9 In Korean learning journey (:

when does the words get into your head?

horrible title, i know. >< But I can’t think of a better one now.

Don’t really know if there’s such a thing scientifically, but for me, I seem to have 2 sets of vocabulary in Korean:

  1. vocabulary that I can use
  2. vocabulary that I understand (perfectly) when I come across it, but it’s not in my ‘working vocabulary’

For the vocab items in the 2nd set, I can’t seem to apply them in my writings. Actually, if you examine my writings in Korean, you will find that I’m using the same kinds of grammar constructions with a certain range of vocab. It serves me well enough to talk about situations/stuff in my daily life, but it sure doesn’t help when I want to talk about more sophisticated topics.

Although I’m getting quite good at reading and translating entertainment news (haha pardon the lack of modesty XD), I can’t seem to write a drama review in Korean. I’ll probably be saying 재밌어요 and repeating myself 192308023 times.

So why isn’t the vocabulary entering Vault 1? But at the same time, it’s true that my ‘working vocabulary’ is increasing slowly(?).

How does that really work?

I have no idea. But I’m wondering if the frequency to which I’m exposed to the elements help. If I keep reading and reading and practicing, will it come to me in the end?

Perhaps only time can answer this question. A few months down the road, I’ll see if I can write a decent drama review… in Korean. XD


Currently working through a news article on education in Korea. ^^ Interesting.

Have tons of academic work waiting for me, but I shall pretend that they don’t exist at this moment 😀

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  • Reply
    11 February, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    I’m already envious of u being able to translate entertainment news. keke~ I’m still really slow at that. Where do you get your Korean studying materials? ^^

    • Reply
      11 February, 2010 at 10:51 AM

      keke you can look under my ‘korean language resources’ page for the materials (: I usually borrow them from the lib. the books i have are usually from BBC or kino ^^

      don’t worry, practice makes perfect! I used to take 2 hrs for one article ><

  • Reply
    11 February, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    i knowww what you mean!

    i think it’s the same with my mandarin too since i don’t actually use it much (if at all). my active mandarin vocab is horrendous 😛

    • Reply
      11 February, 2010 at 4:52 PM

      haha my literacy in mandarin is on the decline too! ):

      • Reply
        11 February, 2010 at 5:02 PM

        oh yah, i forgot to mention a method that i found really helpful.. and that is as soon as i learn a new word i try to use it as far as possible..

        over the past few months i’ve increased my active vocab by quite a bit simply by having to speak korean 8 hours a day! 🙂

    • Reply
      11 February, 2010 at 5:05 PM

      sounds like a great idea! (: I’ll try it out!
      I wish I could be speaking korean 8 hrs a day, but i think i’ll be really drained and tired after an hour. >< the processing load on my brain is too much as of now XD

  • Reply
    11 February, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    haha i totally get what you mean! but i realized that alot of it comes down to the fact that you self-study.. now that i’m taking korean in school, alot of the grammar and vocab that i come across while self-studying make more sense to me and it’s much easier to apply them (cos the teacher forces us to make sentences for everything that we just learn).. also cos sometimes books don’t really explain clearly the differences between certain types of vocab/grammar!

    • Reply
      11 February, 2010 at 4:54 PM

      hmm yeah come to think of it, that’s really true. I’m not really ‘forced’ to apply them and hence my knowledge is more passive than active. >< Hopefully I can cure this in Korea (if I get to go!)

  • Reply
    5 February, 2011 at 8:10 AM

    Same here. I memorize a lot of words, but I don’t use them when speaking or writing. I tend to use the same vocabs and grammar pattern (that I’m most comfortable with – what I find easy for me) whenever I construct my own sentences. ^^ practice… practice… i need to practice more.

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