Want to learn a second language? There are many great options for learning a second language, and there are many benefits of becoming fluent in another language. Korean is wonderful choice for a second language in the modern world. Choosing to learn Korean over a European language can give you an edge in today’s job market since it is less common for people to speak Korean than a European language. Read on to get some tips on how to learn Korean and to discover why learning Korean is a good idea.
South Korea’s economy is considered one of the “tigers” of Asia. It has experienced a huge growth in the last couple of decades as it moved from a developing country to an economic power. In the early 2000’s, South Korea had the tenth largest economy in the world. And this economy does not show signs of slowing down. There are many brand names that originated in South Korea that are now known all over the world. Just think of companies like Hyundai, Samsung, Kia, and LG. Many of these companies have expanded into other countries, including America. Deciding to learn Korean could give you great business opportunities.
Another reason to learn Korean is to expand your horizons by becoming interested in another type of popular culture. There are plenty of Korean music artists, television shows, and movies that many people across the world enjoy. Plenty of people decide to learn Korean so that they can understand the language of these shows and movies. It also opens the door for you to visit Korea one day!
If you want to learn Korean, you should first collect some resources. Learning Korean will be much easier if you are prepared for your language journey. First off, you need to decide how you will be learning the bulk of the language. I recommend taking classes if possible. Some colleges now offer Korean language courses at the undergraduate level, and these types of classes can really help you get learn quickly. If you are not in college, you can consider attending a Korean university that has an international language program. Some of the biggest colleges in Korea have summer and year-long programs that are designed to immerse you in the new language. These programs can sometimes be expensive, so make sure the program is right for you before you sign up!
You can also rely on language software and websites to learn Korean. You can find some lessons online for free, and some websites offer paid services as well as language learning software. Studying online is a very convenient, easy way to learn Korean.
No matter how you choose to study the bulk of the language, there are other resources you will need. First, consider finding some college level Korean textbooks. You can use the lessons in these chaptered books to help pace your learning, especially if you are learning on your own. Look for specialized Korean books as well (such as grammar books, vocabulary books, etcetera).
You can also get some very valuable resources online (and sometimes they are even available for free!). Check out some websites that offer lessons. Usually, they will have links to other resources such as alphabet charts, vocabulary lists, helpful hints, and audio files. Take advantage of all of these resources! Audio files are a must, especially if you are not being taught by a native speaker! Some websites also let you ask questions and get specific answers—this is great if you are in a rut and stuck on one topic!
Another resource you absolutely need in order to learn Korean is a dictionary. Dictionaries are available online (sometimes for free!) and in print versions. It is up to you to pick out a good dictionary. Do not get one that is really small; this will limit your ability to learn new words and figure out ones you run across that may be less commonly used. You may want to get a dictionary that allows you to look up either the English word or the Korean word. These types of dictionaries are very useful and, in my opinion, easier to use. Also, be on the look-out for dictionaries that have the Korean words written out in both Hangul and Roman letters. This will save you a lot of time, especially if you are a beginner.
If you have no experience with Korean at all, you should begin by learning Hangul (the alphabet) and some basic phrases. The Korean alphabet is extremely easy to learn. This is because the Korean alphabet, like the English (Roman) alphabet is phonetic, so each symbol stands for a sound instead of a word or other meaning. These phonetic letters are put together in order to create words, just like in English. Once you memorize what symbol stands for what letter, you will be able to read Korean script with no problem.
The Korean language itself is hard for some people to learn, but easy for others to learn. It all really depends on how much you study and how naturally languages come to you. The Korean language can be considered difficult to learn because of the use of honorifics. Koreans use different honorifics when speaking with elders, peers, and younger people. Depending on the social situation, the honorifics and grammar rules change. This can be confusing to some people, but practice will help you understand these rules.
After you learn Hangul, you should concentrate on some of the basics of Korean. You should learn basic phrases such as 안녕하세요 (hello), 저는 ___ 입니다 (My name is ___), 안녕히 가세요 (goodbye, spoken to the person leaving), 안녕히 계세요 (goodbye, spoken to the person staying), 네 (yes), 아니요 (no), 감사합니다 (thank you), and 미안합니다 (I’m sorry). You should also spend time learning the different verb endings such as 니다 / 습니다 (formal ending), 어요 / 아요 (polite ending), and 어 / 아 (casual ending). Practice these ending with different verbs. Sometimes it helps to make some flashcards!
Whatever your reason for wanting to learn Korean, you can rest assured that you are making a choice that will benefit you greatly. Learning a second language opens so many business opportunities, as well as enables you to get into another culture and truly enjoy it.