Koen speaks…

Sharing my experiences of self-learning Korean language!

Learning language through Cognates & loan words (Konglish) — October 31, 2015

Learning language through Cognates & loan words (Konglish)

(Special focus on Konglish & false cognates)

Learning any language is all about learning just the 6000 or 7000 … most frequently words in that language. It does not entail being a walking dictionary in that language (I doubt if it is even humanly possible. It is impossible even for the native speakers). So, at the first glance, it does not seem like such a herculean task. But, it may still be a daunting goal for someone who is learning a language which is VEEERRRY different from his/her own language, or worse, which has its own unique script or alphabet (quite alien from his/her own language) and not to forget for people like me who have been foredoomed with a terrible memory.

So, one quick way of getting your hands on those lexicons is to look for cognates existing between your target language and your own language. I got this idea from Jimmy Naraine’s video entitled “Accelerate Language Learning Speed with 2 GREAT Techniques”.

Since, the language I am using to learn my target language (Korean) is English, and my blog is also essentially intended to cater for English readers, I am presuming that your language is English as well. Therefore, the trick is to find the cognates between your target language and English. Continue reading

Korean writing practice through “Picture Story Writing” — October 17, 2015

Korean writing practice through “Picture Story Writing”

A great method of learning and remember new vocabulary words and grammar structures for people with terrible memory

For the past couple of months I have been concentrating my time and efforts towards some Korean writing practice. Of course I am still continuing my listening exercises and word memorization (through dramas and others) on my free time. But I have been making conscious efforts to do some free writing practice in Korean as well. So this week, I have started a great new method of practising Korean writing, which is “Picture story writing”. This was actually one of my Korean friends :신지원, Jiwon Shin’s idea (another good friend I met on the language exchange app HelloTalk). I am really grateful for her for her simple yet fantastic idea. It is perhaps the simplest exercise that has always been there. But it is really effective, especially for a visual learner like me (who, by the way, has a terrible memory). As you may have already guessed from the name itself, what you do essentially is you write a story in your target language (in my case it is Korean) from a picture. Just simple as that! You create a story in as much detail as you want. You are free to let your imagination run.

The picture that my friend Jiwon sent me was a series of pictures quite similar to the famous old fairy tale “Goldilocks and the three bears”. So all I had to do was to guess a story from the picture and write it in Korean.

(source: www.wikihow.com)
(source: http://www.wikihow.com)

Now if you ask me “What’s so damn special about writing a story from a picture?” well my answer would be that it is “learning through imagination”. The picture is not just a random static picture, but rather a series of pictures that depict a “STORY”. Therefore, when you sit down to write a story from it, you will obviously imagine the story. You will imagine the scenes, from the first scene of Goldilocks discovering the porridge to the last scene where she runs away from the bears. So when you do your “vocabulary search” before writing the story in your target language (Korean), there is a much greater chance that you will remember them better than if you were learning it from a rigid vocabulary list, or through some “word-to-meaning” kind of memorizing techniques.

What I have realized through this exercise, is that you will learn the new words and remember them much more effectively, through three main techniques:

Continue reading

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