February 3rd, 2014 - How I'm learning Korean.

Running Man Logo For over a year I have been hooked to Korean variety shows such as Family Outing Season 1 (Season 2 was weird so I didn't watch it), Running Man, Barefoot Friends (Diving sequence, after that they did home-cooked meals and then got canceled), Cool Kiz on the Block(also known as "Our Neighborhood Arts and Physical Education"), The Human Condition(인간의 조건), Gag Concert, Happy Together, and sometimes Hello Counselor (link to YouTube) and Infinite Challenge.

Update: Apparently KBS has quite a few episodes on YouTube, and they are translated to English here. However, I think they aren't updating to the latest episodes.

Through them and with the help of a friend at work, I've managed to discern a few words and phrases. It also helps that the Korean language borrows many words from Chinese and English. After watching the shows for so long I figured it would help to figure out how to actually read Korean.

I had been told the alphabet was very easy to understand and figure out how to read and the hardest part would be to figure out what the words meant. With some confidence, I searched for how to read Korean and found this link at the top. It helped me tremendously by introducing consonants and vowels individually and by providing words to read which are known in the English language.

http://www.learnlangs.com/RWP/Korean/index.htm

The website would benefit from providing sound bites for the words in order to hear the letters pronounced in a phrase. However, I'm sure you can just copy it to google translate and have it pronounce the words for you.

But in the meantime, here are the pronounciations for korean vowels. By adding an extra line to the vowel, you add a "Y" sound.

Hanja [ㅏ] [ㅑ] [ㅓ] [ㅕ] [ㅗ] [ㅛ] [ㅜ] [ㅠ] [ㅡ] [ㅣ]
sound a ya eo yeo o yo u yu eu i
And common combination vowels:
[ㅐ] [ㅒ] [ㅔ] [ㅖ]
ae yae e ye

After reading all 5 lessons available and attempting some of the exercises, I started practicing by writing words I know and checking later on if they were correct. Asian TV shows also have the habit of highlighting O.S. (Off-Screen) phrases on screen or to emphasize a phrase previously said. These have helped tremendously for me to attempt to read them and train reading speed.

As time goes on, I hope to be able to read fluently off the screen, even if I don't understand what they actually mean. Eventually I will.

화이팅! (hwa-i-ting!) where t sounds like ㄊ in Chinese, or T like Time in English.