I think most of you guys know about shadowing, but for those who might not know, I’ll start of this post with a super short introduction ^^
Shadowing is a learning technique that can help you speak more fluently. It can help your intonation, pronunciation and your talking speed, which is all a very big part of sounding fluent.
What you do is, you listen to a native speaker talking, and you repeat what they are saying while trying to make it sound as similar as possible. Shadowing is a really great language learning tool and it’s something that everyone can do.
Also I would recommend that you do this while you’re alone or with someone who understands what you’re doing, because other people will look at you like you’re a nutcase. Just a heads up! 😉
So now that we’re all on the same page here, let me tell you about my struggles.. sigh..
I haven’t been shadowing as much as I would have liked, and lately I have been getting more and more frustrated with my awkward pauses and slow speaking, whenever I speak Korean. It made me decide to focus more on shadowing and speaking in general, but that’s where my struggles really begin. Whenever I decide to shadow something, I just keep getting more and more frustrated if I can’t make it sound very similar. The more I listen to myself ‘not getting it right’, the more frustrated I become and the worse my intonation becomes. It’s a never ending circle and it’s not doing me any good. Normally I don’t mind getting things wrong as I believe that we learn from everything, and usually getting something wrong or not doing something very well, just motivates me to try even harder and keep practicing. However for some reason, I just don’t feel that way with shadowing.
I guess language learning can’t be done without bumps in the road, and luckily, I have a really great language partner and friend (ㅋㅋ 안녕 오빠!) who have helped me feel more positive, when I fail at my usual positive attitude. Since his wise words of encouragements has helped my so many times, I figured it could be helpful for other language learners too.
Whenever I feel hopeless he reminds me that I am not a native speaker and the fact that I am even able to try doing something, is an achievement that shouldn’t be forgotten.
I am NOT a native speaker. I am NOT supposed to do these things perfectly. In fact I am NOT supposed to know the language at all. However despite not being supposed to do these things, I’m still trying. Learning a language is an achievement in itself. Being able to try and fail is an achievement in itself. Doing something that isn’t very well done, is still something that you have done. Let’s all try to remember this when we get frustrated on our language journey. 🙂
Before returning to my shadowing, I though I would share one of my favorite, less known YouTube channels, 한국언니. She makes super short but helpful videos with different themes. It’s great especially for beginners and for leaning phrases for specific situations, but my favorite things about these videos are that they are short and thereby easy to get through on stressful days or when you feel like you might loose your focus fast + the sentences are said several times with different natural intonations -> perfect for shadowing.
For all you T-ara fans, this sentence (Jeon Won Diary) will probably be quite familiar!
Enjoy your language journey people!