Challenge to Korean learners

Hi. Soooo, I’m determined to get something “practical” out of my drama addiction, and I came up with the bright idea of learning Korean. And that’s not all… I want to learn it in 6 months. I got the idea from Adam Wik’s blog, and I wanted to try it myself, because I spent 2 years on and off dabbling in Mandarin and still can’t speak any better than a 2 year old, so I plan to tackle Korean first (which seems “easier”), and then use the skills and practices I gain during the next 6 months and apply them to Mandarin once again at the end of the day.

I love challenges and competitions, so this is just the impetus I need to get started. If you’re learning Korean, too, feel free to join or just browse for ideas or leave some words of wisdom of your own.

Some resources I’ve gathered so far (for free, of course) are as follows:

  1. Guide to Learning Hangeul (Korean alphabet) I got from another thread here.
  2. Place to find native speakers in real-time to practice with (language exchange)
  3. Site where others (native speakers) will correct your writing

And, finally, in order to start off with a bang, there’s a challenge within the challenge. Learn 1,000 vocabulary words in a month. Here’s the list. Learning 34 words a day will give us 1,000 words in 29 days, with one/two days for review. If you have Anki, you can use the spaced-repetition-system and import a ready-made list.

Other than the 5-minute video I watched on how to read hangeul, I don’t know anything at all except for what I think I hear in the dramas I watch (one word phrases like ajumma or saranghae). It looks like my first month of “speaking” will involve asking my language partner to read my vocabulary list to me so that I can practice the words. LOL. That ought to be interesting…

I’m excited that I’ll finally get to say what should be said how it ought to be said and look forward to understanding what’s being said before the subtitles are done (or if there are no subtitles at all).

Cheers and good luck to you all!!!


Honestly I think 6 months is way to short to learn Korean but it can be a good start to learn some basics.
Good luck!

I also made a topic about learning Korean here.

Of course I don’t expect to be a connoisseur of the language in that short time frame, but I do want to be able to communicate with native speakers without having to rely on my own language; and I think that is a reasonable expectation. This challenge can help learners at any level become better than they are now.

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A thousand vocabulary words in a month!? That’s pretty aggressive. Another thing you might want to try is the website “TalkToMeInKorean”

I’ve been trying to learn Korean, but really haven’t been dedicating that much time to it. I’m going to take a look at your word list.

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Thanks for the link. :slight_smile: You’re right. It’s definitely aggressive, but it helps to propel one forward in the language. Apparently, with these words alone, one can understand 50% of the language. That doesn’t just go for Korean, so for any language a goal of 1,000 words can help move a beginner to an intermediate level–no matter how long the time frame set for learning them lasts.

Anki really doesn’t take much time, so if you can dedicate to studying a new 10 words daily, at the end of 3 months, you should notice that your comprehension level has increased. Also, the original creator of the challenge, so inspiringly said that even if I were to only learn half the words in my target, that would be a great feat in and of itself. Either way, I’m a winner at the end of the day.

I wish you every success!!

Also take a look at It has the same list of 1000 common words, but also includes mnemonic devices and a free iphone app.

I’ll send you over my Lang8 ID and my Memrise (just incase you decide to join it)


I’m learning basics with this resources that I think are clear, easy and funny.
Pit a pat Korean (KBS World)


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Thanks for those links. It’s amazing how many great resources are readily available in this day and age!

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I found one more helpful resource. It allows you to type hangul online, so without altering any computer settings; plus it explains how to type on a korean keyboard, so after a while if you want to switch over, you can.

On a mac you can switch between keyboards very easily by pressing a shortkey. You don’t have to change your entire language settings. That doesn’t work in windows?

It’s actually not that bad to get it set up on Windows… and then the hot key to switch between keyboards is “window + spacebar” at this point I can flip between without even thinking about it.

What’s the shortcut on a mac?

@alienluvah I made mine cmd⌘+spacebar but at first that was a shortcut for spotlight since both spotlight and input source have the same shortcuts. You can change that in your keyboard settings -> format (shortkeys?) and then input source. Make sure you switch off the shortcut you pick for input source as a spotlight shortkey.
Also make sure you did add Korean (I added all 5 but maybe I can get rid of a few…hahaha) to your Input sources otherwise you can’t switch between them.

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Are the input sources in system preferences?

Yay! Found it. Thanks.

Soooo, I’m actually still gathering resources right now, and I haven’t officially launched the challenge for myself yet. I wanted to share the two youtube channels that I’ll start with. You’ll get an idea of what level my Koreans at. Hahahahaha. As I go through, I’ll add any resources I use if they’re not listed yet and make any relevant observations (kind of like updates, I guess) so that you’ll have an idea of how it’s going. (Don’t worry, I won’t overdo it with daily entries. That would be a bit much…)

  1. Conversational Korean
  2. Pit-a-Pat Korean
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Yeah really short unless you go in S.Korea and learn it there by speaking it everyday. I’ve been learning Korean since 2010 and I may say I’m still at a beginners level, although I only lack on vocabulary. But honestly with pure determination I think I should be able to speak fluently now if only I focus on learning. The thing is I have many priorities and the only thing that supplies me on my korean learning is through watching dramas. I never really learn it thoroughly. Never get to finish doing my audio lessons and books. If you guys want a very good free site with step by step lessons I suggest they have good stuff and you’ll definitely learn a lot from them. Plus they’re very fun teachers.

My notebook I added korean keyboard to it in the settings and print out a korean keyboard cuts each letters one by one and paste it on my keyboards lol. So now I have a korean-english self modified keyboard.

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That’s a really good idea.

Ok. And so it begins… I’ve gathered all the resources I intended. The official date of starting the 6-month challenge begins May 11. I’ll be honest. At this juncture, because I’ve had a lot going on, I’m extremely tired and am already feeling like there’s not enough time in the day. I’m not sure how I’m going to make it through, but I’d rather just dive in instead of postponing it. I feel like I’ll never be able to get any interpreting jobs if I only speak Spanish, so I must have at least one (if not two or three) Asian languages in order to be competitive. Here goes…