To my wonderful veteran expat readers - 'Life in Korea' posts are aimed at the newer expats among us. Think of these as the Idiot's Guide to Life in Korea - helpful for some, and a review for others. Please feel free to contribute what you know in the comments!UPDATE: I owe a few hat tips to a few expats more versed in Korean than myself. Those, along with some corrections are sprinkled throughout the post.
So you've made it to Korea, learned some hangeul (the Korean alphabet) and have gotten pretty good at reading menus, signs, and subway stops (check out the Korean Wiki Project if you haven't!). That, however, doesn't necessarily make it easier to communicate something in Korean, and hand motions can only go so far.