I love languages, I love culture, but being honest, I just love learning!! So I’ve taken it upon myself to start learning….*drum roll please* drummmmmmmm Korean!
I started getting into Korean dramas when I was in Shanghai. It was easy to relate to, they made me laugh and it took me out of my English comfort zone. I mean, I know I was in a completely different country but I wanted to learn more, so I’ve decided to do just that.
A few days ago, I sat down with my ruddy pen and paper, went to Duolingo and added a new language to the ones I’ve been learning. I was expecting a soft introduction then bam! I was going to be hit with a million words I didn’t know but that wasn’t the case at all. Duolingo started out with the very basics, the alphabet. It’s important to know how a language works, you need to start with a very solid foundation in order to build and continue to grow. So I started with the alphabet, I’ve moved on to alphabet level 3 but I still go back to level one and review the vowel sounds. You can never get too much review in.
I think what made me want to start learning Korean is so that I don’t have to read subtitles for my favorite shows. When I watch my Chinese ones, I can sometimes understand bits and pieces and fit everything together which is wonderful! So, for the last few days, I’ve taken to reviewing and reviewing the Korean alphabet. I found this video on YouTube where she teaches vowels, consonants, double consonants, final consonants, etc. and also teaches stroke order (this was something I could never get down when writing Chinese).
After I spend a week or two fully learning, understanding and being able to site simple Korean characters, I want to move onto simple words. I learn with a lot of repetition so I have to keep repeating and then I latch onto the word. In Chinese class, that’s how it worked and then we had open conversations in Chinglish. Weirdly, when I learned Chinese, if I couldn’t think of the word I would replace it with Spanish before English came to mind (imagine saying wo yao comida).
I’m trying to review/learn at least 1 hour a day, if I can get in 1-2 hours, then that’s even better but I’ve started devoting my time to this. I’m also still watching Korean dramas and I think that’s very beneficial to my learning. I get to hear the word naturally, I get to listen to how they’re formed and a native speaker saying them. When I taught in China, that was one of the recommendations for learning English. You have to immerse yourself in the language. You have to listen to native music, read native books, and kinda give a little of yourself into the learning process.
After I have a solid foundation and can at least introduce myself, I’m going to search for a Korean teacher. There’s a 14 hour time difference between the Eastern United States to Korea, so when I find my Korean teacher, I know that I’m going to spend more time learning and that’s going to be fun!
I do plan on continuing to learn Chinese. I like the language, I like speaking it and knowing that I attempted it.
I can’t wait to take you on my journey!