The 21st century has brought more than just new technology and globalization. It also brought with it a more tech-savvy, fast-paced, and impatient society that no longer finds time to sit in a language class to study a book.
Considering that it is becoming more difficult to tell what attributes will set us apart in the job market, mastering foreign languages will certainly continue to provide a competitive advantage.
If you’re looking to expand your language horizons, Korean is an excellent option. With demand soaring along with the popularity of Korean entertainment, it means everyone is likely to benefit from speaking Korean fluently.
Whatever reason you have for learning Korean, you’ll probably have one goal in mind – learning Korean fast.
But is it really possible to speed learn Korean? While everyone is free to and, of course, should learn at their own pace, there are certain ways to speed up your learning process. This article proves to you that learning Korean doesn’t need to be long and boring.
So, what, really, is the best way to learn Korean online in the shortest possible time?
Read on to discover how you can learn Korean faster.
How Can You Learn Korean Faster?
Korean might not be the simplest language to learn, but learning it will most likely open doors for you. After all, Korea is one of the world’s economic powerhouses that is progressively opening itself to the outside world.
Whether you are a beginner or advanced Korean learner, there are many ways out there to learn Korean quickly. Interestingly, they don’t require much tuition fees, dramatic lifestyle changes, or superhuman powers. With that in mind, the right approach, motivation, and dedication are all you need to learn Korean faster.
The time it will take you to converse in Korean in different situations and settings, fluently, will depend on your definition of “fluent.” Overall, you will find Korean easy to learn if you choose the proper language learning method and focus on speaking instead of reading and writing.
How to Learn Korean by Yourself
Korean is probably one of the most challenging languages to learn by yourself. However, this doesn’t mean it is all impossible.
As with any other language, teaching yourself Korean requires dedication, time commitment, and, most importantly, the proper method.
Here are some of the most effective techniques to learn Korean by yourself and do it faster:
- Master the Hangul: Hangul or 한글 is the Korean alphabet, which is regarded as one of the easier Asian alphabets to learn. It is no secret that mastering this writing system is fundamental. Hangul consists of 24 letters – 10 vowels and 14 consonants – all with grouping styles and great combinations that form the Korean words (modern Korean has 40 characters (자모)). You will need to memorize all the characters and their associated sounds. The quicker you learn the Korean alphabet, the more comfortable and effective your learning experience will be. There are plenty of resources to help you, including the Hangul Wikipedia.
- Invest in a good learning system: A handy learning method is a building block that helps you learn progressively, stay focused, and be organized. That said, an ideal language learning method will include a carefully designed curriculum that gradually introduces new words and structures by complexity order. Whatever study system you choose to follow, you need to study up, take notes, and review them regularly. That way, you will easily learn new content and create a firm foundation for the future. Although there’s no definitive, one-size-fits-all learning system, you will find something that suits your goals perfectly.
- Use flashcards: Every language learner can benefit from flashcards. Flashcards stimulate your memory, which makes new knowledge active and burns it into your mind. It is best to make your own flashcards. They offer a greater room for personalization.
- Join language exchange communities: Alongside learning Korean, you need to master the Korean culture plus the social skills and understand it. Becoming a member of exchange communities not only helps make friends but also accelerates the results. If you aren’t acquainted, language exchange communities are groups that allow for more casual conversation. In most cases, they are based on mutual learning exchanges. For many, they are an effective motivational tool for fostering long-term commitment to learning foreign languages.
- Build confidence and vocabulary with loanwords: Learning Korean is, by no means, easy. For this reason, it is much easier for beginners to start with what they know. Loanwords are precisely what they sound – words loaned or transferred from one language to another with slight modifications. Because the ultimate goal of learning any language is to be able to communicate, loanwords will certainly enhance simple communication. They also build confidence while helping you set up a foundation to learn more complex Korean pronunciations.
- Watch plenty of Korean drama: This is an entertaining way to assimilate new content as you learn the Korean culture. Korean dramas are gaining popularity, and watching plenty of them will stimulate your listening skills and familiarize you with pronunciation. Make sure to leverage subtitles.
- Listen to K-pop songs: K-pop is a global music trend with some of the biggest names and superstars in the industry. When learning Korean on your own, you can fully benefit from Korean Pop(K-pop), which also allows you to place yourself in the heart of contemporary Korean culture.
Learning Korean by yourself doesn’t need to be the most difficult thing. Now that you know how you can do it, the best you can do is get started.
Tips for Learning Korean
Until a few years ago, learning a new language was never easy. In today’s world, EdTech companies like Mondly have changed the way people learn new languages, especially those that aren’t the easiest for native English speakers to learn as seen in the review of Mondly.
That said, here are tips to help you learn Korean faster than you can imagine:
- Learn the Korean alphabet: This one sounds obvious, right? Studying Hangul or Hangeul is the #1 tip for learning Korean. Interestingly, this alphabetic system is fairly simple to learn – an average person can learn it in one hour or so as long as they have the right teaching materials. The best way to master Hangul is by associating them with things that you already know in English.
- Leverage the Korean-English Union: Korean and English started dating, and they are getting on very well. This situation, often called Konglish, refers to Korean words that are a mix of Korean and English. The words offer an extremely easy way to learn Korean because you are familiar with most of the sounds and the words themselves.
- Use stories and association: A good story is passed from one generation to the other. Because a good story is remembered, there is no doubt that coming up with associations and compelling stories can help remember even the most difficult Korean words. Whatever interesting stories you create, they work effectively because most Korean words aren’t similar to English words.
- Leverage Korean word families: The Korean language has many words that share some elements. In Korean, these words are known as 합성어 (hapseongeo), meaning “compound words.” The commonness in these family words makes them easier to spot and master the new language.
- Break down words into simpler parts: If there’s a way to make learning simpler, then why not do it. Breaking Korean words down into simpler parts makes it easy to learn the language and potentially learn new words at the same time.
- Don’t depend on Korean phrasebooks: Korean phrasebooks are a great complementary tool when learning the language but are not meant to be relied on. The books often use awkward words and expressions that Koreans don’t use. Besides, the expressions are not a direct mapping of English expressions, which can be confusing when getting started.
- Utilize flashcards: Ups and downs are natural when studying, but practicing eliminates most barriers. Using flashcards can help you to progressively move a step higher every day. To make your cards superefficient, opt for an SRS system or make your own flashcards.
- Use a little Korean daily: No matter where you live, you will most likely find an ideal situation to use Korean in your everyday dealings. Although some situations are better than others, it is always possible, even if it means downloading K-pop and singing along.
- Speed your learning with screenshots: Considering that most of us are leading busy lives, sometimes it can be hard to add all these new vocabularies into your flashcard. To ensure that you keep the words that you encounter during the busy parts of the day, you just take screenshots and go through them when it is time to study Korean.
- Enroll in a course: Well, you can learn Korean by yourself, but serious results require a solid plan, which includes enrolling for a course. Interestingly, there are plenty of inexpensive courses to enroll in.
- Buy a good quality Korean book: Investing in a reputable Korean textbook is a must if you plan to do an in-person or online course. While there isn’t a perfect book, you can benefit from picking a book with a good reputation. Make sure to buy a textbook that has been updated.
- Join Korean language exchanges: A language exchange is a fun and interesting way to practice and learn Korean. Besides practicing your Korean, community language exchanges allow you to learn the cultures. Language exchange is becoming easier and easier with the increasing popularity of sites.
- Learn to take baby steps: Learning a foreign language is no easy feat. To make the journey enjoyable, you will need to learn Korean like a child by taking little but consistent steps. That way, you will learn Korean faster while having a fun time.
Korean is not one of the easiest languages to learn by native English speakers. The key to making learning Korean simple is to pick the right materials and a learning method that motivates you. Ideally, you need to incorporate all that makes the entire learning process fun and interesting.
Considering that there are many courses out there, do your due diligence and pick a course that suits your goals best.
Learning Korean for Kids
Helping your kids learn Korean and other foreign languages is a great way to build a foundation for their future. Mondly Kids has made it easier for kids to learn foreign languages.
It is undeniable that Modly Kids is super fun and easy for kids of all ages. The app is kid-friendly, with gamified lessons that keep them engaged in the learning process. Most topics feature the things kids like to see and interact with, including animals, nature, family, sports, and, food.
There are quick daily lessons with kid-friendly illustrations and cool, high-quality audio recorded by professional native speakers to perfect the experience. The drag-and-drop functionality also makes Mondly easy to use.
How to Read Korean Faster
One of the coolest things about the Korean language is, undoubtedly, its writing system. While mastering the individual characters of Hangul takes only a few hours, reading written Korean at average speed can take longer than you can imagine.
Knowing Korean study techniques that can help you improve your Korean reading speed is indispensable. That said, here is the secret to improve your reading speed.
- Learn to type individual characters
- Learn to type syllable blocks
- Learn to types complete Korean words
If your skills are sharp to type Korean and any other language for that matter, it means you can now read. The reason is simple: typing requires basic skills of reading.
Benefits of Learning Korean
Why Korean? Should you even learn Korean? These are common questions among beginners, and, of course, answering them is not simple.
If you are looking for good motivations and reasons good enough to learn Korean, read the benefits of learning Korean listed below:
- Korean offers excellent career opportunities.
- Learning Korean can give you a competitive advantage if you’re thinking about joining Korean companies.
- Korean language sounds incredibly beautiful and is considered to have the most logical writing system in the world.
- It builds a foundation for learning other languages like Chinese and Japanese.
- Learning Korean can boost your IQ and improve memory
- It helps familiarize with the unique Korean culture
- Learning Korean is an excellent way to future-proof yourself
Korea, particularly South Korea, has become an important player in world affairs. It now stands as the most innovative country globally, and anyone who, fervently, believes that technology is the future will definitely want to pay a visit. Learning Korean will help you make sense out of the booming K-entertainment.
As you can see, there are enough reasons why you should invest in learning Korean.
How to Take Korean Notes and Speak in 5 to 15 Minutes
First off, the Korean language is by no means easy. Even so, there are ways to make it simpler. As with most languages, it is all about practicing.
After learning all the Korean alphabets, start writing favorite things like your name. You may need to replace a letter or add an extra one for the Korean language to make it work. When taking notes, it is best to make your work clear and readable. As a beginner, you will be better with some English notes alongside your Korean examples and notes. Subtopics are also indispensable.
Dedicating 5-10 minutes a day to practice the Korean language will, most certainly, yield great results. To perfect your written and spoken Korean, don’t overlook the Korean dictionary. Most importantly, dedicate your time and efforts relative to your learning goals, and the results will be amazing.
Korean is coming to you from all aspects – economically, politically, socially, and entertainment-wise. While there are many resources and programs out there, you can check out the Mondly program. The program has a lot to offer and makes language learning accessible to everyone regardless of race, age, gender, or income.
Now that you know how to learn Korean faster, the best you can do is get started.