One of my biggest weaknesses, I feel, in Korean is my lack of vocabulary. (Aside my speaking intonation problems: 아니요… 질문을 아닙니다! ㅜㅜ). With my latest purchases from Twochois was “2000 essential Korean words for beginners”.

A big problem with learning languages is that it’s hard to see progress… right? You get discouraged more easily because it’s hard to notice if you are actually improving or not. While I can’t solve that particular problem, I could make a challenge for myself. Like a game, with a quantifiable outcome.

I will learn all 2000 words in this book, in 10 weeks. 

I have built 2 small applications I will use as my flashcard reviewing software. In addition, I will try to post near daily sentence writing posts with the words I have learned. And finally I will update my progress daily in the sidebar!

Wish me luck 😀

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

One of my favorite things are Korean podcasts… So today a small update on two of my favorites.

유인나의 볼륨을 높여요 finally back up!
Every time KBS makes mistakes, either by getting hacked (last year) or changing podcast servers (this time), it takes like 3 weeks for them to fix everything. Really annoying :( I’m pleased to see that their new server is faster though. I have a backlog of 16 days now… Glad to have it back though. I got a Yoo In Na fix from 별에서 온 그대 but my days still felt kind of empty :(

달을 품은 토끼 vol. 4!
I mentioned this podcast on my blog before, but with the start of 2014 came the beginning of season 4! Good to have more J. Rabbit ^^

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!

Another one from the sidebar, and the only one I’ll probably do before I delete the section. I mean really, 후에/전에 and N하고 are not very interesting.

A/V-네요 is pretty cool though. It’s used to express surprise when you’ve learned something new or realized something for the first time. Simply by adding 네요 to the stem of an adjective or verb.


1 Oh, it’s already 9 ‘o clock.
2 Oh, the weather is really nice today!
오늘 날씨가 정말 좋네요
3 Oh, my fingers hurt.
손가락들이 아프네요

Just 2 weeks ago I happily posted to my Facebook wall that 효린 was going to sing the OST for Disney’s Frozen (겨울왕국). Having seen the movie just last week I still have the original song in my head. Now that the release date for Korea is coming closer (January 16th) they released the Korean version of the OST and I just wanted to see how they compare to each other, lyrics wise. Yeah! Fun 😀

As with everything that’s a first I have to figure out the best way to do it. Formatting this is kind of a pain… I should also place a giant disclaimer, some of the translations are gross assumptions of mine. I try to be as accurate as possible though 😉

Korean line: 더 이상 참지 않아.
Original line: Can’t hold it back anymore.
Translated: Can’t hold it anymore.
Vocabulary Grammar
Korean English
  • Negation (-지 않다)
이상 A higher quantity of what it references.
더 이상 any more
참다 to suppress, to hold, to restrain oneself
Korean line: 나는 이제 떠날래.
Original line: Turn my back and slam the door.
Translated: I am going to leave now.
Vocabulary Grammar
Korean English
  • Topic marker (은/는)
  • V-(으)ㄹ래요
이제 now
떠나다 to leave, to depart
Korean line: 오늘밤 내린 하얀 눈은.
Original line: The snow glows white on the mountain tonight.
Translated: Tonight’s fallen pure white snow.
Vocabulary Grammar
Korean English
  • Past tense action verb -> noun (+ ㄴ/은)
  • Present tense descriptive verb -> noun (+ ㄴ/은)
  • Topic marker (은/는)
오늘 today
오늘밤 tonight
내리다 to fall, to come down (rain, snow)
하얗다 to be (pure/snow) white
Korean line: 온 세상을 뒤덮고.
Original line: Not a footprint to be seen.
Translated: It covers the entire world (and)
Vocabulary Grammar
Korean English
  • Connective Verb ending 고
  • Object marker (을/를)
all, whole, entire
세상 world
뒤덮다 to cover something with, to cover in something
Korean line: 이 외로움 한가운데.
Original line: A kingdom of isolation.
Translated: right in the middle of this loneliness
Vocabulary Grammar
Korean English
외로움 loneliness
한가운데 the (very) middle, center, the heart

Hopefully (most of) this is correct! I got stuck at: “나 홀로 남겨졌네”. The dictionary isn’t being very helpful on this, I keep getting 남기다 (which is probably correct), but I have no idea how I would conjugate it to become 남겨졌네. Will do some research :)

Working, a party from work, as well as Christmas with the family. I’m still sick while catching up on school work. Those are my 5 excuses for not posting anything for nearly 2 weeks. I still felt that I should at least post once more this year, and what else to post about? I’ve never been big on doing new years resolutions because of the disappointment that I will probably have when I fail them anyway. Thinking about that more though, it is a key problem with my work ethic. Giving up before actually trying anything. I am currently building a 3D Rasterizer from scratch for school and I basically stopped building for 3 entire days because I got stuck. (Granted, I tried fixing it for 10+ hours). I still think it’s unacceptable and simply a waste.

Fixing my work ethic is an absolute must if I want to accomplish anything this year. I called 2013 “my year” with the advancements I made with my company in late 2012, but it all sort of fell apart. There were reasons obviously, and they are not completely invalid but it has affected me for too long in my opinion. Time to move on.

In 2014 I will…

… stick with my projects.

… finish all my school courses.

… take the TOPIK test.

… post on this blog at least once every 3 days.

… dedicate at least one hour to Korean, every day!

… start specializing myself in one area of programming and become an absolute guru in it.

… spend less money on stuff I don’t need.

I really enjoyed the SBS and MBC gayo this year! SBS even made a song, pretty good! :)

On the very right of this post I’ve had a “Upcoming posts” section for the longest time. I added it, and then ignored it? Now that doesn’t seem fair at all. First order of business: A/V-겠다

So far I’ve encountered two uses for this pattern but I think there is a few more, possibly if combined with other particles or patterns.

Use #1: Expressing the intention or will of the speaker.
This use roughly translates to “I will…”, “I am going to…” or “I plan to…”. This form is actually seen in some of the most commonly known idioms. See sentence 1 of the examples below!

Regular form Negated form
A/V + 겠다 A/V + (안 겠다) / (-지 않겠다)

An important thing to note for this use is that it can’t be used when the subject is in the third person.


1 I will eat well. / I will enjoy the food.
2 저는 내일부터 게임을 덜 하겠어요.
Starting tomorrow, I will play games less often.
3 오늘 밤에 한국 음식점에 갈 거예요. 그래서 요리하지 않겠어요.
I am going to a Korean restaurant tonight. So I will not cook today.

Use #2: Expressing a supposition or making a conjecture.
This use can for example be used to state assumptions or inferring things. It corresponds to “to look / seem like”, “to sound like” or “to appear like”. It can also be used in the past tense. As far as I can tell though, the past tense conjugation is not frequently used. (Google results counting, maybe it’s a colloquial thing.)

Present tense Past tense
A/V + 겠다 A/V + 았/었 + 겠다


1 That test seems really difficult.
그 시험이 아주 힘들겠어요.
2 The food on the restaurant menu looks good. Right?
외식메뉴에 음식이 맛있겠어요. 그렇죠?
3 She must have left.
그 여자는 떠났겠다.

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! 😀


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!