This is part of an ongoing special series when 1-2 Korean learners/bloggers each week are invited to share their Korean learning journey! It will be nice if you can leave a comment after reading! ^^ To participate in the series, check out this post. Check out previous entries HERE.
Special Series – Korean Learners
By Syakirah A Malik
For me, I started liking KPOP since 2009 and what started off as simply a liking towards music, handsome boys and pretty girls, it developed into something deeper than that.
It has been three years since I watched my first KPOP video which at that time was ‘Ring Ding Dong’ by SHINee, I feel like I am slowly progressing into something more. Last year, I started to take interest in the Korean language and culture apart from just their music and dramas.
I thought to myself, “This is really interesting. I am actually listening to songs and watching dramas in a language that I never thought I would.” With that thought, I decided to delve deeper in getting to know more about the language and culture.
Since I was mastering Mandarin during the first half of 2011, I could only start learning Korean towards the end of the year. Meaning to say, I am still a beginner and although I can recognize several words and sometimes understand conversations in Korean among people, I believe I still have a long way to go.
As I still have not signed up for any official Korean lessons yet, I am depending a lot online at the moment and I must say that I’m really glad I found Talk To Me In Korean! The website provides PDF files and podcasts for learners like me to fully understand each lesson. I have learnt a lot just by listening to their podcasts and referring to their PDF notes so I highly recommend their website for anyone who is interested to learn Korean.
There are of course a lot of obstacles faced even though it has only been a few months such as figuring out when and when not to use certain words in a sentence. It gets kind of frustrating sometimes but the learning journey has been really fulfilling especially when I can understand certain Korean sentences and conversations.
Personally for me, I used to depend a lot on translation from others when idols tweet or update their me2day but now, I try to figure things out on my own as much as I could. Of course when it gets too complicated, I still wait for translations xD
But that being said, this is how I gauge my learning by slowly translating tweets and me2day updates by my favourite idols.
I have also made lots of online friends who share the same passion as me in learning Korean and we learn a lot from one another. I have also met a couple of them in real life and it feels really good to make new friends while learning Korean at the same time!
I am also the Founder of soKoreal.com, a website that provides daily updates on KPOP news. By updating the website, not only do I get to update myself with KPOP, I get to also practice Korean when translating things like Twitter and me2day updates with the help of my colleagues from the website.
In terms of knowing more about the Korean culture, I have been reading a lot of blog and website entries from various people who have been living in Korea. I learn a lot by reading and it has given me a better idea of what to expect while in Korea. I find it extremely helpful especially with the countless amount of photos that they upload along with their posts. Some of the websites that I frequent to:
I’m heading to Korea in May and I hope that I am able to converse at least in basic Korean. I’m also looking forward to experience the Korean culture when I’m there. My learning journey has just begun and hopefully when I backtrack your post in years to come, I wish that I can confidently say that I have improved in my Korean.
I’m always open to meeting new people and getting to know more about Korea so if anyone is interested, you can find me on Twitter! I also blog frequently so you can find out more about me through my blog!
Thank you for this amazing opportunity Shanna and I hope that more people will contribute so I can read awesome entries by various people! (: