[Course Forum] Korean 1-7 by Memrise

(Andreas Wærholm19) #104

Also the 의 in 당신의 is pronounced more like 에 than 의.

(Fluffalo) #105

Will this course teach me the formal writing of Korean or will it show few polite words/sentences? Out of the 7 speech levels, which would this course be placed in? I tried looking through the posts above but couldn’t find a direct answer.

(Andreas Wærholm19) #106

Well, I’ve only bothered completing Korean 1, but there the course mixes 반말 in with 존댓말 sentences. I would recommend Talk to me in Korean.

(Nigu84) #107

I guess Andreas did another version of the course, but Korean 1 I’ve looked at uses predominantly the -아/어요 form. I think there are only one or two more formal speech levels that are used for some typical expressions (e.g. 바부탁합니다 when asking for a table at the restaurant).

(Andreas Wærholm19) #108

What I mean it is repeatedly uses informal (반말) 나 instead of the appropriate polite (존댓말) 저 in sentences ending with 요 (aka 존댓말).

(Nigu84) #109

Ok, I see what you mean now.

But what I read in the past as a summary of when to use which, was the following:

저 can be used naturally with ㅂ니다/습니다 and 아/어/여요 (or other endings from those respective levels of speech).
나 can be used naturally with 아/어/여요 and 아/어/여 (or other endings from those respective levels of speech, including (이)야).

저 can not be used with 아/어/여 (or other endings from that level of speech).
저, by its very nature, is humble and shows more respect than 나. Therefore, it cannot be used with 반말 (“half-speech”).

나 can not be used with ㅂ니다/습니다 (or other endings from that level of speech).
나, by its very nature, is casual and not as respectful as 저. Therefore, it cannot be used with 존댓말.

So, it would seem correct to use either 나 or 저 with 요 sentences…

Disclaimer, the one who wrote that summary is not a native speaker so it might be all wrong.

(Andreas Wærholm19) #110

I got my “intel” from a native Korean, so I am pretty sure. Though I’ve heard elderly people might say 나 while keeping the 요-ending. But that is the exception.

(Nigu84) #111

Okay thanks :slight_smile:

(Manybuddies) #112

I’m not native, but I disagree. From my own understanding, unless you are in circumstances where you need to humble yourself by using 저, you can mostly just use 나. For instance, when you’re at a restaurant, there’s no need to use 저 when you’re ordering food to the waiter. We can even omit 나 and 저 in those situations, but that doesn’t make it 반말.

(Na Young Oh) #114


This one is quite tricky.
If it’s used at the end of the word as a possessive marker, it’s usually pronounced as “에 (ae)”. However, some Koreans pronounce it “의 (ui)” in this case too
Bear in mind this “에 (ae)” pronunciation is only for possessive marker!

I hope this helped your progress in studying Korean.
Have a nice day :wink:

행복한 하루 보내세요!

Na Young

(Na Young Oh) #115

Our courses are mostly done with the “-아요/-어요” ending form as this is a good foundation for learners. This is the normal formal form and there is also an even more formal form, but there’s also casual forms. As you may know these endings and forms play an important role in the Korean language.

I hope you’ll have fun and progress rapidly with our Korean courses.
Have a lovely day :wink:

Na Young

(Andreas Wærholm19) #116

Well, I always use 저 when speaking with my teacher or anyone I don’t know closely. So until one are at the level that it is natural to speak 반말, 저(는)/제가/제/저의 is the words you’ll use. But I suppose it would be OK for a tourist to use, 나 (out of ignorance), but then again you’ll sound like a tourist too.

(Andreas Wærholm19) #117

Just to clear things up: 존댓말 IS sentences ending with 요 (or 죠)

(Nigu84) #118

So, for the record, I asked around here, and it is completely fine to use 나 with the 요 form and it does not sound unnatural. It will not make you sound like a tourist.

The summary and @manybuddies’s comment above are quite on spot after all.

Then again, Korean grammar is a tricky thing. Take a textbook by Sogang, Yonsei or SNU, they will teach you somehow contradicting grammar rules, e.g. the fact that you are/are not allowed to use the past tense in the 니까 clause.

So, take home message, learn by the books, by real-life experience and most importantly, from many sources. Your teacher, random people on the internet, this course, TTMIK course, etc. Don’t get stuck in the ideas of one source only.

If you want to get feedback on some points from a variety of native speakers (and if you are not in Korea), check out the Korean language reddit. They are much more responsive and of higher quality than what you can find on this forum.

(Nigu84) #119

Off topic, I still think that, despite its flaws, this Memrise course has its merits.

They addressed some of the initial weaknesses. Not all, I fully agree. But it’s a pretty impressive feat to have created these official courses that teach Korean not only from English, but also from several other languages. All the better for non-native English speakers.

That laudable choice certainly had some impact on the quality of the course they could provide with the resources they had.

We can and should continue highlighting the flaws, but it would be silly to push people away from this course just because of some hard but reasonable choices they had to make.

That is my personal opinion of course and I won’t mind if you continue referring people to the TTMIK courses, which, I have no doubt, are of high quality too.

(Hkstuff) #121

I encountered the same error. Note that this mistake is in Korean 3 for UK English, but not US English. The Korean 3 for US English has the correct word for stomach. However, as of August 2017 the Korean/UK English mistake still hasn’t been fixed. So, for the meantime, i “ignored” the word for stomach in the Korean3/UKEnglish course.

(Andreas Wærholm19) #122

(Nigu84) #123

Related to what we were talking about some posts earlier, here a recent discussion on the topic on Redit. Maybe it was posted by someone reading the forum here :slight_smile:

I hope I didn’t sound too harsh in previous posts. I’m sorry if I did.

(Na Young Oh) #125


Thank you for pointing this out.
I’ve checked the issue and fixed it now.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Have a lovely day


Na Young

(Hkstuff) #126

Hi! Found another tiny error:

In Korean 3, Level 21 the sentence “We have to take a taxi” is translated as 우리는 택시를 타야만 해요 in the UK English version which matches the audio. The US English version has the same audio but the written Korean translation is 우리는 택시를 타야 해요.

Thanks for creating such a great app!