11 In Japanese learning journey (:/ Korean learning journey (:

6 years with Korean, 2 with Japanese

Damn I’m getting older

When I first started this blog I was in my teens. Now I’m in my twenties.

6 years with Korean. That has to be the longest relationship I have with something inanimate. And it has been with me through some of the highest high and lowest low in my life.

I can’t say I feel the same way about Korean as I did 6 years ago. Korean was like <3 to me back then, now it's prob like :S hahaha I still feel a lot of love for the language itself, but sorry the rosy picture is broken. This year, there's so much negativity that I grew to associate with the whole thing that it's affecting the way I see the language. It's like how you may end up hating the song that was playing in the background while u were fighting with ur bf... you know... irrational feelings but it's still real. I'm finding it a little hard to face Korean head-on these days, but I'm trying! The whole "what does Korean mean to me" question has been bogging me for the whole year and I tried my darnest best to find and carve out an answer to it. Maybe being too determined to find an answer was not the right way. 慢慢來比較快?? I tried to force out an answer and now it made me want to avoid the whole issue altogether lol. Read somewhere before that all of us have a few talents or things we are good at which we don't really know what to do with or never ended up doing much with them. Then come the question of "must we do something with them". This is why i love Nodame Cantabile so damn much. Nodame has some damn awesome piano talent, but yet she just wishes to be a kindergarten teacher. To everyone else, its like bordering on criminal waste of talent, but is it truly a bad thing to just enjoy music? I like how all these interesting issues are raised in that show (i can write a whole essay on it lol). I got to know of this friend who is damn good in Japanese and was learnin Korean (6 yrs ago). Said person was working in job that totally did not use any of his/her language skills and we all thought it was such a waste and rather stupid since the person could have landed a better job. Now, I do not pass judgement that easily. Sometimes things are not so clear cut and 'not making full use of our skills and talents' does not necessarily mean that we do not treat it seriously or belittle it. This road of finding our own identity is so tough. Seriously there are enough convincing arguments for either way that in the end, its really about choice rather than right or wrong. 「この世に偶然なんてないわ。あるのは、必然だけ。」 I really like this quote from xxxholic (I LOVED THE WISDOM IN THAT SHOW) and I do believe that there's learning in everything and everything has meaning. Because of the hiatus I'm taking (from Korean), I somehow ended up taking up Japanese seriously. (: This year I really poured in quite a bit of effort into Japanese and I'm really enjoying it!! ^^ It also reminds me of how its like to enjoy learnin a language and it helps to take my mind off a lot of things. Pretty productive way of relaxing lol (: I know this blog is getting somewhat further from the 'korean learning journey' theme but I hope you guys will still be with me (:

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Dana
    28 December, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    I feel the same way. I’m not very far into learning Korean (barely know anything), but now I’m questioning why I’m learning the language. Initially, it was to land a job in Korea (not an idol!), but knowing that I likely won’t make it, I’ve practically given up for the job in Korea. It’s not that I’m giving up my dreams because it’s hard. Statistically, with the lack of appropriate skills, education and appearance, I probably won’t make it pass preliminary stages. I’ll probably aim for other countries, but other countries have larger populations, therefore decreased possibilities.

    I’m still young, so I’m still figuring out what I want to do. I like languages, so at the moment, I’m planning on learning on another language when I reach somewhere around intermediate Korean. I’m just kinda scared though. I don’t know for certain what I want to be when I finally need to choose a university to attend. I have a few ideas of the futures I want to pursue, but they’re risky. I don’t want to be dirt poor, having grown up in a poor environment. I want to earn a comfortable living, but the careers I want to be in involve either being incredibly rich, or (more likely) dirt poor, and just scraping by to live. Sometimes I think that if I was born into a richer family, and I wouldn’t have to care about money, I’d probably follow what I love and not have to worry about being filial monetarily.

    I’ll also need to have the skills and ability required. To me, there’s no point is pursing something if I am not good enough, because I’ll probably not enjoy it anyway. Not being good enough will lead to continuously question myself, and there’d be less hope in succeeding. I don’t know, and I’m scared.

    • Reply
      Hangukdrama
      1 January, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      At least you still have a few years to think of what you want to do ^^ Graduation means freedom and the ability to do whatever you want, but it also means being thrown into the endless seas. The sense of insecurity and fear is as real as the excitement.

  • Reply
    choronghi
    28 December, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    I wanted to recommend the japanese movie KOKUHAKU. I also found the script online so you can learn japanese from it too.
    http://choronghi.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/confessions-kokuhaku-2010-movie-finally-a-good-japanese-movie/

    I loved what you wrote about nana, and so i’m curious to hear your thoughts. my thoughts were just wow first japanese movie that’s actually good lol. i haven’t seen many japanese movies but all of them up to now minus anime movies disappointed me so much.

    • Reply
      Hangukdrama
      1 January, 2014 at 7:36 PM

      tried watching it and couldnt get past 20 mins ><;; I'm a fan of psychological thriller but I'm more partial to Korean movies in that genre. There's just something about this movie that rub me the wrong way. Or maybe I didnt have the mood for disturbing movies that day x.x That being said, I got a headache when i tried to watch Kazoku game (same genre kinda?) and I really didn't like it.

  • Reply
    Orphelia
    29 December, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    The thing about hobbies or passions is that they always come suddenly. In a sense, they can leave the same way.

    In a sense, I understand about seeing people with talents. I don’t see exceptional talents in my myself, so I look at others. The fact that I am able to see those talents make me feel like they are not wasted. They might not be for the large public or used for big companies, but those talents are shared with friends and family. So, I feel it grateful to have a chance of seeing that talent rather than frustrated they don’t use it.

    • Reply
      Hangukdrama
      1 January, 2014 at 7:32 PM

      True! It’s a matter of perspective when it comes to what is “wasted” or not.

  • Reply
    Su
    29 December, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    =)
    …still with you.

    • Reply
      Hangukdrama
      1 January, 2014 at 7:28 PM

      😀

  • Reply
    mike
    29 December, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Shanna,

    I actually mentioned your story to a Korean guy I met today. He’s a nice guy who wanted to do a language exchange with me. I mentioned how you used Sogang Materials to teach yourself Korean, and even got accepted into Yonsei, which is amazing. I asked him what I should do to make best use of my love for languages. His response (for anyone reading this) was that you can’t really have a ‘career’ that is just about languages(of course, teaching/interpreting), but rather, the best thing to do is combine languages with your other skill/abilities.

    So a doctor or lawyer that spoke 2-3 languages. A photographer that spoke a few languages. In my case, a designer/web developer that spoke a few languages (or salesman, etc).

    I know of an English teacher who returned from Korea to sell cars. Since the brand was Hyundai, they had alot of Korean prospective buyers who were just BOWLED OVER by his Korean language ability. That’s actually incredibly clever. Furthermore, I’ve heard of guys coming back from China to sell real estate to Chinese buyers (using Mandarin, of course).

    Does it mean you can’t sell a house to a Chinese using English? Of course not! But boy do they appreciate your confidence, fluency, and doesn’t it make them feel closer to you! I think that’s what you’re going for.

    In your personal life, just think, English allows you to share your funny jokes, and positive experiences and life with anyone who speaks English. Learning more languages just broadens your audience that much more! In that way, Languages are like a multiplier: first, find something you can make a little money at, then multiply that income with languages (i know this post isn’t about $$$, but I’m just throwing it out there).

    It’s bittersweet to hear your relationship with Korean has soured. I’m a bit like that with Chinese, since I studied forever, and went to China and worked, and didn’t find the experience all that enjoyable. I’m trying to take the best away from it though.

    • Reply
      Hangukdrama
      1 January, 2014 at 7:27 PM

      Hi Mike!
      Thanks for mentioning me to your friend! 😀 I totally agree with what you say that the best thing is to combine language skills with other skills. I think my problem is that I am figuring out what other specific skills I have besides Korean. I have a few paths that I am interested in pursuing (a negative way of looking at it is that I don’t exactly know what I want) but recently I keep getting the feeling that effort on my own part does not guarantee that I get what I want. Luck, opportunities, meeting the right people are also very important and this is something that I’m learning about. I’ve always been too “independent” in that I have the 나만 노력하면 무조건 잘 될 거야 kinda mindset.
      Yeah about Korean… 😛 I wouldn’t say it soured but more like my pursue of it kinda backfired on me hahaha. or maybe that’s just a good way of putting it xD

  • Reply
    lulu
    6 January, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Had to write something because I totally resonate with this. My love for Korea dwindled down a long, long time ago. But I kind of missed the whole learning a language thing so I picked it up today and was actually having fun with it but man, I was just wondering what use would it be for me in the future? I clearly don’t have any desire to work in a Korean-something-related field and it’s very low on my “places to travel to list” … I mean, Korean doesn’t have any practical use other than exercising my brain in the present moment. So yeah, I’m kinda on the same boat with you.

    But yeah, totally love what you said about Nodame. And I’m actually a little more interested in Japanese now so go on with the hiatus on Korean. 🙂 Hehe.

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