When I traveled to South Korea earlier this year and was told I could learn to read Korean in just a few minutes, I laughed. I had always been fascinated with how Korean characters looked and always wondered why it had so many circles in each character and why it differed so drastically from Chinese or Japanese characters.
Well apparently the written language, Hangul, was invented by a man in the 15th century in an effort to make Korean easier to read for the masses. I believe before that, Koreans used Chinese characters but it was difficult because some of the sounds don't necessarily translate over.
The fact that someone sat down and wrote out a character set with rules that allow for a language to be read easier, is absolutely mind-blowing and the coolest thing I have ever heard.
I had to give it a try.
Within minutes (no joke, literally within minutes), I was reading the sounds of each of the subway stops we were passing through. Granted, I didn't know what the words actually meant, but I could at least recognize the written words or heard words I was looking for.
So here is a tutorial, similar to the one I learned, teaching the same intro briefing on Korean characters. I'm missing a few little extra details, but those can be discovered independently on your own if you really want to go a bit deeper. But what I teach here in this 5 minute video, is probably more than 90% of what you'll need to know in order to read Korean. AMAZING!