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Everything posted by kimseokjin

  1. Okay, even though we are already halfway through 2016, I want to hop on this bandwagon too. I guess for the rest of the year I actually want to use the elementary Korean I learned in the beginning half of the year and apply it to real world situations in the second half of the year. I to the lowest of keys hope that someone will approach me and ask me for directions in Korean, which is something I daydream about way more than I should. Learning directional words was one of the last lessons I learned before my class ended so it's still somewhat fresh in my mind. So if any of y'all in the NYC ar
  2. Just by calling it a stereotype, we already know it to be untrue. I personally think I am well-rounded in both the humanities and the sciences, but within each field, there are disciplines I am better at than others. For example, you will never catch me taking a history course in college, but if the credits allowed for it, I would love to take all the language courses in our East Asian department. Similarly, I loved biology enough to major in it in high school, but once I got to college and took Gen Chem I, that was enough to deter me away from the pre-med track. Rather than strictly being lef
  3. Wow, thank you actually for this fun question! I think my top 5 would have to be: 1. English (native) 2. Hainanese 3. Korean 4. Cantonese 5. Mandarin Yes, I just listed three different Chinese dialects.
  4. I speak a little Chinese dialect called Hainanese, which comes from the Hainan province. I believe it's only really used by rural villagers. In my lifetime, I've only come across a handful of other Hainanese folks, but unfortunately they don't know how to speak it like I do.
  5. When I tell other Chinese folks that I speak Hainanese and they tell me that they've never heard of it in their lives, it's one thing. But when other Hainanese folks tell me they can barely understand, let alone speak it, it's another. It's a sad fact, but my dialect is dying, and if my native tongue is then others are too. My mother tells me stories about how when she was younger, the school systems would only really use Hainanese back in Hainan. Now, there's a greater push for the use of China's official language, Mandarin, in their education. Even in the Hainan province, you wouldn't hear H
  6. Well, since Chinese is one of the most spoken languages in the world, I would personally go for Chinese. But really, it depends on what you want to use it for. If you want to be pragmatic and use it to impress employers, I think there's a higher demand for Chinese. But if you want to watch anime without subs one day, continue with your Japanese studies. It's a matter of what you value more. As for learning Chinese, Korean and Japanese, I think you can certainly do it if you have the commitment and motivation. Especially since East Asian languages all borrow words from each other, it makes
  7. Certainly my taste in music differs based on the language. When I want rock/emo/punk, I'll listen to it in English. Even though I love K-pop, when the Koreans try to emulate it, it's just not the same (and frankly comes off a little cheesy to me). That said, I will only listen to rap if it's in Korean. I think the language is really rhythmic and is really fitting for the genre. And of course, when it comes to ballads, no one does it best like the Chinese. I generally hate slow songs, but if it's in Chinese I'm able to hate it a little less haha.
  8. If I could even read a children's book in Korean I would consider myself blessed! Unfortunately, I have still yet to come across one at the library...
  9. I take all my classes seriously, especially language. I would like to think that I pick up languages pretty easily, since I had no problem when I took Spanish in middle school, Chinese in high school and Korean in college. Foreign language has always been one of the few subjects I actually cared about. Rather than looking at it as an asset, I found it genuinely fun to master a language. It felt more immediate and practical, you know?
  10. I'm the exact same way when I try to speak Korean. I can write just fine, but when it comes to speaking I stumble over all my words and I'm just a mess. It's because when you are writing, you are given more time to think about what you want to say first. When your actually using it, especially in front of a native, there's the fear of mispronunciation, etc. Certain words are harder for me to say as well because of the lack of particular sounds in the English language. And when you are still a noob like me, being able to listen and respond in an appropriate manner is another can of worms...
  11. English is my first language, but whenever I am required to fill out a survey that asks me to gauge my proficiency level, I'm very hesitant to say that I am fluent as well. Because for the same word in English there are 3253463 others that means the same thing, and I don't think I can ever master them all in my lifetime. But for simplicity's sake, I would consider anyone "fluent" if they are able to comfortably hold a conversation in said language.
  12. To answer the question who threw out in the title, I learned to read through rote memorization. I didn't use any games or fun apps, I just Google imagined the Korean alphabet and spent a day connecting the characters to its English equivalent. I also broke down Korean words I often saw into its letters and mentally webbed it to its romanizations. I think it was something I sort of just picked up naturally. Through practicing my Hangul on every Korean word I came across, it made the process of learning that much quicker.
  13. I rely both on lessons and on listening to native speakers converse for my language studies, and I do find that the latter is more practical. Even before I took formal lessons, I often watch videos of Koreans speaking and was able to pick a lot up, eventually impressing my teacher and other native speakers with how much I knew. But if you are someone like me, you might also want to know why exactly their grammar or sentences are structured the way they are, and that's something that just listening to natives can't teach you. I think if are able to take formal lessons, totally go for it because
  14. Even though English is my first language and my dreams are often in English, I find that some of my dreams are not even in any language. Like take last night for example. I'm currently studying Korean and I was able to communicate to my favorite Korean idol group in it, but I can't even tell you what language we were speaking in. It was more like our intent and actions are mutually understood. This goes for my second language, Hainanese, as well. In my waking life, I only communicate with my parents in Hainanese, but when I dream about them I honestly can't recall a single time I used it
  15. I don't listen to a lot of Chinese songs often but of the ones I do listen to I love Jay Chou's "Tornado" and "Simple Love." I found them English subbed with pinyin for you so you can follow along: Even for someone like me who don't listen to C-pop on the daily, even I know he's legendary.
  16. Hm... for me, I guess it's a combination of pronunciation and sentence structure that trips me up. I'm currently taking Korean, and the sentence structure is so unlike that I'm used to. Instead of the normal "subject + verb + object" structure that's used in my native English and Chinese, it uses a "subject + object + verb" structure. I still don't understand why the language is designed in such a way (logically, the subject is affecting the object), but after being exposed to Korean for the past seven years it's not as big a deal. Then there are the particles... don't get me started on those!
  17. My handwriting doesn't seem to change when I switch from writing in English to Korean... it's still the same sloppy cursive. *Sometimes* I'll make more of an effort to write neater if I'm taking notes in a foreign language, but it's more of an OCD thing if anything.
  18. Pretty much stole the words from my mouth. Kids are also better able to differentiate between sounds, while adults might struggle with certain words of a foreign language because their brains tune out sounds that don't fit with their dominant language. Not to say you are wrong, though. Being proactive definitely helps in mastering any language. I know because when my mother first immigrated to America, she had to learn Cantonese fast to communicate with her coworkers. She would tell me that she didn't care if she mispronounced a word; she would just speak and get her point across until so
  19. My first language is English and my second language is Hainanese, which is basically a dead Chinese dialect. It really sucks that I am bilingual and I can't even use it to my advantage because I've very rarely in my life encountered others who spoke it. Most residents of Hainan are learning Mandarin these days; it's only the rural kids who are still using it. Besides that, I also can understand Cantonese and some Mandarin and Korean.
  20. I would say only 5% of the music I listen to is in English, even though it's my native tongue. Since 2009, I've been only listening to K-pop. I honestly think rap sounds ten-folds better in Korean because the nature of the language makes rhymes so much easier. I also have a few Chinese songs on my iPod and some Japanese singles performed by more Korean groups. My editor once came up with a theory that the reason why so many people listen to songs they can't understand is precisely because they can't understand and they don't want to. What do you guys think of this?
  21. I am currently learning Korean because I listen to the music and watch the shows, although I wouldn't mind learning Cantonese (my boyfriend's family speaks it) and Mandarin. I actually have tried learning some Mando back in high school when it was required to take up foreign language, and though I am a bit rusty now, I still remember a couple of phrases. But yeah, as of now only Korean. I would like to travel one day and put my conversational skills to the test
  22. With any language, learn to read first before writing. The Hangul alphabet took me no more than a day to learn. Since it sounds like you are a native speaker already, it should be easier since you'll be able to understand the meaning once you get the phonetics down. For me, I started my reading practice on Korean idols' tweets. That was four years ago, and now I can definitely read a lot faster. Writing, on the other hand, is just a matter of memorization. It always baffled me when native Korean speakers didn't know how to write, but ever I started learning myself I can see why spelling
  23. NYU offers courses in Korean which I am taking. My Elementary Korean I professor was super understanding about everything and taught it so that we all could follow along easily. At first I was intimidated about receiving a grade for a foreign language course, but I ended up getting an A. As long as you put in the right amount of effort to learn, I think the professors will notice and your grades will reflect that. I'm continuing my studies next year as well :-)
  24. When I tell people I'm studying Korean they automatically assume I'm one of those who is doing it because of K-pop or something. And I am. I'm not ashamed of it, however. At least I'll be able to understand what I'm consuming daily with having to look for English subs. And like I've said in a previous thread, any language skill is an asset and it makes you a better candidate for a job than the next person. I don't know, I've never cared what others thought about me learning Korean. I'm kind of just here doing it for myself ya feel?
  25. On a scale of 1-10, I would probably give myself a 6?? Some of the words are definitely a bit harder for me to pronounce and differentiate, such as 종국 vs 정국 but I guess if you listen and repeat the words enough times, it will come a bit more naturally. I have a Korean teacher to help with my pronunciation, but since she hasn't really said anything I assume I can't be doing as bad as I think
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