Dictionary

I recently ordered some books from abebooks, which I recieved about a week ago and among them was this book.

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It’s a dictionary! My first physical Korean dictionary. Although I mostly rely on naver dictionary, I just wanted a dictionary that I could use incase we had a blackout again. My town has a lot of blackouts. We actually just came out of one a few days ago, and to make things worse I have been unable to connect to the internet for the last two weeks. I want to be prepared for next time so I’m not stuck just studying with my textbook. In that time I could also continue where I left off in twilight.
I haven’t used it yet, but it seems like a decent dictionary. My only gripe with it so far is that the korean-english side is organized using romanization. It does, however, use hangeul beside the individual words, so its still usable. I wasn’t expecting too much, since I only paided $3 for it. I’ll definetely review it when I get the chance to actually sit down and use it.

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Summer~

Summer is practically here, and that means I have loads of free time on my hand, yet again. I will mainly be focusing on my Korean listening skills and building up my Russian. Yes, I said Russian. I don’t know much Russian right now, I have just started a week ago, but I love it so far. What got me interested in Russian were authors such as Tolstoi, and infact I’m actually in the middle of reading the translation of Crime and Punishment(it’s a very good book). I thought that it would be nice if I could read the story in the original language, even if it would take a long time to get to that point. That coupled with the fact that it is cheaper than Korean. I won’t be buying anymore Korean books for a long time, because I feel like I waste too much money on shipping($30 for a tiny package not including the price of the book)! Looking back, I feel like I was ripped off, even though I understand that the labor involved in getting a package across the globe is intense, I just don’t feel as though I can afford to buy any solid Korean books anymore. So I will be working with what I have, which is a good thing, because I will be able to finally finish twilight and 도가니, and it will keep me busy for awhile.

Back to Russian, I have found many printed versions of classical literature and textbooks for a total of $3 including shipping! That’s something that is almost impossible to find for Korean, and I really only dabble in German at this point so I don’t have an active interest in the language itself, besides the interesting courses offered by DeutcheWelle.

Anyway, another reason why I am so excited to learning Russian is that I am also trying out a new method of forced output. I have made it a goal for me to post one thing in Russian on Lang-8 a day, and because I don’t want to end up spamming, it can’t be a half-assed добрый день(Good morning), I have to write real sentences like “I speak a little bit of Russian,” “I am 15, but I am about to turn 16,” and things of that nature. For this of course, I am not using a conventional textbook as a main source, since it would take me months before I would be able to say the following. So far I have been using pimsleur, lingq and importing the sentences from lingq into anki, which has been working better than expected. I learned almost all of the pronouns so far in two out of the six cases, basic conjugation of verbs, negation of verbs and nouns some word order, greetings and farewells all in a week! It’s crazy! If I was using a normal textbook I would only know how to say hello and have a vague sense of how to say “how are you.” So like I said, I am very excited to see where this all takes me. If it brings me to a higher level in reading, writing, and listening (maybe even speaking), then I will definitely transfer this method over to my Korean studies.

Quiting Korean

To hell with language learning, I’m done. After nearly a year and I still don’t understand a simple show like Sesame Street! You wouldn’t begin understand how frustrating it is! My friend was right when she said that I’d have better luck learning Japanese! And you know what?
ㅎㅎㅎ다 거짓말이에요. 한국공부 그만두하지 못한데 일생에 의미를 붙였어요. 오늘은 만우절이죠. 티티믹 덕분에 만우절 있는 것을 기억났다가 블로그로 장난글 꼭 하기로 했어요. 어쩌면 저는 썰렁한 농담만 잘 하지만 아직도 해보고 싶었어요. ^^ 좋은 하루 되세용~

Free Reading Material For Any Language

Are you a language learner? Are you tired of spending your precious money on overly expensive shipping? Don’t you just wish there was a way to get free learning materials mailed to your door, free of charge? Well, I have found a solution. Simply email: ThisIsSoNOTaScam@hacker.net, your social security number, and your bank account number, and you will find that books magically appear at your doorstep within 14 business days after emailing us!

Okay, all jokes aside, I have actually found a way to get free reading material. Yes, free, that means no fees for shipping, and no fees for the actually booklet/text. And yes, it is completely legal.

“How,” you ask? Well, have you ever heard of advertising? It’s truely a beautiful thing. To be able to spread innovative ideas and cool gadgets with other human beings, is truely one of lifes greatest wonders! Advertising can lead to an array of different things. For instance free stuff! You know, those refridgerator magnets that you stick on your fridge, or those pamlets/brochures that you never read. You know you always throw them away before the sun sets, don’t lie. Have you ever thought for once that maybe they could be useful to you and your language proficiency? Of course you didn’t, because that’s ridiculious! Or is it?

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If you can read it these are about traveling to Sweden and Norway, but it's still reading practice!

This is what I recieved a few days ago. Like I said, it was completely free, and it was mailed to my house. Actually, this is only a fraction of what is to arrive. If you want to know how I did it, read on.

Just to clarify, you will not be recieving published books such as Harry Potter. Instead, you will be able to get your hands on brochures, pamphlets, trial magazines, and trial newspapers. If you aren’t interested any of the above, then I am afraid that this isn’t for you, but I have found that the language in them can help improve your fluency in a language.

Now, assuming you don’t live in an area where your target language is spoken, here is how you can get your hands on these:

Step 1: What do you want?
– Decide what type of material you want to read. Do you want to read for relaxation? Do you want to challenge yourself? Are you interested in reading about medicine, or new recipes you can integrate into your cooking? It’s good to think about what you want, but don’t overdo it or you will be let down. Depending on how widespread your target language is, there can be a wealth of material to choose from. Please, try to be open-minded, and not too picky. If you happen to be stumped, then skip this step and move on to the next.

Step 2: The Search
– Whether you have or haven’t already decided what you want to read, as long as you have a general sense of what you may want, that is fine, because now your options will truely be unraveled before your eyes. Type in keywords such as: free magazine, free newspaper, free brochure, or free catalogue in your target language. In German, this would be: gratis/kostenlos Zeitschrift, gratis/kostenlos Zeitung, gratis/kostenlos Broschüre, gratis/kostenlos Katalog. If you do not know how to say these in the language you are learning, use a dictionary to help you and check with a native speaker. When you find something that interests you, click on it and check if they mail to your country. If you truely feel like you cannot find anything, despite typing in the appropriate search words, try looking for things such as college brochures, or if you are religious look into magazines about your religion. In extreme cases where material is very limited, have a trusted friend who lives in the target country collect and mail over a few pamphlets, and magazines from free events.

Step 3: Order
– I think this step is self-explanatory. If you have a hard time reading the order form, feel free to use a dictionary.

Step 4: (Optional) After Ordering/While Ordering
– After you request or while you are ordering your stuff you may be presented with the option of recieving free email-based notifications from the company. I suggest that you opt for it. Sometimes there is also an option to recieve even more stuff, outside of the computer, which I always recommend.

More:
• Although this is not completely free, you can get a ton of free or discounted stuff just by buying from small businesses(mainly small bookstores if you want to get reading material) and explaining that you are a foreigner learning the language. I know for sure that in most asian countries, native speakers get really excited when they hear about foreigners learning their language, and are willing to help them even more by giving them more supplies, but this will obviously be different for you if you are learning languages such as Spanish or English, which are commonly dubbed as “easy.” This is even more effective if you are able to chat them up in person.

Well, now that I am all out of ideas,
thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope I helped you. ^^

Happy Learning~

Deleted Anki

I feel like this is a big ‘step’ in my Korean learning journey. I just deleted the app off of my phone. As it stands I have nearly 4500 cards in anki, about 4000 are pure words,another 200 are grammar patterns, and the rest are sentences. It sounds like a lot more than it feels. I have been using Anki for the past few months religiously, and although I feel like it has helped me a lot, my reviews have begun to roll over the hour mark! It’s very tiring, plus I have to stop at one point or another. Using flashcards to learn an entire language is absurd, and that is not what I intend to do. So I decided that now is a good time to start. I’ll still document new words that I come across, but I will only write them in my notebook(which I seldom used), and look over it a few minutes before going to bed, and a few minutes after waking up. I think that’s much more relaxing, and allows for more time spent with actual content, which is what really matters in the end.
So yeah, that was my little update.
-awkwardly ends post-

Finished my first “books”!

Hello, it’s been awhile. I am absolutely certiin that I  won’t be posting once every week now so I will stop saying that at the beginning of my posts. As you can see in the title I finished my first books in Korean! The reason I put the word ‘book’ in quotation is because typically when people think of books + in foreign language, they think of a thick novel. I didn’t finish twilight, I actually have that on hold, but I finished the 만화 version of 넌내반! ^-^ I’m so proud of myself! I ended up making about 750 anki cards from it, and it helped me get more aquainted with commonly used grammatical concepts such as the modifiers -을 것, 는 것, 은 것, that I had a lot of trouble with. I understand them much more now and I feel more confident when using them in sentences. 행복해요. 이따 돌아와서 다른글을 쓸거에요. :]

Reflecting

오랜만이죠? It’s been about 2 weeks since my last post—so much for posting regularly. This summer felt extremely long because I had so much fun and learned so much new things. I’ll admit I haven’t been entirely sticking to textbooks recently but I think that has made a huge impact on my grammar knowledge. There’s still lots for me to learn in terms of set expressions specific to the language and grammar but listening and especially reading no longer feels like a hunt for a new grammatical structures and concepts. Now I try to focus more or less on meaning and of course that means the continuation of the long mangled path of acquiring vocabulary and forgetting it maybe even 10 times or 20 times before finally internalizing most of its various usages. I guess this stage is called Intermediate? Whether it is or if I can still be called a beginner I no longer care because I can actually pickup native material(with scripts of course) and learn something from it without feeling like I’ve thrown myself in the deep-end of a pool, unable to float. Being able to listen and read things outside of textbooks is such a good feeling.

Since school has started I need to prioritize so I will be returning to my textbooks but “learning” the content will not be my focus. Textbooks are like Teachers, all they can do is introduce new information to you and/or point out things that they think you may have overlooked, but they cannot do your tests and assignments for you. In the case of language learning they cannot speak/write/comprehend everything for you, they are merely there for assistance.