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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

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Postby momomossop » May 15th, 2009 10:48 am

FeeBee wrote:Hello everybody~ =]

Should I tell my reasons for learning Korean?! ^_^

Actually, I don't know why. haha.
My native language is Cantonese (chinese),
The first time I went to Korea was about 8 years old.
I remember ski-ing there...
I moved to Canada Edmonton when I was 9.
I watched my first korean drama when I was 9...
But I forgot the name of it...
As I was a chinese girl who doesn't speak english AT ALL...
It was more important for me to learn English at that time.

One day I went to a Korean Restaurant...
and i picked up my first Korean word (Thank you )from the waiter..!
That night, I searched on the internet to know more about Korea.
Their Culture, their language, their foods, there EVERYTHING.
I wasn't obsessed yet...

I stopped after awhile, because of school work, and work.

Now... I am currently studying in Switzerland.
At my school, there are TONS of koreans =D
not really ... tons but.. alot. XD
And NOW I am obsessed.

But... what's really my motivation?!
... A korean boy.
One night he said to me
"Sorry... my english is not good. But if you understand Korean.. I would tell you many things about me."
... Get it?! XD

I just love EVERYTHING about KOREA.

=) Thx for reading~

XD That is such a good reason ^^

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Postby momomossop » May 15th, 2009 10:57 am

I'm learning Korean because... Well I have an interest in pretty much any thing asian (i.e. the oriental part :P)
I started off wanting to learn Japanese, and so my friend (shes mando) sent me some japanese songs and also through a korean one in their... I fell in love with the song, and then cried buckets when I watched the MV... It was '하 루 하 루' by Big Bang ^ ^

I absolutely love Big Bang (especially Jiyongeee ^ ^) and want to learn Korean for two reasons:

- So I can go to Korea and see them live
- STALK THEM... Nah, because I love the sound of the language...

I'm also learning Mandarin at the moment, but I'm a bit stuck with that, because their aren't many good online resources :/

So yeah... I said Kpop and Kdramas :)


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Postby syn70 » May 19th, 2009 3:14 pm

I have difficulty replying to this when I am asked. The answer changes daily I think. First i became interested in learning what the words to the music I listened to were... but the more and more I learn about Korean people the more interested in learning the language I became. I think that because my father lived there four years and I got to learn so much about his experiences that I wanted to learn even more and even go see for myself. Of course, I am nervous about my age... how can I learn another language at 34?! Well, I put that to rest when I realized that my own step mother came to us knowing Spanish and German (which learned after 30) only... and in a short time learned English after 40! So, I know that I can have rudimentary Korean skills in a matter of patience and study!

I blog my progress at

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why i'm learning korean...

Postby Taylordcart » May 19th, 2009 10:58 pm

if there was a reason to be said about me learning korean....

i'm just weird. 8)

no but really, i don't remeber what got me into it. its just one day i started looking up asian dramas... and then i started watching the game shows like Star King and then i started watching music videos with and with out english subtitles.. which is how i discoverd how cute DBSK was but i was into Bi first from his show Full House.
it sounds fangirlish huh? :oops:

but then i started to like the language more, the culture even more, and the men even better. :D ... really, i started to take language more seriously then i had before.. when i had been learning words here and there thanks to dramas , somewhere down the line i gained a real and true intrest and respect for the language and the culture it came from. also, to read,understand ,and speak what i know even if its only a little makes me happy. being able to go ' ha! i know that word.. i know what that sentence means... " is awesome.

its fun for me. i think thats my official answer... i think... :)

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Re: why i'm learning korean...

Postby momomossop » May 20th, 2009 5:05 pm

Taylordcart wrote:... also, to read,understand ,and speak what i know even if its only a little makes me happy. being able to go ' ha! i know that word.. i know what that sentence means... " is awesome.

Lmao, I had exactly that feeling with taiwanese dramas and my family would think im weird when I would start shouting at the comp screen going "wo mei shi! wo mei shi!" or something like that :P

I'm only on my second kor drama though, so I anly have that with like 3 words atm XD

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Postby rubin427 » December 22nd, 2009 1:43 am

Studying Korean because of an interest in Go (Baduk, 바둑).

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Postby Codexus » December 22nd, 2009 8:08 am

Yeah, baduk is part of the motivation for me too. I also think that Korean pop culture is interesting and the Korean online world is also very active with lots of online games being played and created (I'm a fan of Pangya). And I'm also just attracted to the coolness of hangul (simple to learn but awesome looking).

So I don't have a real reason to learn Korean but it certainly would be cool. However there are also lots of other languages I'd love to learn so it's going to take some time, but I'm in no hurry.

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Why Korean...?

Postby danhorner14 » February 27th, 2010 5:27 pm

I'm a teacher in Canada and a student sent me a video of SNSD that was really funny (some of the members of the audience were screaming so loud they sounded like they were in pain). I thought the tune was catchy and when I searched them on youtube, I found them on all of these variety shows. Step by step I started to really enjoy korean pop culture.

Having been interested in learning a new language for some time, I finally decided Korean would be the one. In July, I signed up with and I just started Newbie Series 3. I'm not flying through the lessons but I've been doing them very thoroughly and my many Korean students tell me I'm doing well.

I may be teaching English at a summer camp near Busan this summer so I'm hoping my new skills will be of some use.

Anyway, I've never posted any comments but Keith's plea on the Newbie series 3 lesson 1 convinced me. KOREANCLASS101 HWAITING!!!!!

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Postby trutherous » February 27th, 2010 8:00 pm

This is an old post by Internet standards, but sometimes digging up an old post is like digging up buried treasure.

Should I answer this one? I think I will. Please bear with me while I summarize my motivation for learning Korean:

You often hear stories of Korean adoption into "white" homes but you never hear the reverse situation. My story is kind of like that other side of the coin.

Born 1959, a Caucasian American US citizen, I was virtually orphaned and on my own at a young age. Our small extended family was never a close one, not like the close-knit Korean family unit where the adage 'blood is thicker than water" comes to its fullest expression.

After three and a half years in a home for boys, I ran away at age 16 and started working. I managed to finish high school and even attended a community college for a while. Life was hard, I was alone. At age 18 I hitchhiked around the US and then joined the army. For some strange reason I felt compelled to go to Korea but they sent me to Germany instead.

At age 21 I dated a 20 year old Korean girl for about a year, but she kept refusing to introduce me to her family, saying "They hate all Americans." I was sure I could convince them that I was different that whatever stereotype they had in mind, but when we finally met they went so far as to threaten my life. They sent "Sue" back to Korea within a week, and she came back 4 months later married and pregnant.

For a while I had ill feelings, but by age 22 I met another Korean named "Ronny" and we became drinking buddies. One night we returned to his house at 2:30 AM and found his mother sleeping in his bed. Needless to say, when she awoke we both got a serious scolding --in Korean- which I didn't understand a word of, yet I understood the love behind it and I envied my friend. After his mother finally went to sleep in her own room, I thought surly this was the last time I would be allowed in the house. But Ronny assured me that everything was all right.

Ronny asked if I was hungry and went to the kitchen to get us a snack. He returned with a large cabbage leaf hanging from chopsticks and said "I want you to try this, it's kimchi -Korean pickle." This was my first taste of Korean food -ever. I had always liked spicy food and I was still buzzed from the beers we drank earlier that evening, so I figured 'why not?'

The bite of kimchi that changed my life forever:

I had been waiting for this flavor my whole life! If flavors were crayons then this kimchi was like the whole box. A rainbow of flavor to my palate; spicy, sweet, salty, crunchy, fizzy, musty, and a fresh ocean breeze carrying the spray of waves breaking on a rocky crag. I ended up eating quite a bit. Yep, it was that incredible.

I had had digestive problems ever since I was 14 years old so I expected that this spicy delight would cause me much distress the next day, but to my surprise the next day was the first time in many years my digestion was close to normal. I was hooked.

Not wanting to bother Ronny's mom, I sought out a Korean market to purchase kimchi. The owner and I soon became friends. Her name was 주인 (owner, proprietor) isn't that funny? 그 마켓 주인의 이름은 '주인'이었다는 거 참 이상하고 웃기지요?

Anyway, the owner eventually asked if I was a Christian, and I replied 'yes' so she invited me to visit her church, a small Korean Presbyterian church located nearby. I went one Sunday, and after the service we shared a nice Korean meal, and there was my favorite thing - kimchi.

I had first heard about Jesus while living in the home for boys, and while I believed and prayed and read the bible, I never felt comfortable in a church. I had been to various American churches numerous times, but the people always seemed to go home right after the worship service, maybe they would stay for coffee and donuts, but I found no real friendship there, only more 'distance.'

By this time I had learned a few Korean words and greetings, and even purchased a small pocket guide to Korean conversation that came with a casset tape. Also Ronny's dad was determined to teach me Hangul every time I went to visit their house. "You can learn it, you're smart, I can tell. Korean is very scientific." He used to say. "가,나,다,라,마,... 아,야,어,여,오,요," He'd make me repeat as I waited for Ronny to get ready to go out. I was too polite to refuse his dad, but I knew I could never learn something as complicated as Hangul. To me it looked like Chinese.

But one night, as I was studying my pocket guide alone in my apartment (it was laid out like this):
I'm glad to meet you.
Man-na-seo Pan-gap-sup-ni-da
만 - 나 - 서 반 - 갑 - 습 - 니 - 다

Everything just fell into place. Suddenly, I was reading Hangul!

I continued to get a free Korean meal on Sunday by attending the Korean church, and some of the church members asked every kind of personal question in the world - questions that American etiquette normally doesn't allow, but I didn't mind. I was happy for the attention. When they found out I was an orphan and lived alone in an apartment they asked "Aren't you lonely?" - I HAD NEVER BEEN ASKED THAT BEFORE. And I had to think a moment before I answered - yes, in fact, I was lonely.

The following week some of the members asked if I would like to live together in a rented house. It was a Korean boarding house where about 10 people of diverse backgrounds lived together, sharing expenses in a kind of patchwork harmony. My rent would be cheaper, I could eat Korean food every day, they would help me learn Korean, and I could help them learn English. I agreed.

Well, I got more than just a place to live - I got a family! Having grown up in a cold distant family and western culture that values individuality and individual freedom above anything else, I never knew in all the world that people actually lived and shared like these Korean people. They were total strangers, yet they were concerned with my coming and going. I soon learned that I could not even go to work without saying "(I will) attend (work) and return again" "다녀오겠읍니다." It was as if I had been adopted, a little late in life perhaps, but I was a child at heart, and I still am.

So there you have the roots of my motivation to learn Korean.

After a few years of living with Korean people I made up my mind that I could only marry a Korean, and that dream also came true. I had studied Korean diligently those first few years but study soon took a backseat to family and work. I continued to attend Korean church with my wife, but I only just started seriously studying Korean again in 2008. My Korean had gotten quite rusty. But it has improved substantially in the past 2 years.

Kimchi is still my favorite Korean food.

George Posten, 한국 이름은 '나영훈' 羅永訓 입니다

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Postby Sidlee » February 27th, 2010 10:43 pm

I want to learn Korean because my husband is Korean and I would love to be able to communicate with my in-laws (they live in Seoul) but they don't really speak English. We can sort of communicate with each other in Japanese but I don't know too much of it so our conversations are a little awkward :D

Plus I absolutely ADORE Korean dramas and would love to be able to watch them without the subs :lol:

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Re: What's your motivation to learn Korean?

Postby tecweld » February 28th, 2010 1:36 am

kyuree wrote:So what makes you learn Korean? Why did you start?

I just got a job in WA state as a PTA in a nursing home. Some of the patients speak only Korean, no English. I would like to be able to communicate with them. There are some staff members that speak Korean but they are not usually available to act as translators.

Even if I could say simple things like "stand up," "thank you," "we're finished for today," it might help.

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Postby Rocker3829 » March 7th, 2010 8:37 pm

Simple answer, I'll be a Lieutenant in the US Army come first week of September and after additional training I'll be stationed in Korea for at least 3 years (part of my next decade or so traveling all over the world as an Army Officer)

Korean is just the first language i'm after (besides my native english), workin on Japanese, Chinese (mandarin), and Arabic as well (all 4 category IV DOD designated languages)

Gonna be one awesome ride :-)

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Postby imaBALLER » March 8th, 2010 12:09 am


That was an awesome story.

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Postby trutherous » March 8th, 2010 6:46 am

imaBALLER - thanks!

Maybe one day I will be able to write that whole story in Korean.

I just went back through this post and I must have missed yours. What motivated you to learn Korean?

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Postby imaBALLER » March 8th, 2010 8:38 am

At a young age I developed a general interest in "Asian" cultures due to martial arts. I watched martial arts movies with my Dad, liked Bruce Lee etc. I did Karate and became interested in Japan and the Budo mentality and culture. In retrospect I don't think idealising Budo is a good thing, but that's a different post. I practiced Judo and went and lived in Japan for about 9 months, while I was there I started jiu jitsu as well.

After returning from Japan, I felt like I had satisfied my curiosity about Japan to a degree, but was still interested in foreign languages and in particular asian languages. Korea like japan has a strong martial arts tradition. In particular Korea is known for it's Taekwondo, Hapkido, Yudo (judo) and Kumdo (kendo).

I also found that I really like Korean music and generally found it more entertaining than Japanese music. Seeing as native material is such an important part of study, I switched to studying Korean as I found it more compelling.

Now, I really enjoy listening to Korean and enjoy the way it sounds. The Talks shows are really enjoyable too. 소녀시대 must also be considered as a major inspiration :lol: .

In addition to all this, I have always wanted to speak another language fluently. Whenever I hear someone switching between 2, or even 3 languages, I feel a sense of awe 멌있어... something like that. I hope to become a fluent Korean speaker and perhaps pursue a career in languages.

I find this a really complex question to answer actually and generally I don't like it when it comes up in conversation. Australia can be a bit racist sometimes and many people cannot comprehend why someone would want to learn another language, especially a language like Korean. This is due to the "invasion" of Asian immigrants etc... and the fear associated with it. Contrast this to a country like Sweden where the ability to not speak 2 or more languages is seen as an oddity. I met a Swedish guy in Japan who was almost offended by the idea of a monolingual person.

Anyway, I strayed a bit from the original question.

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