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Why learn Korean?

  • Culture

    Understanding Korean will open your eyes to Korean history, arts and entertainment. Big plus if you like the Korean pop culture and TV shows.
  • 70+ million

    There is more than 70 million native speakers worldwide.
  • Fun and connecting

    Travelling to Korea is always a more fun and rewarding experience when you can communicate (at least saying a few words) with the locals in their own language.

1000 most common Korean words

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Inspiring real-life stories of learning Korean

Why should you start learning the most common Korean words? Read inspiring real-life stories from people who started learning Korean.
  • Learning Korean is actually easy

    While staying in South Korea for a month during my year long world tour, I only planned to travel there and go sightseeing. But, once there, I noticed that everything was written only in Korean, nobody was speaking any other language than Korean, and that it was... actually pretty easy to learn Korean!

    This is due to a simple fact. Their alphabet is actually similar to our. Different marks, their letters, are assembled together in one sign, their words - there isn't a whole bank of signs to learn, but the written language works like ours, by combining letters together to form a word. As a speaker of English, French, Spanish, Polish and Russian, it did seem to me pretty easy to get some quick bases in Korean while being there.

    Once you'll have learned these few basic signs, you can read and write. All you have to do is to learn what this words mean and how to combine them together, but it makes it far easier than other Asian language, for which you have to learn on top of that all the thousands of signs to be able to read and write it, and get an understanding of how the language works.

    Yoann, Online Publisher, Where Can I FLY?
  • Fulfilling experience while traveling

    There are many reasons to learn a language from a better understanding of its people's culture to a more rich and fulfilling experience while traveling a country.

    However, I would like to point out another, often overlooked reason you should definitely start learning Korean. Today, South Korea is already one of the strongest economies in Asia. It's fast becoming just as important to learn Korean as it is for learning Mandarin - which is to increase your business and career prospects! To reinforce my point simply consider that Samsung, Hyundai, POSCO, LG, Kia, Lotte, Doosan, CJ and SK are all Korean companies. So while learning Korean can be fun, don't forget about the global opportunities that come with it as well.

    Chris Choi, CEO at VIP Travel
  • Raising a trilingual child

    1. Enjoy Korean dramas at another level. Sites like Viki actually allow you to watch Korean dramas with English subtitles, which is a great way to pick up Korean. Watching with subtitles gets tedious after a while though, so learning Korean is one way to indulge in addicting Korean dramas.

    2. Sing along to Kpop. Korean pop group made history at the 2019 Grammys and the industry constantly spins out catchy tunes.

    3. You can learn how to read in an hour. Honestly. The Korean alphabet โ€œHangeulโ€ was specifically engineered to be easy to read and write in order to promote literacy. I learned how to read it (ie make the sounds) in an hour, and you can too.

    4. Date a Korean person/Marry Korean/Have a half Korean child - Pretty good reason to learn any language, but communicating with your partner or even your child is great motivation!

    Li Tian, blogger at Fulltimebaby
  • Korean movies and work

    I think one of the reasons one should learn Korean is for their Amazing movies. So far I have seen around 25 Korean movies. I have a limited exposure to it, but I was left with some kind of emotions (heavy heart, feel good, made me think about the situation in that movie, open ended story) after I watch all those movies.

    Another reason is if you want to work in South-Korea, one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world you will need to work on your Korean. Lohith from Blinkvisa
  • Korean music and dramas

    The Hallyu wave or Korean wave has been sweeping across globally for the past decade. Korean pop music and Korean dramas are now marketed to many parts of the world more than ever. And their quality productions are getting a lot of accolades from the entertainment industry as of late.

    A Korean film recently won an Oscar and it looks like there's no stopping them from conquering the global market. If you are a big fan of their music, film and TV shows, now is the best time to learn how to speak Korean.

    John Parrott, Co-founder of Relaxlikeaboss
  • Logical language

    Being bilingual or multilingual has many perks and advantages in our society. Not only it sounds cool to know and speak more than one language but when it comes to job prospects and employment opportunities, many wonderful openings blossom in front of us.

    Korean, although is not the first choice for the learners, is a very unique, different, and beautiful language. It is said to be one of the most logical languages in the world.

    The Korean alphabet, Hangul, did not slowly evolve like other alphabets. It was purposefully crafted and was made easy. Korean letters are written to reflect how your mouth or tongue looks when you produce their sound.

    Apart from being the logical language, you also get to access around 70 million native speakers who live throughout the world. Koreans are known to be a very welcoming and friendly community in the world. If youโ€™re planning to visit or live in the country for a while, it is better to learn the language, as many from the older generations of Koreans are not well-versed in the English language.

    Jennifer, Editor at Etia.com
  • Making life-long friendships

    For two years, I taught English as a Fulbright Scholar in Yesou, South Korea. I spent the second half of University independently studying Korean and continued studying in Korea. I think learning Korean has so many benefits. Here are a few:

    1) The Friendships

    I've traveled extensively all over the world and learned a handful of languages, but of all the languages I've learned, my (poor) Korean had the most magnetic draw on strangers. I forged some of my closest friendships with Koreans. To this day, I still keep in regular contact with many of these friends, my lovely Korean host family, and even a handful of my former students.

    2) The Travel Opportunities Are Boundless

    A vast majority of people who learn Korean end up living in and working there for a time. Korea is a wonderful country to explore, and I highly recommend venturing beyond Seoul. The country is full of regionally-specific dishes, local festivals, rocky mountains, jagged coastlines, and...interesting museums dedicated to human anatomy. Plus its public transportation runs like clockwork and is very easy to navigate for foreigners.

    Once you've gained even a basic understanding of Korean, a college degree in an English-speaking country will easily get you a job with flexible hours and enough vacation time to tour all of Asia. After every school holiday, my ex-pat friends and I would compare notes of which Asian countries we visited. I was able to spend significant time exploring Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, China, and Mongolia - all because I had studied Korean!

    3) Koreans Are Unusually Forgiving Of Mistakes

    Koreans are almost universally overjoyed when foreigners make an effort, however poor. This is, in part, due to the difficulty of Korean grammar and the vast pronunciation differences from English. Though my Korean is not amazing by any stretch, I found Korea a wonderful environment to practice my language skills. Just giving my taxi drivers directions in semi-passable Korean was enough to spark conversations that normally resulted in my vocabulary growing by a handful of words each time.

    4) (K)Pop Culture

    Korean entertainment is ascendant, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon. BTS is appearing on every late-night show of note, and Parasite is winning every major film award available. If you want to engage with the behemoth that is Koran pop culture, learn Korean. Subtle socio-economic differences in how the characters of Parasite address one another, for instance, make the story so much richer, and subtitles simply can't capture these nuances. Plus, nothing beats being able to go to a noraebang (Korean singing room) and belt out the chorus to the latest hit ballad - most of my friendships were cemented with the surprised faces of my new acquaintances realizing I knew the words and the chorus of their voices joining mine.

    5) Politics and World News

    I decided I wanted to live in Korea for a variety of reasons, but one of the largest factors was to better understand the complex political relationship between North and South Korea. With rumors of Kim Jong-un's death running wild, I am so happy that I can go to the source by watching the latest North Korean reports, reading the latest South Korean commentary, and discussing the facts with my friends - all in Korean! In fact, I would say I'm aware of the latest developments before most American news outlets have been able to translate them into English purely due to my broken Korean.

    If you're looking for a challenge (and it is a challenge), learning Korean is absolutely worth the effort!

    Nathan Sieminski, Account Executive for a marketing and PR firm in NYC