7 Tips for Learning How to Read and Write Korean

June 23, 2022

Korea has one of the world’s most complex writing systems and learning how to read and write Korean can initially seem daunting. However, with a little patience and practice, anyone can learn the basics of this fascinating language.

If you’re interested in how to read and write Korean, you have come to the right place. In this post, we will provide you with some tips that will help you get started.

Keep in mind that it takes time and practice to become proficient in any language, so be patient and don’t give up. With a bit of effort, you will be reading, writing, and speaking Korean in no time.

1. Create a learning schedule

When you’re learning a foreign language, the most important thing to remember is that it takes time. You can’t just dive into practicing without thinking about how much of your day will be dedicated to achieving such Korean skills.

That’s why we recommend making sure there are no other obligations coming up before starting. Plan accordingly by creating an effective schedule with enough opportunities throughout each week/month so as not to get bored easily.

For instance, dedicate at least 30 minutes each day to learn and practice Korean. If you need to learn it fast, such as in a month, sacrifice more time and put in more effort.

Fortunately, you don’t have to allot most of your time studying on regular days because you can incorporate learning Korean into your daily activities. You can read a study book on the bus, listen to podcasts at the gym, and watch Korean dramas.

Map out what timing works best for you. And plan ahead. For example, if you’re trying to learn Korean in a month or two, then it will be necessary that you start right away.

Create your own schedule and make sure all tasks have due dates. Also, lay out timescales on how long they should take, so there aren’t any surprises down the road.

2. Pick the best route to Korean fluency

Learning Korean can be done in so many ways. You could:

  • Hire a tutor
  • Join online classes
  • Buy Korean textbooks and other course materials

But the quickest route to fluency might be learning Korean at your own pace and with the guidance of a personal learning coach. A structured online course does not have to be expensive. You can download free Korean lessons online before signing up for the web course.

3. Learn the Korean alphabet first

While the Korean alphabet may seem daunting at first, it is not very difficult to learn.

Hangul does have some unfamiliar characters. That being said, mastering the language starts with learning how these letters are pronounced and what they mean in context to each other.

The easiest way to learn Korean is not by memorizing characters. Instead, you should connect them with things that are already familiar in English so they will be recognized easier and sound better.

4. Use Konglish

Konglish is an interesting blend of English and Korean. These English loanwords can be found in everyday speech by those trying to learn Korean language skills. It serves as a buffer zone for beginners.

Konglish is a Korean word that is similar to the English word. For example:

English Korean
Menu 메뉴 (me-nyu)
Chocolate 초콜릿 (cho-kol-leet)
Pizza 피자 (pi-ja)
Juice 주스 (juseu)
Cola 콜라 (kolla)
Ice cream 아이스크림 (aiseukeurim)

5. Build up your Korean vocabulary

Once you have a bit understanding of Hangul, it is time to build up your vocabulary.

Begin with the basics.  Start with numbers and days of the week before adding more Korean words depending on what reason why exactly you are learning this language.

If you are interested in Korean food and delicacies, focus on your cooking- and kitchen-related vocabulary. If you have an upcoming trip to Korea, work on words related to transportation and directions.

As you learn new words, write them down in your notebook. Writing will help practice the language and commit the word to memory. It’s even better if you can think up an interesting story or picture for yourself that goes with what you just learned so it’ll stay in your memory longer.

6. Determine your learning style

Understanding your unique learning style is among the simplest yet most crucial tips for learning Korean. Here are the three main styles:

  • Auditory (learning by hearing/listening)
  • Visual (learning by seeing)
  • Kinesthetic (learning through actions)

Though some learnings are a mix of these three, discovering your specific learning style can help you take full advantage of your Korean studies. It will also make learning more efficient.

7. Use the Korean language as much as possible

The more you speak Korean, the better. In order to really master a language and make it your own – both inside and out, there’s no substitute for regular practice.

Find creative ways to practice what you’ve learned, especially proper Korean pronunciation. Here are some great ideas to help you pronounce Korean words fluently:

  • Sing along with K-Pop songs
  • Talk along with K-dramas
  • Speak along with YouTube Korean lessons
  • Find a language partner
  • Experience Korean culture first-hand
  • Speak with your Korean friends
  • Write in a Korean journal

Don’t Ever Get Discouraged

Korean is a beautiful language, and we hope you enjoy learning it. It may seem difficult, but don’t give up!

Many people who are now fluent in Korean started by making mistakes along the way. And they were all beginners like yourself once.

If anything feels overwhelming or frustrating, remember that there will be plenty more opportunities for speaking practice soon enough. Just keep practicing every day until you reach fluency.

About the Author Prabhakaran

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