I have been studying attempting to study Korean for the past few months.
With the PGCE taking up so much of my time I feel as if I have barely been able to maintain my current languages, let alone learn another one.
However, I have been listening to music, watching TV (perfect accompaniment to filing paperwork!) and practising reading the hangeul anywhere I have seen them (got ridiculously excited to be able to read some packing at the Asian supermarket).
I have also (sporadically) been listing to the Pimsleur Korean course and have completed the first 25 lessons.
While this scattergun approach is not going to show me the best results quickly, I do feel that a period of getting used to the sounds and patterns of any language can be useful before you start more formal study – it gives you that ‘aha!’moment when you suddenly realise why a certain phrase you’ve heard a million times is used in that way or are able to identify patterns in conversations or grammar through repeated exposure.
I am also hoping that my experience with Chinese and Japanese will help when it comes to vocabulary and grammar respectively.
Recently I found this course on Coursera: First Steps Korean by Yonsei University
It is a free 5-week course (although you can pay for a certificate) offering to teach the foundation blocks of the Korean language. It doesn’t officially open until April 4th but you can complete the first week already – all about the Korean writing system, hangeul.
Learning hangeul is an essential first step in learning Korean.
The Korean writing system is logical and extremely simple, especially when compared to the thousands of characters required to be able to read in Japanese or Chinese. In fact, you can probably get the basics down in a matter of minutes.
Yet the basics require lots of consolidation and practise, hence why I recommend a multi-prong attack – use the webcomic above, use the Coursera video introductions, use the excellent introduction to hangeul with Koreanclass101, read lyrics to songs, etc
I will be posting some useful resources and notes from the course as well as fun graphics or songs that I find helpful in learning Korean.I would love to hear if any of them have been useful for you or if you have any other recommendations for me!