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How to Learn Korean Today

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As South Korean bands, TV series, and movies have surged in popularity, so has an interest in learning Korean among more and more American learners. If you find yourself to be among them, studying this interesting language will not only expand your horizons, but can also improve your social life, get you access to better job opportunities, and allow you to get to know the fascinating Korean culture more in-depth.

Although the Korean language might seem intimidating at first, it’s an incredibly logical language, which means once you learn its basic grammar rules, you’ll be able to make a lot of progress in little time. On top of that, its alphabet, which is called Hangul, is much simpler than that of other Asian languages, since all Korean letters are made of simple geometric shapes that are quite easy to learn, so with a little practice, you’ll be able to master it in no time.

No matter why you’ve chosen to learn this beautiful language, you’ll soon realize why so many people fall in love with it. To help you achieve the fluency you need as fast as possible, here’s a guide you can use to improve your language skills and become the proficient Korean speaker we know you can be.

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1. Why Learn Korean Today

If you’re committed to learning a new language but you still haven’t decided which one you want to study, take a look at some of the reasons why Korean is the perfect language you should learn this year:

To Broaden Your Horizons

Learning Korean will open up many doors for you to travel the world and visit some of the most beautiful locations in South Korea, which include Seongsan Sunrise Peak, a UNESCO world heritage site known for its magnificent sites, Ggotji Beach, an ideal place to visit for holidays and Darangee Village, a well-preserved village that is surrounded by terraced rice paddies that Koreans believe were created by their ancestors. Although you don’t need to speak Korean to explore this wonderful country, being able to communicate fluently will allow you to enjoy the experience a lot more, as you’ll be able to connect with the locals more deeply and learn a lot more about their culture, traditions, and beliefs. On top of that, it will make it much easier for you to get by there, discover parts of the country that are not usually visited by tourists, and access unique job opportunities in South Korea that most Americans who don’t speak the language wouldn’t get access to.

To Advance Your Career

In addition to being a useful skill to travel the world more confidently, learning Korean is one of the smartest things you can do to advance your career in the US. This is especially true if you happen to have a corporate job and are looking to get a promotion, as American companies are always looking for qualified professionals who can help them improve their business relationships with Korean companies like Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motors, or SK Group. Alternatively, if you have a business in the US and want it to expand, speaking Korean is key to taking advantage of the successful economic partnership between South Korea and the United States, which in 2020 accounted for $128 billion in bilateral trade.

To Expand Your Social Life

Did you know that there are 75 million Korean speakers worldwide? As a result, if you decide to study this language, you’ll be able to make new friends from all over the world, from native speakers who will teach you Korean in exchange for your English skills, to language enthusiasts who love the language as much as you do. On top of that, you’ll be able to get closer to some of the 1.82 Korean Americans that live across the country and learn about their culture without having to travel.

Because You Love A Good Challenge

If you’re looking for a good mental challenge that keeps you on your toes, learning Korean will be perfect for you. There are many reasons why this is the case, for example, its basic sentence structure, which is different from English and other European languages, as instead of following a Subject Verb Object order, Korean sentences have their subject first, their object second, and then their verb. This can make forming basic sentences quite challenging at first, especially if you don’t speak any other Asian languages. What’s more, you’ll have to learn how to make many sounds that don’t exist in English, memorize a lot of vocabulary, and learn how to write a completely different alphabet, so as you can see there are various skills you have to develop to become a proficient Korean speaker, which makes it a very intellectually-stimulating language for those who love learning.

To Understand Korean Culture

Many people who start learning Korean do so because they’ve become fascinated by its culture and want to understand it more deeply. If that’s your case, and you’re a big fan of Korean music, film, or TV shows, you’ll find that speaking this language is key to understanding lyrics, getting cultural references, and enjoying many aspects of the language which are usually lost in translation. Additionally, unless you take the time to explore Korean traditions, there are many things that you will find hard to learn, for example, the conjugation of some verbs using honorifics, as that’s related to the way Koreans see and talk to elders and authoritative figures.

2. The Korean Language and its Dialects

One of the most fascinating aspects of learning Korean is exploring the various dialects that are spoken in the country. If you ever watched any Korean dramas or listened to Korean music, you probably heard the standard dialect, which is called Gyeonggi or Seoul dialect, and it’s the most widespread variant used in the country and the one taught abroad. However, if you ever visit South Korea and move away from its capital, you’ll be able to hear other Korean dialects which are slightly different from the standardized version, for example, the Gangwon, Chungcheong, Jeolla, Gyeongsang, and Jeju dialects. Fortunately, all accents are mutually intelligible, so no matter which part of South Korea you visit, you’ll find that you can communicate perfectly by speaking standard Korean.

Gyeonggi

used in Seoul

Gangwon

in the Northeastern area

Chungcheong

in the North

Gyeongsang

in the Gyeongsang region

Jeollado

in the Southwest

Jeju Bangeon

in the Jeju Island

3. How to Learn Korean?

If you’ve finally decided you want to start learning Korean, you’re now faced with another decision, and that’s whether you want to study on your own or get the help of a language professional. Although learning on your own has certain benefits, like managing your own schedule and being in total control of the materials you use, if you want to get past beginner and elementary levels, your best choice is to study Korean with a trainer. This will ensure you don’t end up feeling frustrated as soon as you encounter a major stumbling block, which you eventually will, and quit like most people who try to become fluent on their own. If you’re still not convinced, here are some of the most important reasons why you should learn Korean with a teacher.

Why Learn Korean With a Teacher

  • Motivation is a really important factor when learning a new language, especially one that is as challenging as Korean. Although meeting other language learners can help you stay motivated, the most efficient way is to find a teacher who understands exactly what you’re feeling and has the right words to make you feel go past your frustration and help you achieve your full potential.
  • One of the best things about learning with a teacher is not having to worry about designing your learning plan, which can be one of the most difficult things to do. In fact, the reason why so many learners end up feeling lost is that they don’t know where to find suitable materials in the correct language level and even when they manage to find some, they are usually outdated and boring.
  • Making as many questions as you want is also a great reason why you should book a lesson with a qualified tutor, as you won’t have to spend hours and hours looking for answers online and instead you’ll get to know everything you need to know about Korean without leaving your class.
  • Getting enough practice time is key to developing your conversational skills, and what better way to practice than with a qualified teacher who can correct every little mistake you make and help you sound like a native? This will ensure you don’t end up like those learners who know a lot of vocabulary and grammar but freeze when the time comes to put their skills to the test in an actual conversation.

4. Individual or Group Lessons: What’s Better?

After deciding to learn with a teacher, you now have to determine what kind of lessons you should go for. To make the choice much easier for you, here are the main differences between individual and group lessons:

Although both options will help you achieve the fluency you desire, there are pros and cons to each one of them that you should consider before making a decision.

Individual Lessons

Do you want to be in complete control of the pace of your lessons, as well as the content? If so, you should consider booking individual lessons. These kinds of lessons are ideal for those who prefer to have the undivided attention of the teacher, and who have very clear goals they want to achieve in a certain time. Some examples can be people who need to pass an exam to enter university, or who are moving abroad soon and need as much practice time as possible. Of course, these lessons are more expensive than group lessons, but if you want to make a lot of progress in less time, they are completely worth it.

Group Lessons

Are you a social learner who enjoys having others to chat with while you study? Then, you might want to try group lessons. These are much more affordable than individual ones, but you do have to adapt to other students’ language goals, pace, and schedule. These kinds of lessons are great if you’re doing a general course and want to enjoy more varied conversation, so if you want to share your language journey with some language partners, this is exactly the kind of Korean lessons you need!

If you want to check out all the different types of lessons we offer, don’t forget to take a look at our website, which has all the information you need to choose the most suitable Korean course for you.

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5. Tips to Learn Korean Vocabulary

It’s completely normal to find it daunting to learn new vocabulary in another language, but fortunately, there are different methods and fun resources you can use to make it much easier and entertaining. Here are some of the most popular ones you can start using right now:

Flashcards

There’s a reason why most language learners use them, and that’s because they help you acquire new vocabulary much more efficiently. The way flashcards work is you take a piece of paper, write a new Korean word on one side, and its meaning on the other. Then, you do the same with other words you want to learn until you have a nice deck of cards. After that, you simply use the cards to test if you remember the meaning of these new words, or you can also check their meaning first and try to remember what’s the name of the word. If you don’t feel like making your own deck of flashcards, you don’t really have to, as nowadays there are a lot of useful apps like Quizlet, Tinycards, or Anki you can download, where you can find many amazing decks in Korean made by other users.

Learn New Words in Context

The key to remembering words is to learn them in context. This means that instead of learning random words that have no connection with each other, it is best to choose sets of words that are about the same topic, or used in the same situation. A good example is to devote a day to learning vocabulary that describes the seasons in Korean, and then try to memorize the different names of the months. Another way of doing this is by reading short texts about a particular topic and trying to extract words that are related, and write them in a notebook or make charts to help you remember them.

Review and Practice

In order to remember the words you learn during your lesson or the ones you extract from different resources, the smartest thing to do is to devote time every week to revise and practice using these words in sentences. Although it can be tough to develop this habit if you do you’ll realize how much faster your lexicon expands.

”I chose Language Trainers because your teachers are certified. It takes a special type of person to be able to teach a grown adult how to speak a new language. The teacher must be understanding, patient, and diverse. It seemed to me like you specifically seek out people like this. The lessons are going great so far! I’m being challenged to find and use everyday words in my normal speech. I feel Nara will be able to help me accomplish my goals.”

Katrina Armstrong- Korean course in Dallas

Want to expand your vocabulary but don’t know where to start? Take a look at this article: 23 Korean Words Every Language Lover Should Learn

6. How to Read in Korean


If you can’t wait to become a good reader of Korean, the first thing you need to do is take the time to learn all the letters of the alphabet, and how to arrange them correctly to make sentences. Make sure you learn this carefully, as it’s the first building block you need to read more complex texts. There are some really useful websites where you can start learning the Korean alphabet, called Hangul, right now:

After you master Hangul, you’re ready to start reading. You should start small by reading simple texts, like websites made for children, which contain really easy words and short sentences. Some great ones you can check out are Kebi Kids and Chosun Kids. Then, you can move on to lyrics of your favorite Korean songs, or even to poems. After that, you can move on to more challenging texts like Korean Newspapers or web novels.

If you want some more ideas to improve your reading skills, don’t miss this amazing article on our blog:

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6. Best Apps to Learn Korean

Are you tired of using the same outdated resources to learn Korean? If so, you should consider trying out some of the apps you can use for free to study the language, which will allow you to learn no matter where you are.

  • Dongsa, which means verb in Korean, is a helpful verb conjugator that will help you master Korean tenses.
  • Learn Korean – Grammar is a great way to study grammar without having to carry heavy books with you.
  • Teuida is one of the best apps you can use to learn Korean, especially if you want to boost your speaking skills as it will immerse you in different situations right away where you have to follow a script and speak from the first lesson.
  • TOPIK One is ideal for those interested in taking the TOPIK exam and want to check out previous versions of the exam and practice all of its exercises.

7. Learn Korean with K-pop

In addition to using apps, another entertaining way of working on your Korean skills is to listen to K-pop. This music genre has been making waves recently as more and more people start listening to it. In case you don’t know, K-pop stands for Korean Pop, and it’s a music category that embraces many different genres, like rap, R&B, rock, and of course, pop. What makes this kind of music a popular phenomenon is that is not just about the music, it also features amazing choreography and incredible music videos. The best part about K-pop is that in addition to enjoying it, you can use it to expand your vocabulary, take your pronunciation to the next level and get a deeper knowledge of Korean culture.

Because K-pop lyrics are repetitive and filled with slang words, these songs are great for beginners who are still intimidated by more complex texts. On top of that, because they are so catchy, these songs are a great way to work on your pronunciation and learn new words, so if you’re tired of reading out loud or memorizing lists of words, this is a fun alternative that will make learning feel effortless. Watching their videos is also a fantastic way of getting to know more about Korean culture, as a lot of them feature diverse expressions of Korean art, and make references to their traditions.

Do you want to listen to some K-pop bands and soloists but don’t know where to start? Here’s a list of some of the most well-known ones:
● BTS
● GOT7
● MOMOLAND
● BLACKPINK
● Monsta X
● Chung Ha
● Red Velvet
● Girls' Generation
● SuperM
● Super Junior
● IVE
● Stray Kids

If you want some additional information about K-pop, check out 5 K-Pop Songs That Will Make You Want to Know Korean on our blog, which has some great song recommendations you should not miss out on.

As you now know, there are many amazing ways you can learn Korean online. However, if you truly want to make progress fast and achieve your language goals, the smartest thing to do is to book a course at Language Trainers. All you have to do is contact us and we’ll find the perfect tutor for you who will create some amazing lessons that fit every single one of your requirements.

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