9 In Korean learning journey (:

Hurdles to overcome

I probably sound like a broken recorder repeating myself again and again, but I still want to emphasize on the difficulties of foreign language learning. It’s too easy to give up learning a language when its not even used in your country/around you. There’s so many hurdles to cross.

  1. can you keep up your motivation/passion or whatever reason that prompted you to take up the language?
  2. with no real exposure to the language, can you really be good in it?
  3. do you have the time to invest in it?
  4. who can you turn to when you have something you dun understand?

Korean is considered a more ‘convenient’ (for lack of a better word) language to learn in Singapore compared to… Russian? xD There are plenty of learning materials around, the Hallyu wave is strong.
But there are still plenty of hurdles to overcome, and I’m sure all language learners know what I mean.

This post is pretty random, so forgive me if I seem to be incoherent.

They say the best way to measure your language proficiency is an oral test/interview and I’m sure many of us are secretly pleased that this component is frequently missing in those foreign proficiency language tests. I’m sure many of us have enough worries over the 쓰기 component in the TOPIK paper (: That being said, I feel that talking on the telephone is a greater challenge compared to a face to face interaction. You can’t rely on gestures, eye contact, body language or anything else that can help convey your meaning. What you have left is your language proficiency and perhaps your tone?

It’s way harder to assess a situation with the reduced number of cues. And awkward silences are made even more obvious and awkward in a phone call. You can’t pretend to be looking at something else and you are not given the leisure of organizing your thoughts and typing them out in skype/msn.

That is why I tend to avoid telephone calls before I was confident enough in my Korean. Prior to the Korea trip, I have spoken on the phone once or twice. OMG. Awkwardness/nervousness to the max!
I would be urming and hmming at the person and I’m positive my face were red and palms sweaty. hahaha

The Korea trip seemed to did alot of good. I was able to talk for more than an hour on the phone (in Korean of course) and the awkward silences were reduced. Now that I’m back in sunny Singapore, my skills have somehow rusted alittle. But I’m pretty happy to say that I managed to hold a 25 min phone conversation with someone that I’ve never spoken to prior to the call!! Okay, I admit that there were some awkward silences on my side and the other person had to go 여보세요? once. hahaha.

I’m positive many of my Korean friends have been cheated by my ‘proficiency’ in written Korean hahahaha 😀 I shall aim to speak at least as fluently as I write! Mr. Speaking will have a hard time chasing after Ms. writing and Mr. reading will always be ahead! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ
Before I start spouting more nonsense, let me go back to my book! ^^

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  • Reply
    3 January, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    i always have a hard time speaking too! have absolutely no confidence in it =( wish there was someone i could practice with here in singapore!

    • Reply
      4 January, 2011 at 10:07 PM

      you should go make korean friends! try the exchange students in your school 😀

  • Reply
    3 January, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    I panic during phone calls. hahaha
    on Nye, a friend called me and started rattling away. While I have my replies all put together in my mind, what came out of my mouth was in English. :/

    • Reply
      4 January, 2011 at 10:08 PM

      hahaha i only started to speak korean after i went korea >,< it's just hard to use a foreign tongue!

      • Reply
        5 January, 2011 at 11:29 AM

        I think most of it has to do with being self-conscious…it’s not like we don’t know what to say. But just can’t!

  • Reply
    5 January, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    On another note, I started watching Dream High, it’s kinda interesting seeing a whole bunch of idols in the same drama but….don’t know…feels like something is missing. Miss A’s Suzy surprises me though.

    • Reply
      5 January, 2011 at 3:46 PM

      i havent start on that yet! more interested in kim tae hee’s my princess 😀 but dream high looks very appealing visually!! xD

      • Reply
        5 January, 2011 at 6:32 PM

        It’s kinda fun in a way. It’s a little odd seeing people from ongoing, or recently ended dramas all working together…so far 2 ajusshis from Secret Garden and Daemul have been making me feel a little disorientated. Then there’s the guy from World’s Within. Their previous roles are still fresh in my mind!

        I haven’t started on My Princess, but tempted to start on Athena. Ahh but I have so many assignments due and I’ve been procrastinating. Not good not good.

  • Reply
    5 February, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    I also have cheated a lot of people. my proficiency in writing and listening is definitely far from my speaking skills. 😀

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