Saturday 26 March 2011

Integrated Korean & Language Instinct

It's here! My Integrated Korean textbook is here! Well, it's been here since few days ago but I'm still quite happy about it.

I bought the books in Book Depository, it's an online book store with free shipping! I wrote the detail of my book purchase here. I downloaded the audio files at Klear Textbook site. The audio is for the second edition of the book, I think the first edition audio can be found here.

First impression. I like it. I just finished Unit 2 and I think this book and I will get along wonderfully! Since I've been listening to TTMIK, I already know most of the grammar so far (remember, I only get to Unit 2 as I'm writing this). But I like to read explanation in different ways so that it makes me understand things better or helps me see what I didn't see before. Also, like Shana (Hanguk Drama blog author) pointed out, I like the snipplets on Korean culture, too.

The vocabulary revolves around campus life. I guess the book is intended as a college textbook. Well, I'm not a college student anymore but it's ok. Whatever kind of vocabulary for a beginner like me is as nutritious as the breast milk for a baby. :P

I always love books. When I was learning Japanese and Deutsch, I made a mistake. I love my textbooks so much that I kept them clean. I wrote answer in my notebooks. I didn't highlight any important parts or words that I didn't understand. I didn't make notes on them. It was a mistake, really.

Keeping a textbook clean is not a way for me. It won't show my progress and that will drag my spirit down as if I haven't learned anything. Not to mention I can't remember which page that has grammatical points that I keep forgeting, and so on, and so on. I won't do that for my Korean textbook! Taadaaa..

The Language Instinct, the second book in the picture. I knew this book from the Korean. I'm amazed by his hardworking attitude when he's learning English and always enjoy his blog post. He mentioned that it's a must read for people who are interested in languages (and for people who are not!). So, I got the book. He recommends Integrated Korean, too.

The Language instinct is a challenging reading for me. A lot of time I am stunned and just have to reread the sentences. I need, I have to pay full attention to it, not to mention there are a lot of new words. But I want to gain knowledge from it so bad that I won't let this book left unread just because it's difficult. I want to know more about language. Besides, I believe it's going to be a strong foundation in my journey learning Korean. Wish me luck on this! ^^

여러분 , 한국어 공부하자!


Monday 21 March 2011

Typing Practice

빗물이 내려너 정말 괜잖았어
눈물이 보이질 않아 괜잖았어
괜잖아서 떠나는 너를 잡지 못했어
니 마읍속 아픈 기억 모두다 지워줄
빗물이 내려서

-- 빗물이 내려서 [김태오], OST Personal Taste

Don't ask me the meaning of the song. I'm not in that level yet! But as always, you can easily google it. I like this song. I like the chorus lyric.

At such a day which drains my emotion and brain power, it feels good to enjoy a bit of Korean today.


Saturday 19 March 2011

My Lenocho Gets New Accessories

I've been looking for the Korean keyboard sticker. I thought it was difficult to find here in Bali. Well apparently not. I actually have seen stickers like that before but I just didn't realize that all those stickers have 한글 characters on it (because they tend to have cute pictures and the font is printed so small). I just thought that they are a bunch of cute and overly decorated sticker for a keyboard.

Fortunately, I found one that shows more of the letters than pictures. So here you go, my Lenocho:

좋아해요! ^^

Days of The Week and Sailor Moon

Learning vocabulary for days of the week in Korean somehow reminds me of Sailor Moon, the Japanese anime and manga. LOL. Just look at these words:

월 [wol, the moon] - 월요일 [woryoil, Monday]
와 [hwa, fire] - 와요일 [hwayoil, Tuesday] - 와성 [hwaseong, Mars]
수 [su, water] - 수요일 [suyoil, Wednesday] - 수성 [suseong, Mercury]
목 [mok, tree] - 먹요일 [mogyoil, Thursday] - 먹성 [mokseong, Jupiter]
금 [geum, gold, iron] - 금요임 [geumyoil, Friday] - 금성 [geumseong, Venus]
토 [to, earth, soil, ground] - 토요일 [toyoil, Saturday] - 토성 [toseong, Saturn]
일 [il, the sun] - 일요일 [iryoil, Sunday]

Do you see what I see?

Because of the manga, I associate Mercury with blue and water, Mars with red and fire, Jupiter with woods, Venus with yellow, orange, gold. Is it some kind of inheritance showed in languages that have historical origin from Chinese? Sailor Moon is a Japanese product and I guess these Korean verbs resound it.

Well, about the association between the planet names and the name of the days, that I just found out. Even if Monday and Sunday in Korean does not have planet name related to them, part of their names mean the moon and the sun, so I think it's close enough.

From the TTMIK podcast, the same thing could be existing in French and Spanish, too. Monday in Spanish is Lunes (and luna is the word for the moon), and in French it's Lundi (and lune for the moon). And don't you think Monday is just one 'o' short from the moon? :P

I know, I know, I can't conclude it that way and I'm too lazy to dig some more on this. But! It's fun to find things like that about languages. 재미 있어요! ^^


Saturday 12 March 2011

Foolish Yet Brave

basically, as a learner of the Korean language, it is much better to be able to use an incorrect counter and be given feedback rather than choose not to say anything.
It was from TTMIK's level 2 lesson 9 PDF. The topic is about Korean counter and there are so many of them! It will probably be one of the area on which I make mistakes.

Steve Kaufmann in his e-book, The Linguist on Language, has one dedicated chapter about attitude. When I tried to learn Japanese or Deutsch before, I never thought that attitude is such an important factor in language learning.

I was just focusing on the language. I didn't observe the way I learn and whether it's suitable for me or it's giving me a great progress. I didn't realize that I deserve an enjoyable process and the right to decide what works for me and what not.

Anyway, it is a good sign that I am actually learning something from my experience and I'm happy about it. From now on, I'll try to note what kind of attitude I have.

Back to learning Korean, I have set up a twitter account to practice 한글. I notice that sometimes I post only when I'm quite sure about what and how I will write it. But the thing is that even that way, there could be mistakes found. So, why don't I try to be more carefree?

basically, as a learner of the Korean language, it is much better to be able to use an incorrect counter and be given feedback rather than choose not to say anything.
I like the word 'choose' there. It's completely in our hands! Now to make it more practical, I'd like to start posting at least 10 tweets per day. I think it will be a good excercise as it will force me to look up new words and practice the grammar I've learned.



Wednesday 9 March 2011

The Desperate Learner

I want to be able to listen to the pronunciation in TTMIK's 이야기 episode so bad that I've downloaded Audacity and then used it to slow down the tempo.

Now I'm happily listening to the first episode while reading the script. ^^



Tuesday 8 March 2011

Target For 2011

At the end of this year, I will see improvement in:


able to read 한글 (Korean writing system) with ease.


able to understand 50% of TTMIK's 이야기


able to write in 한글 with Korean keyboard layout (not just clicking the .on screen keyboard)
already post several posts in 한글 here.


upload self introduction in Korean.

Is it reasonable? I hope so. ^^



The Purpose Of This Space

I think I need to set up a reminder of how I'd like to use this blog, of what content I'd like to see here, and why and that sort of things.

NOT a Korean Learning Notebook

No, I definitely don't want this blog be something like lesson summaries, at least for now. I'm just a beginner but even if somehow I manage to be an advanced learner, I haven't thought of great way to present a 'technical' blog on language learning. I've tried once for English and it didn't work out for me.

I prefer this blog to be a purely subjective to my learning journey. Honestly I'm hoping to catch the progress, the development of my Korean skill so that when I look back, I could be grateful or learn something or be reminded of something nice.

During my first month, besides the euphoria, there's already frustation. I forgot that learning process takes time and doing it enjoyably is the right way. Luckily, I found some blogs that share their learning journey and they are awesome!

They have their ups and downs but they never give up. It was like finding a well of hope, of spirit. Maybe they didn't realize it when they poured out their happiness, their anger, their feelings from learning Korean in their blog, when they do that, they help me to keep going. I think if I can stay motivated, it would be because of  reading their blogs. I'll find some ways later to list the blogs but as for now, I hope I can keep finding strong Korean learner like them and be like one!



Why Korean?

Yeah.. Why?

There are people who start learning Korean because they idolize Korean actors/actresses/boy/girl bands or their drama. I'm not much different than them. But it's not actors/actresses/boy/girl bands or their drama, it's the humble and witty MC Yoo for me! ^^

My interest for Korean (the language, people, and its culture) grows stronger and around the end of January 2011, I decided to learn the language.

So it's been more or less one month and the euphoria still lingers. But when I think about it, when I'm studying Korean, I don't relate it with MC Yoo. I don't know how to explain this but I don't think it's a direct cause and effect relationship. Sure, my admiration is the trigger but it's not the main and the only reason.

I love learning languages but it's bitterly contrasted by the fact that I haven't succeeded in mastering one (with exception for English but the feel is not the same, I guess). I've tried Japanese and Deutsch and loss of motivation brought an end to both. With previous experience, I always went with the book. I treated it like learning lesson at school. I think I lost my interest gradually learning that way.

Would it be any different with Korean? I don't know. Right now I really really want to master the language. But I'm afraid, too. What if I can't keep my motivation? What if I can't make any progress like before? Failing to master new language will not cost me much. It's not a mandatory or survival skill for me right now, so why I bother to do all these?

Those concerns, those fears almost prevented me to create this blog. Why should I record a journey that probably be terminated in the coming months? Really, I even want to discard this post and everything.

But hope is one of my favorite word and also stubborn. Who knows what the future might bring? I enjoy the heavenly escape by learning new language, by doing something productive, isn't that good for me? I notice my mistakes in learning languages and now find some new way to learn, isn't that enough to go on? Besides, repetition is our good friend, I'm not the only person who has failed before.

So, why not learning Korean? 가자! ^^

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