It’s Chuseok!

According to Google calendar, it’s Chuseok holiday (Korean Thanksgiving) on September 14 to 16 in Korea. I noticed that videos from Korean celebrities saying ‘happy Chuseok’ were uploaded on YouTube. This one is the shortest…😀

한가위 보름달아래에 소원 꼭 이루어졌으면 좋겠구요.

KBS2 TV 구르미 그린 달빛 많이 사랑해주세요.

“I hope your wishes come true under the Chuseok full moon. ”
“Please give a lot of love for our drama 구르미 그린 달빛 (Love In The Moonlight) on KBS2 TV.”

So Korean people make wishes under the full moon during Chuseok? I didn’t know that.

I haven’t watched the drama. ###

The Meaning of 만찢남

I clicked an ad on Naver Dictionary and it led me to its official channel on TV Cast Naver: There are some short clips which explain Korean slang terms in Japanese. In Japanese. So they want Japanese people to know those slang terms?😀

I don’t live in Korea but I like learning Korean slang words because I need them to read entertainment news in Korean on the internet and I can use them to comment on my favorite K-pop idols’ Twitter or Instagram.

만찢남 Naver Cast

만찢남 in Japanese is 超イケメン or a very handsome guy  (not exactly, but OK, understandable)

This clip is about 만찢남:

만찢남 -may I remind you that the pronunciation is [만찐남] – is the shortened form of “만화를 찢고 나온듯한 남자” or “a man who is very handsome and gorgeous, who looks as if he has just come out of comic books”. Read more here:


“Hot!” The reality the gorgeous guy of  our fantasy Lee Jong Suk is “fierce heat” from:

So the next time a handsome K-pop idol posts a selfie, I can leave comment like this: “만찢남이시네요♥” or when I read a Korean entertainment news using the term “만찢남”, I will know what it means.😀 ###

How to Memorize New Korean Words (2)

How to Memorize New Korean Words (1) is here.

I’m learning Chinese these days.

저는 요즘 중국어를 배워요.😎

Naver Chinese Dictionary

화이팅 in Chinese – Naver Dictionary

At first, I didn’t think I could make time for it, but I’m having so much fun that I’m confident I can learn Chinese for the rest of my life. I’m happy to find that I can use my Korean to learn Chinese. I use Naver Chinese – Korean Dictionary. I use Chinese phrasebook apps with Korean translation. I downloaded Chinese audio files from Korean website (a publisher called Nexus). I can watch high-quality educational videos in Korean about Chinese words, phrases, and grammar on YouTube (search for: 파고다 중국어, 다락원 중국어). I’m excited that I can use all these free abundant resources on the internet to learn Chinese just because I understand Korean.

The problem is… how I can get all these information into my brain? How can I remember?

I need to memorize 150 words for HSK (Chinese Proficiency Test) Level 1 (the lowest level). The problem is I keep forgetting. I started learning Korean 5 years ago, I didn’t remember that memorizing basic words would be so hard! Is it because now… I’m old…er? 😁

So I’m having a renewed sympathy for beginner learners of Korean who happen to read my blog. If you find this blog, you must be very very serious about learning Korean! I mean, what are the odds! You must have googled persistently to find this blog. 😁

Now I’m going to give some advice to myself and every beginner in language learning who has trouble memorizing new words.

1. We memorize in order not to forget.

Our brain is designed to forget unnecessary information so we can remember things that are important quickly. We forget. It’s natural. It’s just the way it is. It’s nothing to be upset about.

And because we forget, we memorize. Because we forget, we use flashcards, Anki, and Quizlet, to remember.

2. If we forget 7 times, we memorize 8 times.

And so we still remember.🙂

There’s a saying in Korean 칠전팔기 (七顚八起) or ‘fall 7 times, get up 8 times’ so at the end, we’re still standing. That’s applicable to memorizing new words, too. So if we forget a word 7 times, just learn it again for 8 times. If we forget 20 times, learn it 21 times, so we still remember. My English is weird. But you got me.😀

Note: pronunciation of 칠전팔기 is [칠쩐팔기]

3. The SECRET is in “RECALLING”.

The more time we recall an information, or the more time we try to remember, the quicker brain gives us the information. The first time of recalling a word might be hard and slow (it usually is, so don’t worry), but the 2nd, 3rd,… 8th time will be quicker and easier.

4. Output is an act of “RECALLING” and output is a whole lot better way to retain information than input.

Input is reading and listening.
Output is speaking and writing.

Input is a way to get information and it is important. There will be no output (speaking and writing) without input (reading and listening). But input is a weaker way to retain information. You’re more likely to forget if you just rely on reading and listening. You will more likely to remember and not forget, if you try to “recall” the word when you try to speak or write it. Maybe brag to someone else who likes you (because bragging is annoying haha): ‘hey, I know how to say ‘flower’ in Korean. It’s 꽃. Cool, right?’ Or just on Twitter.

5. Use things in your real life as a way to “recall” words.

If you only know 100 Korean words, it’s hard to find reading material that use only those 100 words, other than your Korean textbook. But basic words (for example for TOPIK level 1) are usually simple and concrete, such as: desk, notebook, to sing. These things exist in our real life. So every time you see your desk, you can try and recall the Korean word for desk: 책상, the pronunciation is [책쌍].

If you don’t remember, you learn it again. (See no. 2).

Desk in Chinese is 桌子 zhuōzi. I remember! 😎.

6. Have fun with the language. (This should be no. 1).

“I get it! I really get it!”. “This is fun!”. “I’m so happy I understand this!”. This is the kind of experience you need to have in order to continue learning Korean. (And Chinese, I say to myself). Fun can be your motivation. And if it’s fun, we will remember!

7. Don’t quit.

Unless you have something better to do? 😁
It’s OK to quit, actually, time is limited, we make our choices, but it just means you will not master the language. If you quit, it’s ‘game over’.

8. Language is a skill and we need to put in time. A lot of time.

To become good at something, we need to put in time to develop our skills. There are 4 skills in language, you know, reading, listening, writing, and speaking. Let’s do a lot of these four.

By the way, it’s not “stuck” if you’re not moving. There were people on the internet who told me they were “stuck” but actually they didn’t do anything (I even suspected they had quit learning but refused to admit it).

Learning a language is a long journey. From time to time, I need to remind myself, too: hey, why am I stuck here? Maybe because I’m not moving? Because I’m not doing things to get me to where I want to be?

9. Translate yourself.

This is also “recalling”. Beginner level is the most exciting place to be. Because expressions you learn are short and immediately useful. Like: ‘thank you’, 감사합니다. Or ‘hello’, 안녕하세요. You know you want to say these to… people on Twitter. I still haven’t met any Korean friends. I don’t mind, though. ‘It’s OK’. In Korean: 괜찮아요. See? 😁

10. Stop believing in things that don’t work for you.

There are people who believe they can’t learn Korean because they don’t live in Korea. And there are foreigners who live in Korea who believe they can’t learn Korean because they don’t go to school in Korea. And there are foreigners who live in Korea and go to university who believe they can’t learn Korean because they don’t have time and Korean friends who are willing to teach them Korean.

Beliefs are powerful. If you think you can, you’re right. If you think you can’t, you’re right, too.

That’s all I have to say. I guess I need this long encouragement… for myself. Yes, I can do this.  We can do this! 화이팅!

Wait, how do you say 화이팅 in Chinese? I learned it but forgot. Let’s check Naver Dictionary. 加油 jiāyóu! ( See? I’m doing my own advice and I know I will remember.

Oh, I blogged something related on my other blog. Input and Output at the Same Time:

OK. Bye! ###

New Earphones and Korean Textbook

I ordered a Korean textbook (in Japanese) and a set of Philips earphones online and they arrived yesterday. Yay…!


A Korean language textbook in Japanese and a set of Philips earphones

I bought the earphones for about 250,000 rupiah hoping that I would get better sound quality than my old Panasonic ones which only cost me about 100,000 rupiah.


Left: Panasonic, right: Philips

But after comparing both of them, I’m actually disappointed with the Philips earphones because they sound screechy and terrible and a lot worse than the cheaper Panasonic earphones. The Phillips one just look cuter. Sigh.

The Korean textbook is about onomatopoeic words. With the book, I can learn 360 onomatopoeic words with 1~2 sample sentences for each term, and it comes with 2 audio CD (one CD for the words, narrated in chants (interesting idea), and one CD for the sentences). The chants are supposed to help me memorize the words. I kind of find the music distracting but let’s see if it works…


The first word to learn is 갈기갈기.

I think onomatopoeia is something that is not too urgent and it’s fine to wait until later to learn it, just like Korean slang, or proverbs. Intermediate and above, according to the book itself.


This kind of usage is not written in the book.

I read the first word: 갈기갈기 (찢다) or ‘rip/shred something into pieces’. I thought maybe I didn’t need to learn this word now but then I read my favorite Korean rapper, Zico’s Instagram update and he used the word 갈기갈기 in the caption. 😍  I think he meant he would perform his very best on Jisan Valley Rock Festival. ###


Bought “2000 Essential Korean Words – Intermediate” from Darakwon

I downloaded the audio files of 2000 Essential Korean Words – Intermediate from Darakwon official website ( I used Internet Explorer 11 and didn’t experience any trouble like the last time at all. I guess they fixed the website. But you still have to use Internet Explorer to download, in case you don’t know it. You can download the audio files without purchase.

Download Darakwon

Free Mp3 Download on Darakwon

And then, I thought, I would just buy the e-book version of 2000 Essential Korean Words – Intermediate on Ridibooks ( because… I wanted to. It’s not that expensive anyway (about 15,000 won because I had accumulated points from previous purchases).

From the audio files, I notice that Darakwon (다락원) actually sounds more like [ta-ra-gwon] in Indonesian… sounds…

2000 Essential Korean Words – Intermediate follows the same format as the one for beginners. There is a word in Korean, its pronunciation (because sometimes a Korean word is pronounced differently than the way it’s written), the word meaning in English, Chinese, and Japanese, whether it has irregular conjugation, and a sample of usage in form of conversation between 2 people but without translation (I would love a translation in English or Japanese, but I don’t mind, the sentences are not difficult to understand).

I think it’s great that the use of the word is given in conversation, not just a simple sentence. It’s easier to remember words when you think you can use it in conversations. The conversations are read/narrated in the audio files so you can practice listening, too.

Just like the other book of the same series for beginners, the intermediate one has some pages explaining about hanja (Chinese characters) to expand vocabulary.

There’s also a self-check exercise at the end of every chapter.

And that’s all I know because I haven’t really read it thoroughly yet.

But I do notice one thing from page 23, about the word 싫증 (명/noun), pronunciation [실쯩].
I don’t think ‘a lack of interest’ is the correct English translation. Maybe ‘dislike’ or ‘distaste’.
(Audio file 1, -3:07)
가: 시간이 없는데 우리 김밥 먹을래?
나: 또 김밥이야? 넌 싫증도 안 나?

No translation given so here is mine:

A: We don’t have time so why don’t we eat gimbap?
B: Gimbab again? Don’t you get tired of it?

The voice actors pronounce 김밥 as [김빱]. So I got curious…
I checked Naver Dictionary for pronunciation and it just says [김ː밥], not [김빱].

Then I found a tweet by @urimal365 replying that the standard way to pronounce 김밥 is [김ː밥].

‘김밥’의 표준 발음은 [김ː밥]입니다.

At least now I know that native Koreans also pronounce 김밥 as [김빱] even though it’s not officially standard Korean. ###