Whenever I introduce myself as a professional, I tend to say, “I’m a Korean language specialist” or “I'm a Korean language marketer." (Well, technically I made that title up myself.)
That said, essentially what I do is highlight the power of words in Korean. I currently provide Korean copy writing, editing/trans-creation, and one-on-one language coaching, and each of these tasks has its own specific reason.
Today you’ll learn how I became a Korean language coach, and I'll share some useful little tips to help you boost your own Korean studies.
One fine day, a while ago, I was interviewed by Ben, a former student. He is now building a community for Korean language learners and wanted to pick my brain for guidance and ideas. And technically I wasn’t supposed to put this interview on my website, but I think it could be helpful for anyone who wants to know me better as a potential coworker.
So here we go:
What is it about being smart? Everyone wants to be smart, and more than a few of us are jealous when someone else seems smarter than us. That's normal, maybe, but no one can really hate a person who's smart enough to save them time and energy. And as you know, Korean society is driven to distraction with "빨리빨리" ("Faster, faster") culture.
With that being said, efficient language is without a doubt a new kind of intelligence in South Korea — it’s deft, exacting point, and attractive. And not just in a business context; in casual meet-ups it goes a long way too.
Imagine yourself talking to a friend at a local cafe in your mother tongue. You’re comfortable and you let your words flow naturally — and that’s when your “natural language” comes alive.
I know some of you are reading this because you're interested in starting to learn Korean or have already taken some lessons. Since, I myself, am a business owner working alongside native or locals, I am exposed to various levels of conversational Korean, from talking in a formal manner to clients or more casually with students.
I have determined the seven most repetitive and unnatural particles used to sound more natural when speaking Korean — most of these particles are in conjunctions and postpositions.
I am going to explain to you seven conversational alternatives that you can quite simply apply to your conversation in Korean. I will compare both the written and spoken forms in my examples, and which examples sound more natural to a native's ear.
Just to be clear, these examples are meant to spark casual conversations, but when it comes to business-level conversations or presentations, that's a different story.
So, here are seven simple changes you can make when speaking Korean to sound more natural.
V: Verb / A: Adjective