Random Thoughts About Learning Korean

Teen Top on Bromide.

Teen Top on Bromide.

I read an article about Teen Top on Bromide magazine yesterday, and these are random thoughts occurred to me while reading.

1. I forget meaning of words but I’m too lazy to look them up if I already read the material. So from now on, other than highlighting words, I will write the meaning as well.

2. I couldn’t find what 칼군무 is. A type of dance attributed to Teen Top, I suppose.

3. I like savoring sentences, one sentence at a time. I like looking up one new word at a time. If I think I must finish reading as quickly as possible, I make myself panic, and I forget to enjoy reading. One sentence at a time, OK? Never forget this!

4. I don’t think I care about “extensive reading”, a method of improving your language skills by reading many books using no dictionary (or as little as possible). I like looking up words on Naver Dictionary. And if I don’t look them up, I will never know the meaning.

5. Read aloud really helps and I enjoy doing it. It occurs to me that as a self-learner, I don’t have to wait for a teacher’s permission to read aloud. I can read aloud all the time.

6. I remember there was another training method that my Japanese teacher used to do: “dictation” (받아쓰기). Maybe I’ll try it later. Or maybe not. *Lazy me.

7. (Random) people have stopped telling me that I will never succeed in mastering Korean by myself in my own country. Good. I mean, seriously, if they really feel sorry for me, they could just send me free tickets to Korea, right?

This reminds me of a famous line from an old Japanese drama 家なき子 (Ie Naki Ko/ A Child Without a Home): 「同情するなら金をくれ。」 = 동정한다면 돈이라도 줘. (=If you have pity on me, just give me money.) ###

10 thoughts on “Random Thoughts About Learning Korean

  1. YES! I’m the same way. DX If I don’t look up the word as I do the first read-through, I’ll either forget to look them up or…. Yeah, I’ll forget to look them up. Then when I’m done looking up words, I like to come back to it to see what I remember. If I have a horrid habit of not looking up words I don’t know in English then in another language PFFT. I’d be a rebel. >.>

    I love #7.😄 If you think I need to go to the country then help a sister out and send me there. I hate when people say that I NEED something like RosettaStone if I can’t go to the country atm. -.- No. Even if I can download it for free somewhere I don’t like it. For me, I feel like it doesn’t teach in depth enough and I dunno… It’s just a weird experience for me.😄 It’s too easy. I like the hard, old-fashioned way so I can feel accomplished at all my hard work. Use some books, take lots of notes, search for listening and reading material, talk to natives and fellow learners, make my own methods, and SHABLAM I’m happy.😀


  2. 😀 You’re right. Don’t pity, help. Hahaha. I agree with everything you said. You’ll know the best methods for yourself.
    I didn’t like Rosetta Stones, either. A friend recommended it but I couldn’t stand 10 minutes. Very boring and I don’t want to pay that much for a software.


    • Yes, I did the same with English. I had to use a paper dictionary which was very troublesome. No internet like today. Guessing was more efficient because I didn’t want to loose the story when reading a book. And I didn’t have a very complete English dictionary back then so even if I looked probably I wouldn’t be able to find the meaning of the difficult word…so yes I think I skipped parts, too. With Korean, I like that I can find meaning of words easily with Naver. But I often have to skip words, too, because there are many Korean slang words and new idioms that don’t exist in the Naver dictionary. Sometimes I post questions Lang-8, but other times I just skip it. But anyway, I think, just do whatever enjoyable at the moment.


    • Yeah, you’re right, it’s different with the internet now.

      I’m not even close to being able to read Korean yet, but maybe when I get to that level some day I’ll try using dictionary as well. Or just bother my boyfriend with all the questions🙂


  3. Jem says:

    Hey! May I ask how long have you been studying Korean? I think I saw in one of your other posts that it’s been 2 years of self-study?:) I started learning Korean in 2010 (self-study plus some formal lessons locally) so it’s 3 years for me already, but I’m nowhere near your level! 대박! I just passed Beginner level 2 in the recent TOPIK exam so I’m quite happy where I’am. But I’m finding it hard how to take my skills to intermediate level. It feel like I’m getting stuck and I can’t seem to expand my vocabulary. You mention a lot of tips so I’ll try some of them I they work for me. Thanks! I’m also trying to read naver web toons for some extra reading material (plus the drawings are pretty awesome ^^). Do you think that will help? Any other tips for those starting intermediate level?


    • Yes, 2 years. I can’t seem to take myself to advanced level so who am I to give you advice? I have exactly the same problems!😉 I want to expand my vocabulary, too, but somehow they won’t stick. 어떡하죠? LOL. Reading web toons is a great way to get more hours with the language if you enjoy it. Go for it. I believe that the more hours we spend with the language, the faster we become fluent. And I believe we need to work on the language every day, even if only 5 minutes. 화이팅!


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