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The ’I Hate Korean’ Thread

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Bao
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
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Joined 3950 days ago

2256 posts - 4045 votes 
Speaks: German*, English
Studies: French, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin

 
 Message 9 of 131
01 July 2011 at 9:11am | IP Logged 
Beysic wrote:
Just think about how fine Korean men are. If speaking to them isn't a reward, what is?

It's also perfectly fine if they don't talk ...

Minya, I have a grafic tablet and whenever I want to write Korean I use handwriting recognition because that's so much easier than typing ... x3

lichtrausch, it probably isn't. But it certainly is challenging.

OP, when I first read your posting some hours ago and was too lazy to actually reply my first thought was: "Yes, isn't it wonderful?"

Honestly, my progress in Korean is barely worth being called progress. It's hard. When I was in Spain and used to cry of frustration about how difficult everything was for me, I picked up Korean and marvelled about how wonderfully easy learning Spanish was all of a sudden. But, I fell in love with the way the language sounds. Nobody forces me to learn Korean, and even if I choose to study it in a more formal setting one day it doesn't mean that I can't just stop it if I want to. So why do I choose to learn a language that makes the things that make me cry of frustration seem easy in comparision? Because I like it. (マゾかなぁ?) I don't have some, uhm, mental image of it as an exotic paradise (read Lotteria) that I, uhm, might have had when I first picked up Japanese. But I have an immense curiousity, I find it incredibly fulfilling to understand another new tidbit and to be able to see the similarities and differences between languages, cultures, groups and individuals. It makes me happy to be able to cherish the elegance, the beauty, the wit or the crudeness of how you can say a certain thing in a certain language. Knowing how much it costs me to learn this in Korean makes me cherish it more, and that means that even if I am plainly embarrassed by my slow progress, I am way too stubborn to give up. And I do make progress. It's just ... slow. I used to be a person with low frustration tolerance. Japanese taught me to keep on trying, and I guess Korean will hone that skill. :D

And, yes, I am talking about exactly the same thing you are talking about. Just, maybe, with a different attitude. =)

ETA: I forgot to mention that I really like the idea of never really being able to finish it. English, for example, has lost so much of its glamour that it makes me quite sad. (I'm the kind of person who reads a book in one night but leaves the last ten pages, and then waits two weeks until she finishes it, because then it's over.)

Edited by Bao on 01 July 2011 at 9:23am

5 persons have voted this message useful



Lucky Charms
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
lapacifica.net
Joined 5133 days ago

752 posts - 1710 votes 
Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: German, Spanish

 
 Message 10 of 131
01 July 2011 at 10:38am | IP Logged 
I haven't started learning Korean yet (beyond the hangul and their pronunciations, and the readings of many hanja) but I've been interested in it for a while and plan
on trying it out more seriously sometime in the near future. Your perspective as someone who has had some success with Japanese but found Korean too difficult was
interesting to me.

Kitchen.Sink wrote:
The sentences are backwards[...] There are a minimum of two words for every meaning, native Korean and Sino-Korean, oftentimes many more than
two[...]


These features are present in many languages. As for the word order, SOV languages are roughly as common throughout the world as SVO. As for lexical registers, this
exists in every language to some extent (although, I think, it's not very pronounced in any of the languages you've studied so far except Japanese, which might give
you the false impression that it's unusual). I don't find the discrepency between each lexical register in Japanese to be dramatically different from what you've
mentioned about English, and since Korean and Japanese have a similar history with regard to Chinese borrowings, I'm inclined to think that you might be exaggerating
the difficulty here. Some languages have an entirely different language for formal and/or literary registers, you know...

Kitchen.Sink wrote:
Even a man who knows no French can hear the word boundaries


I disagree. What makes you think so?

Kitchen.Sink wrote:
With Korean, however, words blend into one another and sounds, very important sounds,
get stifled under the breath of speakers who can mysteriously hear through all the mumbling.


Again, I don't know much about Korean, but this is exactly how my students complain about English. For example, in my dialect "what are you" often becomes "watcha",
"did you" can become "ju", "didn't ask him" can become "dinaskm"... lots of important sounds being "stifled" there, including a word-initial consonant! The solution
here is to study the phonological rules that account this difference between the Korean written on paper (or spoken slowly on a recording for foreigners) and Korean as
it's actually spoken. My bet is that they aren't just leaving out random sounds on a whim, but that there are predictable processes going on. After all, they can
obviously understand each other, and appear to all be saying words in the same way, right?
13 persons have voted this message useful



Kitchen.Sink
Newbie
United States
Joined 4364 days ago

20 posts - 67 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese, Korean

 
 Message 11 of 131
01 July 2011 at 11:22am | IP Logged 
Lucky Charms wrote:

These features are present in many languages. As for the word order, SOV languages are
roughly as common throughout the world as SVO. As for lexical registers, this
exists in every language to some extent (although, I think, it's not very pronounced in
any of the languages you've studied so far except Japanese, which might give
you the false impression that it's unusual). I don't find the discrepency between each
lexical register in Japanese to be dramatically different from what you've
mentioned about English, and since Korean and Japanese have a similar history with
regard to Chinese borrowings, I'm inclined to think that you might be exaggerating
the difficulty here. Some languages have an entirely different language for formal
and/or literary registers, you know...


I am highly amused by how you not only cherry pick my words and phrases to conveniently
leave out the ends of my sentences, the part where I state that Korean is not difficult
for those reasons though they might seem to be to the outsider, but I am also highly
amused by how pedantic your tone is without even having studied Korean yourself.

Lucky Charms wrote:

I disagree. What makes you think so?


Pardon me, a native English speaking man.

Lucky Charms wrote:

Again, I don't know much about Korean, but this is exactly how my students complain
about English. For example, in my dialect "what are you" often becomes "watcha",
"did you" can become "ju", "didn't ask him" can become "dinaskm"... lots of important
sounds being "stifled" there, including a word-initial consonant! The solution
here is to study the phonological rules that account this difference between the Korean
written on paper (or spoken slowly on a recording for foreigners) and Korean as
it's actually spoken. My bet is that they aren't just leaving out random sounds on a
whim, but that there are predictable processes going on. After all, they can
obviously understand each other, and appear to all be saying words in the same way,
right?


I never claimed English isn't as guilty of a written/spoken language disparity as
Korean is. In that respect, English is much, much worse than Korean. But my problem
with Korean is much more than a disjoint between the spoken and written language. I
have studied a little Sinhala, which has a total disjoint between the spoken and
written form, in fact, they seem almost like two different languages altogether. That
is not so much the problem with Korean. The problem with Korean, at least for me, is
that it is spoken so quickly and in such a way that my brain, for some bizarre reason,
just does not process precisely what is being said. Even with ample amounts of
exposure. I have never encountered a language where I can listen to a sentence two
dozen times and still not be entirely sure of the fundamental sounds that were spoken.
It's bizarre, and it's something you cannot understand until you try to learn Korean
for yourself.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Sennin
Senior Member
Bulgaria
Joined 4218 days ago

1457 posts - 1759 votes 
5 sounds

 
 Message 12 of 131
01 July 2011 at 11:33am | IP Logged 
Lucky Charms wrote:
Kitchen.Sink wrote:
Even a man who knows no French can hear the word boundaries

I disagree. What makes you think so?


French is probably not the best example for a language with clear-cut word boundaries, though I'm sure Korean is a nastier case :).



Edited by Sennin on 01 July 2011 at 11:41am

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liddytime
Pentaglot
Senior Member
United States
mainlymagyar.wordpre
Joined 4413 days ago

693 posts - 1328 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Galician
Studies: Hungarian, Vietnamese, Modern Hebrew, Norwegian, Persian, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 13 of 131
01 July 2011 at 12:19pm | IP Logged 
Don't give up.

In my 2 whole months of attacking Korean I concur, yes .... Korean is a beeeotch! It is without question the most
challenging language I have attempted to study ( and I have studied a few!)

However it is the "Everest" of languages and Everest was not scaled on its first attempt. Even if you are only at
"base
camp two" that is still a remarkable achievement that you should be proud of. If you truly want to scale this
beast
you can do it with the right motivation!

edit: although I do think this thread is a lighthearted way for those of us studying Korean to vent our frustrations
from time to time! LOL :-)

Edited by liddytime on 01 July 2011 at 12:21pm

7 persons have voted this message useful



Bao
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
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Joined 3950 days ago

2256 posts - 4045 votes 
Speaks: German*, English
Studies: French, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin

 
 Message 14 of 131
01 July 2011 at 1:08pm | IP Logged 
Sennin wrote:
Lucky Charms wrote:
Kitchen.Sink wrote:
Even a man who knows no French can hear the word boundaries

I disagree. What makes you think so?


French is probably not the best example for a language with clear-cut word boundaries, though I'm sure Korean is a nastier case :).


Ung. That is, the problem isn't actually the word boundaries - French is just as difficult as Korean when it comes to that, but the way sounds change based on the surrounding sounds. As far as I can tell, the m has roughly the same sound value each time in 'Moi, je m'appelle Armand', whereas the Korean m changes a lot depending on whether it is between vowels, a vowel or a consonant, at the beginning or end of a word group; and whether it is spoken quickly or slowly. When it's spoken quickly or between vowels, it is so short that it gets a nasal quality that sounds very much like a b to me. I can tell apart and produce m, b, p' and bb, but to me that's a four way distinction of sounds that do not match the phoneme inventory of any of my other languages, neither in their boundaries nor in their interaction. And that's just one group of sounds, there are several.
Minimal pairs or HVPT might help. But is there anything usable for Korean?
2 persons have voted this message useful



Segata
Triglot
Groupie
Germany
Joined 3355 days ago

64 posts - 125 votes 
Speaks: German*, Japanese, English
Studies: Korean, Esperanto

 
 Message 15 of 131
01 July 2011 at 3:05pm | IP Logged 
You need to find something that is worth going trough the trouble of learning the behemoth that some call the Korean language.

Korean cinema is always a good start. These guys made some awesome movies. I recommend movies by Kim Ji-Woon (e.g. The Good, The Bad, The Weird)

Edit: And for the record, when I first listened to French, it used to be the same endless flow of gibberish that Korean used to be as well. ;)

Edited by Segata on 01 July 2011 at 4:16pm

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Mooby
Senior Member
Scotland
Joined 4289 days ago

707 posts - 1219 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Polish

 
 Message 16 of 131
01 July 2011 at 3:16pm | IP Logged 
The OP is just being honest and that's refreshing.
Some people seem to want to contradict him....like that's really going to help.
You may not agree with his frustrations, but they are real to him.

If listening is the main frustration, then my only advice is to listen to pre-recorded
material aimed at children, spoken slowly and with basic vocabulary. Then gradually
introduce more advanced / faster tracks.
If the frustration has developed into a kind of resentment towards the language, maybe
give it a break for a bit and come back when you're mentally more positive (or brain cells
have recovered!).
The poor old brain is flashing alerts: 'reject' 'cannot assimilate' 'abort'. Give it a
holiday and let it recover.

Good luck, and I really hope you keep going to the summit.


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