* This post is written by Nana Cuellar, one of the Korea Blog’s Worldwide Korea Bloggers.
After two months of classes, exercises, repetitions and a lot of writing practise, I can honestly say that Korean is, hands down, the hardest language I’ve learnt. Not that I’m finished learning it, of course, but you get my point. Anyway, it was early on, when the classes had just started, that I came to realize that, in order to really learn the language, I would have to find a lot of extra material for self-study; as good as the weekly classes I attend are, they’re just not enough.
Fortunately, nowadays it is super easy to find lessons, vocab lists and all other sorts of things in any language you may want to learn on the internet (whether this material is good or not, well, this is a whole different story), so that’s where I headed.
I have to admit that, at first, it was kinda hard to find exactly what I wanted, because that search actually began way before I started the course, so I actually didn’t really know what to look for, but, little by little, I came upon language forums and Korean blogs that put me in the right path. Now, even though my learning is in its early stages, I do have a better understanding and am able to So, below, you will find a small compilation of websites that may help you along the way.
The Sogang Korean Program is one of the most recommended all through the internet. That’s actually the main reason why it made into this sort of top 5 list, because I found the first lessons, the ones on Korean sounds and alphabet, quite bad. And since pronunciation is my biggest problem so far, you may understand why I prefer other resources for that. Still, I liked the way they structured the lessons and I can tell it’ll be quite useful as soon as I get to a higher level of understanding.
Learning Korean – Talk to me in Korean!
When I talked about some of my favourite websites to get extra study material on Korean, I completely forgot about a recent but great find: Talk to me in Korean! It is, actually, good that it happened like that, because I think this one deserves to be featured alone.
Talk to me in Korean has weekly lessons that come out as podcasts on their website or via iTunes. They start at a very basic level and go up ‘til Level 5 (so far), so almost all learners will find appropriate lessons. Besides having the regular video/audio podcasts, they also release every once in a while Iyagi lessons, which are “recordings of Korean conversations, at natural speed, about various topics”. And that’s not all! TTMIK also produces several other videos or audios with original content for you study times.
One great thing about it is that they have PDFs with each lesson’s notes and worksheets for all lessons (but 1-10, Level 1), so you can also practice a bit after listening to the podcast. This is the best part for me, ‘cause I’m one of those visual learners, so I need to have something to look at when studying.
But nothing’s perfect, and I find that their putting the Korean word side-by-side with its romanization is a considerable drawback. It may be only me, but my eyes go straight to the letters I’m more used to read, instead of focusing on the Korean alphabet. This is manageable, though. I just used a black marker to “erase” all unwanted romanization. I reckon you’d be able to tweak the files if you have that Acrobat Professional (or something like it), but I just cannot say for sure.
All in all, it’s quite good and it’s been helpful to me, so I’d definitely recommend it!
Their last post is this fun video on popular exclamations. I love those kind of things and I hear “진짜요?” all the time on Korean TV shows, so it was nice learning how to write it properly and also learning a few more expressions. Take a look at the ones below and at the video I’m pasting here. And don’t forget to check Talk to me in Korean and subscribe to their feeds!
“Here are some popular expressions used by Koreans when they are surprised or express exclamations.
1. 엄마야! = Oh My God! / Oops!
2. 대박 = Super cool! / Awesome!
3. 우와 = Wow
4. 진짜요? = For real?
5. 그래요? = Is that so?
6. 정말요? = Really?
7. 아이고! = *sigh* / Whew! / Oops!
8. 아싸 = Yay! / Hurrah!
9. 네? = Yes?
10. 어? = Huh?
11. 아/아야 = Ouch!
12. 헐 = What the…
13. 헉! = *gasp* / OMG!”
* The original piece can be read at http://littlecraziness.tumblr.com/post/4232734499/learning-korean-a-few-online-resources and http://littlecraziness.tumblr.com/post/4328090069/learning-korean-talk-to-me-in-korean