Korean Might Not Be As Difficult As You Thought It’d Be
This beautiful language has sometimes been perceived as challenging to learn, especially for those who aren’t used to their writing script. Especially for most Western speakers, their distinct grammar and syntax may be confusing and a tad overwhelming. If you’ve taken an interest in the language and are deliberating whether to enrol in a Korean class, here are a few facts about the language to help you gauge the difficulty of the language and figure out whether you should take up a few lessons.
The Alphabets Are Easy
Familiarising yourself with the writing script is the first step to learn any new language. Korean alphabets, otherwise known as Hangul, may seem daunting to many who use roman letters in their languages. Despite having its origins in the Chinese language and Chinese writing script, Hangul is not as challenging as their predecessor. In fact, the invention of Hangul was to promote an egalitarian writing system that is easily absorbed by the masses. With only 24 letters, these characters are also visually straightforward! They are made up of geometric shapes, a circle and a square to be precised, and the rest are straight lines.
Korean Is Entirely Phonetic
Unlike Chinese and Japanese, the Korean language is entirely phonetic. This is especially advantageous for beginners as there aren’t hidden sounds and pronunciations that you need to be wary of. The way a word is pronounced is almost always the same as how it’s written. Furthermore, Korean is also a syllable-timed language. Each character and word stress is insignificant. The rhythm and intonation thus, should not differ as they are based on each syllable.
Korean Grammar Is Surprisingly Easy
One aspect of the Korean language that may deter beginners may be the seven respect levels that you need to pay particular attention. However, since you’re new to the language, you’d only to dip your toes into two: one formal and one informal language.
Apart from the seven levels, one plus side to this language is that the grammar allows you to skip pronouns! It’s rather bizarre but this also means you can jump straight to conjugation. The suffix and verbs will depend on several factors, particularly tense and politeness level. However, these changes are usually straightforward and regular.
Konglish: Vocab Made Easy
Languages evolve with time, and likewise, Korean has undergone several transformations. Especially with globalisation, the Korean language has absorbed several words in English and has incorporated them in their vocabulary. English words such as taxi and computer are pronounced the same way in Korean, with slight adjustments, of course.
Whilst Korean has a reputation for being a difficult language to pick up, it is undoubtedly relatively more straightforward than most! Furthermore, with the rising popularity of Korean media and entertainment, resource materials are abundant. You can now slowly adapt to the language by religiously watching your fair share of K dramas, and get entertained while you’re at it! Before you dismiss the Korean language because of perceived difficulty, try dipping your toes in this beautiful language and you might just find yourself falling in love.