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Artem

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Artem

Anyone else actively (primarily) studying Korean right now?

Korean is my primary goal right now, so I'm curious what other people think about learning Korean after Chinese.

Most of the resources I use for Korean are in Chinese, simply because it's easier to find resources for Korean in Chinese (and the books are cheaper in China :P).

I often check out the following forum:

http://bbs.koreaxin.com/index.php

and I do a lot of graded reading here:

http://www.koreanlab.co.kr/main/intro1.asp?t_id=2&s_id=1

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trien27
I'm curious what other people think about learning Korean after Chinese.

Learning Korean after [Mandarin / Putonghua] Chinese might not help: Korean was borrowed when there were no set official language yet. Each province/region/city spoke their own form of Chinese dialects. Mandarin doesn't help: Mandarin didn't even exist when Koreans first visited China in the fifth to sixth centuries. Then from Koreans, the Japanese learned Chinese, mainly from Buddhist texts translated into Chinese from the Devanagari script [sanskrit, Pali, etc...] The Buddhist text were copied down via each translator's dialect in either Wenyan or Baihua, so most of the words from Chinese that got to Japan or Korea were borrowed using various dialects. That's how some Japanese words are similar to Taiwanese, Cantonese, Fujianese, Shanghainese/Wu, etc...

Besides learning the Sino-Korean characters/Hanja, you also have to learn & at least try to remember native Korean words/terms which has no equivalent or similarities to Hanja, and those would be all in Hangul, the Korean "alphabet".

Source: I'm Chinese. Got hold of a Korean language handbook once.

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Artem

Thanks for the history, but I recommend actually checking out a lot of Korean words that map one to one to modern Chinese words, but with modified pronunciation. If you think of characters in those words as roots, they repeat in other words with consistent pronunciation.

Think how knowing Latin would help one learn English.

EDIT: Regardless, I don't imply in my original post that Chinese makes it easier to learn Korean. It's just a lot more resources are compiled and available in Chinese, than in English.

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trien27

Also must remember the grammar rules, of how each letter is pronounced differently depending on the position it is in: Initial, middle or final portion of a syllabic structure or phrase, sentence, etc....

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trien27
Think how knowing Latin would help one learn English.

Actually knowing Latin doesn't help with learning English because there's other languages which English words were actually from before Latin decided to "be in control" and eventually messed everything up: They did mess up the original ancient Greek spellings of most words, and then called it their own by change here and there. Knowing Latin will not help you with learning to pronounce the word "tea": it's from the Dutch imitation of the Fujianese Chinese dialectal word actually pronounced somewhat like "dte", but the Dutch still didn't get it, and brought the 'wrong word' back to Europe, where most Europeans still go by "te", with or without the accent on the e. Whereas, in India & Turkey, it's known by "Chai" or "Chay" an alternative to the Mandarin word for "tea", "cha", which happens to be "o cha" in Japanese.

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Artem

That would explain why students in elementary and middle schools spend all that time learning Latin roots/stems in English words.

Just because some words are not Latin based, doesn't mean Latin is not helpful in learning English. What you are saying is a logical fallacy.

Korean sound changes are not actually related to the derivation of the word from Chinese, but yeah there are changes. Not sure how that relates to anything.

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Hofmann

Learning Mandarin will help with learning Korean, especially (only?) if one is aware that Sino-Korean pronunciation of Chinese vocabulary different from Mandarin pronunciation.

Check this out if you haven't already.

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Artem

Thanks, I've seen that before.

I've been learning Korean for sometime. I'm quite familiar with how it works. I wanted to see what other learners of Korean who speak Chinese fluently find useful on the Chinese website.

As I mentioned, I only bring up Chinese, because there are a lot more resources available in Chinese than in English.

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Don_Horhe

I tried studying Korean by myself but gave up quickly because without a teacher I couldn't really get anywhere, especially in terms of pronouncing the vowels correctly. Nevertheless, I plan on taking it up in the future since it's still a language I like and which I think wouldn't be too difficult to learn, since a large part of its vocabulary consists of Chinese and English loans.

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Artem

I agree. Doing Korean by yourself is definitely a challenging task. I have a weekly tutor who works with me on pronunciation, and many people to practice random sentences on so that definitely helps

Korean pronunciation is definitely the hardest I had to deal with, yet.

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skylee

I had studied Korean by myself before a trip to Korean a few years ago. It definitely helped, as I could decipher many terms, especially those imported or terms which have very similar pronunciation to Chinese e.g. 化妝室. But I imagine it would be very difficult to get to a functional level by self-study.

And it is less necessary to study the language now, at least for travellers, because as far as I could see in my trip to Seoul last May, there were a lot more English/romanised/hanja (road) signs and Mandarin seemed to be very popular.

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Artem

That's true, I did notice the same thing during my travel in Korea. If one is studying only to travel, it's probably not necessary.

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atitarev

The Korean pronuncian is not hard. A bit more complicated than Japanese. There are only 3 vowels (ae, eu, u), which don't exist in English and Chinese and clipped final consonants -t, -p, -k (like in Cantonese, Vietnamese or Thai). These can be easily imitated after listening to audio recordings.

I am not learning Korean but grammatically it's SO close to Japanese that it would make sense to compare those two instead. It's fun to be able to identify Sino-Korean, Japanese or Vietnamese words, each of them has about 50% of old Chinese vocab.

Edited by atitarev
changed 2 to 3 different vowels

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Daan
Knowing Latin will not help you with learning to pronounce the word "tea"

I'm sorry, but how is this relevant? No one implied "tea" can be traced back to Latin, or even that knowing Latin is helpful when it comes to learning pronunciation, so it would be rather obvious that knowing Latin wouldn't help one learn to pronounce that word.

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atitarev

A couple of good examples of Chinese words used in other languages (the romanisation should not be pronounced as pinyin)

宇宙:

Mandarin Chinese: yǔzhòu

Korean: uju (우주)

Japanese: uchū (うちゅう)

Vietnamese: vũ trụ ("tr" is pronounced as 'ch" in North Vietnam - standard)

學生 / 学生:

Mandarin Chinese: xuéshēng

Korean: haksaeng (학생)

Japanese: gakusei (がくせい)

Vietnamese: học sinh

日光浴:

Mandarin Chinese: rìguāngyù

Korean: ilgwang-yog (일광욕)

Japanese: nikkōyoku (にっこうよく)

Vietnamese: different roots are used - tắm nắng

As Korean and especially Vietnamese no longer use Chinese characters, identifying common vocabulary is not always easy - the pronunciation and romanisation are very different.

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atitarev

Korean has borrowed a lot of words from Japanese, so that the Chinese roots travelled to Korea via Japan:

Company (firm):

Korean: 회사 (hoesa) (會社)

Japanese: 会社 (かいしゃ, kaisha)

Chinese also has 會社/会社 (huìshè - commercial firm) but 公司 (gōngsī) is more common.

Vietnamese borrowed the word from Chinese: công ty

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chrix

I learnt Korean after knowing Japanese and Chinese.

As far as the grammar goes, knowing Japanese helps, though it would even be better the other way around (i.e. learning Japanese after learning Korean). Structurally, the two languages are remarkably similar.

As far as the Sino-Korean vocabulary goes, the fact that Korean no longer uses hanja (at least outside of scholarly texts) made it quite hard for me, since I'm quite used to using characters as mnemonics. If you're serious about learning Korean (after already knowing Chinese), I recommend buying lots of books on the Sino-Korean vocabulary that shows the characters.

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johndones

Well I'm just begining too and I'm still more in the research phase meaning that I try to learn the basic grammar rules, master reading hangul etc.

Does anyone know any good software for korean like pleco?

The easiest thing in learning chinese for me is that it's so easy to streamline the process of learning vocabulary by usage of applications like Pleco and the fact that it's all based on hanzi.

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