Naega chingu opsoyo. (I friends don’t have)

Subject – adjective.

Ex: nan ttogttoghae. (I smart)

There’s no need for to be like am, is or are.

It might take a while to remember all the Hangul but hey, you will be able to speak Korean and that’s like, cool. At least you don’t have to remember Hangul like Chinese characters! Good luck!

2. Watch K-drama and Listen to Korean Music

Ah, since you’re motivated to learn Korean, Korean culture is probably why. Perhaps, a boy band called Bangtan or BTS is the cause? Or the actors such as Lee Minho? Well, perhaps you don’t really like Korean culture. You’re just interested in learning the language. But here’s an advice, watching K-drama and K-pop are highly advised. It will help a lot. You will know how the words are pronounced, the intonation, things like that. For those who don’t want to watch drama because drama is overly dramatic and cliché, I have a few recommendations for you down below. Korean entertainment industry has improved and there are good dramas where you can’t figure out the ending. The ideas are great too. So, why not?

The Movies

Want to grab watch something that ends in one go? Korean movies might be good for you. Especially for those who can’t handle curiosity. There are lots of great movies. Take a look!

Miracle in Cell No. 7

Hello Ghost!

The Dramas

South Korea is well known with its dramas right? By watching dramas, you will know how to pronounce Korean language the right way! Take a look. The ones I recommend are the ones with unexpected plot.

W - Two Worlds

W - Two Worlds is a drama about a boy who comes out of webtoon! As Oh Yeon Joo finds herself get tangled in the whole thing, things take an interesting turn. With unexpected twists, you'll find yourself in for a ride!

Descendants of the Sun

Who doesn't know Descendants of the Sun? It's so popular that I'm sure avid K-dramas fans know about it. It's definitely a must watch. Descendants of the Sun is about a soldier and a doctor in the middle of a war! Another reason to watch this drama is Song Joong-ki's dazzling smile!

2NE1
2NE1

The Music

Ah, another thing South Korea is popular for. The singers! They do make great music.

Blood, Sweat and Tears by BTS

Eyes, Nose and Lips by Taeyang from Big Bang

TT by Twice

What's your favorite song among the recommendations?

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So, there you go!

Look, if you don’t love the country, it’ll be hard learning the language. As for those who love it, well, it must be fun for you! It’s like two steps at a time. You get to watch K-drama and you get to learn it. But remember, don’t forget to learn as you watch!

3. Make Online Korean Friends

Online friends help you remember it faster. They might even teach you one or two things about Korea! It’s better to know from the original source, right? You’re likely to remember it more because it leaves a deeper impression on you, rather than just reading Hangul over and over. It shouldn’t be hard finding online friends these days. Social media is everywhere. Trust me, it will help a lot. You’ll get to know more about the culture as well. You also know that there are sometimes unwritten rules about the countries. You’ll never know unless you interact with Koreans!

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4. Read Korean Romanization Version

From reading the Romanization version, you’ll be able to pronounce it correctly. There is some with similar sounding pronunciation. Reading the Romanization version will make it faster for you to read Korean as well! Make it fun by reading the lyrics of Korean songs while singing along. Learning process should never be boring.

5. Read a lot!

Finally, the usual advice: read, read and read. That’s the only way. It might be boring at first. Come on, you don’t even know what this means and it takes minutes to figure out the Hangul. In short, it’s troublesome. But hey, there’s nothing instant in this world. Even instant noodles need to be cooked first. On a bright note, you will feel more accomplished once you managed to master the ability. So keep on believing that you can!

While it’s boring, you can make it fun! Try reading webtoon for example. But go to Korean version. There are a lot of Korean manhwas (some sort of mangas) listed here. The only difference with manga is, the comic is colored and it’s scrolled. Of course, it’s more fun to read the colorful pictures with words instead of plain ol’ textbooks. For those who never read webtoon, I’ll give you recommendations. The stories are awesome and it’ll get you instantly hooked!

Message

Be Passionate

Don’t let the fire burn out! Be passionate about it. Unless you’re passionate about Korea, it’s hard for you to learn. You won’t feel like doing it if you don’t like it. Like something about the country, whether it be the singers, food, anything! You should set a goal as well. Another scenario is, you might feel motivated at first but as time goes, you begin to lose motivation. It’s fine, it happens all the time. You might feel like you’re doing this in vain. You start feeling like you should give up. You’re fed up with yourself because you still can’t. Give it a rest for a while. Calm yourself. Find something to trigger back the mood of wanting to study. Don’t drag it on though. Remember, successful people are successful because they know how to get up when they fall. Anyway, like I said, don’t let the fire burn out!

Bibimbap, traditional Korean food!
Bibimbap, traditional Korean food!

Advice: Visit Korea

It’s just a piece of advice but it’s better if you visit the country. You will learn a lot even if you just travel for a few days. You’ll be forced to use Korean language as well under that circumstance. You would definitely get better. Think of all the food you can find there! From gimbap to bulgogi . . . sounds great? Ah, you might also meet actors or actresses or singers if you were lucky. You’re not obligated to do so though. It’s just a piece of advice. I know how costly it can be to go overseas.

That’s it. Now, you’re able to talk Korean language other than saranghae or kamsahamnida. Hopefully, you are able to master Korean language. Follow these tips accordingly and you’ll be able to talk in no time. Now, go study Korean language. Don’t slack off! Slacking off won’t get you anywhere. Good luck with learning Korean language!

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    • AshutoshJoshi06 profile image

      Ashutosh Joshi 2 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Roger that :)

    • Agathe L profile image
      Author

      Agathe L 2 months ago

      Haha, yeah, it's the hardest. But if you start with the hardest, it will be easier later on. I'm learning Japanese right now and trust me, the Chinese characters are many. Korean is better. I'm sure you can do it!

      Me too. I wasn't interested in K-drama before but my sister suggested it to me recently. I watched some and now, I'm pretty much hooked onto it. Just choose something not too romance-ish or choose romance with good plot. I don't really like romance too. Anyway, good luck learning the language! Hope this article helps.

    • AshutoshJoshi06 profile image

      Ashutosh Joshi 2 months ago from New Delhi, India

      The first step seems to be the toughest. The ones that follow are a good head start, I would say.

      I recently started watching KDramas on my friend's recommendation. Although romance is not my genre, which is usually the central theme, I must admit I somehow got addicted and became a fan.