How to study Korean: 7 tips for learning Korean

Discover why you should learn Korean and uncover 7 top tips on how to study Korean.

A teenage boy is writing in a notebook with a laptop on his lap.


The Korean language is in high demand across the globe. Whether you’re keen to learn for fun, to travel or to increase your employability skills, it’s a great language to pursue.

Are you eager to start learning Korean? Here we explore the benefits of learning Korean and discover 7 tips on how to study Korean.

Why should I learn Korean?

Maybe the idea of ​​learning Korean has piqued your interest, but you’re not sure if it’s worth learning. While it’s true that learning a new language can seem daunting, there are many benefits to learning Korean. Let’s examine a few reasons why you should learn Korean.

Enrich your journey

Korea is a country rich in culture and full of exciting things to see and do. Of course, you can explore the country without knowing the Korean language. But while knowing the language isn’t essential, language skills can really help enhance your trip.

With an understanding of the Korean language, you can order food at restaurants, chat with locals, ask for directions and much more. You can even stay for a longer period to immerse yourself in the culture and improve your language skills.

If you are planning a trip to Korea soon, you may find our course Fun in Korea: Useful Expressions and Cultural Information for Travelers useful.

Increase career opportunities

Knowing another language is always a great way to increase your career opportunities. Bilingual positions are in demand, and simply having an additional language on your resume can set you apart from other candidates. Knowing the Korean language, in particular, can give you an advantage as it is less commonly known by non-native speakers compared to languages ​​like French or Spanish.

Knowing the Korean language is especially great for tech enthusiasts, as South Korea is full of exciting tech roles. Some of the largest Korean companies headquartered in South Korea include Samsung Electronics, Kia Motors and Hyundai.

Learn from Samsung on our platform with our Design the Future with Samsung course collection.

Recent years have seen an increase in demand for Korean language learning. Korean even made our list of 10 in-demand languages ​​to learn. By learning Korean, you will future-proof your career and open up opportunities for a variety of roles.

The language is logical

Since the Korean language uses a different alphabet (hangeul), you can expect the language to be very difficult to understand. Fortunately, this is not the case. While other Asian languages ​​can have complicated grammar rules, Korean makes a lot more sense to native English speakers.

The alphabet is surprisingly easy to remember and, unlike other languages, verbs do not need to be conjugated. In addition, the Korean language is built on phonetics. Words are pronounced as they are written, making it easy to speak and build sentences.

It makes for a productive hobby

We’ve all been in a position where we want to take up a new hobby. If you find yourself with some free time in your schedule and want to do something productive, learning Korean is a great way to spend your time.

Language learning can be fun and also have a positive impact on mental health. Research has shown that learning can boost self-confidence and help develop your sense of purpose. So why not start using your free time and start learning Korean?

Appreciate Korean culture

Korea is popular, among other things, for its contribution to music and television. If you, like many others, have been inspired to learn Korean as a result of this, we have good news for you. Learning the Korean language can allow you to appreciate and understand these things on a higher level.

It’s no secret that K-dramas can be extremely engaging, even with subtitles. But fully understanding the speech in Korean songs and TV shows can make these experiences even more enjoyable.

Can’t wait to get caught up in a Korean culture? Why not join our Intermediate Korean: Exploring Korea’s Language and Culture?

How to study Korean

So now we know how amazing the Korean language is and how it can benefit you. But how do you learn the Korean language? Let’s look at how to study Korean:

How to study Korean on your own

While having a study buddy can increase productivity, learning the language on your own is entirely plausible. Online courses and resources are your best friend and you can use available online videos to help with speaking practice.

If no one around you is familiar with the Korean language, you can also join an online language learning community. Forums, communities and language learning apps are a great way to share knowledge and wisdom virtually.

What is the best way to learn Korean?

The most effective way to study Korean is to find a method that suits you. Take into account your schedule and the time you can afford to study. It is important to remain consistent and ensure that your efforts align with your goals.

We’ll discuss some tips for studying Korean in a moment—we suggest you use these tips to build a study plan that fits your goals.

How to learn the Korean alphabet

This should be one of the first steps in your Korean learning journey – once you are comfortable with the alphabet, you can start building your vocabulary. Making some flashcards or using a flashcard app is a great way to help remember hangeul.

You can combine these flashcards with mnemonics and visual associations. This is especially useful for native English speakers, as hangeul looks very different from the alphabet you may be used to. Attaching a story or picture to each letter of the alphabet can help you commit the letter to memory until you are comfortable using hangeul.

For an in-depth look at learning the Korean alphabet, take a look at our Learn Korean Alphabet: An Introduction to Hangeul course. If you also want to learn Korean numbers, Hanyang University covers them in an easy-to-digest open step.

How long does it take to learn Korean?

The answer to this question depends entirely on your individual circumstances. According to the Foreign Service Institute, it is estimated that English speakers need 2,200 hours of study to become fluent in the Korean language. If your goal is not to reach complete fluency, but instead to be conversational, you will reach your goal in less time.

It is recommended that you spend an hour a day studying the Korean language to become fluent. But keep in mind that everyone will have a different learning experience. Depending on your circumstances, it may take you less time or more time.

If you are lucky enough to already be bilingual, you may be able to speed up your learning process. Studies have shown that those who already know another language find it easier to learn an additional language.

7 tips for learning Korean

Now you probably feel ready to jump in and start learning Korean. Before you drop everything and run off to learn, let us share a few tips with you to help you along the way.

Set clear goals

To ensure that you stay motivated and understand your language learning goal, you should set very clear goals. Setting goals helps you pinpoint your long-term vision and can motivate you to use your time effectively.

No one expects you to become fluent in Korean overnight – learning a language takes time. It is important to give yourself enough time to thoroughly absorb the new information you are learning. Make sure your goals are realistic and achievable so you can successfully work towards them.

Find out how to set SMART goals for yourself in our open steps from the University of Michigan.

Build your vocabulary

Since language is a gradual process, you cannot expect to pick up the entire vocabulary immediately. Vocabulary is the foundation of all languages ​​and the most important part to consider when thinking about how to study Korean.

What is important is that you keep adding to your vocabulary bank and expanding your knowledge of Korean words and phrases. As you practice your vocab, you will also become more comfortable with Korean speech and hangeul.

According to author Tony Buzan, 100 words make up 50% of all words used in a conversation in a language. As part of your goal setting, why not add a daily goal of how many new words you’d like to learn? Let’s see if you can reach the 100 keywords!

Learn Korean online

The Internet is home to a wealth of information, so it only makes sense to use it as much as possible. Online learning is ideal if you want to fit your learning around work or school schedules, as you can study anywhere and anytime. We have compiled a list of useful courses to help you learn Korean online:

Immerse yourself in Korean TV

To become familiar with the way the Korean language is used and spoken, you should try to expose yourself to the language as much as possible. A fun way to do that is to watch Korean movies and TV shows.

Known for being dramatic and packed with interesting stories, Korean media can help expand your vocabulary and knowledge of the language. Media can expose you to more everyday language and actions that generic research may not always show.

The vocabulary used in television is authentic and can help you understand how the language is used in context. Try to take notes throughout and relate the experience to your learning.

Practice and be consistent

Another important factor to consider is how often you will practice your knowledge. For native English speakers, Korean is incredibly different from what you may be used to. Even if the language makes logical sense, it will still take some time to understand the language.

By practicing frequently, you will be able to keep your knowledge fresh and put your studies to good use. In addition to practicing your vocabulary, you should also practice your speaking and writing. You can even try to find friends who are studying or already fluent to help you practice and expand your knowledge of Korean.

Learn all about how to study effectively in our course Improving your study techniques with the University of Groningen.

Create a strong learning environment

Cultivating a comfortable learning environment may not seem essential to learning, but it can have a powerful impact. You’ll need to focus to pick up the Korean language, so it’s important to study in a space where you can do your best.

Make sure your learning spaces are free of distractions and have everything you need to get started. Having a neat and organized workspace can even increase productivity and help boost productivity and morale.

One of the great things about online studies is that you don’t have to be limited to a particular field. Move around your study rooms and change the scenery as you learn. Get more tips on how to learn online with The Open University.

Use common words

Ready to get a head start on building your Korean vocabulary? Here’s a secret – there are many Korean words that you already know! The Korean language has lots of words that originate from the English language – these are known as loanwords.

For example, the Korean word for chocolate is pronounced as chocolite. You can start building your Korean vocabulary by taking the time to memorize the loan words. You can also use Konglish – a style of the English language used by Korean speakers. Konglish words are essentially a combination of both Korean and English words to create one word.

Final thoughts

The Korean language is beautiful and useful and can open up a wide range of possibilities. We hope these tips will help you pursue language learning and reach your goals.

So if you’re ready to immerse yourself in Korean culture or roam the streets of Seoul, why not sign up for one of our courses described above? Our introduction to Korean course is the perfect place to start. Plus, once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll be able to move on to Middle Korean. You’ll be fluent in no time!

William

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