[Course Forum] Korean 1-7 by Memrise

(Manybuddies) #148

You didn’t leave any reference in your post so there’s no way for me to double check for you. But from my own experiences and your description, both their pronunciations are probably correct. Take 맥주 (beer) for example, the first consonant sounds like ㅂ to foreigners, but what they are saying is really saying ㅁ. The thing is, most people don’t understand that consonant doesn’t have a sound by itself, it produces a sound only when attached to a vowel. If one insist on giving ㅁ a sound, I would read it as [므]. Here’s a tip from me, instead of pronouncing 맥 like ㅁ + ㅐ + ㄱ try pronouncing it like so: ㅁ + 액.

(Julia Miniver) #149

It’s the same if you listen to their podcast : they come from different areas of South Korea and they have different pronounciation (they often make fun of it and repeat again to make listeners notice the differences)
Actually quite useful, since it’s how people really talk when you are in the country :slight_smile:

(Baite) #150

To have a ㅁ sound like a ㅂ is not common. I think a course should teach the average pronunciation.

Do you mean ‘this consonant’ or ‘a consonant’ (i.e. any and all consonants)?
Some consonants certainly can produce sound by itself. E.g. n is voiced and so is m. I know the Korean ㅂ is like an unvoiced ‘b’. The is ㅁ is also voiced. So, you can actually say the ㅁ (like the m) by itself.

You can try this by saying the word starting with a very long (5 seconds long) ㅁ. Then after 3 seconds (before you say the rest of the word) you stop. You will notice that you did produce sound; hence: you can pronounce the ㅁ all by itself.

Non-voiced consonants are usually difficult to pronounce by itself, especially in case they are un-aspired.

(Manybuddies) #151

I meant all korean consonants (자음) should be treated as unvoiced. That’s my own insights after having learnt korean for some time (though very much still a new learner). Because everything people try to compare Korean with their mother tongue, that’s when they get into trouble.

ps: As noted in my example earlier, most people would tell you that 맥 = ㅁ + ㅐ + ㄱ. But when I fist started out, had someone told me that 맥 = ㅁ + 액, that would have saved me a world of trouble, especially with words having ㄹ as the ending consonant (받침). There’s the “textbook way”, and then, there’s “my way”. “My way” may not be the right way, but hopefully it’d be helpful for people who’s been in my shoes.

(Baite) #152

Agree, we should always sounds in a new to learn language treat as a new, and only when they are prove to be identical to ones we know from elsewhere, we can equate them. Having said that, how do we remember phonemes of a new language in a relative short period (say a few weeks rather than the few years that natives take)? Well, by creating mnemonics using things we already know.

For clarity for other learners, the ㅁ, ㄴ and ㅇ are certainly voiced in Korean. The ㅂ, ㄷ, ㄱ are indeed not voiced in Korean, though at first they seem similar to b, d and g in English (g is only sometime voices in English though). If it helps you to think of ㅁ,ㄴ and ㅇ as not voiced, great! I just want to give clarity for (new) learners who are still trying to find their way in this jungle.

(Dragonborn224250) #153

Hi, I’ve seen some inconsistencies with your g’s and k’s in Korean one. there are times when the k is written like a g, and cheers is written with a g, but it’s spelled with a k; 건배 would then be spelled keonbae.

(Baite) #154

There is an inconsistency in the customs here. When ㄱ comes first in a word, it is written as ‘k’, in the middle as ‘g’. The official new South Korean transcription standard is mostly consistent, but there are many old names and resources (e.g. the surname ‘Kim’ to begin with).

@Lien: who is the Korean expert at Memrise - I wanted to ask what the transcription policy is that the Memrise courses follow.

(Andreas Wærholm19) #155

Why bother with the romanization in the first place? You wont learn Korean, unless you use 한글 directly. Romanization is fine for getting used to the characters, but anything beyond that is just a waste of time, and you’ll risk ending up learning the same stuff all over again.

(Baite) #156

Learning the Hangul is not very difficult, and very valuable, and a must for reading. I’d suggest to learn it in the first two-three weeks parallel to basic conversations. In that time Romanization is very useful.

I believe, the spoken and heard language is primary, written language (and the script) secondary, and transcription tertiary, but they are all part of the language. That is why Romanization does matter to many people. And that is why there is a system for it. It also helps understanding how the natives perceive their script in contrast with English at times.

(Lien) #157

@NaYoungOh Can you help?

(Na Young Oh) #158

Hi John,

I followed the rules of transcription of The National Institute of the Korean Language.
They indicate “g, k for ㄱ” and “k for ㅋ”, but I chose to use only “g for ㄱ” as I want to highlight that there is indeed a difference in pronunciation between “ㄱ and ㅋ”.

Also, every consonant has its own name.
For example, ㄱ (기억), ㄴ (니은), ㄷ (디귿)……
However, it is pretty difficult to teach foreign learners through the app for now, and so I decided to teach every consonant using the vowel " ㅡ" instead of with its original name in an attempt to avoid confusion, and so that the consonant can be heard along with a vowel sound in the audio.

It’s great to know you are studying Korean and if you have any question about our Korean course, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

더워지는 날씨에 건강 유의하시고 항상 행복하세요!
한국어 공부 화이팅 :slightly_smiling_face:

NA Young Oh

(Koutsenko) #159

Course 1, 당신 is very danger word. It’s specific and usually using e.g. by marrieds.

당신의 이름은 뭐예요?
It’s very impolite to talk that way with strangers.

당신은 정말 천재예요!
당신은 아파요
당신이 맞아요
당신을 위한 것
Only marrieds.

당신은 어느 나라 사람이에요?
당신은 영국 사람이에요?
당신은 한국 사람이에요?
It’s very impolite to talk that way with strangers.

And what … why we must learn it?

(Na Young Oh) #161


In Korea, the appellation is pretty important and complicated. Koreans usually use name+job title or proper appellation directly instead of using personal pronoun like you, she, he, etc.

We have 2 type of “you” in Korean. It is 너 and 당신.
The definition of “너” is the second person pronoun and it is used generally only if the listener is younger than you or same age with you.

The definition of “당신”

  1. Indicating listener as the second person pronoun.
  2. Formal expression to indicate husband and wife.
  3. Formal expression to indicate the second person pronoun in literary Korean.
  4. Informal expression to indicate the second person pronoun in fighting or arguing situation
  5. Very formal expression to indicate “myself”

I have copied in the above “너” and “당신” definition from Naver Korean Dictionary.
“너” is the more informal word so in my view it is better to go with 당신 for the intended learning purposes in this Korean language course. Of course 당신 is not perfect and has some drawbacks but we have pointed these out and given the intention of this course it is the best available option.

I hope my answer is useful for you. If you have any other question about our Korean course, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

한국어의 신이 되는 그날까지… 화이팅 :slightly_smiling_face:

Na Young

(Alexroseajr) #162

Korean 1’s alphabet learning is basically pointless because of the options it gives you. Memrise frequently has enough problems with process of elimination.

Like, e.g. I’ve finished Russian 1-7, and there often you get a question where you know the word is long, and it gives you a multiple choice, so you just pick the long word and get the right answer without actually learning anything. And it’s impossible to detach your brain and just pretend you’re too dumb to do basic spatial recognition, so your brain ends up solving the problems by patterns and nonverbal reasoning instead of by learning the language.

Likewise, this korean course is absolutely abysmal for this. You introduce a letter which is 1 or 2 lines, and then give me 8 options, 7 of which are multi phoneme characters that are much more complex, and 1 of which is simple.

Obviously I’m always going to choose the simple character, and then I never learn anything.

e.g. when you are testing me on ㅓ, the multiple choice options should be like:


That way I actually have to know which character I am picking. otherwise I am very clearly just going to pick the character of lowest complexity. Right now it’s more like, “hey pick ㅓout of these characters”;
바 차 나 ㅓ ㅎ 아 츠 푸

like, there is absolutely no chance I wouldn’t spot it immediately here because it is by far the least complex character, so I end up not learning anything.

And it’s the same with typing, because korean IME keyboards aren’t phonetic. So the fact is, I am going to have to learn to type korean by absolute trial and error. Well memrise instantly accepts the answer if I find it, so if I accidentally bash the right letter, it’s going to accept it as the correct answer. And it takes me the full 30 seconds to guess which one it might be because I don’t know the layout yet.

Otherwise I can choose from the character list below, which has the exact same problems as above.

I’m literally just going to go off and do the rosetta stone course to learn the letters and then come back later once I know them because the way this course is set up for that is useless, there’s no way I can just deprogram my brain to not pick the one that’s very obviously spatially the correct result, that I can even tell when I’m squinting and without knowing any of the letters.

tl;dr In the multiple choice options for letters the multiple choice options should all be characters of the same order of complexity.

(Kemiloi18) #163

This is so true. I also wish you can message those that follow you or people learning the same language in order to study together.

Korean multiple choices stupidly easy
(Na Young Oh) #164

Hi Alexroseajr,

Thank you for pointing this out.
Yes, you make a valid and we have actually been in the process of fixing this already (for now it will be limited to the alphabet section). It may, however, take a while for the changes to come online so I apologise for any inconvenience in the meantime.

I hope you will have a great time learning Korean.

Na Young

(Kristine Dorofija) #165

Hello. In my Memrise app for the Android, Korean Level 6 doesn’t work. It says that there was an error loading the session. I can access it only through the desktop, what sometimes can not be so easy. Are there any ways to make it work? Thank you.

(Na Young Oh) #166

I’m sorry for this inconvenience.
My colleague @alessio will look through it for you
Thank you for pointing this out
Have a nice day
Na Young

(David Manvell25) #167

The audio for the Korean words for 70 and 80 is the same.

((ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ✧) #168

@NaYoungOh. Just moved this post into the Official topic. Would you mind looking at it? (It’s the post above)

Speak Soon, ML