… the homework this week (as I guess how it will be for weeks to come) is to master a set of vocabulary (around 50 words a week).Like you, I hate memorizing and to have a word stick to my head I will have to know the usage.I feel like I have to run to someone with more experience in learning Korean to confirm this:Do you think Korean has more words than English (for example, they have a lot of word that has the meaning ‘stop’ with each own usage, etc)or is it because I’m still in beginner phase and things would go better after this?
I’m sorry if I don’t make my question clear. I’m checking the new words (the homework words are all verbs) into the Naver dictionary firstthen I’ll try to make up new sentences, usually with different nouns, only to find out that I have to use another verb to be paired with those nouns.It’s frustrating! *but not in any way this would make me give up Korean! ㅋㅋ
What do you think about this? Do you have any trick to master the word usage? Thank you for your time and have a nice day~~
Firstly, I am really against the idea of have the course objective as ‘master a set of vocabulary in xx time’. Sure, setting a goal is good but personally I prefer ‘qualitative goals’ than ‘quantitative goals’ in language learning. The thought that I need to remember/know/memorise a certain number of words turns me off the learning process.
To address one of the questions, I don’t really think Korean has more words than English. There are probably words that cannot be translated to English, but likewise some English expressions do not have an equivalent in Korean.. so I guess it all balances out?
As of the main issue of word usage, I think the person is referring to collocations (correct me if I’m wrong). For example, stop.
stop: 멈추다, 서다, 세우다, 그만하다, 중단하다 끝나다 etc (and the list goes)
and the question is: how is each used?
time stops: you have to say 시간을 멈추다 and not any other verbs.
Personally, I have never thought about this issue before. Looking back, that is indeed a huge difficulty. But why is it that I’ve never thought about this issue before?
I think it’s because I’ve never tried thinking / conceptualising Korean in terms of English. And that I always focus on the present, small steps at a time, instead of the far away goal.
First issue. I think it’s really dangerous to conceptualise a foreign language in terms of your native language, no matter how close or far apart the two languages are. I learn each word in Korean one at a time, and with every new verb, I learn the nouns that goes with it. I don’t care how English does it, I am learning a whole new system from scratch and thus, I don’t try to compare. Every language has it’s own logic and beauty. Do not try to question why certain expressions are expressed in such a complicated way etc. Take things as it is.
Second issue. If you look at learning a foreign language as a whole, you will probably be scared of how much you have to learn. Words, expressions, idioms, culture etc etc. It’s endless. Looking at the far away goal will only make you give up easily. For me, I’ve never thought about ‘being fluent in Korean’ when I was a beginner. I just love the process of learning. Picking up the language bit by bit. Sure, I do get frustrated when my progress is slow sometimes, but I’ve never thought about things like ‘when will I ever get fluent? / why is it taking so long?’. I always look back, instead of forward (in some sense). I always think back and am amazed by myself of how much I managed to progress without even noticing it. (okay I sound a little …. arrogant xD)
How I do it.
First. Stop worrying. ^^
Learn the words in context. For example if you come across a text that goes ….. 시간을 멈추다….., look up the word that you don’t know.
You will probably see tons of examples and collocations (nouns that this verb is used with). Do not panic. You can read through them and get a sense of the types of nouns that are usually used with the verb.
But, you just need to remember 시간 is used with 멈추다.
This is the context that you have seen the verb in. So just remember that. (NOT MEMORIZE).
As you progress in your learning, I’m sure you will come across 멈추다 again in other contexts. Look up the word again, and this time, learn it in its new context. At the same time, read through the other entries in the dictionary.
Personally, I find that I tend to remember most of the collocations after looking at the entry a few times (in different context and time). Trust me, you get even better after awhile. Now, I can easily look up a word and possibly remember everything about the word – how it is used etc. Although I wont be able to use it productively, I can comprehend it when I next see it ^^
This is just one method and it may not work for everybody. Find something that you are comfortable with. That is what I always say.
Let me know your opinions on the issue too!!
If you have any other questions about learning Korean and would like a detailed answer, feel free to leave a comment or email me (works better) and give me permission to use your email in a blog post! ^^
I tend to answer more in details in a blog post rather than in a personal email. But still, I reply to all emails (just that the content is more succinct and to the point). ㅋㅋㅋ I tend to be long winded in blog posts 😀