Summer is approaching and apart from having to prepare for a conference trip to Montreal next week this also means that my workload is decreasing = more time for studying Korean. Yay! This past week has been so full of Korean accomplishments that I don’t know where to start. I guess the best way would be to list them in bullet points, so here goes:

  • I’ve completed TTMIK’s grammar level 9, so now it’s only a matter of reviewing once in a while although I have listened and written notes to most of the episodes at least twice.
  • As a reviewing exercise I’ve also ploughed through my two volumes of KLEAR Intermediate Korean. This helped me relearn a lot of forgotten vocab and grammar. 대박!
  • I’ve also finished watching K-drama classic 제 이름은 김삼순, and have actually come to appreciate 현빈. Might check out some of his other dramas too.
  • I’ve then started watching 미녀의 탄생 with my second favorite Korean actor 주상욱 (regular readers should be well aware of who is my number one!) and this time I won’t allow myself to turn on subtitles at all. While this requires a great deal of concentration, I’m past episode 3 and really enjoying the drama so far.
  • Since Thursday was my last meeting with my current LP, I decided to join italki.com after having been playing with the thought for a while. I had my first session yesterday with a very sweet and competent Korean girl. Italki, where have you been all my Korean-learning life?! We spoke together in Korean for one hour and I was blown away by her ability to explain things clearly and just keep the conversation going when I was hesitating. This was just so much fun, and I feel that one hour on Skype with this girl was at least as rewarding as two hours face to face in the library. I already scheduled my next session, where we agreed that we would exchange favorite scenes and lines from Korean dramas and talk more about Korea’s cultural impact on the world. Can’t wait until Friday.
  • Finally I’ve learned a few fun Korean words from my new drama: 썸타다 and 스킨쉽^^ meaning something along the lines of “flirting/being casually involved” and “physical contact” respectively. The 썸 part is Konglish for “something”. If anyone is interested in hearing 썸타다 in actual use, here’s a video of 송승헌 hosting a music awards show and declaring live to all of Asia that pop singer IU is his “썸타고 싶은 분” while presenting her with a long-stemmed rose. While I cannot say that I condone 오빠 just handing out flowers to pretty girls, I’ll forgive him since this is a super cute gesture (secretly knowing that I would have been the recepient if I had just been there – ah, geography!) 😉

7 Comments »

  1. Someone from HelloTalk suggested that I should try italki, but I never got around to it. Now, after reading this, I have signed up and even bought some ITC, but for some reason, it seems that I just can’t get myself to actually schedule a session.. I think It’s because I have never actually spoken korean with anyone. Ha! I would never have imagined that this would become a problem for me! I guess I need to buid up some courage! ^^

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    • I really recommend it! I should have done this so much sooner! The teacher I talked to was called Irene Lee. Maybe you should try her? She’s a student currently on exchange in Singapore also teaching Korean there in her spare time. Good luck!^^

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      • Interesting! I actually narrowed my choices down to Rachel Kim and Irene Lee! I wrote a message to Rachel Kim, about my achievements so far, and my future goals, so hopefuly I will start my lessons from next week! By then I will have finished my last two exams – plus it gives me a week to build up some courage! ^^

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      • Great! Good luck with your exams and with the language exchange. If you feel insecure try reading out loud while recording yourself. It helps me a lot. Happy studying! ^^

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  2. I have been using Italki for about a month or so now and love it. I have done sessions with both Shephard Kim and Hailey. Both were great, especially considering the low cost.

    Do you find the in-person dynamic makes things more difficult than online? Or is it just that the tutors are that good. I’ve been doing language exchanges over KakaoTalk/Speaky, but I’ve been trying to find someone local (not sure why that’s difficult, there’s so many Koreans here). The time difference (13 hours) kills me with trying to schedule language exchange sessions.

    My only issue is I usually do them around 9 or 10 at night, and then I’m totally wired and can’t go to sleep for another few hours. If only I got the same feeling from reading grammar lessons.

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    • Thanks for stopping by my blog! I wouldn’t say that the in person sessions are more difficult. I just think that since italki is based on a transaction where you buy a service there is more focus on your learning process and less on small talk in English. I really like that. I agree that the time difference can be a pain so I try to schedule sessions on the weekends. I agree that a language exchange can never be compared to a grammar self study session 🙂

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