20 Mar 2017

How Long Does It Take To Learn Korean?

Via Rocket Languages: How Long Does It Take To Learn Korean?

Learning a language like Korean is an amazing process, and every stage of it can be very fulfilling. But time is money, and although we would all love to have limitless time to improve our language skills, the truth is that our personal and professional life leave little time to learn a language.

And let’s face it: : whether it be for an upcoming vacation to Ggotji Beach or a business trip to Seoul, you want to be fluent in Korean as fast as possible.

So how long will it take to learn Korean?

This is one of the first questions anyone interested in language learning asks, and unfortunately, there’s no easy way to answer it. Learning a language is a complex process that is different for each individual based on several different factors.

Let’s take a look at these different factors and how they impact how fast you learn Korean:

1. Your Previous Language Learning Experiences


If you already speak a foreign language or were raised bilingual, you may save yourself some time as you learn Korean. Bilinguals find it easier to learn a third language, as several linguistic studies have proven. This is because they are naturally more accustomed to being exposed to different languages. Fluency and skills in one language aid fluency and skills in another.

If you’re not bilingual or multilingual, however, don’t worry: Even that year of Spanish in high school or that business trip to Beijing was helpful.
One of the first steps to learning a language is learning a little bit about what makes up a language and the unique linguistic aspects of the language you want to learn. If you have already experienced studying foreign grammar, memorizing vocabulary, listening to different sounds and looking at different letters, your mind knows what to expect when faced with a new language. There aren’t as many surprises and language learning becomes easier and faster.

Just being exposed to different languages–especially when one of those languages is the language you wish to learn–can make language learning faster.

2. The Language You Are Learning

Even if Korean is considered one of the most difficult languages for English speakers to learn, this fascinating language actually borrowed a few words from English. These words can save you time when learning some Korean vocabulary.

That’s where Konglish comes in.

Konglish, or Korean language-style English, is the use of English words in a Korean context. These words are made from blending English and Korean words together.
Let’s take a look at some of them:

아이스크림 – [ah-i-seu-k’eu-rim]: Ice cream
  • 아이스크림 – [ah-i-seu-k’eu-rim]: Ice cream
  • 키스 – [ki-seu]: Kiss
  • 라디오 –[ ladio]: Radio
  • 컴퓨터 –[keom-pyu-teo]: Computer
  • 비디오 – [bi-di-o]: Video

There are also some words that sound like English words but don’t mean the same thing. This similarity, however, can make them easier to memorize:

  • 아이- [ai] – (sounds like “eye”) means child
  • 눈- [nun] – (sounds like “noon”) means eyes
  • 많이 – [manh-i] – (sounds like “many”) means a lot of
  • 비 – [bi]- (sounds like “bee”) means rain

These words are definitely your friends and can make learning some Korean vocabulary much easier and faster.

3. How You Are Learning

drama motivation

Your learning methods also play an important role in how fast you learn Korean. If your language learning is limited to a classroom setting, then it will probably take you a little longer to learn.

If, however, you also are exposed to Korean outside of classes, then you can cut down the time needed to learn it. Reading, listening to the radio or eBooks, writing, speaking, watching movies, and travelling to a Korean-speaking country can all help to speed up your learning process.

4. The Time Dedicated to Learning

time contributed to learning korean

Naturally, how long it takes you to learn Korean also depends on how much time you plan to dedicate to language learning daily, weekly, or monthly. Studies have proven that learners who are willing to dedicate an hour a day to language learning–whether that be by studying grammar, memorizing vocabulary, watching a movie, or reading a book–learn significantly faster than those who just attend a weekly class.

That’s why online programs like Rocket Languages work so well for many language learners: they encourage frequent study and are easy to access on a daily basis. And that’s also why full immersion is, by far, the fastest way to learn a language.

5. Your Attitude

korean motivationYou attitude also plays a huge role in how fast you learn Korean. If you approach language learning with a positive attitude and see it as a fun and fascinating opportunity to broaden your horizons (and to sound like a native when you sing K-pop), you’ll be more open to learning. You’ll be more motivated to study and learn as much as possible, and the entire process will be more enjoyable and, consequently, faster.

6. Your Motivation

It’s no secret that staying motivated is key to learning a new language. There have been so many studies proving the importance of motivation in language learning. Staying motivated is the number one reason why many people have language success, and also the number one reason why some fail.

Reminding yourself why you want to learn Korean, how it will improve your life, and everything good that can come from learning it can help you to stay motivated and, therefore, speed up the time necessary to learn it.