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#korean tips

Korean learning tips

1. Don’t learn vocab from Kpop/music

By this I mean, don’t learn vocabulary from kpop with the intention of applying it to daily life. If you enjoy music in Korean, learn vocabulary only for the sake of understanding the music. Yes, some words are used in conversational Korean but it’s tricky to sort which ones as a non native speaker. Besides basic nouns, don’t try using any of it unless you notice Korean actually use it when talking. Just enjoy the music :)

2. Don’t take note of everything.

I like to copy certain examples or usages when a topic gets too complicated and that’s fine. But writing down the whole lesson is a waste of time. Copy example sentences and try making your own when you do understand it. I reread the lesson and try explaining it to an imaginary class.

3. Listen, listen and listen

Try finding YouTube channels, variety shows and dramas that you enjoy and watching them. I like variety shows the most since I understand easily and they make me laugh. It’s hard making up for not living in the country where they speak it, so in your free time listen to it the most you can.

4. Learn words in context

I like learning new words from my grammar lessons when they are used in an example. Learning random words without understanding how to use them properly can be counterproductive. Learn from examples.

5. Go back to the basics

Korean is such an interesting language and it resembles no other language and I think that’s really cool. Even if that’s what makes it so hard to learn…So don’t feel bad at all for forgetting basic grammar. I tend to reread older lessons when I forget something or don’t feel comfortable understanding certain grammar points.

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This meaning might be very similar, but I can tell you the grammar so you can use it in the future too!

(으)려고 하다 - expresses intent (about to / might)

♡ 비가 오려고 해요 - (lit.) the rain intends to fall
♡ colloquial translation: it looks like it’s about to rain

You can also express the intent that occurred in the past:

하루 종일 비가 오려고 했어요 - It looked like it was going to rain all-day

More Examples:

1. 여름휴가 때 여행을 하려고 해요 - I intend to travel when it’s summer vacation (it looks like I’m gonna travel)
2. 방학 동안 한국말을 배우려고 했어요. 그런데 동기가 못 했어요. - I intended to learn Korean during the break / holiday, but I wasn’t motivated.  

는/ㄴ 보다 - to look like / to suppose / to guess

♡ 비가 온 봐요 - I think / suppose it’s raining

It sounds more common to shorten 는/ㄴ 보다 to ‘나 보다’ –> this flows off the tongue a lot better and can make you sound more fluent.

More Examples:

1. 시험이 어렵나 봐요 - I guess the test is hard (the exam looks hard)
2. 새가 날아갔나 봐요 - I guess the bird flew away
3. 비가 그만했나 봐요 - It looks like it stopped raining! 

I hope this answered your question! To summarize:

  • 는/ㄴ 보다 –> 나 보다 - to look like / to suppose / to guess
  • (으)려고 하다 - expresses intent (about to / might)

Happy Learning :) 

~ SK101

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Study tip!: When reviewing nouns, use photos when possible! I.e if you’re trying to memorize the Korean word for raccoon, have the answer be a photo of a raccoon instead of the English word! 

Not only will it help you memorize it quicker, but it’ll also help  guide you away from using English as your universal base language!

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how to stop translating in your head? When I read a sentence in Korean, I may know the meaning of all the words and I'm able to explain all the grammar used, but the sentence still doesn't make sense to me, so I try to translate word by word and just guess the overall meaning, and then when I read the translation I just go "ooh, I knew that, that makes sense". Sometimes I feel like I'm more worried about guessing the right translation than actually understanding the sentence meaning

So, as you’ve already guessed by now, translating everything into your native language from Korean, has kind of set you back a little. On your road to fluency, it takes a little getting used to, but once you start to do these things, thinking of the language will get A LOT easier.

1. My first big tip is to: ASSOCIATE the word with that thing rather than it’s translation.

Example: 의자 -> chair (ENG) -> image of chair VS 의자 -> image of chair

Another example I can think of is in 한글 (hangul), don’t think of the romanized equivalent (b, m, d, g, etc.), think of the sound that character produces. 

If it helps (with vocabulary), I would recommend downloading Lingodeer and FEL Korean, both apps give you a log of vocabulary with the pictures (as well as the translation). Focus on the pictures! 

2. My next big tip is to: have sticky notes everywhere!

This is pretty straight forward and kind of like association, but if you put a sticky note on your chair with 의자 taped to it, you will begin to associate your chair with the Korean word. Everywhere you go, you see the Korean equivalent - does that make sense?

3. My last biggest tip is to: think in Korean

This might be a little confusing (I don’t mean only thinking in Korean), so I will explain to the best of my ability, and if you’re still confused - don’t hesitate to ask for more clarification.

Sometimes, for me, when I am practicing Korean, I like to just spout Korean words. 80% of the time, it doesn’t make sense, but it helps me get in the flow of thinking in Korean and not translating everything I’m saying. An anon a little while back, mentioned that they would talk to their dog in Korean just to get the feel of speaking Korean. You can do this or you can speak to yourself - whatever gets you in the feeling of speaking Korean.

I would also recommend writing out something, then record it in your voice, then listening to it over and over again. You are the one that wrote the Korean and spoke it - so you know what you wrote and can pick out the Korean phrases easily. 

Internal narration, or speaking to yourself, not only helps your listening, but it also helps your pronunciation. When you’re ready, I would recommend speaking with a native - so you can get those corrections and pronunciation tips right away.

I hope this helps and that you start thinking rather than translating. Keep up the good work, and Happy Learning :)

~ SK101

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Hi! I’ve been studying counters and I’m confused by my textbook. There’s a sentence: 켈리는 영화표 몇 장이 있어요? Why is there subject particle after the counter? Shouldn’t it be after “영화표”? And why? Thanks in advance~

Hi there! Counters are hell! Let’s hope I make it easier for you! (Also! Check out my Korean Counters post if you have the time)

So the sentence is grammatically correct in case you were worried about that. The sentence specifically calls for the counter to be after 몇 because it is a question asking about how many movie tickets Kelly has. 

How many of the literal tickets she has is questioned when 장 (counter for paper) is used. 

You may know the phrase 몇 살 이에요? - How old are you?

It doesn’t literally mean ‘how old are you’ but instead means ‘how many years are you?’ The counter 살 is used to question the exact number of years you are. 

More Examples:
     몇 마리? - How many animals?
     몇 개? - How many things / objects?
     몇 명 / 분? - How many people? (분 is honorific)

Examples in Sentences:
     동물원에 동물은 몇 마리가 있어요? - How many animals are in the zoo?
     희주는 펜 몇 개가 있어요? - How many pens does Heeju have?
          ~ remember to use 이/가 on the noun before 있/없다
     몇 명 있어요? - How many people?
          ~ another hint! the subject is often obvious. In the first two sentences, I give the sentence a subject. However, in the last sentence, because of the counter for people, it’s implied that you’re talking about people!

Summary: You see 장 after 몇 and not 영화표 because you are questioning HOW MANY the exact number of tickets which can be answered like so:

켈리는 영화표 ‘X’ 장(이) 있어요 - Kelly has ‘X’ tickets

REMEMBER: When counting objects or things in Korean, you use Native Korean numbers (go here for more)

I really hope that this helped! If you’re still confused, feel free to message me if you need more help! Happy Learning :)

~ SK101

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hi! i saw you were going to south korea this summer and i was just wondering if you spoke any korean? and if you did, do you have any tips or anything? there's no classes near me to learn so i've been trying to learn myself because i really want to visit there someday. btw i hope you have fun! 💖💖

hi anon! thank you so much for your well wishes!

i’ve been studying korean on and off for a few months now, but these past several weeks i’ve really knuckled down and started taking my studies seriously. i’m also from an area that doesn’t offer any classes, so i’ve been self-studying. i’m gonna add a little “read more” and put a couple tips i’ve collect under the cut.

Keep reading

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[Korean learners’ mistake] How are you question is very awkward.

In English, “How are you question” is a commonly used to start a conversation. Unfortunately, this greeting doesn’t exist in Korean. English and Korean have different ways to start a conversation.

Most Koreans starts a conversation like this.

안녕하세요 Hello!

식사하셨어요?(존댓말) / 밥 먹었어?(반말)

(Translation: Have you had a meal?)

3) 어, 오셨어요! 오는데 차 많이 막혔죠? / 어, 오셨어요! 밖에 더운데/추운데 오느라 고생하셨어요.


- Oh! You got here. / You came here. The traffic was so heavy, wasn’t it?

- Oh! You got here / You came here. I appreciate your effort in coming here despite hot weather / cold weather.)

Many Korean learners don’t know this difference and are likely to directly translate “How are you” question into English: 잘 지냈어요?. However, 잘 지냈어요? means “Long time no see. How have you been?“ It would cause misunderstanding.

If you really want a direct translation, you can say "어떠세요?”. Unfortunately, “어떠세요?” is commonly used to inquire after someone’s health condition. Doctors and nurses check patients’ conditions, saying “오늘은 어떠세요? / 오늘은 몸 좀 어떠세요?”

or If your friend or a co-workers has a cold, you can look after, saying “오늘은 몸 좀 어때? / 오늘은 몸 좀 어떠세요? / 오늘은 몸 좀 괜찮으세요?”

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hey, how do you study from a textbook? recently i bought Korean Grammar in Use series but i don't know how to use it. should i write down the dialogues or only the examples or the grammar explanation? thank you!

Hey! The first thing I do is read the explanation of the grammar point. Then I read the examples and dialogues, to get an idea. After that, I google the grammar point and check if howtostudykorean  or a blog/website explained it. I do this to understand the grammar point better. After that I write down the name of the lesson, and an explanation. Sometimes I’ll change the explanation the Korean Grammar In Use gave and put it in my own words or mix it with the explanation I found online.

After that, I write down the examples from the textbook and the dialogue examples. I will also copy examples that I found online.

Since Korean Grammar in Use covers a lot of basic but important grammar points, I tend to learn from too because of the in depth explanations. I find more information on how to use the grammar point properly there.

When I’m done writing the examples, I’ll listen to the audio of the dialogue and examples and pay attention to the pronunciation.

Once I’m done with that, I solve the exercises, which I like because it makes me use the grammar. Something I’ll also do, is make my own sentences. That way I practice using what I’ve learnt.

Sometimes Korean Grammar In Use will give you exceptions or differences between certain grammar points; I recommend you write those down. 

After that it’s all a matter of reviewing and practicing!

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What do I start with if I am starting Korean and how to I find out how to speak the basics. Can you help or give tips on how you started out??

안녕하세요! There are some great sites to help you get started on your Korean journey! The best way to study a language is to expose yourself to it everyday for at least 30 minutes to an hour. If you watch some Korean dramas, you can pick up some phrases. When I first started out, I learned how to write my name, then I got a white board and wrote down the alphabet multiple times until I memorized them all. When I would watch dramas, I would write down simple vocabulary that I heard. 

Here are my tips for you:

  1. Make sure you master the alphabet. I don’t recommend just reading how each letter is pronounced but to actually hear it being pronounced. Here is a good video.

  2. There are some good sites out there that have great Korean lessons. Here are some:
    Sejonghakdang - Free Ebooks

  3. Watch Korean language videos. (YouTube is going to be your best friend). 
    Sang-Seok Yoon
    BASIC Phrases
    24 Hour KOREAN

  4. Download the app HelloTalk and HiNative on your phone. You can talk to natives who can help you learn the language! 

  5. Download a Korean dictionary on your phone. Naver Dictionary is very good!

  6. Download a Korean radio and podcasts. I recommend Radio Korean (Coco) and Player FM.

  7. Follow Korean Instagram accounts.

  8. List to KPOP and read the lyrics in Hangul. You can learn new vocabulary and how things are pronounced!

  9. Practice your listening and speaking skills. This is the hardest thing to do but many neglect doing this and find themselves only studying vocabulary and the grammar. Don’t make that mistake! From the very beginning you should force yourself to speak it EVERYDAY no matter how awkward and bad it might be. So how can you practice if you don’t have any Korean friends? Here are some tips!
  • I would recommend recording yourself and posting it on HiNative and/or HelloTalk. People can give you feedback and tips. (Don’t be discouraged if they can’t understand you at times, keep working hard!). 
  • If you have Netflix, there are some Korean dramas that have Korean subtitles. Watch the drama with… Korean subtitles!!! NOT English subtitles. When you put English subtitles, you aren’t really active listening anymore. BUT when you watch with Korean subtitles, you see how the sentences are pronounced, and you learn new grammar and vocabulary. You’re probably not going to understand much at first, but you should try to write down SOME (NOT all) the vocabulary you aren’t familiar with. These are bound to come up again in the next episode or even other dramas. 
  • There are reality Korean TV shows on Youtube. They usually put some Korean subtitles. 
  • Lastly, listen to Korean fairy tales on Youtube. Not only are they interesting, but they put Korean subtitles as well! So, after each sentence, pause the video, read the sentence, and repeat what the narrator said (You can also do this with Korean dramas). This will help you with your pronunciation. 
    Here are some Korean books with audio and subtitles:
    선녀와 나무꾼
    재주 많은 다섯 형제 
    곰 세 마리 

Learning Korean is going to be like a roller coaster but you can do it! Enjoy the process and don’t get discouraged. Don’t give up! You’re going to need confidence in yourself, and you’re going to need to be okay with making LOTS of mistakes, speaking awkwardly, forgetting vocabulary, and MORE. If you find yourself becoming discouraged because other learners are doing very good and you feek behind, don’t watch their videos and try to only watch videos of native speakers teaching Korean and giving tips. ^-^ Good luck and I hope this helps! 

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Conversational Korean

하이 하이 나는 카이입니다. Today I wanted to share some casual Korean I learned just by messaging in the language! I hope you can learn something as well, albeit these are fairly simple. I added some vocab under a few phrases so it may help some people who want to build up their vocab.

If something is wrong, please don’t hesitate to correct me, as I’m still learning as well

( this whole post is messy, I apologise )


Originally posted by nosleeptbh

  • 반가워요- Nice to meet you
  • 하이- Hi
  • 바이/빠이- Bye
  • 잘 잤어요?- did you sleep well?
  • 잘자요- Sleep well
  • 굿 나잇- Good night
  • 굿 모닝/좋은 아침이에요- Good morning
  • 좋은 꿈 꿔요!- Sweet dreams
  • 뭐할거에요- What are you going to do?
  • 뭐하고 있어요?- What are you doing? 뭐- what 하다- to do 있어요- existing, having 하고 있어요- doing
  • 뭐해요?- What’s up?
  • 오늘 기분이 어때요?- What’s your mood today?/How are you feeling today? 오늘- today 기분- mood 어때요?- how is it?
  • 요즘 어떻게 지내요?- How have you been doing recently?
  • 지금- now
  • 지금 학교에 있어요- I’m in school now 학교- school
  • 학교에 가고 있어요- I’m going to school
  • 오늘은 어땠어요?- How was today? 어땠어요 is 어때요 in the past tense, making it “how was it?”
  • 유튜브 보고 있습니다- I’m watching YouTube
  • 핸드폰하고 있어요- I’m on my phone
  • 맞아요- Right, I agree
  • 그래요?- Is that right?/Is that so?
  • 답늦어서 미안해요- Sorry for the late reply.
  • 계속 대화하길 원해요- I want to keep talking
  • 졸려요?- Are you sleepy?
  • 그렇구나- I suppose
  • 오늘 뭐 하고 놀았어요?- What have you been doing today?
  • 힘내요- cheer up, hang in there
  • 부끄러워요- I’m embarrassed/ashamed
  • 잘하네요- good job
  • 숙제하고있어요- I’m doing my homework
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i don’t usually promo myself here BUT i kinda like the way this video came out and i figured why not !!

keep in mind that the beginning of the video is meant to be a joke so don’t take anything too seriously pls , ,,

if u want some tips on how to learn korean, definitely check this video out! !!!

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verb conjugating is just… mad important. here’s the basics for past tense! click *here* for present tense, and click *here* for @19tc‘s amazing post on the basics of future tense, since i won’t be making that post for a while! also, click *here* for a post on verbs vs verb stems!

EDIT —> i have added the formal high respect rules and examples

Keep reading

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verb conjugating is just… mad important. here’s the basics of present tense! click *here* for past tense, and click *here* for @19tc‘s amazing post on the basics of future tense, since i won’t be making that post for a while! also, click *here* for a post on verbs and the verb stems!

EDIT —> i have added formal high respect conjugations

Keep reading

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Hello :) How long have you been studying Korean? Is it tough (I know it is, I just need you to say the contrary ㅜㅜ). Like, what was your experience like? With all the grammar, pronunciation? Also, did your handwriting improve by time (how)?

Hello!! I’ve been studying Korean for almost 2 months now. Haha I really don’t know if it’s tough - everything takes practice anyways, so lemme just tell you that with practice and dedication, it won’t be unbearable. And since you WANT to learn it, then it shouldn’t be ‘tough’. It can be tricky but nothing that can’t be solved with hard work!! 

I’m really in love with the language, and I feel a great sense of achievement when I can successfully translate something, or write something without major problems ^^. The pronunciation takes practice so I’m trying my best!! Although, I’m shy so…. I don’t get many opportunities to speak Korean with others, and my speaking skills are falling behind drastically… (I might start uploading audio files of myself speaking rather than just text posts.) As for grammar, I find it quite easy but I’ve only learnt the simple, past, and future tenses, but it also takes time to remember the special stems and conjugate those. 

As for my handwriting, I’m Chinese, so I’m originally adapted to this kind of writing (how do you say…pictorial?). For the first week or so, my writing was blocky and a bit childish, but very soon, I got the hang of it so I started incorporating my own style into my Korean handwriting. I strongly advise you not to worry to much about handwriting, and instead worry about whether you’re writing the word correctly when you write flashcards and paying attention to that because although my handwriting looks nice, sometimes it can be hard to read for other people, and myself, and I’m quite an impatient person so sometimes I don’t realise, and I learn the wrong Korean for a word, and trust me, it’s a hassle to have to correct myself two weeks after I thought a word was this word when it’s not. However, if you feel like you’re ready to improve your handwriting, you can search up or look at native Korean’s handwritings and maybe try to imitate them? Think of each Korean character as one character together rather than a few blocks next to each other. I really love looking at idol’s handwritings when they write letters or surveys and their different styles really interest me. But all in all, try not to make your handwriting too complex before you’ve properly learned the language. It would be difficult for the people helping you to read it, and can be confusing for you to read when you look at your old notes.

I love love love Korean so so so much and right now, I feel like it’s one of my biggest achievements (to take up this language and carry on with it for almost 2 months and not have my determination waver) and I really hope to have more opportunities with it in the future!! 

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