Archive | September 2013

선생님이 됐어??

Nothing big.. Just a friend of mine asked me to teach him Korean and even if I am a beginner myself I thought “why not? Challenge Accepted!” and I started it!

Actually, through “teaching” I realised that I know more things that I thought… Usually, when you are already used to some expressions and meanings, making people understand them can be quite a challenge. For example the difference between 은/는 and 이/가, to me it is pretty clear but to explain it it’s another cup of tea.. And actually you have to adapt to the person that is in front of you, not everyone get things as you do, so it also requires a lot a bit of patience^^`

If you have or will have the possibility to do something like this, I highly suggest you to give this “teaching” thing a try! It really can help you reviewing and fixing topics. Also I guess you can call it “experience”, I don’t know how it works in your country but here it’s pretty common to give lesson to juniors when you are in high school, to get some pocket money. I want to try it out because I really need to get some money for the year abroad, if I pass the tests…

Have you ever tried teaching? How did it go? ~

I am off now, I have to finish French homework(助けてええええ!!) 

Bye bye~~`

Test me!

Hello everyone お久しぶり~오랜만이에요!

Today I got the official certificate for my FCE test I did last June, I already knew the result but seeing it in official paper with sign and everything made me nervous and more bad about it..

It happened that on June 11th it was a very hot day and guess who had sinusitis that day? Me, of course.. Actually despite being sick I managed to get a 78/100, a grade B. What actually makes me sad about it is that I couldn’t express the 100% of my abilities… I know I am far better than a mere B2 and it isn’t just me bragging about my skills but I know how to use and comunicate in English. I do many mistakes, everyone does! I didn’t learn by heart list and list of vocabulary but I can speak and write in English, I know I could attend a British school without any problems…

To be honest, what really upsets me is that because of a stupid headache I couldn’t get an A and it’s something I can’t forgive myself for those 2 mere points… 

I know I am probably wrong but I know my skills and what I can do with English and it’s a pity that from now on I’ll be introduced with a B… It really doesn’t make me proud of myself..

Anyway I should be thankful that I menaged to get a B even if I was sick… But that B2 level still hurts… I would love to demonstrate that I really deserved some more.. Soooo next step will be passing the Advanced level and do it correctly this time! 

Have you ever taken any examination like this? Do you actually think they can say your level that easily?

 

Ps. Usually FCE is taken at 18 or more, I did it 2 years earlier, I was the youngest there… I wonder if influenced the final result…

PPs. sorry for the rant.

Dealing with “Asian Numbers”

I started school just yesterday, everything is fine and I actually haven’t started to study yet, I have to meet new teachers so I still can consider myself a free girl. Usually I wake up really really early in the morning, I am really slow and I prefer to do things without rush. Said that, I usually am ready to at 7.30, it’s a pity that school starts at 8.30 ^^` A whole hour for myself, what to do? Personally during exams time I use this time to review subjects but since I had nothing to do for today I decided to review some Korean and Japanese!

Since I started I always had problems with numbers, in every language I’ve studied. Numbers are a very simple thing, it’s beginner level but for me it has always been difficult, not memorizing them but use them in everyday life. Sometimes I would pick up my phone and say out loud the numbers in my contact list but sometimes it’s not enough, especially with Asian counting systems.

after some time you can get used to it but, in my modest opinion, Asian languages(Japanese, Korean and Chinese, I can’t speak for the others because I don’t know about them unfortunately) have a particular relationship with numbers. I am talking about counters, and dual number system things..

Both Korean and Japanese have 2 counting system, and one of them is based  on the Chinese numbers.

I actually love studying Chinese because of this too… You know, this connection between these languages, it’s what keeps me motivated, and also because it’s beautiful! 

Back to the numbers…

    Chinese                  Korean            Japanese

一 yī                          일   il                 一  ichi

二 èr                         이   i        二  ni  

三  sān                      삼  sam           三  san

四  sì                         사  sa                四  yon\shi 

五  wǔ                       오  o                  五  go

六  liù                       육  yuk               六  roku

七  qī                        칠  chil               七  nana\shichi

八  bā                       팔  pal            八  hachi

九  jiǔ                       구  gu                 九  kyuu\kuu

十  shí                      십  sip       十  juu  

Of course languages evolve but you can see an obvious connection between these three languages. I wondered about this all the morning  at school :

If they already had their own numbers why to adapt a language to another one?

And, How to use them? Are there specific rules  or motivations to use one instead of the other?

The first one can be easily answered looking through an history book, or a Wikipedia page if you prefer. I think we could say that Chinese people were to Asia what Romans were for Europe, no matter what, the influence is visible. I don’t know it this comparison can work, but Chinese left its mark around! At a certain point the populations who had commercial or political relationships with China had to adapt to deal with Chinese and its writing, that’s how it worked. I recall I watched a episode of 日本人の知らない日本語 about this matter but I really can’t remember which one…

The second one is more difficult, because after hours and hours on the Internet I couldn’t find a proper answer>< I got that usually Native numbers are mostly used with things that express a ordinal usage, but I am not that sure of it and I am almost sure there are more exceptions than actual rules….

I am really sorry for this long and boring blog post, but this is basically how I demonstrate my love for languages, I don’t just learn them but I wanna go to the roots and understand more and more! 

Now I go, tomorrow I will have my first philosophy lesson and I am pretty nervous… wish me good luck! I hope you all will have a wonderful day!!~

New school year’s resolutions

Today is my last day of holiday and to be honest I am quite happy. Italian summer holiday is 3 months long (but we don’t have many free days during the year v.v), it can be either fun or boring, it depends.. As for me I kept myself busy with new things this summer but these last few days were total hell! I honestly want to get back to my routine, sleeping all the morning and doing “nothing” all day can be fun, but 3 month of this is too much for me! This is my 3rd year of high school and in Italy, in the 3rd year lot of things change, we have more subjects to study and we start preparations for the National Exam. I really don’t know how I will manage all the things I want to do.. Personally studying isn’t something that takes me TOO MUCH time, but more subjects means less time to dedicate to other activities. I have to work out a method that let me have good grades and at the same time have a life!

I’ve thought about it a lot and I maybe found  a plan, these are my 3rd year resolutions, I hope I will be able to do everything*crossfingers*

  1. Get a scholarship to stay a year abroad. I have to pass some tests before getting into the program sooo I need to work a lot on myself and at school. If everything goes fine I’ll stay abroad for a year!
  2. Try to stay updated with Advanced English classes. Unfortunately I can’t afford C1 classes, I don’t work and I can’t and I don’t want to ask my father to pay 100 euros every month for classes, it’s too much. I’ll ask my English teacher if she can give me some material for self studying, I definitely want to pass Advanced Exam!
  3. Practice Japanese as much as I can. Since I won’t have time to actually stay too much time on books, I’ll try to use it as much as I can. Read a lot, writing more… Last year I tried to take some school notes in Japanese and sometimes I can do that too. I just don’t want to loose my level, and hopefully improve!
  4.  Try to not procrastinate. I am pretty lazy sometimes and I often leave things last minute, especially homework ^^` I’ll try to not do that!
  5. Stay in good terms with everyone in class. I am friendly but of course not everyone in class seems to understand my “friendlyness”, I’ll probably have new classmates sooo I’ll do my best
  6. Keep on with Korean ad Chinese! I worked all the summer to get better in these 2 languages I don’t want to give up! Not now that I got some results!

Most important of all:

Never let school  stress take over me. Last year I went crazy because of school and I don’t want that bad experience to happen once again! this time I won’t let problems take over me!

Now I go~~!!

여러분 또 만나요~~

Say something in…

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This is probably the most asked question that people ask me when I say that I study languages… I guess every language learned came across this question at least once actually.. I don’t know you guys but I am very shy and most of the times I really don’t know how to reply this question and I always end up saying: 何聞きたいの? What do you want to hear? This question saves me, I still say something in Japanese but at the same time it is not something complicate to say. But the eventual reply is even worse for me though. there are 2 types of answer usually: The “whatever you say is fine, just say it” and the “tell me this ultramegasuper difficult sentence”. They both makes me very nervous><`

Really now, I am not that type of girl that doesn’t speak or what, I am pretty nice but when it comes of languages everything becomes more awkward and actually speak them makes me very nervous, especially with native speakers!

Few days ago a girl asked me to say something in Korean, I am still a total beginner and I don’t know why she waited for me to say super complicated things like a real Korean person… I swear I felt really embarrassed but at the same time I wanted to say something… I said:   머리부터 발끝까지 살이 빠지고 싶어요, I want to get thin from head to toes… I know it’s lame but it was the only thing I could say at the moment >w<

I have some 14th September resolutions for the future days,

  • I need to improve my speaking, after all every language is meant to be spoken and in the end studying lot of grammar and vocabulary and then not being able to communicate is useless. I’ll try my best to get better as for this point.
  • Stop feeling anxious every time I have to speak out loud, there is no reason why I should feel that way! I know what I can do with a language and I don’t get the reason of this anxiety, I’ll try to be more confident with it.
  • Maybe finding someone that can speak with me, a native speaker that is willing to speak with a total beginner like me… I’ve had some language partners and I’ve done few Skype calls but it didn’t went too well, in the end we always spoke English and the language practice was 0 in the end…

I’ll do my best to improve! 頑張ります!

’till next time, take care everyone~~!

(Funny) Japanese Grammar Textbook from 1938

Yesterday I was browsing on the internet looking for some advanced Japanese grammar in Italian(I know there are plenty good sites in English, but I don’t know why yesterday I felt like studying in Italian), and I found this:Image

Grammar and Vocabulary of Japanese Language

Later I found out that this is a second edition of a book printed in 1911… This one was published in 1938…

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Actually the Japanese in it isn’t that strange as I imagined. It’s really formal and it’s all written in Kanji, the only Kana are in katakana, is it correct? Maybe in 1938 people only used katakana ^^`

The thing that makes me laugh the most is the Italian in it, I don’t speak like that and I don’t know anybody who actually speaks like this.. And this brings to another question:

Why on earth a textbook from 1938 is now an e-book that you can easily find on the net?????

A little step forward in Korean

Hello!

Recently when talking about Korean I started to feel a little bit more confident. I am still a beginner but these days I am picking up a lot of new grammar and words in Korean. The “funny” thing is that I stopped to learn new grammar from the internet for about a week, just to take a pause and see how I can “use” what I learned during my first 2 months(and a half) of Korean. I don’t know why but I feel incredibly happy and “proud” of me right now^^` 

You know, that’s what actually makes me want to continue working hard… These little victories…

Now while watching dramas, it can actually become a study activity, and listening to K-songs too! 

You will probably laugh at me but the two songs that made me feel proud this week are:

  • The Three Bears’ Song

I strongly believe that when learning a new language we are all like kids and starting from nursery rhymes and children songs is a good idea. I love this song, it’s cute and funny, very easy to understand! 

  • 사랑밖에 난 몰라

 This song, it’s beautiful and the singer makes me cry every time I listen to it! What makes me surprised of it is that I can pretty much understand all the grammar in it… I think the grammar used is very basic and understandable… Just yesterday I was reading about 당신 and when I came across this song I was surprised how much the author uses it, it can be a very rude word and also a polite way of addressing someone? A little bit like お前 in Japanese, right? Maybe it is a bit old fashioned? Anyway I became addicted to this song, and also I learnt new vocabulary with that, it would be useful for when I will meet a beautiful Korean 남자^^“ ㅋㅋㅋㅋ