All posts filed under: Study Tools

Studying Korean on Instagram

It’s hard to believe that just a decade ago we were limited to learning languages from instructors, textbooks, and the occasional audio recording. Social media and the Internet as a whole has been such a central part of my own self-studying process that I can’t imagine getting to the level that I’m at with just textbooks. It all started with Twitter and Me2day (remember Me2day?!) about 5 years ago and since then, I think I’ve found useful Korean resources on all types of social media. Back in December, I added Instagram to that repertoire. I can’t remember how I found @hangulove, but it’s now by far one of my favorite Instagram accounts. Hangulove is an account for native Korean speakers looking to correct some bad habits they might’ve picked up while growing up with their language. The account covers correct grammar, spelling, spacing of words (띄어쓰기), and examples of pure Korean words (순우리말, as opposed to Sino-Korean words). The admin posts once a day, with a simple image (like below) and an extended explanation of the lesson in the …

Q&A: How to start learning Korean

Ishani asked: Hi Archana! I am dying to learn Korean! I know a bunch of random Korean words but cant frame them in sentences…I want to start from ABC of Korean..but how and from where do I start? Please show me a way…kamsahamnida! Hi Ishani!  Thanks for the question.  There are lots of different ways to start learning a language.  I can share with you how I got started and point you in the direction of some resources, but if this doesn’t work for you, don’t get discouraged!  There are tons of blogs out there about language learning and there many different approaches.  This was my approach.  Listen to a lot of Korean.  I am a very auditory learner and I’m guessing you are too!  I started learning Korean the same way as you – by picking up random words from songs and TV dramas.  I kept a word document with a list of words I “learned” through listening to dialogue.  This was before I even learned Hangeul, so my list was just romanized approximations of the …

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 …

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. …

@urimal365

If you’re at the advanced-intermediate-ish level in Korean have a Twitter account, make sure you’re following @urimal365, if you’re not already!  This is the official twitter account of The National Institute of the Korean Language (국립국어원), where they answer several questions on a daily basis about everything and anything related to the language – grammar, usage, spacing, spelling, honorifics, meaning, shortened forms, expressions, etc. Keep in mind, this is supposed to be for native speakers so all of the questions and explanations are in Korean.  You may need to brush up on your Korean grammar terminology (check out my list – which I need to update) but if you’ve been using Korean websites to help with learning grammar, the explanations are pretty simple to follow.  I noticed that a LOT of questions are about 띄어 쓰기 and spelling.  Some of the questions surprise me because it’s stuff that I actually already know but then it made me realize – there are a lot of things about “proper” English grammar that I don’t know and have to look up …

니홍고 감바리마쇼!

Oh, this is fun. I know I’m not the first language blogger to stumble across these videos, but I thought I’d share them anyway.  니홍고 감바리마쇼! (만화로 배우는 일본어) is a YouTube web series that aired from 2010-2011 designed to (you guessed it) help you learn Japanese through Korean. The videos basically run like a podcast, except with cute little comics depicting the scenario around which each lesson is built.  It would have been cool if the story in each video built on the previous one like an ongoing drama, but it’s still cute that there’s a cast of recurring characters.  There’s the bumbling protagonist Park-san, his girlfriend of sorts Sayaka-san, his younger brother in the army Hyunwoo, and their smart-aleck cat Gongnyangi.  I love how the hosts actually spent time developing their characters.  Speaking of whom, the hosts, Rin and Sho, have great chemistry with each other.  I’m proud to say I can mostly understand both their banter and their explanations! Each video is centered around one word or phrase but the full dialogue is pretty …

Book Review: 옛것에 대한 그리움

Before I start, an extra special shout-out goes out to my loveliest of lovelies, Jeannie, who sent this book along with a stash of other goodies from Korea.  She’s forever spoiling me with gifts.  I am so lucky to know you, dear – and not just because you’re my Sugar Daddy.  Haha. I have to admit, I distanced myself from Korean culture and history during my first year of studying the language because a part of me felt that if I learned too much about it, I might come across as a Korean “wannabe.”  As it is, I still keep my passion for Korean a bit under the wraps, but I’ve come to realize that one cannot divorce a language from its culture.  The better I get at Korean, the more I want to know about Korea itself. And on that topic, a few weeks ago while I was watching 아랑 사또전, I decided I wanted to know more about 고수레, or food that Koreans put out to appease ghosts.  I googled it, browsed  few websites, …

Drama Dialogue @selfstudykorean

Many of you are probably already aware that a couple of days ago, Shanna of Hangukdrama just launched selfstudykorean.com, a brand new website aiming to bring together and unite the rapidly growing online community of Korean language learners. Selfstudykorean seeks to pool the knowledge and experiences of several Korean language bloggers, which will hopefully motivate others to find and develop their own effective method of self-studying Korean.  As of now, there are around nine main bloggers (myself included!).  Each of us will be contributing content from a variety of sources as well as from our own personal experiences as regularly as possible, in order to not only bring more content, but also to highlight that there are multiple ways to go about successfully self-studying a language.  If you’re interested in contributing, check out this page! I will be writing a (hopefully) weekly feature entitled “Drama Dialogue,” where I will take a few lines from a scene in a K-drama and then expound upon a single word, phrase, cultural or grammar point – similar to what I did a few posts back …

타자연습

Thank goodness I learned touch typing back some ten years ago, otherwise high school and college would have been a very painful experience.  Much, in fact, like the experience I’m having typing in Korean right now. For the past year, I’ve been using the “soft” (i.e. onscreen) Korean keyboard that comes with the Microsoft Windows IME – so basically, using my mouse to input each Hangeul character.  It’s slow and unnecessarily abusive to my poor index finger.  My netbook, which runs Windows 7, doesn’t come with the soft keyboard so I finally have to face the harsh reality of learning how to type again.  This time, in Korean. A while back, I made my own Hangeul stickers and had them on my keyboard for a couple months before they all started to fall off.  That gave me a general idea of where all the characters are but unfortunately my speed and accuracy are nowhere near that of my English typing ability.  This clearly has to change or I’ll start to hate typing in Korean, which means …

Chrome Add-On: Pop-Up Dictionary (via Jeanne’s Korean Learning Journey)

This is seriously the best thing I’ve ever come across. Thank you so much, Jeanne!! Ever since my Japanese-learning friend bragged about pop-up dictionary Rikaichan or something, I’ve been looking around for something similar for Korean, in vain… Until now. Seriously, why didn’t anyone tell me about it? A free Chrome add-on (though I’m pretty sure that other browsers have it too) allows you to double-click on a Korean word and have its dictionary entry opened right away, in a little pop-up window. Easy-peasy, and you’re not ev … Read More via Jeanne’s Korean Learning Journey