OneJillian's TWA July 2011

Mama, Talk To Me In Korean

Mama, over a year ago, I got WAY interested in Korean language. It was right after The General & The Kid moved to South Korea to be reunited with The Sergeant, remember?

In about the span of 6 months, I shot through beginning Korean lessons, learning the written form of the Korean language – Hangul – and the basic reading/speaking rules of it. Then I grabbed a little vocabulary, like numbers, some proper nouns, months/days/seasons, and a rough understanding of the history and geography of the peninsula…

OneJillian's TWA July 2011
Blame Netflix – Kdramas Are My Preferred Korean Language Classroom

What made me start learning Korean in the first place? The General got me into this type of TV watching. Having a series on as background to whatever work you have to complete is a normal thing. But I started to have this compulsion – this need – to complete a series before watching any other show or movie. As in, if I start a series, no matter how bad or good it is, I have to watch all the episodes in order until the end.

I had finished a heavy series and was looking for another to begin for the week. This one was in my Netflix suggestions because I had watched Vampire Diaries. Netflix noted that I like teen dramas and offered me a new drama that I had never heard of – “Boys Over Flowers.” I thought it was Canadian. *shrug*

After the first and second episodes, I was fascinated that there was no ending, per se, to the episodes. Each episode ended with a scene that was not necessarily a crucial plot point, or even all that suspenseful. I was so shocked that I’d gone through a quarter of the 25-episode show, without feeling a gnawing obsession between episodes because of the cliffhanger. My first Kdrama hooked me because it was easy to get involved with the story line and to love the characters.

After the end of that show, I watched another. Then with my hunger unsated, I went online in search of more Kdramas. Enter Drama Fever and watched my 2 favorite Kdramas so far: “Ja Myung Go” and “Warrior Baek Dong Soo.” This site is a wealth of Kdrama gold – with English subtitles. Netflix started its offerings of Kdramas with English subtitles but now offers only non-subtitled selections. That makes it more challenging and kind of a rush for me, given that I’m learning the language, to understand a bit of dialogue now and then.

Before I Knew It, I Had Become Addicted To Korean

I was watching kdramas and loving it. But I wanted to know what they were saying. I wanted to watch without having to read the subtitles. So I poked around and started realizing I genuinely liked picking up a new language. Then I moved during January into my new home and my addiction began to take on a future. I could actually become OK at Korean, learning it online. I love the internet. I just really, really do. Did I tell you about this site where I learn Korean? It’s called Talk To Me In Korean.

The site includes a video component where you can have interaction and involvement in the lessons – using your YouTube channel, you can do their video homework, and even if it’s not the TTMIK staff who come by to see your efforts, there will be people (either native speakers or peer learners) who stop by and offer correction, encouragement, and just friendship.

A new development during this year is a sister site called HaruKorean (Daily Korean). Its atmosphere is more intense because you have immediate interaction, feedback, correction, etc. Rather than wonder if you did it correctly and moving on to the next lesson, you have the immediate correction or validation for your written Hangul practice. I don’t have my nerve up enough for that, although I did sign up the week it was launched.

Mama as you can see, my love for language and picking up new things hasn’t changed a bit, so you can rest assured that where learning Korean is concerned, things are okay.

2 comments for “Mama, Talk To Me In Korean

  1. Mama
    January 6, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    When I was there, I never even managed to pick up “Thank you”! You, my daughter are brilliant!!!!

    • January 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you Mama – or should I say “kamsahamnida” !

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