Mission Acquisition: February Language Goals

Picture of strawberry cake and cream

It’s Aquarius season! Well, technically Aquarius season starts in January but my birthday is this month so that’s all that matters. 😛

Despite how busy I was, I managed to get in a decent amount of studying last month. And I put everything in a super awesome chart because I’m a nerd like that.



As you can see I spent most of my time on input (listening, reading) rather than output (writing, speaking). If it weren’t for my exchange partner I wouldn’t even be doing the little bit of speaking that I am now.

The Ewha textbook is still my favorite. I’ve planned out the chapters for the rest of this month and a little into March so I should be finished with it soon. I need to do a full review on it because it’s one of the best ones I’ve used.

My friend and I went to see WINNER in concert! And yes I’m 100% counting that as listening practice because all the songs are in Korean. The boys were amazing and I’m glad they enjoyed the snow because we sure as hell didn’t.

I follow Talk To Me In Korean on twitter and I see people mention the Iyagi series frequently. I listened to the first one and understood maybe two words total. Not very encouraging. But my listening comprehension isn’t going to get where it needs to be just by using my textbook. So my goal for this month is to do at least three Iyagi sessions and write sentences using the vocabulary.

And the absolute best of anything I’m doing, my language exchange partner and I meet weekly! My 언니 really pushes me as far as comprehension. She speaks about 90% of the time in Korean unless I’m really not understanding. Unfortunately, I’m still not the best when it comes to speaking (any language to be honest), and I often get choked up when I need to say what I’ve already figured out in my head. This month I want to increase the amount of time with her that I’m actually speaking Korean.

Also! I want to start recording myself in Korean. I’m just not sure about the delivery. Should it be on YouTube? Instastories? I’m still trying to figure that part out.

What I’m Reading

I finished Evil and The Mask! Working out whether I want to write out a quick review or do a video on it. My next book I’d like to read from a Puerto Rican author. Don’t ask why I chose that country next, I promise it’s random lol.

Where I’m Going

Lunar New Year is this month (on the 5th) and there are tons of events planned all around Chicago. I’m going to be attending as many as possible so keep an eye out on my Instagram!


That’s all for this month! What are your plans?

Mission Acquisition: January Language Goals

Welcome to 2019!

*fanfare*

A new year means new opportunities to improve my languages and add a couple new ones along the way. The past 6 months or so have been difficult because of life things, but I’m ready for the fresh start that only January can bring. I don’t want to do too much this first month and wear myself thin though, so my goals for January are going to be simple.

Before I get into what I’m doing this month I definitely want to recommend this post over at Hobby Help for anyone planning to take up Spanish this year! It’s super thorough and not only lists resources (most of them for free 99, my fave), but it also walks you through how to choose the best way to study for you.

What I’m Studying

I’m continuing my focus on Korean for January.

The first thing I’d like to do is start keeping better track of the time I’m spending doing different tasks. I already block out my day for study time but I want to be more specific about how that time is allocated. At the very least I’ll be tracking how much time I spend on the big 4: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking.

I’m breaking out my textbooks again and I imagine I’ll be starting up with my exchange partner again in the next couple weeks.

My local study buddy and I decided to start up our sessions again next week as well! Super excited to buckle down this year.

What I’m Reading

Back when I was super active on LiveJournal (leave me alone, I’m old remember) I was first introduced to the concept of reading around the world.

There are a few different ways people partake but the gist is that you read books written by people from different countries. They can either be translated into the language you speak or in their native language. They can also either be set in that country or written by someone who’s from the country. I’ve been wanting to do this for like a decade now so, no time like the present!

This month I’m going to cheat a little bit and reread a book I read a long while ago. It’s called Evil and the Mask by Japanese author Fuminori Nakamura. I vaguely remember really liking it but it’s been so long. Great place to jump off the challenge.

See? Short and sweet! What are your goals for this year?


Happy Hangeul Day: Why You Should Learn Hangeul

This Tuesday, October 9th, was “한글날,” or Hangeul Day! In celebration, we’re going to talk about the awesomeness of Hangeul and why you should give learning it a try, even if you hadn’t thought about studying Korean!

 

It Has a Rich History

 

Hangeul has an amazing backstory.

 

Way back during the Joseon Dynasty, before Hangeul was created, the Korean language was written using classical Chinese characters. As you can imagine, this isolated knowledge to a select few, almost exclusively those of upper class. Now, aside from the task of learning the absolute plethora of Chinese characters (been there, done that, almost died), it just wasn’t reasonable to have Korean’s sounds represented by a Chinese writing system.

 

Enter the great King Sejong!

 

Full disclosure, I kinda stan for King Sejong. He’s pretty awesome. So is his badass statue/museum. Musetu? Stateum? Yeah, let’s go with that.

 

King Sejong believed that everyone, including commoners, should be able to read and write their own language. He had great concern for the struggles of the common class and their ability to convey them effectively to those of higher status. He created Hangeul as a solution and hoped that people would come to use Hangeul in their everyday lives!

 

Is that not the best thing you’ve ever heard? Seriously. He worked hard to create an entire writing system just to make sure his citizens were all able to have their voices heard.

 

I’m not tearing up, YOU are.

 

It Was Made to be Simple

 

Now, if you’re going to teach an entire community of people to use a new writing system it can’t be rocket science levels of difficult. I know most things seem simple in comparison to traditional Chinese characters but still. King Sejong really thought this one through. For extra, bonus cool points, each consonant is shaped to represent tongue placement in the mouth when making the sound. When will your faves? Never.

 

Vowels

 

ㅏ ㅐ ㅑ ㅒ ㅓ ㅔ ㅕ ㅖ ㅗ ㅘ ㅙ ㅚ ㅛ ㅜ ㅝ ㅞ ㅟ ㅠ ㅡ ㅢ ㅣ

 

Consonants

 

ㄱ ㄲ ㄴ ㄷ ㄸ ㄹ ㅁ ㅂ ㅃ ㅅ ㅆ ㅇ ㅈ ㅉ ㅊ ㅋ ㅌ ㅍ ㅎ

 

Looks like a lot but it isn’t!

 

Instead of putting letters one after the other, they go into ‘syllable blocks’. There’s an awesome explanation of how to do that over at.

 

For instance, Sarang (love) would be writing with the letters ㅅ ㅏ ㄹ ㅏ ㅇ. Broken down into its two syllables gives you ㅅ ㅏ + ㄹ ㅏ ㅇ. The last step is to put them in the appropriate order and…사랑! Tada!

 

How easy is that?

 

If you want to learn more about Hangeul, and Korean in general, you can check out the King Sejong Institute website as well as the National Hangeul Museum website. You can also try out Eggbun. If you’re in Korea (or will be soon) I highly recommend visiting the Hangeul Museum. I had a great time learning about its history. And I got to play with stuff! 

 

Are you learning Korean? has Hangul been easy or hard for you?

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