Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's all Korean to me

I've recently started dabbling in Korean..yet again. I wish there were some logical, cyclic pattern to this language exploration, but there isn't really. Over the past few years, I've randomly had urges to learn the language. Today I still don't know much more than I did a few years back. I always pick up in the same place and end up re-tracing old circles. Real productive, huh?

I suspect that my productivity constantly gets hindered because learning Korean has literally no practical value in my current life. I'm not travelling to Korea anytime soon (though I badly wish I were). In my daily life, I do not encounter people with whom I need to communicate in Korean. I've done previous coursework in Spanish and ASL. Unfortunately, however, I don't remember nearly as much as I would like in either. The knowledge fades with a lack of use. I feel that learning Korean could potentially amount to nothing.

But. I also think learning Korean is something of a right for me. It's one way of making me feel more closely connected to the culture I lost. Language is a crucial part of any culture. It says so much, literally. And I do admire the Korean language. I like sound of it. There is a somehow musical quality about the way it is spoken..the inflections and such. If I ever find the devotion to keep studying and speaking Korean, I think it could be a very meaningful experience. Not to mention I could more easily watch Korean dramas/movies and listen to Korean songs. Right now I am hooked on the music from Boys Before Flowers (popular K-drama). I wish I could sing along. Maybe this sounds silly to say, but it can be mildly frustrating loving a catchy song and not being able to actually sing it and understand it. Unless I really immerse myself, I very likely will never achieve fluency in Korean. But it's always good to have something to work towards.


  1. Oh, I know better than anyone about the struggles of learning Korean! I have so often started and stopped, started and stopped. It can be really hard to find use for it, too. I'd advise you to maybe seek out a Korea town near you (if there is such a thing). Luckily, we have a few suburbs in Sydney that are heavily populated by Korean people and their stores. It can be handy to shop in them and get more of a feel for the language.

    If you want another adoptee to learn with, I'd be willing to help! ^_^

  2. Hmm..there's not really any Koreatown to speak of where I am currently, but I'm leaving in another week for school and will likely find more resources out that way.

    I'd love having someone else to learn the language with! Though I suspect you are farther along than me. I basically pull a brain muscle trying to read hangul (and then, of course, I don't even know what I read if I manage to read it). What learning tools do you use? I've been listening to podcasts from Koreanclass101.com and watching Korean dramas. Half educational and half guilty pleasure.

  3. Hello, just found your blog today and am enjoying reading your posts. I agree that Korean is a beautiful language, and sounds so pretty! I have never learned another language to fluency, and when I have tried to it is so hard!! I definitely agree that unless you're immersed in the country and surrounded by people speaking it, it's hard to get past learning just a few words and phrases here and there. Good luck!