안녕하세요.  알차나라고 합니다.

Hello, world.  This is Archana.

By day, I’m a product marketing manager in Silicon Valley. By night, I write all manner of silly things and study Korean (and a little Japanese) on the side.

I accidentally started teaching myself Korean around the end of December 2009. After watching a Korean horror movie (고死: 피의 중간고사) and my first Korean drama (uh, 꽃보다 남자), I fell in love with how spoken Korean sounds. I started looking up a few things here and there and eventually stumbled upon the Talk To Me In Korean podcast. That was the beginning.

This blog

This blog was inspired largely by some other great language-learning bloggers who I’ve had the pleasure to interact with over the years. I didn’t realize there were so many people out there with this passion! I’d love to be a part of the Korean language learning community and contribute in any way I can.

This blog is going to be filled with everything and anything about the languages that I’m studying and/or find interesting. Most likely, it’ll end up being a lot about Korean and occasionally about Japanese. A lot of my posts will also probably be about how I self-study languages, so hopefully that’ll give other self-learners ideas about how to study as well.

The title of my blog  — 반짝반짝 한국어[panjjak panjjak hangugeo] — roughly translates to “shining Korean.”  Of all the languages I’ve tried my hand at (and I’ve tried a lot), Korean shines the brightest in my life.

Well that’s about it. Thanks for stopping by! 👋🏽

— Archana

41 comments on “About”

    1. There is probably no linguistic connection between the two. Marathi is derived from Sanskrit which is of Indo-Aryan origin while Korean and Japanese are of Altaic origin (Although that is debatable. Some linguists consider Korean to be “isolated” – as in having no linguistic relatives). I just think that sometimes the phonology of Korean can be similar to that of certain Indian languages. And some grammar patterns are similar too, surprisingly! For example, in Korean, you can use VERB + 아/어/여 보다 to mean “try doing something” and you can use an equivalent construction in Marathi. In Marathi, it is VERB + “and” + paa (paa = the verb “to see”).


  1. Hi there! I’m also a language learner and I was visiting some friend’s blogs and luckily found yours! (blog-hopping is nice! lol)

    It’s very interesting to meet fellow language learners. Shall add you up on my list. haha.

    keep blogging!



        1. My name’s Archana hehe. And sure, I’d love to be interviewed. It will have to be some time at the end of next week though, since I have finals and projects to take care of first.


  2. Hello Archana, this is Shashwat. Was just getting some language reference via blogs and found yours. by the way, I’m a Marathi as well, tuzha blog kharach khup chan ahey, especially with everything Korean, I’m also a fan of K-Pop. K-Rock but I’m more of a crazy fan of Japanese visual 2D art known as Anime, an Otaku ofcourse. Well I want to ask you something as how in our language there’re consonants, the “Bara Khadi” which we say. The thing is that, how do we compare our consonants i.e. A AA, E EE, UU with the Japanese consonants? You know any chart or site that would provide the information about the similarity between these two languages? I want to learn Japanese and need some help, hope you’ll come up with an answer. ^_^


    1. Oh my, hello Shashwat and thank you!

      To answer your question, you should be able to find a Japanese syllabary (either Hiragana or Katakana) chart by just doing a simple search on the internet; however, I don’t think there are many similarities between our bara khadi and Japanese consonants (I actually think Hindi/Marathi is probably more similar to Korean than Japanese) so I doubt you would find a chart correlating the two. There are fewer consonants and vowels to learn in Japanese. For example, while we have “ka” and “kha” in Marathi, in Japanese, there’s only one “ka” (which is similar to the English “ka” sound.)

      Just as we have “a” “aa” “e” “ee” etc. but unlike Marathi, there no separate characters or diacritic marks in Japanese for long vowels. Long vowels in Japanese are indicated by writing two vowels next to each other, either “あ” (a), “い” (i) or “う” (u), depending on the vowel. For example, in the word ありがとう (“arigatō”), the last syllable “tō” has a long “o” sound at the end so you write it as と (“to”) + う (“u”) which is then pronounced as “tō.”

      Hope that helps. Good luck with your Japanese studies. :)


  3. Wow! What a great blog to stumble upon. I was just taking a break from self-studying Korean and found this. Great blog! And I love that you’re at Stanford! (Hella close to where my Korean boyfriend lives!) Can’t wait to read more of your blog!


  4. Hello Archana, 안녕하십니까?
    You have a great site, and I’m happily fumbling around reading random postings, 재미있어요!
    Like you I found TTMIK (사랑합니다!) who somehow led me to your blog.

    So, what is it about 한국어 anyway that makes it so darn addictive? 작년 배오기 시작합니다.
    한글 is what got me started. I’ve always been curious as to what all those little circles meant, and… well, it was all downhill from there. I just can’t stop. Although I have a terrible memory (mind like a sieve with holes in it LOL). I heard a great comment though the other day – a young lady said my Korean pronunciation was “scary.” Not exactly sure what she meant, but I took it as a compliment.

    My wife of course things I’m completely barmy – she’s from Brazil, and helped me learn Portuguese which I’m fairly fluent in (omg the dreaded “F” word! Actually, I like to say I’m “conversational”) Then again, even I haven’t the slightest idea WHY I’m learning Korean. I certainly can’t explain it very well. It’s an obsession, it’s an addiction.

    Okay gotta go, talk to you later. There’s this K-drama I have to watch now…



    1. 안녕하세요 키코님! 코멘트 남겨줘서 감사합니다. I’m glad you like my posts! I find Korean very addicting as well (as you can probably tell). I don’t think people need to have a particular reason to learn a language – in fact, I think people who go into learning a language WITHOUT a reason probably end up enjoying it more than people who do. Thanks for reading and enjoy your drama! :)


  5. Archana, it’s me Kat/katecdet from underneaththestarss I just wanna let you know I’ve moved to seoulcrystal.wordpress.com

    If you don’t mind changing the my link you have on your blog and following me there, please do. Thanks girl!


  6. Heh yeah. Well, I’m studying Japanese for quite a while now and mostly what I think that Japanese does resemble Marathi in many ways as the grammatical structure “SOV” which is same as Marathi and it does get going with the way I study.
    To fill out the gap between pronunciation, Kanji comes in real handy and that is what drives me crazy about the language which makes it truely fascinating and immersive and hence I’m gonna learn more than 2,000 of em.
    But in Korean as you obviously know that you can basically start communicating in Hangul without using Hanja which is the only method of communication in South Korea as far as I know but in North Korea they still use Hanja which is compulsory. And thanks, I wish even you become fluent in Korean as well, hardik shubekcha. :) Lol.


  7. I’d like to chime in with the other happy readers and say how thrilled I am to have stumbled upon this blog. It is quite wonderful (I am now follwoing and have added it to my blogroll)!

    I especially enjoy that you are engaged with every aspect of language – I am a professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and I special in the Medieval literatures of Italy, France and Spain. I cannot really account for my recently discovered and developed passion for Korean except to say perhaps that it is so new compared to everything else I know and I feel a tremendous thrill every time I learn something new about the culture and history of Korea, or develop a new level of understanding of the language.

    I really look forward to getting more familiar with your blog and learning from your posts.



  8. Hi Archana,

    I received a nomination for the Liebster Award that is going around the KDrama corner of the interwebs and so I nominated you for one as well since I have ebjoyed your nlog so much and I hope other can as well.

    The Liebster Award is essentially and invitation to come out and play for a moment and I have more details about how to receive it here. I hope you have the time and inclination to participate! Cheers!


  9. Hi I am Sharmaine and I have recently started my blog on my korean learning journey and would love to join this growing community to share with each other our love for the language and to be able to learn from each other.
    I am writing at seoulsuitcase.blogspot.com and this is my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/seoulsuitcase
    Do like my page and give me a shoutout.
    Thank you!:)


  10. It’s nice to meet you Archana, I’m NyNy! Just wanted to stop by and say I like your posts.

    I hope when you have the time, you can check out some of mine and comment plus I’m still writing my travel entries when I went to Korea last year. I’d appreciate if you took a look :)


  11. I love this blog; I am also obsessed with languages. By the way, just out of curiosity, why didn’t you transliterate your name as 아르차나? It would kinda be how most Koreans would do it. My Korean isn’t that good, but I’m working on it a lot, but I remember these intense discussions with my Korean friends in Seoul about how to transliterate whatnot into Hangeul.

    Please keep it up! and I’ll keep following your blog, it is a wealth of information!


    1. Thank you so much!

      The transliteration of my name has been a point of contention among my Korean friends, haha. It has to do with the way my name is pronounced, which is closer to ARCH-naa (the second ‘a’ is almost silent because the emphasis is on the first syllable and the ‘na’ part is a long ‘a’ sound). I’ve had Korean friends spell it both ways in Korean. :)


  12. 안녕하셔요? 와.. 이렇게 열정적으로 한국어 관련 포스트를 하고 계시다니 너무 멋지셔요. 전 한국인이에요..^^ 일산에 사는.
    한국어랑 인디아 말이 비슷하다는 것이 어순 말씀이시군요?

    한국어 배우실 때 가장 어려우신 것이 무엇일지 궁금하네요.. 이 블로그 다른 분들께 소개해도 되나요? 알려주셔요. 즐거운 하루 보내시구요..
    – From here, I will translate the above mentioned reply in Korean language for you^^
    Hello, you are so amazing because you have posted on korean language as well as korean dramas..I am Korean, living in Ilsan near Seoul. Nice to meet you=)

    I was somewhat intereseted in your saying : Korean language has some similarities with your language. Surely the similarities are from “language structures or verb forms.”

    I wonder what is the most difficult stuff when you learn about Korean language..

    One more, is it possible for me to introduce your blog to my friends?

    XOX reply me A.S.A.P.


    1. 상희 씨 안녕하세요! 코멘트 남겨주셔서 감사합니다! 정말 반갑습니다.

      Yes, my mother tongue Marathi (language from Northern India) has some similarities to Korean because they are both subject-object-verb languages and culturally there are some similarities between Indian and Korean culture!

      한국어 공부할 때 가장 어려운 것은 단어 배우기인 것 같아요. 책 읽다가 모르는 단어 각자 사전에서 열심히 검색해 보는데 머리 속에 붙이지 않아요.

      I would LOVE it if you told your friends about my blog! Please feel free to do so.

      Best wishes and thanks for reading. :)


  13. Can you elaborate on what it is about Korean that you call it your shining light?

    I’m trying to learn on my own as well and I’m having such a hard time dealing with the alphabet (my recent disability has affected my memorization skills). I often wonder who were the first English and Korean speakers who sat down and decided which letter sounds were equivalent to which.

    Biggest problem is the “bee” and “pee” sounds as in rain and blood. For instance the singer Rain is pronounced “bee” in western circles and in China and even Korean teachers on YouTube tell me it’s “bee” but when I hear them actually use it in a sentence it sounds like “pee”.

    I’ve bought pronunciation apps but either the sound clarity is poor or my ears are off. :)


  14. I serendipitously discovered your blog today, and I love your writing! I look forward to reading more of your posts.


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