Every language is unique. That’s why learning a foreign language gives you a new way to see the world. But choosing which language to learn is a different matter. Knowing which language is right for you will help you fall in love with it. So, why should you learn Korean? And is it the right language for you?
Often people choose a language because it’s relevant to them. Perhaps they have a connection to the heritage, a college class, or a career prospect that inspires them to work their way toward fluency. But that isn’t always the case. If you want to make sure you’re choosing the right language, you need to know everything about it. So, to help you figure out if learning Korean is the right choice for you, here are 12 reasons why Korean is awesome!
1. Korean Is Useful
There are more than 75 million people who speak Korean. And it ranks as 18th in the most used languages in the world. This makes the language useful for travel, or business.
If you plan on doing any sort of business in the country, you will need to know Korean. It’s a sign of respect your business partners will appreciate. And thanks to Korea’s large economy, the country is also a great vacation destination. When you visit, knowing Korean will put you at an advantage. Not only can you communicate and navigate successfully, but you can also discover hidden spots that tourists don’t usually know about.
2. The Korean Alphabet Is Simple
You may think that Korean is hard to learn because it has a different writing system. But learning Hangul, the Korean alphabet, is very easy. The Korean language is considered to have the most logical system of writing in the world. Hangul didn’t slowly evolve. Instead, it was purposefully crafted to fit the speech of the language perfectly. King Sejong, who ruled during the Joseon dynasty, is the mastermind current system. Before it was introduced, people would substitute Chinese characters for Korean.
Hangul has 24 letters (2 less than English), and are all spelled phonetically. Languages with words that are spelled phonetically are much easier to grasp. For example, ㄴ, pronounced “ni-eun”, resembles the English letter N, and looks exactly the way your tongue would look forming the sound. The simplicity of the alphabet is just one of the reasons why you should learn Korean.
3. Speaking Korean Is Easy!
As we mentioned before, the Korean alphabet is built on the sounds of the language. Thanks to the phonetic letters, Korean pronunciation is very logical. You pronounce everything that’s written. Whenever you think that speaking Korean is difficult, think of how much worse other languages have it.
There are no guttural sounds in Korean, like in Arabic or Hebrew. And there are also no consonant clusters, like in Polish or Georgian. But most importantly, Korean is not a tonal language, unlike other East Asian languages. This makes speaking Korean a lot easier.
4. Korean Has No Verb Conjugations
Korean grammar isn’t complicated. For instance, you don’t have to worry about conjugating verb forms in Korean. No matter if the verb is plural or singular, it uses the same form.
Many other languages conjugate verbs, which can be very difficult to learn. The difficulties of verb conjugation of leave learners frustrated enough to quit. Since you do not have to worry about verb forms in Korean, you can sail right past that roadblock and wave “bye-bye” to those annoying verb conjugation charts.
5. There Are No Noun Genders in Korean
One difficult hurdle many people struggle with when learning a second language like French or Spanish is the gender of nouns. It can be very difficult to determine what nouns are masculine and which are feminine. This isn’t an issue with Korean since there are no noun genders in the language.
6. Konglish Makes Speaking Easier
Korean has also incorporated certain English words and phrases into the language. People call this hybrid between English and Korean, “Konglish”. And mastering it can help you learn to speak Korean faster.
For example, when a Korean says 디카 (“dika”), that’s actually the shortened English word for “digital camera.” Another example is 셀카 (“selka”) which means selfie. Remember, Koreans truly make an effort to adapt to the culture of other languages. Returning the same curtesy is a great reason why it’s worth to learn Korean.
7. Korea Is a Leader In World Affairs
Korea has been making headlines lately in world politics. And not just because of North Korea. For example, eighth UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon co-initiated The Paris Accords, vowing to reduce future carbon emissions.
Korea is also an important US ally, despite the tense and ever-evolving developments between North and South Korean relations. The country continues to invest its own economic clout in the United States, making it a promising country to learn more about. If you’re interested in politics, why not learn Korean?
8. Korean Culture Is Unique
Korean culture is rich in customs and traditions. Beyond the modern popular culture that is taking the world by storm, there is a vast Korean history waiting for you to discover it. Art, holidays, and superstitions are unique to the peninsula.
The Korean cultural mindset is based on respect. Concepts such as honor, face, and pride have long been associated with the society. Yet, how this heritage effects modern-day Korea is a fascinating study. And you can only discover it if you speak the language. Those doors will remain locked to you until you develop your Korean language abilities.
9. Understand Popular Kpop Songs
Most Westerners instantly associate Korea with its Kpop phenomena. However, the country’s increasing export of movies, fashion, and cosmetics have put it more securely on the map. There’s even a word for it: “Hallyu,” or “The Korean Wave.” And many of Korea’s top celebrities have made the crossover into Western entertainment and advertisements. You’ve likely already seen some of their endorsements for your favorite products.
No one wants to be left out of the pop culture relevance loop. And with The Korean Wave coming stronger than ever, you’ll definitely experience it better by speaking the language. Wanting to understand the lyrics of popular foreign songs is a great reason why it’s beneficial to learn Korean.
10. Enjoy Korean Dramas
Korean cinema and TV culture are especially fascinating. And the quality is very high. Boong Joon Ho’s Parasite won 4 Academy Awards as proof of that. If you want to experience Korean films and Korean dramas to their full extent, speaking Korean is a must.
You’ll be able to read the subtitles and understand the characters. In fact, if you enjoy Korean entertainment, you can also substitute your language classes. Why learn Korean with boring grammar drills, when you can immerse yourself with exciting K-Dramas!?
11. Discover Better Career Prospects
Bilingual employees are more valued in a company. If you learn a second language you may also earn more money. So, why learn Korean? Because Korean business relationships are an asset. Korea has the 12th largest economy in the world. Companies such as Samsung, Hyundai, and LG are constantly expanding. If and when your company decides to join Korean investors and markets, your Korean knowledge could put you to the front.
12. Make More Korean Friends
Koreans are very welcoming people. You learning their language is a great sign of respect. They will appreciate your efforts, and even help you to progress to fluency. Sometimes even for free. Out of pride for their country, many Koreans offer complimentary language lessons or insights into the culture.
They won’t judge you or call you out for your mistakes. Instead, you can practice your pronunciation with ease, and develop your fluency comfortably.
If you know and love someone who speaks Korean, learning the language for them is the ultimate sign of effort. They will be excited about your progress, and help you reach Korean proficiency. This personal touch is a great reason why people learn Korean.
Start Learning Korean Today!
As you can see, Korean is not just a wonderful language, it is also very useful to learn. You can use it in a lot of situations. And it’s not even as hard as people think it is. Its alphabet is logical, verbs don’t have conjugations, and it even lacks tonal sounds in pronunciation. Plus, Korean culture makes it especially worth the time you spend and effort you’ll put in to reach fluency.
If you feel curious about learning Korean, why not start today? Try OptiLingo to get the most out of your language learning. Our method is based on scientifically proven teaching methods. Comprehensible input and spaced repetition are two of the most effective theories that many other language learning platforms forget.