Monthly Archives: August 2014

Reading progress: Harry Potter

I’m slowly progressing in Harry Potter. I try to read a few pages every day, but I look forward to reaching the point where I don’t have to rely as much on my dictionary. At this pace I won’t be done before Christmas!… 2015… Oh well, I remember when I read the first Harry Potter book in English back in the days. Back then I also had to look up a lot of words in the beginning, but eventually it worked out just fine.

My second language partner (from spring 2013) is very proud that I’ve made it to reading it in Korean without taking formal classes to get there. So with that in mind I will keep on reading.

Did you spend this Sunday reading as well? 🙂

Bernon? Oh right, Vernon…

I’m reading Harry Potter in Korean and kept coming across the word 버논. I tried looking it up, but no matter how I typed it and tried to reverse engineer a useful verb stem out of it, I failed to find it in my dictionary. It kept reoccuring so it began to annoy me. Eventually I asked for reinforcement from a friend over Kakaotalk. The answer: it’s his name.

Doh! Of course. Uncle Vernon! B versus V-confusion for the win.


It’s been a while since my last post. I’m sorry about that… As usual, I’ve been working quite a bit, but this week I have finally had some time off, so I decided to work on my Korean reading. Not feeling up for the university books this week, I decided to read a bit of Harry Potter (don’t let the picture above fool you, I cheated and started with chapter 2 after browsing through chapter 1).

Feeling studious, I decided to make flash cards. How to realise how many words you don’t know: make flashcards. The pile you see in the flashcard ring are only for three pages… Three!!!

I look forward to being able to read and just look up the occasional word. The day when I don’t have to look up words such as 중얼거리다 (to grumble), 초록 (grassy-green), and 가느다랗다 (to be very slender).

A semester full of language studies

The summer holidays are almost over, and a new semester will begin in just a few weeks. Including of – of course – Korean self-studying, but also Japanese and Italian classes. You’re probably wondering why Japanese and Italian. I signed up for Japanese because I was intrigued and a really good language school has started a new class taught by a Japanese, using Japanese and kana from the beginning so I signed up.

Then there is Italian. The short story: my mum signed me up to make sure there would be enough people in her class (level C1-C2). I started when I joined her class for a bit of wine and cheese at the end of the very last of their classes before the holidays. The conversation went along the lines of this:

One of her classmates: why doesn’t your daughter join?
Cue everybody in the room looking at me expectantly.
Mum: right!
My reply was to look perplexed.

Mum: you’re always waiting outside the class so you might as well join
Me: eeerh… I’m not sure, I haven’t spoken Italian for 4 years.
Mum: you’ll catch up quickly.
Me: but… But… my grammar! My vocabulary!
Mum: we’re not perfect either

As you can see, it was a losing battle. Two sets of books have arrived. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful language, and this year’s topic is really interesting, but I’m just a tiny bit spooked already. Wish me luck, I’m going to need it.