Korean Lesson 001


Here’s Korean letters, their writing and pronunciation. I won’t focus on this much as most of you might already know it, or even if you don’t, you’ll gradually pick it up one by one, it’s not something major needed in the beginning. We’ll also go into them in detail later when we start learning to read. For now, we’ll focus on learning the vocabulary and sounds.

For anyone who knows English and starts listening and understanding Korean, the first thing you will realize is that the order in which Koreans talk is different from the order in English. In my early days, more often than not, I’d be surprised at Korean grammar and wonder about it. That is, until I saw a very easy example that explained it all for me. From there on, it wasn’t a hard task to put two and two together when making new sentences or trying to put words together.

Korean grammar does not need the is am are that make English an elaborate language. In Korean, the verb comes after the Objective, rather than before it. Here’s the example that set me straight.

English: I ate an apple, I like you

Korean: I apple ate, I you like

Hence, while English is a Subject-Verb-Object language, Korean is a Subject-Object-Verb Language. You find the difference in the understanding of Korean words at a particular point by the tense that is used. [I don’t know the exact term so I’ll use the word tense because it’s what I think myself] That is to say, when you’re saying something, you say it in that particular tense to make your point across. Sometimes when things are said at a certain time or place, you can understand the meaning without the use of a different tense. This might be a bit difficult to understand here, but as we go on and learn more and more, it’ll start coming naturally!

The main point in learning anything is practice. The more you practice, the faster and the better you’ll learn. Here, when you’re a learner at the very beginning or even middle stages, you need not definitely practice talking with someone in Korean.

I do not yet know how to read very well. I know the sounds and the characters associated with the sound, but I have yet to undertake it fully and understand it completely. I will start learning that myself here on and share what I learn with you guys too!

For today, there’s a list of common words given below. What you should do is memorize the words and try to place words you have learnt into the dramas/scenes you are currently following and see if they ring anywhere.

List of words:

a little 조금  Cho G/Kum
a lot 많이  Manh I (Banhi)
admit 인정하다  In Jong Ha da
again 다시 Da   Shi/Ta Shi
age 나이        Na i
all 전부        Chon Bu
allow 허락하다 Ho Rak Ha Da
alone 혼자 Hon Ja
anyway 어쨋든 Ochchaet dun
Appointment 약속         Yak Sok
ashamed 부끄러운 Pu Kku Ra Un
ask 묻다
bad 나쁜 Na Ppun
be 이다,있다 I Da, Itt Da
body 몸 Mom (As in Bom)
boyfriend 남자친구 Nam Ja Chin Gu
carefully 조심스럽게 Cho Shim Su Rup Kae
change 바꾸다 Pa Kku Da
Room/Bread 방 Pang
Apple/Apology 사과 Sa Gwa
House 집 Jip
Bag 가방 Ga Bang
Person 사람 Sa Ram
Love 사랑 Sa Rang
New 새로운 Sae Ro Un
Long ago 오래전 O Rae Jon
From Here 여기부터 Yo Gi Bu To
Still 여전히 Yeo Jon Hi
Heart 심장 Shim Jang
Feeling 느낌 Nu Kkim
Today 오늘 O Nal
Tonight 오늘밤 O Nal Bam
Memory 기억장 Ki Ok Jong
Maybe 아마도 A Ma Du
Watch/See, Look at 보다 Po Da
When? 언제? On Jae?
Where? 어디? O Di?
Who? 누구? Nu Gu?
Why? 왜? Wae?
Go 가 다 K(Kh)a Da
Yet 아 직  A Jik
Hide 숨기다  Sum Gi Da
Scared 무서운 Bu So Un
Believe 믿 다  Mid/t Da
Sadly 슬프게 Sul Pu Gae
Sad 슬픈 Sul Pun
Now 지 금 Chi Gum
Dwell/Live 살다 Sal Da

The songs given ahead are what you’ve probably already heard many times but try listening to them again and see if there are any words that ring the same. In the next lesson, I will cover the lyrics of these songs and through that, we’ll learn more words and the way they are used.

For the third lesson and onwards, we will follow almost the same pattern. I won’t be writing the Korean for words anymore, instead, I’ll write the way they are pronounced. Also, if you guys have any problems with pronounciation or understanding, do you want to try chat for it, like on skype? That way we can actually speak the words and sentences and you can catch the pronouncitaiton. Otherwise, I’ll post relevant songs or recommend scenes from dramas that will help you out! 😉

So, what say? 🙂

I hope you guys find the lesson helpful! Please give feedback and if there’s any specific things you want to cover, let me know that too!

About hitomiakiko

Architect and Aspiring Writer

Posted on March 15, 2012, in Potpourri, Uncategorized, Written Excerpts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. I don’t know if you don’t know this or if it was just a mistake when you were writing it but 방 is room and 빵 is bread, meaning that they are said similarly but not the same.

  2. May I ask how long you’ve been learning Korean for? And do you self study? I been wanting to learn Korean for a long time but it’s so hard T_T

  3. Hi just decided to check out this part of your blog (got introduced thanks to heartless city – thanks for those recaps btw) and found it really interesting! So proud to discover there were only two words on your list I didn’t know: new and long ago. I’m now trying to teach myself the alphabet…I know the vowels and a couple of the consonants already but I’m trying to remember the rest.
    Ok, so here’s my question for you: Rather than word order (which I was cool with since I already know some Japanese), what has always confused me in Korean is the letters “n” and “d” and the letters “m” and “b”: why does it always sound to me like the two are interchangeable??? For instance, sometimes I hear noona and sometimes doona (admittedly the latter is rarer). Or that word on your list, who, I often hear it as dugu, not nugu, although it’s clearly spelled with an n, as I can see. Please could you help me clear up this confusion that’s been plaguing me for so long now? Chaebalyo!

    • Oh, I so envy you for knowing Japanese! I really wish I knew it too! I’ve been wanting to pick it for ages-along with Mandarin, whichever i can pick but havent any idea how to go learning them! >_<
      Ah, you're right about the sounds- the 'k/g', 'd/n' and 'p/b' sounds are interchangeable in Hageul. Since I'm not korean n my knowledge is also second hand, I cannot say the true reason for it but both sounds work well when speaking if you've got the pronounciation correct overall.

  4. wow! ive wanted to fully learn korean ever since i realized id picked up bits and phrases (the simple ones, that is). i havent gone through all of the words listed, but the ones i did read were ones i already knew, so im pretty happy with myself right now.keep posting these lessons, its motivational for us poor buggers. i really really wanna learn properly but the spelling is a huge stumbling block

    • Ill keep posting but it might take some time! Good luck with learning! Just keep at it and you’ll do great! Thats how i learned it and I hope to improe myself too!

  5. hi, just want to ask if you’re a korean..

  6. I finally decided to check out this portion of your blog. I love your tutorials so much! It’s a big help. Can I suggest something for lesson 3? You can place the definition of Korean names. I found it so fascinating how the two syllables mean two different things and when you place them together, make them sound ever more beautiful. It would be cool to find out what our favorite K-actors and actresses’ names meant. 😛

    • Hehe,thanks! I hope I can continue to help more with the lessons! I have yet to get started on lesson 3 though! Somehow, i always get caught up in work here and there. Ill try n get lesson 3 done soon and also cover the names of actors and actresses although itll probably not be in lesson 3 and maybe later! But I will cover the topic! 🙂

  7. First time coming to your blog! (Thanks to Maddino’s blogroll). I love that idea of Korean language classes applied to dramas and K pop. I already know some words (proud of myself hehe). Now, i promise to be a good student! Keep posting and thank you!

  8. Oh wow… I have been busy with some exams last week and I can’t believe how much you have accomplished during this period of time! What a pleasant surprise! I will have a lot of catching up to do… both with your Korean lessons and also the recaps for the new dramas. Thank you… hope I can keep up! 🙂

    • KL!!! I’m so glad to see you! I’ve been wondering where you were! 😛 One of the reasons I took up Equator Man for recapping was because you were excited about it! 😛 How are you doing? I hope your exams went well! All the best for the result! Hehe, I hope I can keep going with this pace on the blog! Talk to you soon! 😉

  9. AH! I noticed the order of words in dramas but I actually thought the subs were wrong! (ahahaha!) Interesting. Yep, that’ll take some getting used to. I’ve copied those words into my notepad and am now gonna go watch EP 2 of Fashion King and see if any of them show up. THANK YOU!

    • I hope the words helped in the second episode, at least a bit! Ill be uploading a new lesson with more words and sentences soon and Ill feature most of the data in it from Fashion King.. Chances are, such words will be repeated throughout the series 😉

  10. Hope you find it helpful, Oegukeen! 🙂

    Welcome back, Hillary! Good to see you here! ^_^ Enjoy and I hope you’ll learn well!

    If my lessons have any problems or any issues, please do let me know! 🙂

  11. Oh you have started … Thank you.

  12. This seems like a good way to learn Korean. I myself am still not used to the word order in Korean. But it’s probably just a matter of practice.

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