KBS World – Let’s Learn Korean II

KBS World - Let's Learn Korean II

KBS World – Let’s Learn Korean II

Let’s Learn Korean on KBS World’s website was one of the free online learning resources for beginners that I used a lot in the past (http://world.kbs.co.kr/learn_korean2/english/).

Let’s Learn Korean in Indonesian: http://world.kbs.co.kr/learn_korean2/indonesian/

I really liked the site back then, and now I find I still love it. I’m doing a review/revise (복습), 1 lesson a day for my daily study time. I’m listening to the AOD files for word-by-word explanation in English (available in other languages, too). I love it. I’m just tired of difficult stuff right now. It’s so easy I find it relaxing, and yes, I’ve forgotten a lot of basic words and basic expressions. Oops.

The first time I studied with it, I didn’t know about pronunciation changes and I didn’t know that hangul is not always read the way it’s spelled (just like English!), so now I’m noticing that the pronunciation guide or romanization on the website is not always correct. Plus, there weren’t AOD lessons at that time.

For example, the KBS website romanizes the word 온돌방 (floor-heated room) as ondolbang, even though it’s actually read [on-dol-ppang/온돌빵], or 숙박비 as sukbakbi (lodging fee), even though it’s actually read [suk-ppak-ppi/숙빡삐], etc. As a beginner, I didn’t know or even notice these, but now I do.

I think it’s a good thing to develop a habit of checking pronunciation of new words on Naver Dictionary (http://krdic.naver.com), especially if you don’t have a teacher to correct you. And maybe get a textbook about Korean pronunciation. I got one written in Japanese.

Anyway, I don’t have a Korean teacher so I’m careful about pronunciation. One of the first things people on the internet warned me about when I started learning Korean without a teacher was that I would mispronounce things. At first, I got defensive and annoyed, and I felt like replying, ‘even if I don’t have a teacher, FYI, I’m not stupid, all my Korean textbooks have audio CD?’. But then I realized that it was an excellent advice, the best advice I had ever received about learning Korean on my own: “be careful about pronunciation”.

Actually, I’ve noticed that even native Korean themselves are not aware about pronunciation changes (just Korean people online, I don’t know any in my real life). It’s like they pronounce it correctly, but they’re not aware that’s the way they pronounce it, and that’s why they can tell if a foreigner pronounces a certain word “weird” but they can’t always tell you why, maybe in the same way Japanese people are not aware that there are 3 ways to pronounce ん(n). ###


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