A lazy apprach to Korean + Update

Despite my super positive approach to studying sometimes I do , too, feel super lazy. Recently it seems like I just cannot fall asleep before 4 a.m. , therefore my energies during the day are all over the place.
In addition to that, I recently finished the KGIU Beginner to Lower Intermediate book and it seems like I feel in pit of desperation. This pit is called ”I am not a beginner anymore but not yet intermediate” and is making me crazy just a little bit. This transition from beginner to intermediate happened incredibly natural when I first took up Japanese, I didn’t really feel the difficulty gap at all. On the other end though, the experience with Korean is significantly different. Not that it is a bad thing… I am just struggling a little. I am proud of the quick improvement with my Korean but I need just a little bit to consolidate my beginner skills to do the jump and immerse myself into 중급!

Given that, I decided that my ”break” would’ve been a massive dose of dramas and 예능 쇼.

So it has been for the past week. I am currently going on and off between Hello Counselor and Marriage, Not Dating. Even if I am currently on a break I cannot switch K-learner mode off, I must be always ready to capture new words, new grammar points and bits that I can understand. I still feel uncomfortable without subs but I try to switch them off every now and then and it is not that difficult compared what I thought, I still struggle though. I am considering to try the Korean sub option on Viki but there aren’t many dramas that I am interested to and have this option, unfortunately. Anyways,  I am trying to be as active as possible and it is working.IMG_0348

These are my notes for the past week, 9 pages, I am quite proud!
I haven’t memorized all of the words, rather I try to remember the context in which they were used and only after writing them down properly on my notebook. A little bit risky for a beginner but I see that words stick better this way rather than vocab lists or flash cards.


It’s mostly stuff I see written, little bits I am able to write down and random words I can pick up while watching.
Also, I love this little post it pack I used as a little notebook, I often bring it whenever I go to revise a little.

Another thing I’ve been doing because I am lazy and a fangirl is writing down drama quotes from hangeulquotes and see how much I can understand. Surprisingly, I could understand more than I expected, I am getting used to Korean syntax which can be quite tricky from time to time.

IMG_0347

So this is how I keep Korean rolling while I am technically on a ”break”. Well, break is a weird word to use let’s say ”not textbook studying”. It’s me bidding farewell to beginners’ club and starting to adventure into 중급. I think I’ll be consolidating what I learnt in beginner level for a little bit longer, I assume few more weeks before fully start intermediate.

These days 자우림 and 椎名林檎 have been keeping me company all day long.

Total Jam!!

I’ll be leaving here, thank you for reading and see you soon!

요즘 바쁘지만 행복해요

I seriously like this blog. I came to like it a lot after a long time of negligence. I have like 3~4ish drafts saved but it still feels weird to write, to be honest. In front of the keyboard words just fail me and I feel like whatever I may write it will sound boring and not interesting.  Anyways, things in my life that are related to language learning are happening so why not blog about it..

These last few weeks I ”finally” got busy again. Having lot of free time is nice but laying in bed in pain all day with Korean studying in between isn’t really my style and it is boring. I started my volunteering work with AFS(exchange students programme), I did activities with international students last week and this week I am doing some orientations with the italian kids who will go on their exchange this summer. It isn’t a particular difficult task but I arrive at the end of the day very tired. Weirdly enough this tiredness didn’t slow me down with my studies at all, actually, I’ve seen a HUGE improvement in a short span of time.

My brain is starting to think in Korean. It is weird, I am not that advanced but most of the sentences elaborated in my head are coming out in Korean without me even realizing. I don’t want to sound too obsessed or anything, I hope no one gets offended by it but for me it is a big result. It means that, little by little, it is becoming more natural to my brain to process Korean and after basically a month of intense full immersion, it is no surprise to me! It reminds me of the good old days when I used to complain on Twitter about language headache. You know, that headache that occurs when you’re thinking in multiple languages all at once. I used to go crazy about it especially during my first years of high school when I was learning way too many languages at the same time.

Talking about this new skill that to me feels a bit like a victory, yesterday it got me in a quite embarrassing situation. Long story short I am taking a literacy course for my mother tongue, Sardinian. As you may or may not know, I live in Sardinia, the big island in the very centre of the Mediterranean, between Spain and Italy. Formally, we’re italians but because of culture and language we are different. The language of Sardinia is spoken by older generations because the youngers weren’t allowed to talk it or learn it in school, so often these courses are held in order to literate the population. I decided to take it, it was cheap and I really need it. Yesterday it was the first  day of lesson but I swear I couldn’t concentrate  a single bit. I was just thinking in Korean all the time and what the teacher was saying was sounding so off to me that when it was my time to speak up I was really close to say 응…좀 뭐 할까요, 제가…? 자기소개가? … and could barely manage to say ‘ I am …’ in Sardinian. That’s it. It was embarassing but kind of good for my self-esteem. I really should be more diligent when learning my mother tongue, sounds weird but… 이 기분이에요…
지금도 저는 한국어를 잘 못하는데 머리 안에서 한국어로 생각해서 영어로 쓰기를 어려워요 좀… 사실은 아까까지 공부 하고 있었어요, 너무 피곤해요. 자야 되지만 이 블로구 포스트 진짜 쓰고 싶은데 잠 안 왔어요.그런데 지금은 정말 가야 돼요. 여러분, 여기까지 읽어줘서 감사합니다, 다음 포스트 봐요!

I am really tired so I should go now, I really just wanted to write something here to be honest. I really would love to write more,  but I lack of original ideas if by chance someone here is reading and interested in something in particular, please ask, I’ll be glad to answer!
Thank you for reading and see you soon!

Getting My Enthusiasm Back

It is a particularly busy time for me, lately. It is weird because I am actually unemployed and semi bedridden for  an acute back pain that just doesn’t want to go away, but I am actually quite busy. Well, at least mentally busy, in a good way. Around a month ago, I quitted my job in the Uk and came back to Italy. I won’t go too much into detail but my physical condition isn’t good and I wasn’t too fond of the job, nothing particularly interesting. When I was in the UK I got back into studying Korean, mostly revising and watching LOTS of dramas in my free time getting used to the language again. The only problem was that I didn’t have much time to dedicate myself fully to studying or at least I did have free time but not enough mind space to do more than sitting through TTMIK podcasts and jot down notes.

The turning point was around threeish weeks ago, I’ve found myself in Italy with a lot of real free time and motivation from all over the place. Compared to 4 years ago, when I first started learning Korean, the interest has definitely increased, korean wave or not I’ve found more people to talk to and share the learning experience with. I created a study group on Facebook, the majority of the members are still beginners but I receive a lot of motivation and this makes studying more fun and interactive. Also I joined the BitesizeKorean chat in which I am not that active but it has been a solid reference point for learning and asking questions. But a part from the free time and sharing what kept me going and truly made me get my enthusiasm for language learning back was reading over and over Archana’s blog. I swear I read her posts like five times each? Given that she seems such a nice person and that we have an incredible similar taste in drama genre she made me remember how to actually enjoy the learning process. Not only I feel super motivated but I feel like things are getting inside my head more quickly and that I am actually making small progresses!
I feel that I made it to the point in which slightly less basic grammar points and vocabulary are naturally coming out in my sentences. I am currently (slowly) reading the online preview of 구르미 그린 달빛 and even if it is waaay far from my level I can enjoy the reading by understanding things from the context without checking the dictionary or the textbook every five seconds.
In my ‘About’ page (which needs an update ASAP) you can find written that language learning is my hobby, in the past two years it wasn’t like that anymore. I am not sure what happened to make me go stray from this passion of mine but it happened and being back on track feels a lot like finding myself again. I am enjoying it, even if sometimes it is hard and frustrating. I try to dedicate at least 20 minutes per day to Korean and to use it as much as I can.

I would’ve never imagined that I could feel this passionate about Korean like this again, so thanks Jeannie for suggesting Archana’s blog, it truly had an impact in the last few weeks of my life!

How is your studying journey going? Are you stuck? What makes you feel passioned about learning languages? What motivates you?

2 years later..

Hey there, if someone is still reading this!

It’s been a WHILE since I last posted in this blog and things have changed. 2 years ago I was about to leave for my exchange year, I wasn’t fully ready for that experience and the first few months were almost a nightmare, but in the end it ended up being the best thing I’ve ever done and Malaysia feels like a second home. I won’t write too much about it because I really don’t feel like to and because it is not really the point of this blog post. 2 years later I have changed and looking back at the posts in this blog, I think I did for the best. These two years were packed, between my year abroad and graduating high school my mind was focused on different things and I literally drifted off the whole “trying to be a polyglot” thing. Not that I’ve lost my interest in languages, it is very much still there and I can proudly say that Malay is now part of my “language list”, but my approach towards languages is completely different now and still I am trying to make it fit into my current life. After graduating high school with 100\100 I was confused. I’ve never really talked about it in this blog but I have I huge passion for drawing and visual storytelling, literally I could stay hours doing it, it is my passion and I would love one day to have a job in the artistic field. This summer was difficult under many points of view because I cannot afford art school and I felt terrible, I still feel it is very unfair that I worked so hard during high school, that I have a basically perfect student curriculum and received no merits whatsoever for my scolastic archievements. Anyways, 2 years ago I would heve probably complained about it forever without actually do nothing to get where I want to go. And here comes the whole point of this blog post, I am not the same anymore and it is difficult for me to keep a blog that carries so many memories of the “old me”. Not that I have completely revolutioned my mind, I am still the same but take all of the thoughts that I had 2 year ago and put it into an almost 20 years old person with a bigger baggage of expirience on their back. I am writing this with no nostalgia, I like the person I am now and I kind of admire the 16 years old me who wanted to be the best despite all the problems they were facing. Now I write to you from England, where I hope I have a better chance to make my dreams come true, and step by step I know I can do it!

I actually don’t know if I want to keep on with this blog. I kind of  want to but at the same time I don’t, I feel so far away from the whole concept of this blog but at the same time I missed sharing my journey through learning new languages. So far, all I can say is that I cannot really promise anything to you. If I will continue please feel free to follow me and share whatever with me. If I won’t, well thank you for reading it so far, if you are interested in the more artistic\cultural side of the internet me you can follow me on instagram @benniederhamster !

Thank you for reading untill here, I hope you all are having a nice day!

~Bennie

 

P.S.

Just because this is still a language based blog I thought I could do a little update to my languages list, just for fun!

Italian – native speaker

English- still struggling a bit with some points but I guess I can say I am fluent, I understand and speak without problems except few mistakes.

Japanese- It has been ages since I last opened a Japanese text book and actually spoke it but I can still understand most of it without problems. When I listen to songs in Japanese I get like 85% of the lyrics sometimes. Movies, I can understand most of the spoken conversations. Still I need to brush up a lot.

Korean- Same with Japanese honestly, maybe a little bit less. I’ve finished an intermediate level textbook and read manhwas with little difficulty but still I feel very much like a biginner.

Malay- I am intermediate. I understand it almost completely except very specific vocabulary. I can speak it with very few problems, even if sometimes I mix it with Manglish.

Chinese- No news on this side. If a programme on tv is subbed with hanzi I can get most of what is being said(power of the kanji!), and some bits of spoken. I cannot speak it very well though, tones are still a pain in the …

French- Studied that in school. I am very much school level at it. I can understand it, spoken and written but my pronounciation is awful and my vocabulary limited.

German- See above with French.

 

 

Malaysia

Wow. My procastinating skills are well known already, but I’ve really almost forgot that I have a blog where I can write… STUFF!

Anyway, I don’t much to say. Just.. look up ^^`

You know, for freaking once I won something and it is a year to challenge myself. Back in September I decided to take part in a scolarship program for high school students. I did many tests, some interviews, and waited months and months for a response. And this bring us to February 20th, when I recieved the e-mail I was waiting. ONE YEAR ABROAD, IN MALAYSIA. WOW.

In these last few months I’ve been busy. Between school and preparation to my departure I seriously risked my sanity >w<  But anyway here I am, ready to leave in 23 days. Am I really ready? The answer is NO. Noppity no. Nope. Nein. Non. 

I mean I am extremely excited to leave and live this wonderful experience but at the same time I don’t want to go and leave all my family and friends behind. Living for this journey is also growing up and , as the eternal Peter Pan I am, it’s incredibly scary. I will stay in a local family and attend normal school so I’ll have to do my best to integrate. 

Last month there was a huge meeting for all the students who are leaving for Asia this summer. I had a lot of fun! I got the opportunity to meet some of my internet friends(we live in different cities and never had the possibility to meet), also I attended many lessons about the Malaysian culture. Frankly speaking, Malaysia is a beautiful place and I can’t wait to confirm that with my own eyes but at the same time it’s scary. Please, do not misunderstand me! A culture can never be wrong or right, just different and that’s what worries me a little bit about it. I am afraid to not be able to adapt and therefore to seem rude, not make any friend and be left alone… you know … I guess it’s normal… I hope it is ^^` 

Time is passing soooo soooo fast, and I haven’t packed yet.. I don’t really know what to bring with me… wow It has been a while since I last wrote here. Feels great doing it again though!! 

Wow, it’s 00.30 am. I better go to bed now~ 

Goodnight~~ See you soon!! 

I wish…

I wish I had failed more in my childhood.

Failure scares me and other people’s expetations make me nervous.

Really, I am just a human.

I really wish people would stop seeing me as the “super woman” they think I am because I am not.

Failing and disappointing the people around me is what I fear the most. I am not perfect and a part of me doesn’t want to accept it.

It’s scary.

There and Back Again + Let It Go

Hello!

HISASHIBURI DANE~~

It’s been a while! I wonder if you guys have wondered where I’ve been all this time, probably not but ,anyway, I am here again! I am not the type that suddently leaves without a reason and my reason this time was SCHOOL >w< I don’t know how it works in your contry but here January-February along with May-June are the worst months for every student. 3 or 2 tests tests everyday for weeks, time for yourself? None… Aside that I am ill again and I haven’t had any interesting thing to say to you. I believe that this kind of blog(you know, like mine…) should be first of all informative and helpful for those who read it. Not that I have something against personal blogs, I also write pretty personal posts too, but I prefer focusing on languages and stuff. And, come on, who says we can’t write personal things without putting languages in between??

*The title “There and Back Again” is not mine(of course!), nor it has a particular meaning in this occasion, I just wanted to use it 😀 

 

Since I said that along with personal things we should also add something informative to this blog, I decided to share with you a song I’ve really been into in these last few months~ 

First of all guys, have you seen Frozen? You know, the new Disney animated film 🙂 Well, I did and I fell in love ♥ I know I seem pretty childish, indeed I think I am, but this film was really really great that I went 3 times at the cinema to watch it (I am hopeless!!). Like many of you already know, the soundtrack won several prizes and the main song “Let It Go” is nominated as Best Original Song for this year’s Academy Awards. Given that I love this movie with my whole heart today I wanted to talk about the song. I decided to translate the various version of the song into English and Italian, I already did Korean, Japanese and Chinese and since my blog is mainly about those languages I decided to post a little vocabs list for every version of the song I’ve translated , so you can learn some new vocabulary too~

 

ありのまま= the truth, fact, as it is

姿=すがた= figure, shape, appearance

囁く=ささやく= to whisper, to murmur

打ち明ける=うちあける= to be frank, to speak one’s mind, to open one’s heart 

戸惑い=とまどい= confusion, wanderment

悩む=なやむ= to be worried, to be troubled 

少しも=すこしも= anything, (with negative sentence) not one bit

冷える=ひえる= to grow cold, to get chilly, to cool down 

ほっと= feeling relieved 

Those are the new words I learnt translating this song, did you know them already? 

 

little ps. before leaving: Yesterday I turned 17 ~ I hope this year to be good 😀

SO~~ Bye bye guys~ 再见~~!!!