If you are learning Korean or just any new language, it is easy to feel demotivated if you do not use the right learning methods.
Lack of motivation while learning Korean can make you eventually want to stop learning completely and we do not wish to see this happen to you!
Therefore, we will be pointing out common errors learners make while learning the Korean language.
1. Don’t look at Korean from the perspective of your native language
Just like any other language, the Korean expression does not necessarily mean what the translation says. Therefore, do not try to translate phrases from your native language. The Korean language might not have the same phrase and you will just end up sounding silly for directly translating it.
In English language, you use the phrase “break a leg” to wish someone good luck.
However, in Korean, the phrase (break a leg) just does not exist in our dictionary. Instead, we say 행운을 빌어 haeng-un-eul bil-eo which literally means “good luck”.
Hence, do not study Korean from the perspective of your native language. Pretend you do not know any language except Korean and start fresh like how a child learns a new language.
2. Don't dig deep into grammar
No, we are not saying that learning grammar is not important. However, many Korean language learners, tend to make grammar the main focal point while neglecting other aspects of the language Korean – phrases, expressions, vocabulary.
Most Korean learners, usually take grammar so seriously that they start studying every letter used in a word or sentence. When learning the Korean language, you do not have to literally break down the letters in a word to find out its meaning.
We understand, that it is natural for learners to be curious and to want to know the meaning of every letter. However, some Korean words either do not mean like its translation or some word just doesn't mean anything.
안녕하세요 Annyeonghaseyo means hi or hello. However, the real translation of the word is “How are you?” Therefore, you can not literally dissect the word because 1) It has a completely different meaning 2) You will not be able to identify which word is “how”, “are” or “you” from the word Annyeonghaseyo.
3. Don't underestimate the power of Korean expression and vocabulary
Like I've mentioned in the previous point, most Korean learners tend to overlook the importance that the Korean vocabulary and expression carry. The Korean vocabulary, phrases, and expressions are what is used to start a communication.
Therefore, we advise you to learn as much as phrases, expression and vocabulary that you can if you want to master speaking, writing, reading and listening in Korean.
Take this quiz – How Well Do You Know Your Korean Phrases? to find out if you have been learning enough of Korean phrases or if you have been neglecting this aspect of the language.
4. Don't wait to reach a certain level to learn
While learning the Korean language, you might encounter someone telling you, that you can't learn a certain thing because your ability is just not you to par.
While learning the Korean language, if you are ever curious about something do not hesitate to ask and learn right away. It is always better to get your questions answered than to put it off for the “right time”.
If someone tells you that you won't get it, perhaps you can suggest them to explain in a layman's terms.
5. Don't just hope to learn Korean
Stop hoping to magically learn Korean because it is not going to happen without a little effort! Therefore, we suggest to always set goals – long term and short term goals.
Short term goals – I want to recognize all of the Hangul alphabets in a month.
Long term goals -I want to be able to freely speak to a native Korean without using a dictionary
6. Don't just consume Korean related content
If you are learning Korean, you probably follow Korean language learning on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Korean blogs.
However, learning Korean goes beyond just consuming the content, you will need to participate if you want to pick up the language at a faster pace.
You can make journey videos on how much you've learned in the Korean language. You can even share your progress on video-sharing platforms.
Besides that, if you want to chat daily with other Korean learners, you can join us on our Discord chat.
7. Don't think that you can practice Korean in Metropolitan Cities at Korea
A lot of Korean learners complain that they do not get the chance to speak in Korean when they are visiting big cities in South Korea.
The reason being is, the native Korean in these big cities will often recognize that you are not a native Korean and will speak to you in your native language. Most of the shopkeepers in the malls or restaurants do know how to speak English.
Due to this, we've encouraged our students to join our “Farmping” trips to South Korea (a combination of ‘farming’ and ‘camping’) where you get to mingle with the locals and speak Korean at all times.
Have you done any of these mistakes while learning Korean before? Do you know of any other errors? Comment down below!