2 In Korean learning journey (:

12 years into learning Korean, I learnt how to say “armpit”

The title literally summarised what I am writing about today. It never fails to amaze me how despite being an “advanced” learner, there are actually a lot of words I don’t know, and sometimes they are so-called simple words or things that you come across on a daily basis.

No two learners’ vocabulary bank will be the same and they can differ vastly, depending on what kind of materials he/she has been exposed to in the learning journey. At the beginner stage, it’s more likely that two learners will roughly know the same set of words but as time passes, experience and exposure really makes a lot of difference to what and how much you know.

I can tell you what a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is in Korean (자유무역협정) but ask me what’s a potato peeler and I’ll be stumped. That’s because I’ve been reading a lot more in the economics / international trade field compared to say recipes. This is the kind of unbalance that I want to address but hahaha humans have their own interests and this ends up reflected in your learning (and proficiency). I tend to read more non-fiction for Korean and that really made the imbalance in vocab bank more stark because non-fiction articles tend to be focused on a particular topic. E.g. It’s more likely that you will come across the word “armpit” in a novel regardless of genre (horror/romance/comedy/sci-fi) compared to say focusing on reading articles on international trade.

Hence, I’m trying to shift my reading patterns towards fiction for Korean and hopefully that will help to build a more varied and balanced vocab bank.

Incidentally, armpit is 겨드랑이 in Korean.

Now you know too 🙂

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Nicolas
    8 June, 2020 at 10:23 AM

    Haha, no idea about free trade agreement in Korean. But my personal experience with BO made sure I knew how to say armpit as soon as I read your title.

    • Reply
      Hangukdrama
      9 June, 2020 at 7:51 AM

      indeed our own experiences do shape our vocabulary bank!

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