Dear all of you,
Self learning isn’t impossible. *Points at self and other awesome language bloggers out there* Learning languages is about effort and passion. Your proficiency is directly equated to the amount of effort you put in and it really shows. No shortcuts, no special secrets. You may say some of us have a ‘talent for learning languages’. Maybe such a thing exists. I don’t know. But if you think you don’t have it, put in the extra effort. Some of us have it easier because we know Chinese (and thus hanja). But it’s not exactly a very unfair advantage. There are people who are awesome in Korean who know nuts about Chinese and there are people who are native in Chinese and still are basic in Korean after years. It’s all about the effort you are willing to put in.
Sometimes we feel a little lost. Unmotivated. Lazy. That’s normal, we all have bottlenecks in the journey. Take it easy for awhile but keep yourself still immersed in the language. Know that it is very painful to re-learn a language after giving it up completely. If you are unmotivated, think about what made you motivated in the first place. Kpop? K-dramas? Remember how you loved Korean and you will be fine. ^^ If you are that unsure, check out my blog and other language blogs. ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ Or you can drop me an email lol.
i know sometimes we feel frustrated that we will always lose out to those who are fortunate enough to go to Korea or even better attend long term Korean lessons there. I feel the same way. When I first started learning Korean, I never never once imagined that I’ll be able to travel to Korea. Things have a way of falling into place and good things happen when you are passionate about something. I was super envious of people who went to Korea and I was like I WANT TO GO TOOOOOO SO BADLY. And I worked hard to make it come true. I’m not one of those privileged people who can travel whenever and wherever they want. I made a lot of sacrifices that some people might not be able to see (on the surface). All I can say is, work hard for it. I’ve seen other people who were in the same situation and one by one, they found a way to achieve their dreams and visit Korea. I still sometimes lament that I might have been even better if I was allowed to attend Yonsei KLI all the way till level 6. But I’ve never regretted the fact that I came so far through self studying.
Instead of lamenting about what you can’t have, focus your efforts on attaining the best that you can. I feel proud that I can tell people that I’ve achieved all these on my own effort. TOPIK level 4 within 1 year plus of self studying, and now after 4 years, Korean has become a language that I’m comfortable with. And I recently got my TOPIK 5 and I’l l be aiming for a TOPIK 6. Of course I still have a long long way more to go.
Expensive textbooks and lessons is not the only way to become good. There are so many good resources online, in the libraries and if you have to, buy a few good books that last you a long way. ^^ Sell those that you don’t need anymore and then buy the ones that are of a higher level.
Also, Korean is not just a language. It’s part of a bigger thing. Learning Korean (or any other language) open doors to a brand new world – new culture, friends, way of thinking, literature, knowledge etc It’s almost limitless.
Instead of focusing on an unrealistic goal (being fluent in a year or something ^^;), enjoy the learning process. There’s no end to language learning. So if you are one of those who needs to see an ‘end’ to the road, maybe this learning journey may not be for you. Instead of finding that non-existent end and worrying about how long and difficult this journey is, enjoy every moment.
I may sound like I’m bull-shitting and making everything sounds so easy. It’s definitely not, but if you are up for a challenge, stick to it and the benefits will come.
As I’m typing this, I’m actually studying Japanese lolol. Who knows what this new journey will bring me? For now, I’m just content learning something new.