Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Korean Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

learning korean (the language i mean)
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> FAQ
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Tancred



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Location: Upon a mountain in unknown Kadath

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2003 5:04 pm    Post subject: learning korean (the language i mean) Reply with quote

I'm attempting to learn korean in earnest now. I've fiddled with it a bit during the past six months, but now i want to learn at least the fundamentals of it before i leave (i'd like to kind of be on par with some of my adult students english speaking ability).

I'm wondering if many of you can speak the language...I know there's been a post on this in the past but i don't think i even looked at it...sorry. Anyway, it seems to me that learning french and spanish is infinitely easier than this rather tricky language (the reason for this obviously having to do with it's similar phonetic base). Anyway, what's the story? Does it get easier? How long does it generally take for a rudimentary knowledge? Thanks.

T.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
IconsFanatic



Joined: 19 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2003 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I felt learning Chinese and Japanese were relatively easy, and Korean infinitely harder.

The Hangul alphabet is fairly simple (exceptions to the "rules" aside), and the grammar is relatively similar to Japanese... but as you said, pronunciation is a b*tch.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Crazy Oz



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: Ilsan, Korea

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2003 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try this site,

http://www.jforge.com/tk/guide/korean/index.html

There is also a download program that you can install. It has speech practice for recording and replaying. Can't remember the name or where I got it from offhand, but if you are interested let me know and I'll send it to you.

Just as an aside, I've tried both the site and the program, had a Korean girlfriend, and my Korean is still not worthy of uttering. Maybe I am one of those people who are programmed for English only.


Best of luck.


Still crazy, still here.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2003 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korean is one of those languages that starts off really easy, but once you try to start making sentences, it's confusing as hell.

Within one month of being here, I had made friends with a Korean who wanted to teach me some really basic words, like cold, hot, happy, fun, hungry, numbers, so on. Once she started helping me, the alphabet came to me pretty fast, and once I learned how to say "How do you do it?", I could figure out the Korean word for any physical object around me.

I practiced the basic phrases with my classes here and there. I don't overload the class with Korean, but sometimes it just makes it a billion times easier to teach a word if you have the Korean word handy. I'd never explain "imagination" and "creativity" in a writing class otherwise, without spending 3 hours first.

Back on-topic: My Korean panned out eventually and I realized I couldn't get any better until I started learning complete sentences. I bought a book that teaches basic grammar...well...my Korean's more polite and I can use verbs/adjectives a little better in past tense, but I'm still baffled if someone talks too fast. The book also isn't very good, and some of the more intricate things in Korean(difference between the various noun modifiers) still elude me.

I also got the benefit of a Korean girlfriend; she wants me to learn Korean so we can multilingual discussions instead of all English.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JackSarang



Joined: 28 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2003 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah.. Korean has got a weird learning curve. The alphabet is insanely easy to learn.. at first.. then you get into all the rules and exceptions. Some phonetic structures are extremely difficult for a western tongue to pronounce. Particularly the liul "r/l" sound, because it is neither r nor l, yet its allophonic to us. Double consonants are difficult because you have to get the aspiration just right or it sounds like another phonem.

Basic korean is easy. Sentences and conversations are more difficult because korean, like japanese, is very contextual. Another problem is the "three levels" of politeness, where the same word is written three different times with different suffixes and sometimes even sounds different. Another problem is that you really need a good teacher who is proficient in both English and Korean and can explain things to you about Korean accurately. Alot of the books are useless because they teach you phrases that simply no-one uses or phrases that are "ultra-polite" but using them is still inappropriate.

For instance, "ee go soon, moo uh shim neekah?" Is, "What is this?" and its ultra polite. Its one of the first things you learn. But nobody uses it and you'll get chuckles if you said that to a child, for example.

But, nothing replaces the fact that you're technically in full-immersion. Start learning and you'll be amazed at how fast you pick things up. Nothing replaces the simple pleasure of the first time you're able to read a sign, or a menu or when someone asks you something and you comprehend without even thinking about it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tomato



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: I get so little foreign language experience, I must be in Koreatown, Los Angeles.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2003 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, Tancred!

I've been at it for three years.
I feel like I'm not improving, but there are signs that I am.
At the first school where I worked, the school gave the students a vocabulary test every few months.
Just for fun, I would take the test along with the students to see how many of the words I recognized.
I found that I recognized significantly more of the words every time.

Incidentally, I had a vacation last week.
I spent the last week practicing Javascript and Korean at the same time.
See how you like my work:

http://eslideas.hypermart.net/javascript.adjectives.html
http://eslideas.hypermart.net/javascript.at.html
http://eslideas.hypermart.net/javascript.colors.html
http://eslideas.hypermart.net/javascript.at.html
http://eslideas.hypermart.net/javascript.conjugation.html
http://eslideas.hypermart.net/javascript.at.html
http://eslideas.hypermart.net/javascript.future_participle.html
http://eslideas.hypermart.net/javascript.nouns.html
http://eslideas.hypermart.net/javascript.outside.html
http://eslideas.hypermart.net/javascript.sentences.html
http://eslideas.hypermart.net/javascript.song.html
http://eslideas.hypermart.net/javascript.to.html
http://eslideas.hypermart.net/javascript.verbs.html
http://eslideas.hypermart.net/depclause.html


Last edited by tomato on Sun Mar 09, 2003 8:10 pm; edited 5 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
DF10



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Location: Ecuador...until April 1...then back to the Soul of Seoul

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2003 6:11 am    Post subject: start small Reply with quote

If you cant even spell...try the book and cassette set, Korean through English. It is easy and the tapes really help. The bookstore at coex mall has it. Just ask someone to show you the books on learning Korean. Then, try to speak the little you know as often as possible, even if it feels stupid. People will help you.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
mokpochica



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2003 9:04 pm    Post subject: learning Korean Reply with quote

It is hard to learn Korean...and discouraging sometimes. I agree with much of what Jack said. For those of us learning Korean as adults, it would be really helpful to have a teacher fluent in English and Korean to explain the cultural differences reflected in the language. As far as it getting easier, I think that 'yes' it does get easier and faster in regards to reading the alphabet. However, I think that the higher your level of Korean is, the harder it is for the students to see improvements---and likely the higher standard you hold yourself to in speaking the language. (This is what I've found to be true with myself as a foreign language learner as well as what I've found with my students.)

As far as gaining a rudimentary knowledge, that depends on you and how much you study/practice, etc. I've used the 'Ganada Language Institute' Korean language study books. They move pretty fast, and are not the most interesting, but I think they are helpful as a guide (although they do teach you to say things in the honorific or other high forms). If you use these books, and practice what you learn with others, it shouldn't take a long time to gain what I consider a rudimentary knowledge.

There are also a lot of good web sites, some mentioned here and others you can find doing a google search. Anyway, I've come to the conclusion that, for me, learning Korean requires equal parts self-study and the help of others. I've tried the 'just listen and soak it all up' approach and I'm just too old for that since I hang out with adults having adult conversations and not children and their parents. Not being afrad to practice and make mistakes is important too...and another important thing is having people around you willing to correct your most glaring mistakes.

Korean is a hard language for speakers of English to learn (and vice versa) because the languages are quite dissimilar. However, I don't think it's probably an inherently more difficult language to learn than any other.

I'm also entering into a new phase of Korean study (this following the just-sit-back-and-listen phase I've been doing for the last few months). If you find any great textbooks, dictionaries (including electronic ones), or study tips, please pass them along.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
visviva



Joined: 03 Feb 2003
Location: Daegu

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2003 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spelling this out in standard romanization, because I missed the day someone explained how to make Hangeul work on this board:

Hangugo Munbap Sajon (by Baek BongJa)

I picked up this small green hardback at the Daegu Kyobo a few weeks back -- it was ensconced in the English-language "books about Korea" section. It's a grammar of Korean, entirely in Korean but meant for the use of foreigners who are learning the language. Accordingly, the examples and explanations use fairly simple words and structures -- simple enough that I (bilingual dictionary in hand) can work out the meaning fairly quickly.

Obviously the work is intended for people at a somewhat higher fluency level than I am now. However, I have already gotten a lot of value from my copy and I would recommend this work to anyone who has passed the basic-syntax phase.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
mithridates



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Location: President's office, Korean Space Agency

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 10:16 am    Post subject: All right, here's what you do... Reply with quote

I learned Korean in about a year and a half while living in Japan. I first studied through textbooks until I learned most of the basic grammar and then went straight to music. I learned most of what I know from a band called Jaurim, and also from Seo Taeji and Roller Coaster and a few others. IMO once one has mastered basic grammar the best way to go is by hiring or borrowing a Korean person a few times a week and going over music lyrics together. The advantage to learning through music is that once one has heard a song a certain number of times it becomes impossible to forget, and by taking a week to go over one CD you will have in essence put about 30-40 minutes of Korean into your head and will likely never forget it.
One other thing though is that I believe it is necessary to know a certain amount of hanja to be fluent in Korean. I would say about 500 or so should be sufficient, and they're actually not as hard as one would expect. Generally hanja that look the same are pronounced the same, or similarily.
Last time I stayed in Seoul I taught about 300 hanja to an American friend of mine and he also said that it aided in understanding where a lot of the vocabulary comes from; it's also a good stepping stone if one wishes to leave Korea and go to China or Japan.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
sid



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Location: Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's a lot of hard work unless like myself you have a good ear for language (he said modestly). I knew people who put much more effort into their Korean-speaking than me, but just didn't 'get' it.

A bit of textbook study was useful to get to a point of seeing some structure in what had been a jumble of syllables, but from then on I mostly learned by spending all day with half an ear on what students, korean teachers, people on the bus etc were saying. I think you have to soak it up like that, rather than trying to be too slick and learning a lot of sentences very quickly.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 7:21 pm    Post subject: Re: All right, here's what you do... Reply with quote

mithridates wrote:
I learned most of what I know from a band called Jaurim, and also from Seo Taeji and Roller Coaster and a few others.


Wow, another Roller Coaster fan.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
gang ah jee



Joined: 14 Jan 2003
Location: city of paper

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Anyway, it seems to me that learning french and spanish is infinitely easier than this rather tricky language


"They" say that if it takes, say, two years for an English speaker to become fully fluent in Eurospeak then it would be three for something like Arabic and four for something like Japanese or Korean.

But Eurospeak is chicken change! Go for the hard ones.

How long it takes to learn the fundamentals (whatever you define those as) has completely got to do with how much time you spend studying, speaking, motivation, teacher quality etc. You could learn A LOT in a year. A friend of mine studied for a year and a half at university in the states and spoke much better than a lot of long termers here when he first arrived.


Quote:
I learned most of what I know from a band called Jaurim


Damn! Me too! Mi-an hae, neol mi-weo hae BRUTHA WHOAAA

Quote:
Wow, another Roller Coaster fan.


The DJ (Jinwoo?) from rollercoaster's always spinning here in Hongdae, Zyzyfer. I think he has some kind of residency at Cream & coke, if you know where that is.

Edit: Cheonan... oh


Back on topic... I recommend the "Speaking Korean" series of books. They're the big weighty ones with only 3 volumes (volume 3 is for improving hanja reading comprehension, so if you don't care about that...). No pictures and really dry, but I like that. Dry books, mmmm
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gang ah jee wrote:
Edit: Cheonan... oh


Heh. Just because I live in the boonies, doesn't mean I can't go to Seoul at all! I've got oodles of free time, especially during the weekend.

But I don't know where Cream & Coke is.

I wish Roller Coaster played clubs/bars/anything else other than the extremely expensive 45,000 won concerts at Universities...-_-
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mithridates



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Location: President's office, Korean Space Agency

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I wish Roller Coaster played clubs/bars/anything else other than the extremely expensive 45,000 won concerts at Universities...-_-



You could go straight to their office in Gangnam and see if they're around; I once met their bassist that way last year. There's a coffee shop on the first floor as well.
I find that in a place like Korea where most of the music sold is prepackaged producer-made stuff performed by bands chosen by audition, bands like Jaurim and Roller Coaster who have worked from the bottom up are even more impressive.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> FAQ All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2013 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International