Originally posted on: February 2011
It takes a lot of time and effort to be able to learn another language. There will be times that you give up half way through thinking that you’ll never actually get far especially when you are just self-studying. However, I’ve met friends through blogging who have been self-studying Korean as well and many of them are actually really good in the language already. I have also proved this to myself as I can see the progress on my level of fluency (ahem not really YET haha). Anyway, as the title of this post says, I’ll be sharing how I studied Korean for the past couple of months. And I hope it’ll spark interest to those want to study the language or be a motivation to those who are currently learning the language to continue.
I’ve always been a fan of Korean dramas and songs since I was in elementary school. But ofcourse, I was too young then to want to learn the language. All I wanted was to see all those beautiful places and ahemmm, the cute lead actors! HAHAHA. Anyway, I’ve actually started studying Korean last September 2009 and went on for just a month. As I mentioned earlier, I also went through the stage where I thought “why would I actually waste my time on something I’ll never be good at?”. But my interest on Korean-related stuff made me want to learn the language more. So I resumed studying in June 2010. I’d advice that if you started learning any language, it would be best if you won’t stop since you’ll almost, if not completely, lose everything you gained before and have to start from scratch once again. It was really a waste.
I then enrolled to a short-course language class but I liked self-studying a lot more. I studied almost every night trying to squeeze it in and find time between my very toxic academic schedule and responsibilities. At first, I find it really difficult to read the characters, remember the words and understand conversations so I focused more on the grammar points and most technical parts. I know, this is the MOST boring part of learning the language and this is where most of us give up. But I swear, it will all pay off after a great deal of hardwork. I don’t own any language learning books or whatever because it’s too expensive and we don’t have a wide variety of language books here so I rely a lot on internet. Self-studying is really difficult, we have to double or even triple our effort compared to those who are fortunate enough to be able to have formal classes. Nevertheless, it’s still fun and I love doing it.
HOW TO PRACTICE
— Here’s a separate blog I wrote a few weeks ago on how I practice Korean.
It’s been eight months now since I started studying Korean seriously and I finally managed to see improvements on my skills. I can now understand KPOP songs and watch variety shows or dramas without subtitles though there are still certain parts I still can’t understand that I have to look it up on Naver dictionary. Hahaha. There’s still so much to learn. There will always be a space for further improvements. I guess, learning a new language takes forever. Though you attained the level of fluency you want, you will still encounter new information everyday. It may be new vocabulary words, slang, grammar use or even the country’s culture. It’s really an interesting and never-ending process of gaining knowledge.
For a more effective way of learning a language, you have to have INTEREST AND COMMITMENT. These are two of the most important factors to be able to achieve our goals. They always go hand in hand.
This will serve as your motivation to continue learning the language. For me, what sparked my interest on Korean language is my fondness of any Korean-related stuff like dramas, variety shows, songs, etc. The more you want to understand your favorite stars and songs, the more you would want to study. And everytime you listen to them, you’ll surely get a new word or two.
The level of fluency you will be able to attain in a certain period of time depends on the level of commitment you have in studying the language. I know it’s difficult to find enough time to study a language especially for students like me who have academic priorities and obligations to attend to. But I do always find time to at least sit down for even an hour and study or blog in Korean.
But most importantly, you have to not only like what you’re doing, YOU HAVE TO LOVE WHAT YOU’RE DOING.