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As someone who just started learning from here, I'm slightly confused as to see this if im just a beginner beginner and im starting from scratch so i don't know much. Is there something i should do before i start this? Should i learn the Korean alphabet or something? Help.
I'm a begginer as well, but before I started learning from Duolingo I was watching KoreanClass101's videos on YouTube to learn hangul. They even made a playlist only for the alphabet so you wont have to scroll through all the videos to find the hangul learning videos. I also got myself a notebook and wrote down the words and sentences they were mentioning and then translated them so I know around 20-30 words/sentences already. Its unnecesarry to write in a notebook and write down the sentences (it will help you a lot though) but I'd definetely recommend to watch their videos about the Korean alphabet aka Hangul. It should be really easy once you get into it :)
I highly recommend http://koreanwikiproject.com/, it teaches you not only the characters but the variations in pronounciation (such as ㅅ being s, sh or even t) depending on the syllable. It definitely helped me a lot with these first Duolingo lessons.
Also, if you're into podcasts, a great resource is http://talktomeinkorean.com/. The hosts are fun and chill and they still manage to teach you things. It comes with a PDF so you can see the words they're teaching written out.
For any confusion out there:
이 is used before nouns. For example, 이아이 means this child. It is not used alone. The version to use when alone is 이것. For example, 이것 아이 means this child. Other valid translation (when used alone) for 이 is tooth and two. Without context, 이 can be all.
The hangul video is down the page in the 6th row, but this page is a source for many Korean youtube sites. Up above closer to the beginning of this thread there is a more direct link plus 2 more to help in learning hangul in less than an hour.
Fun way to learn the alphabet, and then he has 60 short videos to supplement DL.
https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24886787 for more references on Hangul.
이 does not mean "I" as in "the person who is talking to you right now".
It's a syllable that is pronounced a bit like the name of the letter E in English, so in transcription, 이 is i since the letter i is used for that vowel sound when writing Korean in Roman/English letters.
If you just see 이 without context, then it could be either of them.
Otherwise, you have to use context.
If a baseball player says, "My bat is missing", it means something different than if a vampire says, "My bat is missing".
If you have a complete Korean sentence, you will have to see whether it says, for example, "이 book" (probably "this book") and "my 이" (probably "my tooth") -- that sort of thing.
And the Korean word for "tooth" is pronounced with just one vowel -- it's as short as the English word "a" (as in "a bear") or "I" (as in "I am happy"), which are also just one sound each.
So the Korean word for tooth is written simply 이 and pronounced more or less like the name of the English letter E.
lee or this?
"Lee" (the Korean family name), "two" (the number), and "this" (the demonstrative determiner) are all pronounced the same way in Korean and are thus all written the same way: 이
You must be familiar with the concept of homographs from English, e.g. "bat" (1 - wooden stick for hitting a baseball; 2 - flying mammal, like a mouse with wings) or "like" (1 - find something pleasant: I like birds; 2 - similar to: it flies like a bird).
Korean also has homographs.
So some words will have multiple correct translations.