Learning a new language may seem like a formidable challenge to start at first. You may have been reading and speaking a totally different language your whole life, so the thought of learning a new one can be overwhelming.
But the truth is, you can reap many benefits from keeping your brain active through this project. One, it enhances your cognitive skills by improving your memory, ability to concentrate, and critical thinking skills. Another benefit is that the more languages you learn, the easier it’ll be for you to interact with people from other cultures.
One language that has appealed for many to learn is the Korean language. It has gained popularity over the years due to South Korea’s booming economy and its growing presence in terms of pop culture. Plus, it’s also a cool language to learn and speak.
Suppose you’ve now made a clear decision of learning Korean, but where do you start? There are several approaches you can take to advance you in being fluent with the language.
Here are five tips to help you get started with learning:
1. Learn Hangul
Before you get too ahead with learning Korean words, start slow by learning the Korean alphabet first. The Korean alphabet is not as difficult as it may seem at first glance compared to other Asian alphabets.
Hangul was created by King Sejong in 1446 during the Choson Dynasty. It consists of ten basic vowels, eleven double vowels, fourteen basic consonants, and five double consonants. This alphabet is also a phonetic language which means it almost always sounds the same as how it’s written, except for a few pronunciation rules that can be learned quickly.
Since the Korean alphabet is not as complicated as it looks, many people even resort to self-study by simply watching YouTube videos or Korean movies. Many online courses are offer, for example Hana Korean language school.
2. Build Your Vocabulary
Once you’ve mastered the Hangul, it’s time to build your vocabulary. It’s best to start learning the Korean numbers first, including the days of the week, months, and common conversational phrases. Then, you can add words related to your purpose of learning the language in the first place.
For instance, if you decided to learn Korean for your employment abroad, focus more on learning the words relating to your job or factory. If you love their food, then study all the words associated with food, ingredients, or recipes.
If you’re traveling to the country, pay more attention to learning about directions, transportations, movements, and common destinations. While you’re adding new vocabularies to your brain, make sure to take note of them in your notebook. It’ll be easier for you to memorize things when they’re written and noted.
3. Surround Yourself with Korean
Another way you can quickly learn the Korean language is by surrounding yourself with it every single day. For instance, you can change your phone’s language into Korean or write notes using Hangul. You can also use educational apps and games on your phone that are related to Hangul.
If you’re used to listening to audiobooks, then download Korean audiobooks and podcasts that you can use while driving or having long trips. Sometimes, the easiest way you can learn a language is by getting used to it.
4. Find Korean Friends
If possible, you can spend more time hanging out with Korean people or communicate with their online community as often as you can. Training yourself to communicate with native Korean speakers will help improve your vocabulary and pronunciation.
They can teach you first-hand about all the basic rules to enhance your writing and speaking skills. If you don’t have any native Korean friends in the area, you can find a language partner in which both of you will agree to speak only in Korean whenever you meet.
5. Watch More Korean Dramas or Music
You can add more Korean into your life by watching more Korean dramas or listening to Korean music. Korean dramas or music are also the best ways to enhance your listening skills and become more familiar with some Korean words’ correct pronunciation. Of course, you may have to depend on subtitles at first, but later on, as you become more confident with your Korean speaking skills, you’ll be surprised at how fast you can catch on to the thought of the sentences or lyrics you hear.
These tips mentioned will surely help you get started in learning the Korean language. As you go through these tips, make sure you create goals and a learning strategy to help you easily tackle each lesson and keep you motivated.
Don’t quit when you commit mistakes, as it’s part of the entire learning process. Studying a new language takes time and effort, so don’t pressure yourself to speed up the learning process too much.
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