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Korean for English speakers needs you!

We're gradually drawing to a close on building the Korean for English speakers course. In the next day or two we'll finish adding sentences and then double and triple checking the course so it's ready for Beta.

What do we need from you? We still have a (very) short time before we lock the course, so help us think of what we might have missed. Any special words that you couldn't do without in Korea? And grammar that's necessary in your Intro to Korean class? And sentence we would be remiss not to include? (Remember, we do have more than 60 skills with more than 1700 words, so we've already got the basics covered.)

We can't promise that your ideas will be included, but we'll add what we can and keep the rest in mind for when we expand our tree to greater heights after this initial course is stable.

We look forward to your ideas and hope you're ready for the course!


August 8, 2017



Levels of politeness and formality/ honorifics please. People who consume popular culture from Korea seem eager to use a level of speech that is inadequate in a classroom, business, or setting with people not in their family/in-group.

[deactivated user]

    We will not disappoint you ;)

    • 2319

    I agree! The levels of formality should be clearly explained in separate skills. It's something I am missing in the Japanese course, informal speech does not seem to be covered there at all.


    I know a couple people who had/are having a hard time in Korea due to different dietary restrictions. Hopefully we could get help with that? Most courses offer "I am vegetarian, etc". Also, I would love to learn more about spirituality and philosophy in Korea. Buddhist customs, Confucian values, etc.


    Something like I don't eat pork because I'm Muslim/Jewish would be helpful.


    Politeness levels, and maybe a dialect or slang.


    i've been slightly trying to learn korean on my own for quite some time now but without much succes so i'm very happy for this course! the only tip i have is giving clear explanation for all pronounciaton rules with the korean hangul script like the pat'chim simplification, consonant shift rule and nasal assimilation rule etc. also because the korean language has 2 different sets of numbers it would be nice to see clear examples of when to use which altough you guys probably already have all the things i mentioned xD


    Yess... Korean phonology is a pain (I'm a linguist) for learning pronunciation and needs to be introduced rather than computerized text to speech! Also agree that explaining how to use the two different sets of numbers in counting, dates, etc. is critical!

    [deactivated user]

      computerized text to speech

      Sorry mate... we're having that


      Soedori, if that is the case then TTS pronunciation will be predictably unKorean. Is it not possible to account for and generalize sound changes in both Japanese and Korean?


      We are going to be using a TTS engine from Korea, which should mean that the pronunciation is pretty good.

      [deactivated user]

        Good??? I find it pretty attractive ;p


        I offer absolutely no help in Korean... but I'm very excited for the course! Thank you Korean Team for all your work on the course! :) <3


        We can take requests in English as well as Korean :)


        Can you have a section that heavily drills quoting other people? That still confuses me. 라고 / 다고 , etc.....


        We have a whole skill on Indirect Quotations, one skill each for ~라고, ~자고, ~냐고, and ~다고


        At the beginning of all courses they are 'animal' and 'food' skills. However I would love them to have 'animals 2' and 'food 2' as the first ones are very limited. I would LOVE to see this in Korean. :)


        We have Food, Food 2, and Food 3. One focuses a bit on restaurants and one on cooking.


        Wow. Sounds awesome, can't wait


        I would like to learn some terms you find in Korean fiction literature and newspapers. Historic and cultural words have been mentioned already. Some Korean values and virtues could be included as well.


        I would kind of like to see a skill on poetry. Maybe there are some really short poems that would work with duolingo?

        Other than that I would like to see lessons about Korean food. And seeing some insiders from Naver webtoons would be funny.

        I'm really looking forward to this course.


        Colloquial words (informal)


        Some things I've struggled with are similar words that sound the same or words for the same thing but differ in politeness. Like 혼자/홀로, 집/댁, 가울/겨울, 바다/받다/받닥. I've also been confused sometimes with homonyms 눈, 사과, 배, 다리. And the different ways to say "to wear" depending on what it is you're talking about wearing. Just a few ideas, I know it might be too much to try covering all of these for a duolingo course. :) Thanks for all your hard work, I'm looking forward to the course!!


        Now that my brain has been thinking, I've thought of a few other suggestions...how to say "and" in all its many different forms, or maybe just what to default to (그리고?) if unsure. The difference between 당신/그대 (is there a difference? when do we use them and not just the person's name?). And just for possible fun extra bonus sections (maybe later down the line), I've always found other languages' expressions interesting (누워서 떡 목기, etc.)


        Agree. Learning some idioms and expressions, such as kwang daeshin dalk (sorry, no Korean keyboard right now), or Haega seocheokaesuh dun damyeon, add a whole layer to your understanding of the language.


        Historical and cultural things should be included. Maybe some slang could be included too.


        I love having a couple of specialized skills that teach really specific vocab. Like with the Russian tree, a tech skill might be cool.

        Likewise, a "history" skill with some facts about Korea's past and present would be great for both teaching words like "alphabet", "farms", and "war", and also give learners a good overview of the countries Korean is spoken in.


        I would like the Korean course to have "Tips and Notes" sections, as many other courses have.

        I am doing the Japanese course and I like it a lot, and even though I am past the second check-point (that is, I have already completed around 15-16 skills) I miss some grammar explanations (the Japanese course does not have "Tips and Notes", or at least I haven't found them).

        It would be great if you include them in the Korean course.


        Usagiboy has published inofficial tips and notes for Japanese in the forum. Like Japanese, Korean will be released on mobile first. Once the new feature is ready both courses will be available on the website. As long as they are not ready on the website there will be no official tips and notes since they are not in the app.


        A couple of proverbs, maybe? 옷이 날개다, 싼 게 비기딱, 바가지를 쓰다, and the like. Similarly, some idioms from Chinese characters (갑론을박, 다다익선,..) and other idioms (국수를 먹다, 귀가 가렵다, 긴말할 것 없다,...). But maybe Duolingo is not really the right format for that. You know better than me.

        Some specific vocab from science, politics, etc (but I think that was already the case in the reverse course, so I'm pretty confident you've already got a lot of vocab covered).

        Are you going to cover 한자?

        Anyhow, looking forward to it, thanks for your relentless efforts this last year.

        [deactivated user]



          [deactivated user]

            Well it isn't... used too much in common day these days in all honesty to the point you don't really need to know it. Plus, our system is not optimised for it


            Indeed. It helps a bit to know some of the common roots to remember some vocab, but not in an introductory to intermediate course. There are other resources that can teach them if one really wants to learn them.


            I have been writing the notes, and have been including common roots there. When those roots are from Chinese, the character is included


            Maybe cover pronunciation rules a little? like ㅅ,ㅆ,ㅈ, etc. make a 't' sound at the end of a letter. Or how some ending consonants move to the next letter to make for smoother pronunciation. Also, the nuances of particles like 은/는, 이/가.

            Anyway, I can't wait! I have been in South Korea for 2months now. :)


            Well, Korean has sound that are not in english. so pronunciation can be a little confusing if you speak english.


            :D I'M SO EXCITED!! ^-^


            Can I join in....? I can help you about the English and (a little) Korean. :))


            I cannot think of anything else to add the the other commenters haven't suggested. I just wanted to express my deepest thanks for creating this course! I am highly looking forward to it and cannot thank every single course contributor enough for all their hard work and efforts! Please know that your efforts did not go unnoticed. Can't wait to celebrate the big release day! I might even celebrate with some bibimbap :D


            I also encourage you to add lots of "tips" and notes. This would be especially helpful regarding honorifics, and cultural idiosyncrasies such as using "our" for "my", dropping sentence subjects when understood, not always specifying plurality, tendency to use titles rather than names, confirming a negative by saying "yes," rather than "no." It will also be a challenge to clarify the usage of the -은/는 post-position particle without notes and examples. One improvement I am hoping for in all DL courses is the addition of sentences (multiple-sentence questions) to create more context. Thank you all for your diligence and perseverance. 수고 들 하셨네요.

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