4 Tips To Kickstart Your Learning Of The Korean Language
The ultimate dream for every linguaphile is to be able to master a language to a fluency level that rivals a native speaker. For those who were swept by the Korean wave, learning a foreign language with a unique writing script is a daunting ordeal. However, you don’t need to be discouraged! Whilst conquering the language may seem like a feat, it is not impossible. In fact, here are tips to help you effectively absorb Korean in a shorter time.
1. Start With Hangul
Mastering the alphabet is one of the initial prerequisites to learning any language. Even if the alphabets are different from the Roman alphabets you’re used to, hangul is actually one of the straightforward foreign writing scripts to learn. The fact that hangul is phonetic makes pronunciation easy and just like that, half of the job is done! All you need to know afterwards is to understand what the words mean and a few grammar rules before you’re good to go!
2. Expand Your Vocabulary Bank
While experts disagree on the use of vocabulary to measure fluency, the number of vocabulary that you master is an effective predictor of your language use. Just on average, most Korean speakers need a vocabulary of approximately 10, 000 words to have a grasp on an unfamiliar concept. Build on your vocabulary bank by consuming Korean media, using flashcards or if you’re up for it, write simple essays in Korean every week. Soon enough, you’d be fluent in Korean to engage in an entire discourse with a native.
3. Seek Refuge In Konglish
Two different categories make up the Konglish vocabulary. One of the groups possess loanwords that are essentially Korean words that are derived from the English language. These words also share the same meaning. For instance, taxi is written and pronounced as 택시 (tek-shi) and we have 인터넷 (in-tuh-net).
The other category holds Konglish words that were loanwords but have undergone a transformation. These words were either combined with morphemes or other English words, or were simply shortened. Thus, unlike the loanwords that are relatively easy to understand, you may not register the meaning of Konglish words when you first heard it. For instance, 개그맨 (gae-geu-maen) may sound obscure but it essentially means comedian.
The best way to acquire Konglish words and update your vocabulary bank with current words is to consume Korean media. You will also pick up the subtle accent that makes Korean loanwords different from English words.
4. Learn With A Tutor
To many, learning Korean on your own may be quite overwhelming. If you have the means to, you might want to consider getting structured lessons by enrolling in Korean classes in Singapore. Signing up for weekly classes will ensure you get some form of learning and it will get you into the groove lest you lose your touch over time. Your Korean tutors will guide you through the syllabus and also point out the mistakes that you have made. Not only will you improve your mastery over the language, but your morale will also improve when you learn with your peers.
When practised well, these tips can help you scale your learning to greater heights and achieve successful mastery of the Korean language within weeks to months. None of these methods can work singlehandedly to be effective. You have to combine all of them in your learning experience if you want to yield successful outcomes.