That’s probably not how I should start my posts but there is no such thing as formalities on this blog. I know I wanted to share posts on my Korean language learning on here and since I’m still currently trying to finish a Kdrama (Entourage), I decided to share a ‘Korean learning’ revelation.
I’m not going to get into a long ass story on my Korean language past because I want this to be short and quick, just like my attention span. As a pre-warning I am not fluent. You can look at me and say안녕하세요 and I’d probably look at you like a fish. BUT, despite my crappy skills, I’ve become a shipwreck through this ‘educational’ journey and am willing to share a few of my battered experiences.
I come across as careless but I’m actually an ‘overthinker’ in every instant in my life. (I know that’s not a word but currently my brain is too dense to think) Thus why I scoured the Internet before I even started learning Korean. Yeah, I was one of those who instead of doing it, I needed to plan it. One life lesson- f*ck the blueprint and just do it. Trust me.
Viewing a bunch of Youtube videos on tips, a lot of them mentioned Kpop of course as a way to help. There were some that just mentioned trying to read the lyrics and there were some who didn’t really expand at all what they meant by ‘use Kpop’. Me being a Kpop crackhead, I immediately jumped on it and ‘attempted’ the secret formula.
Obviously the good thing about using Kpop is that it helps you familiarise with hangul, (the alphabet), and your reading skills. And that’s pretty much it. Lol what a flop… Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great when you’re starting out, as aforementioned you begin to recognise similar patterns, syllables etc. Additionally it makes you question the language. Yes Korean is phonetic- for my fellow dense people it means you can spell a word just by hearing the way it has been said. True but not always of course; you begin to realise there are some differences for certain word structures blah, blah, blah…
Actually I used 눈 코 입 by Taeyang as my first set of lyrics. It was kinda difficult. Believe me I was sitting there for ages trying to listen in to that orgasmic voice to pronounce certain words over and over again. You begin to notice quickly some words cannot be pronounced literally as they come out sounding unnatural. You know like in the middle of the night when you hear the foxes and cats getting… actually let me not finish that sentence.
Let’s bring this back to my point. So Kpop lyrics (or any Korean song) are only so useful in learning Korean. Leading me to the random revelation that dawned on me one day whilst sucking on a lollipop on a train.
Why not use Kpop to learn vocabulary!
Okay after I wrote that sentence I realised how stupid that sounded. Some people probably already know this and I’m just slow in life as usual. But I’m going to show you how I do it because, well, whatever let me just move on before I sound even more stupid…
I have tried printing lyrics, (but fam is a little broke for printer ink so…), just using my phone to read and do. However both flopped for me. Using my phone means I forget quickly, printing lyrics always goes missing somewhere. So I write- because writing is just a classic that never fails. You’re forced to write it down, improving you’re handwriting and consciously taking in the words you write.
If you’re a complete beginner I wouldn’t recommend doing this by the way- maybe just reading lyrics for now is better until you grasp some basic grammar and vocabulary. Hard core songs I wouldn’t recommend as you’re first song to try this with, maybe a short song with something repetitive? Crush’s songs are perfect for this in my opinion.
Here’s an initial preview of how I do this-
Reading through each line and then when I come to something I don’t know I wack out ‘Naver’ (trust me when I tell you this mother*cker is a life saver) to translate. As a warning, sometimes it might not make sense, especially if you’re a complete beginner some of the grammar points will be difficult to coincide with the translations. Don’t worry because even if you are a ‘intermediate beginner’ Naver tends to break down sentences or the conjugated form, (so when the verb/noun has been changed into some other form because of grammar), so you can see what the specific parts mean.
Furthermore if a certain phrase or conjugated form really doesn’t make sense you can click on the word Naver has translated it as to see what ‘example’ sentences come with the word. That sh*t is hella useful because sometimes I’m looking at my notes like what the f*ck are you trying to say and then I see that some words put together in a certain way can come to mean a particular phrase.
By the way, don’t think you’re gonna boss this ish by breezing through a whole set of lyrics, unless you’re one of those geniuses. If you are then go ahead, but honestly I’d start off with just the first verse and chorus. Keep to that for a while and the words you discover you’ll begin to repeat without any context. That way they will stick in your head. Not to say you should go around spitting random Korean words but you kind of begin to associate the words with the English equivalent scenario, even if you aren’t putting them into correct sentences.
I’d also recommend singing along with the lyrics you do go through, even if you sound like a strangled frog like me. It helps because you keep repeating the words. Since I love music I will randomly catch myself singing the song out of nowhere and dance around so this works for me. If I catch myself forgetting a word or my mind connects whats happening to me in the moment to a sentence I’ve sang I would shuffle back to my notes to remind myself. Not saying you should do this every night or something, but just when you’re bored? Or depressed like me- good old Kpop always ready to hype my life. It’ll probably help if you’re addicted to the song because you can’t help but screech around the house to it. *cough* 내 피 담 눈 물~~~~~ screaming whilst stirring coffee *cough*
And that is about all I have to offer in this lesson of 2017 lol. May not be useful to everyone but I felt like sharing whatever experiences have worked for me because although there is an abundance of resources/advice out there, not everything works for everyone. I learnt that the hard way. Anyway, leaving this random 5am wisdom for anyone who needs it and if you guys have anymore questions then hollaaaaaa~
Oh here are a few songs I’d recommend as relatively easy:
- Crush – 소파
- Crush – 어떻게 지내
- Taeyeang -눈 코 입
If I find anymore I will add them to this list but these are the ones I’ve used so that is why I’m recommending them.
(I’ve got a Korean language meet up tomorrow so I will let you know how that crashes or not)