Learning Korean can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. There are several approaches you can take to help you learn Korean fast. In this article, I will present 10 tips that helped me learn Korean. With these tips, you will be surprised how fast you begin chatting away in Korean.
1. Learn the Korean Alphabet (Hangul)
One helpful tip to learn Korean is to start with the Korean alphabet. When learning a foreign language, this is of course the first thing you’ll need to know. One trick is to connect the alphabet with their corresponding English letters. This is how I memorized the Korean alphabet quickly. Learning by memorization can be boring and difficult. Hangul is a phonetic language, so letters usually sound the same as they are written, except for a few exceptions.
2. Have a Study Schedule
How much time do you want to invest into learning Korean? Mapping out a study schedule is one way to learn Korean fast and efficiently. You don’t need to block out a chunk of your time; you can simply incorporate Korean into your daily life. It can be as simple as watching a Korean drama instead of an American one, reading a Korean book while in transit, or listening to a podcast while exercising.
3. Build Your Vocabulary
Building your vocabulary is essential if you want to learn Korean fast. Starting with numbers is a great first step. Then, you can progress to the days of the week, months, occupations, verbs, and simple phrases. You can add words that are fun and related to your daily activities.
Are you planning a trip to Korea? Learn words associated with the transportation system and directions. I recommend carrying around a small notepad to practice writing these words and phrases as situations occur.
4. Just Start!
The best time to learn is now. Just take that baby step. One step at a time, and soon you become an expert. It isn’t always going to be fun. It may get overwhelming but do not quit. Find motivation that will make learning worthwhile.
5. Understand Your Learning Style
Another useful tip for learning Korean fast is to determine your particular learning style. It is one of the most basic but crucial ways to learn a language quickly. You should know if you are a visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or memorization-based learner. I am a blend of the four styles depending on the situation and subject but tend to lean more visual. The better you know yourself, the better you will be able to use your time effectively.
6. Language Exchange
Language exchange groups are a fun way to learn Korean. Plus, you can make some new friends along the way. Start by practicing with people who have the same interests and motivation as you so that on dreary days, you can find some motivation to continue learning. A quick tip if you are considering going this route:
- Always prepare material for review. It is not a chatting exchange; this is serious business.
- Always show up early. You don’t want your partners to be waiting for you. If you will be late for any reason, give a notice beforehand.
- Stay safe! You will likely be meeting people you’ve met online. Always meet in a public place and don’t meet with them if there are any red flags.
You can find groups on sites like meetup.com; I see many of them on my feed. If you are already in Korea, you will see a lot of adverts for language exchange groups on Facebook.
7. Watch Korean Dramas
You can increase your vocabulary quickly by watching Korean dramas, films, and TV series. If feasible, include Korean subtitles. Write down and memorize any new terms you come across.
As you watch, make a list of keywords that you notice being repeated throughout the film. See if you are able to guess the meaning by the context to make learning this way more fun. You can also recite the words as you listen, which is a great way to enhance your pronunciation. After some time, you’ll be surprised by your brain’s capacity to match words and phrases to their meanings, even if you didn’t have time to learn them properly.
8. Get a Private Tutor
Getting structured lessons from an expert tutor could give you the extra boost you need to enhance your learning. Although this can be pricey, the instructor will not only assist you in dealing with the challenging aspects, like grammar but will also hold you accountable for reaching your learning objectives. A qualified Korean tutor will pay attention to your learning style and create a customized lesson plan for you. Regardless of your aim, one-on-one courses with a competent teacher will help you learn Korean fast.
9. Use Korean in Your Daily Life
If you live in Korea, this will come in handy for you. You can use Korean in your daily commute; it could be as simple as ordering a coffee from your local café, greeting people at the front desk at the convenience store, or simply asking for the price of an item in your local market.
Thanks to the internet, if you don’t live in Korea, you can find some pen pals to connect with some Koreans anywhere in the world. You can skype or use Kakao messenger. And If you have time and money, you can take a trip to Korea.
10. Get a GOOD Korean Textbook
Once you know your learning style, you will be able to pick the right textbook to suit your needs. Make sure you choose a textbook from a trustworthy source. Many Universities publish textbooks to help you learn Korean at home. They’re an excellent additional resource to help you understand complex concepts in Korean.
These were 10 useful tips for learning Korean fast! Which of these tips will you be implementing?