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 Look Back at 2015 and New Year Resolutions for 2016! — January 4, 2016

A Look Back at 2015 and New Year Resolutions for 2016!

안녕하세요 얼어분! 새해 복 많이 받으세요 !

Hello Everybody ! Happy New Year!

(Source: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=899273)

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. 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

Can you hear it too? 들려요? — November 16, 2015

Can you hear it too? 들려요?

Spoiler Alert!
Watch this video if you’ve already watched the drama: “I can hear your voice” -너의 목소리가 들려”
Watch this video if you don’t want any spoilers and if you plan to watch this drama in the future.
(Gosh! I hate spoilers!)

After watching (or rather, listening to) this OST video from the Lee Jong Suk & Lee Bo Young starring K-drama “I can hear your voice” -너의 목소리가 들려” , you must be thinking that I am going to talk about Korean dramas again. Well! Not quite! Continue reading

The biggest mistake I made while learning Korean! What was yours? — November 4, 2015

The biggest mistake I made while learning Korean! What was yours?

Are you thinking of learning Korean or any other language that has its own unique script or alphabet? A language which is not based on the roman alphabets (like English)? If yes, then let me tell you about one of the biggest mistakes you are highly prone to make; a mistake that will tremendously slow your learning progress. Take my word for it, as I was stupid enough to make that mistake. So I want to warn all lexiophiles out there, not to repeat the same. (I am still suffering from the adverse effects of having done than).

Yes, the mistake was “learning romanization instead of learning Hangul, the Korean alphabet” (the simplest and the most brilliant alphabet system ever! Don’t you guys agree?). For those who are new to the term “romanization”, it is basically a system in linguistic, of converting the writing of a different writing system into the Roman or Latin system (the system on which English alphabets are based). So I learnt reading Korean through the romanized versions of the scripts (especially song lyrics), which happened to be a very bad decision on my part.

Now, you may ask: “Isn’t romanization supposed to be a useful guide for reading a language that has a different script? Isn’t it supposed to help you learn correct pronunciations?”. The answer would be “Yes” and “Yes”! But it seems to do more bad than good for language learners. Skeptical??? Here’s my explanation.

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

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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