Is Korean Easy to Learn? A Quick Guide

So, you want to learn the Korean language. That's great! With K-pop and K-dramas increasing in popularity, it makes more sense than ever to learn Korean and join in the hype.

Today, we'll look at how easy it can be to learn Korean as an English speaker. We will introduce the Korean language, then discuss the vocabulary, writing system, and grammar.

Finally, we'll provide advice for learning Korean at home. Follow these tips to learn Korean in a manageable way.

We'll demonstrate that the Korean language isn't as easy to learn as the Romance languages for English speakers, but that it is doable and fun with the right resources.


An Introduction to the Korean Language

The Korean language is an East Asian language, but it is quite different from the languages around it.

Korean belongs to the 'Koreanic' language family, so it is not directly related to other East Asian Languages, like Chinese and Japanese.

That being said, there are some cognates between Korean and Japanese. So, speakers of East Asian languages like the Japanese language may find it easier to learn Korean than speakers of Romance languages and English.

You can get high-quality exposure to the Korean language by watching anime and Korean dramas on Lingopie or Netflix. Both streaming platforms boast an array of entertaining shows and movies in Korean.

Learn Korean With Movies Like a Pro
Embarking on the journey of learning a new language can be both thrilling and challenging. For those eager to master the intricacies of the Korean language, a captivating and immersive path lies within the realm of Korean cinema. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve deep into the world of

Lingopie is designed for language learners and the shows on this streaming site have been hand-picked for learning potential.

Moreover, there are interactive transcripts and digital flashcards for vocabulary available for learners.

These are invaluable tools for people learning Korean. TV and movies can inform your awareness of Korean culture and boost your foreign language learning.

You can use dual subtitles in your native language and your new language on Lingopie. This is a great way to learn languages as a beginner.

Korean Words and Phrases

Now, let's talk about learning Korean vocabulary.

There are over a million words in Korean and it would be very hard to learn this many Korean words. Luckily, you don't have to.

Once you know around 3000 Korean words, you will be able to get by in Korea and hold conversations.

So, if you aim to learn ten new Korean words and phrases every day, you will have a great basic Korean vocabulary within a year.

Note any new Korean words you come across in Korean TV, music, and koreav variety shows, and create a list of useful Korean vocabulary from which to work.

How long it will take to learn Korean depends on how much work you put in every day. If you find it hard to learn so many Korean words each day, try five. However, this will slow your language learning.

When you learn Korean words try to use them in a sentence to reinforce the learning and meaning.

Note that when you learn Korean words, you will encounter many loan words from other languages, such as English, Japanese, Chinese, and Russian.

So, native speakers of these other languages have a head start in learning the Korean language due to loan words.

Some English words that come up in Korean include "sandwich" (saendeuwichi), "camera" (kamera) and "vitamin" (bitamin).

The Korean Writing System

You will also want to learn the Korean writing system, Hangul.

This Korean alphabet was designed in 1443 CE by King Sejong the Great, who wanted to increase literacy rates and make the language more accessible to uneducated native Korean speakers of the time.

This is good news for language learners, as it means reading Korean is not as hard as the likes of Chinese and Japanese. Hangul is an alphabet, so each symbol represents a sound, while Chinese characters represent words or ideas.

The Japanese language is written using Chinese characters (kanji), as well as hiragana and katakana. But when you are studying Korean, you only need to learn one script.

Most Korean language courses online and language learning apps will teach the Korean alphabet as well as spoken Korean.

Some Chinese characters have been incorporated into Korean but with adapted pronunciation to accommodate the different sounds in the Korean language.

You will find written Korean to be very logical, ordered, and clear, once you learn the alphabet.

Korean Grammar

Often, language learners find grammar in a foreign language hard to learn as it differs so much from their own.

However, Korean grammar is not overly complex, so try to go into your Korean grammar studies with a can-do attitude.

Korean Word Order

Conjugating Korean verbs involves adding an ending to the verb.

Once you can conjugate a Korean verb, you can make a Korean sentence. This is because a basic Korean sentence structure is a single conjugated verb.

With English grammar, you need a subject and a verb to make a sentence, but in Korean, the subject is often understood based on conjugation.

More complex Korean sentences have the sentence structure subject-object-verb.

For instance, "I the ball kick", rather than "I kick the ball".

Language Building Blocks

The Korean language only has three tenses: past, present, and future. In this way, Korean grammar is pretty straightforward.

You use different particles and modify the endings of verbs and nouns to indicate the tense, formality, and whether a noun is the subject or object of a sentence.

Korean is a very simple agglutinative language. This means that whole words are made by combining parts of words (like Lego blocks).

Many compound Korean words are made up of single-syllable words that are easy to identify. If you recognize part of a compound word, you should be able to guess the meaning of the word, based on the context.

Finally, Korean is not a tonal language. Tonal languages are hard to learn for English speakers, as they involve hearing the nuance of different inflections.

The Spoken Word

Finally, a brief note on speaking Korean. When you are learning languages, developing your speaking skills is often the most thrilling part of the journey.

Learning to speak Korean at an intermediate level opens up doors for travel, work, and socializing in South Korea.

Moreover, if you can speak Korean in South Korea and make yourself understood, your confidence will soar.

Make sure you are focusing on learning to speak Korean, even if you are learning the Korean language independently.

Your reading and listening comprehension might be coming along nicely, but you also want to practice talking with native Korean speakers.

How to Learn Korean at Home

To work on your spoken Korean, it is advisable to find a Korean language exchange partner online or an interactive Korean class.

You can practice reading, writing, and listening independently, but learning to speak Korean requires a partner.

Talking with native speakers of Korean will improve your Korean pronunciation, speed up the learning process and allow you an insight into Korean culture.

Ask your Korean language exchange partner to correct your Korean pronunciation regularly and tell you stories relating to Korean culture.

As for writing and reading Korean, you will find helpful guides to the Korean writing system online and on language learning apps.

A great language-learning app for Korean reading and writing is Glossika. You can also begin to read manga or use Korean subtitles when you watch TV.

Watching TV will help you learn to pronounce Korean words and use tones, as well as boost your listening comprehension.

Check out the Korean drama Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area, the Korean version of the hit Spanish show La Casa de Papel.

All of these Korean resources will provide you with natural and quality exposure to the language. This will improve your language skills and allow you, in time, to speak with your Korean friends and work toward Korean fluency.

Join the 80 million Korean speakers in the world today and start learning this interesting language.

Like any other language, Korean poses its challenges. But it is not any more difficult than the average European language.

FAQs about learning Korean

Let's look at some frequently asked questions about learning Korean.

Is it easier to learn Korean or Japanese?

It is easier to learn Korean than the Japanese language because Korean grammar is more straightforward. What's more, writing Korean only requires one script, meanwhile Japanese has three scripts. The learning process for studying Korean is generally shorter than for Japanese.

Is Korean hard to learn for English speakers?

Korean can be challenging to learn for English speakers, but with practice, great Korean resources, and dedication, the language-learning process can be made accessible and fun. Use TV shows and movies to help you learn Korean.

What is the hardest part of learning Korean?

The hardest part of learning Korean for a native English speaker is learning Hangul, the Korean script. A native English speaker who does not speak other languages might find the prospect of the Korean alphabet intimidating. However, Hangul is easier to learn than most Asian scripts.

What is easier Chinese or Korean?

For English speakers, it's easier to learn Korean than the Chinese language. Mandarin Chinese is hard to learn for English language speakers as it is tonal and has a complex writing system. Moreover, the Chinese language has over 8,000 Chinese characters. Meanwhile, the Korean language is written using 24 letters.

Summing Up: Is Korean Easy to Learn?

As you can see, the Korean vocabulary, writing system, and grammar rules are quite different from English. But with the right resources, you can study Korean in a fun and accessible way.

It is a great idea to watch Korean-language TV shows and movies, listen to Korean music, and get a Korean language exchange partner for exposure and practice.

Now that you know how to learn the Korean language, you can make a start on your Korean language learning journey.

Kick off your Korean language learning with Lingopie. It will inform your Korean pronunciation, vocabulary, and understanding of Korean culture.

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