How Long Does it Take to Learn Korean – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 30-40 weeks

The Korean language is a language from the east of Asia and is spoken by around 75 million people. It is the official national language for both the countries of North Korea and South Korea. Learning the Korean language may be considered to be a very difficult task but still, it is very possible for one to learn the language.

There are many steps that are involved when learning the Korean language and an individual needs to undergo all of them. Some of these steps include learning the Korean alphabet, the Korean word families, grammar and the pronunciation of most of the words.

How long does it take to learn the Korean language?

The time one takes to learn the Korean language usually depends on a number of factors. The United States Foreign service institute came up with a timeline that classified different language groups and the length each may take for an individual to learn the Korean language. The table below shows how long individuals in each group may take to learn the Korean language:

Language GroupTime taken to learn Korean language
Language group I e.g. English, French, Spanish, Dutch and Finnish.23- 24 weeks or 575- 600 hours
Language group II e.g. German30 weeks or 750 hours
Language group III e.g. Malaysian, Indonesian and Swahili36 weeks or 900 hours
Language group IV e.g. Russian, Turkish, Burmese, Polish, Ukrainian, Serbian, Vietnamese, Hindi and many others44 weeks or 1100 hours
Language group V e.g. Chinese, Arabic, Japanese and Korean88 weeks or 2200 hours

The above table helps individuals to estimate the time duration it may take them to learn the Korean language. It makes it easy for one to calculate the number of hours, days, weeks, months and even years it may take them depending on how much time one is ready to devote to learning the language.

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Why it takes that long to learn Korean?

There are a number of reasons that usually determine the amount of time an individual may take to learn the Korean language. Some of these reasons include;

  1. The experiences in language learning that one has had in the past. It is easier for individuals who are bilingual to learn Korean and it will take them less time.
  2. The method of learning one uses will also determine the length of time it will take. Learning Korean in a classroom setup tends to take much longer than when one is fully immersed in the language.
  3. The time devoted to learning is also important. For instance, learning the language on a daily basis will make one learn it faster as compared to attending a class on a weekly basis.
  4. Another reason that tends to determine the amount of time it takes one to learn the Korean language is an individual’s motivation. Highly motivated individuals will take less time to learn the language compared to less motivated individuals.
  5. An individual’s attitude also plays a role in the duration of time it will take to learn the Korean language.

The time it takes an individual to learn the Korean language doesn’t solely depend on the quantity of time dedicated to it. The quality also matters and a lot of practice will help.


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