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

Attitude and mindset

Thanks for all the birthday wishes in the previous posts!! 😀

Been exceptionally busy and tired the past few weeks dealing with the thesis, but now it’s printed and ring-binded and waiting to be submitted! YAY.

Taking a night off to study Korean and reward myself! lol. So I’m working on the Ewha Korean textbook series that I’ve been raving about.

I’m reading the passages in there now and suddenly it struck me that… I don’t have any particular difficulty reading the stuff in there (6 unsure vocabulary in a full page passage) and I’m breezing through the grammar also. o.O It’s hard to put this into words but somehow I’m totally oblivious to the ‘Korean is a difficult language to learn’ or ‘language learning is difficult’ view.

If you put things into perspective, language learning is difficult. Think about it logically. Language learning consists of learning loads and loads of vocabulary, grammar structures, possibly a new writing system, a new way of thinking, new sets of sounds and pronunciation etc. But somehow I just don’t feel that way for Korean. Obviously I started out with no knowledge of the language, but somehow I just managed to work my way through slowly.

And it’s interesting that I know of textbook series like Ewha, Yonsei only two years into learning Korean. Before that I was learning from standalone books most of the time, except for Integrated Korean series, which I started using from their intermediate series too. I started out with level 6 for both Ewha and Yonsei. It feels a little bit strange that I’ve skipped all those previous levels 0.O

I found Yonsei 6 really challenging (but not impossible) back in 2010 and now that I’m using Ewha 6, it struck me as funny that I think of it as easy. o.O

I think I’ve grown immune to the amount of progress that I’ve made.

Am I even making sense anymore? I just think that I have a very different attitude towards Japanese and Korean. I’m totally cool with the fact that the first time I took TOPIK I got a level 4, and that most Korean textbooks are now manageable and easy to me. But I’ll think that OMG I CAN’T EVEN DO JLPT N5, how can I even possibly think of achieving a N2 or N1 in some undefined future and omg intermediate Japanese textbooks are so difficult and how can I ever think of going back this stage?!!

I see the difficulty of Japanese very clearly. Yet, I never felt the same way for Korean.

I’m now reading a passage on elections and about political apathy and the low voter turnout for youths. And I actually understand. And I’m like, yeah why won’t I understand. But if I start thinking about it, it’s a miracle that I’m actually reading about such a topic in KOREAN.

Do I sound like I’m praising myself? HAHA. I’m totally for the idea that you should be proud of what you do well. And freely admit that you suck at things that you are not good it.

Okay I don’t make sense anymore >.<

I think I just wanted to say that I still can’t believe that I have progressed so far.

And that mindset makes a difference!!!

Don’t think that Korean is difficult and it won’t be difficult 😀

 

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    katecdet
    15 November, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    belated happy birthday Shanna! Sorry was not able to greet you even on twitter. i was so busy these past few days. but anyway, thanks for dropping by my blog as well. Hahaha.

    i’m working on the Yonsei textbooks for now. totally enjoying it 🙂 Shall really finish them soon. Haha

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 November, 2012 at 10:18 AM

      thanks!! 😀 😀 Yonsei textbooks!! ^^ Have fun!

  • Reply
    alodia
    15 November, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Congratulations on binding your thesis! I still haven’t presented my proposal yet AND I’m still working on ‘that’ Korean linguistics paper. OTL. What have I been doing these past few days? ㅠㅠ

    And.. urgh! I must get a JLPT N5 by the end of the semester. WT???!!! ㅠㅠ

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 November, 2012 at 10:19 AM

      thank you!! hahaha i feel your pain, but it will be over at some point in time!! 😛 oooh you are going to take JLPT?? ALL THE BEST!!

  • Reply
    Elley
    15 November, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Wow! I wish I could read korean articles/news like you do.. But I know I’m still very far away from that day. May I ask, any source for learning new vocabulary? I have been looking through online lately for new words though. Or should I get a dictionary? 🙂

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 November, 2012 at 10:19 AM

      any korean text is a new source of vocabulary! there’s no need to restrict yourself to textbooks. vocab lists are no-no though 😛

      • Reply
        Elley
        19 November, 2012 at 1:49 PM

        Although i wanted to get as many textbook as I can, but money restricted me from getting them. I could buy 1 book every month, but then, the shipping fees is a pain in the neck… >.<

        Anyway, you have such good memories which allow you to remember soooo many vocabs! I'm working my way through memorizing as many words as I can, but whenever new words come, I forgotten the older ones… lol!

  • Reply
    Vanessa
    16 November, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Happy birthday (late), Shanna! hahaha Sorry, didn’t know it was your birthday 😮
    I’m happy that you now feel this about Korean, it must be sooo good hahahah
    But I think the same way as you: be proud of what you have already achieved, but keeping in mind what you still have to improve.
    축하합니다~!! ㅋㅋㅋ 언젠가 같은 느낌을 느끼고 싶어요 ㅋㅋ ^^

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 November, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      thanks!! yeah, definitely have loads to improve! 😀 😀

  • Reply
    Constance
    16 November, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    Happy Belated Birthday, Shanna~!
    I’m also enjoying my Korean language learning journey 😀 I always have some Korean reading material with me nowadays, so I’m usually studying while in transit or while waiting for people/public transport. When I flip open my older books or re-watch TTMIK videos I realise I’m able to understand more and more of the content and that feels really good!

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 November, 2012 at 10:21 AM

      Thanks Constance! 😀

      Yeah that sense of satisfaction mixed with a little surprise and pride 😀 😀

  • Reply
    tjoenit
    16 November, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    Happy belated birthday, Shanna! I can’t believe I’ve been reading this blog for years ( I forgot since when) and been being a quite silent reader. LOL. I remember you ever encouraged silent reader to speak somewhere in your post. Once again, happy birthday! Good luck with your thesis and long live Korean learning journey!!

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 November, 2012 at 10:21 AM

      Thanks!!! 😛 It’s been pretty long I think XD Thanks for leaving a comment!!

  • Reply
    SH
    16 November, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    I’m just curious – how would you rate your speaking level?

    Also do you have any tips for remembering all of these grammar points? Sometimes I get so overwhelmed:(

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 November, 2012 at 11:14 PM

      mmmm i would rate it intermediate? hahaha i dunno. I’m very bad on such scales. I tend to compare myself to natives, not other learners. o.O

      I have blogged about the subject quite a few times, i think you can search for it ^^ Basically i learn from a wide variety of sources and once you see the same grammar points in a few textbooks, they tend to stick to your mind 😛

  • Reply
    Faeleia
    16 November, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Happy happy belated, Shanna! lucky november baby!

    I empathize with you. Japanese IS difficult. it’s fun at first.. but the inclination is steep. Even more so the higher you go. It leaves the realm of fun, and starts being annoying, because their linguistics are complicated.

    Even though I got my N2, barely, I feel inadequate in it. I get surprised when I understand something in Japanese, because normally, no matter how much you learn, the sheer amount of vocab that’s used in Japan is enough to let you get stuck almost every other sentence.

    I felt like ‘okay, this is where I stop’, whereas my hardcore friends continued and got their N1. I’m still having fun with Korean, on my own pace. and surprisingly, I get shocked at how ‘not hard’ it is. The conjugations were hell at first with their ‘rules.. it’s easier now when I don’t stress too much with needing to remember everything all at once.

    let me know if you need help with japanese. i’d love to help! ^^

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 November, 2012 at 10:23 AM

      Thank you!!! Yeahh I’m feeling the steepness already, and I’m nowhere near being able to comprehend much. Nevertheless, it’s awesome!

      Woah N2 is really great! Take a break and one day you might find yourself wanting to strive for N1 again (:

      Thanks for offering, will ask you when I need help!! 😀 😀

  • Reply
    weixin
    17 November, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    happy belated birthday!! ^^ i missed your previous post >.<

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 November, 2012 at 11:11 PM

      thanks! ^^

  • Reply
    Gina
    17 November, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Hello, first off I have to say that you are really super duper pro in your Korean and you have every right to be proud of yourself for it 🙂 No worries for Japanese, I could only read a children’s book meant for 4 year old children or something when I started self-studying Japanese this year lol; I studied for three years in a language institute prior and at no stage could I read any Japanese book 🙁 N5 is passable after a while or so of reading some passages and getting the basic grammatical structures down and I think it’s easier than TOPIK in the sense that there’s no writing T.T All the best for Japanese and Korean! 🙂

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 November, 2012 at 11:14 PM

      Thanks Gina! 😀 Oooh didn’t know that JLPT doesn’t contain writing component >< hahaha I'm so new to Japanese ><;;

  • Reply
    Maria
    20 November, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Hi, Shanna!
    I have a question for you. Don’t know where I am to ask it, so I’ll write it here.
    What do you think is more effective: learning and revising material that is more or less familiar to you (in order to solidify your knowledge) or moving forward but struggling really hard?

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