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The ’I Hate Korean’ Thread

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egill
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
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418 posts - 791 votes 
Speaks: Mandarin, English*
Studies: German, Spanish, Dutch

 
 Message 57 of 131
03 July 2011 at 11:27pm | IP Logged 
Kitchen.Sink wrote:
...
This method was popularized by Khazumoto at the 'All Japanese All the Time' website. It
is a process I have faith in. As mentioned earlier in this thread, in just 4 months of
learning Chinese with this method I saw incredible results. I can still understand much
more Chinese than I can understand Korean, getting a good grasp on Mandopop and Chinese
news casts. I also saw solid results with Japanese. Korean, though, has gotten me
nowhere. And if this method doesn't work with Korean, I'm convinced that no method
will.


(emphasis mine)

Don't you think that's a bit hasty? I think it's folly to tie yourself to one method
and one method alone. If a certain method isn't working out, why not try another one
instead of giving up (or grinding away painfully)? Maybe for whatever reasons something
that worked out with Chinese for you isn't working out with Korean. But maybe there's
something out there, which didn't work out with Chinese for you, but may well work on
Korean. Hell, why not try several things at once?

3 persons have voted this message useful



leosmith
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4632 days ago

2365 posts - 3803 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 58 of 131
04 July 2011 at 6:44am | IP Logged 
Kitchen.Sink wrote:
I appreciate your patience to go through and re-read the thread. It's clear that your
intentions are good, that you are not here to flaunt or condescend like some of the others, and for that I
apologize for being testy with you.

Not at all. We both started out testy, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Heated arguments are why I come to
this forum. My first post was evidently too rude, because it was censored. But you’ve shown that you want to fix
the problem, so I’ll try to help.
Kitchen.Sink wrote:
The truth is that my language plan extends only as far as what you have listed.

Kitchen.Sink wrote:
if this method doesn't work with Korean, I'm convinced that no method will.

As I said before, I know no Korean. But I don’t believe the problem you’re having is some inherent thing about
the language that’s worse than any other language. For one thing, many westerners have learned it to a high
level. And even though I don’t speak it, I sat next to a Korean co-worker and could figure out a surprisingly large
amount of what he was saying on the phone due to it’s similarity with Japanese. I encourage you to drop the
notion that the pronunciation issue is impossible, give yourself a positive attitude adjustment, and focus on your
method.

I don’t like Katz. Just like Benny, he says that everything should be easy and fun, like it’s some sort of universal
truth. He says that textbooks, grammars, teachers and classrooms are worthless. That being said, he has some
very good suggestions about creating an immersion environment, and a lot of good general info on his site.

Understand that what he calls “the Method”, the sentence mining thing that you’re doing, was designed to help
him read Japanese. I think it’s a reasonable method for that, but is inefficient for other languages and even other
aspects of Japanese.

And even though I say it’s inefficient for Korean, unless you’ve excluded some things, you haven’t even done all
the other things that he did when he was using it. For example, I don’t see anything in your plan about
conversation. Conversation is extremely helpful with listening. And I strongly agree with the other poster about
the Korean girlfriend who is dedicated to your language goals, if that’s a possibility.

So since I already mentioned conversation, let me discuss other possible weaknesses I see. If it’s without text,
you’re doing too much radio. Radio is good, but it’s much more difficult than a kdrama with subtitles. I
recommend 100% of your listening be with things that have transcripts/subtitles. I prefer to listen first, then
read, because it leaves some mystery that way, but to each his own. I further recommend that you do a high
percentage of video, because that increases comprehension. Finally, English transcripts are really nice if you need
them. They are much more efficient than looking things up in a dictionary. Again, if you use them, it’s probably
best to use them after initial viewings.

I recommend not spending more than 1/3 of your study time doing flashcards. Anki is great for review, but not
as good for learning new stuff. Review is necessary, but you need a steady stream of new material to keep your
mind fresh. So you have to draw the line. And it’s ok to do stuff without the end result being sentences in Anki.

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I get this general feeling that you are jumping around all over the place without
really completing anything. Finish a textbook. Go through a grammar bank. Memorize a dictionary (just kidding).

Do some beginner audio programs. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re still a beginner. Generally speaking,
programs like Pimsleur, Michel Thomas, podcasts, assimil, etc provide much of what a beginner needs to get
grounded in the language. By themselves they are often inadequate, but with some of the other stuff you have
going on they’d make a fine supplement.

6 persons have voted this message useful



w1n73rmu7e
Newbie
United States
Joined 4022 days ago

31 posts - 46 votes

 
 Message 59 of 131
04 July 2011 at 12:08pm | IP Logged 
People probably aren't even talking about the OP's main point anymore, but I'll throw this out there anyway - if you're having trouble with word boundaries, just watch dramas. I've watched a ridiculous amount by now (waay more than I should have) and I have no problem with word boundaries anymore.
3 persons have voted this message useful



emkaos
Diglot
Newbie
Germany
Joined 3362 days ago

9 posts - 19 votes
Speaks: German*, English
Studies: Korean

 
 Message 60 of 131
04 July 2011 at 2:15pm | IP Logged 
@w1n73rmu7e:
Do you watch them with subtitles or while looking at the scripts?

For practicing listening I can recommend drama or movie scripts. I would prefer korean subtitles but these are really rare and usually only made for movies.

There are some sources for scripts of Korean dramas or sitcoms.
*20woo.com* is a Korean forum for film and drama scripts.
*dramabeans.com* has some scripts, mostly for older dramas.
And if you google for 대본 + the title, sometimes you're lucky. A lot of Koreans seem to want to become actors and use these for practicing, or something like that.

Sometimes I watch Korean dubbed anime and download Korean fansub subtitles for the japanese version. They are in no way exact, but they give you a hint.

Then, most news broadcasts have news videos with exact transcripts on their homepages.

I also recommend to listen to the 이야기 podcasts on talktomeinkorean.com
They are intermediate natural speech with pdf transcripts.

Shows like "we got married" or "infinity challenge" subtitle the majority of what is said. I guess even Koreans don't understand all of it without subtitles.

If you have an iSomething you can buy Korean audiobook apps. The 엄마를 부탁해 audiobook app let's you listen to it and read it at the same time. The Lite version is free and gives you the first chapter or so. I think the same publisher has more audiobooks like that.
The app 소리잡기 2 gives you a small text every day with a recording of a natural speaker. I think the these are meant to be inspirational short stories hehe.

Korean listening comprehension is really no joke. 90% of my studying involves audio, because I have found that if I learn it just from reading I will no be able to indentify it when it's spoken or I will pronounce it in a way that makes Koreans understand nothing.

I remember a sentence from a Korean sitcom:
그 걸 내 입으로 말해? keu geol nae ibeuro malhae
That's how it's written and would be officially pronounced. It was written that way in the script.
But what the person ended up saying was:
글래이브로 마래? keulleybeuro marae?
It was an older woman and probably the person in whole sitcom who was the easiest to understand. She omitted nothing, just made the words melt together like all Koreans do all the time.
Btw, I find the news to be one of the easiest things to understand, apart from the occasional rare vocabulary.

I have accepted the fact that it will take far longer than I expected. Now after 3 years of intense study I'm far from understanding everything, but I know that I get the most important points and if I really want to exactly understand something I'll find way. Often repeating a scene over and over is enough.

Edited by emkaos on 04 July 2011 at 3:14pm

3 persons have voted this message useful



Bao
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
tinyurl.com/pe4kqe5
Joined 3848 days ago

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

 
 Message 61 of 131
04 July 2011 at 4:40pm | IP Logged 
emkaos wrote:
I have accepted the fact that it will take far longer than I expected. Now after 3 years of intense study I'm far from understanding everything, but I know that I get the most important points and if I really want to exactly understand something I'll find way. Often repeating a scene over and over is enough.

This, my dear, is a formal declaration of respect. =)
1 person has voted this message useful



Bao
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
tinyurl.com/pe4kqe5
Joined 3848 days ago

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

 
 Message 62 of 131
04 July 2011 at 7:16pm | IP Logged 
leosmith wrote:
I've had several friends who have studied Mandarin and Korean. They have said that Mandarin is harder all around, and especially in the beginning, citing much harder pronunciation. Actually, this forum is the only place I know that thinks Korean is the hardest language.

Maybe it's a matter of instruction, I have no idea. Those of my friends who actually study Mandarin at university/interpretation school tend to say it was relatively easy for them in the beginning and then got continuously harder, and that the main difficulty for them is advanced grammar, characters and idioms.
I personally find it easier to remember the sound of Mandarin words or sentences, because it seems to me that the individual sounds don't change as much depending on the surrounding sounds as they do in Korean.
1 person has voted this message useful



w1n73rmu7e
Newbie
United States
Joined 4022 days ago

31 posts - 46 votes

 
 Message 63 of 131
04 July 2011 at 7:33pm | IP Logged 
emkaos wrote:
@w1n73rmu7e:
Do you watch them with subtitles or while looking at the scripts?
I used to watch them with subtitles, but now I'm too impatient (unlike anime fansub groups, drama fansub groups take forever, and some of them (i.e., WITHS2) charge for immediate access), so I just watch them raw. I think my approach was good because I was able to "bootstrap" my vocabulary/grammar base with the subtitles, but at this point, I can pick up new words just by watching it raw (in fact, it's probably faster this way because I'm paying way closer attention to the audio).

Edited by w1n73rmu7e on 04 July 2011 at 7:34pm

1 person has voted this message useful



emkaos
Diglot
Newbie
Germany
Joined 3362 days ago

9 posts - 19 votes
Speaks: German*, English
Studies: Korean

 
 Message 64 of 131
04 July 2011 at 8:44pm | IP Logged 
훗 훗 Bao ㅋㅋ

@w1n73rmu7e
So you used English subtitles?

I too, like Kitchen.Sink, tried it with the AJATT 10.000 hours/sentences method. And he recommends only to use target language subtitles or none at all.
But looking back I wonder if he's right. While it may be true that for speech you know subtitles in another language may hinder you, but on the other hand if you don't know what's going on I don't feel like I'm learning something. And I find it hard to enjoy a drama when I have no idea what's going on. Maybe, if I only would appreciate Korean boys more hehe


Concerning the comprehensible input method generally
I tried it for more than 2 years and I have mixed feelings about it. The good part it that it led me to spend a lot of time doing something Korean.
I read hundreds of Korean Manga and watched lot's of Korean TV. But looking back I get the feeling that if I would have focused more on less material, I would have made faster progress.

Just absorbing it didn't help my speaking at all. About two month ago I struggled so much while trying to speak Korean (though text chatting was ok) that I often avoided it. I wanted it and I didn't want it hehe.
Then some things changed and now I'm speaking it nearly daily. So much changed in only two. Now I speak comfortable about every day stuff and somehow manage to fight my way through more complicated topics.

That said, it did help me, because when I started speaking I understood enough so that the other person didn't need to make an effort to speak in an extra comprehensible way or repeat it over and over. And I had a lot of hidden vocabulary that maybe was even below passive proficiency, but relearning it in conversation was really easy.

And my problem with Korean grammar is not how to construct a sentence or how to change the verb, but rather what form to use when. There are so many similar forms that mean nearly the same. For example: -니까, -니, -기 때문에, -므로, -느라, -기에, -길래, -어서, -라서 … 등, they all mean something like 'because' but all have different connotations and give different feelings. I don't think this can be learned from grammatical explanations. Hearing them over and over in situations where they are used builds up your feeling for when to use them. This is something that in my opinion can be done with the ajatt method. And Korean is full of these "nearly the same but not completely interchangeable" patterns. Same goes for the politeness levels. Learning how to construct them is easy, but when to use which is hard. They are often mixed so you can hear 3 or 4 politness levels from one speaker speaking to the same person, changing them to emphasize, create distance or intimacy, be nice or coy and so on. Still they are not randomly used and you can easily make mistakes using them wrong. But if you stick to the grammar explanations you sound like a robot.
Learning to use them correctly is something that needs huge amounts of exposure, I think.

What probably helped me a lot with listening comprehension was putting audio in my anki. Whenever I encountered an interesting sentence in a sitcom or something I recorded the audio, but it on the question side in Anki and then the transcript with vocabulary on the answer side. First it was bothersome, but now it became a habit and takes under 10 seconds for a new card.

Somebody mentioned buying keyboard stickers or using a graphical input method. I wouldn't do that. I just started typing sentenced into my anki and my typing got better and better. Not having stickers prevents you from looking at the keyboard. That way I learned to type without looking and now I type Korean faster than English. The Korean keyboard layout is great and a pleasure to type in.

For vocabulary I highly recommend learning hanja. I refused it, at the beginning, because you don't see them, so why learn them. But it helps a lot especially with rare vocabulary. I don't think I would ever learn a lot of the words in the news without knowing that each syllable means. They just occur too seldom. But if you know the hanja they made up of, often one or two occurences are enough to put them into your passive vocabulary.



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