3 months into Korean

So I have just hit my 3 months studying Korean mark, and would like to update you all with my frustrations, experiences, eureka moments, and overall progress.

First month: About quit studying the language several times due to feeling as if I wasn’t making progress (never do this in a language, and this wasn’t my first language I’ve learned fluently).
Had a lot of problems just trying to remember basic vocabulary
Grammar super complex (one of my reasons I wanted to learn the language, because I wanted a challenge)

Second month; This is where I started to notice, and had a small eureka moment when I was able to watch a Korean video and start to understand some things.
Grammar is still complex, but basic structures are starting to make sense
Vocab still hard to remember

Third month: Things are slowly getting easier to understand
I’m starting to understand Korean particles, what all the endings mean, etc
Vocab is a lot easier to remember
I can understand some bits of music I listen to
Starting to think in Korean

Overall, I feel I have made good progress in Korean. I haven’t been really speaking, but my brain is forming sentences, and I type in some online stream chats/and talk to some Koreans on some games I play. I am doing a more reading/listening approach to the language because I am in no hurry to speak.

What comes next? Well, I plan to probably use one or two more books along with LingQ for the next 3 months (living language and glossika). The first 3 months next year, I plan to get a tutor to practice speaking and writing.

Final goal: After these 9 months, I am planning a one month visit to Korea, so I hope to achieve at least conversational fluency while I am there.

Any questions, comments, or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.


3400 words in 3 months of Korean is Damn Good. It is a level 5 language (along with Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic) So you are certainly making good time. It just takes a long time to get your mind to think in that sentence structure, My brain is going much slower than yours about thinking like that. It still feels like I have to calculate where the order of my sentence is supposed to go.

I think after 9 months you will definitely be able to have some basic conversations in Korea with locals.

Remember, You just have to keep reading, building vocabulary.

How are you doing with reading Hangul? Do you have any problems with the “shiftiness” of the sounds? I know the M and B sound get mixed up a lot in reading and Koreans don’t notice a difference, yet they seem to have superpower hearing for double and aspirated consonants.

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Reading Hangul is no problem, even with the sound changes because I have listened enough to know how most words are supposed to sound. There are a couple of pronunciation problems I can tell that I have, the difference between 어(eo) and 오(o), sometimes the difference between ㅊ(ch) ㅈ(j), and the aspirated ones I am sort of used to due to studying Hindi, which had aspirated consonants.

It could be that my brain is starting to adapt more into Korean because on a daily basis, I think in 4 languages, depending on what I am doing.

Thanks for your thoughts and comment, and I am sure you will get there in Japanese/other languages you are studying in no time. Just gotta sit back, relax, and enjoy the process.

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Haha, I’m at 3 weeks. Glad to see someone else doing this. I noticed Steve is doing a 3 month challenge in Korean, but he also did one 2 years ago, so it’s hard to compare. Steve is at 38k lingq words, so it seems he is also doing more than 1k/month. On a daily basis, how much time do you spend reading?

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Depends on how much I read, but I would probably put around 20 minutes, and some passages I read more than once. I didn’t feel it was beneficial to do massive reading when my level isn’t good enough to read through intermediate texts.
I’ve noticed that once you hit the intermediate-ish stage on LingQ, known words increases drastically, because reading becomes easier and easier, and more interesting.
However, in a language, let’s say Italian, since I know Spanish, French, and Portuguese already, I could probably spend hours reading on the first day alone.

I do plan to increase my overall amount of reading/listening for these next few months, maybe reading up to around 45 minutes to an hour, and listening for 30 minutes to an hour. It’s a possibilty that if I do this, then I may even come close to doubling my known words within only 1 month.

Thanks for the comment.

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Very encouraging :slight_smile:

You’ve covered a lot of content and a lot of ground in such a short space of time. You put my casual “one hour-ish per day” to shame!

Hope you achieve your conversational fluency goal. Theres a tonne of ground to cover.

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Thanks! I hope so.

I don’t know about your russian, but with my german I can add 100 knows words daily EASY at this point. So many german words are just long compound words. It seems obvious to me that adding words goes much faster at the advanced levels.