02 September 2010

Three words a day

Ok, so, did you know I'm trying to learn Korean?  This is kind of odd because, well, you know how some people just have a knack for picking up languages?  I am so far removed from those kinds of people that we are quite possibly a different species.  I really struggle.  After nearly three years in Hong Kong, most of them spent studying Cantonese, I can recall a grand total of about seven words.  And I pronounce all of them incorrectly.

So - I hear you ask - why am I putting myself through this humiliation every week?  Because I think Korean just sounds kind of cool.  Because it gives me some vague feeling of understanding and control in a place where in reality I am so very dependent on my Korean speaking support network.  Because seeing as I'm not supposed to work I think it's good to have at least one thing that forces my brain to think in a structured, formal way.  Because I find it strangely reassuring to have something that's on at the same time each week, something that feels a little like a routine.  Because after week two I could read the alphabet and I can now tell what's shampoo and what's conditioner. And also because the husband's company pays for it - hurrah!

Anyway, I'm writing this post having just returned from my lesson.  My teacher is a gem and I feel for her, I really really do.  I took my usually approach of doing my homework an hour before class, madly trying to cram on the walk there, and then grasping at any lifeline she'll throw me during class.  This worked surprisingly well as a way to get through uni, but I'm starting to think I need to be a little more committed if I'm going to prove the cynics (aka my husband) wrong and learn enough Korean to actually be useful.

Hence three words a day.  This is my plan - to commit to memory just three new words a day.  I'm starting off small, but I'm hoping it'll get me in the habit of at least looking at my textbooks each day.  I'm telling you this because now I have to do it.  I'm now accountable to you, my loyal readers (yes, all 2.5 of you). And I'm telling you this because I'm hoping that you will help me keep my commitment.  Just give me a nudge every now and then, ask me what words I've learnt today.  I'd really, really appreciate it if you did.

ps. This was my attempt at a short blog post.  Oh dear.


  1. that's awesome. korean is not easy, right? three words a day sounds like a good start! my son is a language geek, and so we watch a lot of videos on youtube. he can count to 100 in japanese and yet i've watched them as many times and can only count to 10 :(

  2. um, wow! Your son sounds like one talented little guy! I hope he keeps it up as he gets older, would be so cool to be fluent in more than one language.

    And Korean is waaaay easier than Cantonese (they proudly like to call Canto the hardest language of all to learn) so I'm holding out some hope...

  3. Oh great idea! i'm trying a similar technique with err...pretty much everything i have to get done in life. Breaking everything down into 15 minutes chunks. SO much more productive!

  4. I love the look of the characters, if you learn 3 a day you'll be a pro in no time. Do you know how long you will be in Korea for ?

    I got your package btw ! I opened it up too quickly to get a photo of it packaged...doh! too excited aha, the brooch is really neat, the photos don't do it justice, going to put it on a chain to wear as a necklace, will tweet you a pic or blog it !!

  5. Start watching K-dramas and you'll be catching on in no time. I think your approach is very realistic and doable. 화이팅! ^_^

  6. Thanks all for your words of encouragement! And seoulsuzy - learning a language through day-time TV = brilliant


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