Monthly Archives: September 2014

Learning log

I’ve gotten into the habit of walking rather than biking as part of my commute again although technically I can bike again this week, since I’ve healed completely. However, walking implies listening to an aweful lot of podcasts, so walking is good for my studies.

It’s nice being back in the drill of studying Korean daily, so what do I do?

Listening and grammar:
Every day I listen to TTMIK podcasts. I’m working on level 6.

I’ve been stuck in uni readings for the past two weeks…

Text messages and kakaotalk. It adds up! However, no essays so far.

Korean / Japanese confusion:

As for Japanese, I’m slowly getting the hang of hiragana, but haven’t started katakana. Our teacher also shows us the kanji when relevant, but doesn’t expect us to remember them yet. However, since I’ve already seen the ones she has introduced so far in the course of my Korean studies, I tend to associate them with the Korean pronunciation I know already!

年? Definitely pronunced 연/년…. In Korean obviously… In Japanese? I’ve heard it, seen it written in hiragana, but don’t remember in this very moment.

Reading out Chinese characters in Korean while in a Japanese class somehow doesn’t seem ideal. Hopefully it will sort itself out when I get better at Japanese.

Pheeew, new language partner found!

It turns out that the language exchange program at my business school has suffered a slow and very silent death. So silent that nobody replied to my mails to the admin asking if I had missed the sign-up period, although the messages have been read!
Fortunately I have found someone through a Korean student association facebook page.

It was quite impressive how many replies I got after posting, and I’m happy to say I have been matched. I’ll meet my new LP for the first time tomorrow where we will also go for a round of 치맥 (better known as 치킨 + 맥주).

She replied to my message in Danish, and we have been texting since in a mix of Korean and Danish. I’m quite intrigued by her level to be honest. I wonder how long she has been studying, because she’s got some solid conversational skills judging by her text messages. I guess I will find out tomorrow afternoon.

I will also meet another Korean student on lunch basis. We have both found LPs, but given that we are on campus on some of the same days, we might as well socialise over some food and languages 🙂 it’s quite rare to find other MSc students among the Korean exchange students here so maybe I can get some insights into Korean grad school as well this semester.

Suddenly my Korean development plans look a lot more achievable.

Learning log

Time for a new learning log!

Lately I’ve been listening to TTMIK grammar podcasts quite a bit. I’ve got some extra commuting time now since I cannot bike after a small accident with some boiling water last Friday that left me with two second degree burns. (It looks a lot better now, but I need to use a different bag for my uni books to not disturb the healing, and I cannot bike with that). That means that I get to walk and listen to TTMIK – looking at the bright side…

Also I’m keeping my eyes open for when the LP programme starts at my uni. They should open for applications quite soon! This semester I would like to write more essays like I did with my first two partners, since that allows me to really work with the grammar and develop my vocabulary. It has worked quite well for me before so I should probably get back into that habit again.

Yesterday I had my first Japanese lesson, which was a general introduction to Japanese and to kana. We have started learning hiragana, which means that I’ve got a AIUEO, Ga Gi Gu Ge Go… song for children stuck in my mind.

Today will be my first Italian class in YEARS! We’re reading Il Giorno della Civetta, and honestly I don’t feel ready. I haven’t had time to sit down and work through the readings with a dictionary, so while I know what the story is about, I haven’t understood all the details.

Wish me luck, I’m going to need it…

Korean Snack Series: 땅콩강정

A while ago I received a care package from my Korean friend 현. She sent me a box containing various snacks that she likes, thinking that it will probably be a while before I get to taste them in Korea.

I really appreciate it, and as I’m munching away on one of the snacks, I will write a short review for those of you out there who might not have the opportunity to go to Korea for a while to come.

First snack review: 땅콩강정!

Peanuts and glutinous rice, a winning combination!

Peanuts and glutinous rice, a winning combination!

It is a snack based on peanuts and glutinous rice, and I really like them! they are nutty (yes, I have a keen eye for the obvious) and a bit sweet, but in a balanced way. They are not overwhelmingly sweet. They are quite crispy, and there is no way you will be able to eat this in a stealthy way. If you are not the sharing type or you find these are too good to share, you should be careful where you eat them!

As you can see from the picture they seem quite light and porous so if bringing them along in a bag, be careful where you put them. Calorie-wise they are quite dense, but then again – it’s a snack!

I’m normally the snacking type, but these are good!

Favorite posts by other bloggers: The Real Japanese Learners

I came across this blog just yesterday, and I have been thoroughly entertained reading many of the posts. One of the posts, however, I thought would be relevant for learners of Korean too. Well, it applies to all languages.

It’s about learning Japanese, hanging in there, and progressing to an advanced level. Click here for the full post!

The analogy with going to prison made me laugh, and it reminded me of “I need to get back in shape” translating into “I’m doing 5-8 in [insert prison name]” in certain environments. Or so I’ve read – no personal experience… Honestly…

So, happy studies everyone! Whether you spend this evening reading Korean, Japanese, European procurement law (I hear that new directive is a real page-turner), or something entirely different.