HomeUSA EducationHow you can Study Korean: A U.S. Information Information | USA Schooling

How you can Study Korean: A U.S. Information Information | USA Schooling

When Hanae Kim started instructing Korean 9 years in the past, most of her college students had some sort of private or household connection to the area. However as South Korean popular culture exports have surged in reputation, so too has curiosity in studying Korean, she says.

(Getty Photographs)

“Nowadays, a whole lot of my college students are actually occupied with Ok-pop and Korean dramas,” says Kim, the Korean fundamental language program coordinator on the College of Illinois in Chicago, the place she can also be an adjunct lecturer. “They need to go to at some point, and so they need to have the ability to learn indicators and order meals in eating places.”

Throughout the nation, curiosity in studying Korean is rising. U.S. enrollment in Korean language programs on the college stage elevated 95% between 2006 and 2016, to greater than 13,900 college students; Korean is the eleventh most-studied language in U.S. schools, in accordance with a 2019 report from the Fashionable Language Affiliation.

Learn on for an summary of the fundamental parts of studying Korean and see how on-line lessons, apps and different sources can assist you in your quest to talk the language.

Due to Korean movies just like the Oscar-winning “Parasite,” Korean pop teams just like the boy band BTS and even Korean cosmetics, worldwide curiosity in Korean popular culture has spiked. This so-called Korean wave, often known as “hallyu,” has been a motivator for a lot of aspiring audio system.

Past popular culture, South Korea’s financial energy – it’s the world’s eleventh largest economic system – makes Korean a sensible language to be taught should you’re occupied with enterprise, says Yeonhee Yoon, a Korean language and tradition professor and the Korean language program coordinator on the College of Notre Dame.

“If folks know the Korean language and tradition, they will get a job in South Korea at a number one globalized firm, corresponding to Samsung, Hyundai or LG,” she says. “They’ll additionally get authorities jobs within the U.S. as a result of Korean is likely one of the United States’ strategic languages.”

Studying to learn Hangul, the Korean alphabet, is a superb first step for rookies, Yoon says.

“Hangul is a phonetic alphabet whose letters characterize the person sounds of consonants and vowels,” she says. “The person consonant and vowel letters of Hangul are mixed into syllable blocks to spell Korean phrases and sentences.”

The Korean alphabet has 24 particular person letters – two fewer letters than the English alphabet – and 16 letters product of mixtures of particular person letters.

In contrast to the English alphabet, Hangul letters are mixed into syllable blocks, inside which letters may be positioned each horizontally and vertically. Each block represents one syllable.

For instance, South Korea is named Hanguk in Korean. It’s spelled 한국. The primary syllable, 한 (han), incorporates three letters, two on prime and one beneath. The second syllable, 국 (guk), incorporates three letters positioned vertically.

Earlier than Korea’s King Sejong the Nice invented Hangul in 1443, Koreans learn and wrote utilizing difficult-to-master Chinese language and Chinese language-based characters, Yoon says. Hangul was meant to function a better various and a method to increase the nation’s low literacy price.

At this time, Hangul is a supply of nice pleasure amongst Koreans, who actually have a vacation to rejoice the alphabet: Hangul Day, which is Oct. 9.

To observe studying and writing Korean when you be taught Hangul, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of quite a lot of free sources. Yoon recommends these Korean newspapers for extra superior readers:

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North and South Korea have seven geographically based mostly dialects, that are related sufficient that audio system from completely different areas can perceive one another, Yoon says.

Richard Yoon, a Korean language educator on the Chicago Korean Schooling Heart, recommends studying Seoul Korean.

“Seoul Korean is what’s taught all through South Korea,” he says. “Seoul can also be the cultural, monetary and governmental middle of South Korea. It’s like New York, D.C. and Hollywood mixed.”

Greater than half of South Korea’s inhabitants lives within the Seoul metro space.

Formal vs. Casual Speech

Korean is an honorific language, which means that audio system use completely different types of expression and completely different speech ranges, relying on the particular person they’re speaking to and the particular person they’re speaking about. Due to this, when talking Korean, you could perceive your social relationship with the particular person you’re talking with in addition to anybody you’re speaking about by way of age, social standing and kinship.

In complete, Korean has seven speech ranges, however nonnative audio system don’t must be taught all of them, particularly when first studying the language, Kim says.

Kim teaches an off-the-cuff stage that can be utilized with colleagues, at shops and at eating places and an honorific stage that somebody would use when talking with a buyer or instructor. “However it’s nonetheless exhausting to be taught two ranges of ritual for talking,” she says.

Practising Talking Korean

Discovering a local language accomplice is one of the best ways to observe talking Korean, says Richard Yoon.

“My purpose is to have all my college students discover a language accomplice,” he says. “When you may have a language accomplice, you may have an incentive to enhance. You may assist them with English, and so they might help you with Korean.”

Newbie, intermediate and superior learners can strive buying and selling with their accomplice: one hour of Korean adopted by one hour of English, he says.

To discover a language accomplice, Richard Yoon suggests Korean language learners search for an area Meetup group to hitch. They’ll additionally create a profile on the free HelloTalk app, which works like a courting app that helps folks discover language companions.

“The grammar could be very completely different,” Kim says. “And the sentence construction could be very completely different as properly. In Korean, the verb is at all times on the finish of the sentence. It’s very tough for folks to do not forget that.”

She provides that her college students usually wrestle with Korean noun particles – an additional a part of speech to recollect and embody in sentences.

Whereas Korean is a difficult language, Yeonhee Yoon says it’s not too exhausting to be taught if college students are motivated, have good lecturers and discover enjoyable methods to observe, corresponding to by making Korean buddies and listening to Ok-pop.

Turning into proficient in Korean takes a median of two,200 class hours, or 88 weeks of learning a number of hours per day, in accordance with the FSI. To check, the FSI says you’ll be able to be taught Spanish or Italian in a fraction of the time.

Whereas completely different folks will be taught at completely different paces, Yeonhee Yoon offered common timelines for studying Korean at 4 ranges:

  • Newbie: At the very least two semesters (32 weeks or 180 hours of classroom instruction). That is usually sufficient time to select up the fundamental phrases you want to talk in Korean whereas touring, corresponding to ordering meals at eating places and studying indicators.
  • Intermediate: At the very least six to eight semesters (96 to 128 weeks or 540 to 720 hours of classroom instruction).
  • Superior: At the very least eight to 12 semesters (128 to 192 weeks or 720 to 1080 hours of classroom instruction).
  • Fluent: Greater than 12 semesters.

Those that are extremely motivated, take part in an immersion program or examine in South Korea will possible be taught extra rapidly than those that don’t commit as a lot time to learning.

In case you’re trying to be taught Korean quick, Kim recommends in-person lessons. Having a instructor to reply questions and a peer group to assist you might be enormously useful, she says.

Interactive on-line lessons could also be various if COVID-19 social distancing makes in-person studying unattainable. And if lessons aren’t accessible the place you reside, Kim recommends discovering a language accomplice who can examine your pronunciation and reply questions.

Learning a language in a rustic the place it’s the official language may be one method to be taught it extra rapidly. There are a number of Korean immersion applications in South Korea, corresponding to Yonsei College’s Korean Language Institute and Korea College’s Korean Language Heart, however Kim recommends learning the language no less than a little bit bit within the U.S. earlier than starting them. She says a few of her college students who did them with out learning Korean beforehand discovered the immersive instructing setting tough to comply with.

Watching Korean dramas might help, too. “I had one pupil who took 4 Korean lessons at my college,” Kim says. “I used to be amazed by how good she was. I requested her how she acquired so good, and he or she stated she watched a whole lot of Korean dramas.”

A few of the hottest dramas are “Mr. Sunshine,” “Goblin” (also referred to as “Guardian: The Lonely and Nice God”), “Crash Touchdown on You” and “Kingdom.”

Yeonhee Yoon says college students making an attempt to be taught Korean rapidly shouldn’t be afraid to make errors and attempt to use new phrases and new grammar factors daily.

Many Korean language sources can be found on-line, from formal programs to apps to educational movies.

In case you’re trying to complement an in-person or interactive course, a Korean language app could possibly be match.

  • The King Sejong Institute’s cell app. Created and operated by the Korean authorities, it has tons of free supplies for studying Korean.
  • Duolingo. This app gives quick, customized classes. Its fundamental model is free, and it prices $6.99 a month for a premium account, after a free trial.
  • Memrise. It gives each free and paid classes. A subscription to the app prices $89.99 yearly.

One other useful resource is the Arirang TV present “Let’s Communicate Korean,” which gives fundamental Korean studying and talking classes. You may stream episodes without cost.

In case you’re in search of a proper course, listed below are some free choices:

  • The King Sejong Institute gives lectures for newbie and intermediate learners.
  • The Cyber College of Korea gives a Korean language curriculum.
  • Important Korean programs can be found without cost by means of Discuss to Me in Korean. Premium classes and different sources can be found through a subscription, which prices $12.99 per 30 days or $93 yearly.
  • Loecsen gives a course that’s geared towards rookies.

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