Category Archives: Inspiration

eSports has always been a passion of mine. I am a very competitive person and video games are my greatest hobby, it all makes sense really. eSports was also one of the key things that got me into Korean culture actually. Watching StarCraft, trying to figure out why these Koreans are so much better than all of us.

With that said, Korean commentary is SO fun. It’s so energetic and even if there’s boring parts they fill it up wonderfully and it’s just a pleasure to listen to in general. With the League of Legends All-stars going on in Paris right now I’ve had two streams open simultaneously to get high quality video, with Korean audio. It’s so good!

OGN has been wonderful this tournament and has put the VODs on their Youtube channel! Here’s a tidbit…

It’s so cool, they talk really REALLY fast at times, but even so I can understand quite a lot which is such a confidence booster ^^

The infamous F word… fluency! Haha! Recently I’ve been reading up on the theory of language acquisition instead of actually doing my Korean studies, which is kind of funny if you ask me. However, I stumbled across a blog post titled “Tips For Developing Fluency Early” by HowToLanguages and it had some interesting points.

The 7 points he mentions are:

1. Study sentences rather than words in isolation.
2. Read out loud in your target language from the beginning.
3. Memorize frequently used “chunks” of language.
4. The “Minute Self-Talk Exercise”.
5. Learn some conversational connectors.
6. Shadowing
7. Talk more.

For the full explanations I refer you to his blog instead. While I think some of these are obvious (and I already do them) there are some things that I want to incorporate from now on. First of all, I think studying sentences is a lot more interesting than single words for example.

Another exercise that I really want to try out is the “Minute Self-Talk Exercise”. One of my main problems with Korean is producing actual content of my own. If I read or hear something, (and I know the vocabulary), I will understand right away. Producing my own sentences is always problematic, probably because of a lacking vocabulary. What I noticed from most of the points above, most of them are focused on remembering vocabulary simply by using it.

I’m doing the flashcard thing andI am great at remembering lists and what not… but it’s just too boring to keep up. Yes I know the word “psychology” in Korean, but c’mon? When would I ever use that (in the near future). Let’s give these exercises a shot! :)

Short ramble update… I’ve been working hard on my vocabulary lately and I already notice it paying off. I catch more words in dramas or music… I can read faster because I don’t have to go to a dictionary, sometimes I can even predict what a word means because it’s very similar. (On that note I should really try looking at Hanja some more).

Aside from the 2000 words book I bought, I downloaded a 3000+ Anki wordslist that’s proving to be very helpful. Learning vocabulary is kinda boring, but I’m trying to make it a habit… the rewards are simply too great.

With that out of the way, some of the words keep coming back. It’s always the same ones too… pretty funny actually.

I just had to post this when I noticed a bunch of words in the drama I was watching… End of ramble!

Alright so I haven’t posted in nearly 2 weeks and I feel really bad about it. The truth is school work is piling up again because I’m still working too much to actually earn money for my expensive lifestyle (l0l, why are flight tickets to Korea so expensive?). That or maybe I should not have bought that PlayStation 4. You might have guessed it already, this blog post is not entirely about Korean.

Failing school by being intimidated.
Alright, so maybe I’m not working this much just because I want to earn money. The truth is that I’m failing school because for some unknown reason I have become intimidated by the programming assignments. Is this intimidation justified? Not at all. I finally proved that today.

What happened today you may ask? Well, I actually finished implementing Tf-Idf in C++ which, just 2 days ago, I considered to be too hard or too bothersome. Within effectively 5 to 10 hours I now have a fully operational solution which in my opinion is very elegant. Let me just say it right now. This project was easy, and I underestimated myself heavily.

Does this affect my Korean as well?
Unfortunately, I think so. I sucked at learning languages in high school. I was actually so bad that I had to study too many hours for a 55% passing grade. I was absolutely convinced that languages were not my thing and that I would not be able to learn any, ever. (Except of course English, because c’mon… I’m from the internet!)

The only thing I remember being good at in language learning was vocabulary. I was able to push words into my memory like no other. 50+ words a day without much hassle. In fact, I was able to do about 20 to 30 for Korean too when I finished learning Hangul. I remember using Memrise for this, back when it just launched.

Right now though, I’m not learning any vocabulary at all. I learn some new ones in my iTalki lessons which I hope will have stuck around until the next lesson. I’m forgetting words I knew before and so on. Am I underestimated myself again? Pretty sure I am.

What does this mean?
With the actual proof that I can do a good job if I just do it I have finally started up Memrise again. I also intend to create a special section here on the blog which will list all the words I know with some fancy filters such as word categories, date learned or just sorted by Jamo. Look forward to it!

Due to poor time management (as always) I had to struggle in the final weeks towards the exam week to get things going. Fortunately I think I did quite well and hope to pass my courses this block. What it does mean is that Korean has been on the side, again -_-“.

Personally I think it is time for me to release an official schedule, here on the internet. That means that if I do not follow said schedule the internet will come and get me! Right?

Day Subject
Monday iTalki lesson review. A summary of points covered.
Tuesday Reading & pronunciation practice.
Wednesday Writing practice.
Thursday Textbook exercises.
Friday iTalki lesson review. A summary of points covered.
Sunday Korean related programming stuff.

So yes, a schedule with 6 out of 7 days in the week filled. Which in my terms is very ambitious and I’m unsure if I will be able to actually do this all the time. I will do my best however to make this habit stick because in the end, it’s all for myself and I need it!

While I understand that the purpose of a tag-post is that you are asked to do it by being “tagged”. I am still going to fill it in, pretty sure Hangukdrama won’t mind!

1. Why Korean?

The hardest and most predictable question of all. I got into StarCraft and Korea was the best at it. It got me into the music and culture. The language sounded so awesome and I was fascinated by the characters. After trying to pickup 한글 for fun (which only took me a few days) I kind of went on to study more.

2 . Daum or Naver (dictionary I mean)?

Naver

3. First website that you visit everyday?

Teamliquid

4. Best thing that happened to you? (related to learning Korean)

The amount of respect I received for actually trying (and succeeding) in having conversations and asking questions during my stay in Korea.

5. Ever regretted learning Korean?

Not yet, I regret not working harder though.

6. Most common feedback/question you get when you say you are learning Korean?

“Why?”. Not sure if I can blame people for it, but it’s kind of annoying I guess.

7. First Korean food that comes to your mind?

비빔밥. It’s so easy to make, cheap everywhere but oh my… so good!

8. Most overrated Korean drama?

Dream High 2, that was just really bad and should not be watched. (Quit like 2 eps in.)

9. Most underrated Korean drama?

I’ll be fair, none come to mind. Probably because I have not watched enough of the more unknown stuff. I’d say a weekend drama but they are all so long that I never finish them.

10.Latest milestone in learning Korean?

Releasing a Korean Indie game on the Korean app stores.

11. Favorite Korean word / phrase?

똑똑하다. There is something about a sound like knocking on a door, (“Ttok Ttok”, don’t mind me while I cringe from using romanization), that means to be smart / intelligent. So funny!

12. Name 3 people (fictional / real) who motivate / influence your Korean learning journey

Hangukdrama, she’s been there and done that. It’s great to know that it’s possible with the right mindset and I hope to follow her towards fluency!

I’ll be slightly unfair, I want to name all the wonderful people that I met in Korea. I’m learning to communicate with them better too!

13. Secret ambition / goal (relating to Korean)

Being part of a Korean game development team!

14. I want to sound like _____ when I speak Korean

Kim Jong Kook, hahaha!

15. Best compliment received (for Korean)

(From restaurant owner without menu with pictures). 와… 영어 필요없습니다! (Wow, No English necessary!)

16. When is the last time you sat down and study Korean?

Today!

17. Favorite textbook?

Grammar in Use, to be fair I haven’t used many other textboos but it’s just really well structured.

18. Special people you met (online or otherwise) through Korean?

All the people I met in Korea and my iTalki Korean teachers.

19. How has learning Korean changed you / your life?

I don’t watch American shows anymore, and in the rare occasion that I do I have Korean subtitles.

Korean keyboards on all my devices.

My search engine is now Google Korea

I’ve started using the typical Korean sounds. For example when acknowledging what people say or the sounds of frustration.

20. Ever dreamt in Korean?

Yes.

21. Single best thing about learning Korean?

Picking up something new in a song you know or a movie you’re watching again. Basically the realization that you’ve learned something new without immediately realizing it.