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Author Topic: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0  (Read 1095537 times)

Offline moonbrie

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1120 on: September 26, 2016, 02:37:58 PM »
I really, really want to improve my Korean. I'm coming up on the end of my fifth year here, and it's a bit embarrassing how fluent I'm not. I mean, I'm not completely lacking in skills or anything like that. I can get by. Shopping, "where is the blabla," restaurants, those kinds of situations: I can hold my own. I can even have extremely basic conversational exchanges of the small talk variety.

None of that, however, is really enough to have a meaningful friendship with someone whose English is the same as or worse than my Korean. The number of NETs I know is dwindling as time goes by, so if I want to have any sort of social life here, it would behoove me to be able to communicate more effectively in Korean.

All that said, though (and here's the rant/vent part): I just can't for the life of me force myself to give a sh!t about the language. Whenever I try to find Korean music or TV I like, I'm met with disappointment. Whenever I sit down to study it, my eyes just glaze over. When I actually power my way through a chapter from a Korean coursebook, I forget by the end of the week.

I love languages and linguistics, so this is extra frustrating for me. Hell, one of the reasons I wanted to come teach in another country was to have the opportunity to learn a new language in the country where it's spoken. At first I thought I was just averse to studying on my own at home, but I started using a Japanese Kanji learning program last winter and I've managed to stick with it every day for eight months straight now.

There's just.... I don't know....  something about Korean that just makes me... not care?

Anyone else feel the same way? Has anyone felt the same way, but managed to overcome that and learn it anyway? I'd love to hear how you managed.

I definitely found Korean much more difficult than any of the other languages I've taken (and I've taken a bunch), even harder than Japanese which has super similar vocab and grammar. In Korea though, I think the issue is that many Koreans just don't want to speak Korean with foreigners, or even when you say something really easy and comprehensible they are constantly like hmm?? what did you say??? did you say [ x ] which sounds totally different from what you actually said??

I found learning Korean in America much easier than learning Korean in Korea :/
« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 02:43:55 PM by moonbrie »

Offline pokute

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1121 on: September 26, 2016, 02:38:50 PM »
I really, really want to improve my Korean. I'm coming up on the end of my fifth year here, and it's a bit embarrassing how fluent I'm not. I mean, I'm not completely lacking in skills or anything like that. I can get by. Shopping, "where is the blabla," restaurants, those kinds of situations: I can hold my own. I can even have extremely basic conversational exchanges of the small talk variety.

None of that, however, is really enough to have a meaningful friendship with someone whose English is the same as or worse than my Korean. The number of NETs I know is dwindling as time goes by, so if I want to have any sort of social life here, it would behoove me to be able to communicate more effectively in Korean.

All that said, though (and here's the rant/vent part): I just can't for the life of me force myself to give a sh!t about the language. Whenever I try to find Korean music or TV I like, I'm met with disappointment. Whenever I sit down to study it, my eyes just glaze over. When I actually power my way through a chapter from a Korean coursebook, I forget by the end of the week.

I love languages and linguistics, so this is extra frustrating for me. Hell, one of the reasons I wanted to come teach in another country was to have the opportunity to learn a new language in the country where it's spoken. At first I thought I was just averse to studying on my own at home, but I started using a Japanese Kanji learning program last winter and I've managed to stick with it every day for eight months straight now.

There's just.... I don't know....  something about Korean that just makes me... not care?

Anyone else feel the same way? Has anyone felt the same way, but managed to overcome that and learn it anyway? I'd love to hear how you managed.

I had to rephrase my initial reply.  I think 1. spending most of productive time at work (which is not easy work either) 2. I think there are things we encounter as outsiders that are off-putting or unattractive (cultural differences, behavior, ideas), and in turn it makes it feel not worth the effort to learn???

That said, I personally have learned that patience, perseverance and self-development and self care become absolute essentials in this situation.  Don't get yourself down for not being good enough when you are struggling to meet your more basic needs first.  Once you meet those needs you'll feel more motivated to study and retain the language.  It's not easy or quick, but finding a lifestyle that equates to balance and moderation will help you overcome most, if not all of the internal and external negativity.  No being outside yourself has the right to dictate your worth, ever.  It doesn't matter what you do or don't do, as long as you have your head and heart in the right place for you.

Sorry if this got a bit jumbled up.  But I'm in the same boat (on my sixth year) and it's a major life and career struggle for likes of us.  I think the locals and people not in your shoes are not able to appreciate just how much will power, strength and intelligence it takes to do this for so long. :)  It's good that you can share it here.

EDIT: again a multitude of reasons could be causing your lack of interest in improvement.  It's really a complex psychological process and just to name a few factors: isolation, depression, alienation, etc... if you struggle with any of these then productivity really decreases.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 02:50:27 PM by pokute »

Offline Whatgook

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1122 on: September 26, 2016, 02:43:48 PM »
I really, really want to improve my Korean. I'm coming up on the end of my fifth year here, and it's a bit embarrassing how fluent I'm not. I mean, I'm not completely lacking in skills or anything like that. I can get by. Shopping, "where is the blabla," restaurants, those kinds of situations: I can hold my own. I can even have extremely basic conversational exchanges of the small talk variety.

None of that, however, is really enough to have a meaningful friendship with someone whose English is the same as or worse than my Korean. The number of NETs I know is dwindling as time goes by, so if I want to have any sort of social life here, it would behoove me to be able to communicate more effectively in Korean.

All that said, though (and here's the rant/vent part): I just can't for the life of me force myself to give a sh!t about the language. Whenever I try to find Korean music or TV I like, I'm met with disappointment. Whenever I sit down to study it, my eyes just glaze over. When I actually power my way through a chapter from a Korean coursebook, I forget by the end of the week.

I love languages and linguistics, so this is extra frustrating for me. Hell, one of the reasons I wanted to come teach in another country was to have the opportunity to learn a new language in the country where it's spoken. At first I thought I was just averse to studying on my own at home, but I started using a Japanese Kanji learning program last winter and I've managed to stick with it every day for eight months straight now.

There's just.... I don't know....  something about Korean that just makes me... not care?

Anyone else feel the same way? Has anyone felt the same way, but managed to overcome that and learn it anyway? I'd love to hear how you managed.
for me, I just had to suck it up and pay for lessons. i did two years here and my korean was still so basic. Then, start of third year, i started classes with a buddy. two of us, twice a week for an hour, 30,000 a week. I've been doing it for a year now, so it's cost me a little over a million (factoring vacations etc) and I'm getting towards fluency. Maybe try lessons, It willl probably help hugely!

Offline yirj17

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1123 on: September 26, 2016, 02:46:18 PM »
I love languages and linguistics, so this is extra frustrating for me. Hell, one of the reasons I wanted to come teach in another country was to have the opportunity to learn a new language in the country where it's spoken. At first I thought I was just averse to studying on my own at home, but I started using a Japanese Kanji learning program last winter and I've managed to stick with it every day for eight months straight now.

There's just.... I don't know....  something about Korean that just makes me... not care?

Anyone else feel the same way? Has anyone felt the same way, but managed to overcome that and learn it anyway? I'd love to hear how you managed.

I'm curious-- would you mind sharing what Japanese Kanji learning program you're using? I hope to pick up Japanese again during my 2nd year here, when I have more time. (I studied a little back in school but it fell to the wayside)

As for the rest... I know I need to focus on building vocabulary but I suppose I'm really disinterested in rote memorization. I enjoy going through online lessons and learning about grammar but when it comes to memorizing vocab... I guess I just don't like studying. There's not much Korean media I'm interested in either, so it's more difficult to be motivated. If I could have an in-class course of study, it would be best but I'm far too rural at the moment.

Offline mrc45

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1124 on: September 26, 2016, 02:48:47 PM »
I went back to America a few months ago and really miss South Korea. Just droppin' in to say hello to the ol' Waygook.org gang. Since returning to the US, I've been quickly reminded why I preferred South Korea. That's not to overlook the problems, but boy did I find it easier to live there.

donovan

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1125 on: September 26, 2016, 02:52:11 PM »
I went back to America a few months ago and really miss South Korea. Just droppin' in to say hello to the ol' Waygook.org gang. Since returning to the US, I've been quickly reminded why I preferred South Korea. That's not to overlook the problems, but boy did I find it easier to live there.

I'm ready to be convinced, mrc45. Tell me why I should stay? I'm prone to imagining greener pastures.

Offline pokute

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1126 on: September 26, 2016, 02:53:28 PM »
I went back to America a few months ago and really miss South Korea. Just droppin' in to say hello to the ol' Waygook.org gang. Since returning to the US, I've been quickly reminded why I preferred South Korea. That's not to overlook the problems, but boy did I find it easier to live there.

Would you mind giving some examples which you feel comfortable sharing?  I'm curious.  I'm guessing a few are cost of living, health insurance/fees, transportation....what else is better in Korea in your experience?

Offline mrc45

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1127 on: September 26, 2016, 03:00:31 PM »
Well, first of all, I'll start with what annoyed me about South Korea, which would be feeling useless. I don't need to explain to anyone here that we ESL teachers are essentially babysitters. That can be a real emotional drain on someone; it was on me. I really cared about teaching and often felt handcuffed by the South Korean education system.

That being said, things like public transportation are absolutely reasons why I miss South Korea. It's just so much better than where I live now. Things were cheaper as well. I miss my friends and some of my better students. I miss being able to work with kids and see them develop as English speakers, even if I wasn't always able to fully serve in my capacity as a teacher. I lived in South Korea for nearly a decade, so it certainly grew on me in many ways.

Online Mister Tim

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1128 on: September 26, 2016, 03:00:49 PM »
I'm curious-- would you mind sharing what Japanese Kanji learning program you're using? I hope to pick up Japanese again during my 2nd year here, when I have more time. (I studied a little back in school but it fell to the wayside)

As for the rest... I know I need to focus on building vocabulary but I suppose I'm really disinterested in rote memorization. I enjoy going through online lessons and learning about grammar but when it comes to memorizing vocab... I guess I just don't like studying. There's not much Korean media I'm interested in either, so it's more difficult to be motivated. If I could have an in-class course of study, it would be best but I'm far too rural at the moment.

https://www.wanikani.com/

It's a great program, but it isn't free. I think there's a free trial period, but after that there's a fee. I paid a (hefty) one-time fee so I'll have permanent access to it, but there are  shorter-term, more affordable options.

It's fairly straightforward. It goes through the Kanji starting by teaching the most basic radicals first and then gradually getting into the more complex ones as you increase in level. The upside to that is you can progress more quickly as you build a solid foundation. The downside is that some super common words in Japanese have fairly complex kanji, so you'll find yourself learning some pretty random stuff before you learn more important things. I know the kanji for "testicle" but not "sleep," for example.  :laugh:

It uses goofy mnemonic explanations to help you remember definitions & pronunciations, and review quizzes based on spaced repetition to help you retain what you've learned. It's working really well for me, so I'm comfortable recommending it despite it not being free.

Oh, almost forgot: You'll need to have your hiragana down pat to get any use out of it. That's the only writing system it uses to give you the pronunciations. Katakana have popped up a couple times, too, but only rarely.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 03:07:28 PM by Mister Tim »

Online Mister Tim

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1129 on: September 26, 2016, 03:04:26 PM »

EDIT: again a multitude of reasons could be causing your lack of interest in improvement.  It's really a complex psychological process and just to name a few factors: isolation, depression, alienation, etc... if you struggle with any of these then productivity really decreases.

That's pretty on-the-nose, I think. The problem there is that most of the solutions I can come up with to those problems would be made easier were I more fluent in the language. I'd be less lonely if I could meet more people, I could meet more people if I could speak Korean, I could learn more Korean if I weren't so lonely, etc etc. That sort of thing. It's frustrating.  :laugh:

Offline pokute

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1130 on: September 26, 2016, 03:08:04 PM »
Well, first of all, I'll start with what annoyed me about South Korea, which would be feeling useless. I don't need to explain to anyone here that we ESL teachers are essentially babysitters. That can be a real emotional drain on someone; it was on me. I really cared about teaching and often felt handcuffed by the South Korean education system.

That being said, things like public transportation are absolutely reasons why I miss South Korea. It's just so much better than where I live now. Things were cheaper as well. I miss my friends and some of my better students. I miss being able to work with kids and see them develop as English speakers, even if I wasn't always able to fully serve in my capacity as a teacher. I lived in South Korea for nearly a decade, so it certainly grew on me in many ways.

I wholeheartedly emphathise with you on the feeling like a babysitter part!!! I also care a lot about my job and most of the time it's such a drain!!  :sad:   However, I'm really sensitive so it's just extra challenging for me.  Yes I'm sure it's clear as crystal how good Koreans public transit is, but then again they are totally different countries in many ways thoughI certainly think the US can do better with its public services.    I'm over half a decade here now.  I've just realized how expensive it is to make a decent living  in a western country, I definitely don't take it for granted here anymore.

Thanks for sharing your views. :) 

Offline mrc45

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1131 on: September 26, 2016, 03:09:30 PM »
Well, first of all, I'll start with what annoyed me about South Korea, which would be feeling useless. I don't need to explain to anyone here that we ESL teachers are essentially babysitters. That can be a real emotional drain on someone; it was on me. I really cared about teaching and often felt handcuffed by the South Korean education system.

That being said, things like public transportation are absolutely reasons why I miss South Korea. It's just so much better than where I live now. Things were cheaper as well. I miss my friends and some of my better students. I miss being able to work with kids and see them develop as English speakers, even if I wasn't always able to fully serve in my capacity as a teacher. I lived in South Korea for nearly a decade, so it certainly grew on me in many ways.

Oh, and I'll add to this previous statement, that being able to walk to 김밥천국 at 1 am when I need some food is a huge, but easily overlooked plus. I can't believe how many things close at 9 pm where I live now, don't deliver, or are too far to get to late at night.

Offline HaLo3

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1132 on: September 26, 2016, 03:10:30 PM »
HaLo,

I was told the same thing years ago, so I showed up and feigned interest.

After several weeks, I decided to stay in my office to see what would happen.

Not a word was mentioned.

Perhaps you could give it a try and see.

Hang tough.
Haha, I tried that for the last meeting two weeks ago and I got an urgent kakao message reminding me of the meeting. So unfortunately, that won't work, but thanks for the thought.

Try asking for a translation after every single sentence and saying you don't understand. Pretty sure after 1 meeting of interruptions they'll all agree that it's unnecessary for you to attend!
Hmm, thats annoying and petty enough it just might work!

Offline kobayashi

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1133 on: September 26, 2016, 03:11:07 PM »
@Mister Tim:

if possible i would really recommend taking an in-class korean class. i'm kinda the same, have no motivation at all to self-study korean but if a take a class it kinda forces you to study during the class periods.

to add to your post about Kanji, this book is supposed to be excellent:


donovan

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1134 on: September 26, 2016, 03:11:48 PM »
Well, first of all, I'll start with what annoyed me about South Korea, which would be feeling useless. I don't need to explain to anyone here that we ESL teachers are essentially babysitters. That can be a real emotional drain on someone; it was on me. I really cared about teaching and often felt handcuffed by the South Korean education system.

That being said, things like public transportation are absolutely reasons why I miss South Korea. It's just so much better than where I live now. Things were cheaper as well. I miss my friends and some of my better students. I miss being able to work with kids and see them develop as English speakers, even if I wasn't always able to fully serve in my capacity as a teacher. I lived in South Korea for nearly a decade, so it certainly grew on me in many ways.

Oh, and I'll add to this previous statement, that being able to walk to 김밥천국 at 1 am when I need some food is a huge, but easily overlooked plus. I can't believe how many things close at 9 pm where I live now, don't deliver, or are too far to get to late at night.

It's gonna take more than Gimbap Heaven to convince me~ :afro:

Offline mrc45

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1135 on: September 26, 2016, 03:14:47 PM »
Well, first of all, I'll start with what annoyed me about South Korea, which would be feeling useless. I don't need to explain to anyone here that we ESL teachers are essentially babysitters. That can be a real emotional drain on someone; it was on me. I really cared about teaching and often felt handcuffed by the South Korean education system.

That being said, things like public transportation are absolutely reasons why I miss South Korea. It's just so much better than where I live now. Things were cheaper as well. I miss my friends and some of my better students. I miss being able to work with kids and see them develop as English speakers, even if I wasn't always able to fully serve in my capacity as a teacher. I lived in South Korea for nearly a decade, so it certainly grew on me in many ways.

Oh, and I'll add to this previous statement, that being able to walk to 김밥천국 at 1 am when I need some food is a huge, but easily overlooked plus. I can't believe how many things close at 9 pm where I live now, don't deliver, or are too far to get to late at night.

It's gonna take more than Gimbap Heaven to convince me~ :afro:

Hey, to each his own. Living in South Korea was a huge part of my life. I can understand why some people don't like it, but it's easy to overlook a lot of the little positives over there.

Online Mister Tim

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1136 on: September 26, 2016, 03:15:34 PM »
@Mister Tim:

if possible i would really recommend taking an in-class korean class. i'm kinda the same, have no motivation at all to self-study korean but if a take a class it kinda forces you to study during the class periods.



I'd really like to, since I tend to thrive in language classroom environments. Unfortunately, the only class in my area that I know about is a 35 minute bus ride away on a Saturday morning. I have a desire to learn Korean, but so far my desire to not wake up early on Saturday to take a crowded bus to school seems to be winning.  :laugh:

I might see what I can find by way of a tutor, though.

Offline moonbrie

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1137 on: September 26, 2016, 03:16:22 PM »
Well, first of all, I'll start with what annoyed me about South Korea, which would be feeling useless. I don't need to explain to anyone here that we ESL teachers are essentially babysitters. That can be a real emotional drain on someone; it was on me. I really cared about teaching and often felt handcuffed by the South Korean education system.

That being said, things like public transportation are absolutely reasons why I miss South Korea. It's just so much better than where I live now. Things were cheaper as well. I miss my friends and some of my better students. I miss being able to work with kids and see them develop as English speakers, even if I wasn't always able to fully serve in my capacity as a teacher. I lived in South Korea for nearly a decade, so it certainly grew on me in many ways.

Oh, and I'll add to this previous statement, that being able to walk to 김밥천국 at 1 am when I need some food is a huge, but easily overlooked plus. I can't believe how many things close at 9 pm where I live now, don't deliver, or are too far to get to late at night.

It's gonna take more than Gimbap Heaven to convince me~ :afro:

I've been looking forward to going back home at the end of the school year but now you're reminding me of all the things I'm gonna miss haha

Still, not sure staying here is worth the loneliness and lack of job satisfaction.

Offline pokute

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1138 on: September 26, 2016, 03:20:45 PM »

EDIT: again a multitude of reasons could be causing your lack of interest in improvement.  It's really a complex psychological process and just to name a few factors: isolation, depression, alienation, etc... if you struggle with any of these then productivity really decreases.

That's pretty on-the-nose, I think. The problem there is that most of the solutions I can come up with to those problems would be made easier were I more fluent in the language. I'd be less lonely if I could meet more people, I could meet more people if I could speak Korean, I could learn more Korean if I weren't so lonely, etc etc. That sort of thing. It's frustrating.  :laugh:

Well Tim, I hope you find waygook to be a good start for taking care of the loneliness part.  I struggle with it as well.  Community building is just that much more of a chore in this kind of setting and it's expected.

Offline strugglebunny

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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #1139 on: September 26, 2016, 03:21:19 PM »


I'd really like to, since I tend to thrive in language classroom environments. Unfortunately, the only class in my area that I know about is a 35 minute bus ride away on a Saturday morning. I have a desire to learn Korean, but so far my desire to not wake up early on Saturday to take a crowded bus to school seems to be winning.  :laugh:

I might see what I can find by way of a tutor, though.

iTalki is a pretty good place for getting a language tutor. I felt like I was making pretty good progress between self study and my online lessons that I had twice a week. I would have kept it up, but I really don't use Korean enough out in the wild to justify the expense.