I’ve been learning Korean for just under a year now.I can read and write Hangul, and I can recognise certain words and phrases, and according to my teacher and my friends I can speak what I know quite well. I’m still learning new vocab as I go, so what is next in my learning journey.
Well… its conversation. It’s learning how to actually communicate with people in Korean and not only understand what they’re saying, but have them understand me as well. And let me tell you, I’m finding it bloody difficult.
I think learning a new language when you’re an adult is hard already. But I think I would find things easier if I were learning say French or German, because my family would be able to help me because they know basic phrases in those languages, and could read things I had written on flashcards. They can’t really help me with Korean, cause they know almost nothing about the language. What little they do know is because I taught it to them. So how on earth am I going to practice conversational Korean, when I have very few people to speak Korean with?
My Korean teacher, a man from my Church who I meet with once a week, has said I should try imagining conversations in Korean. That I should try to have conversations, with myself about what I am doing. For example, if I am trying to tie up my hair, and I can’t find a hair band I could say to my self “헤어밴드는 어디에 있니?어디 있습니까?”
I think I will struggle with that because there are still so many phrases I don’t know how to say. So what I am going to do is re-distribute post it notes all over the house (sorry mum and dad, you’re just gonna have to deal with it) with questions and phrases that are related to the thing they are stuck on. So in the kitchen, on the cupboard with the mugs in I will write “차 하시겠습니까? 아니면 커피?” with responses like “네, 녹차 주세요.” or “아빠와엄마를위해차를만들고있어요.”
But even this I think will be a struggle for me, because everyone speaks differently. Conversational Korean is going to sound very different to what I say to myself. No two people sound exactly the same, and there’s only so much I can do while still in the UK. I’ve been reassured by many people that once I move I will pick up far more Korean, because I’ll have to in order to get by. I’ll be immersed in it. I think in my head, I still think English. I cheat myself by still thinking about Korean speaking and phrases in an English way.
But I’m going to keep trying. As a break from dissertation writing I learn Korean through reading, watching and listening and practice speaking as well as writing on here. My poor brain is going to be exhausted by September, but hopefully I will think a little bit more Korean and be able to communicate and speak with people a lot more.
…But please don’t even get me started on Korean grammar…
…it might just kill me…
How do you find learning new languages? What helps you learn to speak another language well?새로운 언어를 배우는 것에 대해 어떻게 생각하십니까? 무엇이 당신이 다른 언어를 잘 말하는 것을 배우도록 도와 주는가?
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