Talk to Me

Hyunwoo Sun of Talk To Me In Korean discusses how he learned English in the video below. It was fascinating! He talked about being completely tongue-tied the first time he met an English speaker, even though he had years of English in school.

Focus on Speaking

Hyunwoo’s efforts of seeking out this English speaker and trying and making mistakes over and over really felt like how I am right now. His focus was on “output” being able to speak and prove he did know English. My 3 month goal of making small talk is the same idea. I want to take the words I know and string them together into a set of sentences I can say.

Proving myself

Why do I feel like I have to “prove” that I know some Korean?

I feel like I need to repay the kindness of the Koreans I have met by speaking Korean with them.  When I contacted the Williams College professor, I wanted to tell her what I knew so we would have a starting point for tutoring.  I spent a week trying to figure out what I had learned in my 6 months of studying.

What I Know

Below is the email I ended up sending her describing what I know.

I know numbers 숫자, time 시간, money 돈, date (calendar) 일자, days of week 요일, counting units 개, family 가족, countries 나라, greetings 인사, job/profession 직업, food 음식, pronouns 대명사, colors 색.  I am learning particles 이/가, 을/를, 은/는, 도, 에, 에서, 으로/로, 의, 한테, 과/와, 하고, 만, 부터, 까지, 이나/나.  I only know a few verbs 이다, 있다, 아니다, 없다, 먹다, 얼마다 in present and past tense are what I am trying to keep straight.
I can ask simple questions.
이게 뭐예요?  What is this?
이름이 뭐예요?  What’s your name?
이거 얼마예요? How much is this?
지금 몇 시예요? What time is it now?
오늘 무슨 요일이에요? What day of the week?
나이가 어떻게 되세요?
I struggle to make sentences.  I am hopeless at writing emails and making small talk.  Progress feels slow.  I practice my Hangul typing and handwriting.  I do Glossika Mass Sentences.  I listen to audio.  I do flashcards.  I almost never speak.  I can’t respond in real time, my memory is slow to recall.
Bottom line – I am eager to learn but don’t really know how to learn.
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