Learning a new script

Those of you who have come across me will know that I'm learning Korean. If you haven't a clue who I am, sorry. I hope I'm not clogging up the discussion feed with nonsense.

Anyway, I've only been learning since February but I'm not wholly pleased with the journey. I'm really struggling to understand the characters without an English translation. I can read it and make the correct sounds, but it's like there's a disconnect between what I can understand and what I'm trying to learn. When I read the translation it snaps into place and I can recognise what words are being said and in which order. The problem with this is that I feel like I am moving at a snail's pace.

I may just be being impatient as I'm super early into this journey. I found it much easier to learn Italian or Spanish when I tried to pick those up but that's solely because I used my English knowledge as a kind of stepping stool. With Korean, that isn't possible. 

Do any of you have tips for learning a new script? Japanese to English? or Arabic to Mandarin etc. How do you train your brain to recognise these new shapes as words?

May 6, 2018 4:25 PM
Comments · 2

I don't know any korean, but I'm decent at mandarin. Here's what has worked for me, although I can't guarantee similar results.

To the extent possible, when you learn new words, rather than associating them with English, try to associate them with the concept it corresponds to. As in, dont go "this is the word for dog" but rather picture a dog. Get English out of the picture as much as as is humanly possible and you should learn faster. English can be helpful if you're learning a related language, with with an unrelated one it'll just clog up the works. Drawing pictures if the thing with the Korean word might help.

It is okay to break sentences down and, find the subject and the object, read them several times... But really do your best to understand them without a translation. Use a dictionary if you have to, and dont rush. 

I also recommend doing a lot of reading and writing practice, including both things which can challange you (to expand the range of your abilities) and things that are maybe below your level (to increase fluency and speed). 

I am also a big fan of spaced repetition software. Used daily, even just for ten minutes, it will go a long way. Regular exposure over a long time is key. 

May 6, 2018

I understand about picturing a dog as opposed to just saying 'this is a dog', but I'd still have issues with not associating the picture of a dog with the word dog, if you get me?

I have been focussing a lot on grammar and I write pretty much daily, but I always have the English by it. Maybe I'll have to start by removing all the translation.

I will look at repetition software. I'm looking for children's books and nursery rhymes too.

May 6, 2018
Language Skills
English, Korean
Learning Language