The Korean studying bandwagon.

I'm on it. All of you gave lovely responses to that post which I haven't had the time to properly respond to yet, but I see you. I'm going to probably make a more detailed, boring post later today about progress and how the plans are coming along, since so many people actually took an interest, which is fucking lovely to see. At the moment, I'm on that high that hits after you've just started into something again and it's easy as fuck. I expect to hit a real downer when I move up to the intermediate level after today and start getting frustrated as shit again. At the moment, I'm just putting the things that I've listened to and already gained a conversational understanding of into practice, so it's all going swimmingly. And pieces of the puzzle are falling into place nicely. Every single day my listening is jumping up levels. It won't go on forever, lovelies. You can be sure of that. But I should ride this wave of enthusiasm while I have the chance.


Whiskey Tango Foxtrot said...

Tell me about it. I guess I've decided that after a year of putting in basically the absolute minimum of effort to be able to feed myself, I should get on the ball here. Plus, if I end up teaching hoodlums like yours with nutjob co-workers like yours, it could be helpful. Just gotta keep it a secret.

Jake Clark said...

Hey, INP, I'm a regular reader, and I love your blog. If you're still trying to figure out what to do while you're waiting on the class near Seoul City Hall, check out "Using Korean," by Miho Choo and Hye-Young Kwak. I've been here in Korea roughly as long as you have (2.5 years-ish), and I seem to have osmosed a similar amount of Korean as you have to this point, i.e. I don't need any romanizations and I don't need a hangeul rundown. The introduction states that the book is meant to help "organize accumulated bits of information into a comprehensive picture," and that pretty much sums up how it's helped me thus far. There are conversations to memorize, but there are also detailed (in English) grammar descriptions, as well as a vocabulary section that breaks down prefixes and suffixes, among other things, and a style and usage section that lays out different language softening strategies and the appropriateness of different language patterns for different situations (apparently just slapping a "yo" on the back of a sentence doesn't automatically make said sentence appropriate). It's the only book I've found that assumes knowledge of basic Korean by the reader, while still offering English explanations. I've had it for a couple of months and I still feel like I improve by leaps and bounds every time I crack it open. It's the kind of book you'd likely want to keep around for reference even while you're taking your class, and even after you've completed your class. You can take a look inside the book on Amazon.com.

saharial said...

@Jake Clark - that book looks great! Thanks - I'll order that at the end of the month :)

Aaron said...

My first comment! Hi INP, I'm an expat (though not an English teacher, so your blog is my window into that world), presently living in Gangnam. I've been here just under 10 months, but have been learning Korean off-and-on for the past 7 or so years. Definitely in an "on" phase right now, and I am taking a class at the Yeoksam Global Center to keep me accountable.

Anyway, I've been lurking for a while, but I just felt a strong need to second that "Using Korean" book recommendation. I had hoped to be the first to recommend it, but I find myself quite pleasantly surprised not to be.

It's rather hideous, but also wonderful. I'm actually curious how people find this book. I'm originally from Honolulu, and that book is published by the University of Hawaii, which, situated between the US mainland and Asia, and having a substantial Asian population, is well-known for its Asian Studies programs. I first discovered Choo's books in a bookstore in Honolulu.

Choo also has another equally ugly yet wonderful book, "Handbook of Korean Vocabulary" which, instead of grouping words by category (e.g. home, office, restaurant, transportation, etc.), groups them by hanja, so you can learn a whole bunch of related words all at once.

This is good for me, as I am terrible at rote memorization, but if I can hammer in one hanja peg and hang a whole string of words off it, I learn a lot faster. (The obvious downside of this method is that I learn a lot of obscure words that I may never use.)

아만다 said...

Basic Korean: A Grammar and Workbook and Intermediate Korean, both by Andrew Sangpil Byon are the only grammar books I've found that don't drive me batty. He has really good examples of what is used when.