13 years learning languages, 13 years writing about language learning. It’s been such a wonderful journey, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. This space has seen me in my ups and downs, provided solace, motivation and encouragement to me in different stages of my life.
This blog started out as a persona space, and I had wanted to write about my love for Korean dramas – hence the blog name! Over the years, it has evolved to a space where I write about language learning and my journey with languages. I am thankful for each and everyone of you who has stumbled upon this space, and in particular, those who have stayed with me over the years. I actually do remember most (haha don’t dare to say all) of you, and even though we may have never met, I cherish the connections we form here 🙂
13 years. 說長不長，說短不短。It feels long, and yet, when we think of language learning as a lifelong commitment, it feels like I’m still very much a young learner. Language learning has brought me so much joy, and made me fall deeper in love with books and reading. In fact, increasing the number of languages I can read in has increased the number of books I own (and e-books!) and I find myself constantly in a state of having more books than I can read. It’s a happy problem (not so much for my wallet) and I’m always grateful for the ability to enjoy more books in the world.
As I’m typing this, I’m sitting cross-legged in front of my coffee table, and there are at least 10 books on the table, a couple more on the floor and several on the sofa behind me. In this moment, I feel very blessed and happy and I just want to note it down. 🙂
Sometimes, I feel like I need to read more and read faster to “clear” the stack of books. But then I remind myself that reading is meant to be an enjoyable activity, not to be rushed, not to be forced. And so, I shall take my time.
In this anniversary post, I think it’s befitting to talk a little about each of the languages that have brought me so much joy in the past 13 years.
Korean. It’s hard to be an “advanced” learner at times. At times, I feel like I was more motivated when I was an intermediate learner. As I’m very partial to textbooks (ahahha), it was very clear to me that I had so much to work on when there are more advanced textbooks out there. Does it make sense? I know that beyond textbooks, there are so many other books / materials out there and it’s also true that I don’t understand everything perfectly now. But when you reach a somewhat comfortable level of proficiency, I feel a lower drive / motivation. I read more Korean novels these days, but other than that, I’m not doing much to improve my Korean at this point. Time to think a little bit more about how to learn as an advanced learner 🙂
Japanese. My relationship with Japanese is quite interesting. I didn’t prioritise speaking / writing, given that I was more keen to be able to enjoy Japanese media content as a “goal”. I read a lot, I listened a lot. I write at times, but I don’t speak. hahaha. In the end, I have a very skewed Japanese proficiency where reading >> listening >>>> writing >>>>>>>>>> speaking. Not proud of it, so I always tell people, please just try to improve on all four areas and not think that “I only want to be able to read”. Sure, there’s always areas to focus on, but placing too much focus on only one/two areas may bring regrets later on. On the other hand, I’m sure that if I get to spend an extended period of time in a Japanese-speaking environment, I’ll improve quite fast. But unfortunately, doesn’t feel like that will happen anytime soon. And frankly speaking, it’s rather embarrassing (personally) to hold a N2 certification and not speak like one 😛 Recently, I’ve been reading more in Japanese and truly truly loving it. I had spent a couple of years neglecting Japanese (almost) entirely, so I am very glad that the language has not deserted me. Just the other day, I was re-watching something in Japanese and this time round, I had to watch with Spanish subs. It’s amazing that I can now understand everything with ease, and even have bandwidth to read the Spanish subs and try to learn some vocabulary here and there 🙂
Thai. I’m so glad that Thai came into my life last year, and I’m just taking it slow. I don’t know where this journey will bring me, but I am just happy to cruise along and enjoy the sights.
For those who are still reading this, please leave me a comment and say hi! I always lament that blog readers are somewhat a dying breed, and blog commenters even more so 🙂