Using Naver to Learn Korean 한국어를 배우기 위해 네이버 사용

Lately I’ve been seriously lacking motivation to study Japanese, even though my JLPT N1 is coming up in little over than a month. I’ve taken the test before and I know that it’s mostly an endurance test to see how many tricky answers they can throw at you before you get frustrated and flustered. Recently, whenever I’ve opened my JLPT study books, all I’ve done is groan. I have about two months left in Japan before I visit my family in America and move to South Korea, so to me studying Japanese isn’t a priority as much as it used to be.

Studying Korean, on the other hand, has been really great still. I haven’t lost motivation very often in the year or so that I’ve gotten back into self-studying it, and I hope I can keep it up when I’m living in Korea. I find that it’s easy to coast by with what you know when actually living in the country of your target language. However, I don’t want my Korean to flatline. I have a lot of career goals that depend on my Korean getting better, and I’ve found a lot of ways to make it fun and easy for myself.

I use Naver every day in order to improve my Korean and get used to it, since it’s the #1 most used search engine in Korea. I made a Naver account a few months ago and it was fun learning words like ‘password’ and ’email address’ and all the things you need to know when signing up for an account online. I even made use of the address book tool and entered my fiancé’s information so I can have it all in one place. It was a good way to study practical vocabulary while doing something that was immediately useful in Korean.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 7.25.58 PM

I’ve posted many times about how I used (mostly Naver) webtoons to study Korean. I really love them because they are free and easy to access and they have pictures so I can try to guess what’s being said even if I can’t read everything. Learning grammar and vocabulary from textbooks is good, and I sometimes supplement my learning with them, but making learning fun by reading webtoons and using Naver is what really keeps me motivated. There are also English translations of webtoons in case I want to check the meanings without looking up every word. I think it is less likely for me to burn out when I study a little bit every day doing something I really enjoy. At the moment, studying Japanese is exhausting and not very rewarding since, even though I still live in Japan, I don’t use terribly difficult vocabulary or grammar in my daily life. When I was a student, learning Japanese was enjoyable because I could use it in many ways, but being an English teacher and meeting up with my expat friends who speak English makes Japanese less useful in my life.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 7.37.31 PM

Naver is a great tool for learning Korean, as it has a smartphone app and lots of tools I can use to help me learn more about Korea. For example, the Naver dictionary allows you to make vocabulary lists by creating a folder and adding words to it. Whenever I don’t know a word or I want to add it to my dictionary, I simply look it up on Naver dictionary and click the ‘add to dictionary’ button. It then lets me choose which folder I want to save it under, and if I have already saved a word and I try to add it again, Naver will open a new tab and direct me to my vocabulary list. I have the Naver dictionary widget on my phone as well, so as long as I am signed into Naver, I can look up and save words.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 7.46.56 PM

There is also a memo pad where I like to save links from other sites, and if I want to bookmark any page within Naver, I can scroll to the bottom and click ‘bookmark’. I do this a lot for articles in Korean. If I am at work or I don’t have time to sit down and read a whole article, I can bookmark it and read it later. Webtoons on Naver have their own page, and they are organized by what day of the week they are updated. All I have to do is remember which day of the week my favorite webtoon is released on, and I can easily get to it. Also, I can save webtoons under ‘my favorites’ and ‘follow’ them so that each time a new episode is added, I can check it on my page called Naver Me.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 7.26.30 PM

Naver also features newspapers and news articles on the main page, but recently I’ve been reading Ohmynews, which is a more independent news source (meaning the content is not as influenced by advertiser money, as most news sources in Korea are). If I ever want to read an article online, I can bookmark it, look up the words in Naver dictionary, and add the words to my vocabulary list. This process took some time for me to get used to it, but now I am 100% comfortable using it. I also learned how to type on the standard Korean keyboard, and I added it to my Macbook keyboard, phone keyboard, and work computer keyboard. In my mind, all of this is preparation for my move to Korea. Now I can easily type in Korean and navigate Naver, and I have a go-to news source.

Another thing I find fun is looking up people or places in Korea on Naver. If I find out about a cute cafe or sightseeing location, I try looking it up on Naver. Usually, I find a few blogs with lots of pictures and information about it in Korean. This adds another natural element to my Korean study method, and I’ve even tried posting on my own Naver blog. Maybe once I get settled in Korea, I will actually start using it to write in Korean. There are also tools like Naver Movie, Naver Books, Naver Music, etc. which are good for keeping up with that sort of thing directly rather than going through a foreign news source like Allkpop.

I go through phases when studying Korean. Sometimes all I want to do is watch a drama (right now it’s The Girl who Sees Smells 냄새를 보는 소녀 – which is based on a webtoon) and other times I get excited reading news articles. I think this way is the best way for me to stay motivated and enjoy myself.

The-Girl-Who-Can-See-Smells-Poster4

I know if I were planning on getting a job in Japan, I would have more motivation to keep studying kanji and grammar, but right now I just don’t. I have lots of Japanese books and manga that have gone unread for a while, but I think for the time being, my energy is better spent reading and studying Korean. The mind is a powerful thing.

14 thoughts to “Using Naver to Learn Korean 한국어를 배우기 위해 네이버 사용”

  1. This article is interesting and I find it equally as interesting that you are studying Korean. It’s a language I have always wanted to learn, but currently (and ironically) I am studying Japanese. You’re right. It is difficult and there have been times where I have taken long breaks in studying, however I have always reminding myself that no one else is going to learn it for me. While it is not useful currently as I still live in America, I constantly remind myself that it will become useful once I can finally speak it moderately fluently. I find that it helps to surround myself with Japanese speakers and to try and speak with them at least a few times a day solely in Japanese. It helps with the “not feeling like I use it in my daily life” spells. I would imagine that learning Korean is not very much different than learning Japanese. Is it?

    1. I had a similar experience when I first started learning Japanese. I didn’t know many others who were learning it and I did mostly self-study, but I tried to make it interesting and useful in my daily life. Right before I went on my first trip to Japan was when my motivation went up the most. My main reason for getting back into Korean was to speak to my Korean fiance, since neither of us could communicate well when we first started dating. Now I use it at least a little every day with him, but his English is so good now that technically I don’t have to use Korean with him. However, since I’m moving there soon, my motivation is still high. I wrote a post on Japanese vs. Korean not too long ago, but I think they are pretty similar. The Korean culture is much more open and relaxed than the Japanese culture, so I shouldn’t worry myself so much with the rules of the language but it’s a habit I have. I need to stop worrying about always saying something perfectly and just try to get my meaning across. I think I will learn faster that way.

      1. I struggle with that a lot too, trying to say things perfectly as opposed to simply getting my meaning across. I still haven’t learned where to draw the line because I’ve always been a perfectionist, which is sometimes good and sometimes not good. If I may speak honestly, if it were me I would speak Korean with him more than I spoke English. Being an English speaker I think to myself, especially living in America, that I would like to teach my child Japanese. I want them to grow up with it. They will hear English literally everywhere else in their life and so I would like my house to be purely Japanese. Now that is clearly a pipe dream but I think it’s a dream worth having. All of this to say that because English is all around us even in other cultures, (this doesn’t include your moving to Korean, which I would like to congratulate you on by the way), I think it is totally acceptable to not speak to him in English at all despite that he is so good at it. There is a fine line though, especially since he is Korean, because I would imagine he wants to practice English consistently so he doesn’t lose the skill and vice versa for you. I did read your other posts. I’ve been following you for a while, but I have been away from wordpress for a few months. I came back and saw all of your information on foreign languages and I have to say you are now my favorite blog 🙂

        1. Yeah that’s definitely my problem! I’m a perfectionist when learning languages haha.. but I’m getting more used to speaking Korean. In Japanese I’m not as afraid of making small mistakes but Korean is so unfamiliar that I’m afraid of saying something really offensive. I do ask him to speak to me only in Korean when I feel like the scales are tipped to English. When we were in Korea last time, we spoke in Korean a lot more. I definitely want our kids to speak Korean and English, and my friend’s family had it worked out really well. She spoke in only English at home until they moved to America and then they spoke only Spanish because her education was in English. It worked out well and she’s learned multiple other languages since then. I think your attitude is really good which is most important! I had a teacher here in Japan who married an American but they didn’t teach their kids English growing up because they live in Japan, but now her kids are studying abroad in America so I think it was stupid not to teach them English as well. My dad’s mother didn’t teach her kids German and my dad lived in Germany without being able to speak it. I don’t want that kind of thing happening in case my kids want to travel. Thank you so much! That means a lot to me! I hope I can continue to be helpful but it seems like you are on the right track! 頑張ろう!

          1. That is certainly something I do not want to happen to my children. If my children (I currently do not have any but I am planning for it within the next 3-4 years) are anything like me and my fiance they will certainly enjoy traveling and languages. I want them to be able to do anything they want to. I also know that this is partially just my want for them as well, but if I start with Japanese while they are young they may discover that they like other languages more and that will be fine as well. Those stories reinforce my desire to teach them a foreign language while they are still young. I am currently in the process of trying to revamp my blog so that I can talk about things like this and speak on Japan and the culture a little more than I currently do. I don’t want to create a new blog though, and that is partially because this was my first blog and partially because I am not very consistent with being online so having another just leaves one additional thing to potentially not pay attention to. You’re quite welcome! You are being plenty helpful. You’re a part of the reason I am revamping my blog to narrow down on things I would like to talk about. You’re a big inspiration and I think that’s something to be proud of! 当然! ありがとうございます!

  2. This article is interesting and I find it equally as interesting that you are studying Korean. It’s a language I have always wanted to learn, but currently (and ironically) I am studying Japanese. You’re right. It is difficult and there have been times where I have taken long breaks in studying, however I have always reminding myself that no one else is going to learn it for me. While it is not useful currently as I still live in America, I constantly remind myself that it will become useful once I can finally speak it moderately fluently. I find that it helps to surround myself with Japanese speakers and to try and speak with them at least a few times a day solely in Japanese. It helps with the “not feeling like I use it in my daily life” spells. I would imagine that learning Korean is not very much different than learning Japanese. Is it?

    1. I had a similar experience when I first started learning Japanese. I didn’t know many others who were learning it and I did mostly self-study, but I tried to make it interesting and useful in my daily life. Right before I went on my first trip to Japan was when my motivation went up the most. My main reason for getting back into Korean was to speak to my Korean fiance, since neither of us could communicate well when we first started dating. Now I use it at least a little every day with him, but his English is so good now that technically I don’t have to use Korean with him. However, since I’m moving there soon, my motivation is still high. I wrote a post on Japanese vs. Korean not too long ago, but I think they are pretty similar. The Korean culture is much more open and relaxed than the Japanese culture, so I shouldn’t worry myself so much with the rules of the language but it’s a habit I have. I need to stop worrying about always saying something perfectly and just try to get my meaning across. I think I will learn faster that way.

      1. I struggle with that a lot too, trying to say things perfectly as opposed to simply getting my meaning across. I still haven’t learned where to draw the line because I’ve always been a perfectionist, which is sometimes good and sometimes not good. If I may speak honestly, if it were me I would speak Korean with him more than I spoke English. Being an English speaker I think to myself, especially living in America, that I would like to teach my child Japanese. I want them to grow up with it. They will hear English literally everywhere else in their life and so I would like my house to be purely Japanese. Now that is clearly a pipe dream but I think it’s a dream worth having. All of this to say that because English is all around us even in other cultures, (this doesn’t include your moving to Korean, which I would like to congratulate you on by the way), I think it is totally acceptable to not speak to him in English at all despite that he is so good at it. There is a fine line though, especially since he is Korean, because I would imagine he wants to practice English consistently so he doesn’t lose the skill and vice versa for you. I did read your other posts. I’ve been following you for a while, but I have been away from wordpress for a few months. I came back and saw all of your information on foreign languages and I have to say you are now my favorite blog 🙂

        1. Yeah that’s definitely my problem! I’m a perfectionist when learning languages haha.. but I’m getting more used to speaking Korean. In Japanese I’m not as afraid of making small mistakes but Korean is so unfamiliar that I’m afraid of saying something really offensive. I do ask him to speak to me only in Korean when I feel like the scales are tipped to English. When we were in Korea last time, we spoke in Korean a lot more. I definitely want our kids to speak Korean and English, and my friend’s family had it worked out really well. She spoke in only English at home until they moved to America and then they spoke only Spanish because her education was in English. It worked out well and she’s learned multiple other languages since then. I think your attitude is really good which is most important! I had a teacher here in Japan who married an American but they didn’t teach their kids English growing up because they live in Japan, but now her kids are studying abroad in America so I think it was stupid not to teach them English as well. My dad’s mother didn’t teach her kids German and my dad lived in Germany without being able to speak it. I don’t want that kind of thing happening in case my kids want to travel. Thank you so much! That means a lot to me! I hope I can continue to be helpful but it seems like you are on the right track! 頑張ろう!

          1. That is certainly something I do not want to happen to my children. If my children (I currently do not have any but I am planning for it within the next 3-4 years) are anything like me and my fiance they will certainly enjoy traveling and languages. I want them to be able to do anything they want to. I also know that this is partially just my want for them as well, but if I start with Japanese while they are young they may discover that they like other languages more and that will be fine as well. Those stories reinforce my desire to teach them a foreign language while they are still young. I am currently in the process of trying to revamp my blog so that I can talk about things like this and speak on Japan and the culture a little more than I currently do. I don’t want to create a new blog though, and that is partially because this was my first blog and partially because I am not very consistent with being online so having another just leaves one additional thing to potentially not pay attention to. You’re quite welcome! You are being plenty helpful. You’re a part of the reason I am revamping my blog to narrow down on things I would like to talk about. You’re a big inspiration and I think that’s something to be proud of! 当然! ありがとうございます!

  3. Also if you dont always have an internet connection (like myself) saving articles to Pocket app on your smartphone is great for reading offline.

    Naver does have a billion features to take advantage of when learning. Even reading the 지식 section out of boredom provides some useful information. Another fun naver learning tool. As well as the Kids section, not sure if its something you would be interested in but I always like watching episodes of 포로로 and others, ofc now its less study and more entertainment xD 공부 홧팅 ㅋㅋㅋ

    1. Oh really? I need that! Thanks for the tip! And yeah I love how everything is in one place because it’s a lot easier to stumble upon random things I might not have otherwise. 네~~ ㅋㅋ 고마워!!

  4. Also if you dont always have an internet connection (like myself) saving articles to Pocket app on your smartphone is great for reading offline.

    Naver does have a billion features to take advantage of when learning. Even reading the 지식 section out of boredom provides some useful information. Another fun naver learning tool. As well as the Kids section, not sure if its something you would be interested in but I always like watching episodes of 포로로 and others, ofc now its less study and more entertainment xD 공부 홧팅 ㅋㅋㅋ

    1. Oh really? I need that! Thanks for the tip! And yeah I love how everything is in one place because it’s a lot easier to stumble upon random things I might not have otherwise. 네~~ ㅋㅋ 고마워!!

Comments are closed.