Posted in Guides, Resources, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

Getting the most out of Memrise

I have been using Memrise pretty much since I started studying Korean and while I don’t use it religiously, I still consider myself a somewhat regular user.
I know that Memrise is often connected with the idea of simply memorizing, which some are for, some are against, and others just don’t really care. I have already talked about my thoughts on memorizing here so I won’t be talking about any of the pros and cons today.
However, I do want to talk about how to actually get the most of using the Memrise App or Website.
I assume that you all know about Memrise but in case you don’t, it’s a basically a flashcard App/Website with both premade and user-made sets, that uses spaced repetition to get the best results out of the time you spend on it.

  1. Create your own sets.
    Memrise comes with a ton of already made sets for different languages and topics, made by Memrise themselves, as well as access to all of the other users’ sets. Naturally, it is very tempting to simply pick a course or set and get started immediately.
    However, by making your own set you, first of all, make sure that the words you enter, are words that you actually need learn right now. That’s why you’ve come across them in your studies in the first place, right?
    Secondly, by sitting down and looking up each word on your own, and then writing them down along with their meaning, you will already get a pretty good foundation to continue building on. The words will attach to your brain in a completely different way than when you simply see a new word and its meaning.
  2. Use the Meme option to add a sample sentence.
    Memrise has a Meme option for each added word. You can add a picture, an actual meme or my favorite, add a picture with a sample sentence on it. That way you will keep the context no matter if you are learning a new word, an expression or a new grammar point.
    You can make your own sample sentence or if you want to make sure that there are no mistakes in it, then simply copy the sentence where your first came across that word or expression.
  3. Set goals for the streak.
    Memrise has a streak system, and you can set goals for each set. That way to can create a goal of how much you wish to practice every day, no matter how much or how little time you have available each day.
    The streak itself does nothing for your learning, however, it adds some accountability as well as a game-like aspect to studying. It gives you a visual overlook of your studies and I personally find that even though I don’t really think about it on a daily basis, I do find myself slightly upset by the thought of missing a day, when my streak is over 10 days.
  4. Don’t use your hints.
    Depending on whether you have a standard or a pro membership, you might have ‘Hints’ available when you are practicing your sets, and my advice is to simply ignore them completely. The thing is, that if you use your hints to guess a word, it doesn’t get marked as a wrong answer even if you use hints to guess every single part of the words. And that means that the word will show up less and less during reviewing when you actually need it to appear more often instead since you obviously didn’t remember it on your own. Also, when the words get marked (mistakenly I might add) as correct, then the words won’t be added to ‘Difficult words’. I’ll talk more about that further down!
  5. Don’t spend too long on figuring out the answer.
    Sometimes all you need is a little time to think, however, I recommend that you don’t spend too long figuring out the answer. I usually tell myself that if I was having a conversation right now and wanted to use that specific word, would I be thinking about it for this long, or would I have skipped it and reformed my sentence by now to keep the conversation going. If I would have skipped it in a conversation then it’s time to skip it during the review as well. This will automatically mark it as wrong and it’ll start appearing more often for practice so that you will be able to recall it faster in the future.
  6. Difficult words are your friend.
    Memrise has a special set called ‘Difficult words’ under each created set. While it sometimes seems like a failure to have any words in that set, it truly is your best friend. Whenever you get a word wrong or skip it, they all end up in that set where you get the chance to practice those words a bit more than the other words. If your goal is to be able to actually use all of these words without hesitation, then don’t feel bad about your difficult set. Just give them the extra love that they need.
  7. Don’t study words without context.
    Avoid studying words from a random list without any context. Many words have several meanings and it’s SO HARD to unlearn something again, no matter how wrong it might be. The context itself will also help you remember whatever you are learning.
    Also, I don’t see any reason to learn from such a list. I mean, I already find tons of unknown words while reading and studying, so why not just work on those words, that you have actually met in a proper context?
  8. Avoid set where words are in alphabetical order.
    If you do decide to practice sets that are premade or words that are based on a random list, at least avoid sets that are made in alphabetical order. Seriously. Just don’t. The words will be introduced in the order they have been added which means that you might get 10 words in a row that all starts with 인 and it. will. mess. with. your. brain.
    Every single word will blend together and so will the meanings of each word. It is the absolute worst thing you can do.

 

I hope you guys find this helpful and feel free to add your own tips for Memrise in the comments. I think we all need the help we can get, haha!

Posted in Guides, Resources, Selfstudy, Study With Me, Uncategorized

Study With Me: Kmooc – 한국인의 똑똑한 밥상

Lately I have been getting quite a few questions on how to study rather than what materials to study with which has made me realize that self-studying isn’t an easy task to everybody. For some reason it has always seemed quite natural to me and I never struggle to find materials or new methods to learn. I adjust everything to my needs and I can spend hours on relatively simple materials because I want to get the very most out of it.
Since I always struggle to explain HOW to study, I figured I’d start a series on the blog where I simply just show you guys what I’m working with and how. Hopefully you can feel inspired and try out a few of the things that I do, and as soon as you have an idea of what you like to do and what works the best for you, you can simply start to pick and choose from your experiences. The best way to study is honestly impossible to write down. It’s such an individual thing and you just have to try a lot of different approaches to see what works for you and what doesn’t.

Today I want to show you guys how I’m going through a Kmooc course called 한국인의 똑똑한 밥상.

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This is a course in Korean, for Korean people so obviously that influences my study approach. There’s not any explanations to vocabulary or grammar that I need to write down since it isn’t created for foreigners. Instead I take a lot of notes on the actual content and the unknown vocabulary.

I begin by collecting all of my materials. I’m currently obsessed with my Ecco Pigment pens and I use a Tombow correction tape. It’s the best correction tape I have tried so far (and I have tried A LOT), and I totally recommend it.
My yellow Aurora notebook is only used for my Kmooc course notes.

Study items

I then get my studybudy ready a.k.a my tablet. When I know that I’ll be studying for a long time, I always use the Pomodoro technique. I might write about it in an blog post soon, but you can just google it if you’re curious. Basically you just have a timer to tell you when and for how long you should take breaks to get the most out of your studying efforts. I also use my tablet to look up vocabulary. As soon as my studybudy is ready to go, I put my phone away in my drawer and I don’t touch it again until I’m on break or done with studying.

Timer

I begin by watching the video lesson. The lesson is in Korean and has the option of Korean or English subtitles. I watch it with Korean subtitles because that way I have a clear image of how much I understood from the video. I listen carefully and read along as the professor starts the lesson.

Korean version

I then re-watch the lesson with English subtitles. I do this to close any gaps in my understanding as well as to confirm the things I believe I understood from the lesson. It’s a good way to find out just how much you might have missed or maybe even misunderstood.

English version

Now that I have closed any possible gaps, I’m moving on to taking notes. I switch back to Korean subtitles and look at the transcript. At this point I understand more than enough to choose whats important and what is not from the transcript, but if you are struggling then you can keep the English transcript and either write you notes in English or simply mark the time stamp and then find the same paragraph in the Korean transcript. I recommend the latter. Even if you struggle to understand the notes you are jotting down it’ll still make you feel more comfortable with the words, the grammar and the sentence structure. A third option could be to write down each of the points you find important, in both Korean and English. Just do whatever works for you!
My notes a mostly just copied straight from the transcript, however I do change certain parts. I find that this course repeats the same points quite a few times and I see no use for that in my notes. Also I change things like ‘우리나라의’ to ‘한국의’, because it would just be too odd for me to refer to Korea as ‘우리나라’ as a foreigner.
Basically it’s all just about adjusting everything to your needs and preferences.

It took me just over 6 pomodoro sessions to finish my notes, so around 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Note overview

Now I move on to vocabulary. As for me, I find it way better to learn vocabulary through context so I always look up words in the end. By this point I have already learned a handful of words through context and I find that these words stick to my brain way easier than all the other words.
I now go through the transcript once again, writing down all the words I still don’t know or are unsure of. Even if I know that I wrote down a certain word from the last lesson as well, I still write it down. Repetition is your friend in this case, and someday it’ll suddenly stick!
I always color code my notes. It makes everything way more organized and it’s such a big help when you want to review your notes.

I spent another two sessions (50 minutes) on looking up words and writing them down.
Vocabulary notes bestVocabulary notes

Lastly, I create a Quizlet set. This is in itself a great way to review everything, because you have to write down all the words once again. When I’m done I can usually already remember a few of the words, which makes me feel great when I actually start practicing via the app.
Quizlet also remembers definitions so if you (or someone else) have written a certain word then it’ll often suggest previous definitions to that word, which can save you a lot of time.

It took me around 25 minutes to create my set.

Quizlet

In the end I spent just over 4 hours studying a lesson, based on a 9 minute video + whatever time I end up using on Quizlet later. I could have just watched it once with English subtitles and then moved on, but why not take advantage of the video and the transcript, and get as much out of it as possible? At least that’s how I feel. If you struggle to stay focused or if you hate working on the same thing for a long time, then obviously this might not be the best approach for you.
It’s all about adjusting!

I hope this was somewhat helpful!

Posted in Resources, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

Christmas vocabulary

HI GUYS!
It’s finally that time of the year again! Ah yes, as you might have noticed by now, I am that friend who is always overly excited about Christmas.
I’m not planning on too many Christmas rants on the blog, however of course I need to take advantage of my Christmas love, and use it to learn some Korean! And you guys can use it too! Since there’s a lot of differences between Christmas in Denmark and Christmas in Korea, it seems to naturally become a good topic to discuss with language partners and friends. You will also naturally see Christmas related words during this season, so maybe you want to prepare yourself a bit. Maybe you just love Christmas as much as I do! No matter what your reason might be, I have prepared a long list of words that might become useful to you guys during this season!

First, here’s the list without translations. I recommend looking up the meaning of the words on your own, as it help you remember them better when you have to write them yourself. However, if you prefer having the translations immediately, then you can download the word list as a PDF here along with their translation!
NOTE, I have not used Romanization anywhere, because I personally believe that it’ll only slow you down if you depend on it too much. 🙂
I also created a study course on Memrise, so if you want to study with this list, you can do it through Memrise, via your computer or smartphone! Just click here!
Also, A HUGE THANKS to 효진쌤 (너무너무너무 고마워요! 역시 효진쌤 짱이당~) who proofread my list to make sure that I didn’t publish complete nonsense!
Lastly, please remember that I choose the words based on my own logic and experiences. Christmas in Denmark is very different from Christmas in America, so while Turkey is relevant in America, Duck is more relevant in Denmark, and therefore the relevant words will obviously change from country to country. Feel free to add the words you personally find relevant.
Enjoy guys~

크리스마스
크리스마스 트리
선물
산타 할아버지 
메리 크리스마스  
순록
휴일
케이크  
사탕  
요정
칠면조 고기 
눈   
크리스마스 카드 
썰매
북극  
굴뚝 
예수 그리스도 
크리스마스 캐럴   
베들레헴 
기념하다  
눈사람 
벽난로
겨우살이 / 미슬토우
크리스마스 양말 
호랑 가시 나무  
지팡이 사탕  
종   
루돌프 사슴코  
눈송이    
장식  
생강쿠키 집  
진저맨 / 생강쿠키 사람  
화환 
천사
양초   
촛불  
불빛   
켜다 
촛대 
자선단체 
밤 
석탄
쿠키 
쿠키 커터
12월(십이월) 
에그노그  
선물을 교환하다   
가족  
장작 
서리  
과일 케이크  
가랜드
거위 고기
안부 
빨간색  
녹색
흰색  
금색 
은색 
핫초코 / 코코아  
행복  
껴안다 
얼음 
고드름 
딸랑딸랑/짤랑짤랑
기쁨    
징글벨  
크리스마스 전등  
사랑
벙어리장갑 
호두까개 
쿠키통 
퍼레이드  
소나무  
솔방울   
리본    
눈뭉치  
크리스마스 쇼핑      
목도리   
내리다  
포장하다   
풀다    
방한화 / 겨울 부츠

하트  
전통  
노래  
겨울
소원  
포장지  
나비리본
나비 넥타이 
오리 고기  
대림절 일요일  
대림절 달력   
크리스마스 리스   
반짝거리다   
크리스마스 모자  
평화
대림절 초
춥다

 

Posted in Personal, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

A new experiment

I decided to try out something new for a few weeks or so. As you might remember, I stopped writing down new vocabulary (unless it was super important) and instead just kept looking it up until i remembered it. This turned out to be a great choice as it really helps to keep reading and writing the words that you can’t remember, over and over again. However I have been really curious as to why some words just stick instantly while others keep disappearing from my memory. So I started a new experiment last Saturday.
From now on, I write down every single word I come across with only one exception which is when I read 버드나무에 부는 바람. I usually read a few pages in the morning before work, but other than that I usually read it on the go and I hate having to switch my attention between the book and my phone dictionary while sitting in a noisy train, crammed full of people. Also, I haven’t really felt a need to use a dictionary while reading. I understand enough to follow the story line and I’m quite good at understanding through context. I guess 버드나무에 부는 바람 has become my dictionary free zone!
Anyway, back to the experiment. The idea is that on every Saturday, I’ll ‘restart’ my notes. By restart I mean that I’ll write down all new words as well as those that I can’t remember, even though I wrote them down before. This way I can compare my notes from week to week and – if I don’t become lazy – from month to month. Which words just stuck with me and which didn’t? Maybe I can learn something new about my personal learning abilities and preferences. That’s always interesting, right? (asked the geeky Korean lover)
When I forget a word even though I wrote it down just a few minutes ago, I’ll still keep searching for it on Naver, instead of looking through my notes. That way I can still get a lot of practice even though I sort of switched back to my old methods.

I might share my weekly words on the blog and I might not. I haven’t quite decided yet! But I will definitely keep everyone posted about my results!