Friday, December 17, 2010


I have quite a few Korean text/reference books to pick from so sometimes I do have difficulty in deciding which Korean textbook I like best. Usually it's based on how I feel that day, whether I want to do some reading or to practise grammar. Had to make a trip back to school today so decided to drop by the library to check out if they had Korean language books, and I was in luck! And so I just added two more text and workbooks to my collection, Sogang's 2A series and Ewha's 한국어II

Ewha's 한국어II is set for low intermediate, but the passages and instructions look really long! Will try them out to see how it goes (: As much as I like to own these books, they're a tad too expensive to ship over, so I guess I'll just make do with photocopied ones for now.

Anyway I was having my lessons a week back when my tutor drew something very useful! Well, for me at least haha. I always had problem differentiating between the actions 내려가다, 내려오다, 올라가다 and 올라오다. The other set would be 나가다, 나오다, 들어가다 and 들어오다. I just drew it using paint so it's not the best art but it gets the job done (: hope it's understandable! The pink and blue arrows represent the girl and boy moving respectively.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Book Review: Part 2

My dad just came back from a business trip to Korea and I got him to buy some language books back for me! (: I wanted SNU's workbook and some hanja books actually, but apparently they weren't sold in Changwon's Bandi and Luni's. Oh wells. So anyway he got me the 기탄국어 series instead (: The D series is targeted for preschool (유아) and elementary school (초등1) so the basic vocabulary are relatively easy. I like that the reading passages are long yet simple enough to understand with the help of a dictionary. And as usual, the cute printings are a push factor to get work done! Makes learning so much more enjoyable (:

I also borrowed Beginning 1 of KLEAR series from the library a week back. I've heard really good reviews about it, but I don't seem to be getting much out of it. Am I using it wrongly? 좀 도와주세요! Maybe I just prefer using books with answers provided. I do like the appendices provided at the back though. Good and concise summaries of irregular verbs and grammar taught for easy reference.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I'm beginning to love holidays more and more! More time for myself and being able to do what I want, like watching korean dramas/variety shows and studying Korean (: Have been spending my time doing 완자 국어 to increase my vocabulary, although it's really tough. I take about 45minutes to finish one page! And it's only primary school standard. Seems like I've got a long way to go~

"What's my motivation to study Korean?" you might ask. I guess at first it was my love for Korean dramas, and also K-pop. It might have been my love for music that pushed me to learn this wonderful language. I wanted to understand what I was listening, be it for dramas or songs. It has been an amazing journey of discovery. That it is more than just a language for mere communication. The kind of respect Koreans give to their elders. The culture and sense of camaraderie.

I can't really explain why, but I was hooked onto 7년간의 사랑 by 규현 ever since the first time I listened to it. I couldn't understand what the lyrics meant, but I seemed to be able to feel what he was trying to say. I've probably listened to the song more than 100 times (no kidding!) since then but I never got sick of it. In fact i'm listening to it at this very moment haha. For now, 규현 is my motivation! It's not something I'll say normally, but I really admire his determination and never-give-up attitude. Add a boyish smile and awesome voice to's everything you (okay, I) ever wanted =p

here's a link to 7년간의 사랑. enjoy! (:
"이별하면 아프다고 하던데
그런것도 느낄수가 없었죠
그저 그냥 그런가봐 하며 담담했는데"

규현--7년간의 사랑

Monday, December 6, 2010

lost in translation

It was only after I decided to spend some time helping out with translating pdfs on koreanwikiproject that I realized how out of touch with Mandarin I was. Once my mother tongue and having studied it for maybe say 16 years?, I am pretty disturbed by how little I remember of it. Reading isn't much of a problem, but when I need to write it out, I can't seem to remember the exact word and thus have to resort to typing. I even need to search the dictionary for some of the translations

Sometimes I wonder if I should even be studying Korean, when I'm not even very fluent with my Mandarin as a Chinese. But I must say, studying Korean has always been fun. It's probably one of the only times where I actively search for classes/books/online materials to learn from, and do homework with a kind of drive I never found for any other subject.

On a lighter note, I'm taking up language and dance lessons at Korea Plaza! Just attended my first lessons last Thursday (: The language class contents were kind of simple since I've learnt them in school before, but it's good revision nonetheless. Dance class was quite cool! Actually I've never learnt dancing and I'm always afraid of embarrassing myself as I don't dance well, so it's a big step for me. As to the reason why I finally signed up for the dance class, it's because they're teaching hoot this month! (: Will be going for the Fun Fun Korean class on Tuesday evening too. It's taught by Jay Yoon, DJ of 96.3FM Cool K-time. Really looking forward to it! (:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Book Review: Part 1

Here are some of the books I use (: Bought most of them off gmarket as it's way cheaper, and also they hard to find/can't be bought in Singapore
From top to bottom:
-Complete Guide to the TOPIK Basic and Intermediate
-Sogang Text and Workbooks 1A and 1B
-Kyunghee Beginner's Books I and II

Kyunghee Beginner's Books
I've been using the Kyung Hee text in school for lessons so here are my thoughts on it. Basically it's not a book meant for self-learners. You really got to be there for the lessons to fully understand the grammar points, especially for beginners. There are no explanations given for grammar points, be it in Korean or English. Only a sample statement was given and you would have to infer its meaning just from that. Also if I didn't remember wrongly, the instructions were all in Korean too, and the examples given aren't really that helpful. However with some additional notes provided by my teacher in school, it was still a functional textbook I suppose. Definitely not recommended for self-learners though.

Sogang Text and Workbooks
I bought this series from gmarket as I read good reviews about it. But as it is a textbook meant for in-class learning, it is difficult to get maximum benefits out of it for self-learners as many of the activities require a partner for conversation practice. Also, it skips teaching Hangeul totally, which is not something a beginner would expect. My tutor also commented that the dialogues seem a little odd. Not too sure why though. My other gripe with this series is that they do not teach irregular verbs, as in those that end with ㅂ or 으, such as 춥다 or 예쁘다 and so on. I had a very hard time trying to understand what the stars beside these verbs meant at first. After some time I figured out that they either indicated irregular or honorific verbs. Other than that, I quite like the workbook as it gives ample practice for grammar and vocab (: Oh and see the two thin little books on the very top of the stack? They came with the textbooks and is a summary of all the grammar and vocabulary. Very handy for bringing out for a read on the bus/train! (:

Complete Guide to the TOPIK
Useful book for practising for TOPIK! They separate the questions into the 4 different sections, and also give 2 mock papers at the back for practice. However, comparing the questions here to the actual TOPIK papers, they seem a little more difficult. The essay questions are definitely tougher for one. Plus answers are provided at the back which is good (:

Will continue with the rest next time! (:

Friday, November 26, 2010

piano sheets galore!

I think I might have just found my haven for korean piano sheets! Click here for it (:

I always hear nice songs while watching korean dramas and want to find piano sheets for them, but it's so difficult as the titles are usually in korean. Now that I've found this website, I have endless supply of piano scores to play! Plus it has Yiruma scores too. YAY =)

I remember listening to Yiruma all the time just a year back, when I was on exchange at Seoul National University. It's good music for reflections at the end of a day, when I'm back in the dormitory with only my books and laptop as companions. More on that next time (:

15 hours till end of exams,
아자 아자 화이팅! ^^

Thursday, November 25, 2010

the humble beginnings..


After reading Korean language learning blogs, especially Equinox and Hangukdrama for the past few months and getting really inspired by them, I finally decided to get down to it and set up one of my own! (: It'll be somewhere where I can pen down my thoughts about Korean and Korea, and maybe look back in a year's time to see how much I've progressed (: As I'm only just starting out, I'm bound to make mistakes in my korean, please do correct me so I can learn! 감사합니다!

Have got school exams in 2 days' time so will do a review of the Korean resources I have used so far, and also an update on my first TOPIK results once it's finished (:

till then,
starxblinded ^^