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Improving listening skills

Posted: October 18th, 2015 3:58 pm
by stevenhoward305707
Hello all. I'm not sure how active the community is, but would like to hear from other learners about how you may have improved listening skills.

I'm one of the people who has been exposed to a lot of Korean, but it's almost like my brain got lazy and stopped trying to understand everything. I got married to a Korean lady 30 years ago when I was in Korea, and so I have heard the 부산 사투리 version of Korean in my house almost daily for the last 30 years. I moved back to Korea with my job about 2 years ago, and after moving back, I managed to take time in the two summers to attend 경성대의 immersion Korean classes at level 2 and 3. I think my speaking is a bit weak, but my reading and writing are on level for having finished those levels, but although listening was my strongest skill when I returned, it hasn't improved at the same rate that the other skills have. So things I've heard in my house for 30 years I understand without having to mentally translate, but things I need to learn outside of the house and basic shopping have been very slow in coming along, and this is frustrating.

I have some physical difficulties as I have lost some hearing in recent years. So, for instance, I often cannot hear the ㅅ sound when it is pronounced by a woman from Seoul, although I seem to hear it fine when pronounced by a woman from Busan, or pretty much any man. I sometimes do not hear the ㅈ sound from a woman from Seoul, too, or sometimes it sounds like a ㄷ sound to me. So those are difficulties I will just have to learn to deal with, but this isn't he main problem. The main problem is that I can hear someone talk, and often, I only pick out a few words, but if I read the transcript of what they said, I understand every word, and it frustrates me that I didn't understand it when they spoke it.

I'm hoping that the community is active here, and have enjoyed the lessons I have listened to thus far. Thus far I haven't gone premium because I know the most of the words and all of the grammar in the intermediate lessons thus far, and what I really need is the listening practice. (BTW, I can hear the differences in accent in the spoken Korean :) ). I'm not sure what other resources are available, but thus far, I'm finding this useful.

I'm very interested to know how others have improved their listening skills in Korean. This is my weakest point currently, and I must improve it.

Re: Improving listening skills

Posted: October 21st, 2015 2:39 pm
by community.korean
Hi Steven,

I am amazed that you can tell the differences between the varions accents(we call them 사투리(satoori))!
Besides listening to the lessons at, taking advantage of the educational channel (EBS) may be useful too. As it is catered mostly toward children, the pronounciation is spot on and the speed of the speech is adequte to improve your listening.


Re: Improving listening skills

Posted: November 7th, 2015 1:34 pm
by Gaodizzo
I am relatively new to learning Korean, and I can relate to the listening troubles.

Some of the sounds sound so close, that it just seems hard to distinguish the different ones. I hope to improve with my listening, so I will keep working at it.

Re: Improving listening skills

Posted: November 9th, 2015 7:37 pm
by community.korean

Thank you for commenting!
Learning how to distinguish similar sounds when you are still new to learning a language can be very difficult!
One of the best ways to improve your listening would be to listen to the Korean news channels, as announcers have the best pronunciation.
If you enjoy Korean songs or dramas, that would be another way too.