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How To

How to Learn Korean

I want to learn Korean! How to learn Korean? How to study Korean? How to speak Korean fluently? Looking for the best way to learn Korean? Find it difficult to stay motivated long enough to master the intricacies of the Korean language?

Korean language learning tip: Use music to Learn Korean – Listening, understanding, talking, writing and reading. Language is music.

What? Listen to music to learn Korean? Is this a joke? No, we’re serious. You do have to learn Korean grammar eventually but music is absolutely a key in learning Korean. Listening to Korean songs is fundamental for you to be able to copy the melody and remember pronunciation and vocabulary. Music is a way to keep your language juggling fluid and natural.

Learning Korean is one enjoyable and fascinating activity you can spend your time, effort and money since it is very useful and beneficial not only in the future but also at present. There are so many ways in learning Korean. Learning Korean in language institutes can be very helpful as they help you learn the basics such as vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure and pronunciation; and it is also ideal to study Korean in Korea so as to be fully immersed in its natural environment and be exposed to the culture.

How music can help you learn Korean

Music has a very powerful effect in your memory. It activates more parts of the brain than language does, on both the right and left sides of the brain. So if you expose your brain to a tune, you are more likely to recall the information than if you just read it or heard it spoken. Have you ever heard a song on the radio that you haven’t heard for a decade but could follow along without much ado?

Songs learned during childhood can still be recalled word by word in adulthood. Music and catchy jingles can stick in our minds for years while names of people, places, verb conjugation charts and memorized data disappear fast.

Music makes the puzzle come together.

What happens when you hear something in a Korean song is that you are opening yourself up to the greater global picture of the language. Then when you learn what the words mean by using a dictionary or reading the translation of the lyrics or just guessing from the context, you are putting the puzzle together. If you start with the puzzle pieces (grammar rules, conjugation charts, vocabulary lists, etc.), you may end up using those puzzle pieces as sleeping pills rather than as a means to learn Korean. Let yourself breathe in the language with music.

Music brings life to the language.

Music is a universal entity. It is used for communication and can be enjoyed and shared by people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Music can make language learning interesting since it can easily catch your attention and reduce tension and pressure.

Music wakes up your brain to remember words.

Music is more interesting than just the usual reading and it helps create a pleasant atmosphere for you to relax. It enhances the ability to remember words and saves time. Music helps you build confidence since it provides a carefree feel, not as strict and as formal sounding than the normal language learning methods. It increases your interest progressively.

Music is one great language learning supplement.

However, it is not totally recommended as an absolute language learning technique since not all songs use proper sentences and grammar. A more formal approach is needed for such elements to be mastered. Music is considered a good supplement since it makes language learning more fun especially to beginners. Lyrics are easier to remember and somehow they reveal something of the Korean culture. Songs can also reveal emotions which make you easily associate certain words to that emotion.

Tips on listening and using music to learn Korean

1. Listening followed by talking.

There is a reason why we are given two ears and only one mouth. Listen first, speak later, then learn and write. Don’t rush into speaking. Learn the sounds of the language first. It does not matter if at first you do not understand. You may start listening along without understanding. You are not only learning the rhythm of the language. In fact, you are also learning new vocabulary.

Turn off the lights. Lie down. Close your eyes and relax. At first, do not try to understand the words, just listen. Your mind needs to be calm in order to absorb the sounds. Your ears need no other distractions to properly hear all the high, medium and low frequencies of the language. Do this regularly.

2. What kind of music?

Find music in Korean that you like. You have to like what you are listening to. It is best to find songs that tell a story so you can learn the story line. Stay away from music with profanity or inappropriate content.

3. Find YouTube videos.

Thanks to video-sharing sites such as YouTube. There are countless Korean music videos available a click away. Go on YouTube and find music in Korean that you like. Some videos even come with subtitles in Korean with translation. Videos may also help you understand what the song is about. This is especially important because you can see the story being told by the lyrics to better understand what the song is all about. Then, match your new vocabulary to the story.

4. Write the lyrics.

Learning the lyrics of a song helps in your vocabulary. It also helps you to gather some slangs or typical phrases. After listening to the songs several times, write the lyrics of the songs while listening. You will have to rewind or repeat many times to get the words. Some words are hard to write because they may be idioms or slangs that are new to you, but just write as much as you can. Compare the lyrics you noted down with the original lyrics and see how well you fare. Some CDs come with the lyrics inside the case. If you don’t have them, look them up online on the lyrics websites.

5. Make a vocabulary list with words from the songs.

Prepare a vocabulary list from the songs and make a quiz out of it. Blanco certain words from the verses of the song and fill in the blanks. Make it fun and easy to remember.

6. Sing the songs.

Singing is an amazing way to dramatically improve your Korean. Getting to know the music is getting to know the culture and the language. Singing can actually help you purify your accent and you will be able to speak Korean fluently!

You can take music with you anywhere and learn and practise it on the move. Thanks to your MP3 player or smartphone. While it’s pleasant to have music in the background, make sure you pay attention to the words.

It’s fun! You can put your whole body into singing and let loose your hair which you can’t when you are delivering a formal speech. You can really enjoy yourself by singing and it helps to improve your mood. Life would be more enjoyable if people sang more! Did you ever notice how happy everyone is in musicals? So don’t be shy, and don’t worry if you don’t have a good singing voice to enjoy yourself!

If music has helped you to improve your Korean language skills, share your story with us.