Learning Korean Isn’t as Hard as You Think and Here Are Six Reasons Why
Learning a new language is a great idea, especially when you move to a different country as it will help you interact with the locals better and also stretch your mind and expand your previous limitations. When considering a new language to learn, Korean is one language that should be on top of your list. It, along with other popular Asian languages such as Japanese and Mandarin, has gained a reputation as being difficult to learn.
However, this is farther from the truth because, as outlined below, learning Korean is not as hard as people make it out to be.
Even without a deep understanding of a foreign language, numerals are one of the most important things to learn. In addition to understanding time in other countries, learning how to pronounce the Korean numerals will help you when it comes to spending your Korean Wons. As you continue to learn the language, you won’t have to worry about missing an appointment or being given less change when out there shopping in Korea. Plus, the numerals are quite easy to grasp, especially when using the Sino Korean system where the numbers 1,2,3,4,5 are respectively pronounced as il, I, sam, sa, and o. With some understanding of the alphabet, you can even write them down on paper, which brings us to the next important pointer… the Korean Alphabet!
The Hangul, as it is known, as is a phonetic alphabet that has 24 ‘letters’, 10 vowels and 14 consonants, It’s two letters less than the standard 26-letter alphabet of the English language. This makes it easier to pick up compared to Mandarin and Japanese. In fact, learning the Korean language, which was developed during the era of King Sejong in the 1400s, is so easy that scholars refer to it as the children’s script. Basically, learning the whole language is as easy as ABC, especially if you speak Chinese or Japanese!
Korean grammar is very straightforward that it is almost considered to be mathematical. Once you can grasp the verb stem concept of the language, what follows next is simply adding and subtracting grammar to the stem. In fact, Korean books that teach you how to learn the language usually use addition and subtraction signs to help you learn. You also do not need to worry about gender when dealing with verbs as they all have the same conjugation. A good example is using gender with the verb “run”. When writing ‘he ran’, ‘she ran’ and ‘you ran’ in Korean, it will all be conjugated in the same way, therefore making it easy to pick it up quickly.
- Few exceptions
The phrase ‘exception to every rule’ must have had the English language in mind because that is what exactly happens when you are learning it. In the Korean language, however, there are very few exceptions as subjects and verbs mesh very differently to the standard way in English. The grammar in the Korean language also has far fewer exceptions compared to its English counterpart, making it easier to learn the rules and apply them freely.
- Contextualized language
The Korean language does not need to use many lengthy sentences to put across its words as it only uses words that are obvious to the context of writing or conversations. For the most part, conversing in Korean will sound almost exactly as it is written, making it easy to write and converse in it.
- Single-syllable words
This is very common in Korean words that were originally derived from the Chinese language. The use of these words enables you to be able to make an educated guess of compound words that share the same single syllable word.
- Learning materials
With the rise in popularity of the language, many resources are widely available that you can use to learn Korean at your own pace. These include free or paid materials, from podcasts to YouTube videos, books, and online courses that you can take up from the comfort of your home or office. Learning Korean from beginner to advanced stage is very easy as most of these materials are very comprehensive.
Whether you’re moving to Korea for work or business, or you just need to add a language skill into your resume, Korean can be an interesting language to consider. As shown above, the notion that Korean is a difficult language to learn is purely a myth… a busted one for that matter. So go ahead and give it a go, learn it as your second, third or umpteenth language and you will have nothing to regret.
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