Whether you’re looking to improve career prospects or sing K-pop in the shower, Korean is a useful language to learn! Here are six main reasons to start learning Korean today!
1. Understand Korean Culture
These days, Korean culture is the top reason people choose to learn Korean. And who can blame them? Korean culture is a fascinating mix of new and old, calm and crazy — there’s something for everyone.
Are you a fan of Korean pop music or dramas? If so, learning Korean would allow you to:
- sing songs in the original language (just think about how much more fun concerts will be when you can sing along!)
- watch dramas and variety shows before they’re subtitled and better understand what the characters say
- write fan mail to your favorite star
- learn about up-and-coming trends (like the new R&B groups)
- explore traditional music and older pop music that still influence Korean music today
Even if you’re not into Korean pop culture, you’ve probably still heard of “Gangnam Style” (the first Youtube video to get one billion views) or internationally-acclaimed films like Parasite, Train to Busan, and Old Boy.
These days, it’s hard not to feel the impact of Korean culture and wonder about the country behind it all.
2. Travel to Korea
Whether you want to ...:
- visit filming locations from your favorite dramas
- stay at a temple to find your inner self
- see the border between North and South Korea
- check out UNESCO World Heritage sites
- or go hiking at one of the country’s gorgeous trails
… speaking Korean will make your trip to Korea a lot more enjoyable.
With some basic Korean, you’ll be able to get around with ease, taking public transportation or taxis like a local. You also won’t need to worry about getting lost as you’ll be able to ask people on the street for directions.
3. Look Young Forever
If you’ve ever watched a Korean movie or music video, you’ve probably noticed that the people in it have flawless skin. So it’s no surprise that women — and men — around the world are increasingly turning to Korea for the latest skincare and makeup products.
You might not need Korean to buy these products. After all, the big Korean brands sell their products internationally.
But knowing Korean can help you go further. You will be able to:
- understand beauty blogs and makeup tutorials about the latest trends and newest products.
- follow brands directly on social media, including small, independent brands which haven’t made it to stores outside Korea yet!
- look up product reviews in Korean. Reviews in the local language will be more comprehensive, as locals know more about their own brands, ingredients, and how well they work.
- better understand what you’re using. The terms used are different and many products use traditional ingredients, such as “fermented soybean.”
4. Improve Your Career Prospects
South Korea is currently the 12th largest economy in the world. That’s impressive, considering the country is smaller than the state of New York.
This country is also the US’s sixth largest trading partner and home to 15 Fortune 500 companies (e.g. Samsung, LG, Hyundai). These multinational companies not only have headquarters around the world, but also actively invest in foreign countries.
As you can see, South Korea is small but mighty. By learning Korean, you’ll have an advantage getting jobs at Korean companies, at companies that do business with Korea, or in the country itself!
Koreans also love traveling. More than half of the population travelled abroad in 2018. So if Koreans visit your country, you could be a tour guide!
5. Talk to Nearly 80 Million Native Speakers
While many Koreans speak English these days, you’ll really get to know Korea if you can talk to locals in their own language.
And luckily for Korean learners, the Korean language has the 14th most native speakers in the world. That’s more than the native speakers of languages such as French and German.
Korean isn’t just useful in Korea. Millions of ethnic Koreans live abroad, in places ranging from Japan to the US. The country also sends the fourth most students abroad, so you’ll be able to use Korean outside Korea too.
You’ll even be able to talk to Koreans from the comfort of your room. The country boasts the fastest internet speeds in the world and nearly 90% are on social media. So you won’t have trouble finding Koreans to talk to online.
Plus, as not many non-Koreans can speak the language, Koreans are generally very welcoming to those who do! If you can just say “Hello” in Korean, you’ll be making Korean friends before you know it.
6. It’s Easy to Get Started!
Last but not least, it’s easy to get started. Unlike other Asian languages, Korean doesn’t have tones or thousands of characters that you need to learn to be literate.
So you’ll be able to read menus, street signs, and even books in no time. Plus, some of the most useful Korean words are actually from English (e.g. bus, taxi, computer, butter) so it won’t be hard to learn vocabulary.
And if you study with Engoo, fluency won’t be a problem. Book an English-speaking Korean tutor for a one-on-one lesson using one of our learning materials (e.g. Korean Grammar In Use), and you’ll be speaking in no time!
You’ll get one free trial lesson when you sign up, so give it a try!