Korean Books

I’m so happy right now because I just found out that my book came in the mail! I ordered Twilight and New Moon about a week ago and Twilight came today!CAM04273_201305302115127091002908077

I flipped through the book and im beginning to notice a pattern. Are ALL books in Korea printed on such fine paper?! I love to read books and I have read many books although I own only a fraction of them, but I have never in my entire life encountered such smooth, and exquisite paper before I began this journey. All jokes aside my Ewha books and new Twilight book put all the other books in my collection to shame!

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Fascinating discoveries

“It is very important to develop the ability to notice.” – Steve Kaufman

I couldn’t agree more. If you think about it when you notice something for the first time you become curious, and your curiosity leads you to seek answers(kind of similar to Anthony Lauder’s spiral method). As an avid reader this is something I do almost every time I see a word I don’t know in English. Why? Because I noticed that I’ve come across a new word.

Today although I did nothing different from what I do everyday, while listening to one of my dialogues I realized something strange. It surprised me because I thought i heard 내일가 지내세요 when in actuality it was 내일까지 내세요. Since I already knew that 내일 means tomorrow, and 내세요 means turn in, I wondered what 까지 meant. So I looked through my textbooks glossary and magically overlooked the particle. That forced me to do some hard manual google searching. That’s when I found out that 까지 means until! I was so proud of myself because usually whenever I think a word ending is a particle or a specific word form it’s usually apart of the word itself ㅠㅠ. BUT NOT TODAY! Sorry for the caps haha, I got excited.

Memrise Android app release!

**Hey guys, this is going to be a short post** I recently found out that the memrise  team finally released their app in the android market yesterday! I’m so excited because lately I’ve been using memrise an awful lot and my internet loves acting up. So now I can still use my courses without the dreadfully long loading screens that I get in the online version ♥ (PLEASE NOTE: My loading speeds have nothing to do with memrise, i just have a really bad connection).

If you haven’t already heard about it go check it out! It’s a wonderful language learning tool for vocabulary! I’m not sure whether or not they also have the iSO version out in iTunes yet because I don’t own any apple products but they included basic features of for the courses in the android version. Can’t wait for the future updates!

{REVIEW} Ewha Korean 1-1 & 1-2

Ewha Korean 1-2

Like many other language learners I love collecting and shopping for textbooks! When buying ANYTHING one of the first things I do is look at the reviews but sometimes it’s hard to decide which is best if there are a dearth of reviews so I want to help others make their decision by writing this one! I bought these two books about a month ago after reading a few reviews that were(with the exception of one) good in terms of the textbooks quality(keep in mind most of these reviews were from already experienced learners). With that being said lets dive into it shall we!

First and foremost the book is split up into 7 Units consisting of 4 parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Culture. Part 1&2 focus on speaking and introduces new grammar points along with vocabulary. However in the first unit no grammar is introduced for the sake of teaching the learner hangul. [For Parts 1&2]Unit 2 and on includes 5 new grammar points, a dialogue, a partnered exercise and some alternate phrases that aren’t included in the dialogue. All of the dialogues are recorded on the CD that comes with the book and the entire CD is almost entirely in korean, which is a plus. I have to say that the grammar explanations aren’t like other textbooks that give heavy explanations, instead it cuts straight to the chase but sometimes a more in-depth explanation can be useful. For most people these simplified grammar explanations would be a god-sent but personally it never seizes to confuse me due to my analytical nature. Another thing I dislike about this textbook is the amount of loose vocabulary words introduced WITHOUT teaching conjugation until the 4th unit. If one didn’t know any better they would mistakenly say something like 거짓말을 하다습니다 and wouldn’t find out until their close to the end of the book that the correct saying is 거짓말을 했습니다.

Here is part 2, generally part 1 looks the same.

Part 3 focuses on listening, reading and writing. One page contains writing exercises such as answering multiple choice questions or fill in the blank responses. The other page contains listening exercises(to be used in conjunction with the accompanying CD). I usually just fill in the answers without the aid of the CD’s due to laziness since there are only 3 questions. I can’t find any fault with anything in this section besides the appearance of random words that are not incorporated in future dialogues. And incase you were wondering yes, answers are included in the back of the book.

Maybe it’s just me but Part 3 can sometimes feel a bit “empty.

Last but not least there’s the culture section at the end of each Unit! These are my favorite parts of the book, in my opinion they introduce interesting and useful facts about Korea and its people over a wide range of topics. Inside this section also includes short passages(only a paragraph long at most) of literary pieces. Depending on what the topic is about quite a few new words will be introduced such as simple onomatopoeic animal sounds or words that describe emotions.

I love how neat and intresting this section is! At the end of the short passage(in english) are a few questions about what you just learned.

I love how neat and interesting this section is! At the end of the short passage(written in english) are a few questions about what you just learned.

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Pros :

• Good quality CD recordings

• Lots of useful phrases and expressions

• Light & Compact

• Includes an answer key

• Interesting content

Cons :

• Skimp grammar explanations

• Introduces a multitude of loose out-of-context vocabulary

Final Thoughts :

I wouldn’t recommend these as a stand alone first textbook but if used with another textbook or grammar book it can be a pretty good learning resource.

Methods

I was really busy last week so unfortunately I wasnt able to post any updates here. Mostly what I have been doing recently is using memrise to reinforce vocabulary from integrated korean dialogues and translating the korean dialogues into english and then back into korean. It really helps solidify things, on top of that I do at least an hour of listening to that one dialogue everyday for 7 days. Yes, my learning is slow and I can proudly say that with a smile because im in no rush to learn. Language learning is a lifelong commitment and I have accepted that, so my pace does not stress me.

However, I have read about a new technique! Hehe im always experimenting with new techniques and incorporating them into my study habits. Anyway like I was saying, it is called the L-R(Listening and reading) method. It sounds self-explanatory but its the way this technique is carried out that makes it “effective”. First you pick up a translated version of a book you’ve already read that you find interesting in your target language. The way this works is that you are already familiar with the content, making it easier to interpret and pick up new words.  At first depending on your level it may be very difficult to listen to what sounds like natives speaking at a break-neck speed and if you are at a high beginner or low intermediate level you will need to refer to a dictionary every 2nd or 3rd word. As the story progresses you slowly get used to it. You’ll be able to decipher words(I’ve already experienced this in Korean and Esperanto) and begin to remember the most common words that pop up. For example if you’re reading in english, words like “the”,”at”,”in”, and “is” are bound to show up hundreds of times in a novel.

Unfortunately since korean transliterations seem to lack audiobooks more than likely I wont be able to use the audio aspect for this method. Nonetheless this would be good reading comprehension practice. Harry Potter is the most popular series used with this technique for obvious reasons: It’s very popular and has been translated into 70 different languages! Since I havent read the english version im leaning more towards twilight♥(gotta love twilight)!

For more info on this method here are some informative posts on it :

http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2010/12/harry-potter-the-book-that-taught-me-polish

http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2013/02/how-to-get-started-learning-polish-from-zero (Even though this is about learning polish specifically it has some really good incite that supplements the last link)

http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=6366

Korean Rock

So for the past few days I have been searching far and wide for something new to freshen-up my routine because lets face it, all work and no play is BORING. That and I tend to get bored of doing the same thing for days on end. So I began my epic journey to find korean rock bands! As simple as it sounds it is not that easy at all :/. If there’s one thing I absolutely love about English is our rich variety of music whether you like pop, metal, or even post-hardcore there’s always a decent selection of almost any genre you can imagine(the same can also be said with books). Unfortunately in korean it seems that the heavier genres(like metalcore,metal, and post-hardcore) which I love are virtually nonexistent. To give you a more accurate picture of the kind of music I listen to some of my favorite bands are Dance Gavin Dance, My Chemical Romance, Underoath and Crown the Empire. Sure there is also rock which is okay only if it sounds more like MCR but its the softer kind, which I personally find boring. So here’s a list of bands I have found:

하클베리핀(Huckleberry Finn) – I love this band, especially their songs like “I know” and 까만 다이가. They’re definitely not a metalcore or post hardcore band, they have more of an alternative/indie rock sound(based off of their songs I’ve heard so far). One thing I know for sure is they definitely have some soft and slow songs.

피아(Pia) – I heard a lot of good things from them but I feel as though their music is too “relaxed” it literally makes me feel tired. To me their music sounds flat, nonetheless they do have some decent songs.

13 Steps – They’re pretty good for an underground band! Their head bang worthy, especially the song “No Hope”. Unfortunately all of their songs are in English, I still love them but ehhh it’s not the same as if they were more korean-oriented.

ㅠ.ㅠ   that’s all  I found that I liked. I wish there were more korean rock or post hardcore/metalcore. While searching I actually found an epic Taiwanese band named “Chthonic”. They make me want to start learning Thai and mandarin but I know I wouldn’t be able to juggle between learning 3 languages, so those 2 will have to wait.

Also I saw a korean movie the other day called “Please Teach Me English” even though I didn’t understand 95% of what was being said it was a very funny and sweet movie. I really enjoyed watching it, and im definitely going to watch it again when I learn more.

여러분 안녕하세요!

Hello, this is my first post on my very first blog(EVER). Since  this is my first post i’ll give an outline* of my daily language learning routine:

• Listen to dialogues over and over  from Lingq/Ewha korean/Intergrated korean(i’ll usually choose one and stick to that same dialogue for an entire week). I do this for 1 hour a day. 30 minutes in i begin to shadow untill i fully understand what is being said.

• Try to read a magazine or search for things in korean(even if i don’t understand 90% of the content)

• Take notes on things i think are important(new common verbs or words  i come across like “겠습니다”). When i say i take notes on them, all i do is write the word down on a sticky note and stick it in my notebook, because writing the word and saying it in my head will help me recognize it later for when i learn their specific usages. Okay, i’ll be honest, if the structure or word intriuges me i will lightly dabble it.

• Talk to myself in Korean. This may sound crazy but since i live in the U.S. its hard to talk to koreans because there aren’t any people in my area who even know that there is a south and north korea, let alone know that either country is vastly different. Also by the time im done with everything its about 8am in korea and im sure most people are busy with school or work during such hours.

• Try to think of new sentences and make stories out of them in Korean. This also supplements speaking to myself outloud because i can retain the information such as new vocabulary more effectively if i am using it.  However i assure you most of these sentences have gramatical errors because i love trying to experiement with what i know and what i have dabbled.

• Post my mini stories on Lang-8 to get corrections. I usually write these corrections down in my notebook and dont study them. The reason for this being, is that usually my main problem is grammar and vocabulary, and studying them in a lumpsum is counter productive for me. If i study grammar and vocabulary at the SAME TIME I will begin to stress about how much i don’t know so i put it away to review later, for when i learn these new grammatical structures or if its new vocabulary i don’t worry about it. I know i’ll eventually aquire new words through reading and all of my listening.

Thats pretty much what i do each day. Typically i’ll spend an hour and 30 minutes studying and 2 hours exposing myself to authentic content, if you dont count my shadowing/attentive listening sessions.  By the way none of this is in chronological order, except for the listenings.

*Please Note: This is a rough sketch of what i do, i usually switch it around often but, this list is the core of my learning.