This post is specifically for people who are learning Korean but have not really put much work into learning 한글.
It’s time to start.
Whereas you may think that you will be able to learn Korean through romanization only, you’re wrong. It’s time to start putting in the work to learning 한글. This is a very important step in the language learning process and it’s not an easy step. It’s kinda like when a toddler transitions from a bottle to a “sippy cup”. It’s hard at first to grasp the handle but eventually, it becomes second nature and you begin to wonder how you ever managed to go through life without a “sippy cup”.
Okay, maybe that’s not exactly how it goes but you get the point.
Here’s the thing, a lot of things written out in romanization are actually written phonetically but they are written incorrectly. The phonetics are usually off and it ultimately hurts your pronunciation. I personally struggled with learning Hangul. In my mind it was the hardest thing in the world and it was a step that wasn’t really necessary. But I was so wrong! When I actually started studying 한글 and pronouncing words that way, I noticed my pronunciation was improving.
But how will your pronunciation improve? You stop focusing on the English way to pronounce a word.
When you see a word written out in English, you pronounce it the way it would be pronounced in English.
- Romanization: “g(k)am-sa-ham-nida”
When you look at this, you immediately say “kahm-sa-ham” right? And you’d be relatively right but you’re emphasizing each syllable and it sounds as if you’re sounding it out every time you speak, thus slowing yourself down.
Reading in 한글 allows you to see the word, read it, and not feel the need to say it like you’re sounding it out. What you do every time you use romanization is the equivalent to talking like this:”thuh-an-kuh yu-oo”. Even though you know it’s English, it’s difficult to understand.
So in short, learn Hangul. It’ll take some time and practice but there are many many many different avenues that’ll help you out. I used the app SNU LEI – Hangeul to help me out a lot. They teach you how to recognize vowels and consonants and even videos on how to pronounce them with video and visual to see the mouth movement.
So that’s your Foreign Language Tip for the week. Now go learn 한글!!
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