I'm thinking of visiting South Korea as a tourist, and I'm wondering if some preparations short of a full on study of the language will help. In particular, I'm wondering about learning Hangul, and the pronunciation of Korean words.
In which contexts is knowing only English a disadvantage?
How much written information is available in English compared to Korean, and how much proficiency do Korean people, especially in service industries, have in English?
Is learning Hangul by itself useful?
Currently, I understand that Hangul is used for both native Korean words, and foreign words, unlike what happens in Japanese where one script (katakana) is generally used for European words, and other scripts (kanji, hiragana) are generally used for native Japanese words.
Is it easy for someone unfamiliar with Korean to determine which Korean words are words from English, and which ones aren't?
Also, how easy is it to go from a Korean word of English origin to the corresponding English word?
Is getting the hang of pronouncing and hearing Korean words useful?
Are there any sounds that are difficult for native speakers of English to pronounce?
Likewise, are there any combinations of syllables that aren't inherently difficult, but are very rare in English, leading to native speakers of English to mispronounce them, analogous to an English-speaker pronouncing "karaoke" more like "carry-oh-key"?