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.