How to Learn Korean from K-Pop Songs

“Don’t learn Korean from songs” is just an advice that doesn’t make sense for a K-Pop fan like me.

The pronunciation in Korean songs and spoken Korean are not that different. If you can catch a word from a song, you’ll be able to catch it in a conversation. ( And by “conversation”, I just mean a conversation in a Korean drama because I don’t have Korean friends.)

You can learn many new words from a Korean song, especially if you’re a beginner. At least in the beginning, if you have to read a passage with 30 new words in it from a textbook without translation and without romanization, it is likely to be intimidating for you. But, if your favorite K-pop singer sings it to you, you’re more likely to learn and memorize something. And you can sing along so you’ll have fun.

I trained myself to read hangul faster by singing along the song. I can read hangul very fast now because I’m fond of rap songs. (But I can’t rap no matter how hard I try  ><)

And singing along to K-Pop songs is a good way to get used to Korean sentence structure, too.

Here’s a Daum site where you can search for lyrics of K-pop songs:
And here’s another site to find lyrics:
You can find English translation of K-pop songs at Popgasa
And there are YouTube channels where you can find music videos with hangul lyrics and English translation. (But they often get deleted for copyright issues).

I’ve heard people say you shouldn’t speak anything before 2 years of learning because you might internalize your pronunciation mistakes. That’s not true.

At the beginning, I found it difficult to differentiate 어 eo (big o) and 오 o (small o). My ears couldn’t hear the difference, so I couldn’t say them properly. But now I can tell the difference. I didn’t do anything special about it. I just keep learning Korean every day. And I learn so much by translating K-pop songs.

I don’t believe there are mistakes in learning a language that can be permanent. You can learn and unlearn anything in life. When you find out about your mistakes, you can always fix it. You can only improve. You can only get better. As long as you don’t quit.

Do you know that K-pop performances on TV usually have hangul lyrics so you can sing along and do your own karaoke? And they upload the videos on YouTube so international fans can watch them.

Here’s a good song to start with: BOM BOM BOM / Spring Spring Spring (봄봄봄) by Roy Kim (로이킴). ↓

When I found that I could catch all the words before I even searched for the lyrics, I was so proud of myself. ###

6 thoughts on “How to Learn Korean from K-Pop Songs

  1. Thank you for the advice. I’m always looking for bettter ways to speed up my hangeul comprehension. I agree a lot with not caring if you make a mistake in your pronunciation in the early stages. If you make a mistake, you can always correct it later. However, if you don’t get started cus of a fear of that mistake, then you won’t get anywhere.


  2. Pingback: Place and Practice: Singing Into a Waterfall | The Practice of Practice

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