I mentioned in one of my earlier posts this year that I was attempting to teach myself Korean. Some of you might be wondering about that decision because it is a little weird.
As I went insane due to the stress of the last semester and lay in bed unable to sleep night after night I wanted to listen to music but nothing I had in my iTunes library was calling out to me.
For some reason my brain suddenly remembered that it had at one time possibly heard of a K-Pop group called Girls Generation (SNSD). I decided to Google them since it was roughly two in the morning and I probably wouldn’t fall asleep for another two hours.
Girls Generation, unbeknownst to me was an endless pit of glorious music. I found out that not only do I really like K-Pop, I like K-Indie music and K-Hip-Hop and just pretty much anything that comes out of the music scene in Korea.
I don’t know if its the cadence of the Korean language or the fact that pop style singing in front of dubstep-esque electronic music is actually really good to listen to although I don’t often like music in either genre in English.
I started looking further into some of the groups I really enjoyed and watching interviews and variety shows with the members because singers in Korea are not just singers they do everything in the entertainment industry.
One particular time I wanted to watch a Weekly Idol episode with Block B but I couldn’t find it translated into English, I could however find one translated into Spanish and since I have taken approximately five and a half years of Spanish classes I was able to follow along and understand what was being said.
However, I had a realization as I was translating a translation that I might be losing some of what they are saying because it might not have been accurately translated the first time or I was not quite translating it correctly because words in all three languages don’t always line up in the same way.
It was at this point that I figured I might as well try learning the language itself. My school doesn’t have Korean classes so it was up to myself to look into ways of learning Korean.
I have been using an online program for last three weeks or so and I feel like I am making good progress. I am fairly decent at reading Hangul (albeit very, very, VERY slowly) and I know a handful of useful set phrases. I can also count a bit in both the native Korean number system and the Sino-Korean number system.
I am excited to continue with this endeavor into the new year and it has also had me wondering whether I would enjoy teaching English in Korea.
At the moment I’m not sure, but I am definitely looking into it.
If you are wondering what my favorite K-pop groups are, here are a few:
If you are wondering how difficult it is to learn a language on my own I will talk a bit about that as well:
I have always picked up languages rather quickly and the Korean writing system (Hangul) makes more sense than any other and I don’t know why we don’t all use it.
The main problem with learning the language myself is pacing myself. I have a tendency to either get distracted and neglect studying for a few days or doing too much at once and becoming slightly overwhelmed with the chunk of vocabulary I assigned myself by doing too many lessons at once.
I am working on pacing myself better in the new year and purchased a Korean-English dictionary yesterday. When I have saved up some more money and purchased my textbooks for school I am also looking into buying a physical Textbook and workbook so that I have some assignments to do because the online program has lessons and vocabulary but not practical uses for them other than a sample dialogue.
I don’t have a teacher with a lesson plan organized in a way to pace out what I’m learning properly. I don’t have lesson Monday, review Wednesday, and test Friday. I should probably try doing that because it would spread out the time well but at the moment I don’t know if I can pull that off for myself.
I should really get back to studying I think it will be my Pied Piper for a while calling to me softly.