Tips on learning Hangeul
I have received several comments by readers who have just started learning Hangeul. Julia and Galinaros shared some of their thoughts and I would like to post a respond to keep them motivated to study Korean. Here are some of my tips:
1. Have a Hangeul table or chart at hand. You can either print a copy of the Hangeul characters or try to write them down. Writing them will enhance your Korean writing skills and will help you recognize each of the characters. It also helped me distinguish the differences of each character.
Here’s the basic Hangeul characters which I got from Life In Korea:
2. Read the history behind the characters. In this way you can learn to appreciate the symbols you are about to learn. I suggest you visit this site to learn about the History of Hangeul.
King Sejong, the 4th ruler of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), set up a special committee of scholars in 1443 to create a new writing system specifically suited to the Korean language.
The alphabet has 10 vowels and 14 consonants. The consonants represent the simplified outlines of the parts of the mouth and tongue used to pronounce them. The vowels are associated with elements of the philosophy of the Book of Changes.
3. Be confident and practice, practice and practice some more. While I was learning Hangeul, I had a hard time recognizing the characters. I sometimes interchange one from the other. And it really frustrates me when I know I have this certain character in my head but I just can’t get it out. It’s just normal to feel that way. You just need to encourage yourself that you can definitely learn those 24 characters. You memorized the English alphabet, why give up with this one, right?
The steps that I enumerated are just ways to prepare you to learn the characters. In order to master the Korean writing system, you need to have self determination and discover ways to associate the letters to things around you. Good luck! I know you can do it!
Anyway, I also compiled this list of sites where you can practice learning Hangeul. This is just a very short list; there’s still a vast list of sites out there. But I guess you don’t need all of that.
Indiana University’s Korean Alphabet – I really like this site. Here, you can learn the correct pronunciation of each character while learning Hangeul. They also have sample words for you to practice recognizing the characters. There’s also a male and female voice recorded for each word. This would be a great site to practice your recognition skills and also widens your vocabulary.
Click Korean – I must say that this site is one of the best sites I have seen. One of my goals is to finish the 20 lessons in it. The animation is really good and you won’t get bored while studying. The first two lessons include the Hangeul characters. You can view the list of their lessons here or you can visit SNU’s homepage here.
Aeria Gloris Learn Korean – This site is great if you want to practice Hangeul. You can either study the basic set, full set or the vowels only. You can also adjust the number of choices depending on your needs
Good luck guys! I know you can do it!
아자 아자! 화이팅!