Update: Visiting Sofie and italki skype tutoring

WordPress deleted my draft so here we go again. Since my last post I spent 5 days in London on a family visit, and I visited Sofie from sofietokorea in her home city for an extended weekend – my first visit in that city in about 15 years!

Sofie had a whole program planned for my weekend there; we had dinner at her home with her husband and LP, we went to museums and restaurants, and I just got to see the city close up in general – snow and all. It was great to away from things for a short while, but I have to say it was also a bit of an eye opener in terms of my Korean skills.
What I learned during my weekend stay:
– I have a surprising soju tolerance considering my normally very limited intake of alcohol.
– I understood most of what was said around me in Korean, but I really really really need to speak it more.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has read her blog that Sofie’s Korean is amazing, but she sure is also working for it – most conversations with her LP are strictly in Korean. As a bonus I got to hear a bit of banter between her and her LP, which was frankly hilarious. An example:

Sofie: oh, by the way, you sent me a message using that expression, which you said I couldn’t use in XYZ context. But isn’t it the same when you write that to me?
LP: I was just messing with you…
Sofie: … wait, so it is wrong?
LP: hehe yes, I was just making a little fun of you
Sofie: well, I’m glad I asked then!

Before I went home, Sofie really sold the idea of italki to me, so I immediately went home, signed up and found a tutor. Yesterday I had my first lesson, which started off a little awkwardly in the sense that he forgot about me… However, I sent him a skype message and he contacted me soon enough, apologised profusely, and we had the lesson an hour late so I didn’t mention it when scoring him in the Italki sysem afterwards.

I only scheduled 30 min, but we ended up speaking for an hour and 15 minutes in total. Going that much over time is probably not sustainable in the long run, but it was really nice for a first lesson since I got a much better idea of who he is. We started off in English with basic introductions and then switched to Korean to talk about the weather, where we have lived, and our jobs. When things got technical (“trial”, “legal advisory services” and so on) I really depended on the glossary that I was being fed over the skype chat. In the end we ended up speaking English, though. He offered that I can also send him audio messages inbetween classes to practice my pronunciation more. 

Next week I’m on study leave from work so I sent a request for 4 lessons to speed up my learning now that I have time (I know that sounds backwards, but since I won’t be working and my classes ended, I should have an hour here and there for Korean speaking practice and our schedules match next week). So far he hasn’t accepted my request for more lessons, though, so let’s see if I need to find another tutor. At least I think I have taken a small step in the direction of speaking Korean more readily.

Again, thank you for taking such good care of me during that weekend 언니~~~

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