Countdown for Korean has begun…
Just a few more days to go. We are aiming to launch the Korean course for English speakers for iOS and Android this week! Keep your eyes peeled for updates and a special launch post, with more details, here in the forums.
Same, I prefer using the web version because of the tips and notes and I like to learn how to type the letters on my American keyboard. In Japanese, for instance, I have had to use Memrise for my roman keyboard practice because it is still not available on my PC. I hope the same doesn't happen with the Korean course.
Korean is written in an alphabet that fits the language very well. The letters are arranged in syllables, which look like characters but aren't. On a computer, the software will automatically group the letters for you as you type. Many of the consonants have the same shape as your mouth when you pronounce them, if you are looking left, so the alphabet is easier to learn than you think. Words are spelled as they are pronounced and pronounced the way they are spelled—it's the easiest alphabet in the world. The Korean keyboard layout puts the 14 consonants on the left and the 10 vowels on the right and it is already available on your device or computer. Just switch to Korean. The Korean writing system is the easiest part of Korean to learn.
There are lots of words where the individual sub-elements of it won't change their spelling, but the pronunciations can change depending on what comes either before or after.
A good example is a local district in my town; the district name is pronounced Jungnim, so that's how I write it in the Latin alphabet. The spelling, though, is 죽림. Taken in isolation the two letter blocks are 'juk' and 'lim' (meaning Bamboo Forest apparently) but having -kl- in the middle of a word/name doesn't really work in Korean, hence both changing their pronunciation to flow better in speech.
Seems daunting at first but it's all pretty regular really. The weirdest one I know of is the sesame leaf pronounced 'kennip' when it looks like it should be 'keship'.
When there is a sound change that is completely regular and absolutely predictable, the orthography can either change the spelling to match the pronunciation or keep the spelling and have a pronunciation rule. Dutch, German, Belarusian, and Russian all devoice certain consonants at the end of a word. In Russian and German, they preserve the spelling, in Dutch and Belarusian, they change the spelling.
Once on TV, an actress was trying to pass for German. She said, "guten Tag," but pronounced it "gooten tog" instead of "guten tock." In real life, the jig would have been up before she got past "hello."
So you are saying that Korean follows the same orthographic convention as Russian and German, which is a huge relief, because that makes it easier.
I think the current percentage-complete rating on the 'add new course' page must be based on how close Japanese is to desktop, since it already came out on Android and iOS. Estimated completion date is 4 months in the past, though.
The percentage is on 67%, anyway. Hoping for a desktop version by the close of the year, as a rough guess.
for those who'd like the link.
Note; if link not working, it works for me when accessing it from here.
it's interesting that you linked to tinycards, because i was very much expecting an official hangeul deck, since there's one for cyrillic and two for the japanese kana, but apparently it's not there yet. is it coming? i really like tinycards but i don't understand why the volunteers aren't in charge of the official decks for their courses: seems to me they'd create and maintain/update them efficiently.
Ever since the first day I joined duolingo, I have been eagerly awaiting Korean. Not exactly sure why I didn't sign up for Alpha testing, but the ''notify me when available'' button has been pressed ever since my first day. Not even sure why I wanted it so bad, but still! I cannot wait for this course, and I am so happy it is finally coming! Thank you Soedori, hyowonkwon, niskigwun, Mhagiwara, frerejang, Ash-fred, Croesus1983B, spenerish, oree94, and jay.kwonkw. Thank you all!!
Man, I almost lost it when I saw the title...
Then I read, "For iOS and Android". -_-
No, I'm not mad about that; I'm actually really glad! That just means the web version is also coming, but obviously not at the same time as the app version. Thank you for keeping the community updated, as usual! ^ ^
Forbes' article interview of Duo staff about Korean for English launch. And also with an ETA for Chinese from English, as mentioned by efisgpr.
Note: if the second link doesn't work, try accessing it from here, it works for me from there (soemtimes after several tries).
As an alpha tester who has never learnt Korean before, I would say the course actually teaches hangul very well. I didn't need to use any supplementary resources to help me with the alphabet. For those who have done the Japanese course on duolingo, the Korean course teaches in a similar way.
I am SO EXCITED the Korean course is about to be released!!!
Like others, I have patiently waited for it since the first day I joined Duolingo. I started practicing Korean because I wanted to learn an Asian language, and I absolutely fell in love with the language -the culture's not so bad either ;)
I'm so happy that I'm going to finally be able to learn it with Duolingo!! (the BEST language learning platform)
A huge THANK YOU to all the Korean Course Contributors!!
It'll almost definitely be the South Korean standard.
N vs. R is the way to tell, though. Not in all words but in some. South Korea calls ice noodles 냉면 (naengmyeon) while the DPRK says 랭면 (raengmyeon)
IRL you can also tell by how the surname that's Anglicised to 'Lee' looks in hangeul. Here in the South it's just 이 or 'ee' (I don't know why we add the L in English) and in the North it's 리 or Ri, like Kim Jeong-eun's wife Ri Sol-ju. (also the first South Korean president "Syngman Rhee")
Well, I think it's South Korea. N Korea has a totally different way of saying things. Also some Koreans have a strong accent and different way of saying depending on where they are from. For example, If you hear someone speaking is Busan, and someone speaking in Seoul, you'll hear it sounds different. So It's most likely general Korean, the one ya normally hear
I have also heard, although I am unsure of it's truth, that in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK as opposed to Republic of Korea, the south) they still use Chinese loan characters but there is less than in 日本語, whereas the south has eliminated them, but I am unsure of the truth to that statement, I think I read it on the Memrise forums so who knows...
No, that's backwards. The North has completely eliminated them on every level including governmental, while the South still retains them sometimes in official documents and newspapers. North Korean also tends to use native Korean compounds in place of English loanwords- what the South will just call "shampoo" with a Korean accent, the North will call the Korean equivalent of "HairWaterSoap", for example.
in fact it's illegal in Korean official documents to use Hanja
In all honesty, how am I supposed to know. We haven't planned it....
but it won't have Hanja or any new fancy stuff. Expansion is most likely
It depends what you want & need. If you're going to become an English teacher in Korea, you might want to learn the most polite everyday forms first, to make life easier in the staff room for example, and then learn middle and lower forms later on.
Soedori, can I ask if 반말 forms like ~하니 are covered much?
Finished the Korean tree today! Overall, great job by the Korean team. Some frustrations with marking the various verb endings as incorrect, when they are equally valid, but the team has been updating and adding the answers to the 'correct' list as I worked my way through the tree. 한국어 팀에게 축하 드립니다! 수고 하셨습니다!