Information on the course hours, days, changes, apparent discontinuing of the class etc. Finally, the government has instituted a course for foreigners, but at least my teacher spends almost the whole time talking and explaining stuff that many in the class have no idea what it is about e. He told me that one box was future and one past — I knew that was wrong, and during our break asked an advanced student in another class, who explained completely in about one minute every-thing that neither I nor my class-mate had understood for the entire preceding hour , and the teacher asks if we understand and does not wait for an answer or ignores the few of us occasionally brave enough to say anyo.
For various reasons, I can rarely use Korean at work. I tried a language exchange with an English teacher, but we wound up spending much more time on English Okeh, that was my fault for not being assertive.
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I am shy and find it hard to impose on people the way Koreans come up to us to practice their English. In stores and restaurants, there is the simple stuff like how much, do you have etc. But then staff are not interested in going beyond that. Also, with my limited ability, I find it hard to think of what to say. Any-way, the usual response to what I say is often?????? Even when I try to keep speaking Korean, the other person often either does not understand or continues with meaningless English.
Out of politeness, Koreans who speak English will tell me I have great pronunciation, but when I am buying things etc. Korean phonemes are not easy: aspiration and lentis are hard to change and hear. Koreans who do not know English almost all the Koreans around here , do not understand me when I say English words e. I cannot hear the difference between kyeok and seyot and other non-apparent minimal pairs at the beginning of names unless they are exaggerated for me — No, I mis-hear rather than cannot hear. I have studied a number of languages in various settings, from in-country to tapes to classes.
In fact, after I had been in Korean three or four years, I took a trip to Taiwan. To get ready, I asked a fellow American who knew Chinese to give me some survival Chinese. In a few hours' work over less than two weeks, I learned more usable Chinese not vocabulary — I knew over a thousand Korean words by then than I Korean — and I could use it when I went. The word order is not particularly difficult. Remembering words, getting speakers to slow down and repeat they usually just say some-thing else when I say I don't understand and want them to repeat , trying to figure out where words end and what the actual sounds are are much more difficult for me.
Dictionaries online and many of the paper ones give inadequate translations. Also, if it's some-thing I've heard, I might be looking under the wrong spelling. If it's a paper dictionary, the word might not be in the dictionary because it's some sort of combination. I used TTMIK for over a year and didn't get very much out of it — even though it's obvious they have put a lot of work into it. There was a lot of distracting chatter in a lot of the programs. I guess this was to make it more palatable, but for me it was not good. Also, you are right about "ha-da" along with "it-da" — It is my crutch.
I know that you are right that "Crucial to success in any foreign language pursuit is staying positive. I guess, in spite of my best intentions, I was burned by trying to learn Korean using Rosetta Stone expensive and confusing before coming hither. Still, I think I am long over that cause. Even having learned the way Hangul is written, I often cannot decipher a lot of hand-written work I get. Finally, I am slightly dyslexic. It seems that for native speakers of Korean dyslexia is not much of a problem in learning to read Hangul, but for me it is a constant error-creator.
I almost never have any problem in any other alphabet, even for languages I scarcely know. My guess is that the Koreans are going from word to syllable. That is, they already know the words when they start learning how to read, and are simply looking for matching syllables. Only with syllables and syllable sets that I have seen thousands of times e. I'm writing this long diatribe to say that not all people who say Korean is hard are lazy people who have come to Korea for a free ride.
Very interesting! However, Mandarin seemed impossible for him. We both started at the same time and after one year, I was fairly conversational with most people and he still struggled to say basic stuff. My best friend is Russian and he always mentioned how this Canadian guy had a flawless Russian. However for me, Russian seems impossible and even today I struggle with it and I learned languages people considered more difficult like Hungarian. I guess some languages make more send to our brains than others or at least that I how I feel.
Correction: I guess some languages make more sense to our brain than others or at least that is how I feel. I've never learnt Korean, but I don't really believe this. I have learnt Chinese, and while I can imagine that the lack of tones and characters makes Korean a bit easier, I just know that all the languages of the Far East are terribly difficult to learn for anyone who doesn't belong to that cultural sphere.
Even though I am a native speaker of Korean, I've considered Koran language not to be easy one because rules in grammar, orthography, etc. After all that's said and done, I presume that almost every learner of a language faces the same difficulty at any stage of acquisition: grammar or phonetic systems that are entirely different from their mother tongues, some execeptions and even exceptions of exceptions,.
Reading this article convinced me of how easy it seems to learn Korean at the beginning level and I also saw your perspicacity on Korean language. Thanks for sharing your insight and this was really helpful. Great post. The language is accessible, but it does take quite a bit of effort. Volition will get you there. Truly difficult part of Korean language is its sentence endings.
Korean has hundres of sentence ending conjugation particles and they have all tiny nuance differences. Non-native Korean would very hard to get all of their nuance differences. Korean language is very emotional sensitive language. It is quiet hard to translate these nuance differences, and it would have very long sentences to express Korean nuance exactly. But if you get these all, You will find how Korean can express tiny nuance differences so well.
How long did it take you to get the basis of the Korean language down? Overall from start to when you were able to communicate well enough to talk with fellow Koreans, how long did the learning process go? I was communicating at a very basic level by about 4 months but it wasn't until about the 7 month mark that I was comfortably communicating.
Still plenty of mistakes and far from perfect but by that stage things were picking up a lot of momentum. And yes, you might say, "Well other korean people complimented me on my Korean. Thank you. Totally agree!! For korean English is so backward. How Different it is!!! Im planning to vacation in korea next year if all things allow. Would you say rosetta stone would be up to this task or do you recommend something different?
Thanks for such an informational posting :. Hello Scott Ive been learning Korean for 3 years, bit by bit and its slow progress being my first new language.
I am currently in Korea now and have been here for 4 months. I personally would not recommend Rossetta Stone if you want to truly progress and save some money. I did it for about 2 years to start and truly wish I could have that time back… I wish I had simply learnt key phrases, pronunciation and the most frequent vocal instead. I found Rossetta Stone easy do be motivated to do as it was kind of fun but I made minimal gains and after a while after initially thinking it was great, decided it was a bit of a hoax and dropped it half way through.
Its definitely not the best way to learn Korean, and it costs alot when you consider you can learn for almost free. I personally have now found the method that works for me best is using sample sentences that seem like every day utterances with bits of basic grammar and new vocab and repeating it over and over until I can use it confidently and manipulate with alternative vocal this is basically the chunking method that Donavan talks about on this site -I stumbled upon this method myself after failing to get results with conventional adult paper study methods.
I would recommend using the TTMIK material as its free and presented well to find the sample sentences and basics. Thats my experience anyway and Ive been a rather committed learner. Good luck. Your great positiv attitude is good! Donovan, Thanks for your clear positive and encouraging explanation do you have any experience to compare learning Korean with learning Japanese? Yes, like some languages, eg Dutch or Italian Korean is read as it is written, with very consistent pronunciation rules.
Yes, if you hear how Koreans pronounce English words unless they had proper training you can see how different Korean and English phonetics are. Also sometimes Koreans have the habit of changing a bit the pronunciation, especially of the first word. I would not say Korean phonetics are hardcore like mandarin ugh… but they are not easy-peasy either. It takes practice. I hope one day to learn to be fluent in Korean. In the end even an easy language requires some commitment.
I am beginner in Korean language , also. I am filipino. I started to learn the characters and how to pronounce them. But , after that. Am i going to memorize all the korean words? To be able to communicate with them? To this day, even though I hear Chinese more than read or write it, I can read Mandarin better than I can listen to it. And then, of course, grammar. Even English grammar is a mess for me. As a writer and blogger my English grammar is good simply from native-speaker instinct and constant usage, but if someone asked me to explain English grammar to them I would be at a total loss.
So Mandarin grammar was a breeze to pick up. ANYWAY, all that being said, there is a new language learning app Mango Languages that you can do online or via a smartphone, and all you need is to be a member of an affiliated library there are a TON connected to Mango to get free lessons. They offer sixty languages or so, but I use it for Korean. Right now they only have basic Korean but it is all very useful teaches you introductions and basic conversation starters, how to buy things and order food, and traveling terms.
Sorry for the long rant. For all my complaints about Korean, I think it is one of the most beautiful languages out there subjective, I know and I am determined to become at least semi-fluent in it. If you find any language hard, I suggest discovering your learning style and trying to tailor your study habits around them. There are always ways to make language-learning easier and also fun for yourself.
Mostly people are able to correctly build shorter sentences, but, as soon as a longer sentence comes most of the non-Koreans start fumbling or say out an incorrect sentence. I love this post! However, speaking and listening can be a bit more trickier…. However, the Korean alphabet being easy to learn makes learning Korean a lot more encouraging… I learned Hanguel in a couple of days and was able to go out and sing my favourite karaoke songs and read signs in my local Korea town!!!
However, just because you know how to read and pronounce the words does not necessarily mean you know what you are reading….. It took me a while to advance to Korean intermediate level.. I would say the beginner stages can be easy but once you get to high intermediate it gets harder and harder ….. Korean characters are ridiculously easy to learn, it only takes few hours.
But as a Korean I cannot agree to your article. There are too many rules and exceptions to those rules. You maybe can learn the alphabet in two hours, but you cannot then already read up speed! Thanks so much! This has definitely made me dedicated to learn Korean. I find it a bit daunting. It all just kind of squishes together in my head. Any tips on that?
Or are they about the same? Thanks again! I assume the shade thrown was strictly related to its ability to provide an immersive Korean language environment, which few areas in Seoul can. Yes, constructing the forms is quite easy. But knowing when to use them is not. I concur that the alphabet and phonetics are easy. And Konglish is worse than actually learning Korean words.
There is a reason the Navy classifies Korean as a level 4 language that is, the hardest type of language for an English-speaker to learn. The number systems alone are mind-boggling. I am at a near-native level in Korean and I will agree with this. I highly doubt the person who wrote this is actually any good.
I have only ever met 2 people out of probably who have studied for at least a year and a half in country who are actually good enough at Korean to even sound truly natural. Pronouncing Korean like a native is so difficult it takes a minimum of two years completely immersed in the language and a non-stop focus on improving pronunciation to achieve. Even then, you have to have a natural affinity for correct pronunciation.
In fact, If you really think Korean is such an easy language, then please upload a video of you speaking Korean. I think what this site wanted to achieve was to make people believe that they could learn Korean. Just having someone say that you can do it makes it so much easier. Please try to cheer people on, not discourage them. Or maybe even make it constructive criticism. I was a little bit surprised with the fact that there are lots of people who want to learn Korean than I had thought.
- Proof and proof (Japanese Edition).
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These might be easy to learn Korean and hard in the meanwhile. Tyler studies Korean. Both of them we understand. We omit the every particles in real life, while English speakers should tell every particles in their sentences. How was it? I love it and it is beyond my expectation. All particles are in the parentheses able to leave out. Please leave the comment and let me know who wants language exchanges. If I start it will be my fifth foreign language, and I feel fortunate to have found your article.
I think Mr. Carter is spot on. Lots of the consonants in Korean are different from those of English and are extremely difficult to get. When I read Korean, I often read the first few words then I skip the middle to wherever the next verb comes up usually the end. Only then do I try to figure out the overall meaning from the extra information in the middle.
Yes I know! Very inefficient. My big question, is there a way to understand Korean sentences quickly and efficiently? Like without having to wait for the verb that typically comes at the end of the sentence sloooooooooow.
While it is fairly easy to get to a level where you can express basic needs in Korean, it is far from easy to progress past that point. The grammar is the furthest thing from simple after learning the basic structure and the language completely changes when going from common to honorifics. There is a reason Korean is the only category 5 difficulty language for native English speakers. I have recently decided to learn Korean, because I love K-pop, and the language is very interesting to me.
I wanted to search what people have said about learning Korean, and I found your website. I used the comic you attached here to learn the alphabet and other related things. My friend told me about this app called Memrise, so I got it. I love the twists and turns, some of the stories are so unexpected and unheard of. I really wanted to get the real essence of the story so I decided to learn. The government wants you to know. None of these assessments take into a account some peculiarities about Korean-acquisition pedagogy. You want Tibetan, you take what you can get, but you better get a tutor, because the material is so sparse, that the likelihood of finding something useable in the library stacks or internet is practically zero, at least the last time I looked.
But, the resources for Korean in one way or another are going to throw some idiosyncratic or shared ball-bearing under your feet, or exclude info that really should be on the same page. This is the same for Korean or Western learning materials. They mess up somewhere; and an inherently difficult language should bend over backwards—no matter what approach vocab-, syntax-, convo-, text-, audiovisual-, degree-VR-in-the-street-real-world-immersion- [I just made that one up, but go for it if you want to make splash in the Korean language-teaching world], etc.
Linguistics there required taking a language, whether you knew 5 languages or just English. It is not an easy language to read at speed. You can pick up the letters in twenty minutes, you can crawl through words and phrases in a week. It is not something you want to assimilate vocab, syntax, affixes, phonology, phonetics, morphophonemic and the like data in a holistic fashion. That is the job of audio-visual resources and a semi-transcriptional representation of normal—non-street—pronunciation. A good example of the latter is the older defunct Teach Yourself Korean series by Yeon same guy as above and Vincent.
The exception are the transcriptions typical in linguistic references and papers etc. You will want to type it, but handwriting is something that can wait. That said, reading and writing may be something you greatly enjoy. At least try Esperanto as a sort of toy-language that is dead easy. Spend a month with that.
Then maybe Spanish. Then Korean. Go for it. Beware of on-line arguments and disputes! Who actually completed to advanced and street-language level? Do you know? The only thing you have confidence in is your tutor or language-buddy. It is a horrible book, and very effective in removing fun from learning. I own about a dozen books on learning Korean and over half of them are horribly wrong. English tends to be flexible.
Despite the obsession with getting it perfect here, the fact is English is spoken by so many different demographics of people with different accents and from different home countries, English speakers are used to hearing their language spoken many different ways and we rarely have trouble understanding. This makes practice difficult especially for a beginner and creates a steep initial curb most will never surpass.
It is no different for us. Most people here have had mandatory English lessons several times a week from 3rd grade through high school. Almost all that go to college continue learning English there too. And millions more spent additional hours and hours at private academies studying further.
After all this, the number of Koreans who are truly functional in their second language are not a massive group. There are not enough classes, not enough teachers, and no where near enough teachers that understand the differences between our two languages well enough to teach effectively.
If I had a dedicated Korean teacher or teachers that wanted to work with me at that level and text resources that I could trust and that taught efficiently I could learn, most of us could not just the rare minority that get lucky with their contacts. It uses Revised Romanization, which fails to differentiate between voiced and unvoiced consonants.
I mean: id vailz do tivverenzhiade pedween foizd ant unfozd gonzonandz, you see? I agree with every point, and love all the resources you listed. Also was surprised to see my Australian alma mater mentioned in the list of free resources. Go Monash, you did something! This is a bit off. First of all, Korean phonetics are harder than you let on. I stay in the Ricoleta area.
I have been in Buenos Aires two months ago, but only for 5 days, I am male but I also do not speak spanish. I felt comfortable in the city, in the center too, only if you go further out it could get stressy. Many people speak english in Buenos Aires, not perfect offcourse, but the tourism has come here and they go with the flow as everywere else in the world. About taxt I could not say, but I was very happy about the metro.
Very modern, very organized, cheap, safe, I only travelled with the metro or on foot. You can hail cabs from the curb, in a New York manner. Being a first time visitor and not speaking spanish just make sure that the taxi has radio taxi written on it and a telephone number. They are a safer option as they are registered drivers so adhere to certain codes of conduct.
Do try and get an english spanish phrase book in case you get stuck and perhaps make a note of important words and phrases you may need. People are very friendly and helpful so pointing to what you want always helps as does thank you gracias. When going out, write down your destination--name of restaurant or site where you want to go and the address--and hand it to the taxi driver. Add the phone number so the driver can call ahead in case of confusion about exact location.
When returning, ask someone at the restaurant, bar or store to phone for a taxi for you. This is the absolute safest way of getting around. There is a record of which cab is dispatched to pick you up. Pay taxi drivers in small bills rather than peso notes. A small number of drivers will attempt to pull a switch of larger bills and tell you that you gave them a counterfeit bill or that you gave them a 10 rather than a hundred.
Does not happen often, but often enough that it is best to always pay with small bils. Get a map and know where you want to go before getting in a taxi. News stands sell inexpensive books of maps with all subway and bus routes. This includes detailed street maps of the city. Guia T de Bolsa, is the pocket size version. In Recoleta , you can probably just walk to many places I agree with everyone else, the people here are kind and helpful and polite overall so you will not feel too uncomfortable managing without knowing the language.
You will pick things up as you go along, Be sure to learn Thank you and Please right away , that goes a long way with the polite people here. I managed to mangle most of the Spanish I speak but they seem to enjoy and appreciate my attempts. I agree with everything about the taxis Radio Taxi..
To make things much easier, write down the Cross streets of where you are going, attempt to say it but give him the paper if he still doesn't understand you. Russian cuisine draws on many cultures, and widely uses fish, poultry, root vegetables, mushrooms, berries, and honey, as well as pastry and dough. Some of my favourite Russian dishes are:. You also need to know that outdoor activities are very popular in Russia, which makes sense considering the winters can be cold and dark, and summer days are long and hot.
You will find that many people who live in cities will get away to their dacha , or summer house, as soon as the weather is warm enough. Barbecues, fishing, gardening, foraging, boating, skiing, swimming, hunting, and camping are some of the most popular things to do with friends and family. As for sports, you may have noticed how competitive Russians are about their athletic performance. The two most popular spectator sports are football or soccer, to Americans and ice hockey. There is much, much more to be said about Russian culture. The best way to learn about it is to consider it a part of your language studies.
As you begin to speak more Russian, the language will open up the culture and philosophy too. Cases can be a challenging aspect of grammar to remember, but they do make Russian a lot more specific and direct. In many ways, this makes it easier to understand. Additionally, word order is very flexible, unlike in other languages such as English, French, or Spanish.
Luckily for you, there are many cognates in Russian. The shared vocabulary with other European languages means you can already understand a lot of words before you even begin studying Russian! Prefixes and suffixes will take some time to remember, but they also make expanding your Russian vocabulary much easier. Instead of having to learn every single word, you can often infer its meaning from what you already know. Overall, learning Russian is perfectly doable. There will always be challenges to learning any language, but Russian is very structured and logical compared to some others.
Besides, because Russian is so widely spoken, there are plenty of learning resources to help you along. Here are some bad habits you should avoid at all costs as you begin to learn Russian. Trust me, even if it seems counter-instinctive, these will only make learning Russian more difficult than it needs to be. This rule is very important when learning any new language. While it can seem easier to say the sentence in your head first and then translate it into Russian, this is a habit you must learn to avoid. Doing this will most likely just confuse you, and cause you to lose sight of how to structure a sentence in Russian.
Instead, start by learning useful words and phrases, and tie them together with what you know about Russian grammar. But keep in mind that the brain is not made to memorise lists. A much better approach is to form connections and use real examples when you learn words, phrases, and declensions. Remind yourself that most native speakers make grammar mistakes all the time! Every teacher teaches in their own way, and every student learns differently. The key here is not to get caught up in the resources.
Talk to a Russian-speaking friend. Just stick with it, and it will keep getting easier, I promise! This will really help you create a strong foundation that you can build upon. Some of the main topics are the Cyrillic alphabet, pronunciation, verb conjugation, and when and how to use the different cases. But there are certain words or phrases that you need to learn by heart. You know - the essentials.
However, try not to get too hung up on the linguistic theory. It just sounds right! You will learn to converse faster and more organically if you have a native speaker to practice with. Whether you plan to learn Russian online, or you prefer to use traditional materials, I'm confident you'll find some great resources here to help you get started. Remember that there are plenty of people and resources out there that can help you.
If you need help with anything, make sure to visit my topic-based guides for beginning Russian learners. I wish you the best of luck! I've created a range of high-quality learning materials to help you achieve fluency in Russian, whether you're at the beginner, intermediate or advanced level. Improve your comprehension, grow your vocabulary and ignite your imagination with these eight unconventional Russian short stories! Learn Russian.
Russian Courses. Russian Learning Tips. Learn Russian On this page, you'll find everything you need to learn Russian from scratch. Why Should I Learn Russian? Is Russian Hard To Learn? What pitfalls should I look out for as I begin to learn Russian? What are the 5 key steps that will help me learn Russian? There are many reasons to study Russian today.
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Download this article as a PDF. Why not download this article as a PDF now so you can read it later? Some of my favourite Russian dishes are: Dressed herring, or herring in a fur coat: a layered salad made of diced pickled herring, grated boiled vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and beetroots, chopped onions, and mayonnaise. Borsch: a soup usually made with beetroot, potatoes, and meat, as well as other soup vegetables. It is often served with a dollop of smetana , or sour cream. It is believed to originate from Ukrainian cuisine.
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Pelmeni: these are dumplings usually filled with ground beef, pork, or both. They can be boiled or fried, and are also usually served with smetana. They likely originate in Siberia or the Ural. Bliny: traditional thin pancakes that can be compared to crepes. They can be topped or stuffed, sweet or savoury.
Some popular fillings include condensed milk, smetana , minced meat, and caviar. They are so popular that there are at least 2 Russian fast food chains which specialise in bliny. No matter what the celebration, you will always find zakuski on the table. Jump back to the contents! Where is the best place to start? Find Russian People To Speak With You will learn to converse faster and more organically if you have a native speaker to practice with. Beginner Learn How To Speak Russian italki - This is my favourite website for finding teachers and affordable tutors to help practise my Russian.
I use italki literally every day to get that all-important speaking practice that helps me stay fluent. Popular Courses I've created a range of high-quality learning materials to help you achieve fluency in Russian, whether you're at the beginner, intermediate or advanced level.
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