Posted in books, Personal, Selfstudy, TOPIK, Uncategorized

Re-entering the world of dramas and books

With all the hectic things that have been happening in my life lately combined with the fact that Christmas is always super busy at my house, as well as the fact that I have had some self-caused issues improving my Korean skills (I talked about that in this post), has caused me to feel really stressed when it comes to studying Korean. I feel like I don’t have time enough and since I ‘wasted’ (but not really though) a lot of time, I’m constantly worrying about whether or not I can succeed in the goals I made earlier this year. Because of these doubts I have been focusing a lot on progressing and being effective with the time that I do have, and it seems that this has caused me to completely forget to enjoy the language in itself, as well as appreciate the things that I already know about this beautiful language.
I haven’t even thought about watching dramas or movies in several months and I haven’t picked up any of my beloved books from the Indigo series, since the beginning of August – these two things used to be some of my favorite activities!

I realized this while dusting of my shelves during my weekly Sunday cleaning sessions, and I suddenly felt an urge to read one of my books. It really has been a while!
So yesterday during my lunch break, I decided to continue reading the webtoon that I put aside a while ago to save time, and I truly enjoyed just casually reading without putting more thought or energy into it. When I got home from work and had finished dinner, I started watching 도깨비, and immediately found myself enjoying it. I watched both episodes and I’m looking forward to the next episode. I didn’t get to ‘really’ study, but I really enjoyed myself and that’s important too!
It made me feel a lot more positive and energized for ‘actual’ studying. So this morning I picked up 백설공주 from my shelf and brought it with me to work. Despite it’s title, it’s actually a compilation of small and famous stories like ‘Little red riding hood’ and ‘Rapunzel’. It’s actually quite lovely! I totally recommend this for people who are new to reading Korean books or who simply get bored too fast to read long stories. Especially since it’s well-known stories that don’t demand too much attention and focus from you.
Anyway, I finished reading the first story in the book, in the bus on my way home, and now I feel happy, re-energized and ready to do my best during a study session with 혜선쌤!
I guess it’s all about balance.
To celebrate I decided to go shopping a bit on Gmarket, even though I really shouldn’t. So I bought a new study book and 3 more books to add to my 인디고 아름다운 고전 시리즈, collection. As superficial as it may sound, shopping does wonders to my general mood!
And that’s ok too!

All these hectic things will be finished soon and I know that I will be able to study more like I’m used to, so for now I’m just going to relax and keep a balance between studying and just enjoying the language.

Posted in Selfstudy, Uncategorized

CONTEXT PLEASE!

 

I always try to remind myself to learn through context and this is what I do most of the time, but to be honest sometimes it’s just really tempting to find random words to study with. Especially if you don’t really want to study a specific topic but rather wants to expand your general vocabulary. I too have done this many times. It’s not that it’s a bad thing at all, but just try to keep in mind that having a context can make everything a whole lot easier.
Also, when looking up words in your native language to find the Korean equivalent, I always recommend looking at the suggested sample sentences. Often there are tons of words being suggested basted on the word you searched for, but the context can be the thing that determines which of those suggestions to use, and you will only find a context by looking at sample sentences.
I recommend doing the same thing when looking up the Korean word, to find the (in my case at least) English meaning. If you use Naver dictionary like I do, then you will know that it suggests words in a dropdown menu while you are writing the word(just like when you are googling something), and it shows the meaning as well. This mean that you often can find the meaning of the word you are searching for, even before having finished spelling it in the search bar. While this can be a great time saver (that I often take advantage of) it can also create some issues. The words shown in that preview menu is the most common used ones, but if the context isn’t correct then you might find yourself feeling super confused.
Let me give you an example!
I’m currently reading a long article and in the beginning of that article I came across the word 투기, and when searching for the meaning I ended up with this result:

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That didn’t quite make sense to me, however, I was still in the very beginning of the article and there was a handful of other words that I didn’t know, which made it a little difficult to determine whether the word was wrong or if it was just me who didn’t quite understand the meaning of the full sentence. In cases like this I always make a small note in my notebook and then continue reading to give myself a better context.
I continued reading and after a little while I came across the word again. Now, with a better understanding of the context, I knew for sure that ‘speculate’ didn’t make any sense in this context, whatsoever. So I checked with Naver once again. This time I ignored the result from the quick menu and searched for other meanings and sample sentences.

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Now look at the last result.
The article I am reading is about Taekwondo, and with that context as well as the last result in mind, the word 투기 suddenly makes perfect sense. The context literally made the entire difference.
Next time you feel discouraged by not understanding the overall meaning despite looking up all the words, just remember that you might have found the wrong words for your specific context.

Another example could be when I recently read the word 밤(evening, night). 밤 is a word that I have known pretty much since I started studying two years ago, but it simply didn’t fit into the context that I found it in. While I felt really silly to look up the meaning of a word that I thought I knew for sure, I decided to do it anyway and I then discovered that 밤 also means chestnut. Quite a difference, huh? Always remember the context.

Here’s some of the most common words with different meanings that I have come across:
맞다To be correct or To be hit/slapped?
사과Apology or Apple?
Eye or Snow?
Pear or Boat?
Car or Tea?
Words/speech or Horse?

You see what I mean, right? Context can make everything a whole lot easier!