Toktogi: A Korean-English pop-up dictionary

For a couple years, I was a faithful user of Naver’s English Dictionary extension for Chrome, which works by bringing up a side panel window with the definition of any Korean word that you double-click on.  It was nice, but I have a bad habit of highlighting and unnecessarily clicking on words while reading stuff online, so more often than not, I’d end up triggering the extension on an English word or a Korean word that I already knew.  That meant many instances of loading multiple windows, having to exit out of those windows, using up memory, and slowing down my internet speed.  Eventually I got to a point where I could understand 80% of the content I was reading on the internet (i.e. manhwa, celebrity interviews), so I deleted the extension and got by using context clues and the Daum dictionary webpage when needed.

The problem is, I’ve basically reached a vocabulary plateau with Korean because I keep reading the same type of thing time and again.  So lately, I’ve been making an earnest effort to read more diverse content…. but that meant having to look up a lot of new words.  Instead of going back to the Naver extension or choosing to laboriously look up each word I was unfamiliar with on the dictionary webpage, I’m utilizing a really awesome new Korean-English popup dictionary extension for Chrome.

This extension is super convenient.  All you do is hover your mouse over a Korean word and the English definition pops up in a tiny blue box below it.  No new browser opens, there’s no delay, and you can toggle the extension being on/off on a page quite easily.  This lets me read more quickly and smoothly than I ever have before.  Overall, there’s really not much to criticize.  As of now, the definitions only appear in English and there’s no way you can toggle to Korean definitions (sometimes I find it easier to understand the nuance of a word when I read the definition in Korean), nor can you look up the Korean equivalent of an English word, but the extension is still rather new so I’m sure there’s room for improvement and refinement in the future.  Now I really have no excuse to not read more Korean.

EDIT:  Here’s a link to the extension in the Chrome Web Store.

Site name change + new blog


Three years after publishing this blog, I’ve decided to make a minor change to the title.  It’s gone from 반짝반짝 to 반짝반짝 한국어.  I think I’ve subconsciously thought of my blog as the latter for a while now; it reflects the fact that it’s a blog about Korean (mostly) and that the journey has been a lustrous one (…mostly).  I think my happiest experiences in the recent years have had something to do with Korean so the title is fitting in that sense.  In retrospect, I kind of regret choosing a Korean word as my site name because it may make it more difficult for people to remember and/or type into a search engine, but I don’t want to change it at this point.  Plus I’ve noticed that a lot of Korean language learning blogs have popped into existence in the past couple years and it’s getting more difficult to tell them all apart!  A unique blog title does help in that case.

Speaking of blogs, I started a new Weebly site to write more generally about other stuff in my life.  I’m kind of going for a scrapbook/portfolio type thing – that is, a space where I can showcase projects I’m working on and also write longer personal posts.  As for Weebly itself… I actualy don’t know much about it.  I mostly wanted to start a website where I can practice messing around with modifying and creating new themes for free.  Unfortunately, there’s only a limited amount of theme customization you can do on WordPress when you have a basic account.  On the other hand, Weebly has some aesthetically pleasing (free!) templates already and allows you to modify its HTML/CSS quite easily.  Also, Weebly is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get website builder comprised entirely of drag-and-drop widgets that you can use to build your site without any knowledge of web development.  The whole setup is quite different from the WordPress content management system.  I don’t know much about different CMS but WordPress seems to cater well to people who focus on content on their blog, whereas Weebly is quite nice when you want to consider aesthetics.

In any case, if you want to check it out, here’s the link!

EDIT (7/18/2016): I’ve deleted this blog.

Adolescence Rediscovered

The older I get, the more juvenile my interests become.  At least by society’s standards.

During high school, it was 일주일 내내 열공.  Zero time to do anything except homework and exam prep.  College (undergrad) was probably the peak of my  Korean-learning phase – as in, I was watching a lot of Korean dramas, listening/following K-pop, and reading a lot as well.  Now I’m in graduate school.  I’m in my twenties.  Busier than ever.  And yet, I find myself buying plushies online (no joke), squandering my money away on silly trinkets, and playing video games that I missed out on in my youth.  Yep.

Aside from role-playing games – which I didn’t think I’d ever get into until recently – I’ve become a fan of visual novels.  As someone who is a traditionalist when it comes to reading (I prefer books), I’ve always pretentiously side-eyed visual novels and I still don’t not consider them a real form of literature, but I will acknowledge that they are super fun, especially when they’re interactive.  I’ve come to adore Ace Attorney, for example.  I don’t remember what I was looking up but I stumbled across this:



Apparently in the Korean version of the game, they also keep the Japanese names.  Phoenix Wright is Naruhodo Ryuichi, Mia is Chihiro, etc. Sadly my Japanese is still not good enough to play the originals but I have it from a good source that the puns are hilarious.  Heh.  When I took my sister’s old Nintendo DS, I had no idea I’d be using it as much as I am.  And speaking of visual novels, for some reason I thought they were exclusive to Japanese… apparently there are Korean ones too!  I recently started playing (err, reading) 아날로그 어 헤이트 스토리 switching between English and Korean.

One of these days I’m going to finish writing up all those actually useful posts I have sitting in my drafts.