Blogging from A to Z Day 12: Learning Korean

L is for Learning Korean


My quest to learn the Korean language has been an adventure. I’m not sure when I actively started trying to learn. Back when I first got into K-pop, I knew those common words. Sarang and Saranghae. Annyeonghasaeyo. Kamsahanmida.

Then came the family titles. Hyung, Oppa, Noona, Unnie, Eomma, Appa, Halmeoni.

Eventually when I started watching dramas and variety shows, other concepts came in. Aegyo. Banmal. Jaeseonghaeyo vs. minahae. Hwaiting. Junbi, shi, jak!

When I really started wanting to learn how to read was when I was watching some idol athletic show. When they have the list of participants in each competition, I realized that in Korea, they don’t always use the English letters to spell the names. The only way I was able to tell if anyone in Super Junior was taking part in the competition is if I saw a really long name that started with what looked like a Greek lamda (lamda = Λ, first character of “super junior” =ㅅ). You can only imagine how effective that was.

So I decided to learn how to read. My sister had recently learned the characters from her Korean friend, so I asked her to teach me. Of course, the first thing I learned how to spell were the names of the Super Junior members. To this day, the only way I can remember that “ㅌ” makes a “t” sound is because it is part of Leeteuk’s name. Spelling 이동해 is now engrained in my memory. 😉

I am still pretty slow at reading out loud. I still have trouble writing the different “w” sounds correctly. I still don’t know when to useㄱ or ㅋ. Aside from that though, I am pretty proud of how far I’ve come.

Naturally, I started learning conversational terms. From watching dramas and shows all in Korean day in and day out, you start to pick up on the language. I love learning languages, so I actively try to make as many connections as I can between the words I hear and the subtitles. I recently also started using an app that teaches you common phrases in Korean, and it is actually really helpful.

Now, even if I don’t totally understand what is being said, I can watch something in Korean without subtitles and get a general idea of what’s going on. Watching all of VIXX’s One Fine Day episodes before they were subtitled and actually enjoying it and understanding a bit of it was something I never expected myself to be able to do.

For you newbie K-pop fans, it really changes the way you experience the culture when you learn the language. I understand so much more of what I am watching, especially those little phrases here and there that the subtitles don’t always include, now that I am actively learning the language.


Have you started learning Korean? How much do you know?

Pop Quiz: What is written in my header image? 😛

#NowPlaying: Like Oh by GOT7. This is one of my favorite songs ever. The melody, the voices. Everything. This is the song that I belt out when no one is around to hear.

Wanna talk K-pop? Follow me on Twitter @mystification86!


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