안녕하세요 얼어분! 새해 복 많이 받으세요 !
Hello Everybody ! Happy New Year!
My! Oh! My! It’s 2015! I really can’t believe it that 2015 is over. In the past, when people used to tell me things like the year passed so quickly and time flies, etc, I used to be rather skeptical and used to think “Duh! It’s 365 days for god’s sake!” BUT, I would like to extend my sincere apologies to all those people for thinking like that as that is exactly what I am feeling right now.
When I look back at 2015 now, I guess 2015 was quite eventful after all.
First, I finished my masters early this year (Oops! Early last year! Still not used to it!). Second, the major earthquakes hit Nepal, followed by endless series of aftershocks and what-nots for months. A single week without an aftershock seemed so remote. So it took us about four to five months to get our lives back to normal (at least in Kathmandu). I wouldn’t still say that it’s all over now, as we get an occasional quake or two even now , greeting us with – “안녕! 날 잊지안했지?” – “Hi there! Haven’t forgotten me, have you?”. The most recent one was just today a few hours ago, a minor 4.1 Richter one. And how can I forget the tremor we felt in Nepal due to the 6.7 Richter earthquake early this morning with the epicentre in North-east India. But as far as I can tell, there is nothing to be worried about. They are just the minor ones, friendly ones, excluding the Indian one, of course.
It’s actually quite interesting that we are still “feeling” the most minor quakes even now; because we used to have minor ones in the past too (before the major earthquakes), at least that’s what I heard. But I’m pretty sure, we didn’t feel them back then. It’s perhaps because of the fact that after experiencing too many quakes, our bodies have developed a “super alert” mode, which was not there previously. Anyways, once again, it’s nothing to be alarmed at!
Sorry, got digressed a little there. Well, let’s bid farewell to the earthquakes too, while we bid farewell to 2015.
After that, I got a job in 2015, like I shared in my last post. Therefore, 2015 was a pretty memorable year indeed with several important life events for me.
On my “한국어 배우기 도전” – “Korean Learning Challenge” front too, last year was considerably meaningful with small but important achievements for me. Let’s have a look at them.
MY ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2015
- I started watching Korean dramas and few other shows without subtitles and was able to understand more than 70% of the content. I still use subtitles. But now, I use a mix of videos (with or without) subtitles to assist my learning Korean. I am no longer a slave to it as before!
- I made many wonderful Korean friends (I really love you all! ♥ ♥ ♥) last year via this amazing language exchange app called –HELLOTALK (Read my review of the app here).
- I was able to text in Korean and chat for hours (text chatting only) in Korean, using English about 5 to 10% only. Texting in Korean became quite easy, natural and a regular thing for me that I used Hangul characters like ㅎㅎㅎ and ㅋㅋㅋ and ~ (a character I never used before, but Koreans use it everywhere) while chatting with my Nepali friends too, by mistake, of course; and got responses like “What the hell is that ?” from them. (LOL)
- I learnt how to type in Korean and managed to reach a pretty decent speed as well , much faster than my Nepali typing speed (which btw I started learning much earlier than but didn’t really practise (:P) ) and waaayyy slower than my English typing speed (which I mastered in school).
- I practised writing in Korean a lot, exchanged paragraph write-ups or scripts with my Korean friends, although my spelling is terrible. (You won’t believe the amount of spelling mistakes, typos or 오타 I make! Sigh!)
- And finally, how can I forget, I started this blog (my first blog ever) and met a wonderful community of fellow blogger, who are a constant source of motivation and inspiration for me. A shout out to all the language bloggers out there! Thank you and love you all! ♥ ♥ ♥
MY NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS FOR 2016
So, I thought I’d start my New Year with some New Year resolutions. Although I have to admit, I’m terrible at keeping or sticking to my new resolutions or any proper planning whatsoever. Therefore, I usually don’t make resolutions. You can’t fool yourself! But this year, I want to give it a try. I want to make resolutions that are achievable (not too ambitious) and want to try my best to stick to them. I’ll have no choice but to keep them after having publicly announced them here in this blog! At least that’s what I am hoping for!
Here, goes my resolution for 2016:
- Improve my Korean Speaking skills: Out of the five skills of learning a language, namely, Reading skills, Writing skills, Speaking skills, Listening skills and Understanding/ Comprehension skills, the number one skill that I suck at is my speaking skills. So, this year I really want to improve my speaking skills. Back when I first started learning Korean, I had no desire whatsoever to be able to speak Korean. My goal back then was simply being able to understand the language. Even reading skills weren’t in my plans, as back then, learning Korean was just a little hobby that I picked up for my trimester/term break. Even after I started to pursue Korean-learning more seriously, I always shoved ‘working on my speaking skills’ aside as I thought I wasn’t ready for it yet (지금 때가 아니다하면서).
But now, I think it’s high time that I start focusing on my Korean speaking skills, and get the muscles in my mouth used to the sounds in the Korean language. As honestly, all I’ve been doing so far is getting my ears used to the sounds in the language. So, in 2016, I plan to get rid of the fear that I have of embarrassing myself in front of my Korean friends, and practise speaking in Korean as much as possible. 아자! 아자!
- Improve my Reading skills: The second language skill that I am terrible at is my reading skills. As I was a victim of “Romanization-assisted” reading when I first started learning Korean. Ok! That’s too dramatic! CORRECTION–Actually, it was my own ignorance that I started learning Korean through romanized versions of Korean texts, instead of learning Hangul (the simplest, most scientific, and most wonderful alphabet ever!) (Read my experience with “romanization-assisted” reading on my previous post).
Anyhow, because of that and simply because I am more of a visual learner who prefers to learn through motion & moving objects, instead of still text or books, I read like a first grader. (Honestly, I have no idea how a first grader in South Korea would read Korean. But I’m assuming it’s the same as in Nepal). So this year, I want to improve my reading skills exponentially. I ‘m thinking of doing a lot reading exercises. I’d especially like to give a try at the simple methodology suggested by Alina in her blog post “What’s in my reading journal?”.
I’ve already downloaded and printed some of the materials for it.
Actually, I would also love to read some webtoons and develop a habit of reading them. But, I’ve never been into comics, not even as a child. So it’s an unfamiliar territory for me. We don’t seem to have a “comic” culture or 만화 or Anime culture in Nepal. We just watch cartoons on Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon. Ha-ha! But I want to give it a shot.
Lastly on my reading resolution, I want to…hmm…read…the Korean version of the first book of the Harry Potter series–“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” i.e. “헤리 포터 와 마법사의 돌”. I know that it’s a very ambitious goal. I’m fully aware of it. But I absolutely love the Harry Potter book series (and the movie series too, Yup I have a think for “magic”, “fantasy”, “supernatural power” and that kind of thing). So, I did, as a matter of fact, try reading the first book-“헤리 포터 와 마법사의 돌” in 2015. Got the idea from Leigh who talked about reading the entire Korean series in one of the videos by Eat Your Kimchi (EYK)/Simon and Martina (Wondering what EYK is or who Simon and Martina are, check out their YouTube channel or blog. Btw, wishing good health for Martina!) And I was really jealous of Liegh. So I gave it a shot. I did manage to read about 90 pages of it too. But then I gave up. It was hard and not as fun as the English series. Rowling’s narration is amazing. Blimey! HeHe! Hence, I want to give it a shot one more time. Who knows, I may finish even the second book – “헤리 포터 와 비밀의 방” “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret” too. (Fingers crossed!)
- My third resolution is to be more active on my Korean Naver blog– 코인의 코너 (Koen’s Korner). Sadly, I have posted only a couple of posts on it since I started it. But this year, I plan to be much more active on it. Therefore, I’ll be posting a lot more content there too.
- The same goes for my writing practice too. I want to continue with my free writing exercises. Lately, I have been quite lazy and not writing as often as I used to. However, no more lazybones this year. I’m going to write about anything and everything.
As for my listening skills, I don’t think I need any resolution. I’ll be listening to lots of podcasts, watching countless videos, K-shows and K-dramas even without any motivation. Moreover, listening skills are also the only skill that I’m most confident about. I think that wraps up my resolutions for 2016. I really really really hope that I’ll be able to fulfill all of them. I’m sure you have your own list of resolutions regarding your own language journey as well. Do share so that we can keep each other in check this year. HeHe!
Finally, I’d like to wish you a happy new year once again. 새해 복 많이 받으세요! 올해는 꼭 목표한 거 다 이워지길 바랍니다 (Hope all your fulfill all your goals!)
Here is a cute song video entitled “The First Noel”, by Lexi Walker. It’s a remake of a Christmas classic. But it’s a good song full of hopes to start your new year. Thanks to Suyeong (강수영) 언니, for sharing this song with me.
CHEERS TO ALL LANGUAGE LEARNERS! 화이팅!