Spanish YouTuber Shares How She Learned Fluent Korean Without Any Classes or Programs

Spanish YouTuber Shares How She Learned Fluent Korean Without Any Classes or Programs
Ryan General
By Ryan General
October 26, 2018
A Spanish YouTuber who now lives in Seoul, South Korea recently revealed how she was able to learn Korean without taking any formal classes.
Lara Benito, also known as LaraLand on her YouTube channel, noted in a recent video that many of her viewers have been requesting a clip on how she learned the language which she now speaks fluently. 
Benito shared that she took a break from school after graduating from high school at the age of 18 and spent the year watching Korean dramas.
She said that while she was immediately hooked, watching 6-7 hours of Lee Min Ho’s “Boys Over Flowers” and other dramas per day, she was not too fond of reading subtitles.
Benito explained that she was motivated to learn Korean because she was too lazy to read subtitles.
According to Benito, she then contacted a South Korean friend from high school and asked if she can teach her Korean.  Her friend agreed and taught her the Korean alphabet, known as Hangul, as well as some easy phrases.
Once she got the hang of simpler words, she was inspired to improve at the language.
In her bid to learn more, she immersed herself in the Korean culture by getting to know nearby communities in her area.
She narrated how she made lots of Korean friends after joining a Korean church.
Benito shared that when they spoke to her in Korean, she pretended that she understood what they were saying. At times, she would ask her closest friends to explain what was said to her afterwards.
As months passed, her comprehension of Korean words and phrases developed and she could then carry simple conversations.
With her approach to learning, not only did she learn the language but she also learned more about Korean culture.
Her interest has grown beyond K-dramas but to the the culture behind it. 
“I was interested not only in dramas or in the language but in Korea itself as a country,” Benito said.
“One of my friends even made my Korean name for me which is Lee Ah Young. It actually has the meaning of ‘bright future’ because I was always talking about how I wanted to become a singer or entertainer in Korea,” she added.
After going back to school after her long break, she and another Korean friend visited Korea with a plan to translate Korean literature to English for her English major. She was hoping to introduce the Korean culture to more people in Spain.
When she arrived in Korea in 2013, she said she immediately felt at home after she got to experience Korean culture firsthand.
After spending the summer in Korea, they returned to Spain, but she has already decided that she would finish her major in just three years instead of four.
She wanted to graduate faster just so she could move to Korea. 
While in university, she continued learning more Korean and further developed her grammar by reading lessons online via a language website.
Benito said that her first employer immediately contacted her after her graduation and the day after she was already on the plane to go to work for a company in Korea. 
Benito, who recently got married to her South Korean husband, noted that while she learned a lot by watching K-dramas and speaking to friends, she learned even more Korean after living in Seoul and talking to native speakers.
“So if you want to learn anything, it is not late. I was actually late when I was 18 years old but I didn’t give up learning and here I am now.”
Featured image via Instagram/ laraleahyoung (left) and k3nnykim (right)
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