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Unlocking a new world: The surprising benefits of learning Korean

South Korea is one of the most economically developed countries in the world, ranking 4th in Asia and 13th in the world in terms of nominal GDP

Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock
Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock

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Words are powerful; and in this era of being connected beyond background and borders, honing your communication skills and learning a new language can work to your advantage. 

While many opt to learn mainstream languages such as Mandarin or Spanish, learning Korean can unlock a new world of opportunities, cultural experiences, and personal growth that you might not have considered. Below are some benefits that might just inspire you to pick up a Korean phrasebook.

Career opportunities abound

South Korea is one of the most economically developed countries in the world, ranking 4th in Asia and 13th in the world in terms of nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP). They are known for their fast economic development because of the electronics, car manufacturing, tourism, and entertainment industries, among others. 

SoKor also offers opportunities for professional advancement, and learning Korean proves to be a competitive advantage. Multinational corporations (MNCs) are continuously expanding; there are no signs of slowing down. So, professionals looking for greener pastures will be an invaluable asset if they know how to speak Korean. They’ll be instrumental in undergoing business deals and making transactions seamlessly. 

Getting more fluent in Korean by enrolling in a language school is one way to get started. With Korean language proficiency on your resume, you stand out from the crowd and open doors to career opportunities in international trade, education, and translation.

Deepens your cultural understanding

Language is a window into a culture’s soul. When learning Korean, you gain access to a rich tapestry of traditions, history, and social norms. Not to mention the ascent of Korean culture in terms of influence and popularity is off the charts. Hallyu, known as the Korean Wave, is surfing the shores of popular culture worldwide. K-culture is a hit among multigeneration, and what better way to appreciate and comprehend this than to learn the Korean language? 

One of the reasons why people become interested in learning Korean is the privilege of understanding the culture even more. It is true that K-pop and K-dramas are here to stay, and their language serves as the bridge to unfolding why South Korea is the way it is. So, by learning Hangul (Korean alphabet) and applying it, fans and enthusiasts won’t need subtitles or online translations anymore. Instead, they’d know the meaning of words conveyed in various media and interpret them in real time as they hear them. 

Korean pop culture is one of the most consumed media in the world. So, if you want to go beyond the immersion you’re experiencing, learning Korean will do wonders in maximizing the culture you’re watching and singing to. 

Increases brain activity 

Speaking fluently in two different languages takes effort and dedication. However, the mental and intellectual development it produces is remarkable. For one, being bilingual improves brain health. Learning a soft skill such as a language opens new neural pathways in your brain. This improves your memorization, logical thinking, and cognitive analysis skills. These added benefits encourage people all the more to learn Korean. 

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock

A challenge you can conquer 

While the pros of learning Korean are apparent, there are still some hurdles learners may face. Koreans hold high regard when it comes to honorifics, which is the manner of appropriating the hierarchy of formality among speakers. Applying it in verbal communication can be complicated at first. Other people may also find that some words are tricky to pronounce, especially with how the vowels are incorporated into words. 

But Hangul is pretty simple because of its systematic nature, making it an easy second language to learn. You can grasp the alphabet in just one day. Once you master the fundamentals, you’ll be on your way to enriching your vocabulary—pronouncing syllables, words, phrases, and sentences. 

Don’t worry if you’re not fluent yet. Learning a language takes time and a lot of patience; but the good news is anyone can improve with practice. Just like building any skill, the key to becoming more fluent is consistency; the more you write, pronounce words, and converse, the stronger your Korean skills become.

Here’s the best part: practising Korean can be fun. Many engaging resources are available, from interactive apps to podcasts. Find what works for you and watch your Korean skills blossom.

In conclusion 

Learning Korean is a rewarding journey often filled with challenges and triumphs. But the satisfaction of mastering a new skill and expanding your communication abilities is a feeling unlike any other. By studying Korean, people journey towards professional, cultural, and personal development. This growth goes beyond linguistic rules and regulations because words have the power to change lives.

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Written By

Jon Stojan is a professional writer based in Wisconsin. He guides editorial teams consisting of writers across the US to help them become more skilled and diverse writers. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

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