Have you ever thought about learning the Korean language? Maybe you’re planning a trip to Seoul to visit relatives, or perhaps you simply want to show the owners of your favorite Korean restaurant you care by ordering your beloved bulgogi in their native tongue. 

If you want to learn Korean for any reason, you’re in the right place. Like any language, it takes commitment, but you can accomplish most of your education online. Here, we’ve compiled all of the information you need to get started. 

seoul city streets
Seoul, South Korea is a popular destination for travelers around the globe.

How to Learn Korean

The most important step in learning how to speak the Korean language is finding an instructor you trust. Look for someone who not only speaks Korean, but also someone who can read, write, and understand Hangul, the Korean alphabet. 

Once you’ve found your instructor, expect to spend a lot of time practicing writing, reading, and speaking. You’ll want to have a few materials on hand—a notebook, pencil, and a quiet place to practice your language studies—but, otherwise, all you need is time and patience! 

How Long Does it Take to Learn Korean—and How Hard Is It?

korean alphabet stroke order
A large part of learning Korean is mastering the alphabet and characters.

For most beginners, it takes about two to five years of regular practice to become completely fluent—meaning you’re able to write, read, and speak the language. As you advance in your Korean language classes, consider joining an in-person or virtual conversation group with either fluent speakers or those who, like you, are learning and need real-time conversation to hone their speaking skills

Learning Korean is not nearly as difficult as it seems, but you do need to account for the fact that you’ll be learning an entirely new alphabet. Character formation and formatting are often the most challenging part of taking Korean classes, but they will help you as you begin speaking the language, too. When you’re searching for classes or an instructor, look for a format that provides writing and alphabet worksheets as these will be imperative to your understanding of the Hangul alphabet and how to communicate in Korean. 

Online Korean Classes

Before you run off to Google “Korean classes near me,” consider taking online Korean classes! They offer just as much instruction and connection as in-person options, and they’re often much more convenient than having to travel to meet with an instructor. Here are a few excellent ones to consider.

1. Korean for Absolute Beginners 1 

Skillshare instructor Keehwan Kim has been a language instructor since 2005, and his classes are a great first stop when exploring how to learn Korean. This course provides an introduction to Hangul, breaks down sentence structure and levels of formality, and teaches you how to form basic sentences. 

2. Learn Hangul: The ABCs of the Korean Language

If you’re looking for something a bit more fast-paced, try Skillshare instructor Jay Tan’s beginner course. He begins by focusing on spoken vowels and consonants, which is helpful if you want a bit of exposure to the language before diving in fully.

3. Complete Korean Course: Learn Korean for Beginners

This class by Linguae Learning starts with an overview of Hangul, then moves on to familiar lessons like greetings, numbers, colors, and food. With over 33 hours of instruction, it’s longer than other Korean language classes, but you’ll learn everything from language basics to cultural phrases and tips that’ll help you when traveling.

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Written by:

Sara Glover