Month: February 2011

Big Bang – 4th Mini Album

This post isn’t directly related to Korean learning but since other seasoned language learners have said that fangirling plays an important (and necessary) part of foreign language study, I have no qualms about dedicating this entire post to my biggest K-pop bias – Big Bang.  Specifically, Big Bang’s 4th EP, which released a few days ago.  I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for ANY album release – Korean or otherwise – and let me tell you, the EP is WELL worth all the excitement.

How I learned 한글

Rote memorization would probably be the simplest way of learning a new alphabet. Take some flashcards, write the character on the front, sound on the back, and then drill yourself until it’s branded into your memory. I tried this with the Japanese syllabaries and it worked. I tried it with Hangeul and failed miserably. No matter how many times I went through it, I would get ㅏ and ㅓmixed up, ㅗ and ㅜ mixed up and, sometimes, if the cards flipped directions as I shuffled them, I would get all four mixed up with each other. With Hiragana/Katakana I could make a sort of visual-auditory connection because the letters looked so different but Korean was too difficult. So, I ended up learning Hangeul in a weird, roundabout, organic kind of way without really TRYING to learn it through rote memorization.

Why Korean?

That’s a question I get a lot these days, especially at graduate school interviews.  Why Korean?  I have no family ties to Korea, I don’t live in a place populated by a lot of Koreans (and those who are Korean prefer to communicate in English), and I don’t plan on visiting or living in Korea any time soon.  Sure, there are K-dramas and K-pop which I love and obsess over 26 hours a day but that’s not the reason I started learning Korean.  So what was it exactly?  I’m not even sure I know myself.