Someone on Facebook sent me a message, telling me that she was stuck in her effort to learn Korean because everything in the language is so upside-down and backward, and whenever she tried to say something in Korean she got confused translating words into Korean in her head and stumbled for words. She also complained that she lived in Indonesia, never met any Korean in her daily life, and that must be the reason why she was not fluent, and it was just a hopeless situation for her.
I didn’t reply.
The reason is because I’m a socially awkward person. I just don’t know how to respond to complaints by women. I can’t decide whether she just wanted someone to listen to her problems or really wanted a solution. Usually if I give an advice right away, she will just find another thing to complain about, and then she would end up screaming in frustration because I just ‘didn’t get it’. Women. I can never get them.
But… do you know that self-training is totally possible?
Let’s say you read this sentence in your basic level textbook:
이것은 제 가방이에요. This is my bag.
You figure out why it’s that way in Korean, why ‘this is my bag’ is 이것은 제 가방이에요.
You figure out the structure, grammar, and word meaning. What’s 이것, what’s 은, what’s 제, what’s 가방, what’s 이에요.
You listen to the corresponding audio CD, or click the audio button on Google Translate to find out the correct pronunciation.
And then, you tell yourself, if I want to say ‘this is my bag’ in Korean, I would say… wait, what’s that again? I already forgot. Right, 이것은 제 가방이에요.
You point to your bag, you say it out loud. 이것은 제 가방이에요! 이것은 제 가방이에요! 이것은 제 가방이에요! Don’t take this bag, hey you, imaginary Korean person, because 이것은 제 가방이에요!
If you have enough practice speaking Korean with yourself, you don’t really need to stumble for words with a real Korean person. Although that would be fun, too. Maybe. I wouldn’t know. I also never met one in my real life. Didn’t I mention that I was socially awkward? ###