I worked myself up to commit that I AM learning the Korean language about 6 weeks ago. I knew it would be self-study. So far, I haven’t actually come up with much of a plan. I’m brain-storming, gathering research, trying out a few things. (Thanks, Evita, for your suggestions on some steps I should take.) You wouldn’t be wrong to say I am completely disorganized and in spite of best intentions have yet to stick to one set of audio / video / books to knuckle down to serious studying.
Today, I was given a real life pop quiz. I totally flunked. LOL
It started out innocently enough. I was trying to connect up with my language exchange partner on Google+ Hangouts. His voice sounded like a series of electronic beeps, R2D2. After a few retries, opted for plan B – Skype call. The phone rang and eventually, a recorded message came on. Only it was in KOREAN. Egads! So fast! I caught juseyo and imnida. The message repeated, I still only caught 주세요 (give me please). LOL
OK, so this nice Korean voice is politely asking me something. I have no clue what. Pop quiz: failed!
I assume it was something along the lines of “The person you are trying to reach is unavailable at this time. Please leave a message. Standard messaging rates will apply.”
Now that I am calling Korea and visiting Korean websites, I have moments where I am thrust into real world Korean, and I am totally unprepared. If I need motivation to study harder, it is so I don’t get caught flat footed the next time the real world gives me a Pop Quiz.
For example, I visit the Naver Dictionary frequently. Yesterday, it started giving me a pop up. Suddenly faced with a page of Hangul, I try not to panic. What does it want? What does all this mean? I sound out 네이버 Naver 영어 English. The rest is a mystery. In a modal dialog box, you can’t just go look it up. Another pop quiz: fail! I have no idea what it wants.
Off I go to Facebook chat to ask a Korean. (For a moment, I glory in the realization that asking a Korean seems so reasonable, when I only just acquired Korean pen pals 6 weeks ago.)
I might be failing my pop quizes, but I want some extra credit for the fact that I am still trying to get the hang of typing in Hangul. Typing this post, I used the soft keyboard on the language toolbar to swap back and forth between English (A) and Hangul (가).
Of course, that means that I often forget I am still in Korean until I type an English word and it comes out looking like this:
I laugh at myself every day. Haha. Silly Julia. Another mistake 실수. But it is all part of the learning process.