All posts filed under: 사자성어

무용지물

Does anyone else experience this phenomenon of learning a new word or phrase and then immediately seeing it pop up everywhere? I recently bought a copy of 덕혜옹주: 조선의 마지막 황녀 (Princess Deokhye: The Last Joseon Princess) which, now I’m reading it, is actually so depressing I don’t even know why I bought it in the first place. But it’s a change from all the other… uh… historical romance novels I keep buying without restraint. Anyway, I was a few pages in when I first encountered the word 무용지물 in this context: 빗소리가 우산을 찢을 듯이 요란했다. 자정이 가까운 시각이었다. 서둘러 길을 건너야 한다. 여인은 휠체어 위로 우산을 받치며 걸음을 옮겼다. 그러나 사나운 빗줄기 앞에서는 우산도 무용지물이었다. And then when I pulled out my TOPIK book, I saw the word used in a sample exercise. The next day I read it in a news article. Chances are I’ve probably encountered the word several times and looked up its definition but I never truly learned it until just now. As with a lot of the words, idioms, 사자성어, etc. that I know, …

대기만성

Graduate school makes me sigh so hard my chest hurts.  It’s crushing to realize I’m starting my third year when academically, socially, financially, medically – basically in all aspects of my life, things haven’t improved or progressed in the slightest.  I feel myself unraveling. What’s worse is that Korean, which used to be an anchor of sanity for me, is turning into a type of anxiety trigger.  It used to be the thing I could turn to when my day wasn’t going well or when I was feeling stressed out.  In that way, I inextricably linked a cherished passion with my lackluster academic life.  Now my Korean immersion actually induces stress because I’m beginning to associate Korean with all the negative emotions I have for grad school. I’m finally taking a small vacation, and during the past weeks I’ve mostly avoided studying Korean.  Thankfully, I think it’s so prominent among my interests that it’ll be impossible for me to cut it out of my life entirely.  And of course, I have a lot of pleasant memories …

Daum’s Easy English (금상첨화!)

So much about language learning is about individual perspective.  For example, my own mother tongue, culture, and the values I was brought up with influences how quickly I learn certain Korean phrases or bits of Korean culture.  Needless to say, the things I can identify with, I learn more quickly. That being said, although I use Marathi and my Indian background to connect to Korean, English is clearly my stronger language.  And as my Korean inches beyond the intermediate stage, I find myself reading more and more about English in Korean and I’ve actually learned a lot.  I began to pick up so-and-so Korean phrase is equivalent in meaning to blah-blah English and that’s really helping my writing and communication.  A fair warning though:  I’ve looked at a few “teach yourself English”-type books in Korean and am often baffled by the expressions and example sentences in the books.  Most of them are just BAD. Now, I’m a steadfast Daum user (pretty sure I’m in the minority, but I can’t stand Naver) and I love the Daum 어학사전. …