No matter how long you’re staying in Korea, learning the Korean language is a great way of understanding the country and its people. You needn’t be a fluent expert, of course – you’ll find that even a word or two of broken Korean will open doors and hearts all around.
What’s great about the Korean language is that the Korean alphabet, hangeul, is widely known to be one of the easiest systems of letters to learn. Actually being able to speak the language may take some more time, but most people manage to learn how to read Korean letters within a day or two!
So it really doesn’t take much effort to go beyond “an-nyong-ha-se-yo (hello)” and “gam-sa-ham-ni-da (Thank you).” Here are a number of recommendations from DARAMJI team for your Korean lesson.
1. Korean Language Academies
Often called “eo-hak-dang,” a good number of Korean language academies, many of then run by Korean universities, offer well-structured courses taught by certified instructors. Yonsei University’s Korean Language Institute is a good starting point for your research.
• Pros: Leading language academies are supported by academic research in linguistics so provide really good curriculum. You can also meet a diverse range of students from all over the world.
• Cons: fairly expensive and classes can rather big. You’ll need to make sure to fit your schedule around their academic calendar.
2. Private/Group Lessons
Get a bunch of like-minded expats in your town and organize your own Korean lesson. This is a great and fun way of learning practical Korean with the added benefit of making new friends. You can always ask DARAMJI for help with arranging either a private, 1:1 lesson with a tutor or a study group.
• Pros: Lesson schedule/time can be flexible to fit around your hectic schedule. This may also be a great way of practicing your Korean after attending one of those language academy courses.
• Cons: Be very careful about selecting the right tutor/group to suit your needs. DARAMJI does this best – by drawing on its network of professionals and expat communities to get you just the right setting.
3. Online Resources
If you’re too pushed for time or just want a quick intro to the Korean alphabet, materials available online, some of them for free, might do the job. Just make sure to get a local friend to check your pronunciation!
EXPERIENCE with DARAMJI – Ask your dedicated DARAMJI curator for more information on fun and easy ways of learning Korean. We’ll arrange lessons suited to your needs and time plan.