7 Gosh Darn Good Reasons Why You Should Learn Korean

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You Should Learn Korean

The Korean alphabet, Hangeul, is a unique alphabet system that tells the reader how to pronounce letters and which words it should be attached to. Texts in this alphabet are easy to read and understand compared to many other languages because of their clever design.  According to the latest reports from A writers, although it became official in the 15th century when Iyeyasu took control of Japan from Korean-controlled Ulsan, Koreans had been using this writing system for about five centuries before their neighbors up north. This alone may be enough reason to learn Korean, but some may argue that this is not very practical since most education materials are written in English. 

However, there are still plenty of reasons why learning some conversational or rudimentary Korean will help you out with daily interactions in Korea and when traveling to many other countries. Here are the top 7 reasons why you should consider learning Korean.

One major advantage of learning any language is that it allows you to explore the culture in detail through the detailed description. Learning how to speak in another language also gives you insight into the way they think, making it easier for you to learn about their history and society without going through research or secondary sources. For example, if we take the word 아이 (ai), this means child in English; however, Korean people use this term only when talking about infants 6-years old or younger, while once children become six years old, they would start calling their peers 애기 (aegee) which means little baby.

  • More cultural understanding in social interactions

There are many words in Korean which have no direct English translation or have an entire statement attached to the word. A good example of this is 머리 (meori), which can mean head, top, hair, etc., depending on the context the word is being used in. For instance, when you greet someone by bowing your head, Koreans would use this word to say “hello.” However, if you were talking about wearing a hat, they would instead use 가운 (ga-oon), but if you were talking about cutting your hair, then it would be 자르다 (jal-da).

  • You can learn how to read street signs in Korean

While English speakers would just read the Romanized text on a sign or map, Koreans would first look at the Hangeul and use that as their guide for walking around. For example, if you were walking down a busy street with many people pouring out of an exit (퇴근;yoh-geun), this means “leaving work” in Korean. This word is composed of 퇴근하다 (to-geun ha-da), which literally translates into leaving home/work; thus, it implies that one must be working (퇴근하다) to be able to leave (퇴근). It also uses 외로우다 (o-reu-oo da), which means alone, lonely, isolated.

  • You can learn how Koreans talk about love and relationships

One of the hardest parts of learning a new language is listening to the dialogue between two people talking with each other because you will encounter many difficult or impossible words for you to pronounce. For example, when Korean women say 남자 친구 (nam-ja chin-gu), this means boyfriend; however, if she were saying she got drunk last night, then this would be 남자 친구 샀어 because, in the Korean language, a verb is affected by the ending of its preceding sentence or clause. Therefore, when translating from one language to another, you have to look at context clues and learn when the sentence starts and ends.

  • You can learn how to speak like a pro gamer

If you are a StarCraft player who still gets butt-hurt whenever someone calls you out for being bad, then here’s your chance to prove them wrong. Learning some basic phrases in Korean will help you communicate with Koreans without having to fumble around trying to find the right words during critical moments in StarCraft2 matches. Just remember that Koreans are very direct in their speech, so they will not hesitate to say what’s really on their minds. For example, when you die in Starcraft2, Koreans would call this “양치기” which means giving birth to a baby or having an erection.

  • You can learn how to read Korean literature

Nowadays, more and more people are reading books online due to their convenience; however, most sites are only written in English. Furthermore, most of these websites require you to pay for access to read past a certain chapter limit. However, through learning some basic conversational skills, you can download these novels directly from not for profit platforms for free. All you need is a tablet computer or smartphone and Internet access.

  • You can learn basic Korean phrases to use for travel

The best way to start communicating with Koreans is first to learn the basics of their language so they know you are making an effort to communicate with them instead of just assuming you cannot speak Korean. For example, if you want to order food at a restaurant, then all you have to do is say 저기요 (jeo-gi-yo), which means “excuse me” in Korean, then follow it up by saying what dish you want. It is also nice to know how to say nice phrases like; please, thank you, sorry/pardon, etc., because this helps create good relationships between people.

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How to Get Started Learning the Korean Language: 5 Tips to Help You along the Way

If you have never been exposed to foreign languages, it will be especially hard for you to pick up on the correct pronunciation of words since they don’t look similar. It may even end up consuming a big chunk of the time you could have used for your assignments. 

Savvy students use services like college essay writing services to get help so this is an option you may want to consider. For learning Korean, keep in mind that, if you learn a little bit about their culture and history beforehand, then it makes learning their language much more fun. Here are three tips to help you get started.

  • Watch Korean variety shows with subtitles in English because it helps you get used to listening to people talk quickly and naturally instead of slow-paced dialogue from textbooks or online articles. Furthermore, they have subtitles so you can understand the context clues better without having to guess what they meant by certain phrases or words.
  • Learn conversational phrases through apps and websites such as Omniglot, Duolingo, AnkiDroid, etc. These apps have lots of pre-made flashcards that you can use to remember common phrases people might say in certain situations. For example, if someone wants to buy an item, then they could just type in “사기,” which means to purchase something.
  • Practice makes perfect, so if you are struggling with saying the words out loud, vocabulary limits are holding you back from learning how to speak fast and naturally. However, not knowing all the vocabulary limits your conversation topics, so you need to get past this initial stage by using all of the resources given to you before being unable to engage in political discussions with people fluent in Korean!
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Final Thoughts

Knowing how to speak Korean can open many doors for you when it comes to traveling in South Korea. When you go to the grocery store, it is only polite to be able to speak with people in their native tongue so they can understand your needs better. Even if you are not planning to travel overseas, it is still helpful to know how to speak conversational Korean because it helps you fit into society much better.

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