Ten Korean words I can never remember

As you guys might know already, I dislike memorizing vocabulary words.  Most of the Korean words I know are from reading articles and books, listening to podcasts and songs (especially rap – I’ve learned so many great words from Epik High), and watching variety shows and dramas.  I’d rather learn words slowly and naturally through context than force myself to study stacks of flashcards.  It might be slower but the retention rate is better, in my case.

There are some words that I hear once or twice and remember forever because of the particular context I read them in.  For example, I will forever remember 고구마 = sweet potato because of 우결 and I learned a lot of entertainment industry-related vocabulary by reading celebrity news.

But there are some words that I see over and over and over and over again in different contexts that I have to look up EVERY SINGLE TIME.  I don’t know why they refuse to stick.  I write them down over and over again, to no avail.  Some of these words stump me because they have so many definitions to them; others are just verbs or adjectives that I find difficult to learn through context.  Maybe jotting them down here will help?

1) 파악하다 (타동사)(사람이 어떤 대상의 내용이나 성질 따위를)충분히 이해하여 확실하게 알다.

2) 넘어가다 (자동사) = 쓰러지다; to set, sink, go down; 옮아가다; 속다; to be swallowed; to be turned over

3) 겪다 (타동사)to undergo, experience, suffer

4) 딱히 (부사) = (not) necessarily, (not) always, (not) exactly, (not) completely

5) 유쾌하다 (형용사) = (사람이나 그 기분이)즐겁고 상쾌하다.

6) 대상 (명사) = the subject, object, target (of study)

7) 살짝 (부사) = 남이 모를 정도로 재빠르게; 심하지 않게 약간; 힘을 들이지 않고 가볍게.

8) 개념 (명사) = 생각; 철학

9) 흩어지다/흐트러지다 (자동사) = (한곳에 모여 있던 무엇이)각각 떨어지거나 퍼지다.

10) 흥미 (명사) = 흥(fun, interest, merriment)을 느끼는 재미; 어떠한 사물에 대해 느끼는 특별한 관심.

Oh man, they look so simple now that I’ve listed them out!  (Of course the list itself isn’t exhaustive.)  Haha.  My vocabulary is so bad. :(

What are some words YOU find difficult to remember?

1 Comment

  1. alodia says:

    Any words with ㅈ and ㅊ! I don’t know why and I don’t know if I’m the only odd one who have this problem. But whenever a word has ㅈ or ㅊ (actually I think I can remember words with ㅊ better than words with ㅈ) it would take me forever to remember them. Even the name of my crush who happened to have two ㅈs. I’ve asked him like 4 times because it won’t take a minute before I forget it again. And as expected, I forgot his name when I returned home. And same with my Mandarin. Words with the ㅈ/j sounds are the most difficult words for me to remember.


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