Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Korean Day 11?

In a few minutes I'm leaving to meet a Japanese coach. Part of the reason I say "coach" and not "tutor" is that I honestly dunno what we'll do together. She may end up being more support than actually teaching me stuff, but who knows. As long as I pass the N1 by the time I'm 30, I guess it doesn't matter.

As for Korean, I did end up picking up the first できる韓国語 book. If we use them in class, great, if not, it'll be an excellent supplement, and since I gave up on KoreanClass101 due to their questionable security practices (sending me plain text password in a sales email), I was hoping to find one.

Observations about Korean so far:

LOTS of cognates (can you call them cognates?) with Japanese, I guess due to Chinese. Honestly, I find this makes it harder. It's like katakana in Japanese. "But I know this word in English!" No, you still have to pronounce in Japanese. So no matter how much 여유 sounds like 余裕, say it in Korean or perish.

The times 오 sounds like 우 remind me of the issues of pronouncing Portuguese o when you're used to Spanish. Dunno if anyone else has had that experience. I don't think it's actually the same issue or not, but whenever I heard see 오 and hear 우 I'm not sure how to feel.

Been mostly learning Hangul so far, so my vocab is still almost zero. Trying to distinguish between certain kinds of sounds is extremely difficult. You think you understand the pattern (maybe ch becomes j when [x]?) but then you just don't hear that, no matter how much you want to. You start to wonder if Korean people themselves, or at least the ones doing the listening exercise recordings, don't distinguish as much as they think they do lol, but that's just slightly ridiculous. Anyways, maybe once classes start I'll get a better feel for it. Dunno when that will be, though…

I started listening to this podcast called まったり韓国語 and I am doing it in true まったり fashion, by not actually studying along with it at all. Basically I'm using it as Japanese listening practice while just letting whatever random knowledge about Korea and the language filter into my head as it manages to. The lady who lives in Seoul explains stuff about the city and Korean culture. For instance, the other day I learned about Black Day. That is totally useful and easy to remember. If I even get a few factoids out of it, then why not listen? Is basically how I feel.

Now and then I also just listen to Korean news podcasts, understanding nothing. It's pretty relaxing to understand nothing. Maybe "Hello" and that's it. Like a good reminder to just take it easy. When I listen  to Japanese news, I'm always trying to understand, but when you have absolutely no chance, you can just let it flow through your brain and chill out.

Except…I gotta run to my Japanese lesson now, lol. Not so chill after all.

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