Koen speaks…

Sharing my experiences of self-learning Korean language!

Language Tag! — February 17, 2016

Language Tag!

And I thought I knew it all!

Ever since I started pursuing my language goals, I really thought I had read all that is to read about language learning,  watched all the videos on learning languages that is needed (and that is humanly possible within the time that I had on my disposal) to have a good knowledge on it; and I thought I followed, well, not exactly followed, but at least was well aware of all the trends in the linguistics world. But how wrong I was! Coz when dearest Liz from JumpingJacqueline tagged me in this language tag, I had not the faintest idea what a “Language Tag” was. But I’m ABSOLUTELY THRILLED to learn about it and it’s all thanks to dearest LIZ♥  ♥  ♥ Hugs & Kisses ♥  ♥  ♥ ).

So, here I am, doing my own language tag. Oh yes! Do check out her post as well! – A brief account by Liz herself, a passionate language learner, from a country where 1652 languages are spoken, and who herself has ventured into the realm of seven languages, but has finally settled in with her love for Japanese. It’s quite interesting that even with such close cultural, religious, historical and linguistic ties between Nepal and India, there still are so many things that you didn’t know about each other. Anyways, let’s get right on it!


 

What would you consider your native language?

My native language is Nepali (नेपाली) or 네팔어 (as they say in Korean). Continue reading

A side-effect of learning languages, One that you can’t help but love! — December 27, 2015

A side-effect of learning languages, One that you can’t help but love!

안녕하세요 여러분! 진짜 오랜마넵니다!

Hi Everybody! I’m BAAAACCCCKKKK after REAALLLYYYY a long time!

I always tried to write at least one post every week, but for the past six weeks or so I haven’t been able to write a single post. (A SINGLE POST! My Goodness!) It actually feels like ages! So, I couldn’t wait to get back to it!

The reason why I was so busy was that I recently started a new job. YEAH! ㅎㅎㅎ

It’s actually my first, proper job ever!  So I am working full time now. 정규직원으로 일하고 있습니다! So, I have been pretty busy. It’s my first job after completing my Masters degree. And I have loads to learn as it is a training period for me, for at least the next couple of months. Therefore, a typical day for me thesedays consists of going to work, and after coming home from work – reviewing and studying a lot of things related to my work. So, I’ve rarely had any time to squeeze in some proper “Korean” studying time. (I am missing it like crazy!).  Strangely, I am knackered by the time I reach home although the work is not that difficult (‘t must be due to concentrating too much at work). But I am finally getting used to my daily routine and I’ve been planning & organizing my time so that I am able to, not just squeeze in my 한국어 time, but rather let it shove in and push its way around to grab the lion’s share of my off-work-hours. Also, of course, I need to manage my time for blogging too!


 

Anyways, today as my “Comeback” post (컴백 포스트) (and perhaps my last post for 2015, Gosh! Can’t believe, its 2016 already!) , I want to talk about a unique habit (Can you even call it a habit?) that I have seemed to develop as a result of my Korean Language Learning. Continue reading

Learn 35 NEW WORDS from the NEW EPISODES (9-11) of the K-drama: “그녀는 예뻤다” (She was pretty) — October 24, 2015

Learn 35 NEW WORDS from the NEW EPISODES (9-11) of the K-drama: “그녀는 예뻤다” (She was pretty)

35 Additional Korean Vocabulary Words

In my last post, I gave you 20 Korean words from the 8 episodes of the latest Korean drama “그녀는 예뻤다”-“She was pretty”.

In this post, I have compiled 35 additional words from the remaining three episodes (9 to 11) which have been aired so far.(Damn! I wish we had got the 12th episode too. If only the episode hadn’t been cancelled due to the live baseball telecast).

If you are also a visual learner like me then I am sure that hard-core vocabulary lists and plain flash cards are not your cup of tea. Flashcards with pictures are definitely a better option but nothing works magic like videos, especially drama series, movies and similar audio-video contents. In my case, since I am learning Korean, it’s the K-dramas and other K-TV programmes. Like I said in my earlier post, dramas and movies are a great way of learning the most commonly used phrases and enriching your vocabulary.

Talking about me, the phrases and words that I learn through them are imprinted in my brain right away. So I can easily remember them and recall them. (Association works great when you remember the plot of the drama). Moreover, they serve as excellent listening exercises and therefore are extremely effective. Hence, I try to watch k-programmes and dramas as much as possible.

One of the latest K-dramas that I am currently hooked on is the MBC 수목 드라마 – Wednesday-Thursday drama called  “그녀는 예뻤다”-“She was pretty”, which is pretty fun so far and I am already learning many new words through it. So I am writing these posts so that other Korean language learners can also learn these words. Here have a look at my 35-word-vocabulary list from episodes 9 to 11.


  1. 주근깨= freckles
  2. 투덜대다 (also 투덜거리다) = to complain, to grumble
  3. 핑계대다 = to make or give excuses
  4. 정작 =  actually, really
  5. 빼먹다 = to omit, to leave out, to miss
  6. 화려하게 = glamorously, splendidly, brilliantly, impressively, fancily, dramatically
  7. 오글거리다 = to get goosebumps
  8. 사회자 = emcee (MC-Master of ceremony), host, anchor (of a show, program, etc)
  9. 마감 =  deadline
  10. 수명을 줄이다 = reduce the length of one’s life/lifespan (수명을 줄여가다 = be reduced (lifespan), passive form)
  11. 취재 = news gathering assignment (of a reporter), coverage
  12. 동화 = children’s story book, fairy tale
  13. 재해석하다 = to reinterpret
  14. 기발하다 = novel, brilliant, original, innovative
  15. 망설이다= to hesitate, waver, (망설임= hesitation)
  16. 종점=last stop, end of the line of a route, terminal (station)
  17. 막상 = Now that (something has actually happened)
  18. 신경쓰다=to bother, to get on one’s nerves (신경 쓰이다=to be bothered, be annoyed by, be nervous about something, passive form of 신경 쓰다)
  19. 정직한= honest, frank
  20. 몹시= very, really, extremely, terribly
  21. 압수= confiscation, seizure
  22. 개명하다= to change one’s name
  23. 거슬리다= to be unpleasant, offensive, irritating, annoying
  24. 꼬이다 = get messed up, get screwed, get twisted, entangled
  25. 응원하다 =  to cheer, to root for
  26. 동창 = classmate, alumni, school friend, batch-mate
  27. 공과 사를 구분하다 = to keep one’s private and public (professional) matter separate
  28. 호무하다 = be not in the least, be not at all, be not a bit , empty
  29. 시사회 =  preview (of movies, dramas, books, shows, etc)
  30. 애초에 = at first, in the beginning, primarily, originally
  31. 무리한 =  unreasonable/impractical
  32. 발전 가능성 = development possibility/ possibility for development/progress
  33. 유일한 = one and only, only
  34. 판매 부수 = number of copies sold, circulation
  35. 오싹하다 = to get/have the chills, to be freaked out by something

Continue reading

Learning new words through the K-drama: “그녀는 예뻤다” (She was pretty) — October 12, 2015

Learning new words through the K-drama: “그녀는 예뻤다” (She was pretty)

20 New Korean Vocabulary Words

If you are also a visual learner like me then I am sure that hard-core vocabulary lists and plain flash cards are not your cup of tea. Flashcards with pictures are definitely a better option but nothing works magic like videos, especially drama series, movies and similar audio-video contents. In my case, since I am learning Korean, it’s the K-dramas and other K-TV programmes. Like I said in my earlier post, dramas and movies are a great way of learning the most commonly used phrases and enriching your vocabulary.

Talking about me, the phrases and words that I learn through them are imprinted in my brain right away. So I can easily remember them and recall them. (Association works great when you remember the plot of the drama). Moreover, they serve as excellent listening exercises and therefore are extremely effective. Hence, I try to watch k-programmes and dramas as much as possible.

One of the latest K-dramas that I am currently hooked on is the MBC 수목 드라마 – Wednesday-Thursday drama called  “그녀는 예뻤다”-“She was pretty”, which is pretty fun so far and I am already learning many new words through it. So I thought why don’t I share my latest list of words that I learnt from this drama with you all. So here’s my 20-word vocabulary list from the 8 episodes of  “She was pretty” that has been aired so far.


20- Word Korean Vocabulary List

  1. 재혼하다= to remarry
  2. 회사원=employee, office worker
  3. 방해하다=to disturb, to interrupt
  4. 착각하다=to misunderstand, to mistake
  5. 오버하다=to overreact, to overdo, to go overboard, to exaggerate
  6. 사원증=employee ID card
  7. 유난스럽다=unusual, out of ordinary, fussy, fastidious
  8. 가뜩이나= (it’s bad enough) already
  9. 피하다=to avoid, to dodge, to evade ( 피해=harm, damage)
  10. 요상스러운=bizarre, strange, odd
  11. 공유하다=to share
  12. 기준=standard, criteria
  13. 적용하다=to apply (rules, regulations, law, reasoning, logic,etc)
  14. 심부름=errand
  15. (국제) 왼손잡이의 날 = International left-handers’ day
  16. 이동하다=to travel, move, migrate
  17. 떠올리다=to recall, recollect
  18. 박제되다=be stuffed, kept
  19. 호= issue, edition (of a magazine)
  20. 실리다=to be put, inserted, published, reported on a board, magazine, advertisements, literary works, etc

  1. 재혼하다= to remarry 

remarried2

아버지 혹시 재혼하셨나해서.

Perhaps your father had remarried.

Naver dictionary link (네이버 사전 링크)

Continue reading

One of the best language apps – “HelloTalk”- Review plus my experience — October 4, 2015

One of the best language apps – “HelloTalk”- Review plus my experience

I have been self-learning Korean for a little over a year now. And like all enthusiastic language learners, I’ve explored almost all resources available out there to help me learn the language. Since I am learning Korean on my own and that too not in South Korea, it is not easy finding a language partner to practise my language skills. So I was desperately looking for a solution, which came in the form of this awesome app called HELLOTALK (Thank heavens for that!). HelloTalk is basically a language exchange and learning app, which provides you with an online messenger platform, to meet native speakers of the language you are trying to learn. The idea is to find language partners so that you can teach each other your native language (or languages that you are fluent in).

I found out about this app from Hyunwoo Sun (선현우) of the Talk to me in Korea (TTMIK). If any of you are learning Korean, then I am sure you are well aware of Hyunwoo, his awesome TTMIK team and his abundant resources (most of which are absolutely free) at talktomeinkorean.com. The fact that TTMIK was introducing this app itself was quite reassuring for me. So I tried it and I am in love with it ever since.

HelloTalk has the widest assortment of fantastic features, which have been especially tailored designed for the language learning purpose. (I’ll explain in more detail in a while). But the best thing about this app is that it has a huge community of users, 2 million users worldwide, which I think is the largest among all (strictly) language exchange apps till this date (you are welcome to please correct me if I am wrong). Since I am learning Korean, I can vouch for a humongous community of Korean users in the app. There are dozens of Koreans joining this app every single day). And from the app reviews by other users, I gather it is the same for multiple other languages too. So as there are more than enough number of native language speakers, it is very easy to meet friends or language partners of all ages, gender and places around the world. Especially I have seen that Koreans are pretty keen on learning multiple languages.  English tops the list by far, as good English skills are regarded as a valuable skill in the South Korean job market. (TOEIC is a big deal in South Korea).

I have been using this app since June 2015, and I have made many good Korean friends through the app. I have met Koreans who want to genuinely learn English and we’ve been helping each other through regular “paragraph writing in the target language” exchanges, grammar corrections, pronunciation mistake corrections as well as simply chatting and more chatting in our target languages. And “Oh My!” I have made four times the progress in my language skill, especially my Korean writing skills (I sucked before) than I made in the entire year.

Language learning is all about training your brain to remember the new patterns of words and new sounds. Similarly, as one Korean teacher Mr. Sung Bong Lee (이성봉) puts it, “It is not making your own sentences in the target language but rather finding the sentences that are already there (previously used by native speakers)”. So language exchange apps like HelloTalk help us to do just that- get used to the sentences so that you can easily retrieve them from your memory when you need them.

To fulfil that very purpose I have tried almost all language exchange apps available out there. But so far, none of them have managed to beat HelloTalk and its features and especially its community of users. Some apps had features similar to HelloTalk but they just didn’t have enough users to communicate with. It’s the tiniest details like the font size, the help centre response time, the speed, the memory usage, that kept me sending back to HelloTalk. So here I am spending my evening sharing my lovely experience with the app so that all language learners out there can take the benefit of it too (If they already aren’t using it).


Continue reading

12 things that language learners do or feel — September 29, 2015

12 things that language learners do or feel

(Language learners who are completely into the language they are learning)

edited pic2


  1. You try to translate everything you read, hear or even think into your target language.(Street signs, book titles, article titles you see in newspapers, magazines, song lyrics you hear, daily exclamations, greetings and brief thoughts like “Oh my god!”, “Damn it!, “Thank you”, “Sorry”, etc. Just the short ones because longer sentences need too much work and you either don’t have enough time and energy to translate them or you are just too lazy to do it right now.

  2. You get super aware of the foreigners in your neighbourhood or any place you go. It’s like you grow this new receiver antenna that scans your surrounding and picks up the language you are learning. If you’re learning an Asian language, you get super alert of any Asian tourist (And Man! It is not easy telling Asians apart from other Asians). If you are learning a European language, you are extra alert of any European looking foreigner.

    Your motive however can vary depending on what kind of person you are. If you are one of the shy types, then your motive is to try to listen upon their conversation in order to test your own listening & comprehension skills. You get extremely amused if you actually manage to understand some of their conversation or at least the gist. But if you are sort of an outgoing person, you would like to make friends with them, if possible. Because it is not easy finding a language partner or someone to practise your language with. This is especially true if you are learning a language in your country or some other place and NOT in the country where your target language is spoken.


  3. You get obsessed with the TV shows, series and movies in the target language. For example, If you are learning French, you watch Tv5monde 90% of the time. If you are learning Korean, your TV remote is stuck in the switch-between-channel-mode between Kbsworld and Arirang. You know all the latest shows in the country and you also know at least five websites where you can get the best content in your target language. (Ssssssh! For free!) They do serve as excellent ways of enriching your vocabulary in your target language.

  4. You are also addicted to the music of the country of your target language. Learning lyrics and new words from the songs is one of your favourite methods of learning the language. You have apps in your mobile phone that get you the lyrics of those songs, either in the script of the language or in romanization.

  5. You make your friends and family watch your favourite programmes in your target language, even if they are not interested in them at all. This is because you want to share the joy with them and also because you think that they are missing out on a whole new world, good television content, humour, etc. Plus you make them listen to all the interesting facts you learn about the new language or the culture.

  6. You are a huge fan of a few youtubers, bloggers and websiters who produce language or culture related courses in your target language. They are no less than celebrities for you. You admire them and you would like to meet them. Besides that, you know all youtubers, bloggers and websites that teach your target language.

  7. You suddenly become curious about your old friends (friends that you no longer talk to and no longer cared much about) just because they happen to be working or living in the country of the language you are learning. So you text them out if nowhere and ask them about their whatabouts. A little deep into the conversation, you can’t wait to tell them that you are learning the language, and even show off some of your language skills to them.

  8. You are aware of all the hot news, trends and events happening in the country of your target language. You also know the recent weather conditions, upcoming festivals, etc in the country. You may or may not be aware of what is going on in your own country or your neighbouring countries for that matter, but you make conscious efforts to keep yourself updated with the buzz in the target country. This is almost 100 percent true among language learners who are friends with the native speakers of the target language and who regularly talk with them. After all, you have to find a topic that both people can associate with and talk about, right?

  9. You look for places associated with the target language or the country in your own country, such as the restaurants, stores, libraries, organizations, anything! For example, if you are learning Mandarin Chinese, you look for Chinese restaurants and go there just to be able to experience some Chinese culture. Never mind if you can barely identify a few words in Chinese. And you look for Chinese people there, the chef or the staff or even customers. And you get super annoyed if you find out that all the staff there are in fact non-Chinese, who just learnt the Chinese cuisine.

  10. You accidentally mix random words from the target language while you are conversing in your own language or in a third language. This does not happen to beginner level learners but to learners who have reached at least the elementary level. This happens more frequently to learners whose native language sentence structure is more similar to that of the target language. Usually they are these short words like with, so, because, and, to etc that secretly creep into the conversation in a language where they don’t belong at all. But it is not a bad thing at all for the language learner. It is in fact a good news. It is an indication that the language they are trying to master is coming naturally to them. As for the second person in the conversation, well, who cares what he/she thinks, right? As long as you are making progress in your language challenge.

  11. You feel the urge to use words or expressions in the target language that best describe certain feelings or situation, the words or phrases that DO NOT EXIST or CANNOT BE PERFECTLY TRANSLATED into your own language. And you feel really irritated and annoyed when you can’t find a perfect close substitute word or expression in your own language.

  12. You go cold turkey on subtitles or take similar extreme measures. This is generally done by intermediate to advanced level language learners. All of a sudden you go cold turkey on subtitled TV programmes or movies and start watching raw video materials. Moreover, you also change the language of your mobile phones to your target language. Of course it is an extreme measure and really messes up your mind. But it is an excellent way to train your brain to accept the new language. Of course there are relapses and learners often find themselves crawling back to their original language or subtitled contents. But these relapses gradually become less frequent, if you are really determined to learn the language.

Continue reading

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