When I first became interested in learning Korean it seemed that there weren’t that many resources out there for learning it, but since then I have found a lot of free resources online. One that I have often heard recommended is Talk to Me in Korean (TTMIK)
They have more than a thousand free lessons on their website and it seems to get updated daily with topical phrases and learning materials.
I decided to start right at the beginning by listening to their podcasts, each of which has a free pdf containing the vocabulary from that lesson – click here to see each Level 1 lesson, complete with audio and pdf.
The lessons go from Level 1 -9, each level containing around 25-30 lessons.
So far I have only listened to the first few lessons of Level 1 so I can’t speak for the later lessons yet but each lesson seems to last around 10 minutes and focus on 2-3 words or phrases.
So far I haven’t learned anything completely new but I do like the way it feels very manageable – if you listened to just one podcast everyday you could learn around 700 – 1000 words in a year, certainly a good start to any language.
I plan to listen to at least 1 or 2 everyday, alongside other resources such as How to study Korean, Pimsleur and Memrise. While I am not expecting to make excellent progress in Korean just by doing this I hope that it will give me a good foundation so I will be able to start doing language exchanges and taking face-to-face lessons whenever I graduate from my postgraduate degree in July. Until graduation, unfortunately, languages will have to take a bit of a back seat!
I have summarized the material from the first 7 lessons below as a way for me to revise the material and hopefully provide a resource for others thinking of trying TTMIK out!
You can review all the vocabulary for Level 1 (Lessons 1-25) on Memrise here
Lesson 1: Hello / Thank you! 안녕하세요, 감사합니다
Lesson 2: Yes / No 네, 아니요, 네?
Lesson 3: Goodbye! 안녕히 가세요, 안녕히 계세요, 안녕
Lesson 4: Sorry/ Excuse me 죄송합니다, 저기요
Lesson 5: It’s / What is it? -이에요/예요
Lesson 6: This is…/ What is this? 이거, 이거 뭐예요?
Lesson 7: This/ That/ It 이, 그, 저
I related these to the Japanese kono/sono/ano which are similarly used for something nearby, near the person you are speaking with or far from you both. In Japanese it can also suggest emotional distance – I wonder about Korean?
What did you think? Did you learn something new in Korean?
Check back later for more lesson summaries or get started learning yourself at the TTMIK website!