How NOT To Learn Korean OR Picky Learners Are The Worst Learners


Absolutely the worst way to start learning Korean… or anything for that matter.

You’ve heard it all… and you probably believe in some of it too.

  1. Textbooks suck, i won’t learn to speak. I’ll fall asleep after page 2.
  2. I can’t learn in class… they take too long and homework is stressful”
  3. I’ll never need to know this word for real life.. what a waste…”
  4. This is useless to me. It’s completely in Korean and I don’t understand it”

Then I get this message from a passing visitor…

“how do i know for sure the Korean conversation i learn has the right accent? i want proper accent and not some country bumpkin accent. if im going to start from scratch and do it all, i want to start it right. 

Wow. Accents, books and classes aside. If you ever wanted to learn Korean (or any language – i’ve seen this across the board)… Getting picky about what you will and won’t will end your Korean journey FAST. Forget about starting right. You need to start . You don’t know enough Korean. You haven’t put enough hours into your study to figure out what works. Put ’em hours in first, young grasshopper.

A picky Korean learner is like…

…A wanna-be runner worrying about which running shoes to buy instead of actually running.

…Me at 12AM wondering how I should start my essay due tomorrow … instead of starting 2 days ago, and then revising it.

It’s like… reading about learning Korean instead of… wait for it… LEARNING KOREAN!!

Fact Is There’s Value in Everything. 

1. Someone told you books suck.

Flipside: Textbooks have basic grammar, reading practice, hangul, and sample sentences up the wazzoo.

2. Feel like classes don’t help?

Guess what… classes give you access to an actual, living, breathing native speaker. But instead of drilling the teacher to give you more practice, more work, and more of the good stuff (ask and ye shall receive), you complain that the homework doesn’t help you speak. Well damn, somebody may as well give you a million dollars and have you use it for toilet paper.

3. Knowing Korean words like “swamp”and “export” is completely useless in real life? 

Maybe so.

But here’s whats going to happen. You’re going to forever be having “real life” conversations like “Durr, I’m from America, and you?” and “My favorite food is Korean BBQ. It’s spicy!” and then wonder why you can’t connect with Koreans that don’t speak a lick of English

4. “This is useless to me. It’s completely in Korean and I don’t understand it”

This is my favorite one. I’ve seen it done with pure Korean translation exercises. A newbie will pop in and complain that giving them a Korean sentence to translate into English is useless. They don’t know anything.

Well, damn.

Ever heard of a dictionary? Google translate? Open it up, define words, write them down… and maybe you’ll understand it. The fact that you’d go out of your way to do this will guarantee you’ll go far. That is, unless you’re a picky Korean learner.

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It’s like… reading about learning Korean instead of… wait for it… LEARNING KOREAN!!

Yep, that’s me. Or in my case, add writing about Korean and talking about wanting to learn Korean and writing to Koreans in English …

I have no idea why it is so hard to pin myself down to actually STUDY Korean. I spend hours every day doing the “other stuff” that isn’t vocabulary and grammar study. But 15 minutes of hard concentration to learn every day is incredibly difficult for me to do.

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