[Review] Everyday Korean Idiomatic Expressions

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Another great book from the TTMIK team! I love learning proverbs (속담) and other idiomatic expressions (관용어). It’s one of the areas where you can clearly see the linkage between language and culture. Some idiomatic expressions are easily translatable between languages, and there are some with similar expressions expressed using different concepts. Or those that are unique to a certain language/culture. Most Korean textbooks don’t really focus on such idiomatic expressions and they are usually scattered all over. When I first started learning such expressions (like 6 years ago? HAHA), there wasn’t a book focused on it so I mainly learn via reading loads and loads. I don’t quite remember how...

Lazy not busy

I wish I can say that I have been too busy to update this blog, but really, most of the time I’m just too lazy. The routineness of my life (not that it’s exactly a bad thing) is making me feel less motivated to think beyond what I need to. I feel less inclined to reflect, to think, to write and to seek new challenges.  I’ll write half a post (or even a full one) and end up deleting them or abandoning them when my thoughts can’t link up.  I’ve been reading voraciously (since when have I not…) and the list of Chinese novels I’ve read have grown and I...

Every minute matters

It’s important to learn how to deal with things and people in a level-headed manner, sans excessive emotion. And to learn to empty yourself of negative emotions after a rough patch.  Blogging has taken a backseat this month, as well as language learning. Been feeling lethargic and the lack of motivation in turns fuel more negativity and fatigue. Language learning has always been a form of therapy for me and I need to find some time for it every week. Incorporating #lunchtimestudy in my schedule seems to be helpful. I feel more refreshed after spending 20 mins or so reading and learning new words. It helps to take my mind...

[Korean Textbook Review] Hangeul Master

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“Learn Hangeul without buying other books!” “Secrets of Reading Korean Handwriting” “300 writing samples from Native Koreans” TTMIK shouldn’t be an unfamiliar name to any (serious) Korean learner and amongst their many published books, this book called Hangeul Master is focused on Hangeul, the Korean writing system. You may have heard many claims that Hangeul is a relatively easy writing system to learn; googling online tutorials will bring you to articles claiming that you can learn it in an hour, a day, two days etc. Then why spend money on a book to teach you Hangeul?!...

[Review] 서강 한국어 쓰기 4 Sogang Writing 4

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Uh. Finally got down to writing this review. Some of you may have already heard/seen me rave about this writing book from Sogang. And waiting impatiently for this review. To save you time, I can just review this book in one line: Why wait. Just buy. Really. Korean textbooks focused on writing are few, and so far this is best I’ve come across! Full review after the cut!...

그렇습니다 

I’ve heard comments about how some K-learners find the 습니다 form unfamiliar when they first come across it in their beginner k-study as they are more familiar with the 아/어요 form commonly used in dramas etc. Many are quite eager to skip the more formal form and go straight into what they see as “more relevant”. To be honest, when I first started to learn Korean 8 years ago, I kept wondering when I’ll go pass the 습니다 stage (which I then perceived as more textbook and rigid style) to the spoken colloquial Korean.  But now I think it makes a lot of sense to introduce the formal form first,...