Rocket Korean Review—The Tell-All About Learning Korean
You decided to learn Korean? Good for you! Learning languages is exciting, incredibly rewarding, and not to mention, healthy (brain health matters!). Of course, you are probably not learning it for Alzheimer prevention, but because you are interested in the country. Or love the culture. Or maybe you’re in love with a Korean. So now you want to start learning, and are reading this Rocket Korean review to see if it’s a good fit for you.
Whatever the reason might be for learning Korean, it almost always has to do with ‘I want to be able to communicate’.
Preferably, as soon as possible.
Which is why for many language learners, traditional, classroom-based courses don’t work. You either lose motivation, or it starts to seem way too inconvenient to spend 3 hours twice a week (plus driving time) for class (a.k.a. you lose motivation).
The Overwhelming Amount of Online Resources
And so online courses kick in, and it suddenly seems like a brave new world of tools, resources, tips, lessons…
You name it, it exists on the Internet.
Thus, the issue becomes not so much lack of flexible language learning options, as too many options. Which one do you pick? Do you go for a language learning app like Duolingo? It’s free and everybody and their mom are using it. Do you get a Skype tutor? Do you try to use those educational video series uploaded (almost surely in copyright infringement) on YouTube?
Of course, the information overload issue is not so big with (somewhat) more rare languages like Korean. True, there is a mind-boggling amount of resources out there, but not so many high-quality ones. In fact, I was surprised Rocket languages even offered a course in Korean, since it surely does not attract as many people as a Spanish, Italian, or French language course would. But is the course any good?
This Rocket Korean review is here to help you find out!
First Off, What Does Rocket Korean Include?
Well, the core feature is the audio tutorials. There is a total of 29 audio lessons, each around 20 minutes in length. The lessons are interactive dialogues that you can replay as much as you want, as well as download to listen to in the car, during your lunch break, while waiting at the doctor’s office…
You get the drill.
There are also grammar lessons, which I have found impressively simple and well-explained. Each audio lesson is also complete with a transcript of the conversation, plus a vocabulary reference section. It is all practically at your fingertips, and you can see that somebody designed the course with a smooth user experience in mind
There are also culture lessons, which for a language that is used in a country so different from what we are used to in the West are extremely crucial. Learning about Korean culture can save you an awkward situation or two when speaking with natives.
For instance, unlike in English, where there are practically only two levels of politeness (the way you speak to your boss and the way you would not speak to your boss), there are so many in Korean.
Korean culture is very much about authority, hierarchy, and respect (always properly expressed). Thus, you can come across as very rude if you do not abide by their rules. And we don’t want to inadvertently offend anybody, do we?
It Teaches Useful Vocabulary
When it comes to the content of the audio lessons, the Rocket Languages team has done an impressive job at picking what vocabulary you will need. It has been proven time after time that we use less than 10% of the vocabulary in any given language on a day to day basis. The rest is just complementary and not essential for comprehension.
Rocket Languages takes advantage of this fact and teaches you practical Korean so that you can reach fluency in the shortest amount of time.
Besides presenting the vocabulary in real-life context, Rocket Languages also gives you tools that help in remembering it. For instance, with just a click you can save any word in your personalized online notebook. Much less time consuming than writing it all down on paper (which has not been shown to improve how much you remember, it just takes time).
Educational Games Are Still Fun
There are also educational games like MegaVocab and MegaAudio.
As corny as it sounds, those are actually so fun that you almost forget you are learning. OK, not really.
I would still play Candy Crush if given the choice, but I suspect it will be much less beneficial to my Korean knowledge (Do they have Candy Crush in Korean? Can I change the language of Candy Crush? I really have to check that). Anyways, my point is that Rocket Languages have done very well in creating learning games that are useful and entertaining.
It makes the language learning experience more fun, plus it’s a great way to get yourself out of the procrastination hole.
Here Is A Challenge For You!
When you inevitably find yourself slacking and putting off your study session, just play a game. It’s better than nothing and more often than not, it will get you to do an actual lesson, too.
Rocket Record, To Help With Pronunciation
Talking about handy and fun tools, there is also the Rocket Record function which is definitely worth mentioning in this Rocket Korean review. Since pronunciation is one of the hardest things to master for a tonic language like Korean, Rocket Languages included a voice recognition device.
You can listen to how natives pronounce certain phrases and then record yourself saying them, to accurately compare your speech to the correct pronunciation. Rocket Record is available for all words and phrases in the audio lessons, but it works best on Chrome and the mobile app, so mind your device and browser.
Another feature that helps to get you speaking like a native is the Hear it, Say it! testing tool. It gives you a random part of your audio lesson and prompts you to record yourself saying the phrase. Then, you can listen to the recording and you have to rate how well you did in comparison to the native speaker, as well as how well you understood the phrase when you heard it. It does wonders for tuning your ear to Korean and improving your speaking skills.
While we are at it, Rocket Languages Korean has some pretty neat and well thought out testing tools for you. You get an entire testing section to help keep track of your progress. Along with the Hear it, Say it! tool there are the Write it! and Know it!
The first one gives you an audio recording and you have to write down the phrase (they have a virtual Hangul keyboard if you need it).
What I Found Most Useful For Retaining Vocabulary
Know it! pulls words and phrases you went over during the lesson, gives you the English and you have to record yourself saying the Korean translation. It is, without a doubt, the hardest exercise out of all three mentioned in this Rocket Korean review, but in my opinion, it’s also the one that gives you the most information on how well you are really doing.
With any language, it is easy to look over lists of new words and get the impression you know them, while in fact, you have only guarded them in your passive memory.
Then, the time comes to speak and suddenly your mind goes blank. Know it! is the tool that puts you on the spot in a way an actual conversation would. But it’s still your computer, so no anxiety and no reason to fear making a mistake. In fact, you will find you learn the most from your mistakes — you can hardly ever get a word wrong twice. It’s like magic.
The Price Tag
And how much will the pleasure of using Rocket Languages Korean cost you?
$100 (it’s usually $150 but at the time of writing this article they are having a discount… which I hope lasts because it’s a pretty good offer).
This is a one-off sum that you pay for lifetime access to the software, including future upgrades.
Unlike the software as a service (SAAS) pricing structure, this one gives you the certainty that even if you put off studying for a while, the tool will still be available for you when you get the time. It is much more similar to buying a book or DVD course than to paying for classes, which gives you the ultimate freedom to self-pace.
On top of that, the huge advantage Rocket Languages has over traditional CD or DVD courses is that it’s much more accessible. You don’t have to carry anything around and you can still access the course from any computer or mobile device. Once again, complete freedom to choose your own pace and not to have to follow anybody else’s schedule.
There is a free trial, as well as a 60-day money-back guarantee, which is something I loved. It is also what allowed me to do this Rocket Korean review!
You can also pay a little extra and get the course in CD format, too. They ship it quite quickly and you still have the unlimited lifetime access to the online program. And finally, they have the option to do 6 monthly payments of 20$. It’s a little more expensive, but generally less of a strain on your budget. $20 per month is basically one day without takeaway coffee per week. Not too bad, if you ask me.
Rocket Korean Review: Conclusion
Overall, I believe Rocket Languages Korean has a significant advantage over other similar products.
It is a very comprehensive course that gives you a variety of high-quality language learning tools, the pricing is decent and you get flexible payment options, and finally, it is a very customizable, choose-your-own-path kind of system, which makes it suitable for a variety of learners. At the end of the day, though, it will be up to you if you succeed.
At the end of the day, though, it will be up to you if you succeed. Fortunately, learning Korean is fun, so I believe in you and good luck! Hope you enjoyed my Rocket Korean review! Catch you next time.
PS: If you’re planning that trip to Seoul, don’t wait! Click here to start learning Korean now.