“Sometimes when you learn a language, there are moments where if you ask too many questions, you are going to have headaches. Sometimes, there are expressions you just need to learn by heart, and sometimes it is better not to analyze everything in detail. … if you block at each little obstacle, then maybe you won’t go very far. Go with the flow, learn some expressions, and try and make it easy and fun.” – Adrien, “Catch the Wave” May 21, 2014 Arirang Radio
I’ve now enjoyed my second online class from Korean Digital Academy (KDA) with teacher Bae Sohyun 선생님 배소휸씨
I am, with all sincerity, grateful that I have picked up something from my self study. Otherwise, I think I would have been snowed under in the first class that introduced Hangul and 40 words. Second class I was still paddling and keeping pace. But at some point it will run beyond my meager learning and then I am going to have to start studying hard to keep up.
What am I suppose to DO with all these new words? For now, I threw them all in a Word document. Where I will probably promptly forget about them. Some I know well (milk), some I sort of know (seconds), some are new (boiler), some I know I have seen before but forgot (spring onion). Do I start my own dictionary? Do I make flash cards? Do I set a time to review the words each day so by next class I will know them if asked?
A few phrases I really WISH I had committed to memory because they are useful. For example:
- 해보세요 Try and do it
- 잠깐만요 Wait a second
- 들려요? Can you hear me?
- 네. 들려요. Yes, I can hear you.
- 아니오. 안 들려요. No, I can not hear you.
- 하지마! 그만(해)! Stop that.
- 좋은 밤 되세요. Have a good night
I do have questions. That is what I like most about taking an online class. There is a live person I can ask. Yet I am aware of the wisdom of Adrien’s above quote. I tend towards over analysis (as if readers of my blog haven’t already figured that out! LOL)
Levels of Politeness
One sticking point I finally “got” in the second class was the levels of politeness. Teacher Rob Julien refers to them as casual, common, and formal. What I mistook as one level of formality is actually two levels (formal and common). Formal is (존댓말 jondeamal). Casual is (반말 banmal). There is no term for common. (as far as I know)
In this example, 1 is formal, 2 is common, and 3 is casual. We are mostly going to speak in the common level in the class.
What’s your name?
- 이름이 무엇입니까?
- 이름이 뭐예요?
- 이름 뭐야?
I am surprised to find I am getting comfortable with speaking in class. Not that I say everything right. I have seen words that I know in my head but have never tried to say out loud. When I hear my voice mangle them, I cringe. But other words are coming a lot smoother than they did just a few months ago.
I still find ah-ha moments when I discover a set of Hangul symbols matches a sound I have heard many times in dramas, so now I know how to say the word and what it means. Bingo! Ex.: 그만해요
Two mispronunciations I am now aware of and will work to fix:
- 외 “whe”
- 위 “wee”