6 In Korean learning journey (:/ korean studying tools

Skewed proficiency

I always end up eating my words. I’ve said that I won’t be blogging due to the upcoming finals but here I am, blogging even more often than usual. Strangely, I have been very motivated to study Korean these few days and lament the fact that I have to dedicate some of my time for school work. O.o

When I first started learning Korean, there was a very interesting Korean medical documentary (생로병사의 비밀 / 生老病死的秘密 ) airing on TV. It was subbed in Chinese and I enjoyed watching it, even though I don’t understand what they are saying at all. It’s no longer airing in Singapore but the series is still continuing in Korea. Recently, I started looking for it online and found a few episodes here and there. Here’s part 1 of the episode on menstrual pains 😀

For every episode, I’m really happy to say that I understand like 92% of it (save for the really specialised medical terms) and I could follow the entire episode with ease. The important parts (interview with patients/doctors) are subbed in Korean, so reading it helps alot too. Once I checked out the medical terms on Naver, I can say that my comprehension level improved to around 98% 😀 Most of the medical terms either have a basis in Chinese or English, so it’s not too hard to make an educated guess too (:

I love learning from such content. You get to improve on listening, speaking, reading all at one go! Plus, you gain new knowledge. ^^ This documentary is really well made and you can see that alot of effort was put into it.

The title of this post is ‘skewed proficiency’. So what’s so skewed, you ask? xD

Ans: My comprehension of variety / gagmen shows are like erm 30%?

To tell the truth, I have never followed variety shows before. For some reason, I just wasn’t interested. I can’t remember the titles of the talkshows that I’ve watched once or twice. But my comprehension of it is pitiful. Gagmen tend to talk really fast (in my opinion) and the fleeting subs/captions doesn’t help. Once all the slangs / variety show lingo comes out, I will be like O.o? My friend had to pause the video every few seconds to explain a new slang to me :/

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  • Reply
    7 December, 2010 at 12:40 AM

    You can try searching Clubbox for these.

    Clubbox is pretty old but every single obscure video I wanted, I found it there.

    How obscure? How about the Sweeney Todd Musical performance with the Korean Cast?
    (It is pretty awesome by the way!) There isn’t any official DVD release (with the Korean Cast), I don’t think there are DVD releases of English musicals with a korean cast period!

    As for variety shows, the current ones now don’t really interest me all that much tbh. Even Happy Together was a lot ‘fun-er’ during the 1st season. What I really dislike about the korean broadcasting companies, if a show is doing great, they ALWAYS have to tweak it a little bit and end up spoiling the whole thing, and if it results in lower ratings, the show gets scrapped. So annoying!

    Yashimanman, X-man, Love Letter…variety gold!

    • Reply
      7 December, 2010 at 7:56 AM

      ohh okies will try that out, thanks!!

      I’ve heard alot of awesome things about X-man but I haven’t had the chance to catch any episodes yet!

  • Reply
    7 December, 2010 at 5:31 AM

    I kind of have the opposite problem. Nearly all the Korean shows I watch are either music shows (뮤직 뱅크, 쇼 음악 중심, 도전천곡, etc.) or variety/reality shows (해피 투게더, 스타 골든벨, 영웅호걸, 청춘불패, 패밀리가 떴다, etc.), so my vocabulary is much more biased toward the words that are more common on those shows. Documentaries would probably baffle me in comparison (though I do have some of those, so I need to go back and rewatch them).

    That’s probably why I know terms for several vegetables/plants (corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, soybeans, etc.; mostly thanks to 청춘불패, though 패밀리가 떴다 helped) but still don’t know most of the basic terms for the parts of the human body yet…lol

    • Reply
      7 December, 2010 at 7:56 AM

      its interesting how the type of content we are exposed to shape our vocabulary! I don’t think i know many of the vegetable terms, besides the common ones >,< I think i'm severely lacking in vocabulary that has got to do with household items

      I shall try out some variety shows during the hols!

  • Reply
    15 December, 2010 at 11:59 PM

    I can understand about 30% of an unsubbed korean drama but I couldn’t understand anything of the video you posted purely by listening (without reading the captions). I guess it depends on what Korean material we expose ourself to.

    Like a foreigner doing a homestay program Korea without exposure to stuff like MVs and Kdramas (pretty impossible IMO :P) would probably learn words like “Can you pass the kimchi?” or “I can’t find the spoon” and other household objects. Whereas for me the first few korean terms I picked up were from korean dramas and korean music – expressions and stuff like,”가지마!” or “나쁜놈” which I don’t think occurs often in daily situations. I realized this recently when a friend asked me what’s the korean word for bed (which I didn’t know), the korean word for chopsticks (which I also didn’t know). So yea, I REALLY GOTTA GO TO KOREA someday!!! So I can learn terms that people actually use!!! HAHA 🙂

    • Reply
      18 December, 2010 at 11:24 PM

      hahaha!! yes korea! 😀 one day i was cracking my head on what lifts/elevators are called in korean. it took me so long to realise that it’s just 엘리베이터. -.-

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