Learning Korean: A Guide to Korean Language for Beginners! 화이팅!

by Kuma (곰: bear)

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Learning a new language is a big and important step in life. It reflects your willingness to accept an entirely alternative culture and its people’s traditions, rituals, and practices.

Since peach and I have a soft spot for all things Asian, we are forever going to be learning Korean and Japanese, for as long as we shall exist! ^_^

For any and all of those interested or willing to learn the fundamentals of Korean language, given that you too are a bit obsessive about K-drama and K-pop, or even otherwise, I am here to help! Just follow the guidelines below, and you’ll be golden!

(Remember, this is merely an overview of what is a vast and historical language! As historical as the Fifteenth century!)

~~Let’s begin! (시작하자: sshijakhaja)

~The Alphabet, 한글 (hangeul)~

The  Korean alphabet or 한글 comprises 21 vowels (모음: moeum) and 19 consonants (자음: jaeum).

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Unlike in English, the consonants and vowels in 한글 cannot be used separately, instead they must be combined to form syllablesEx: ㄴ(n) +ㅏ (ah)= 나 (read: na).

For beginners, it is unnecessary to go into the many rules and exceptions to Korean.

But at a more advanced level, in order for you to be able communicate with Korean peers, or understand K-dramas or K-pop without subtitles, (more Lee Min Ho 오빠 (oppa) screen time, less staring at subtitles!!!) it would be a good practice to look into said rules and exceptions.

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사랑해요 오빠! ❤ ❤ {I Love You, Oppa!}

For the most part, familiarising yourself with the alphabet, and its pronunciations, would be sufficient at this level.

~The Vocabulary, 어휘 (awhui)~

With any new language, grammar (문법:  moonbop) aside, it is of utmost importance that a learner is familiar with the most commonly used words (and more).

Before stepping into difficult waters, using everyday words, strung together with the most fundamental of grammatical rules would be a good way to go!

In Korean (한국어: hanguko), syllables combine to form words or the vocabulary.

Ex: 나 (na) + 무 (mu) = 나무 (tree: namu). ~{It will be a good idea, to download either Google Translate, or keep a Korean ⇆ English dictionary handy!!}

Some commonly used Korean words:

Korean_cuisine-Bulgogi-Nakji_bokkeum

Love ~ 사랑 (sarang)

Food ~ 음식 (eumsshik)

Music ~ 음악 (eumaak)

Book ~ 책 (chaek)

Beer ~ 맥주 (mekju) ❤

Soju + Beer ~ 소맥 (somek) Huhu ^_^

~The Grammar, 문법 (moonbop)~

Once you know your way around forming words through consonant/vowel combinations, it is now time to get in touch with the grammar, the most dreaded (not by me ^_~) part of any language.

The basic Korean grammar would help you create simple sentences, so you are able to speak out in a social situation. For example, if you wish to ask for directions, order food, or go shopping.

Korean grammar primarily revolves around Verb/ adjective endings. Verbs or adjectives in Korean, end with ““, this is the basic form of any verb/ adjective. Ex: to eat ~ 먹다 (mokda), to listen ~ 듣다 (deudta), to go ~ 가다 (khada), to be good~ 좋다 (jotha)

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Sentence:  Japchae-bap is very good! ~ 잡채밥이 아주 좋아요! (japchae-babee aaju johayo)

” is conjugated to form a variety of sentences, as per appropriate tense, honorific, situation etc. (~if you would like to learn more about verb endings for tense, click here)

~The Sentence, 문장 (moonjang)~

Now that we have an idea of how the grammar or 문법 works, you can finally order soju! (huhu)

Just say: 소주를 (sojureul주세요 (juseyo) (Please give me soju.) Seriously, PLEASE!

~Congratulations! ~ 축하해요! (chukhaheyo) 😛

Syllables form words. Words (obviously) form sentences. As the sentence structure goes, a fair idea of the vocabulary can get you through an entire day in Korea! (Ah, Korea!!! <3)

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Broken sentences are fairly well-understood and appreciated by Koreans, as they will be happy to know you made the effort to learn their beloved language. So, until the time you take to the language as a dedicated student (학생: hakseng), make do with what you can! (^_~)**

Basically, it’s a fun language to speak and even more fun to write! If you are like us, you would dive headlong into it, no questions asked!

I highly recommend getting down and cherry blossomed ❀❀❀ with Korean, to anyone with a passion for Korean culture, food, and entertainment! ❤ ❤

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~열심히 공부해요 (yeolshimhi kongbuhaseyo)!!! (Study hard!) ( ˘ ³˘)💋

Refer to howtostudykorean and KoreanClass101, for a detailed guide to studying Korean Language!

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~~Also, Peach told me about this app, Hello Talk!, where you can connect with native Koreans to brush up on your skills! (Modern world pen pals, anyone?) I think it’s super!

For more in our GUIDE TO series:

Personalisation: A Guide to Giving Gifts

Gearing Up for Postgraduate Series: A Guide to Competitive Tests

For the Ardent Reader: A Guide to English Literature

International Student: A Guide to Study Abroad

Guide to: Working in a Korean Company

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8 thoughts on “Learning Korean: A Guide to Korean Language for Beginners! 화이팅!

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