Posted in books, Guides, Resources, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

REVIEW – Korean Q&A sentence patterns by TTMIK

qna-1

This is a book that just recently joined my growing collection of books, and since it is one of my current favorites I decided that it was more than worthy of a review on the blog.
The funny thing about this is that I actually bought the e-book when it was published, but because I prefer physical copies I never quite got around to using it. I usually force myself to read e-books since not all books will come out in paper format, but it does take me a lot longer to work through them, which is why I currently have 2 other e-books on standby.. I will get to them soon, I promise!
Anyway let’s get to the review!
As usual I will go through the setup, good points and bad points, my general opinion and lastly my advice for studying with this specific book.

Setup
The books starts out with a short but thorough introduction to the content as well as TTMIK’s own advice on how to study with the book. This is followed by the table of contents and then we get to all the fun stuff.
qna-2

qna-3

The book contains 10 categories, which each has 5 main questions. All of the main questions are followed by 3 similar questions, a main grammar point, a sample answer as well as 3 similar answers.
The book provides vocabulary lists, study notes, a real life answer from a TTMIK teacher as well as a sample dialog.
Lastly there’s a blank area for you to write your own answers in.
The book comes with downloadable audio files.

qna-4

qna-5

qna-6

qna-8

Good/Bad points
The good – in no specific order:
– Visually pleasing.
– Realistic and interesting topics.
– Easy to review due to study notes.
– No romanization.
– Can help you improve listening, speaking, reading as well as writing.
– Can help you gain confidence by giving you knowledge about basic patterns as well as expected questions/answers in certain situations.
– Clean design that allows you to focus on the actual content.
– Perfect travel size.
– Answers from real people.

The bad – in no specific order:
– I always write answers on a separate paper and never in my books, but if I did then I would like a bit more answer space.

My general opinion
As mentioned in the beginning of my post, this is one of my current favorite books to study with, and I keep finding more and more ways to study with it, so personally I would recommend this to anyone who is beginner or intermediate. It’s a great way to improve your conversational skills and take a step towards talking Korean more freely, which is what I am currently working a lot on.

My advice on studying with this book
– Go through all the main questions. If you can answer them with confidence then you can move on to the next one. Sometimes you might learn something unexpected and even if you don’t, the book is made in a simple way that allows you to read it all quickly without feeling like you’re wasting your time. Not to mention that confirming your skills might give you a boost of confidence!
If you cannot answer with confidence then work through the assignments provided.
– Make sure to write your own answers to the questions. You can easily skip it or copy one of the sample answers, but practicing is really important if you want to really learn how to use these patterns. Also, writing your own answers forces you to really think about the question and the patterns and in many cases you will also have to look up words that are relevant to your specific answer, which will bring you even more knowledge about the topic.
If you find it very difficult, then start by writing your answer on a separate paper in your mother tongue. This will remove any barriers in your thinking while answering as well as it will give you a guide to what words and grammar you need to look up before answering in Korean.
– Avoid practicing wrong things. Make sure to get your answers checked so that you can learn from possible mistakes instead of teaching yourself something incorrect. You can ask friends, language partners, teachers or get help from websites like italki, lang-8 or apps like Hellotalk and HiNative (Reviews are coming for all of these).
– Use the audio files to practice both listening and speaking. These short files are perfect to imitate and practice pronunciation and intonation.
– Study with a language partner or friend if possible. I’m going to use the topics for my future italki sessions, and I’ll use the book to help me prepare for each session/topic.

I hope you guys found this helpful!
Let me just end today’s post by telling you guys that TTMIK is currently having a chuseok sale so now is a really great time to invest in this book! You can buy it HERE

Posted in Selfstudy, TOPIK, Uncategorized

This week 07.08.16

Hi guys! I’m a bit earlier today than usual, but I figured that since I already have gotten quite a bit of studying done, and I probably wont be doing more today, I might as well write about this weeks numbers, now!

Monday – 1st of August
– Reviewing words and adding them to Quizlet, for about 1 hour.
 Worked with 덕혜옹주 for about 45 minutes.

Tuesday – 2nd of August
– Worked with 덕혜옹주 for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
– Worked with an audiobook for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Wednesday – 3rd of August
–  Worked with 덕혜옹주 for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
–  Reviewing words and adding them to Quizlet, for about 1 hour.

Thursday – 4th of August
– Worked with an audiobook for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
– Reviewing words on Quizlet for about 30 minutes.

Friday – 5th of August
– Worked with SURE magazine for about  1 hour.
– Worked with an audiobook for about 20 minutes.

Saturday – 6th of August
– Italki session for about  1 hour.
-Worked with an audiobook for about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
– Reviewing words on Quizlet for about 40 minutes.

Sunday – 7th if August
– Worked with TOPIK 듣기 for about  1 hour.
Worked with 서강 한국어 쓰기 1 for about 1 hour.
– Worked with 덕혜옹주 for about 1 hour.
– Worked with 빈도별 토픽 for about 40 minutes.

This makes this weeks total 16 hours and 45 minutes. I’m feeling quite satisfied with this number, though I must admit that I have been completely slacking on my 쓰기 skills, compared to my original plan. So that will be my goal of the new week. I’ll finish the TOPIK mock test that I started today (I only had time enough to do the 듣기 part), and hopefully my 쓰기 will not be too horrible!

Posted in Personal, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

This week 31.07.16

Good evening guys! This week was my last day at my internship, but even though it was quite hectic, I still got some studying done. Here’s my numbers from this week!

 

Monday – 25th of July
– Worked with a podcast (1st half of an audio book) for about 1 hour.
 Worked with SURE magazine for about 40 minutes.
– Worked with a podcast (2nd half of an audio book) for about 1 hour.

Tuesday – 26th of July
– Worked with a 만화 for about 20 minutes.
– Worked with 빈도별  토픽 for about 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Wednesday – 27th of July
Nothing.

Thursday – 28th of July
Nothing.

Friday – 29th of July
Nothing.

Saturday – 30th of July
– Italki session for about  1 hour.
– Worked with 서강 한국어 쓰기 1 for about  1 hour and 40 minutes.
– Worked with 덕혜옹주 (YES I FINALLY PICKED AN EBOOK TO READ) for about 30 minutes.

Sunday – 31st of July.
– Worked with SURE magazine for about  1 hour and 40 minutes.
Worked with 서강 한국어 쓰기 1 for about 20 minutes.
– Worked with 덕혜옹주 for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

That’s a total of 11 hours and 10 Minutes. Not to bad when I had a forced 3 day break! I now officially have (almost) all of August to myself and I’ll make sure to enjoy all of my time and get a lot of studying done!

I hope everybody had a great week just like me!
I’ll be back in a few days with a review!

Posted in Resources, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

My current plans and trying to decide

On Friday I have my last day of work with my current internship. This will be followed by vacation and even when that vacation ends, I’ll still be having a lot more free time on my hands – which of course means that I’ll be studying a lot more!

I currently have 2 projects that I will be pouring my heart and soul (and time and money) into. The first one is still in the beginning stages and isn’t quite certain yet. And the other one is of course TOPIK! I’ll officially start working towards that 4급!
Even though I still have 4 days of long shifts, I’m already thinking about what I want to do with all this new free time, in order to accomplish that goal. While nothing have really been set in stone yet I did make one plan, which is to read a Korean book. As you guys know, I have read quite a few by now but they have all been books translated into Korean, and 효진쌤 urged me to read an actual Korean book and enjoy the language in it’s most natural form. So that’s what I will do!
I’ve been looking at ridibooks.com and trying to decide what book to buy, but I just can’t seem to choose. I don’t really have any criteria for the book which means the selection is quite big. Ah what to do.
I have bookmarked a few by now – maybe I’ll ask one of my Korean friends to choose one for me. That seems like a good solution!

Another thing that I have decided is that I will work diligently with the magazine that my friend sent me last week. I’ll read every note, every article and every add, and make sure to write down the unknown words. And there’s quite a few of those! I already filled a few pages with new words and I only worked my way through a few adds and the table of contents! Since I feel like this might just be my kind of magazine, I really enjoy working with it. I feel like I might become addicted to reading it regularly and since shipping is so expensive I should at least use it to study diligently while enjoying the articles!

I’m looking forward to make more plans for the next few weeks!

Posted in Personal, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

This week 24.07.16

Hi guys! Since it Sunday today I decided to take a break from the blog post I was working on (I have a few updates) and write my weekly update!

This week was intense! Due to some unplanned issues I practically haven’t been home which means that I haven’t been studying like usual. However, due to my new study diary I don’t really feel that bummed about it, since I can see the result of last week, and I have still been able to get some studying done.

Monday – 18th of July
Worked with an article for about 1 hour.
 Worked with 빈도별 토픽 for about 40 minutes.
Worked on translating a song for about 20 minute.

Tuesday – 19th of July
– Nothing.

Wednesday – 20th of July
–  Reviewed new words for about 20 minutes.

Thursday – 21st of July
– Worked with 빈도별 토픽 for about 50 minutes.

Friday – 22nd of July
– Italki session for about 1 hour.

Saturday – 23rd of July
– Added new words from my italki session, to Quizlet/reviewing for about  1 hour.
– Talked on the phone with a new LP for about  1 hour.
– Worked with a magazine for about 30 minutes.

Sunday – 24th of July.
– Worked with magazine articles for about 2 hours.

So obviously this is a lot less than last week, but it’s still 8 hours and 40 Minutes where I DID get to study. Not bad at all! I feel like this coming week is going to be a lot more quiet and free, so I’m really looking forward to next weeks numbers!

I’ll be back with my updates tomorrow!

Posted in Personal, Selfstudy, TOPIK, Uncategorized

This week 17.07.16

Last Monday I started something new in order to hopefully stop myself from certain negative thoughts. You see, I feel a need to study a lot which in itself isn’t really a problem, however it seems like I automatically start on a completely new page each day. Actually. Its more like a whole new book. If I for some reason don’t get to study a lot one day, then I will feel very frustrated with myself and feel like I’m not doing my best – even if I have been studying for over 4 hours on the previous day. It’s like the other days of hard work just disappears the second I go to sleep. Also, I try my best to take a lot of breaks during my study sessions as I know its good for my head, but when I have a lot of short sessions, I loose track of my overall amount of studying which again leaves me frustrated.

I think I have become way too addicted to these long therapeutic study sessions, and now when my schedule simply doesn’t allow a lot of those, it causes me to feel stressed even though I really have no reason to.

To stop all of that stress I have decided to start keeping track of my studying. More precisely I time my study sessions, even when it’s just for 15 minutes and I add it all up at the end of the day. I also added a few notes on what I have been studying with during the day. I figured that it could help me regain overview of my studies, and surprisingly enough it has reduced my frustrations quite a lot. Therefore I have now decided to keep doing this for 5 weeks and see how it affects me and my way of thinking, and I’ll update on the blog each Sunday so that I can look back at my overall progress. Here’s how my week went by!

Monday – 11th of July
Worked with 서강 한국어 쓰기 1 for about 1 hour.
– 
Practiced essay writing for about 1 hour.

Tuesday – 12th of July
– Worked with 서강 한국어 쓰기 1 for about 50 minutes.
– Worked with useful Hanja words for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Wednesday – 13th of July
–  Worked with useful Hanja words for about 1 hour.
–  Worked with 빈도별 토픽 for about 1 hour.
–  Worked with Korean grammar in use (advanced) for about 50 minutes.

Thursday – 14th of July
– Worked with 서강 한국어 쓰기 1 for about 3 hours.

Friday – 15th of July
– Italki session for about 1 hour.

Saturday – 16th of July
– Going through corrections from my essay for about 30 minutes.
– Worked with 서강 한국어 쓰기 1 for about 1.5 hours.

Sunday – 17th of July.
– Worked with 빈도별 토픽 for about 1 hour.

 

Today I actually woke up with an awful headache and I didn’t really feel like doing anything what so ever. However, I got out of bed in decent time, I went jogging for the first time in 6 months and then sat down to study. At this point my headache became worse despite painkillers and I decided to stop studying. Normally I would feel really frustrated by studying for only 1 hour on a Sunday with no other plans. These days its so rare that I have that much time on my hands so I would definitely feel upset over wasting that time.
But today, I was totally fine with it because not only can I see right here and now in my notes, that I have been studying for over 14.5 hours this past week, but I can also see that I have been studying such a variety of things. I have been working on my grammar, I have been practicing writing, I have been reading, I have been talking and listening and I have practiced specifically for TOPIK (which I will be taking again in exactly 364 days from now – if you were wondering!). The fact that I am not able to use my Sunday in any efficient way, does NOT in any way mean that I have wasted my time or that I’m not doing my best. I’m working my butt off.

It feels really good to see everything over a larger period than just one day. If you – like me – feel frustrated over these so called ‘wasted’ days, then try to keep a small diary like me, over a longer time period.

My Sunday is almost over and as soon as I have published this post I’ll lie down on my couch and probably play some random game on my phone, without any regrets or thoughts of wasted time.

I hope everybody had a great week!

Posted in books, Personal, Uncategorized

Quiet Sundays

These last weeks have been quite intense and this is the first weekend in ages where I haven’t had any forced plans or work. A very needed break I must say. I decided to make this weekend all about myself and my needs and I definitely made the right choice!

Yesterday I took a trip to Aarhus and met with Sofie from Sofie To Korea for the first time! We had lunch and got to talk a lot which was really great! After that I decided to go shopping for a bit on my own. I really can’t remember when I did that the last time and while I usually prefer smaller cities, I actually really enjoyed watching all the people walk around, doing their own shopping. I spent more money than I should have but since I usually don’t shop at all, I’m actually okay with that.
I ended up getting on the wrong bus home and was suddenly stuck in a random small city. Sigh.. Anyway, Mr. 남친 suggested that he could come and pick me up, and then we could pick up some pizza and grilled chicken and eat it at his parents house, which was on our way home anyway. I guess yesterday was my most unproductive day in a long time, but never the less it was truly needed!

When I woke up this morning I decided to continue it like yesterday. I have the house to myself so I can literally do whatever I want! I cleaned my desk aka my holy place, I binge watched 마녀보감 while doing some dishes and laundry. I went for a quiet walk in the rain and took a long hot shower. While today is very productive compared to yesterday, I still feel just as great and relaxed because I’m doing exactly what I wish to do. I’ll make sure not to forget about what I WANT to do in the future. I just made myself a nice cup of tea and opened up all of the windows. Its still raining and its also a bit chilly today, but I feel like I need the fresh air, so I’ll keep warm with tea and my favorite cozy blanket instead. I’m currently sitting on my couch with a lazy bunny by my side and is just enjoying the quietness in our little home.

Untitled 1

270216 2

I’m now going to enjoy my tea and read another chapter of 이상한 나라의 앨리스 and then I’m going to move on with my to do list. I want to review everything from my last italki session and finish the first chapter in 서강 한국어 쓰기 1 – Simply because I want to.
Later tonight before Mr. 남친 comes home, I’m going to cook us a nice delicious meal and then we’re going to sit down together and watch some criminal minds – Because I want to.

I was actually going to talk about about why I find it important to take notes, but honestly I didn’t feel like doing that today so I’m not going to.

Don’t forget about what YOU want to do.

Posted in Personal, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

New beginnings and a boost of motivation

Today is in many ways a very special day to me. There’s a few sad reasons, a few neutral reasons and some really good reasons as well. Isn’t it fascinating that one can experience so many emotions at the same time? While the sad reasons are.. well. sad. I feel like the positive reasons manages to over-shine the sadness of today. As for the neutral reasons, I had a bunch of new experiences that made my day feel special, but they didn’t really add any good or bad vibes to my day.

However, this evening I had an amazing experience which made me go straight to the blog, even though I really should be getting ready for bed (Working weekend – again).
You see, today was the start of something new (cues High School Musical) and very nerve wrecking to me! Today I had my first Italki session with my new teacher/language partner. Whenever I speak in Korean I feel way more nervous than I should and this causes me to constantly switch back to English, and to be completely honest I feel like I never really put in my full effort when it comes to sticking to Korean. As a result it makes me feel really nervous when talking to new people – especially native speakers. I believe this is actually quite common, but nevertheless it means that it takes me a long time to feel comfortable enough to speak freely – with or without mistakes – and that just makes me even more nervous. I don’t like to waste time and I hate feeling like I’m not doing my best.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I entered this 30 minute session while thinking of it as starting fresh on a blank page, and with the intention of doing my very best and make sure that at least 70% of what I said would be in Korean.
Much to my surprise my nervousness disappeared almost immediately and I was able to follow along just fine (though honestly, understanding usually isn’t an issue. Saying something myself on the other hand… Yikes) and somehow we ended our 30 minute session without using any English at all. How on earth did that happen? I’m really not sure. I was definitely more determined than I have been in a very long time, and she made me feel comfortable almost immediately. When I got stuck I just took a deep breath and that was usually enough for me to regain control over my Korean, and when I felt completely lost I simply rephrased my thoughts so that I could either say it completely or at least say something similar enough for her to understand me easily and then learn the correct way from her. Even when I couldn’t remember the meaning of a certain word, she explained the meaning of it in Korean instead of giving me the translation.
She was super patient and I didn’t feel like those deep breathes of mine, were awkward at all. She has a lot of the same good traits as my previous teacher, so maybe that’s why I felt so comfortable? Or maybe she’s just one of those people who have a calming effect on people? I honestly don’t know.
Generally I have always preferred casual conversation about whatever we feel like, but she seems a lot more structured than me. I new this from the messages we exchanged before making the session, and she likes to have a specific topic prepared beforehand so that we both can prepare diligently. While this is not usually what I prefer, I actually think this will be very good for me (which is exactly why I choose her – It was supposed to be a new beginning after all) and I suddenly feel amazingly motivated and proud of myself. I did something that I had no idea I could, and I can’t wait to improve even more!
I just requested 5 new 1 hour sessions, and hopefully she accepts them so we can make me speak even more.

Now, I really need to go to bed – BUT! Tomorrow I will be home earlier than normal and there’s no doubt that I’ll be using my hours wisely! MUST STUDY!

Posted in books, Food, Guides, korea, Personal, Selfstudy, travel, Uncategorized

Planning, Studying, Dreaming

Planning, Studying, Dreaming – That’s exactly what I’m up to today!

Last Friday I received a few amazing presents on my email, from (one of) my language partner and good friend. He had sent me 3 different guide books full of gems and the best of it all is that it is all in Korean! To begin with I was just exited because I really love guide books – and blogs, articles, videos etc – as they allow me to plan things for my own trip to Korea and I can also use them to dream myself closer to my travel dates! But then as I was printing them out and skimming some of the pages and looking at the pictures, it really hit me that these books are pure goldmines! First of all, there’s so many new words that I can learn and use for my own trip, especially if I want to visit those specific places or if I want to take a guided trip while I’m there! No matter what, we can always use more vocabulary – right? Secondly,  I quickly noticed that many of these books are filled with history and culture and if you are like me who has a general interest in Korea and not just in the language, then that is indeed an amazing thing! Study your target language and learn about your interests at the same time – If that isn’t a perfect combination then I don’t know what is!
In my case, my friend bought me a book for 부산, 경주 and 제주. I’m not planning on visiting these places on our trip but my sister and I are determined to visit them some day so I’m really excited to learn more about these places!

jeju1

 

jeju2

 

jeju3

 

These books have facts, pictures, addresses, recommended places, recommended food, recommended accommodation, maps and guides on how to get to the different places. I really can’t explain how excited these books make me. These are from 투어팁스 and can be bought for practically no money, several places online. I personally love to buy ebooks through Ridibooks.com and if you want to check them out then you can find them right HERE – They also a travel books for other places than Korea so I you are interested in other countries and still want to practice your Korean, then here’s your chance! Personally I’ll be buying the one about 서울 as soon as I have finished this post! UPDATE: Not all guidebooks are compatible with pc and mac, so remember to check that out if you don’t have other reading devices!

If you don’t want to spend money then you can also just try to search for ‘(place)가이드북’ and you should be able to find some for free here and there. I know that VISITSEOUL.NET have a bunch of guides with different purposes, and they seem quite interesting too! You can find them HERE

Now I’ll be returning to my books! Have a great Sunday everybody!

Posted in Personal, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

Korean habits

So, as some of you guys already know, I recently started a new short internship which to be honest has taken majority of my time and energy, but more importantly it have meant that I once again needed to change up my daily schedule and find a new balance between work and my Korean studies, not to mention my social life and things like cleaning etc. It has been a really tough month and even though I seem to have found a decent balance between everything again, I really felt like I was doing nothing productive whatsoever with my studies. It’s actually quite interesting! This past month I have been thinking that I haven’t been studying enough for me to make any progress – which in itself is super silly since even short and rare study sessions will have some sort of impact on your learning – and that isn’t true at all! I agree that I haven’t been studying just as intense as I did before this internship, because I simply don’t have enough time, but I have still accomplished a lot! I still chat in Korean every day, I still read my books and magazines every day, I still have my weekly Italki session, I still listen to Korean music and podcast when traveling, I still actively watch different dramas and make an effort to learn from them, and I still managed to make over 40 pages with notes on different language related things and add over 200 words to my memrise, during this month. How could that ever turn into being ‘nothing’? Don’t ever underestimate yourselves.

Anyway, during this month I felt like I just couldn’t find a proper balance or make any good habits to make my daily life better and easier. Until today that is. I guess sometimes you just don’t realize your habits until you somehow break them.
Today I had my first Saturday shift and since I live in the countryside, that was kind of an issue. You see, the local bus only takes 3 trips on Saturdays and the earliest one was 2,5 hours after my shift was supposed to start – obviously I had to fix that problem! Luckily my boyfriend was able to give me a lift and the problem was solved. Easy! However, throughout the day, I kept feeling like something was as just completely off in my mind and I kept making guesses to why that might be. I mean, there was so many new things for me to digest today since it was my first Saturday shift. The Saturday schedule, the Saturday customers, the Saturday special offers etc., but I kept pushing the thoughts away as none of them felt like the real reason.
As I was heading home, it suddenly hit me. Every single work day throughout this month, I have spent 45 minutes reading my Korean books at the bus stop by my workplace. Every single morning for 45 minutes. I don’t look at my phone, I don’t talk to anyone, I don’t actively study, I just sit still with my book and enjoy the story. As soon as I had that thought I realized how important that morning ritual is to me. Thanks to my boyfriend I was able to sleep for longer and be at my workplace in time and I am forever grateful, but apparently I shouldn’t have dropped my reading session.
After realizing this, a whole list of new Korean habits came to mind. For instance, every Sunday evening I go for a 40-60 minute walk on my own, while listening to a Korean podcast, and every Monday afternoon (the only day I get to leave work early) I go online and find some different study material on Naver (whatever seems interesting), and print it all out so it’s easy to pick up as soon as I have time. Also, every single night my boyfriend goes to bed around 10-15 minutes after me, and every single night I use that time to relax in bed while playing around with all my words on memrise. I Guess I really did find a balance! I may not go through grammar points as quickly as I used to, but I still get through one every other day as the very minimum. And that my dear friends, is totally fine with me!

Now, I need to eat my yummy leftovers and then I’ll sit down and read a few pages in my book! Time to make this day right!

Oh! And the TOPIK result came out! I wont be discussing it now as I have a lot to say about all my new goals, but I will let you all know that I did indeed pass level 2! Horray!