A Brief Guide On How To Make Your Korean Sound More Native
When it comes to gaining fluency in a new language such as Korean, reading and writing are often the easier ones to tackle. For most students, it’s the speaking aspect where things become tricky and, at times, fear-inducing due to the possibility of embarrassment.
However, this is a completely natural part of the learning process and shouldn’t be the reason why you stop mastering the language altogether. One of the primary reasons why speaking Korean can be daunting for a student is because of their pronunciation. In this article, we delve into some valuable tips on how to get better at pronouncing Korean words and sound more native in the language.
Get used to the language’s syllable-timed nature
As you may already know, Korean is a syllable-timed language. Unlike English, which is stress-timed, each syllable in the Korean language gets an equal amount of pronunciation time. This can be difficult to adjust to at first, especially if English is your first language. To sound more native-like, it’s best to adjust quickly to this nuance by dropping the tendency to change your pitch when speaking in Korean.
Draw out your sentences at the end
A simple way of improving your Korean is by drawing out the end of your sentences. This is another aspect that’s quite different from English, whose sentences typically trail off or are cut at the end.
By lengthening the last syllable of your sentences and delivering them in a louder tone, you achieve that memorable tonality that you hear in Korean. One way of getting used to this is by watching Korean shows and humming along to their dialogue. There’s no need to pay attention to the words and other parts of the sentence; just focus solely on how they end off their sentences for a start.
Train your vocal muscles non-stop
Speaking a language requires your mouth and tongue muscles to work in unison and move in distinct ways to produce the desired sounds. As such, it’s necessary to train your vocal muscles so that they get used to pronouncing Korean words similar to how the natives do.
Think of it this way: if one wants to learn how to swim, one needs to be in the water and simply start paddling away. In a similar sense, the only way to speak Korean like a native is by practising and conditioning your muscles to the language, as well as putting in the time and effort in your Korean courses in Singapore.
Learn how to correctly pronounce consonants and vowels
Before moving on to more advanced language concepts, it’s crucial to fully master the correct way to pronounce the Korean consonants, double consonants, vowels, “Batchim”, diphthongs and more. Building a solid foundation at the beginning allows you to become a more confident speaker and conversationalist.
For starters, here are a few areas you can prioritise on learning during your Korean classes in Singapore:
- Pay close attention to how to pronounce aspirated and unaspirated consonants
- Determine how the pronunciation of double consonants differ between the two
- Learn how Batchim works and the rules of its usage
- Understand and learn by heart the way to articulate Korean vowels (since they have no English counterparts) and their combinations
When learning a new language like Korean, speaking in a way that’s indistinguishable from a native is one of the critical determiners of fluency. With the help of these few tips, proper guidance from your class instructor, and constant effort, you’re certain to reach such a level in no time.
And if you need more support in your journey, why not learn Korean in Singapore with Korean Explorer? Our English-Korean language curriculum is designed specifically for Singapore students to quickly pick up the language concepts, and with various course types available, you will be sure to find one that matches your needs and goals!