I think it’s interesting that a lot of people still believe that someone who wants to be fluent in a language must stay in the country where the language is spoken, and there’s no other way around it.
They hold on to that belief very firmly, that they simply wouldn’t accept, that I exist.
I don’t mind, though. People can believe in anything they want, because they do, anyway. It’s nothing of my concern.
I’m having fun, right here, right now, by learning and using Korean in my own bedroom, in a small town in Indonesia. I don’t need to go to South Korea to master the language, I have 24-hour internet connection.
I don’t need to be taught by a teacher in a formal classroom setting, I just need access to good books written by great Korean language teachers. I just shop for Korean books online. The books from Korea are delivered to my home within 2 weeks.
Now how about speaking in Korean? Conversation practices if you don’t have friends who speak Korean?
I already figured that out, too.
Talk to yourself in Korean! (TTYIK)
I definitely will build a company with that name. Haha. Just kidding.
I already told you that I don’t believe in monolingual approach and I don’t worry myself about thinking only in Korean, because it’s the ability that will come naturally (let’s say within 1-2 years). And, if you’re a multilingual person (like myself ehem), you’re supposed to be able to move between languages effortlessly anyway so it doesn’t make sense to think in one language only.
You can train yourself speaking in Korean without having any language partner.
1. By translating your thought into Korean, and speaking it out loud or whispering it.
For example, when you think,”That kid is a brat”, you think to yourself, now how I do express this in Korean? It’s “쟤는 좀 건방져.” (jyaeneun jom geonbangjyeo)
I learned it from a rap song. See, you don’t have to live in Korea to know dirty words?
And make use of your Korean phrasebooks if you don’t know the equivalent Korean expression.
2. By translating English sentences in your book back into Korean.
Actually I’m learning Korean via Japanese language, but I assume you’re learning via English here.
For example, you’re reading a Korean sentence with its English translation.
Take time to be amazed “oh, so that’s how people say it in Korea, interesting, wow“.
And then, try to say the Korean sentence again without looking at it.
The chance is you’re not going to get it right. Don’t be frustrated, correct yourself. Now you know how to say it in Korean and YOU CAN REALLY SAY IT.
Next time when you have the chance, you’ll be able to say it in perfect Korean.
You don’t need to be flustered like those people who try out their Korean directly with their Korean language partners, without practicing it before on their own. OK, I’m just being jealous here because I don’t have Korean friends. Haha.
전 혼잣말이 많아요, 한국말로. (=I talk to myself a lot, in Korean).
3. By shadowing.
Read my blog post: “Shadowing” or How to Improve Korean Listening and Speaking Skills with VOA’s 영어 교실. ###
- About 한자 [Hanjja] (Chinese Characters) in Korean (koreanvitamin.wordpress.com)