Hello, long time no see.
This week has been troubled because I had to work every day and I was too tired to write a post, but here I am. Today is Saturday and over here is “Liberation Day”. We celebrate being freed from American troops at the end World War II where a Nazist-Fascist regime was over my country.
To me it wasn’t anything like this at all. Last night I went out with friends and returned at 3am, then this morning one of my students came over to go to the market and I slept barely four hours. Thankfully it’s the week-end!
As the title says, lately I have been studying Korean.
You wonder why, haha. Well, kdrama fans or kpop fans may understand my will to start this language. Ever since I have started to watch kdrama, I felt fascinated by this language and its history. I have searched around to find sites that taught me Korean, but until Summer of 2014, I could not find any decent place to learn on my own. Learning on my own is hard, but satisfying after I found the perfect websites to teach me, so follow this post if you want a couple of suggestions if you want to start studying this language as well.
How did you start?
Okay, besides finding the sites, I have started somewhere, haha. What is the first thing you do when you want to learn Korean?
Well, since Korean is written in Hangeul, this is what you have to do first – learn Hangeul. The “alphabet” is formed by various letters and consonants. It is like our alphabet, but the symbol is different.
To learn the Hangeul, you either write down each character for a lot of times, or use one of the practicing apps I put at the end of this post. After two or three days you will be able to distinguish them. The best is writing it a lot of times or use flashcards to remember.
When you learned Hangeul and you are able to recognize most if not (hopefully) all the alphabet, you can start your Korean study by learning common phrases and everyday words. You can take a look at the following section to find out what I did and what I currently do. ^^
Where do I study Korean?
The first site I have used is How To Study Korean. It is a site done by a guy all by himself, and wow, it is awesome because it is like a Korean “closet” will all you need to know and still developing. With this website I have started my Korean Routine, and in two days I was able to read Hangeul thanks to it and their memrise.com tools. This website, http://www.memrise.com, is a self-learning tool. You can learn thousands of languages and more over there: from story of rock to maths, literature, etc. It is VERY helpful, and I soon downloaded it on my phone as well. You learn phrases/words and every TOThours this app sends you an email reminding you to review the words you have learned. Naturally not all the words, only the ones the program requires you to review because it has been so long or you haven’t learned them well yet.
Combined to this, another useful site that I have tried is Quick Korean. You can register for free and track down your video lessons. It is available in English, Spanish, Chinese and naturally, Korean. This was very efficient as well for the first few lessons I have watched. There is a Korean teacher that shows you what you have to learn on that lesson, and explains it to you as if you were in a classroom. You are being tested with dialogues and words, and it brings the learning to a whole another level.
Another site that I have not tested throughly is TalkToMeInKorean. It also contains video lessons and workbooks you can buy. It looks like a cool alternative as well.
You can use these websites or better their video and learning tools (from YouTube, or memrise app) to learn even outside of your house. Even if you are on the go and have no time, you could find the time for this, it really does not require much.
How much I practice?
It depends. If you want to be successful in any language or any thing you are learning, it would be cool if you could practice every day, even on Sundays, but I realize this is impossible. Not only real life duties get in the way, but a person can also not be in the mood to practice sometimes.
I usually practice via memrise app every morning when I wake up, or when I am waiting for the metro if I am outside. When I am at home I can spend even 3 hours practicing, but that rarely happens because most of the time I don’t have the time, haha. The apps help A LOT in this process, in my opinion if you also don’t have much time, you should help yourself with those to keep track of your learning process. This way your mind is always refreshed and will not forget things. It is easy that not all the words will be stuck in your head, but sooner or later they will… don’t get discouraged!
If you want to practice Korean on your smart phone, check out these apps:
Hangul Practice Apps
Words & Phrases Apps
- Learn Korean Vocabulary Free
- Learn 6,000 Korean Words
- Learn Korean – 1
- Korean Vocabulary Flashcards
- Learn Korean Words and Test
I wish all these points may be of help to you, if you want to start learning Korean. Internet and the world of app for your phone, is really wide. You can look for more if these above don’t satisfy you.
See you next time! ❤