Category Korean Textbook Reviews

Category Japanese Textbook Reviews

0 In Thai Learning Journey :)

A little a day goes a long way

Over the years, I’ve always talked about how language learning is a form of therapy for me. In the time spent immersing into the word of words and structures, I find myself letting go of everything else 🙂 I think this is what really anchors me to language learning, rather than supposedly striving for some kind of goal.

Spent some Thai doing a chapter today and it’s such a joy to see myself improving a little each time and this makes me grateful for small things like this. It also brings back a lot of memories of the short time I’d spent in Bangkok and I’m quite looking forward to going back again at some point. 🙂

It’s also therapeutic to look at my own handwriting, I must say.

Good glitter pens also make me happy LOL. Sometimes I wonder if such tiny things actually bring more happiness to adults than kids, because at times, it does seem like we have little to be happy about.

0 In Korean learning journey (:

An Ode to My Girl’s OST

I often credit Princess Hours as the reason why I started having an interest in the Korean language, but what I haven’t mentioned as often is how the OST for the 2005/06 drama My Girl was the soundtrack of my Korean-learning journey.

I fell head over heels for the OST when I started learning Korean and I would play it on loop the whole day. I haven’t heard another OST where I was so madly in love with every single song, and there’s a magical quality to each of the songs that I can’t quite put my finger on. There’s always a lingering regret that I never had the chance to visit Korea in those days.

Part of me wonders if I’m romanticising the country back then just because of the dramas, or the fact that Korea in the 2000s was so tied to my youth. Well, I would never quite find out but I’m happy that the vibes still live on in a corner of my heart 🙂 It’s interesting because my favourite Korea trip was still my very first one, and it remains the one with the strongest memories.

Over the years, I would revisit the OST from time to time. Today was one of those days. And it was a strangely emotional moment that I had to pause what I was doing and came here to write a post. It felt as though I’ve come a long way indeed for my Korean-learning journey. From those early days of wide-eyed wonder at finding something I loved so much, through the years of wanting to become really good at the language, past the darker days of feeling lost and conflicted about what Korean means to me, to finding the balance right now. And throughout everything, My Girl’s OST was a constant.

So much had happened in the 15 years I’ve spent with the language, most of which were recorded down in this space. 🙂

Suddenly feeling so thankful for everything.

0 In Korean learning journey (:/ korean studying tools

How to write Korean business emails

I’ve been asked about how to write Korean emails, so I thought I’ll write out a resource for those who may find yourself writing formal or business Korean emails. I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all format, and it really depends on:

  1. the purpose of the email
  2. your relationship with the recipient
  3. any conventions in that particular field/industry

This post’s focus will be geared towards writing business emails. Formal, but not exactly business emails, may be covered in the next post.

Subject Title

I’d usually write the purpose:

  • Enquiry: [문의] XX에 관련해 문의드립니다
  • Commission of work: XX 작업 의뢰드립니다
  • Sending of documents: XX자료 보내드립니다
  • Informing someone of (cancellation): 상담취소 안내드립니다

Or sometimes it’s just written in the following format with no speech endings:

  • 상담주선 취소건 관련 | Cancellation of Meeting Request
  • 방한취소 여부 확인 요망 | Request for confirmation on cancelling visit to Korea
  • 전화응대 메뉴얼 | Manual for answering calls
  • 보고서 작성 양식 | Format for writing reports

If you’re writing as a part of an organisation, I’ve noticed that a lot of Koreans like to include it in their email title:

  • [XX 에이전시]
  • [XX 대학원]

If you’re writing to someone for the very first time, perhaps an introductory email, sometimes I write like this:

Hello. I’m Shanna, manager of the HR Department in XXX Company (no, I don’t work in HR)

안녕하세요. XXX 인사부 과장 샤나입니다

Addressing The Person

If I know the person’s name + designation:

  • 안녕하세요, XX 대표님. (replace with the right designation and note that it’s a full stop)

If I know the person’s name but not designation:

  • XX님께,

(That said, if you clearly know the person is like the big boss, but not sure if they are a 대표님/사장님/회장님, would be great if you could google instead of doing this)

If you know nothing:

  • 안녕하세요.
  • [name of organisation] 관리자님, 안녕하세요.

First Line

Introduce yourself with full name and designation if it’s the first time you’re writing to them.

저는 (company name) 인사과 팀장 샤나 탄입니다.

If it’s been some time since I wrote to them, I will be like:

(company name)인사과 팀장 샤나 탄입니다.

If there’s an email chain going on already, no need to keep introducing yourself LOL


Compiling some phrases that may be helpful


  • XXX 지원 사업에 대해 문의 사항이 있어서 메일을 보내드립니다 | I am writing with regard to enquires about xx funding programme
  • XXX에 관련해 궁금한 점이 있어 문의드립니다 | I am writing about queries regarding

Asking for advice:

  • 조언을 부탁드리고자 메일을 드립니다 | I am writing to ask for advice


  • xx에 관련해 부탁드리고자 메일을 드립니다 | I am writing to request a favour regarding xx

Writing in relation to (something):

  • XXX에 관해 메일을 드립니다 | I am writing with regard to

Indicating purpose:

  • XX 프로그램에 대해 안내드리기 위해 메일을 드립니다 | I’m writing to share more about / guide you through XX programme.


  • 요청하신 자료를 첨부합니다. 확인부탁드립니다 | Please find attached the requested materials
  • 부탁하신 자료를 첨부합니다. 도움이 되시길 바랍니다 | Please find attached the materials you’ve asked for. I hope they’ll be helpful.
  • 파일을 첨부합니다. 확인하시고 궁금한 점이 있으면 언제든지 말씀해 주세요. | I’ve attached the file. Please let me know if you have any questions


  • 다음 주 월요일 (8.13)까지 보내주시면 감사하겠습니다 | If you could send this before next Monday, I’d be very grateful
  • 시간이 더 필요하시면 알려 주십시오 | Let me know if you need more time

Last Words LOL

Okay, not sure how to call this section.

질문이 있으면 편하게 말씀하세요 | Feel free to know if you have any questions

회신 기다리겠습니다 | Hope to hear back soon


  • 불편을 끼쳐 드려 죄송합니다 | Sorry for the inconvenience caused
  • 한국어 실력이 부족한 점 양해 부탁드립니다 | Sorry my Korean is not so good, seek your understanding on this
  • 한국어 실력이 부족해서 실수 있으니 이 점 미리 양해 구합니다 | My Korean is not good and I may make mistakes. Seeking your understanding in advance

In general:

그럼 잘 부탁드립니다

그럼 혹 관련해 문의사항 있으시면 편하게 말씀 부탁드리며, 회신 기다리고 있겠습니다. | Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll be waiting for your reply.

Final Greeting

Clearly I’m getting restless writing this 🙂

좋은 하루 되시길 바랍니다

좋은 하루 되세요

주말 잘 보내세요

And then the next line,


Sign Off

샤나 드림 – general

샤나 올림- when you want to be very polite! And the person’s way higher on the hierarchy.

Sample Email

Title: RE: 2021년 보고서 요청

김지나 님께,

안녕하세요. (주)Hangukdrama 마케팅부 팀장 샤나입니다.

요청하신 자료를 첨부합니다.

확인 부탁드립니다.


샤나 드림

Including a sample email! In general, Korean business emails tend to start on a new line each time! So, no long paragraphs of running text. And you can use press enter twice to create a section break.

I think that should cover the most important bits. Let me know, in comments only, if you have further questions. Try not to DM me for this post because it’s actually more helpful if I reply publicly and someone else may also benefit from your question 🙂

And it’ll be a huge motivation if you can consider buying me a cup of tea on Ko-fi 🙂

Till the next post

1 In Thai Learning Journey :)

Putting the colour back in language notes

It’s interesting how my note taking style changes over time, or rather I have different colour-coding for different stages. I tend to prefer using more colours at the beginner stage, where it helps me differentiate between different sections, and also because my notes tend to be more varied. Speed isn’t what I’m looking for, and I just enjoy the idea of slowly switching between different colours for different needs.

Then again, I’ve become a less colourful (lol) person over the years. In the past, I used to fully colour code my notes, but these days, I mainly use colours for section headings, explanations or meanings. I write mostly in pencil, and these days, I have a preference for non-mechanical ones.

Like this.

I must say I’m really quite loving the set of pencils I bought at the National Museum of Korea. They’re thinner and lighter than usual pencils, which make the grip rather interesting, but they write quite well for HB pencils! I tend to prefer 2B and above, but this is quite good.

I absolutely hate it when pencils are scratching on paper or leave a trace when erased, so thankfully there isn’t this issue here!

The splash of colours really make me happy. I like to keep my notes functional and neat.

I think I’ve mentioned this several times on the blog, but I don’t refer back to my notes after writing them. To me, it’s the process of writing where learning occurs, so 99% of the time I haven’t found a need to look back at them again.

Today, I’m quite proud of how I managed to study a little. 🙂

And the fact that I’m blogging.

I chuckled when I look at my blog title. It seems like I’ll never be able to name this space properly. It stopped talking about Korean dramas a long time back, and after I started learning more languages, the bit on ‘and Korean’ seems inadequate lolol.

But it’s okay. I started out from Korean dramas. So it’ll always remind me of my 初心.

Thank you for sticking around all this time.

Till the next post.

2 In Thai Learning Journey :)

Picking up Thai again

It seems like I haven’t been doing much studying since Feb. Most of the time, it feels like there’s so much going on, and yet when you think back, nothing much has changed.

I’m not really feeling myself this weekend, so I found myself turning to what I enjoy the most — language learning. There’s just something very therapeutic about losing myself in a language for a while, and it has indeed been a long time since I last spent hours writing, reading and learning.

I also took out my camera for the first time in a long while to take some photos. Need to commemorate the occasion of having written so much!

Currently using two resources to learn Thai: EBS 초급 태국어 and タイ語の基本. The EBS series is really useful. The notes can be found on their site and the videos on YouTube. Because it’s like a radio show, it’s easy to follow the lessons and the explanations are really clear. I’m also brushing up on the basic grammar through the Japanese textbook. So what I do is that I learn the grammar points first through EBS, and then go through the relevant chapter in the textbook. So far it’s working pretty well.

hahaha omg I miss my own language notes 🙂

I tend to write a lot for Thai because that is how I remember the vocabulary — through muscle memory.

It’s also getting a lot easier to write Thai 🙂

I’m not sure if anyone is still reading the blog! Do say hi if you’re here!

2 In Japanese learning journey (:/ Korean learning journey (:/ Thai Learning Journey :)

Studying three languages a day

I studied three languages today and this totally deserves a celebratory blog post.

I did two lessons of EBS 초급 태국어 [Study notes here, videos on YouTube], read some stuff in Korean and started reading a Japanese novel (!!). It’s been a long, long time since I studied so hard, and come here to blog about it too.


I’m going to try to work harder for Thai this year, and hopefully to share more resources with everyone in the coming days. For those who know Korean, I do recommend the EBS series. I’m still working through the series, but so far I enjoyed it a lot and perhaps I’ll post about it again! These days, I’m working on grammar, as well as being able to parse Thai sentences without relying on any kind of romanisation. It’s kind of difficult, also because beginner textbooks will always come with the romanisation, and sometimes at the same font size, or even in bold *face palm* and this makes it very challenging not to look at it. I’m getting better at recognising the basic / high frequency words. When I’m studying, I tend to write out the sentences in Thai and annotate on the notebook instead of the textbook. Writing it out really helps me to remember and recognise the words.


I have a whole stack of unread Japanese novels at home, thanks to having Kinokuniya stores here in Singapore. I’ve been very bad at reading them, mostly because I’ll start one and a few pages later, I put them aside and weeks/months later, I’ll feel too tired to restart from the beginning because I can’t remember what I read. For now, I’m starting on a brand-new novel and hopefully it’ll stick. More like I have to stick to it. At the peak of my Japanese reading ability, I was reading more Japanese novels than I did Korean, but now I think I’ve read more Korean than Japanese. Time to do more for Japanese!


I guess I’m always the most consistent when it comes to Korean. But these days I’m reading for the fun of it, and not for a particular purpose and I realise how much I miss that carefree feeling. When it comes to the dilemma of whether to keep something you love as a hobby or turn it into your career or livelihood, I still don’t have an answer after all these years. 🙂 I’ve also been easing back into Korean dramas, which I’m super happy about. I finished watching 여신강림 (True Beauty) and *squeaaaaaals* I’m a sucker for high school / university romance dramas and even if the plot is rather cliche, I’ll still lap it up if there’s good acting and good chemistry among the leads. Please watch it. Highly recommended.

On a random aside, if you ever feel like your fringe is getting into your eyes and interfering with your work, please do not cut it on your own. Just don’t.

Because you’re likely to end up with uneven, overly short bangs.

Don’t ask me.

Just don’t.

I look like this now:

2 In Thai Learning Journey :)

3 years with Thai

In the blink of an eye, we’re already at the second month of 2023 and it’s the 15th year of learning Korean, 11th year for Japanese and my 3rd year learning Thai. Unlike the first two languages which I studied when I was still a student, I have very little bandwidth for Thai most of the time. I barely touched it in 2021, and it’s extremely hard to be consistent with it. I used to think that it’s all about time management, until I realised that it’s also about energy management. As an adult, I suck at both, so here we are, trudging at a snail’s pace for Thai.

I know that I cannot compare my progress in Korean with the progress in Thai. That said, I can never quite sweep away the disappointment in myself that 我不如当年了 (I’m no longer who I was back then). I can get strangely competitive with myself at times, so I constantly need to remind myself that this is a journey I should enjoy, and not trying to complete it within the shortest time.

It’s such an obvious truth, but it’s the obvious truths that we often overlook and need constant reminders!

Having stepped away from blogging for a long time, I realise that words don’t come as easily to me anymore. It’s like there’s a whirlwind of thoughts within me, but I can’t seem to string them into coherent sentences. Need to slowly get back to writing too.

I’m currently watching My School President แฟนผมเป็นประธานนักเรียน and it’s so cute. It takes a while for me to ease into the story because the plot at the start is rather thin, but it does get better. Or maybe they’re just so cute I can overlook any holes in the plot.

It’s interesting how Thai is starting to sound clearer to my ears. When you first start learning a language, all you hear are sounds somewhat melded together, but now each syllable and word feels a lot clearer, as if someone had adjusted the lens and everything is coming into focus. I love this feeling. 🙂

Till the next post.

1 In Korea 2022

Hello Korea #01

한국 잘 다녀왔습니다.

I contemplated for a bit if I should blog about the trip (lazy) but I thought I should make the effort to do so, as a memory keepsake. Once in a while, I’ll go back to read about my past travels and it feels different from simply looking at the photos. Each post encapsulates my feelings at that point, and it’s interesting to revisit the memories years later.

(I brought my camera to Korea and took a grand total of ZERO photos HAHA. I’m also too lazy to edit photos. Natural is the best)

This time, we flew via Air Premia. It’s a relatively new airline and if I remember correctly, there’s only one airplane plying the Singapore-Incheon route so at first, I was slightly apprehensive. But it turned out to be such a good decision. It hits the sweet spot between budget (in terms of price) and regular carrier (in terms of service).

We didn’t manage to find many reviews online, so I thought I’ll write a little more about it, in case it helps anyone who’s still considering. It was a smooth and enjoyable flight. The airplane is new, the toilets very well-maintained, and there’s ample leg space. They served complimentary water and a hot meal (!) during flight, with other beverages/snacks available for sale on the flight. Breakfast was a choice between porridge and scrambled eggs. The food was nothing to shout about, but still relatively decent.

There’s in-flight entertainment (mainly Korean shows and not many, but still alright selection), and more importantly, there’s a USB charging port. Unlike SQ flights, they don’t provide a pillow, but the blanket is so much more comfortable, so honestly I’m pretty pleased. In fact, I’ll probably fly Air Premia again for future flights to Incheon. 🙂

We bought the tickets during the promotion period, so we got to enjoy an hour’s lounge at Changi Airport. It helped a lot since the flight was at 3am, so at least I got a small (and free) bite before the flight. I actually didn’t mind that the SG-ICN flight’s at 3am. Thankful it wasn’t a 8am flight. I like taking red-eye flights for the SG-INC route, so that I can arrive at Incheon in the morning and have a full day’s activity. I didn’t mind that their ICN-SG flight is at 820pm too, you get more time in Korea hahaha.

The first thing to buy at the airport was my favourite SamDaSoo mineral water. hahaha I picked it randomly on my first trip to Korea years ago, and from then on, I would only drink that in Korea LOL.

Lunch was a random pick: 등촌 샤부 칼국수, which offers a “4-course” meal of vegetables in broth, followed by beef shabu shabu, knife-cut noodles, followed by fried rice. This is my kind of multi-course meal!

Broth boiled down a little too much it tasted like curry noodles

Everything was so good, but I particularly enjoyed the fried rice. It wasn’t wet, and there was a crusty bite to it that made it so shiok (enjoyable) to keep spooning in mouthfuls lol. I’m a glutton (in Korea).


We decided to spend the evening at Gwanghwamun. It felt so real to see King Sejong (statue) again. Friends would know that that’s my favourite spot in Seoul and there’s just sooo many memories associated with the area. So many good friends, many happy chats that happened here. 🙂

It’s amazing how I managed to visit Korea so many times and never visited Gyeongbokgung 경복궁. LOL. I didn’t go in this time too. There was a snaking queue because it was one of the rare times they were opened in the evenings and there were so many people wearing rented hanboks taking photos. Not my kind of thing.

This is totally me.

One of my must-eats is 설렁탕 and so we decided to try out this place which apparently has a long tradition. SO GOOD. No regrets at all.

Look at that milky broth. I always find it amazing how there are both noodles and rice in the soup, but hahaha just eat.

0 In 中文部落格/ 宅女心聲





看完了「風中奇緣」, 今天選擇看我最最最愛的「惡作劇之吻」。這部劇真的是我從小看到大, 怎麼看都看不膩。台詞我都差不多能背了。這部劇可以說是陪伴我走過不少人生起伏。它承載了很多回憶,也帶給我莫大的啟發和感動。其實我最喜歡的是整部劇的節奏。很舒服的節奏。




0 In Thai Learning Journey :)

How I incorporate language immersion into my workouts

In an attempt to be healthier and shed the pandemic weight gain, I’m starting to be a little more conscientious of exercising every (other) day. It’s horrendous to see how much I’ve let myself go in the past couple of years, and I would very much love to get back my discipline and a sharper jawline lolol. I always say my face is like a moon. 有时圆,有时又不圆。

*sings* 乌拉博士,来说明,十万个为什么告诉你

hahaha if you know you know 🙂

Friends would know that I generally don’t do much sports, and the kind of exercises I do are really just like mat workouts at home + dance workouts. Not that I can dance, but it’s just more fun. My favourites are of course The Marshall Fitness and Pamela Reif workouts, but just the other day, I decided to shake things up a little bit–by searching for Thai dance workouts!

It’s a good way to know more Thai songs and frankly speaking, I’m really more motivated to move /动起来/.

Here’s a couple I like:

I don’t really listen to English songs, so literally the ones I know well are associated with the workouts. Literally when the songs play somewhere, I immediately visualise the dance moves and can even remember the YouTuber’s voiceover at the exact bits lolol

These days I’m living a language-filled life and it gives me inner peace. ✨