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Learn to read, write, hear, and say the Hangeul 한글characters used for written Korean 한국어. Unlike Chinese/Japanese characters, the Korean language has a phonetic alphabet, so after a few hours of practice, it’ll be possible for you to read a Korean newspaper or book aloud. You won’t understand any of what you’re reading, but it’ll be possible to sound out the words and be understood (more or less) by a native speaker. There are many apps and websites that make this a straightforward process. You may be surprised how many things you’ll understand that were mysterious or totally opaque before, but which become obvious and interesting once you know just this one thing.

We recommend the free LingoDeer app for iOS and Android. Not only does it show the proper stroke order (the right way to “draw” the characters) it also is a great learning tool for further study. More on that later!

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