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My fascination for South Korea is infinite that even learning their language has become a requisite for me. Every time I watch Korean Dramas of listen to Kpop I am trying to pick up as many words as I can. I learned some of the Korean words I know from doing that. But of course, self studying isn't as reliable as being taught in school. I learned in Korean class so I can learn how to write and understand the language better. Now that module 1 is over, I can say my knowledge has increased to about 20%. I am determined to make that 100% so I can travel to Korea on my own and not be afraid to get lost.
Learning the language wasn't that easy. There are certain characters that sound so similar to each other like ㅓand ㅗ. So when I hear my instructor pronounce certain words and ask us to write it down, it was a challenge for me to guess which character he pronounced. But I guess with learning a new language, training your ears to hear how they pronounce characters takes time. I believe French is even harder because how they pronounce is never how they spell it. Nevertheless, the challenge was accepted by my ears and my brain cells and thus I can spell Korean words better now.
I know for a fact that the reason why you are reading this now is because you think I will teach you how to speak/read in Korean, right? Unfortunately, I cannot do that because: a.) I am not fluent in Korean; and, b.) I am not a teacher. But I will impart to you some words/phrases which I think will be helpful when you visit South Korea:
안영하세묘? Anyeonghaseyo? How are you/Good morning/afternoon/evening
처음 붭겠습니다 Cheoeum pwoepkesseumnida. Nice to meet you for the first time.
만나서 반갑습니다 Mannaseo pangapseumnida. Glad to meet you.
실레합니다 Shillehamnida. Excuse me.
감사합니다 Kamsahamnida. Thank you.
엏마예요? Eolmayeyo? How much?
These are just 6 phrases which I think is important to learn when you do go to South Korea. Don't worry though as those aren't all that I will share with you. I will share some more next time. :)
Here are just a few important tips I want to share when it comes to learning 한국어 or any other language for that matter:
- Practice listening - as I mentioned above, it is integral to train your ears on how they pronounce certain characters. Especially with Korean, one change in character will change the entire meaning of the sentence. For example: 달 and 탈. The first one is Tal and the second one is Thal (pronounced as T-hal). If you didn't hear the "h" in the second one you might spell it just like the first and those two words mean two different things.
- Practice reading - Korean language is made up of characters that are very far from what many of us are used to. This makes it reading anything in Korean very challenging. But if you practice everyday, you will get used to the characters and eventually will start reading faster. I read the packaging of all Korean makeup and skincare items I buy to help me practice reading. I am still quite slow when it comes to this but I am definitely much faster now compared to when I started.
- Practice, practice, and more practice - learning a new language will not happen overnight. It will take time before you can be fluent in one that is entirely different from your mother language. This is why constant practice is necessary. Think of how we teach babies how to talk. We constantly repeat the words until they can memorize it and be able to speak the word, right? That is exactly what you need to do as well. Repeat and practice everyday so you don't forget what you learned.
- Incorporate in your daily life - when you are going to a Korean restaurant, try speaking the phrases or words that you just learned. Or, talk to your classmates using the language. By incorporating it in your daily life, you get to practice and you get to remember the words/phrases that you just learned better.
- Have the passion for it - learning a new language can be frustrating at first because everything seems to be very difficult. This is why you have to have the passion for it. Some people give up after the first class because they were challenged. If you do that, it means you don't have the passion for it. You are just wasting your money. Enroll and learn only if you have the passion for it as this is what will help you overcome the challenges.
I will enroll in module 2 and hopefully I can impart more words/phrases to you after that.
Have a great day.