What will your New Year's resolutions be for next year? Get a new hobby? Volunteer? Learn a foreign language? Well, I thought so. So how about learning Korean? Here are a few reasons why speaking Korean might be an excellent idea.
Be bilingual: Many people in Europe and Asia speak more than one language these days. You can now join the club after learning Korean. Trust me. You will be very proud of yourself for speaking a foreign language. I know I am. (English is a foreign language for me.) Besides, speaking a Western language and an Eastern language will have many extra benefits.
Improve your IQ: There are countless research papers indicating how speaking another language can improve your intelligence. Korean and English have not much in common. That means learning Korean will very likely to have a massive positive effect for English speakers.
Listen to K-pop and watch Korean dramas: Have you ever wondered what people are talking about in K-pop music videos? Are you tired of reading subtitles while watching Korean dramas? Then you are not alone. Even if you speak just a little bit of Korean, you will still be able to make some sense of what you are watching.
Talk to over 70,000,000 people worldwide: You will be able to find Korean speakers almost everywhere in the world. That means you will be able to quickly find friends no matter where you go, especially in Asia.
Opportunities, opportunities: Not many foreigners-especially from outside of Asia-can speak Korean. So if you happen to speak fluent Korean, job opportunities will open up in sectors like business, education, and entertainment. Yes, that means you can be on Korean TV just like Sam Hammington.
So Let's Begin!
What is the first step in learning Korean? As a beginner, you need to get a sound source. A sound source is a medium where people are talking in Korean. Korean TV shows, dramas, radio, and YouTube videos are all great sound sources. What you want is to train your brain to decode sounds used in the Korean language. Don't worry. It is not as difficult as it sounds. If you listen to Korean sounds over a long period of time, your brain will automatically organize them into words. At this stage, you do not have to think or understand anything at all. Just let your ears do all the work. (At least, that is how I learned English.)
The Next Step
When you reach a level where you can kind of recognize words just by listening, you are then ready for the next phase. Now is the time to take grammar lessons and study word meanings. Be aware that Korean grammar is very different from English grammar. Words in Korean also have very unique forms and pronunciations. Try to memorize words as often as possible and practice how they are spoken.
Learning the Korean Alphabet
Many people start learning Korean with Hangul lessons. Hangul is the Korean alphabet and it is quite easy to learn. (King Sejong, thank you.) However, there are many disadvantages of learning Hangul for beginners. The truth is that learning the Korean alphabet doesn't really help you speak Korean. Let's say your native language is English. Did you learn to speak English first or did you learn to read and write ABC first? As a beginner, you want to spend most of your time listening to sounds and nothing else. You can always learn Hangul later on.
Use EASY KOREAN to Your Advantage
EASY KOREAN on YouTube was created for beginners trying to learn Korean for the first time. The YouTube channel offers three types of Korean lessons: grammar, listening, and vocabulary.
Of course, there are also many other ways to learn Korean. Just google it and you will see numerous websites offering Korean lessons, either for free or for a fee. By the way, textbooks are not really effective unless you can speak some Korean. Don't forget how you learned your native language. Learning Korean should not be different.