Language Learning

Thoughts from 4 months into Korean studies

SO, I’ve been thinking a lot about language learning, as you do. I spend a lot of time thinking about language learning and language in general, tbh. I don’t know why I get so surprised pikachu about it— the person who is obsessed with words in English is also obsessed with words in other languages, news at 11.

I’ve been study Korean for a little over 4 months now, just coming off a month-long break where I was mostly very sick and didn’t study very much of anything, although I did make feeble attempts to keep reading 혼불 and got through about 3/4 of a chapter.

I think what strikes me, with a fair amount of glee, is how absolutely chaotic the process is. I’ve never self-studied a language before now. The fundamentals of Japanese I know were learned in a classroom, and so I think I had this idea that that was the only or certainly the best way to go about it.

But I don’t know, I have a sense that I’ve learned Korean much faster and probably better than I learned Japanese. I find the process of learning a new language fun, and funny, and incredibly satisfying. It mostly consists of me throwing myself at media that is too hard for me, struggling my way through with a dictionary, googling wtf is this verb ending that I keep seeing, then eventually tossing myself at my textbook when I get confused enough. Repeat forever.

It’s satisfying to go back to things I read or listened to before, weeks or months later, and find that I understand much more this time.

I used to be really afraid of learning things wrong. Not so much anymore, mostly because experience has been showing me that it’s not a big deal. Misconceptions happen, and they straighten themselves out over time. Sometimes understanding something wrong is the first step to understanding it correctly a little ways in the future.

Anyway, the third chapter of 혼불 is way too hard for me, but I’m going to keep throwing myself at it whenever I have the time and patience.

난 계속 한국어를 공부할게! 화이팅!

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