Start Learning Korean in the next 30 Seconds with
a Free Lifetime Account

Or sign up using Facebook

What's your motivation to learn Korean?

What motivates you to learn Korean?

I work/live in Korea, business
I love K-Pop, K-Drama, or other Korean pop culture
I have a Korean partner, g/f, b/f
I'm Korean but didn't learn Korean at home
I'm part-Korean (half, 1/4, ...)
I'm an adopted Korean
I just like the sound of the language
I learn it just to train my brain!
Total votes: 196

Expert on Something
Posts: 870
Joined: February 8th, 2010 8:55 am

Postby trutherous » March 8th, 2010 9:23 am


Awesome! I did a little martial arts along the way also. At the home for boys they paid for Kenpo Karate classes that I attended for about 2 years, but I quit the pit-a-pat light contact get-a-belt thing and joined a full-contact group. I had been working out with this group part time and decided to pour myself into it full time. It was very much like Muay Thai but we wore full safety gear. We were mostly poor students so we shared major components of the equipment, but swapping out protective gear after short rounds cut into our full-contact sparing time, so we eventually came up with 10 minute bouts for fully dressed partners... can you imagine that -10 minute rounds?

At first we would go full out for 1-3 minutes and then be so exhausted that watching us lift legs that now seemed to weigh 800 pounds was like watching water ballet -- I'm talking extreme slow motion here. But after 6 months of this intense training we could go full out almost 8 of the 10 minutes.

It was really fun to have new prospects come to our meetings and they would always inquire about our 'style' and our belt rank - we'd just laugh and say 'On the mat you won't be dealing with a colored belt or 3000 years of history -- you'll have to deal with me!" Very often we would get 'umpth' degree black-belts and wind up mopping the gym floor with their sweat. Haha! We would explain about our 10-minute rounds and they would say 'yeah yeah ok no problem' haha -- but they were dead on their feet or keeling over after the 3rd or 4th minute.

I said 'mat' above, but we met in many locations and practiced on beach sand, grass, cement, asphalt, gym floors --and mats.

I met some Koreans back then, but didn't speak any at all. For the most part we found them to be a little overconfident in their ability, proud with good reason, and very stubborn. My favorite bout was with a 18-yr old new arrival to the U.S. named Ed Pak -- he said it was pronounced 'pak' but spelled his name P-a-r-k, anyway I like to stir things up a bit before a bout so I made him angry by teasing him, repeating his name, insisting on pronouncing the R in PaRk.

I expected he would be another easy mark, another of the many 'factory black belts' from Korea... I planned to just toy around for 2-3 minutes and wear him out --puhahaha I barely survived the match! After 9 minutes we left the floor stumbling, arms around each other's shoulders --both of us gasping for air. "You pletty good." Ed said. "I need someone oolike kyu to plactice." To me that was the best martial arts related compliment I ever received.

To get back on topic -- I have met a number of people learning Korean because of martial arts and I think that's just great. Any reason is a good one I think. I should get back into the art for health reasons.. but now I bruise easily.

Established Presence
Posts: 77
Joined: November 29th, 2009 11:54 am

Postby imaBALLER » March 8th, 2010 10:33 am

Haha, your training sounds hardcore.

I think if you can go FULL on for 10 minutes you are going to be a problem for virtually 90% of the population. I doubt the average person could take that intensity for more than 1 minute.

Actually, I am not training at the moment because of an injury and am thinking of taking a bit of a softer art such as Kumdo. I don't really feel like I have anything to prove and I am not enjoying being thrown and choked as much anymore.

Get 40% OFF
Been Around a Bit
Posts: 15
Joined: September 4th, 2009 2:02 pm

Postby giraffe » March 10th, 2010 5:15 pm

I'm 26 years old and married to a korean girl. We've been together since Im 21 ( shes a year younger than me). I've been interested in korean culture and movies since college ( 18 years old). At the time i didnt know anything about korea, where it was etc... I randomly picked up a korean movie and was instantly intrigued. I then started to play soccer and hang out with a few international korean guys and I eventually met my wife. from 18-22 years old I didnt learn much korean just random words / expresssions here and there. From 23-26 years old is where i learned most of the korean i know today. During that time I visited korea about 5 times ( 1-3 months each time) and also had a big wedding in korea. Taking a language course in a university was always out of the question for me cuz I knew i wouldnt come out of the course knowing much more than i already knew and i dont agree with the way schools teach languages. Im already bilingual in french and english, I didnt become bilingual because of school =p. My wife tried to teach me korean but learning from your wife isnt really ideal and it takes ALOT of patience. Based on Koreanclass101 lessons I have low intermediate/intermediate korean level however in the real world I consider myself a beginnner. My korean listening is my strongest point. Weakest points are writing and speaking. I've taught myself to write and read korean with online resources like Sogang online classes when i was 20 but those got pretty boring. I've tried learning from various books my wife bought me but i find they teach too much grammar , not enough input. 95% of the vocabulary and verbs and expressions i know today came naturally from listening koreans speak ( being with my wife's family and friends mostly, a bit from movies that i watch) and reading korean.

Sooooo the reason i join koreanclass 101 is to expand my vocabulary and strengthen my speaking and grammar. I like the teaching method here and after going through the first season of beginner lessons I know begginer is way to o easy for me BUT i did learn a few new words. I'm hoping after a few months of study i can hold a better conversation with my parents in law and wife's friends.

I also have a huge interest in North Korea ( the history and current events) aswell as a keen interest Korean movies ( most movies minus most of the romantic comedies. im not a fan of those but i do like some of them.)

see you around
Last edited by giraffe on March 10th, 2010 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Expert on Something
Posts: 870
Joined: February 8th, 2010 8:55 am

Postby trutherous » March 10th, 2010 6:30 pm

Hi Giraffe,

What a great motivation to learn Korean! I couldn't help but smile when I read " My wife tried to teach me Korean but learning from your wife isn't really ideal and it takes A LOT of patience." How true!

Many times when I am conversing with Koreans they are surprised and puzzled as to how I can speak Korean. Eventually they ask something like '아내되신분이 한국뷴이시지요?' When I reply 'yes' they always breath out a relaxed sigh and say 'Oh that's how you can speak Korean so well.' This gets me a little angry because 99% of the Korean I know was learned by hard-fought battles called 'self-study." Fortunately I can now explain to them in Korean that in all the years of marriage I probably only learned 3 words per year from my wife.

You are right about the university language approach. I took a course like that just for the credits, it was indeed very basic.

Books geared to teach foreign language to foreigners usually do emphasize grammar. Korean books for Korean children are usually better than those geared for foreigners.

There is a series of 5 paperback books I recommend as a supplement to anyone studying Korean: "Practical English" by 민병철 --YES-- I know they are written to teach English to Koreans but they have the Korean on the opposite page. These books deal with many everyday life situations and I was so glad to discover them back when I started studying Korean. They are a bit outdated now, but still useful.

Been Around a Bit
Posts: 15
Joined: September 4th, 2009 2:02 pm

Postby giraffe » March 10th, 2010 11:42 pm

i noticed i wrote from 23-36 but was suppose to be 23-26 =p. Anyways


Yeah I love my wife to death but i learn best from her when i just have a random question once in a while. I cant sit down with her and have a study session it just doesnt work. Especially when she cant answer my questions, she just says " its just the way it is.. accept it" and if i try to push the subject she gets frustrated and tells me ill never learn haha. Good times.

For me, self study and input is the way to go. LOTS of input, listening/watching movies and reading. I like koreanclass101 because I can read the transcripts. very important for me. Im not a big fan of srs or flash cards but i do them once in while. I personally dont learn much when i force myself with drills of words and sentences.

Hopefully i see some progress in a few months with korean 101.

Established Presence
Posts: 77
Joined: November 29th, 2009 11:54 am

Postby imaBALLER » March 11th, 2010 12:50 am

Hi Giraffe,

Just thought I would let you know that the material in the beginners seasons changes from season to season. Each season teaches different grammar, with the exception of season 5 - which is where I am now. There seems to be one or two grammar points being re taught from previous seasons...So if you find intermediate too difficult, there probably is more to be gained from some other beginner seasons.

I always thought the advantage of having a native speaking partner would not lie in sitting down and having lessons (which is ALWAYS boring in my opinion), but rather, having a constant practice partner?

By the way, using an SRS infrequently actually defeats the purpose of using it altogether.


Been Around a Bit
Posts: 15
Joined: September 4th, 2009 2:02 pm

Postby giraffe » March 11th, 2010 1:52 am


Thanks for the reply.
I already checked out most beginner season 1-5 lessons. They are a bit easy for me. Intermediate fits me more. There was A few thigns i didnt know from the beginner lessons which is why i did them anyways. Was well worth the time =p.

Speaking to my wife in korean is weird especially when weve been talking 90% of the time in english. My wife is learning english soo we decided to not speak korean much and now if we speak korean together its a bit weird. Im not sure how to explain it maybe trutherous has a similar experience.. I only speak korean when i go to korea on vacation every year. I have no choice with my parents in law and wifes friends so i learn ALOT more with strangers.

I dont do SRS anymore. I did it for half a year but it didnt do me any good. I hate having to force things in and it becomes really boring after a while. I retain more vocabulary just reading and listening to things im interested in. Sometimes words just wont stick no matter how hard i try to memorize them soo i just accepted that and just go with the flow. Things eventually click. Im in no real hurry and i love the feeling when something all of a sudden clicks. =p. I do however look at flashcards once ina while like the ones in koreanclass101 to see ive retained most words ive come accross. I've accepted that im not going to remember Everysingle new words and it doesnt bother me because ill eventually come across them again and thats usually when it starts to click for me.

Established Presence
Posts: 77
Joined: November 29th, 2009 11:54 am

Postby imaBALLER » March 11th, 2010 3:51 am

That's interesting with your wife... I guess because you live in an english speaking country it is more important for her to speak english well than for you to speak korean well.

I do a lot of srsing. I have about 2200 cards in my deck. It has allowed me to rapidly move through a lot of material 1500 of those cards have been added in the last 3 months. I have to admit that I do find it tiresome some times. I also realise there is no way I could be comprehending so much in such a short time without it though... The best thing I find is to just break the cards up. I will just do 5 cards now, then I'm gonna make a snack, then I'll do 10 more cards, then I'm gonna check my email etc...

If you retain vocabulary just reading and listening that is fantastic, and I am really envious... that may be because you are at a higher level than me and I may benefit from something similar in the future.

I like your go with the flow attitude. That is something I have become interested in recently, letting go of desire and just letting things be.

New in Town
Posts: 2
Joined: July 22nd, 2009 7:50 am

Postby Bob123 » April 15th, 2010 3:08 pm

I started learning korean due to Taekwon-do, i was going for my black belt grading and i needed to know alot of the commands and stances etc. in korean. So i learnt about 30 odd words in korean.

I enjoyed it so much i thought to myself 'maybe i should just learn the whole language' i never knew learning a language was so much work! Ive been learning korean for about 1 year and 4 months and am going to korea in July XD

나는 너무 신나요!! ^^

Expert on Something
Posts: 870
Joined: February 8th, 2010 8:55 am

Postby trutherous » April 15th, 2010 7:51 pm

Right on Bob!

Always happy to see another student of Korean!

Remember, your arms and hands are not just for dangling at your side while you dance on your toes. Keep up your guard! If you can't avoid the kick it's better to have two arms up in the way to take the blow as a shock absorber.

Your opponent is most vulnerable when he begins his attack and when he breaks off his attack. Also you can 'flat-foot' your opponent: Did you ever notice that your opponent tends to stop backing up when you break off your attack? Try a false stop and a quick resume of attack.

A little heavy contact sparring on this end in the days of my youth...

New in Town
Posts: 2
Joined: July 22nd, 2009 7:50 am

Postby Bob123 » April 20th, 2010 2:03 pm

Ha ha
Yeh im a student of the ITF (International Taekwon-do Federation) so we do plenty of punching compared to WTF fighters.
Thanks for the tip ill try the false stop tactic next time i have my opponent on the run XD stop then do a checking kick or something :D

New in Town
Posts: 1
Joined: March 18th, 2009 10:54 am

Postby mrredsun » June 8th, 2010 10:52 am

I'm half-Korean, and I only recently felt the cultural pull to learn Korean. I apparently spoke it fluently as a child when I lived in Korea, but I lost all of it when I moved to the States. I have Korean relatives that speak almost no English, so if I want to converse with them during my next trip to Korea (my first time in 26 years), I'll have to suck it up and learn. So, that's what I'm doing, but it's still crazy difficult considering I grew up listening to Korean all the time.

New in Town
Posts: 4
Joined: March 28th, 2010 5:18 am

Postby 512456 » June 8th, 2010 3:29 pm

Hello, everyone, this is my first time posting in this forum. I voted for 'I learn it just to train my brain'. But besides that, I learn Korean because I think Koreans are nice and I want to visit Korea.

Although I'm still a beginner now, I hope I can get fluent in Korean one day. And, maybe when I'm fluent, I might find a Korean girlfriend. :D


Expert on Something
Posts: 870
Joined: February 8th, 2010 8:55 am

Postby trutherous » June 8th, 2010 8:33 pm

Hi again Alex,

I wish you well in your Korean studies.

Although I'm still a beginner now, I hope I can get fluent in Korean one day. And, maybe when I'm fluent, I might find a Korean girlfriend.

Hmmm? Oh you can get a Korean girlfriend all right, you don't even need to be fluent in the language, but will just 'any' Korean girl do? Don't think they are all Korean girls are like the ones you see on the dramas. They are not all dreamy-eyed souls looking for a lifetime of true love and devotion, willing to see beyond circumstance and appreciate you for your wonderful joyful personality. If you really want a Korean girlfriend I would say there are two things more important than being fluent in the language.

1. A college diploma -- a doctorate is preferred but a masters will do, at very least a bachelor's -- in Korea a bachelor's is as common as a high school diploma is in many other countries.

2. Lot's of money, being successful in business or career -- many Korean parents still vehemently oppose dating/marriage with non-Koreans, however, money seems to make you look more Korean in their eyes.

These two facts may offend some people -- but sometimes the truth hurts.

In America a shiny new Harley Davidson also works well to attract girls, it's like using a flashy lure while fishing.

솔직히 말해서 이 세상에서는 '춘향전' 같은 여성들이 별로 없어요.

Expert on Something
Posts: 601
Joined: March 12th, 2010 9:12 am

Hello Alex~~!

Postby timandyou » June 9th, 2010 12:45 am

:wink: :roll:

What's your motivation for learning Korean?
And your answer is to get a Korean girlfriend!

Oh, man, Alex~~!!
I like you man! :o

Yes, without girlfriend life is not quite fun.
Whatever your motivaiton is... it's great to be motivated like you Alex.
When I learned English, I had a hu~~~~g desire for getting Canadian girlfreind.
Alex, you just reminded of my sin. haha~~!!
Anyway.. I didn't (to be honest "couldn't") get a Canadian girlfriend (shame on me) and ALEX! You have the greatest motivation ever! You can do it!

Bythe way... as George just mentioned above...
70%... 80%... 90%... 95%... (I don't know... let's say.. it depends on individual) true.
George knows about Korean girls better than me.. I think... (George you bit me)


The bottom line is!
We are here to learn Korean!
So, cheers, George and Alex! and me!
Have fun learning Korean! 8)

Return to “Listener's Lounge (청취자들의 공간)”