August 24, 2017, 12:48:32 AM


Author Topic: Should I bother?  (Read 1551 times)

Offline moonskie

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Should I bother?
« on: April 21, 2017, 02:38:24 PM »
About 2 months after being here, I realized I really wanted to study Korean. I have too much anxiety dealing with people in public getting frustrated with my lack of understanding so that's where it started. Then I realized it would be pretty epic to be trilingual and have this added skill. I started studying pretty hard, learned to read and memorize vocabulary as well as beginning to understand the grammar a little bit. I've barely made a dent in the language and I began to give up already, only 3 months into studying. I only have 7 more months left in Korea and I'm wondering if it's worth continuing to study when I will be still having very crippled conversations by the time I leave. I don't want this to be another thing where I throw in the towel like I always do, but I'm starting to get very discouraged at the overall point. Should I just keep at it and get this skill even if it won't be useful in the future? Just for personal satisfaction? I'm scared I won't even practice once I leave the country. Any input would be useful. I just have to sort out my own thoughts!

Offline #basedcowboyshirt

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2017, 02:40:46 PM »
Totally keep it up. I wouldn't invest in lessons, but work your way through some of TalkToMeInKorean.com's curriculum and you'll get a fairly solid base to build off of.

Offline HiddenPerson

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2017, 02:43:25 PM »
About 2 months after being here, I realized I really wanted to study Korean. I have too much anxiety dealing with people in public getting frustrated with my lack of understanding so that's where it started. Then I realized it would be pretty epic to be trilingual and have this added skill. I started studying pretty hard, learned to read and memorize vocabulary as well as beginning to understand the grammar a little bit. I've barely made a dent in the language and I began to give up already, only 3 months into studying. I only have 7 more months left in Korea and I'm wondering if it's worth continuing to study when I will be still having very crippled conversations by the time I leave. I don't want this to be another thing where I throw in the towel like I always do, but I'm starting to get very discouraged at the overall point. Should I just keep at it and get this skill even if it won't be useful in the future? Just for personal satisfaction? I'm scared I won't even practice once I leave the country. Any input would be useful. I just have to sort out my own thoughts!

You never know how long you'll really be here or whether you will return or not. I've never heard someone say "I wish I didn't know ____ language". Studying Korean blows, but it has made my life much much better. Even at level 2/3, I feel much better.

Offline scpru

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 02:49:45 PM »
If you think learning a language is fun and interesting, definitely do it. You don't have to be good at something for it to be a hobby, after all. Plus I'm pretty sure I read that just trying to study another language, even if you never get fluent, is good for your brain.

Edit: Even if it's not something you'd consider a hobby, there's a practical element, too. Sometimes you learn one new thing and start to notice it more, and it helps you understand something you didn't before.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 02:55:24 PM by scpru »

Offline kriztee

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 02:55:45 PM »
Stick with it but focus on learning what you need to get by. Are you using a book to learn? Are you learning sentences or just vocab words? Can your CTs help you practice? If you study alone without a Korean there to help you, most likely Koreans won't understand you. You need someone there to tell you when your pronunciation is good or bad. I have a Korean friend who tutors a bunch of us using the Fun Fun Korean book series and if she wasn't there with us, our pronunciation would suck (granted most of us still can't properly differentiate between saying 방 and 빵).

Offline Cardcandy56

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 02:59:49 PM »
First great job on what you have already done and learned. I understand the feeling like giving up because you are not getting to where you want as quickly as you want, i feel like that every week. language takes the piss to learn as an adult but don't give up,as  it will be useful even if you may not use Korean in the future it will be useful in learning or picking up another language and  also understanding others who may not speak your languages well 

Offline cjszk

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 03:00:49 PM »
granted most of us still can't properly differentiate between saying 방 and 빵).

Happy. Habit.
Napping. Rabbit.
...
Now try saying..
Ppy. bit.
Pping. Bit.

Offline turningsteel

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 03:05:52 PM »
Well, what do you expect? You're studying for three months and expecting what? To be able to understand people? To be able to have a conversation? Probably not. It's a difficult language. You have to set realistic goals. If you keep studying, you can easily become proficient in day to day tasks like ordering food in a restaurant, bus schedules, reading signs, counting, and handling money. Even trying to find items when you go shopping (or just knowing if what you are buying is shampoo or conditioner!). All of this is within your grasp and totally doable, so for that reason I would keep studying.

But if you are comparing yourself to a native speaker or someone who has been studying for years and saying 'Oh I'm nowhere close!' Well of course you aren't. It takes a lot of time to become comfortable. It is an exceedingly difficult language for English speakers.

Offline Pecan

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2017, 03:37:06 PM »
About 2 months after being here, I realized I really wanted to study Korean. I have too much anxiety dealing with people in public getting frustrated with my lack of understanding so that's where it started. Then I realized it would be pretty epic to be trilingual and have this added skill. I started studying pretty hard, learned to read and memorize vocabulary as well as beginning to understand the grammar a little bit. I've barely made a dent in the language and I began to give up already, only 3 months into studying. I only have 7 more months left in Korea and I'm wondering if it's worth continuing to study when I will be still having very crippled conversations by the time I leave. I don't want this to be another thing where I throw in the towel like I always do, but I'm starting to get very discouraged at the overall point. Should I just keep at it and get this skill even if it won't be useful in the future? Just for personal satisfaction? I'm scared I won't even practice once I leave the country. Any input would be useful. I just have to sort out my own thoughts!
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Offline #basedcowboyshirt

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2017, 03:51:42 PM »
granted most of us still can't properly differentiate between saying 방 and 빵).

Happy. Habit.
Napping. Rabbit.
...
Now try saying..
Ppy. bit.
Pping. Bit.

I find ㅆ, ㅉ, and ㅃ pretty easy to differentiate from their single counterparts, but ㄲ and ㄸ still give me a lot of trouble in some cases.

Offline cjszk

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2017, 04:53:17 PM »
granted most of us still can't properly differentiate between saying 방 and 빵).

Happy. Habit.
Napping. Rabbit.
...
Now try saying..
Ppy. bit.
Pping. Bit.

I find ㅆ, ㅉ, and ㅃ pretty easy to differentiate from their single counterparts, but ㄲ and ㄸ still give me a lot of trouble in some cases.

I can't think of any English examples off the top of my head... but...
I notice English speakers typically don't have a hard time pronouncing: 아까. Just chop off the 아 and trying focusing on the 까 alone. Take a breath of air first if you have to as that seems to help some people (it helps Japanese people otherwise unable to do it).

As for ㄸ... I'd think that same thing for that. Like the word 이따 for example. Try the same thing, chop off the 이 and practice trying to bring out the 따 alone.

Offline kriztee

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2017, 05:06:26 PM »
granted most of us still can't properly differentiate between saying 방 and 빵).

Happy. Habit.
Napping. Rabbit.
...
Now try saying..
Ppy. bit.
Pping. Bit.

I find ㅆ, ㅉ, and ㅃ pretty easy to differentiate from their single counterparts, but ㄲ and ㄸ still give me a lot of trouble in some cases.

I'm find with ㅉ and ㅆ but we just can't do the ㅂ/ㅃ thing. We were told it has to do with the amount of force and air you release from your mouth to make it a sharper sound but we just ended up sitting in the cafe yelling "room, bread, room, room, room, bread" in Korean for like 5 minutes. I'm glad bakeries aren't called bread rooms here.

Offline cjszk

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2017, 05:17:24 PM »
granted most of us still can't properly differentiate between saying 방 and 빵).

Happy. Habit.
Napping. Rabbit.
...
Now try saying..
Ppy. bit.
Pping. Bit.

I find ㅆ, ㅉ, and ㅃ pretty easy to differentiate from their single counterparts, but ㄲ and ㄸ still give me a lot of trouble in some cases.

I'm find with ㅉ and ㅆ but we just can't do the ㅂ/ㅃ thing. We were told it has to do with the amount of force and air you release from your mouth to make it a sharper sound but we just ended up sitting in the cafe yelling "room, bread, room, room, room, bread" in Korean for like 5 minutes. I'm glad bakeries aren't called bread rooms here.
Forget trying to think of "amount of force and air" or whatever... Think about stopping all air then releasing. You do this every time you say the word "Happy." Air stops traveling for a second, then you release the "ppy" part of the word. Same thing, the only difference is you aren't attaching a vowel beforehand.

That said. People can easily say "Go" in English with the ㄲ sound and yes, native speakers can't tell the difference. Believe it or not, a lot of young Korean Americans continue to use those pronunciations even in English and native English speakers don't sense any difference at all  :laugh:

Offline eggieguffer

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2017, 06:01:55 PM »
Quote
I've never heard someone say "I wish I didn't know ____ language

I've never heard anyone say "I wish I didn't know so much about philosophy or sociology, for example, but plenty of people wonder whether they should have spent 4 years of their lives and got into debt to get a degree in it.

If you're not doing it for the fun, like anything else, think about how much it's going to pay off in the future. There might be something else that's a better investment.

Offline traversing

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2017, 06:04:25 PM »
Someone already mentioned working through the TalktomeinKorean lessons. I would highly recommend buying their textbook and workbook for said textbook. They're really helpful and they have enough variety that they don't get boring. I would also recommend using memrise for vocabulary. Additionally, you would be surprised how much you can learn passively through consumption of media (movies, games, etc). I know how to tell someone they're fired because of the drama "Pasta". I may not need to know that, but it's fun to say
 :laugh:


As for if you should keep going, my bias would say yes. I find value in learning any foreign language, not just for communicating in said language but to open up myself to other viewpoints and also it's just good to keep your brain sharp. You never know when that language will come in handy either. But the real answer to if you should keep going or not has to do with your own personal feelings for it. If you want to continue, for any reason, do it. If you hate it then you should probably stop.

Offline cjszk

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2017, 06:11:57 PM »
I might be biased because I didn't grow up monocultural and monolingual...

But personally if I were dropped into a random country with a different language, even if that language was insignificant- if I knew I was going to be there for at least a year I would immediately get started on working through the basics of that language to reach a functional level. Conversational level if I was going to stay longer than a year.

Offline turningsteel

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2017, 06:45:25 PM »
I might be biased because I didn't grow up monocultural and monolingual...

But personally if I were dropped into a random country with a different language, even if that language was insignificant- if I knew I was going to be there for at least a year I would immediately get started on working through the basics of that language to reach a functional level. Conversational level if I was going to stay longer than a year.

Wholeheartedly agree. Plus OP can be the one member of her group of friends that doesn't have to resort to awkward hand motions in public. That alone was incentive enough for me to start studying when I first got here.

Offline HiddenPerson

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2017, 07:14:08 PM »
I might be biased because I didn't grow up monocultural and monolingual...

But personally if I were dropped into a random country with a different language, even if that language was insignificant- if I knew I was going to be there for at least a year I would immediately get started on working through the basics of that language to reach a functional level. Conversational level if I was going to stay longer than a year.

Wholeheartedly agree. Plus OP can be the one member of her group of friends that doesn't have to resort to awkward hand motions in public. That alone was incentive enough for me to start studying when I first got here.

This 1000x. I hate feeling like a damn child so being able to communicate is such a great tool. It's the only part of traveling that I hate, since I can't learn enough of a language to get by without hand motions.

Offline moonskie

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2017, 01:41:52 AM »
Well, what do you expect? You're studying for three months and expecting what? To be able to understand people? To be able to have a conversation? Probably not. It's a difficult language. You have to set realistic goals. If you keep studying, you can easily become proficient in day to day tasks like ordering food in a restaurant, bus schedules, reading signs, counting, and handling money. Even trying to find items when you go shopping (or just knowing if what you are buying is shampoo or conditioner!). All of this is within your grasp and totally doable, so for that reason I would keep studying.

But if you are comparing yourself to a native speaker or someone who has been studying for years and saying 'Oh I'm nowhere close!' Well of course you aren't. It takes a lot of time to become comfortable. It is an exceedingly difficult language for English speakers.
No, I don't have incredibly high expectations. The only reason I posted is because I wanted to know if I should keep up the good fight.

To all those of you who said I never know how long I'll be here for, it's leaning towards only 7 months. I came here along with my boyfriend and he's really not feeling the teaching gig so I wouldn't force him to stay here. I just keep reading everywhere on this forum that Korean is so difficult, people study for so many years and never become even close to native level fluency and it's really discouraging. Even if I have broken korean, I want to be able to understand at least 50% of what's going on around me. At this point, I think my hopes are too high but I think I will continue to study thanks to your encouragement. I will check out those books you guys recommended and see the price, delivery etc. I already have a book but it's a little bit intense so I've been learning vocabulary from the curriculum books at the school I teach as well. I had two tutoring sessons with an Italki teacher and it was pretty good, so I guess I'll book another one. Thanks for the advice guys. If you have anything else, I'm all ears!!

Offline antoniusk

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Re: Should I bother?
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2017, 05:05:48 PM »
Well, what do you expect? You're studying for three months and expecting what? To be able to understand people? To be able to have a conversation? Probably not. It's a difficult language. You have to set realistic goals. If you keep studying, you can easily become proficient in day to day tasks like ordering food in a restaurant, bus schedules, reading signs, counting, and handling money. Even trying to find items when you go shopping (or just knowing if what you are buying is shampoo or conditioner!). All of this is within your grasp and totally doable, so for that reason I would keep studying.

But if you are comparing yourself to a native speaker or someone who has been studying for years and saying 'Oh I'm nowhere close!' Well of course you aren't. It takes a lot of time to become comfortable. It is an exceedingly difficult language for English speakers.
No, I don't have incredibly high expectations. The only reason I posted is because I wanted to know if I should keep up the good fight.

To all those of you who said I never know how long I'll be here for, it's leaning towards only 7 months. I came here along with my boyfriend and he's really not feeling the teaching gig so I wouldn't force him to stay here. I just keep reading everywhere on this forum that Korean is so difficult, people study for so many years and never become even close to native level fluency and it's really discouraging. Even if I have broken korean, I want to be able to understand at least 50% of what's going on around me. At this point, I think my hopes are too high but I think I will continue to study thanks to your encouragement. I will check out those books you guys recommended and see the price, delivery etc. I already have a book but it's a little bit intense so I've been learning vocabulary from the curriculum books at the school I teach as well. I had two tutoring sessons with an Italki teacher and it was pretty good, so I guess I'll book another one. Thanks for the advice guys. If you have anything else, I'm all ears!!

Even Koreans aren't that proficient in their own tongue, so I think that thinking is a bit skewed. The natives are able to speak their minds, have difficult conversations and carry on with their everyday lives but there's still that extra scholarly level most never achieve, and that involves all the Chinese words from ages ago. Even natives have a hard time with the highest level tests in TOPIK.

Korean is hard but I think you'll be surprised at how learning one word leads to picking up a set of phrases. You got to break it down -- study and learn the language through a medium you enjoy. If you like games, spend your time playing a Korean game (mobile, localized PlayStation 4 or Nintendo 3DS games, PC at a PC room); if you like TV, watch a lot of variety shows and movies (Infinity Challenge might be a fun start if you can get past the talking bits); there are lots of other options aside from textbooks.

Of course, just having Korean buddies would be helpful but be careful who you meet up with. Some are shady, shady characters.

I think by the year's end, you'll impress yourself with how much progress you've made. No need to be fluent, but be able to make orders at a restaurant while being able to explore different options, be able to traverse Korea using Naver's search function and say what you need under a number of circumstances. You came with the right mindset, so find a way to grind things out and don't be discouraged by any slumps you experience during your stay.
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