What are your motivations in learning Korean language? If you think it’s enough then it’s time for you to read my tips on how I managed my language journey. (Disclaimer: Not a pro, I’m still a student too! I’m just sharing it to motivate my friends to study this summer.)
- Accept the fact that there’s no other way to do it than to memorize
Unlike other Kpop fans who are pretty motivated by their Oppa’s in studying Korean. It took me a long time to memorize the characters. Typically, it only requires one to two meeting for a regular Korean class. (but it took me forever. Kiddin!) Well, I memorized it for more than 6 meetings. (around 18 hours.) The process will take longer when you are not that eager to do it. Practice! Practice! Practice! That’s the best way to do it!
Since then, I try to memorize a grammar per week, 10 vocabularies every other day and one to two weeks for the usage and writing practice. I didn’t finish my Korean class because it has a conflict with my regular class schedule so to keep up with the learning process, I did self-study.
Naver is the counter part of Google in Korea. However, it has more accurate results for dictionary! ^^
- Internet is your bestfriend and Naver is one of them
If you are somehow dependent on Google translate ever since you’re into Korean stuff, then it’s time for you to meet Naver. I find it more accurate than Google so it helps me a lot in understanding words and expressions. Just a tip, if you really wish to learn Korean, avoid naver translator. Use the dictionary so it will be more accurate.
**Offline dictionaries can be helpful too!
- But then, a little help from your friends will do
There’s nothing wrong with asking for some help. You’ll be surprised how much they’d like to extend their knowledge to keep you going!
- Be resourceful, don’t limit yourself with books
Aside from books, I try to utilize the internet for some video tutorials and other blogs. New vocabularies are helpful! Reading travel books and features are great supplements for my learning process.
- Be friendly, Get a study buddy
Self-studying or not, having a study buddy is a really good thing. Through it, you can practice speaking and word play. Usually, I ask my study buddy to correct my grammar or pronunciation when speaking as he knows it is my weakest point. Make sure that you feel comfortable learning with your buddy for an efficient study time.
- Find a nice Unnie, Oppa or even a dongsaeng that could help you out
I believe this is the best way to practice Korean as you get first hand practice. Actually, this is when I stepped up my game. Luckily, I met a few nice friends who helped me improve my speaking and writing. I also ask them to explain a few grammar points or simply give me examples. You’ll see how they will gonna cheer you up with your language journey! However, don’t be too dependent on them. Make sure that you still allot time for self-study!
- Write a diary
No matter how long or short, Konglish or not. Write the most out of your experience while learning. Jotting down of important notes most especially the little details will be very useful to you in the future! (It worked well with me!)
- Do not Romanize
Since you are learning Korean and the first step is to learn the characters. Use it as often as possible. Read materials even though you can’t understand most of it. It’s a good practice for reading anyway!
- Superman returns is my kind of Hero
Superman returns is a show about children. Yes, I’m young at heart so I’ve fallen in love with the babies of this variety show. Aside from the overloading cuteness and charm, I’ve felt like it was the best practice for me since I’m learning basics through kids.
- Read about related resources. Some of Korean words are related to their culture.
What you’ll be learning at first would probably be introductions and expression used in daily life. Thus, related materials would be shows that talk about the daily life and culture of people. When you are exposed on such material, you could easily apply recently learned words.
- Be open to corrections
Appreciate other’s effort to correct you. They help you because they want to improve you so make sure understand what they’ve been saying and don’t forget to say thank you!
- Let others check your work
Aside from small corrections, try to ask people to check your work. It is a good way to build confidence within you and at the same time, you can lessen the number of mistakes in your compositions.
- Create a time frame.
Set your goal and manage your time. Give yourself deadlines or pointers of the things you want to learn in a certain period of time. Make sure that your time frame is achievable! Don’t forget that there are other things that would make you busy aside from learning Korean.
- Watch, Sing. Talk
Kdrama? Noraebang or SNS? Why not all? Try to engage yourself on interesting activities that would practice your learning. Watch whatever Korean show that interests you! Sing your favorite songs but make sure to get your lyrics right, okay? And lastly, speak out. It may be through conversation or speech. Just practice!
- Let’s get it on.
Learning a new language is never easy but motivation and hardwork will keep you going. In no time, you’ll see yourself improve. Fighting!