My Duolingo Korean Experience
I believe this app is great for a beginner who already has an understanding of how the alphabet works and perhaps some of the grammatical rules. (To learn that, YouTube is probably the best place. I used these guys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KN4mysljHYc=57s )
Although Duolingo Korean is still in beta and has quite a few problems, my knowledge of Korean grammar and vocabulary spiked as I used the app every day. It was much easier than learning on my own, which I'd tried for months without much progress. Duolingo makes learning Korean a game, like it's some kind of secret code I would try to learn as a kid, especially because it's an alphabet that is largely unknown by the rest of the world.
As many others already experienced, because of the limited amount of allowed answers, I had to repeat several questions again and again. While it'll be great once that's fixed, for now, I view it as a chance to help me cement the words in my memory. I think the best way to approach learning any language is to keep a positive mindset and practice every day. K-dramas, K-pop, and Korean variety shows certainly help!
It's also great to be able to connect with others who are learning alongside you, and even have exchanges in Korean sometimes. Being part of a supportive club can definitely help you to push past the grind of memorizing an entirely new vocabulary and grammar system.
To those motivated to learn Korean, this app is a great tool that will give you a significant boost in your goal to fluency! 화이팅!
I learned the Korean alphabet lightening fast by using the Memrise Korean I lessons. (It was something to do while I was waiting for Duo Korean to launch.) Memrise relies on a system that is analogous to flashcards and drills - perfect for memorizing material quickly. However its curriculum is structured more like a language phrasebook than a language course. Duolingo beats Memrise when it comes to grammar and mechanics - and you can't beat the mutual support that comes from the community of learners that Duo provides. So, Memrise to memorize and Duo to do it.
I know you can use Memrize, but the conceptors of the course shouldn't rely on Memerize. In all the other courses of Duolingo, you can follow the course alone and learn. I tested every courses here, and it's a fact. But this course doesn't have what the other courses on Duolingo have: The pedagogy for total beginner is not good.
Once upon a time, in the good 'ol days of DL, there was "Immersion." Folks would post articles or stories from the internet, and then translate them into a different language. Many users could take part translating, correcting, suggesting. We learned from each other, not only becoming more fluent in the language, but also about what was going on in the world, reading about, politcs, sports, gaming,music, space, raising children and so much more. We even translating Jack London and a Sherlock Holmes story. It was a truly wonderful tool (though somewhat addicting) XP's were granted for each sentence translated, and the more words in the sentence, the more points. I spent countless hours reading and translating both from English to Spanish, and from Spanish to English, and received help from countless folks in South America and Spain. Four of the foks I followed amassed over 2 million XP's. I keep hoping DL will bring it back in some form.
Sign this petition to help bring Immersion back: https://www.change.org/p/duolingo-bring-back-duolingo-immersion-program
That's so interesting! Maybe! For me, it took two days to memorize the alphabet, but I still didn't know a lot of the pronunciation rules and batchim. That took a while to settle in! And I read SO slowly at first. I can read faster now, but I look forward to the day that it's similar to the speed I read English.
And yes, K-Dramas are the best! :D
That would be an interesting topic for advanced users of Korean whose mother tongue is English or a romance language. I have actually made it a point to read some Korean most days for the last 5 years, and still am nowhere near a third as fast as reading English. I still pretty much have to read one word at a time in Korean, Part of that is surely vocabulary, but after reading in a straight linear fashion all my life, I wonder if my brain will ever fully adapt to reading "blocks." Mind you, I didn't write to be discouraging. Your post just struck a chord. It is a wonderfully interesting language to study, but can be frustrating at times.
I'm referring to the way hangul is structured in syllable blocks that require reading both down and to the right, rather than in a smooth linear flow. When I look at a paragraph in English, I can take in several sentences at a glance and get the gist in a very short period of time, as I can in Spanish. With Korean, I'm slightly past the "sound each letter out" phase that we learned in first grade English reading, but I am rarely able to get a whole thought at a glance when reading hangul, and I am beginning to wonder if I will ever attain that level of proficiency.
No worry, you probably will. there have been innumerable instances where people became more fluent in a language than their mother tongue, just because they happened to stay in such an environment. Maybe if you stay in Korea for like 20 something years your 'thinking' language will change to Korean? (sighs)
I agree, that would be an interesting topic! And I wonder if I can fully adapt as well. I'm determined to try, and I'm sure that'll take me further than anything else. I definitely think vocabulary is part of it. I'm able to read words I know fairly quickly, but I slowly blunder through words I don't know...which is still most of Korean language at this point.
And wow, you've already been studying four more years than I have, from the looks of it! So you probably know better than I do just how difficult it can be.
My plan is to work on it just a little every day, from now until...well, until I die, I guess! That's how I got this far, and I think that'll be the key to eventual fluency. :)
Along with Memrise, mentioned in the comments above, there's also Tinycards.com , which is connected to Duolingo and can help with memorization. Just search "Korean" and a bunch of useful flashcard lessons will be listed there.
On Youtube, there's a channel called Jolly, where Josh, an Englishman and fluent Korean speaker, occasionally tries to teach Ollie, a fellow Englishman and failure at Korean, to speak Korean. They are hilarious! One of my favorite videos of theirs -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzsgUan3n9U Anyway, they recommend using Talk To Me In Korean -- http://talktomeinkorean.com/
Talk To Me In Korean also has some free lessons on Soundcloud. https://soundcloud.com/talktomeinkorean
And of course, this is always useful. You may as well bookmark it! -- https://translate.google.com/?langpair=ko%7Cen -- Don't underestimate Google Translate! It's not cheating if it helps you learn. ;)
Those, along with the YouTuber I already mentioned in the original post, are pretty much all I know.
So if anyone else knows about any other resources, feel free to list them here!