Park Yong Ha or Why I Started Learning Korean

Naver is a Korean search engine.

Naver is a Korean search engine.

Two years ago, I started learning Korean because of Park Yong Ha, a Korean singer and actor. (한국어를 공부하게 된 계기가 “박용하”였습니다.)

It’s a weird story. One afternoon, on TV, there was a short program about Korean celebrities’ suicide. Park Yong Ha was one of them, and he was the only Korean celebritiy I recognized. I didn’t have any interest in Korean Hallyu, but I recognized his face because he was huge in Japan, back when I was still living in Tokyo.

I knew nothing about Park Yong Ha. I didn’t even know his name until I googled. But knowing he committed suicide, I couldn’t stop crying. And this was 1 year after the actual death. It wasn’t something that happened yesterday nor I was a fan. I didn’t know why, but I was in tears, for days. I just couldn’t stop. 정말 미치겠었어요. (=I felt like I was going crazy).

Since I couldn’t stop crying, I searched online to educate myself about him. His music was good enough for me, I felt that I needed to understand the lyrics to know what he sang about. Before I got my first Korean textbook, I studied the lyrics of Park Yong Ha’s songs. He got a lot of Japanese fans. It was easy for me to find the Japanese translation of his Korean songs.

He sang ballad (slow songs) so it was easy to catch his words even though it was my first time listening to Korean. And I watched a Korean drama for the first time. It was Winter Sonata (겨울연가) with Indonesian subtitles. He was so handsome in it.

So I thought, why not learn Korean, this could be fun. It would be awesome if I can be so good at this language, so I can watch Korean drama without subtitles. Around that time, I went to a bookstore to get my first Korean textbook, which was a very easy phrasebook. I thought to myself, hey, I can master Korean by myself. Yes, yes, I can do this.

And I’ve been studying Korean every day since then.

이상 (=That’s all). I hope I didn’t scare you off. Please come back. I’m not crazy. I really am not! OK, fine, whatever, I’m crazy.

Park Yong Ha singing 처음 그날처럼 (=Like the Day We First Met) with Japanese subtitles ↓

좋은 하루 보내세요. (=Have a nice day.) ###

17 thoughts on “Park Yong Ha or Why I Started Learning Korean

  1. leni says:

    Me too, I’m one of his fans , first time I knew him from On Air which aired on O’Chanel TV, in July 2010. That time I really like PD. Lye Kyung Min, I search who played on, ” His name Park Yong Ha” , but I’m very shock, he was commited suicide on 30 June 2010 T_T,, I cry so many times, why,why,why, He has died !!! even I know he has gone but I can’t stop loving him,, until now I always listening his songs and watching his dramas over and over again.Silly wishes I want he can back to this world,, I think I’m crazy of him. He will be forever in my heart …


    • I love that Park Yong Ha had a wonderful life, that he worked hard to make people happy, and his works last beyond his time. I love that we can love him no matter what, he doesn’t even have to be alive for us to love him. And I love that I’m learning Korean because of him (including the incident of his death). I love that I think he’s having a wonderful time now wherever he is, just like he did when he was alive.


  2. I found out about him when I watched a video of him singing My Memory from the Winter Sonata OST. I didn’t understand any of the words but I too, started bawling uncontrollably.after finding out he died

    So I don’t think you’re crazy at all. (Or maybe we both are? … Hmm)

    I admire your dedication though in being able to accomplish something like learning a new language.


  3. Ruaa says:

    I am reading your words thinking about myself
    i started learnIng korean for the same reason !!
    MY YONA ^_^
    same as you i was watching a TV Report about Korean celebrities’ suicide .. I SAW HIM AND I WAS SHOCKED
    directly after the report i started searches .. pictures, songs and diaries
    his pic.s is my phone background, his songs with me always


  4. whiteheart says:

    I love japanese song n language because park yong ha…coz i m absolutely falling in love with his voice n cute smiles…
    I m accidently found about him early of mac when watching winter sonata..and so sad when know that my yona already gone… n i m just know about him now..

    i 🍁 My memories by yona..
    Yona still alive in my heart..🌞


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