7 Reasons Why Learning Korean Isn’t as Hard as You Think

Is learning Korean hard? 7 reasons why it's easy

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!
Korean Alphabet is easy

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!
Korean has no hard tones

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!

korean grammar is simple

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.

4

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.

Korean is getting more popular

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.

Korean is a contextualized language

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.

Korean is easy to practice

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!

 

BryceJPost Author: Bryce J.
Bryce J. teaches college-level Korean and ESL classes in Minneapolis, MN. He has his MA. in teaching from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Learn more about Bryce here!

 

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Free TakeLessons Resource

 

Tags: , , , ,
2 replies
  1. j
    j says:

    As a person born and raised in the korean language, i do generally agree with most of the points listed here EXCEPT that the grammar is “straightforward”. firstly. i would like to point out that korean grammar is definitely not as easy as it is implied to be in this article. in the initial stages of learning korean, it is difficult for an english speaker to even begin to truly understand the grammar because it is just different. after the first shock and confusion of the grammar fades, and the individual may learn the basic tenses and endings, there is still a whole TON of nuances and endings in the language which depend on situation, time, and possibilities, which the learner will probably never fully grasp. i don’t think it’s realistic to paint the korean grammar in such a light, unrealistic, and almost disregarding manner, especially for beginners in korean, as to whom this article is geared to. i predict that the author is a linguist well versed in korean, for a non-native speaker, and that he probably has mastered the basic and intermediate grammar, but has not really scratched the “hard” grammar. i know this sounds very critical and it makes me seem like i’m simply defending my language’s honor from people who seem to oversimplify it, but even as a pretty fleunt speaker of 18 years who lives in a korean household, i have trouble forming ideas in korean. i understand korean very well, but my parents sometimes have difficulty understanding my grammar when i am speaking to them. even through all of this, i didn’t touch on the more “native” korean, the korean language that natives actually speak, which is more complex and nuanced than the standard korean that beginners learn. as i don’t want to type any more, i’ll just say that korean grammar shouldn’t be downplayed, especially for english-speaking people who want to learn it, because it is inevitably difficult, at least to some degree, for the vast majority of yall. i sincerely don’t mean to be disrespectful; i just wanted to post my feelings on the topic. thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • Jessica Dais
      Jessica Dais says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your valuable feedback! We really appreciate and respect what you have to add to the conversation. 🙂 We did not intend to downplay the Korean language in any way, as we understand that it can in fact be challenging and complex. But our aim is to encourage learners of all ages that it is not impossible to learn Korean – with the right teacher, guidance, and practice.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *