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Jonathan Gardner's Korean Notebook

Template:Jonathan Gardner's Korean Notebook:About


What's In Here?


I am trying to put together a course to introduce the Korean Language gradually. Obviously, this is a huge undertaking that I don't expect to complete or perfect. See Lesson.


I've taken as many notes as I can on how Koreans actually say things. See Phonology

Grammar Notes

I've tried to take as many grammar notes as possible. This includes explaining what the parts of speech are, how sentences are put together, and what words play which roles. I also include a lot of notes on how to translate English to Korean, and vice-versa. See Grammar to start.


My dictionary is more than a simple Korean-English dictionary. It includes precise information on the grammar, plenty of examples, and notes on how to translate to English, as well as comparing words with similar words. See Dictionary.


I've tried to include as many hanja as I can. Of course, I am not a Korean Hanja dictionary, and can never compare to one. However, some of the notes you may find interesting. See Hanja.


I've drawn on the Book of Mormon and Korean examples I've seen in real life. I want to include things like actual conversations, TV shows, etc... so that you can see how Korean really is used. This may be the best way to learn Korean.

See Examples.


If you want to master Korean, this is the roadmap I recommend following.

Detailed Roadmap


  • Learn Hangul.
  • Learn the phonology (basic sounds) of Korean, in the Korean accent.
  • Learn some basic every day phrases, such as "thank you".
  • Learn some basic vocabulary, including nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs.
  • Understand basic grammar, such as how to handle the most basic conjugations, levels of speech, and how to put a sentence together.
  • Begin to enjoy the taste of good kimchi.


  • Fill up your vocabulary, as many as 2,000 words. Be able to learn new words rather quickly.
  • Fill up your phrase book. Be able to tell jokes in Korean.
  • Understand grammar, almost 100%.
  • Use the various levels of speech correctly, most of the time.
  • Perfect your pronunciation, intonation and listening skills. Be able to understand most words at "normal" speed, or at the very least, repeat what someone has said.
  • Perfect your reading and writing skills. You should be able to read at about 1/2 the speed you read English.
  • Recognize some dialects.
  • Understand the Korean culture and appreciate how that affects people's conversation and thinking patterns.
  • You can live off of rice and kimchi for 3 months at a time, if need be.


  • Start learning Hanja.
  • Master Korean grammar.
  • Understand several dialects, or be able to figure out a dialect rather quickly.
  • Never err with levels of speech.
  • Be able to read books and poems, and understand and appreciate why they chose some words over others.
  • Be able to carry on a detailed conversation about politics, religion, or your area of expertise.
  • Not only do you understand Korean culture, but you behave in a way that is completely congruent with it.
  • You find yourself sneaking kimchi at night. And you notice that kimchi never goes bad, you just have to eat it differently.


  • Your accent is identical to a native Korean speaker's.
  • Your level of understanding of Hanja is identical to a typical high-school graduate.
  • You have a very broad and deep vocabulary, identical to a native speaker.
  • You can express yourself better in Korean than your native tongue.
  • You read Korean faster than your native language.
  • You are able to persuade in Korean, in the Korean way.
  • You find your native culture to be odd and strangely different than what you remember it to be.
  • You can make kimchi from scratch from memory, and you have know when the best days of the year are to make it.


  • Learning Tips: Tips on learning new things until you become very proficient.
  • Writing: Notes on the writing system.
  • Speaking: Notes on the speaking system.
  • Vocabulary: Notes on the vocabulary.
  • Sentence Patterns: Various sentence patterns.
  • Culture: Notes on the culture.
  • History: Notes on the history of Korea and the surrounding area.
  • Proselyting: Notes on how I would do missionary work if I had to do it all over again. (Please don't take this as gospel.)
  • Scriptures: Explanation of scriptures in Korean.
  • Grammar: Notes on Grammar
  • Examples: Some examples of real Korean