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Ec2953's Progress (Absolute Beginner - ?)

Learn more about the community and how they are learning Korean and about Korean. Do a little listener-to-listener chit chat. Keep it civil, and everything else goes.
ec2953
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Ec2953's Progress (Absolute Beginner - ?)

Postby ec2953 » June 24th, 2015 6:38 pm

Hey hi everyone there !

I am a total beginner in Korean and English isn't my mother tongue, so I might and will make many English mistakes throughout the thread =/
Please accept my apologies in advance ^^

I am a previous user of the excellent Japanesepod101 and I am now considering diving into the Korean language =)

As a pure newbie, I would like to share my progress and experience in the coming posts. I'd like to point out that I've never been to South Korea so far although I went to many of the neighboring Asian countries, so I might be biased and be full of prejudice regarding Korea and its culture at the present moment ^^

I also heard from many and feel that the grammatical structure of Korean and Japanese are very similar in some regards, and that many words are derived from Chinese. I have extensively learned Mandarin in the past and hope that it is going to be a great deal of help for learning Korean in addition to the basic knowledge I acquired in Japanese grammar.

So let's go and let's have fun and make progress altogether! ^.^

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Last edited by ec2953 on August 27th, 2015 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

ec2953
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Re: Ec2953's Progress (Absolute Beginner - ?)

Postby ec2953 » June 24th, 2015 7:01 pm

Day "1"

June 24, 2015

Well, I am putting 1 in brackets here because I must admit that I learned the hanguls for a couple of hours many many years ago. Um yeah, a couple of hours isn't much so I will consider today to be D-1.

I am going to restudy the hanguls today and start going through the different lessons from the Newbie / Absolute Beginner seasons.

I truly believe that learning the Hanguls as early as possible is an absolute must as it is not that complicated as it seems and that we don't have to go through all the "Hanja" or Chinese characters unless we want to become superproficient in reading newspapers and other deeper materials. I keep in mind that spoken Korean might become tricky as there are many liaisons to bear in mind and that it might even be disconcerting or confusing at some point.

I think that learning through reading only the Hanguls instead of the romanized alphabet ("a,b,c ...") once a certain level is reached will be more efficient and time saving provided that one will want to make consistent progress and be able to at least read a bit. I know this is probably super hard, but trying to remember a word written in Hangul in one's mind instead of in romanized letters would be ideal. For instance in Japanese, I would remember some words that would pop up in my head in romanized letters ("romaji") instead of in hiragana and/or kanji. This may not be optimal, but as long as I can first remember them that way isn't already that bad. Also, dreaming in the language to be learned at some certain (late) point might also be a sign of intense involvement from our brain and ourself. Of course, it'd be better if we were dreaming in a proper and correct Korean language.

So yes, today would be Hangul Day-1 and maybe D-1 for some lessons as well if I have enough time to go through some.
Last edited by ec2953 on August 27th, 2015 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ec2953
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Re: Ec2953's Progress (Absolute Beginner - ?)

Postby ec2953 » June 24th, 2015 10:17 pm

Yes, this is gonna be a sort of monologue but at least it is keeping track of my progress =)

So I could have done the first 6 lessons from the Newbie 1 Series.

This is how I processed:

1) I listened to all the podcasts,
2)Then went over again the parts that I didn't get,
3) And wrote down manually several times the vocabs on some napkins from a local coffee (haha).
4) I also added every single vocabulary word into the Wordbank and the flashcard decks and went through as many as I could of them.
5) While mugging up on the words, I tried everytime to spell them correctly on paper before clicking on "OK"


Since it is a Newbie Series, I did not bother trying to learn all the words that were not explained in the dialogues. I just tried to remember those I could in addition to those in the vocab lists and those being explained by the hosts.

I have not installed the Korean language input bar on my computer yet. Might do so later on =)

ec2953
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Re: Ec2953's Progress (Absolute Beginner - ?)

Postby ec2953 » June 27th, 2015 3:30 am

Day 2-3

Hello everyone !

So I'm done with the first 14 lessons from the Newbie Series so far. Will see until which lesson I can mow down tonight.

Gee, this is getting complicated with all the Korean numbers and stuff ! But hopefully I will be able to tell my age and deal with some figures in Korean in a near future ^.^

ec2953
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Re: Ec2953's Progress (Absolute Beginner - ?)

Postby ec2953 » June 30th, 2015 7:30 pm

Today is day 6 !

I have been a bit slow recently but I am finally done with the 25 first lessons of the Newbie Series =)

It is now time to review all the flashcards and to listen to all the previous dialogues before going forward.

Fighting everyone !

ec2953
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Joined: November 23rd, 2014 10:17 pm

Re: Ec2953's Progress (Absolute Beginner - ?)

Postby ec2953 » July 3rd, 2015 9:37 pm

Hey everyone =)

So after 10 days I have done 33 lessons. I am going to start a few of the next ones now.

Just a couple of things before going further: I noticed that the spelling could actually be a bit daunting to memorize from time to time as some consonants that apparently would not contribute to the pronunciation of an isolated hangul are often added at the bottom of it. For instance, "imnida" is written "ip - nida" in hanguls. That being said, put together, the liaison would change the "p" to "m" when read.

So, although there might not be any Chinese characters to learn (although the hanja would greatly help people who can already understand either Chinese or Japanese to memorize new vocab ), it is not as straightforward as Japanese hiraganas or katakanas whose pronunciation nor spelling would change at all.

Another interesting thing is that when spoken very quickly, it could be difficult to understand Korean because of these liaisons.
I feel that I would make less typos and mistakes when typing Chinese characters or in Japanese than in Korean. I guess I am still not used to it =)

We'll see how it goes later !

ec2953
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Re: Ec2953's Progress (Absolute Beginner - ?)

Postby ec2953 » July 9th, 2015 2:28 am

Hi guys !

So today is Day 15 =)

Here are the new conclusions I have come up with so far:

My 2 cents are that it might be good to start going through the Beginner level lessons even if one is still not done with the Newbie and Absolute Beginner series. I am even willing to give a shot to a few Lower Intermediate level lessons given the few knowledge of Japanese and Chinese that I possess.

I think that the Newbie series are a good introduction to the basics and to get the ears used to the sound of the Korean language. But grammar is definitely something to start early in my opinion. And getting the ears trained to listening to longer sentences and dialogues are necessary as our brain is in an early adaptation process. It is always good to challenge ourselves with stuffs that are slightly beyond our current level. In the case of language, it could be grammar points and vocabulary that go a bit further than the realms of colors, numbers, foods and so on as one starts to become familiar with the sounds and some simple materials.

So here are my current goals:

1) Start building up a core vocabulary stack that I would call Level I
2) Start learning/getting acquainted with some words that are slightly beyond the Absolute Beginner Series, which will go as Level II
3) Begin learning basic and a few intermediate grammar points
4) Possibly getting more familiar with the Korean keyboard (typing / learning the positions of the Hanguls...)

I am now done with:

Videos (Hangul / Pronunciations and Batchim rules) - To be reviewed from time to time
Newbie Season 1 (25/25 lessons)
Newbie Season 2 (24/25 lessons)
Newbie Season 3 (1/26 lessons)

Beginner Season 1 (4/31 lessons) <---- some of the words and grammar points have already been covered previously in the earlier series

To be tested soon:

Lower Intermediate Season 1
Last edited by ec2953 on August 27th, 2015 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

ec2953
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Re: Ec2953's Progress (Absolute Beginner - ?)

Postby ec2953 » July 27th, 2015 8:26 pm

Hello everyone !

It's been a while since the last time I posted again~

So this time I'd simply like to add a few new findings about my self-study program of the Korean language ^^

I noticed that simply following the Newbie and Absolute Beginner Series lessons are very good for building up vocabulary but that it might be a tiny bit slow when it comes to grammar.

So, I have went through internet and found some materials that are interesting in the sense that they complement what are already on Koreanclass.com.

As a beginner, I can recommend "Korean Grammar in Use (Beginner)". I also got the Intermediate level one, but I need to go through them first before I can really tell more about the series. It appears that the book is extensively used by many foreign beginners and other students. So far, I have done more or less 100 pages. The grammar points are usually concise and well explained, which is also one force of the book aimed at beginners. However, it might happen at times that the sample sentences are not being explicity translated, nor can we find the word by word vocab translation. The good side from the latter is that this kind of forces students to look up in the dictionary and check that everything is alright by themselves (provided that one is not too lazy).

Indeed, and this occurs quite often as in every study of foreign languages, that it doesn't always go as smoothly as one would have liked. For instance, it might be a bit difficult or take a bit longer to get the ~다 form of a certain verb that is a conjugated form that one hasn't learned yet. Do we have to add or take away a batchim? One may also find that there might be different words that express the same meaning (ex: 이제 and 지금 could both mean "now" - 이제 잘 들려요 -> can you hear me now vs 지금뭐해요 what are you doing now ? / or also 그렇지민 and 그런데 that both mean but / however, the latter one being more oral and flexible than the former.)

In addition to these books (I compared them to other materials I could also find either online, or on Scribd.com, such as Korean Grammar for International Learners etc.),one can use Talktomeinkorean.com which is also a very good complement to the books and Koreanclass101.com (I don't mean to intentionally create competition). My vocab have been reinforced through repetition findable on these different websites and books.

I also pay special attention to idiomatic sentences and special structures or peculiar vocabulary that might not appear quite often and would note them down on my notebook and keep their uniqueness in mind (one can also use different colors for special words / expressions). Oh yeah, because I purchased a notebook dedicated to vocabulary / expression. This might seem a lot to some, but since I have some spare time I could manage to write down over 777 words (and one or two sample sentences for each word I find interesting or important) in about two weeks. I might not have remembered them all (one needs to repeat out loud and in their head, keep writing all the time in order to start remembering them, the best being being able to use them when a good chance and context appear in real life).

Because of these special attentions to other materials, I haven't gone as far as I would have liked with the podcasts. I am done with the first three Newbie Series, went through a big part of the 4th one, and also some of the two Absolute Beginner Series. I have also dealt with some of the Beginner Series lesson 1 and 2. I tried to listen to the Lower Intermediate Lessons. I think it is totally manageable to learn from the PDFs and the dialogues, however the hosts are speaking in Korean quite often and are using words and grammar points that go way far beyond my level, which is still fairly beginner. I think that I will feel a bit more comfortable after I'm done with the Korean Grammar in Use (Beginner) and the first parts of the Intermediate book.

Anyway, I have written a lot in this post, and much could be added. I would like to make extra apologies for my English typos and mistakes, for it is not my mother tongue. I will share more personal thoughts later when I find more time and info.
Last edited by ec2953 on August 5th, 2015 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ec2953's Progress (Absolute Beginner - ?)

Postby community.korean » August 4th, 2015 11:56 am

안녕하세요.

Thanks for sharing your self-study program. :)
I am sure it will help many of our users to review and improve theirs.

Please keep us updated!

감사합니다.
Claire
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Re: Ec2953's Progress (Absolute Beginner - ?)

Postby ec2953 » August 17th, 2015 3:14 am

Hello Claire! Thank you for your cheerful message :)

네, 고마워. 암튼, 한국말은데 생각한것보다 훨씬 대박 어려워네요! Please correct me if I made any mistake here haha, that'd be awesome! ^^

Indeed, I will keep you guys posted whenever there is something I find of interest to share!

So, I am finally done with the book Korean Grammar in Use for Beginner (approximately 350 pages) and surprised myself by writing on my notebook over 1880 lines of words and sample sentences in a bit more than a month. This basically took hours and hours everyday to actually read, understand and take notes. My conclusion about the book is that it is well balanced and very friendly to beginners. I particularily appreciated the "Check it out" section which is very helpful in differentiating some words that would misleadingly appear to be of the same usage. I would definitely recommend it as it gives you a huge leap forward in terms of basic grammar knowledge.

I started the second book, Korean Grammar in Use (Intermediate), which is way more difficult, as many of the sentences that are much more complex in terms of grammar aren't translated in English. We are almost completely left to ourself, and some stuffs aren't always easily findable in dictionaries. The difficulty of some explanatory sentences is definitely off my charts, and even mastering all the materials from the first book won't always help that much. One will have to use even more extensively his or her translation skills and require some help from native Korean speakers to understand every points and translate verbatim some sentences, especially the grammatical explanatory notes at the beginning of each chapter and grammar points. Since I am only at the beginning of the book, I can't tell much about the content yet other than it still provides very good examples and explanations as usual. I believe that mastering the intermediate level book will definitely boost one's confidence in his or her mastery of the Korean language.

However, and this is a huge however, my listening skills are way lagging behind my reading and writing skills. Oh yes, because I am also writing down the Hanja (Chinese characters), which help me greatly to remember and guess the meaning of some words (so yes, learning Chinese and Japanese can be of super great help ! For both vocab and grammar). This is why Koreanclass101 is awesome, especially the line-by-line section (every part is great by the way). The voice actors speak in a natural and native speed, even sometimes "mispronouncing" some parts (at least to my ears) given the speed of the flow of the sentences. This is a huge plus, and I noticed furthermore that the Absolute Beginners sessions also included some "advanced" beginner grammar points. Haha. Korean Grammar in Use helped me a lot, so does Koreanclass101 which gives a lot of vocab and native expressions.

Well yeah, I typed quite a lot so far! So see you next time for the next episode :) I need to catch up with my listening skills.
Last edited by ec2953 on August 27th, 2015 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ec2953's Progress (Absolute Beginner - ?)

Postby community.korean » August 25th, 2015 5:39 pm

안녕하세요.

네, 고마워요. 암튼, 한국말은 생각했던 것보다 훨씬 대박 어렵네요!

Yes, line-by-line audio will help you get ready for real life Korean conversations.
화이팅! :D

감사합니다.
Claire
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ec2953
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Re: Ec2953's Progress (Absolute Beginner - ?)

Postby ec2953 » September 9th, 2015 10:25 pm

Hello again ^.^

Thank you so much for your correction !

So I haven't been commenting for a little while, and my progress slowed down for some reasons (time issue/life/friends/family) =D

I have written down on my notebooks 2356 lines of vocabulary (and more if we consider that I usually write next to the vocab some sample sentences that may be somewhat long). I am using 5 different colors when I am taking notes and reviewing (the reason being that there was some special offers for 5-color pens lol - and I like it better that way, because it helps me focus on different parts of the notebook: 1) Blue for vocab in hangeul 2) Green for the translation and the corresponding Hanja 3) Bright red and regular red for sample sentences - I tend to alternate for the sake of legibility 4) Black for reviews and mowing down vocab on scrap papers - simply because there is more ink left lol.). Too bad it seems there is not easy way to upload pictures, so that I could have been able to show you some snapshots of my notebooks.

The other thing is that I haven't been able to step up the pace with regards to the book Korean Grammar in Use (Intermediate) so far, because it takes tremendous time to actually read, practice and more importantly remember when there is still so many basic grammar points left that I need to master. My mind is sometimes conflicting depending upon the influence I got from either what I read online about grammar or what some Korean friends told me. For instance, a native speaker told me that s/he would rarely use ~텐데 while this "beginner" grammar structure appears to be very legitimate and useful. So my brain would whisper to me to use it less while I feel at my current understanding and experience with the language that it would probably be very natural to use it in many situations.

Moreover, I think that the Audio CD from the book speeds up by quite a margin the flow, making it more painstaking to "master". But these short conversations are crucial to listen and to repeat in a near-native speed, because those would be closer to real life speaking rate. I believe that those lessons in addition to other materials, if well studied, will promptly improve one's level in the Korean language. I started to work on the Lower Intermediate Lessons from Koreanclass101, and these are great for getting a better idea of how the speed would be in closer to in-real-life situations. The lessons script are also very nice to practice on when the different hosts are talking among themselves and making some comments in Korean. It might take quite a bit of time to look up the vocab and translate but I think it is definitely worth the time being spent.

I have continued a bit to study some Newbie and Beginner lessons for the nice vocab it provides (the later seasons seem to be way more advanced and closer to Lower Intermediate lessons in terms of conversation length).

However, it is also very crucial to keep communicating with Korean friends and ask them to speak/write in a natural manner so that we can learn new expressions that cannot be easily found either on dictionaries or online (including slang etc). Indeed, it seems that so many phrases cannot be easily translated in other languages, not to mention verbatim.

So yup, it is it for now, I will keep you updated if there is any new info I deem interesting ! ^^
Last edited by ec2953 on September 18th, 2015 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ec2953's Progress (Absolute Beginner - ?)

Postby community.korean » September 18th, 2015 2:05 pm

안녕하세요. :)

It's nice to hear from you again.

It seems like you understand that no two languages are alike.
Some try to translate word for word or bring the expressions used in their native language directly to other languages.

But you understand that there are linguistic and cultural differences.
I also think it is very essential to use various tools and sources and check how native speakers actually use the language in real life.

감사합니다.
Claire
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ec2953
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Re: Ec2953's Progress (Absolute Beginner - ?)

Postby ec2953 » October 28th, 2015 2:53 am

Hey!

Hi again everyone !

It's been a while since I posted last :)

I had less time to prepare a new list of vocab and phrases so I am roughly at about 2800 / 3000 lines (at least) of words and sample sentences :)

Today, I would like to explain the next stage I've been through:
I think I've built enough basic and core vocabulary knowledge to start language exchanges with some Korean friends! And this is what I actually did!
I got a third notebook that would be specific to sentences and other stuff I would learn from face-to-face exchanges. I learned that way some very colloquial and natural sentences, but also had different translation versions of some phrases from different people! I think it is important to understand that there are quite often many ways to translate the same sentence or to express the same thing. This greatly improves one's ability to grab nuances and to understand different speaking styles :)

So this is how I proceeded: I and my partners agreed upon exclusively speaking as much as we could in our respective native language for an hour/ an hour and a half. The conversations as a whole would generally extend to about 3 hours or so. This would include the Q&A and the time to write everything down on our notebooks. We would then go on with a review of everything at the end. I would listen to my language partner repeating every sentence in a slow and quick manner, repeat slowly, then try to mimmick and say it again at a natural speed after having broken everything down.Korean is a looot about intonations and it must be stressed that training the ears and vocals/tongues/mouth muscles in order to acclimate to the natural flow of the language is undoubtly essential. Hand memory practice through writting and internal visualisation is on top of this also very important. These 4 axes are in my humble opinion what we should generally stick to (listening with proper and adapted methods, speak in a fluent and natural manner with the right tones and intonations, write and type sentences/texts in order to train our hand muscle memory, and the vision, whether external or internal - there are plenty of materials about it out there on the internet, I cannot but recommend to check them out!).

I also recently purchased a grammar book called "Essential Korean Grammar" (2015) from Tuttle which is not bad at all! I think it is very comprehensive(at least least at my current level), however the book tackles with rather the Intermediate/Advanced levels so I would strongly recommend to acquire some solid knowledge of the basics before going reading it. I am slowly but steadily going through it, and then plan to go back to Korean Grammar in Use (Intermediate) in addition to Koreanclass101 and TalkToMeInKorean. I might talk more about it later if I find anything interesting to say about it.

Other than that, I tried today to find some videos with Korean subtitles and started to go through them slowly. This is rather a tedious work and extremely time consuming, but I think this is also a step to follow in order to greatly improve one's comprehension of the language.

Oh, and what's more, I prepared below a short Korean text! I will try to type a bit more in Korean at some later times :))

Cheers!

있잖아 이것은 한국말로 내가 처음 쓴 문장. 난 혼자서 그리고 언어교환을 통해서 조금 한국어를 배웠어요 지금까지 공부한 지 약 삼개월 반 되었어요. 초보자라서 아직 잘 못해요. 지금까지 만난 친구들 덕분에 동기가 지속되고 있어요!
Last edited by ec2953 on November 15th, 2015 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ec2953's Progress (Absolute Beginner - ?)

Postby community.korean » October 28th, 2015 10:54 pm

Hi Ec2953,

Thank you for posting. It sounds like you are learning a lot with your language partners! Thank you for sharing your experience with us.


있잖아 이것은 한국말로 내가 처음 쓴 문장.
--->있잖아요 이건 내가 한국말로 처음 쓴 문장이에요.

난 혼자서 그리고 언어교환을 통해서 조금 한국어를 배웠어요.
--->난 혼자서 그리고 언어교환을 통해서 한국어를 조금 배웠어요.

지금까지 공부한지 약 삼개월 반 되었어요. 초보자라서 아직 잘 못해요.
Good job!

지금까지 만난 친구들 덕분에 동기가 지속되고 있어요!
--->지금까지 만난 친구들이 동기부여가 되고 있어요.
동기부여=motivation My friends have been my motivation for my Korean studies.

Keep up the good work!

Lyn
Team KoreanClass101.com


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