14 In Korean learning journey (:

Effort pays off


It really does. I’ve been aggressively reading in Korean for the past few days, and already I can feel myself improving in a few areas. Firstly, my reading speed jumped a notch again. One year ago, I can only read one difficult news article a day because I simply take too long to plough through all the compound and long sentences peppered with hanja. Now, I can read several a day, although still not at the speed in which I read English. But it’s a lot of improvement already!! I’m actually reading very comfortably (:

My vocabulary has now expanded too!! It’s always expanding but I can feel a significant difference. How do I put it….? I think I’ve added a few new genres / areas to my reading proficiency. What is more surprising is that my speaking skills have improved too hehehe. More like the range of topics I can talk about. Seriously, you can’t expect to talk about something you have never read about, especially for foreign languages. Reading exposes you to the grammar structure / vocabulary used in that topic and obviously your general knowledge will improve too! So I was damn surprised at myself that I could actually say something about certain topics when normally I can’t! hehe so cool!

Obviously I’m still lacking in a lot of areas, but I’ll work hard!! Just wanted to share that amazing feeling 😀

But the direction I’m going to is quite…. mmm. I can actually confidently say I know a lot more about what’s going on in Korea compared to in Singapore. I watch Korean news, read Korean articles and generally have a better sense of what’s happening in Korea. -____- I am actually clueless about my own country (time is limited, I spend all my time on Korean). A stupid thing to do, since I’m ultimately in Singapore, not Korea. -____- Probably will fail in all those interviews etc that require me to talk about current affairs hahaha. I’m stubborn and stupid like this. I’m impressing Koreans with my general knowledge but I probably can’t impress any Singaporeans. I should learn to be more practical. FML.

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  • Reply
    Charles Vought
    20 February, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    It greatly saddens me when you call yourself stupid or use terms like FML. As far as i can see your amazing determination and resiliance has brought you expanded knowledge of another culture and a new skill not many people attampt to cultivate (that is, actively pursuing another language for pleasure). At least i dont know of many. I am aspiring to be half as dedicated as you are and am envious of your skills. I can bearly read one line of Korean and ive been studying for months (on and off) by myself. So what if you’re more up to date on Korean news…..if that is what you are interested and passionate about dam everyone else; if they dont share your interest so what. Rock on girl!!

    • Reply
      21 February, 2013 at 6:06 PM

      I wish there are more people who appreciate my skills / passions. Everyone is incredibly pragmatic here and so far, my skills are either outrightly considered unneeded or not seen as a skill at all D: And people always ask me … “So what can you do with this?” haha. As of now, I still don’t have an answer for them hahaha. But me being me, I’m going to continue pursuing what I love XD

  • Reply
    20 February, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Just wonder if now you are able to quarrel well with native koreans and use extremely “bad” words???

    • Reply
      21 February, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      ROFL Technically, I should be able to. Just that I don’t think I’ll ever have the guts to try. Somehow I’m a super polite person when speaking in Korean and I defer a lot to the elders. hahaha. Unless I’m majorly pissed, I don’t think I’ll ever find out the answer to your question 😛

  • Reply
    20 February, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Hola! I’m so proud of u and your achievements. I started reading a korean novel. Took me hours just to figure out the cover. Lol. I wanted to know if u can recommend a good online dictionary. I own two hard copy dictionaries but its not enough. Gamsa hamnida. ^_^

    • Reply
      21 February, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      hola!! Mmm I love the Naver dictionary. I use both endic.naver.com and krdic.naver.com 😀

  • Reply
    20 February, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    I think you’re so right about the “genres”. You might not know everything about a topic in your own language, but at least you will be able to say *something* because you have a certain vocabulary. In a foreign language you’re completely lost if you don’t know the words even if you actually know something about the topic – be it about baseball scoring systems or some advanced political subject.

    Hehe, I do try to stay somewhat up to date with what happens where I live, but sometimes if I sit and look pensive over dinner, my mum actually asks me “are you in Korea?” as if I’m only physically present at home and mentally left.

    • Reply
      21 February, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      hehehe!! I think I’m always in that state. My mind has never left Korea OTL I need to try to keep up with the local news too.

  • Reply
    21 February, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    Hey Shanna ^^

    I just want to say that I’m really happy for you that you’ve seen some improvement with your Korean ! I’m reading your blog almost everyday (except when I’m super busy xD) and I sometimes wish you and I could be friends so we could study together ^^ Unfortunately I’m only mid-intermediate level so that won’t do 😛 Your determination really motivates me while I’m already super motivated myself so that makes me a hugely hyper motivated person XD.

    Also, I have a small question I’m curious about. I’ve bought a lot of books according to your reviews and I’ve never been disapointed ! So I wanted to ask you if you knew those two books (or heard about them) :

    – Korean Composition (by KLEAR – uni of hawaii)

    – Korean Reader for Chinese Characters (by KLEAR – uni of hawaii)

    Those books look exactly like some books that I would love to work with but I wonder if they are as good as they seem. Our teacher gave us one lesson of “Korean Reader for Chinese Characters ” and I found it pretty well made !!! And I really need to train my Korean writing skills so I thought I’d give some thoughts on buying the “Korean Composition”. I’ve never read about those books on internet yet, so I’m a bit sceptical about buying them.

    Thank you again for your superb blog and I hope to hear your opinion on those books ^^ You’re great and I hope we can somewhat meet someday and share discussions on our passion for language learning ^^

    ps: sorry if my english is a bit iffy it’s not my mother language ^^

    • Reply
      21 February, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      hello!! I haven’t seen Korean COmposition, so I can’t really comment. But I really like the KLEAR series, so I think you can’t really go wrong with them. As for the 2nd book….. I’ve flipped through it and I quite like it. Didn’t look at it in details because I know Chinese and thus have no need for the book.

      • Reply
        21 February, 2013 at 6:45 PM

        Thank you for your answer !! 😀 Have a nice day 🙂

  • Reply
    21 February, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    haha actually if u were to go for interviews in korea, it would help alot if u knew more about sg (this is where all ur social studies stuff comes in handy, n also general knowledge abt economy, politics etc). cos they are interested in u cos ure different (ie not korean), n also they spend alot of time talking abt korea with korean candidates.

    also, because u are a foreigner, they tend to ask u more simple questions, and topics which they think r familiar to u (hence more about sg). not saying that u dont need to know about korean news too hehe, im sure tt can work to ur advantage in sg too if they see how passionate n well-versed u r about some other thing!

    • Reply
      21 February, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      hahaha ohya that’s true!! Must aim to be different XD sighh, I guess I just have to be good in both!

  • Reply
    22 February, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    After 3 months in Yonsei, I think I read Korean faster than I do Chinese. And I grew up in a Chinese-speaking family. So this is rather tragic, I must say. A few days ago I said to my mom “哇! 这个真好吃。吃了会中毒。” She stopped crunching on the cookie midway and stared at me. Ah. I just meant that the cookies were addictive… (중독). I must stop translating Korean into Chinese…

    I’m signed up for TOPIK 고급 this April, but I can’t get my act together. BLAH. Anyway, just to share with you something funny… I stumbled upon this image during one of my classes in Yonsei and I spent the rest of the lesson trying to rein in my laughter… dunno why but I found it hilarious.


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