Friday, July 22, 2011

Is Puberty a Good Time to Start Learning Korean?

A seventh grade girl is attracted to a Korean-American boy and starts learning Korean. Four years later, she becomes the first "non-Korean" to win second place in a Korean speech contest hosted by the U.S. National Association for Korean Schools. Then, after a phone interview with a Korean reporter, the girl is described by the reporter as being able to speak Korean as if it were her mother tongue.

Four years may seem like a long time to learn a language, but when learning Korean, it is not that long, especially if you are trying to learn it outside Korea.

Link to Article

And she is very good.


  1. Hi Gerry.

    I was wondering how long it would take me from knowing almost nothing about korean to being able to speak the language fluently as well as be able to read and write. You see, I've been dating this korean girl for quite some time, however her parents do not know any english. Therefore, I thought it would be nice if I could pick up the language as so I can communicate with them. I do not know much about the language except some commonly used phrases and nouns and I have nearly zero understanding of the grammar. I understand how fast I learn the language will depend on how much effort and time I put into it but I just wanted to hear your thoughts about how long it would take me. I'm going to enroll in a korean language course in September, in Level 1 though. Also, I was wondering if there were any other ways/pointers/tips which you thought would help me learn the language faster. I'm currently 20 years old so does that mean it'll take longer for me to learn it as opposed to learning it when i was younger.


  2. Hi Jim,

    It is going to take a long time to learn to speak the language fluently, but you will learn how to pronounce and write the alphabet quickly. It took the girl in this post only four years to learn to speak as fluently as she does, and I think that is amazing, especially since she learned to speak it outside Korea.

    If you do not know the alphabet, then that is the first thing you need to learn, and you should learn it before your classes start in September. You can start learning it online by using the free Sogang University Korean Program HERE.

    As for Korean grammar, there are seven basic sentence patterns that you should know, which I have listed HERE. You can ask your girlfriend to explain them to you.

    Also, you might want to read my 10 Step Plan for Studying Korea, which I wrote back in 2005.

    Korean is a hard language to learn, but it is fun to study, especially if you have a Korean girlfriend with whom to practice.


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