Posted in drama, Resources, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

Drama lines ep. 1

These days I have been quite the fan of Korean subtitles on my dramas and movies. I know I know, I’m late to the game!
I generally don’t use subtitles at all but after adding the Korean ones I seem to be catching a lot more new words and grammar points. Normally my general understanding is pretty good and I’m pretty darn good at understanding through context, which doesn’t always turn out to be a good thing.
I have discovered recently that when I’m watching dramas I come across a lot of things that I don’t understand – AND I DON’T EVEN NOTICE THAT I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT! I understand what is being said and what is happening through the context, so I don’t even notice all the unknown words being said.

Don’t get me wrong – You can definitely learn the meaning of words through the context they appear in, but obviously things go a lot faster when you actually notice the words and actively look them up.
Therefor I have now started to actively jot down sentences on my phone while watching dramas and then I transfer them to my notebook at a later time. I prefer having all my notes in the same place so this is the most convenient method to me, and the transfer process also doubles as reviewing all the sentences 아싸!

So what do I write down?
ANYTHING interesting.
– Sentences that unknown words  or grammar appear in.
– Sentences I feel like might come in handy at a later time.
– Sentences where already known words or grammar points are used in a way that I never thought about using them in myself.

Literally anything that catches my attention.
I thought that it might be fun to share some of these sentences with you guys – Maybe you can even guess which drama the sentences comes from? I’ll also add a vocab list later, if you would like me to. Let me know!

  1. 이제 살 것 같다.
  2. 너 되게 뻔뻔하다.
  3. 나였으면 넌 여기 없지. 옥상에서 던져버렸어.
  4. 다듯한 차라도 마시면 속이 좀 나질거야.
  5. 거기가 맨바닥이라는 말은 아니고…
  6. 네 말대로면, 하늘에서 나라온 고미남이란 돌멩이를 맞아 기절했던 건 황태경이야.
  7. 내가 무슨 치한이냐? 소리는 왜 질러?
  8. 지금은 거직으로 다른분들은 속이고 있지만..
  9. 아니, 그러니까, 잘 좀 묶어 다니지.
  10. 너랑 더 상대 안해.
  11. 그래. 너 때문에 난 더럽고 냄새 나고 축축 하고 아파.
  12. 곤란하게 만들어서 죄송합니다.
  13.  아주, 만두부인 속터지는 소리 하고 있네.
  14. 야! 너 태경형한테 또 사고 줬냐?
  15. 비밀을 벌써 하나 털렸네.
  16. 내가 다 망쳐버렸어.
  17. 나~ 이렇게 학교도 안가고 연예인이나 졸졸 쫓아다니는 이런 핏덩이들이랑은 달라.
  18. 버텨야돼. 여기서 나가면 다 들킬거야.
  19. 너 그렇게 맹렬하게 쓰고 있는데 별 게 아니야?
  20. 우리 사이 진짜 인척 하자고 했는 건 너고 나는 그걸 받아드린거야.

Did you come across an interesting sentence?
Can you guess where the sentences are from – The two most important names are included in the sentences!
Anyway, I hope you found this useful and I’ll see you guys another day with new sentences. 🙂

Posted in Personal, Rant, Selfstudy, taekwondo, Uncategorized

Pronunciation fears

I have been having a few fears related to pronunciation lately. I have always considered correct pronunciation as one of the most important things when speaking in a foreign language – I mean what is the point of knowing a bunch of grammar rules and fancy words, if nobody understands you when you try using them? I still have a lot to work on but I consider my pronunciation decent enough to get by without too many struggles. However after I started doing Taekwondo, I have been having some serious  issues and minor mental breakdowns.

Everyone in my club is Danish hence they all speak Korean with Danish accent. A very strong Danish accent. This isn’t really a problem in itself, however because everybody in the club (with me as the exception) has just about no knowledge about the Korean language itself, it becomes a problem. Everything is learned through Romanized Korean. This is the big issue because it makes the pronunciation way more complicated. Also the romanizations are usually based on English pronunciation which isn’t the same at the Danish one. When 장 is written as Jang, it only ‘works’ because of the English ‘J’ sound. With the Danish ‘J’ sound 장 suddenly become 양.  Because of that we have people saying both 장 and 양, and even 챵, even though they are all talking about the very same thing. New members without any Korean knowledge obviously struggle with these things, as they have no idea how to pronounce it correctly and they keep hearing the same word with a changing pronunciation.
It makes it really difficult for me at times too, when they tell me something very basic, but pronounce it so differently that I simply can’t recognize the words.

Also when I try to look up things at home, it sometimes causes quite the trouble. When I first joined the club, everybody was talking about 타이코 1양  and 타이코 2양. I tried looking this up when I got home so that I could practice and improve for the next session (Since I started out of the ‘new members season’ I was the only one who knew nothing. I wanted to improve fast in order to not slow everybody down. I thought my Korean skills would be an advantage but it didn’t quite end up that way.) but that turned out to be a bit more difficult than so. Why? Because 타이코 1양 is actually 태극 1장. Not. The. Same. At. All. I don’t even know how 태극 ended up being pronounced as 타이코!
These are the moments where I really hate the romanizations!

I’m also the only one in the club who pronounce Taekwondo as 태권도 and not 타이권도. Makes me feel like a real know-it-all nit-picky douche, haha!

A while ago some of the members were talking about the struggles they had in Germany. In Germany we have a Korean Grand Master who takes part in all of our belt promotions, and whenever he is the person to give out orders, nobody understands him, because he is pronouncing everything correctly. Ah the irony.. I face that very same problem. When asking a question about a certain kick or defending block, I pronounce it correctly and the coaches are struggling to understand what I’m talking about.

This leads me to my actual fear.. I love doing Taekwondo and I want to improve. I also love the Korean language and I find it hard to teach myself wrong or improper things. Until now I have been kinda blocking out all the names for the stands, blocks and so on, and completely been avoiding to say them out loud, which now means that I can’t really remember any of the names. This is something that I need to know in order to continue improving and obviously that puts me in quite the dilemma.

What if my usual Korean pronunciation starts to become bad or weird because I’m practicing it incorrectly during Taekwondo practice?
I don’t want that to happen. But I want to continue growing and improving in my Taekwondo journey..

I guess it’s no different from Konglish.. My English skills are not getting worse even though I pronounce words the Korean way. And I doesn’t confuse me either..
So what’s the difference? Maybe it’s because English feels like my native language and Korean is still so far from that.

In that case I guess the solution is to study harder.
Study Korean harder and study Taekwondo terminology harder.
What about you guys? Do you have any similar issues?
Any advice? Do share. 🙂

Posted in Personal, Uncategorized

Study room

So.. We bought a house. We didn’t even see it coming but we suddenly had the opportunity to buy a house that we really liked and we ended up doing so. The house needs a lot of work and the last month have been absolutely insane. I haven’ had time to even think about opening my Korean books as I have been busy with the whole moving process as well at having exams.
While the timing kinda sucks (I mean, shouldn’t I be studying more now that my Korean trip is approaching?) I don’t regret a thing, because in our new house I now have a study room. A room just for me. A room where I can peacefully submerge myself in my studies. A room where all my books have a place and there’s enough space to add a lot more books (Let’s face it, I’m going to Korea in slightly over a month – I’m gonna need more book space).
This room is going to be my own little stress-free temple and I’m constantly thinking about how to decorate it. It’s going to be worth it.

As I said I haven’t had time to open my Korean books, but you guys know me right? Of course that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been studying! I’ve been sticking to my italki lessons twice a week and by discussing everything that’s going on with my teachers I’ve learned a lot of situational Korean. When else would I ever be talking about wallpaper, renovations and heating sources?
I also discovered the ‘Free books’ category on ridibooks and because of that I have been reading quite a lot whenever I had some spare time. I read during my lunch break and when there’s not a lot of customers in the store. I have a few pens and some paper in my work locker and I make sure to write down all the unknown words when I read. I have quite a few vocabulary list lying around at this point!
I have also kept a personal diary in Korean for a few weeks. This meant that I got some writing practice done, however, since it’s quite personal I didn’t want anyone to read it and that obviously meant that I couldn’t get it corrected either. That makes it a lot less effective and I might get used to using wrong expressions and grammar, so I decided to stop. Instead I’ll be practicing my writing with less personal subjects.

There’s still a lot of work to be done but at this point it’s mainly things where I can’t be helpful anyway, so now I’ll probably be able to study a bit more effectively. My study room isn’t close to being ready yet and most of my books are still in packed in boxes, however I did unpack a few things this morning and will be making a new study schedule as soon as I finish this post.
I’m going to be doing my best with what I got until my study room is finished, and once it’s ready I’m sure everything is going to become a lot easier! I’m already browsing through my ikea magazine to find inspiration. I want this room to overflow with inspiration and I can’t wait to show you guys the finished result.

To end this post I want to share this song with you guys. It’s a song that I enjoy studying to and I thought you guys might enjoy it too. 🙂

Posted in Personal, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

The odd ways of motivation

Lately a lot of things have been happening and as a result, my motivation for studying has been on quite a ride. It really made me realize that one’s motivation can be affected by so many factors, which is awesome and frightening at the same time.
As I have mentioned before, I have been working on a lot of projects and some of them are working out, some are not. Some of them depends on me and some of them depends on other people as well.
One of the projects that I have been working a lot on sadly did not work out and even though I don’t really mind, for some reason it seems to have affected my motivation. I felt like my many hours of studying was wasted. How on earth did that thought appear in my mind? Studying is never wasted and thanks to this project, my writing and speaking skills have improved immensely, so why on earth did this feeling get to stick to my soul and drag my mood down? Honestly, I’m still looking for the answer.
Things like this will happen once in a while. It happens to everyone. I guess people deal with it in different ways. So what do I do? I’m usually very motivated. Probably 85% of the time. But what about the last 15%? It’s actually really simple. I just suck it up and keep going. Motivation is an amazing thing but we can’t deny the fact that it’s a emotion that can’t really be forced, and if you rely on that alone, you might not go anywhere near your goals. I don’t recommend ‘sucking it up’ to everyone, though. It’s so easy to burn yourself out and if you do that, then you wont go anywhere at all. I guess it’s a balance thing. My motivation is generally really strong, so I don’t have to worry about burning out, but I know a lot of people are really struggling with their personal balance.
Isn’t motivation fascinating? None of us really knows what it is, how to describe the feeling or how to trigger it. And yet, we can all relate to the feelings it brings and none of us wants to be without it. It is indeed amazing!
Anyhow! I have been ‘sucking it up’ for a short time period and while the results obviously are different from normal, I have still been improving slightly and I’m satisfied with the fact that I stuck through the dry spell. A few days ago, my motivation returned for full power. I now feel super impatient and restless when I’m at work, because my mind needs to go home and study. To avoid too much frustration over this, I now spend more time during my breaks to enjoy the Korean language and urge to learn. I’m making new friends, finding new blogs and integrating Korean into my hobbies like dancing and cooking. I’m having fun in my own little Korean-bubble (yeah.. that’s totally a thing) again!
So what happened? Well I guess that a lot of things have caused my motivation to return this strongly, but there’s mainly 2 things. The first reason is my Italki teachers. Yes, teachers. I started sessions with another teacher last week, because the time difference and busy schedules, sometimes makes it difficult for me to find a good time to schedule sessions with 효진쌤. So, I decided to find another teacher who could fill out the gaps when necessary. However after having my first session with 혜선쌤, I found out that out learning styles and personalities also seems to match really well, so now I’ll just have weekly sessions with both of them. You can’t practice too much, right? Anyway, they are both really great and that alone is motivating, however their praise have really been motivating me. It’s not that praise in unusual to me, but in this case I can just tell that they actually have an interest in me and my improving skills, and that makes me want to study harder and show them my efforts. It kinda feels like when you want to make your friends or family proud. I like this feeling. ^^
The second reason is myself. I had no confidence  at all when I started this journey, but I keep growing and learning more about myself. I didn’t think I could self-study, I didn’t think I could read, I didn’t think I could speak. I’m proud of myself. And I need to work hard so that I can continue being proud of myself.

Posted in Kpop, Personal, Uncategorized

How it all started ft. 4MINUTE

A few lovely people have requested that I share the story of how I started my Korean journey, and since I believe that now is the perfect time to do so (spoiler: Because Psy is back!), then that’s exactly what I’ll do! However, I feel like I should warn you. This post is going to be one of the longer ones and it wont have any relevant information, so if you don’t really care about my story, then feel free to skip this post. I’ll have a review up in a few days! Also, this post will probably contain a few fangirling moments.

So you all know Psy, right? Yeah, I suppose that’s a silly question!
Anyway, since I’m not sure where to start, then I’ll start from the beginning.
In 2012, while Gangnam Style was everywhere, I was going through the hardest time in my life. I’m not going to go in to details as this is a personal matter. I got very sick due to immense stress as well as a depression. However, when Gangnam Style was at it’s peak, I weren’t yet aware of the reasons to my sickness (I actually started laughing when the doctor told me what was going on – I mean, I was SO sick and at times I was sure that I was deadly ill. How could that possibly be caused by something so simple as stress?) but I was trying to cope as well as I could, and even though I saw the words ‘GANGNAM STYLE’ everywhere, I had no idea what it was.
In October, I went to Berlin with my fellow students, and despite the fact that I absolutely despised most of my roommates, I had a great time. There was a bar at our hotel and all of my fellow students were drunk (random fact: I have only tasted two sips of alcohol in my life) and they were all begging the staff to play Gangnam Style (FUN FACT!: All of my classmates thought that Gangnam Style was Danish.. Yep.. Because Korean and Danish sounds so similar, right?…) and in the end they succeeded.
Now. Can you all imagine my confused expression when Gangnam Style started playing, and all of my drunk classmates started dancing? I’m sure you can!

A few days later I returned to Denmark and I had to spend the first day on my own, so since my curiousness had been awakened in Berlin, I searched for Gangnam Style as the first thing in the morning and something cheesy happened. Oh god I really hate to say this, but this is how it is. While watching the music video, I saw 현아 and immediately I thought that there was something special about her. It wasn’t her beauty or sexiness – which is what people usually mention about her – but more her confidence, that caught my attention. She basically had that one thing that I truly wished for. So, why is so cheesy? If you have seen the video, then you’ll know that she only appears for a short cameo, and I truly do not know how I could feel such a strong confident vibe, in such a short amount of time. I feel like I’m talking about love at first sight or something! Nevertheless, that’s how I felt. I quickly forgot about her when the video ended and I moved on to an interview with Psy whom I had no idea who was, but in the end I felt like watching it again so I decided to do so.
This is actually where it all really started. You all know those thumbnails on YouTube videos right? I saw a picture of 현아 as well as the title ‘Gangnam Style’, and I just assumed that it was the same video as I watched before, but instead it was the version with Psy and  현아 singing together. That’s when I realized that she was a famous person, and then that’s when I tried searching for her name and was overwhelmed with videos! If you try searching yourself, you’ll see what I mean.

I watched a few music videos and felt fascinated, but believe it or not, this isn’t where I fell in love.
You know how you can get completely lost on YouTube if you keep clicking on the suggested videos on the right, and in the end you find yourself watching something completely unplanned and you’re not really sure how you even ended up watching it? Yep, that’s exactly what happened. I ended up watching ‘4Minute funny moments’ videos. (To those who doesn’t already know, 현아 is a part of the 5 member girl group ‘4Minute’, a part of the sub unit duo ‘Troublemaker’ as well as a solo artist.)
Thanks to the fan subbed videos, I fell in love with the personality of these goofy girls, and I was immediately fascinated by the culture differences and the language (and let’s not forget about all these cheesy effects in the variety shows!) and after spending the entire day as a cave woman with her laptop (Yes, cave women totally have laptops), I went to bed feeling completely relaxed, for the first time in a very long time. It didn’t take me long to realize that the reason these videos helped me this much, was simply because the lives I could see in them, where so different from the one that I lived. Watching these videos made me forget about my own life for a few hours and I felt like I had more energy to handle everything after watching them. Again, I’m sorry for all this cheesy talk!

The day after, I had to attend yet another doctors appointment (this is the day my doctor told me about my stress and depression), and I was so terrified. As I mentioned earlier, I thought I was deadly ill. Before leaving I thought that if I downloaded some of the 4Minute songs and listened to them on the bus, then I could hold on to my little fantasy world (at this point, Korea wasn’t a real country. It really seemed like my own little fantasy land, which only existed in my own head – Silly, but true. ) a little longer.

Basically that’s how it all started. I used it as my therapy and after a month or so, I realized that I would always be humming different Korean songs, and I constantly felt like watching more videos even though I was starting to feel a lot better. After another month I realized that I hadn’t listened to an English  song since that first day (except for when other people played one) and it just sort of continued like that. Kpop led me to dramas, which is where I really started noticing the cultural differences (AND THE FOOD! MY GOD, LET’S NOT FORGET THE FOOD!) and then that became another interest of mine. From day one I loved the language, but I had never imagined that I would be able to self study it! ㅎㅎ 신기하네요!

I guess the rest is pretty self-explanatory. It wasn’t love at first sight. It was a complete coincidence that I found the right group at the right time.  4Minute is still my favorite group today, and they are the only group who can make me feel like a true fangirl.
Also I never imagined that this would happen back then. It wasn’t intentional, it just happened.

To finish this post of, I feel like I should share some 4Minute with you guys. If you made it this far, then thank you!

Oh, and also! Don’t underestimate stress or depressions. Take care of yourself before anyone else. ^^