Learn to read Korean in 15 minutes

I am not usually one to praise “fast learning” techniques, but this one is really good:



Amazing! Maybe I’ll give Korean a go. We have quite a few Korean students at our school.

Thanks, this would be perfect for a friend of mine! :slight_smile:

What you linked above isn’t a “fast learning” technique… It’s just that the Korean alphabet is considered by linguists to be one of the simplest, most logical phonetic systems ever devised, and really only takes a couple hours at most to get comfortable with.

Now understanding what you’re reading… that’s a whole different issue :wink:

I have yet to be convinced of the greater simplicity and logic of the Korean alphabet. It is not as flexible, nor as useful, as the Latin alphabet, or so it seems to me, when it comes to representing sounds that are not found in Korean. This might be because the Latin alphabet has been adapted to the needs of so many languages.

Of course, Steve. The Korean alphabet was designed for the Korean language. I do not think that the Latin alphabet is any more flexible than any other. Any alphabet, or other phonetic code, such as the semi-syllabic code used for Amharic, is only a code. The shape of the symbols usually bears no direct relationship to the sounds they represent for a particular language. We simply have to learn the sounds that are associated with the particular code the language we are working in uses. As far as I can see, English is more confusing than most, due to the mixture of languages we have incorporated into English and the different ways the language is pronounced in different parts of the English-speaking world.
Here in Ethiopia, for example, one local speaker of English told me that Americans do not pronounce the ‘th’ in thin the way Australians do. The way this Ethiopian speaker of English says that Americans pronounce this sound was more like ‘sh’ than ‘th’! This seems to be because the teachers of English here cannot usually pronounce this sound correctly as this sound does not exist in their own language, not because of any difference between American, British and Australian English.

I agree Rae, however, I was reacting to the idea that Hangul is somehow “the most perfect” writing system. It is like saying some languages are better than others.

And you cannot blame English spelling on the Latin alphabet.

No, Steve, of course we cannot blame the alphabet. I was covering myself for saying that an alphabet is a code. Even in English the alphabet is a code, but not a completely phonetic code. I do easily stray from the topic under discussion!