5 years ago, when I tell people that I self study Korean, spend a lot of time learning Korean and run a blog talking about learning Korean, I get a range of reactions. The nicer people will give me a bewildered look and go “ah I see ….. …. . . (silence)” while the others will be like “so how is it going to help in your career?” “why are you wasting your time doing this?” and all sorts of belittling remarks.
Now I still get a range of reactions. From the “oh so you are kpop crazy” (minority reaction since almost everyone is kpop crazy lol) to “WOAH so cool!!” “wow I hope to be as good in Korean next time” “so amazing that you can self study a language!”. hahahaha.
Thank you kpop, for making my life better and getting so many compliments lol.
Kinda ironic how something that was seen as “useless” is now seen as “cool”. Not that it’s a bad change but to be honest, I don’t really care about it. I don’t care how Korean is going to be a “useful language now that there are a lot of opportunities to do business with Korean companies” or that “you are so smart to predict that Korean is going to be so popular now!”. I have always act according to my own interests and will continue to do the same thing. I’m immune to all these trends / popularity / usefulness stuff. -.-
It’s definitely not a bad thing to “ride on the wave” and start learning Korean now. But sometimes I feel like I need to emphasize that I’ve been learning for five years and try to separate myself from those who started to learn recently just because of the “popularity” factor. lol. It’s a stupid thought since the reasonable and logical self in me knows that there are also a lot of people who are starting to learn now because they are interested in the language and even if they join it because of the “trendy” factor, there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s no such thing as a “better” reason to learn a language. Besides, who am I to judge? ㅋㅋ
But the emotional self in me still feel that way, possibly because of all the criticism and all the shit stuff I have to endure just because at that point in time, it wasn’t common to learn the language. I was going through a difficult period at that time and all the shit stuff just made me feel even worse but I felt even more sure that I have to protect my own interests and to believe in myself and my choices.
I’m sure a lot of people who have started learning for quite some time knows what I mean (about the negative comments). I get it a lot more because I dedicate a large part of my life to the language. I’ve had people tell me that I should stop learning Korean and focus on more pragmatic stuff. #truestory
A few years back I have that strong urge to succeed with my Korean skills and prove those who belittle my choices / decisions etc wrong. hahaha sadly I’m still very much unaccomplished and yeah.. haha. That kind of thoughts have subside over the years. Why should I answer to others and why must I prove you wrong? I should answer only to myself and if the path I take makes me happy, it should be enough. Even if I don’t succeed with Korean (or don’t succeed at all ㅠㅠㅠ) I’m still very happy that Korean is part of my life.
Same with Japanese. I have no goal in mind when I decided that Japanese is also going to be part of my life. I just feel happy doing so and I’m enjoying the process of learning a new language and culture. (:
p.s. I’m trying to be honest here, so please don’t twist my words and think that I’m trying to say that I’m “better” than those who are learning because of kpop. lol. Part of the reason I learnt Korean was because of 궁 hahaha.