Learning any new language can seem difficult at first. If you’re feeling apprehensive about learning Korean, these tips from Korean tutor Bryce J. can help…
When considering language lessons, many people shy away from Asian languages like Japanese and Korean because they fear these languages are too challenging to learn. While every language has certain challenges, some languages are more complex than others.
Here are seven reasons why learning Korean isn’t as hard as you think!
Unlike Japanese and Chinese, Korean script uses a phonetic alphabet which consists of 24 basic ‘letters’ (two fewer than English).
There are 14 consonants and 10 vowels that can be combined to make all the sounds in the language.
Created by King Sejong back in the 1400’s, Korean was originally referred to by scholars as a children’s script because it’s so easy to learn!
When most people think about Asian languages, they imagine tonal languages where different tones create entirely new meanings.
Guess what? Korean, just like English, bypasses these complications by not using tones at all!
When it comes to Korean grammar, it’s almost mathematical in the way that it’s organized.
Once you understand the concept of a verb stem, it’s just basic addition and subtraction after that.
In fact, grammar rules are often written in textbooks with the “+” sign because the rules really do read like simple math problems.
English grammar is renowned for the number of exceptions for every rule. You can hardly learn to spell a word or make the subject and verb agree without coming across an exception to the rule.
Korean grammar rules are very straightforward, and have very few exceptions. So, once you learn a rule, you can basically apply it freely (for the most part) without worrying about those pesky exceptions.
When people look to learn an Asian language, they tend to go for the big names like Japanese and Chinese. It’s true that both Japan and China have larger populations than Korea, but the growth of Korea’s economy and its expanding cultural influence worldwide make it the trendy choice.
From Psy’s “Gangnam Style” to the movie “The Interview,” Korea is taking center stage in place of Japan and China.
Opportunities to speak Korean and take in quality Korean-language media are multiplying at lightening speeds.
The Korean language is being used more in professional and recreational settings, which makes it even more accessible to Korean-language students.
Ever wonder why the subtitles of your favorite Korean drama are so long compared with what the actor or actress actually says? This is because Korean is a highly contextualized language.
This means you don’t need to worry about constructing lengthy complete sentences to get your meaning across, since your listener already has 90 percent of the information.
So many utterances in Korean conversations consist of only verbs, like “did” or “ate” and adjectives like “good” or “delicious,” and they leave out all the unnecessary fluff that is obvious based on the context.
This makes it much easier to carry on a conversation.
You may worry that if you start learning Korean, you won’t have many opportunities to practice your new language.
Rest assured, there are so many native speakers who are trying to learn English that it’s as easy as “lying down and eating rice cake” (a Korean idiom meaning something is easy, like “a piece of cake”) to make friends with someone interested in a language exchange.
When it comes to learning Korean, the opportunities are truly endless! Hopefully, with these facts, you feel more at ease about your decision to learn Korean.
Remember, the best way to learn a new language is through lessons with a private tutor. Find a Korean teacher near you and start learning today!