Reasons for learning Korean
One of the main reasons people choose to study Korean is because they're already familiar with some Korean exports like songs, TV shows, and movies.
Perhaps you watched Park Chan-wook's film "Oldboy," and it sparked your interest in Korean cinema. Maybe a friend introduced you to K-Pop artists like PSY, Girls Generation, IU, or Big Bang, and now you want to know the lyrics to the songs on your playlist. Perhaps you discovered a Korean TV drama, and you've been hooked on K-dramas ever since. Whatever it is that piqued your interest in Korean culture, learning the Korean language can help you gain more than a superficial understanding of your favorite Korean songs or TV shows.
Most Korean music and cinema fans are content using subtitles or online translations, but learning the Korean language can help you have a deeper and more meaningful understanding of Korean songs and shows. The Korean language isn't as difficult as it seems. Studying Hangul, Korean script, can help you learn the basics. With a little effort and practice, you'll be able to sing along to those K-pop songs or understand those Korean TV shows without subtitles. This will also help you gain more insight into a fascinating society and country with a long, rich history.
2. Boost Your Brainpower
There are many benefits to learning a second language. Being bilingual can stimulate intellectual growth, and enhance mental development. Learning a new language helps you stimulate your mind, which keeps your brain active and healthy.
If you want to be bilingual, then you should consider learning Korean. Some people are able to learn to read Hangul fairly quickly. Once you can understand basic Hangul, you will be able to pick up Korean vocabulary, and your knowledge and comprehension will continue to grow.
3. Improve Personal and Business Relationships
If you interact with any Korean-speaking people at work, then learning Korean will make you a more valuable asset to your company. With companies like Samsung, LG, and Hyundai, Korea has the 13th largest economy in the world.
If and when your company wants to expand into Korea's dynamic economy, your knowledge of the Korean language could put you at the forefront in an incredibly competitive, challenging market.
Learning Korean can also help you strengthen personal relationships with Korean-speaking friends or loved ones. Your friends will appreciate your effort to learn a new language, and they will be excited to help you practice and improve.
Being able to speak Korean, even just a little, can help you break the ice with new friends or professional colleagues.
4. Better Travel Experience
If you're planning to travel to Korea, then you definitely should put some effort into learning the language. It doesn't matter if you're staying for a week or several months, learning Korean can help you find your way around, and adapt to the culture and society.
You will be able to communicate with tour guides, business owners, and locals, which will allow you to have a better overall travel experience. Plus, you will feel much more comfortable in a foreign place if you're able to understand the native language.
5. New Opportunities.
Believe it or not, the fact that you speak Korean could enable you to help someone else. If you travel to Korea, or meet Korean-speaking people in the United States, you can use your Korean-language skills to bridge the cultural gap, and help someone else learn English.
Helping someone learn a new language is a fantastic way to be a positive influence in someone's life. You can help a native Korean speaker improve his or her relationships with English-speaking colleagues, or help him or her understand difficult aspects of the English language. In return, your Korean-speaking friend can help you improve your Korean-conversation skills.
Being able to speak Korean might help you to get a job.
In college, I had a few jobs speaking and translating Korean. These jobs paid well since there weren't many people who could do them, and the hours were flexible. After I graduated, I could use those jobs on my resume.
Employment depends on where you live. In a major city, it's likely there are many companies looking for fluent Korean speakers. If not, at least knowing Korean could help to make you a more desirable job candidate.
There are over 80 million Korean speakers in the world. That's a lot of people who could potentially be your friend.
Some of my best friends are Koreans. I would not have met them if I couldn't speak Korean.
Having Korean friends means that you won't have to travel alone when you visit Korea. You might even get a place to sleep (hotels can be expensive!). And having Korean friends means that you'll experience Korean culture first-hand. You might be able to do things you couldn't do if you were traveling alone. But only if you know Korean.
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