The Things I Have Been Doing Which May Or May Not Have Helped in Learning Korean.

(The following post is part farcical and part boring life elaborated into unnecessary lengthiness, coupled with a smidgen of sleep deprivation.)

I don’t know if I should apologize for an absence, because I don’t believe I have a readership to disappoint with untimeliness. Ha! *rebellion* So, I have been busy with various things, in which I shall explain in a whimsical manner because serious is overrated.

 

For starters, preparing itinerary for Korea and Japan! I will be going to these two places, later this year! Kansai with my kazoku (가족) and one month later to Seoul my predestined 고향 with a friend, despite having never gotten used to the spicy and sour food of Korea. I’m worried because I may be putting these two places too high up on my pedestal of expectations. And you know what about expectations? Root of heartache. But I shan’t think too much about things I can’t control, because procrastination comes first.

I’m also worried about whether to get Gardasil vaccination. It’s a vaccine to prevent 2 strains of HPV virus that may lead to cervical cancer. Which is spread through sexual activity. It’s a highly controversial drug, and I’ve read good and bad things about it. I have less than a year to decide because that’s when the government won’t subsidise it anymore, and when I stop being 26. Growing up sucks. As if figuring out life isn’t hard enough, strangers are pushing insurance and health packages down my throat ‘BEFORE YOU REGRET IT AND IT’S TOO LATE, GET THIS’. People really capitalize on fear. Fear drives people to desperate measures and fork out incredible amounts for insurance, vaccination, horror movies, haunted houses, kidnapping.. but I digress. Geez, I barely learnt how to crawl and you’re telling me to fly!

걷지도 못하면서 날려고 한다

歩きも出来ず 飛んでみる。

Trying to fly before you can even walk.               

걷다 – walk 歩く

못하다 – unable, cannot, can’t できない

날다 – fly 飛ぶ

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Next, I’m also trying to read the Hello Wedding naver novel. And hello, it isn’t easy. I feel seriously inadequate reading it because I get stuck at say, every 2 seconds. Naver is my best friend, and Daum is my older brother whom I can kinda rely on and sometimes even Google Translate when I want his irrelevant take on things. Together, we form a team of the Nerd and the Antisocial 2.0I printed 제1화 out, carried all over to work and home, bus and train, to my 주방 dinner table and to my bed. It’s been dog earred, folded it all over, highlighted, written on it, searched a million entries (a slight exaggeration). I ignore the world and avoid eye contact all because of you, Chapter 1. I’ve pored through again and again, the text that doesn’t make sense, over and over till it does. And then the sense of feeling stupid washes over me because I had been interpreting stuff wrong. If I learnt anything, feeling stupid is critical in the process in learning something new. Feeling dumb and humiliated motivate you to move PAST the ignorant stage so you remember better.

[Language tip! Remember those embarrassing times when you said something really foolish and got laughed at, and this memory never leaves you? To remember something really well at your own expense, go out and translate something wrong and publish it to the world. When the 40th person corrects you, you’ll remember it well.]

Also I’m reading several webtoons at once. Several because I’m hardcore like that (and because it’s easier and it has large pictures). Because I have commitment issues, I prefer to do the quantity over depth thing, you know. cover more ground. I have been reading more 2011 Horror Short stories because.. it’s horror and I love it. Also I found another semi horror webtoon ‘A good day to study’ 공부하기 좋은 날. Omnibus webtoon. Have you wondered what Omnibus meant? I did. Man. I always thought it was Omniverse (lit – multiple universe). Turns out, it’s a film term, to mean several short stories, linked by a general common theme. So ombnibus-ly in this context, is a webtoon with a collection of short toons with the common theme of studying, stress, school, horrible people, and suicide. If you’re familiar with korean societal issues and recent news, you’ll see suicide of teens and students aren’t uncommon. There is another webtoon with that similar theme too, I’ve previously reviewed  – 기기귀귀 (and I STILL think it’s creaking noises. Nope, it’s 奇奇怪怪. It’s similar because our protagonist is a bullied boy who feels like Raito with his death note because he has found a way to murder others students by hanging people’s portraits. Really, that’s the gist of that story.

Thinking. Yes thinking. I think my brain is a flood gate that switches on the minute I wake up. I think about things like ‘why do I think aloud in a language all the time?’ That’s stereotypical. I mean, in films, people think aloud in their heads in their voice and accent, in the language they speak. I wonder if watching those movies someone subconsciously influence me to think in a language and in my own voice too? Wouldn’t it be equally possible to think in terms of colours, music, numbers and other languages? I try to monitor my thoughts to see if I can think of concepts without actually thinking in words, but of course, the moment I’m aware of trying to do said mental action, my brain has announced and alerted the rest of my consciousness, which renders this subconscious stealthy surveillance experiment on on my cognitive process completely futile. This is probably why people do mental experiments on others.

Rap. Oh really. it’s an activity I do. Calms me down. Doing repetitive stuff, even if your brain is familiar with it triggers some kind of a stress relief agent. Typically, I move from remembering set phrases, movie scripts, korean rap lyrics, and recite them back when I don’t want my brain to atrophy (when I’m walking, peeing, waiting for people, bathing). Currently, I’m trying to memorize this unreasonable Busan rap music ‘Eh Heh’ by the unreasonably fast Simon D. I’ve gotten the whole first chunk till the chorus down pat.

Translating. 

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Pinning. I don’t pine for people, I pin for myself. Ohloldidyouspotmyreallybadpin? 헉, i mean, can you really help it if you’re addicted to aesthetics? No. Even if it’s at the cost of holding in pee for 2 hours just to pin pin pin pin pin pin pin pin pin pin..

Favorite Naver Webtoons

(Before I start, I wanna just say that my list of webtoons aren’t after careful deliberation going through all of the webtoons on Naver because that’s just impossibru. I’m a fussy reader, so I just selected some that looked nice.)

Ever since I discovered Naver’s webtoons I’ve been spending more time with it. Ok correction. Ever since I started self learning korean language and rediscovering Naver webtoons, I’ve been spending more time with it.

I’ve actually… seen the webtoon page before. At that time, I had no idea of course, it was a webtoon treasure chest chock full of nice cartooned goodies. My first encounter with it was to see a horror toon. You may even have seen it posted somewhere

[ENG ver.] Bongcheon-Dong Ghost (by Horang) ]

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How can you not like a sexy gait like that?

It kinda took the web by storm. At least, I was very fascinated with the webtoon because I am interested in scary things. I kinda wanted to see more, but unfortunately, there were only 2. The second one was

[ENG ver.] Ok-su Station Ghost – HORANG (옥수역 귀신 영문판)

Or even this drunken lady?

When I found Naver webtoon, it didn’t even remember this horror toon at all. Nice to be reunited again. The series is a small collection of short horror stories in 2011. Not all of the stories there are good, but they are worth a read! And if you haven’t, those two above should definitely be read. ;P

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Let me get back to my main point. I’m really liking this webtoon thing! It does encourage me to read and expose me to many more words in the everyday context which I would otherwise not have done so, if I had chosen to only translate kpop related stuff.

Here’s a list of the webtoons I keep going back to:

– Twenties 투엔티스 (4.5/5)

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As mentioned before , this was the first story I read, and it’s still on going. Twenty’s Love Story is a romantic comedy about a 20 year old boy who is part of his friend’s group of freshly graduated 20 year olds who haven’t gotten a girlfriend yet and getting chided for it. One day he meets this really 4Dimensional 사차원 girl who loves coffee, is a barista wannabe and says the weirdest things, so most of their dates take place in a café. I like cafés and coffee and 4D people, so I like this one. Plus, it’s really funny. Of course, there’s a twist in this that makes things interesting, but I shan’t spoil it for you.

– My young kitten and old dog 내 어린고양이와 늙은개 (5/5)

title_thumbnail_20110404174155_t125x101I love this one so much♥! Animal friendly. It’s so adorable. Written from the perspective of the battle-worn dog who still has as much love for his family as before, and the newly adopted kitten who is a little nippy about fingers and itty bits, they share their daily ups and downs of being the pets of their owner. Chapter by chapter, the artist reveals things like the history of their adoption, times when the kitty trips because it can’t see properly, how the once black puppy has now faded to grey dog, times where they are grateful for the accommodation the family makes for them.. It’s all cute and touching and heartwarming at the same time. It’s a bit sad that the webtoon has concluded early this year, but there are many chapters to this one.

Smile Brush 스마일브러시 (3.9/5)

 

title_thumbnail_20100610110221_t125x101Return of the 4D 사차원 girls, this one is probably the most out of reality. Haha. She’s really quirky, and does the silliest things ever, but relates to almost everyone in their daily life. In Japanese, she’s a bit of a 天然ぼけ, and rightly so. In the first chapter, she sits waiting for a bus, but left her coffee cup. Later she goes back to accompany her cup, worried it’s lonely sitting there. Another time, she spent all her strength pushing out the last bit of the toothpaste with a satisfied grin, only to have it all wash down the drain when she put the toothbrush under the tap. Definitely the dreamer of the bunch 🙂 It scores slightly lower for me because sometimes the korean is a bit more complex to read. Or I suck. Both maybe.

(I haven’t read this one, but there’s another installment after Smile Brush, Smile brush, old photos 스마일 브러시, 오래된 사진. it’s one of those ‘look at old photos and reminiscing past memories. If you like smile brush, do consider this one too)

Welcome to Apartment 305 어서오세요.305호에 (4.2/5)

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I really enjoy this one too. This one is the life of 2 people trying to live together. The only problem is that one is homo and the other, homophobic. At times, it can seem a little over (which is why I can’t give it the 4.5 I wanted), but like the manhwa claims, it’s an exploration of two different mindsets, and no disrespect intended for homos and heteros alike. This one offers 171 chapters, and there’s also an english version available! (Update July 13: they took it down. Boo) (though it’s only translated halfway. It doesn’t seem like they will be continuing. Boo. But assuming if you can get through 71 + chapters with the english version as a guide, you should be able to finish the rest of the 100+ on your own. 😀

Strange and weird 기기괴괴 (4/5)

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I didn’t realize until now that 기기괴괴was a legit word. I always thought it was creaking sounds. lol! But rather than my translation of ‘strange and weird’, its hanja is 奇奇怪怪, if you can read Chinese, you’ll know exactly what it means. This webtoon is horror! So for the non horror fans, please still give it a try? In the world of 기기괴괴, there is a story of a myth. Set in a school life, with the usual bullies and bullied, it is said that there is a secret gallery. This secret museum contains the portrait of students. If you hang someone’s portrait in this museum, they will be cursed, and death will befall them. Sounds totally standard right? (*regular horror fan here) It’s quite predictable, and prediction tells me, there’s a price to pay for this curse. This is a new webtoon, and so I won’t know what the price is yet. This one I do quite like too.

2011 Collection of short horror stories 2011 미스테리 단편 (3.9/5)

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The above 2 stories are in this series! It is like what the title says, a collection of short stories, that range from really simple to some tougher to read ones. I can’t give this one a high rating, because even though some I really enjoy, there are also some ‘meh’ ones inside. I do recommend this one though, because it’s short, you can get done with them sooner. Also because it’s horror. (LOL. I can’t access 19+ so I really have limited horror webtoons – Whai nobody like dem?)

Love is all an act 사랑을 연기하다 (3.9/5)

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Romance is back! This one is rather tragic though. Lead guy basically leads a dreary life, plagued by his memories of his ex who dumped him. Fast forward a few years, and this sad guy has gotten even sadder, with a terminal illness to boot! As if life isn’t hard enough, Korean drama life only likes to make it worse by giving people super advanced cancer and 2 months. So this protagonist, now looking like a complete hobo, has to receive one final joke from the Korean drama world – A lottery win. All these sound incredulous. I agree. But let’s roll along with it.. This hobo decides not to do the good deed I expected, which was to donate it to a charity, instead he decides to squander it on a prostitute and get her to play his girlfriend for 2 months in exchange for 3 million (or something). Fine, do it this way. For values and morals sake it gets a lower score from me. (If prediction central is right again, his old girlfriend will be jealous, and prostitute might actually fall for him…)

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These are those I have listed but haven’t read a lot (or at all). I will describe those I’ve read.

Hateful Comments Game 악플게임

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악플 is like a short form of negative reply, hateful, spiteful, critical comments and can lead to cyber bullying. I haven’t read it at all, but the title caught my attention.

 

Story of someone I know 아는사람 이야기

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Seems to be romance.

 

 

Good day to study 공부하기 좋은 날

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Under thriller section, so it should be scary right? I hope!

Update: A collection of short stories relating to the theme of school, stress, suicide, etc. Not bad a read actually!

Mystery Horror? Subway Train 미스테리호러지하철

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Friend mysteriously gets killed, friends who turn up at the funeral decide to investigate.

 

Brother’s here 오빠 왔다

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Day to day stuff that irks the hell out of the sister that the brother does.

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Strange tale of a female comedian and a male hair designer.

 

 

A simple study of Blood Types 혈액형에 관한 간단한 고찰

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It’s really popular. This one has an english version floating around too.

I tried other stuff Like ‘Penguin loves Mev‘, or another ‘waegook in korea’? one, but I kinda like those above better. Do you have any to recommend?

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If you’re more into text and less pictures, there’s also a Naver short story section, which I can’t seem to find the shortcut key to from Naver’s home page, so I type in the url everytime. 😦 There are limited selection over at the novels portion (i’m trying to read Hello Wedding), but I still like my cartoonated stuff more.

Check it out though!