Struggling to learn Korean words? Want to advance in Korean but can’t seem to get the vocabulary to stick? Trust me, I understand. As someone who wants to become conversational, having a large vocabulary bank to draw from is literal goals. One of the ways I’m learning the vocabulary and fast is by using flashcards to learn Korean words.
Okay, so I mentioned in the post, How I To Study Korean Vocabulary For Speaking Purposes, that I like to split up my flashcard desks. I split them into a noun set, verbs set, and phrases set. So, in this post, I’m finally going over how exactly I do this. And how it’s helping me to learn Korean vocabulary faster.
Also if you are interested in learning how I schedule out my Korean Study routine then check out my post, How To Create a Korean Self Study Routine. In that post, I share tips and tricks for creating a personalized study schedule and I share my own personal study schedule.
So, I decided to start with the easiest of the three. Which is my nouns flashcard deck. For this one, I do it the traditional way. I just put the word in Korean on one side and the definition on the other. Sometimes I may substitute the word for a picture of the word, to make it more interesting. But overall, it’s pretty simple.
I like to put the words that are on the flashcards into sentences when going over the deck. If I don’t remember the word, I will then write down the word in my vocabulary practice notebook. In my post, Must-Have Korean Study Supplies, I mention all the things I use to study Korean.
The notebook that I use for vocabulary isn’t pretty by any means. But that just makes it more useful.
I will usually write the word down 10 times, saying it out loud as I write, then move on. I repeat this process again and again until the word sticks. This usually happens pretty quickly, since I put the nouns into sentences to help me remember them.
I actually like learning Korean verbs/adjectives. They are like puzzle pieces to me. You have your sentence with the verb not conjugated and in order to say a certain thing, you have to remember the correct verb conjugation to end the sentence with.
For example, when I want to use “if” sentences, I have to conjugate the verb differently from just the normal present/future/past tenses. Often times when you speak in Korean, you are usually just changing the verb ending instead of changing the entire structure of the sentence.
Literally every sentence change, you end up having to conjugate the verb ending differently. And all the different verb endings can get a little hard to remember. Especially when you start to learn different levels of formality.
(A little off-topic but; One verb can be conjugated 100 different ways in Korean and that’s for just one level of formality. Crazy right!)
What I like to do is write the Korean verb on the front of the index card. Then on the back, I will write the definition of the verb, plus its conjugation in the present, past, and future tense. (using the -yo level of formality, since it is the one I will usually be speaking in).
When going through the deck, I will first say the definition of the verb. Then conjugate the verb into the -yo formality of the present, future, and past tense out loud.
Then, after I do that, I will try to conjugate the verb into every freaking way I know-how. It takes a while and it isn’t a quick thing, but it really helps me to get the different verb endings to stick in my mind. I also speak the words out loud as I go through them.
Now if I really wanted to be crazy, I would then try to put the verbs into various sentences. But that will really take a while. Especially, when you have a deck of 50 words.
I think as someone whose goal is to become conversational in Korean, it’s extremely important that I know common everyday phrases in Korean. This means writing down sentences that I know might come up in real life and memorizing the whole sentence.
It’s much easier than it sounds and is sometimes easier than just learning the nouns/verbs by themselves.
For example, sentences like, ‘What are you doing after Korean class?’ would be in this flashcard deck.
Sometimes, when making the flashcard deck, instead of writing out the entire phrase. I may omit a word and make myself figure out what word is missing. And put the answer on the back of the flashcard.
Other times, I may omit the word and put the English word in place of the Korean, forcing myself to once again figure out the Korean phrase. And on the back of the flashcard, I would put the answer.
I like to have fun when creating this flashcard deck. And I really like to test the limits on how many words I can omit and switch and still be able to get the sentence in Korean. Sometimes, I put the whole sentence in English. (I know! Ludicrous!) It really helps to get the phrase to stick in my mind.
Also, I have a post titled, How To Learn Korean Without Flashcards. Flashcards are awesome! But they are not the only way to learn vocabulary, so check out that post if you want a little variety.
So I hope that I’ve been able to help someone on their language journey. And that Korean words stick better in your mind. If you have any flash card hacks, then let us know below. And Happy Studying!
Other Korean Study Related Post You May Be Interested in:
- Top 4 Free Online Korean Textbooks
- How I Find Motivation To Study Korean
- How I became Intermediate in Korean
- 7 Tips For Improving Your Korean Study Sessions
Other Korea Travel Related Post:
- How to Get a Teaching Job in South Korea
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- My Horrible Hospital Experience in South Korea
- The Struggles of Living in South Korea
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