Had a mini revelation. Apparently, whatever slow kind of language learning is paying off somehow, because I can actually read (simple) korean phrases and sentences now. 😀 Have to emphasize simple though, don’t want to get ahead of myself.
I far well know my crock-pot style of learning whatever words interest me and not actual level appropriate course materials was going to impede my language learning if I were, say aiming for Topik examinations. but thankfully (or unthankfully) I didn’t sign up for it, hence my lowered expectations. I probably can’t really speak korean though.
What I learnt was, it’s possible to understand something if you read it long enough, and consult google if you really get stuck. For me, sometimes the journey to find out the meaning of an unknown word leads me to new places, more interesting words that I can learn about, open more doors to different ideas. I especially love Naver’s dictionary (my life saver), but sometimes slang words isn’t part of a proper dictionary search term. Consulting the wisdom of the internet community is good to do.
What I’ve done till now to help me ease into the Korean language:
– Set my phone’s default language to Korean.
This affects my apps too, which can get from mildly challenging to overwhelming and infuriating. There is a game that you’re supposed to search for a listed item hidden among 100 items. In Korean, I sometimes have to check a dictionary to know what I was supposed to be looking for! Not so good a perk is when Samsung does its updates and all their legal text comes up in Korean..
– Learn korean lyrics with only hangul.
This is pretty basic. But not just any song! Slow ballads tend to involve things like romance and ‘I love yous’ but I found out (wait for it) rap songs prove to have better selection of words to learn. My theory is that if I’m going to rote memorize with a fun song, why waste it on slow stuff and simple words? Sure, there is the occasional bad word or two, or ten.. but rappers are more prone to writing realistic experiences. In a way, like a music autobiography, but of course it’s always better to read up the english translation beforehand to make sure they contain words you want to learn. Occassionally I come across words I’ve already learnt in the rap song, I can go back and recall how this word was used and how this one is used here. Reinforcement ftw.
– Memorized the hangul keyboard
This was more of a laziness thing. Lazy to get a korean keyboard cover. Lazy to paste stickers, want to type in korean. I started with dictionary searches with google translate. Instead of copying and pasting, I looked at the mini keyboard on google translate and used it to write words I wanted to search with.. get familiar with some keys, and then some more.. and then from there practised on my phone, and downloaded those typing apps and only use the ‘practice’ function (since the real game gives me stress and elevated heart rates)
– Do occassional reading of the korean new sites.
I shouldn’t put this in the ‘what i’ve done’ category because I haven’t really been doing… but
let’s cut me some slack. 😛
– Translate something every other day
Shamelessly, I followed B2ST and dedicated myself to translating their tweets and other SNS accounts. Double motivation for me 1) Do it for the fans who don’t know Korean 2) Personal motivation
Of course, there are always days where I wish they didn’t tweet or instagram something really long and tough to translate, but I sucked it up and stuck at it.
What I eventually want to be doing:
– Reading a korean novel.
– Be productive in studies and not distract my hours away doing something completely irrelevant
– Be able to surf and navigate korean websites
– Learn Busan dialect (far off plan)
– Use facebook in Korean.
(Side note: What the heck is up with wordpress? It’s laggy as hell. I typed in notepad and pasted it here)