So Far, So Good!

Posted in Language Resources, Learning Process with tags , , , , on 2009/10/03 by ChocoKorea

여러분 안녕하세요!  Hello Everyone!

Here is what I have been up to for the past few days:

  • Yesterday I finished Unit 1 on Click Korea. It’s a really good place to start for beginners, and a pretty decent review if you have recently started studying Korean like me. I look forward to completing more units as time goes on and posting what I think of it. I have a good feeling about it, the site is really well organized.  Thanks to My Linguistics for the tip!
  • In the middle of core lesson 2 of Rosetta Stone. I have been doing 10-30 minutes a day on this, and its not too bad.  Its mostly using pics to show the difference between man (남자), boy (남자아이), woman (여자), and girl (여자아이). The pics show the different groups doing activities like walking, running, reading, swimming, eating, drinking… a lot of verbs are being introduced. Because I am repeating the same words so much, my vocab recognition is definitely improving. Looks like its going to introduce animals next.
  • Memorizing the numbers 1-10 in both pure Korean (하나, 둘, 셋…) and Sino-Korean (일, 이, 삼…).  It appears that the Sino-Korean set are used more for ‘1st, 2nd, 3rd’ type situations, whereas the pure Korean set is used for general counting.  I am sure I am over simplifying… I’ll be learning more about this for sure.
  • In class, we have been mostly going over pronunciation.  I am having the hardest time with regular vs. aspirated consonants… for instance, 도끼(toggi, meaning ax) and 토끼(t’oggi, meaning rabbit). The 선생님 (teacher) says that for ㅌ I should feel a burst of air if I were to put my hand in front of my mouth, where with ㄷ I should not. Practice, practice, practice!
  • Learning some Korean children’s songs. There is one particularly cute one about 곰 세 마리 (3 bears) that I plan to break down in my next post!

Check you guys out on the next go around!

-ChocoK (초코캐)


    Tools for the job

    Posted in K-pop, Language Resources, Learning Process with tags , , , , , on 2009/09/30 by ChocoKorea

    First, I suppose I should describe what resources I am using to study Korean everyday.

    • Before most Korean language resources are useful, you really, really, REALLY should learn Hangeul (한글), the Korean alphabet.  From personal experience, I didn’t get much use out of anything until I learned basic pronunciation and how to read Hangeul. Look in my “Learning Resources” links, visit Genki Korean and use the Hangeul Quiz.  The SWF file for the quiz can be downloaded here. Again, LEARN HANGEUL.
    • Easy Korean Fact Cards – these little cards that can be downloaded from The Korean Times website:
      Easy Korean 004, Useful Greetings

      Easy Korean 004, Useful Greetings

      Very useful indeed!  I have archived the first 109 of them into a zip file that can be downloaded here. They are currently on #119 and they release them on a weekly(?) basis, so check out the Korean Times website in my links list!

    • The Arirang series Let’s Speak Korean.  I like the old version better, the new version moves incredibly fast in my opinion.  I am in the process of posting the 60 episodes I have to my 4shared account! In the mean time, I have the first 5 episodes available here. You can also check out the new series on the Arirang website.
    • Pororo, quite possibly the cutest show involving penguins that you will ever see. ^_^  Pororo (뽀로로) is a Korean children’s show that is great for language learners, since all the characters speak slow and clear.  I have a few episodes with english subs here.
    • YouTube. I mostly use it to watch Korean game shows, music vids, and talk shows.  YSMM, Super Junior Full House, and Global Talk Show (MiSuDa) are all entertaining and offer some insights into Korean culture. Also, random searches for children’s songs or shows sometimes come up fruitful!
    • Rosetta Stone. It’s expensive, and it isn’t for everyone.  But if you can get a hold of it, it is a pretty good resource.  As a visual learner, I find the Rosetta Stone approach to be beneficial. I will reiterate, LEARN HANGEUL FIRST. I tried it before I learned Hangul, and was overwhelmed at the first screen. Try out the interactive demo on the website, see if it works for you.
    • Watching movies and dramas. When I was learning Japanese, I made the mistake of watching anime only, thinking it would help my listening comprehension and pronunciation. Well, it helped my pronunciation, but no one in Japan talks like an anime character.  I would have been better off watching J-dramas and live action movies (from a language learning POV, anyway).
    • Listening to Korean Music. I found a cool program for windows called My Korean Radio that will stream 26 different Korean radio stations.  For Mac users, I recommend Radio Time. Looking up lyrics for my favorite songs has improved my vocab a little bit.
    • Kotoba. I love this!  It is basically an electronic flash card that is continually on your desktop. There are 3 korean vocab lists that can be downloaded, and you can create your own vocab list for the program to use. It’s for Mac only, I haven’t yet found a Windows equivalent. If anyone finds one, let me know! I will be posting the dictionaries I have created soon.

    Whew!  I think that’s most of it. Every day, I try my best to spend 30 minutes to an hour on 2-3 of the above resources. Well, except for Korean music. I listen to Kpop all the damn time. ^_^ In the case of the Let’s learn korean episodes and the Easy Korean fact cards, I take notes in the same binder I use for Korean class.

    My language learning theory is to immerse and reinforce. I try not to depend on one resource to teach me. Instead, I expose myself to the language through a variety of media. Redundancy is also useful for me. The more times I see and hear the same phrase, the more likely I am to remember it!

    That’s all for now, keep on learning!


    And so even the greatest journey begins with one step…

    Posted in Language Resources, Learning Process on 2009/09/28 by ChocoKorea

    Greetings!  Welcome! 안녕하세요!

    Roughly one year from now, I expect to be gainfully employed in South Korea.  In preparation for that, I will take some time out everyday to learn Hangul.  This space will be used to document my process and progress along the way.  As any adventure is better with company, I encourage fellow Korean language novices to participate – share resources, stories, what methods work best for you, or just the proverbial 2 cents.

    I have been studying Korean independently for a couple of weeks now, and just started a Korean class at a local college.  Korean is definitely a challenge, but I am determined!  Let’s level up together!