While Korean and Japanese don't have the same language ancestry, I have been told, that they have quite a few similarities in grammar. Someone even said, that the grammar equals each other to 60-70%.

Assuming, that is the case, is it helpful to know Japanese (grammar), when learning Korean (grammar)?

Does one of you have any experience or reference about this?

2 Answers 2


Yes, it definitely is helpful, as there a many grammar-points that are quite similar. You could therefore transfer your knowledge of these over to Korean and start speaking. Take A + (Verb stem + 는 동안) + B and the Japanese equivalent A (の)あいだ B.

They both mean while A happened B also happened, and the subject in A and B can either be the same, or different. This is just one example, as there are other grammar points that are similar, or share similar traits as well.

Other than grammar, knowing Japanese characters will help you understand Korean hanja words easier that others, as long as you learn the equivalent for a kanji word in Korean.

  • Interesting. Are many hanja words used in daily life or is it mostly hangeul?
    – Geshode
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 0:39
  • 1
    They are all written in hangeul, but many words are based on hanja, so you'll have the advantage of understanding these words quite well if you already know their equivalent in Japanese. Example: Some words, such as 전원, 전일, 전교, are combinations of 전 (全) and another hanja. And so on and on Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 7:35

First thing first, as a Korean speaker but a non-Japanese speaker, listening to Japanese is not intelligible to me in any way.

Speaking from my personal experience, I can definitely tell there are a lot of words similarities between the two languages. A classic example is Kabang (A bag) but Gabang in Korean. Also, we speak very similarly when we count numbers, In Japanese, it is ichi (1), ni (2), san (3) and in Korean, it is il (1) i(2) sam(3).

To answer your question in short, I think knowing Japanese grammar will not be helpful when learning Korean. However, you will be able to transfer some knowledge of vocabularies between the two languages.

  • I didn't expect that you are able to understand Japanese, when you are listening to it. I just asked about the grammar, because I have been told before, that they are similar.
    – Geshode
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 13:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.