New motivation

I’ve been thinking a lot about why I’m still studying Korean.  Overthinking it maybe.  I don’t really believe people need a tangible reason to study a foreign language, but most people have some kind of motivation.  한류 seems to be the main driving force for the younger (newer?) generation of Korean learners.  But in my case, it’s always felt like Korean chose me.  I love language.  And I had tried to learn several languages before abandoning most of them; something clicked in place when I first heard spoken Korean.  I grew to like Korean music and dramas as a result of that.

I still like Korean music (mostly hiphop and indie) but 2012 was the year that Korean dramas officially died for me.  Granted, there were some I really liked, but when I think about the zeal with which I watched dramas for the first couple years since I discovered them – the spark’s gone.  I only finished three dramas this year and left behind a slew of unfinished ones.  I don’t regret it.

I realized a few months ago that my interest in Korean has shifted away from pop culture and toward literature.  This was the year of Korean novels for me, with SEVEN new ones lining my shelf since January.  Here’s all of them.


(No need to compliment my photography skills.  I know y’all are awed.)

For me, one of the greatest rewards of knowing a foreign language is being able to sample a whole new universe of writing.  I guess it’s not surprising that I’ve come to love and appreciate Korean literature as much as I do.  There are so many great books to be read.


  1. jubirang says:

    Which one is your favourite? Out of those, I’ve only tried to read 엄마를 부탁해 but it was so depressing I found it hard to get through! Since then I’ve just been reading short story compilations, but would like to try a novel again. Are any of the other novels you’ve read a little less of a downer?


    1. Archana says:

      Sorry for the late reply! I definitely recommend 커피프린스1호점. It’s light and humorous and the drama that was based off that novel is still one of my favorites to date (although I seem to have forsaken dramas for now haha).


      1. jubirang says:

        Thanks! I haven’t seen the drama but I’ve heard everyone rave about it! I will definitely check that out.


  2. Curioser and Curiosor says:

    I hear you! I only discovered K-Drama in July last year and got instantly consumed by it, but as of January, the urgency if gone and, like you, I don’t mind one but. I think it has been so easy for me to let go of the addiction because while I was immersed in it, I started learning A LOT – language, history, tradition — essentially discovering yet another permutation of reality, of normal, because of the cultural window that K-Drama proved to be. Now my focus has switched almost entirely to Language, Literature and History and the occasional drama I follow now serves to fortify those primary goals, although, I must admit, I’m thoroughly enjoying 그 겨울, 바람이 분다!

    I’m only in the very early stages of Language learning and have discovered that I have to be both diligent and patient. Korean is unlike any other language I have ever learned and I am thoroughly digging the challenge/discovery. Right now I take all my Literature and History in translation but I look forward to the day I can go straight to the source…



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