Category Archives: Italki

With reinstating the iTalki lesson reviews I figured that it might need a new format. I am just going to informally go over some of the stuff we covered and leave actual details for possible grammar posts. I am also going to include a little vocabulary section to help me memorize more words across lessons. I’ve finally started managing my vocabulary lists again (with the introduction of the 2000 essential Korean words book). Enough intro, let’s cover the lesson.

The topic of the lesson: 하루 일정
Recently we’ve been covering daily conversation, which at this moment is the most important to me :) As the topic suggests we talked mostly about our daily schedules. One of the issues I am having with Korean is that I sound like a broken record. I will repeat the same sentence structures and swap out only a couple of words. This was especially bad when I was trying to point out my schedule, which is just another list right? Here were a few pointers I got for saying the same thing, just differently. Quite a few options… ^^

  • 전, 후
  • 그럼 (시간)이/가 되다
  • 그러면
  • -아/어서
  • 시작하다, 끝나다
  • 에서, 까지
  • 은/는

My confusion on -아/어서 and the lack of tense
For whatever reason I thought that using -아/어서 still required me to take a tense into account. Apparently it doesn’t. Thinking about it more, it makes perfect sense. The reasoning is directly connected with the sentence and therefore should share the tense right? Here’s an example:

Wrong 늦게 일어났어서 직장에 늦었어요.
Right 늦게 일어나서 직장에 늦었어요

My assignment was to write out a given daily schedule while using the grammar patterns listed above. Write a story that sounds natural with little repetition. Here is my attempt:

5시에 기상해서 6시부터 7시까지 운동해요. 운동한 후에 아침을 먹어요. 그러면 7시반 쯤이 돼요. 그리고 저는 출근해요. 이메일하고 하루 일정을 검토해요. 8시에 회의를 시작해요. 회의 후에는 강의해요. 11시에 사무시간이 있어요. 오후 1시반부터 3시까지 또 강의해요. 5시 쯤에 그 강의를 끝나서 개인 교습을 시작해요. 2시간 후에 퇴근해요. 그러면 9시가 돼요. 그럼 2시간 동안 학교에서 공부하고 숙제를 해요. 11시에는 텔러비전을 봐요. 마지막으로, 1시에 취침해요.

I will update it after I get feedback on it! :)

Korean English
하루 day
일정 schedule
보통 average, usual
대강 approximately
회의 meeting, conference
출근하다 to report for duty (work)
퇴근 to leave the office, to leave work
검토하다 to examine, to review
강의 lecture, class, course
기상하다 to get up, to get out of bed
취침하다 to go to bed
개인 교습 private teaching

So, it’s been 1.5 week since my mom passed away and slowly everything is starting back-up. Today was my first day back at work and I’ll be continuing school next week too. While I can’t say that it’s time to move on, I still think I should try to return to a healthy studying rhythm. If I ever had one that is.

I made some small changes to the blog and I’ve been busy with some Korean side projects that are not yet ready to be released here. I replaced my Resources section at the top with a study progress section. It’s simply a list of my resources but with an actual completion figure + percentage. I’m a numbers guy, don’t blame me 😛

Just before all the chaos I bought a bunch of books and I still owe TwoChois a review of their services. In the meanwhile I also received Integrated Korean (Beginning 1 & 2). I wanted to have these because honestly, Sogang was kind of disappointing, and I heard these were better. I still have to look into them and figure out how my current level holds up against the book, but I figure I’m somewhere around the middle or end of Beginning 2. I will also have to update this in the study progress section.

Finally, I am going to reinstate the iTalki Lesson reviews. So probably a day after a lesson I will do a recap on it here so it will stick better in my brain!

Yep, I’m still alive. Let’s continue… 😛

So last two iTalki lessons I got this pattern bashed into me… and it’s pretty great! I think it makes me sound so much smarter… ㅋㅋ Instead of asking, “Where is it?”, I can now say “Do you know where it is?”. Cool! :)

A/V – (으)ㄴ/는지
Right, so this pattern is a connective ending. It forms a bridge that corresponds with: who, what, where, when, how or whether. So far I’ve mostly used it with 알다 and 모르다, but according to Korean Grammar in Use it’s also used with 궁금하다, 질문하다, 조사하다, 알아보다, 생각나다, 말하다 and 가르치다.

Present tense Past tense
Action verb Descriptive verb Action verb & Descriptive verb
Verb stem + 는지 Verb stem + ㄴ/은지 Verb stem + 았/었는지


1 Aren’t you curious who my girlfriend is?
너는 제 여자친구가 누구인지 궁금하지 않아요?
2 Do you know where the bathroom is?
화장실이 어디에 있는지 아세요?
3 Please teach me how I can cook Bibimbap.
비빔밥을 어떻게 요리하는지 가르쳐 주세요

After finding good resources on Korean subtitles I’ve been doing a lot of dictation. Basically I create an A-B loop of a certain scene, Korean subtitles off, and listen to it over and over again while trying to write down what I hear. When I finish this process I turn subs back on and compare. I had to do the same exercise with a previous iTalki teacher and that was always a fun thing to do.

The next logical step for me would be to try and translate the sentences by myself and comparing them afterwards with the Dramafever / Viki translations. I am possibly also going to generate vocabulary lists based off of the subtitle files. Could be interesting to see what words are frequently used in specific dramas and could make it easy to filter out more out of the ordinary words. I mean, imagine what kind of words Good Doctor will contain that I would probably never learn otherwise! (Not that it would be useful… :P)

Lastly, I am thinking about making a little dictation web application right here. Possibly with Korean music and their lyrics. It would be something like a Youtube video running with a line by line option to type in what you heard and improve your Korean listening! Seems pretty cool to me :)

More actual grammar posts this weekend. Got a lot to cover from the last couple of iTalki lessons!

A question on /r/korean today was about Korean subtitles for Korean shows. I have been looking for resources like this for quite some time. Aside from the occasional Korean DVD, Korean subtitles are severely lacking. I’m very pleased to say that I finally have found somewhere to go!

데프무비 (DeafMov) is a Korean community that creates Korean subtitles for movies, dramas and animations to help the hearing impaired. With possibly the most confusing sign-up process ever (which of course is completely in Korean), I managed to introduce myself as a Korean learner from the Netherlands that wanted to use their subtitles for learning.

While I was a little nervous about it because obviously I am not hearing impaired and fall outside of the target audience I got welcomed into their community!

As a test I grabbed the Korean subtitles for 굿닥터 #1 and I’m happy to say that it worked perfectly. I’m so happy!!! 

With my previous iTalki teacher a weekly assignment was to watch a drama and to do an interpretation exercise. Listen to the episode, pick 3 lines from it and try to write it down in Korean. Not only was this really fun, (watching dramas for homework, yes please!), it was a good way to practice listening. Back then I noticed getting better every week. Now I can do this all the time!

Yes! I love you reddit! I love you DeafMov! 😀


So yes, I skipped a week in lesson reviews. One lesson I had to cancel because of unfortunate events and the other lesson I had a complete blank-out for the entire duration which was a really embarrassing experience. Either way, I’m back this week and I will be talking about V -(으)러 and A/V -(으)ㄴ/는데요.

V -(으)러
This grammar pattern is used to add a purpose for a movement (going or coming to a place). Therefore only movement verbs such as 가다, 오다 and 다니다 are used with this pattern.

Verb stem ending with vowel or ㄹ Verb stem ending with consonant
러 가다/오다/다니다 으러 가다/오다/다니다


1 I went to the hospital to see a doctor.
의사를 보 병원에 갔어요
2 I am going to the meeting to present my research.
제 리서치를 제출하 회의에 갈 거예요
3 I came home to look for my mobile phone.
제 휴대전화를 찾으러 집에 왔어요.

A/V -(으)ㄴ/는데요
Talking about this grammar pattern is a little more difficult because for as far as I know, this can mean a lot of different things. Today however I will use it as a connective form to indicate that there is more information following.

Present tense Past tense
Action verb Descriptive verb Action verb & Descriptive verb
Verb stem + 는데요 Verb stem + ㄴ/은데요 Verb stem + 았/었는데요


1 I met that friend when I was in Korea, we met at a restaurant.
한국에 있을 때 그 친구를 만났는데요, 식당에서 만났어요.
2 I play League of Legends, way too much.
리그오브레전드를 하는데요, 너무 많이 해요
3 I woke up early in the morning, I had to go to school.
아침에 일찍 일어났는데요, 학교에 가야 했어요.

I actually feel it’s better for me to do these reviews a day or two before my next lesson instead of on the same day right after the lesson. Therefore I will probably shuffle a few days around. Let’s get to the important stuff though, my last lesson.

문법 (Grammar)
Another lesson focused mostly on new grammar with daily conversations. “V는/은/ㄴ지” was our grammar point, which is a connective ending used when connecting a clause requiring additional information to the following verb. Corresponding to “who/what/where/when/how/whether + clause”.

It generally precedes one of the following verbs, (referenced from Korean Grammar In Use):

  • 알다
  • 모르다
  • 궁금하다
  • 질문하다
  • 조사하다
  • 알아보다
  • 생각나다
  • 말하다
  • 가르치다

The two verbs in bold are the only verbs we used in the lesson. Like my previous iTalki review I will include a table with the patterns for both present and past tense action and descriptive verbs.

Present tense Past tense
Action verb Descriptive verb Action verb Descriptive verb
Verb stem + 는지 Verb stem + 은/ㄴ지 Verb stem + 았/었는지

The main exercise was to create sentences asking whether the person knows something, rather than asking directly. For example asking if they know where the bookstore is rather than directly asking where it is.

Examples in steps:

Do you know where the bookstore is?
English Korean
to be where 어디이다
bookstore 책방이
Where is the bookstore? 책방이 어디예요?
(I) know where 어디인지 알아요.
Final Korean sentence
책방이 어디인지 알아요?
Do you know who emailed me?
English Korean
emailed 이메일을 했다
someone 누가
Somebody emailed me. 누가 이메일을 했어요.
Who emailed me? 누가 이메일을 했어요?
Final Korean sentence
누가 이메일을 했는지 아세요?
Don’t you know where my wallet is?
English Korean
my wallet 제 지갑이
where 어디에
to exist / to be located 있다.
Don’t you know? 몰라요? / 모르세요?
Don’t you know where it is? 어디에 있는지 모르세요?
Final Korean sentence
제 지갑이 어디에 있는지 모르세요?

It’s took me quite a while to get a good grasp of this and how to use it but hopefully I can start using this soon.

Having a weekend like mine, (a little crazy), just after releasing a schedule makes it a little embarrassing for me but I will still post what I put out to do. So here we go, the first iTalki Lesson Review.

문법 (Grammar)
The focus of my previous lesson and this lesson has been on verbs being converted into adjectives. Referred to in Korean Grammar in Use (Beginner) as: “관형형 -(으)ㄴ/-는/-(으)ㄹ N”

For now I will skip the future tense part because we did not cover that yet. Below is a table with the tenses and their action / descriptive verb patterns.

Present tense Past tense
Action verb Descriptive verb Action verb Descriptive verb
Verb stem + 는 Verb stem + 은/ㄴ Verb stem + 은/ㄴ

We’ve covered quite a few of the patterns up until an introduction to the past tense descriptive verb. From my current understanding there are multiple patterns that can be used to transform descriptive verbs into past tense adjectives. The one I got introduced to is -던.

So when researching this more I found out that this is already outside of the scope of beginner’s Korean grammar. I found more about this on Page 144 of Korean Grammar in Use (Intermediate) in the chapter “Expressing recollection”. It seems like -던 is not exclusively used to convert past tense descriptive verbs to adjectives but can be used in a large variety of other situations. For now it is probably best to exclusively use it for the only purpose I know though.

Examples of -던 (to make past tense descriptive verbs into adjectives)

Sentence Present tense adjective Past tense adjective
1 This flower is pretty A pretty flower A flower that used to be pretty
이 꽃은 예뻐요 예쁜 꽃 예쁘
2 A friend who was tired A tired friend A friend that used to be tired
친구가 피곤했어요 피곤한 친구 피곤하 친구
3 The weather was bad The bad weather The weather that used to be bad
날씨가 나빴어요 나쁜 날씨 나쁘 날씨

Lastly I might just as well add in the new vocabulary that came up in the lesson. I’m currently thinking of writing a small WordPress plugin that will contain all the vocabulary I know. It will probably be nicely listed including dates of when I learned it, how well I know it, etc. I have some (in my opionion) cool ideas for it.

어휘 (Vocabulary)

Korean English
후식 Dessert
새우 Shrimp
건조 Dryness
건조기 / 드라이어 Dryer
원피스 Dress (not gowns or party dress)
검은색 Black (color)
짧다 To be short
길다 To be long
계획 A plan
계획을 세우다 To make a plan

As an assignment for my Korean teacher I had to write a self introduction in Korean (of course). This took me way longer than I would like to admit, and I’m sure there is was a lot wrong with it. ㅠㅠ”

어서오세요! 이 블로그는 자기소개서 될 겁니다.
어서오세요! 이 블로그는 자기소개서입니다.

저는 조디입니다. 네덜란드 남자입니다.

저는 프로그밍하고 한국을 좋아합니다.
저는 프로그래밍하고 한국을 좋아합니다.

그럼 저는 공식적으로 언어를 10개 이상 소통할 수 있습니다!! 농담으로 해 본 소리입니다.
그리고 (그래서?) 저는 공식적으로 언어를 10개 이상 할 수 있습니다!! 농담으로 해 본 소리입니다.

2년 쯤 전에 한국말을 공부하기 시작했습니다. 금년에 한국에 다녀왔습니다.
2년 전쯤에 한국말을 공부하기 시작했습니다. 금년에 한국에 다녀왔습니다.

하지만 저희 한국말을 아직도 상당히 고약했습니다저는 다음 에 더 잘 하고 싶습니다.
하지만 제 한국말이 아직도 상당히 좋지 않았습니다. 다음 해에는 더 잘 하고 싶습니다.

저는 여기에서 약 진전하고 문제들을 쓸 겁니다.
(Completely wrong)



The final result:

어서오세요! 이 블로그는 자기소개서입니다.

저는 조디입니다. 네덜란드 남자입니다.

저는 프로그래밍하고 한국을 좋아합니다. 그리고 저는 공식적으로 언어를 10개 이상 할 수 있습니다!! 농담으로 해 본 소리입니다.

2년 전쯤에 한국말을 공부하기 시작했습니다. 금년에는 한국에 다녀왔습니다. 하지만 제 한국말이 아직도 상당히 좋지 않았습니다. 다음 해에는 더 잘 하고 싶습니다.



I’ve always been a fan of italki and their service. I’ve used it for both professional and community tutoring and both times were good and fun. My first teacher was a professional teacher and her lessons were so informative and fun. It’s truly sad that she had to quit because of personal issues that I will not post here.

After this I got in touch with a community tutor, which was a lot more informal and unstructured. I asked for things, I got my answers. For me this is a little harder to do because my Korean studies have never been too structured in the first place. Something that I now regret when I decided to take the TOPIK.

I’m glad to say that just half an hour ago I finished my trial session with another professional teacher and she basically confirmed all my weaknesses in my Korean studies. Speaking and listening for me are by far the hardest and I feel confident that with her lessons I can improve again.

I’m excited to take lessons again! :)