An Interview from Shanna
Shanna, the author of Hangukdrama, made this project focusing on Korean learners all over the world. She has been sharing her experiences learning Korean at her blog and now she wants to hear our stories. This project aims to share the love for Korean and inspire future learners to study the language.
So to support the said project here are my answers to her questions:
When did you start learning Korean?
I started learning Korean June of 2008 when my sister convinced me to learn the Korean alphabet. It was sudden; I just got here in America then she immediately shared her addiction to Super Junior and then taught me the Korean alphabet. She taught me how to write and how each one sounds. It was a really fun experience.
What/who triggered your interest in Korean?
I’m been exposed to Korean dramas back in the Philippines and I can say that it played a part in my interest in learning the language. My sister also played a big role in this venture. She pushed me to learn the alphabet. We used to make senseless words just so I can practice writing Hangeul. It was fun and benefitting at the same time. Now I can read Hangeul with less difficulty though at times I can’t really understand what I’m reading. LOL.
I remember back then I got really hooked to Hankyung of Super Junior. I think he also gave some inspiration for me to learn Korean. I know it might sound like some kind of fangirling stuff but still I was inspired.
Any memorable experiences during your learning journey?
There was this random instance in an outlet somewhere in Barstow; two Koreans were about to enter the store. My sister and I were talking about some random stuff, then one of the Korean girls exclaimed “어, 예쁘다!” (the girl was talking about a shirt not me or my sister, LOL.) When the girl moved to the next stand, I immediately looked at my sister and smiled. It’s fun to understand simple phrases or words like that. I mean, it’s not every day that I get to hear Korean here in California.
Another instance, in the same location was when a man (I guess he’s the father) said “빨리, 빨리!” to another man who looks younger. It’s fun seeing what you’ve heard from podcasts that 빨리 is such an indispensable word and they are definitely right about it. ^^
Your favorite Korean phrase/word?
I heard this word while listening to KC101’s podcast, it’s “맞아요!” I don’t know why but I really like this word. I really like saying it especially when I say it in a rapid way, “맞아맞아!” Cute isn’t it? 맞아요?
Another word that I really like hearing from ajummas (아줌마) is “아이고!” I really like how they sound.
What makes learning Korean so worthwhile? / What have you gained from learning Korean?
Learning Korean is a really fun experience ‘cause I get lots of things from it:
First, I learn a new language and I get to learn a lot about the people of Korea.
Second, I get to have new friends. I’ve met fantastic people in the net that share the same passion as I am. I also gained Korean friends through it. I really think that if I haven’t started learning the language, my life would have been a lot boring than it is now.
Third, I get to value my own language (which is Filipino, btw) because of this. I’ve been a stranger to my country for almost 22 years now so I would really love to explore and learn more about my country and my language. I even started a new blog inspired by our friend, Hyunwoo (Haha, I’m plugging my new site now. You can visit my site at http://7107islands.tehlove.org).
A must have resource for all Korean learners…
You just need to have the passion and inspiration to learn it, I guess. Even if you have all the resources, like books, podcasts, etc., if you really are not that enthusiastic about what you’re doing you can’t really gain anything from it.
Actually, there are times that I have felt like I just need to stop this stuff. I mean, what will I get from it? Can I use it for my everyday living? Is it really important? But when I start thinking about why I started learning this language in the first place, I get this feeling that I love this language (that’s why). It gives me a feeling of fulfillment each time I learn a new word or a new expression. It just makes me want to learn more and improve.
Tips to master Korean
I’m not yet a master in Korean, actually I’m still in the beginner’s level. All I can say to future learners of Korean is to learn Hangeul. It’s really important to learn it. You’ll get to understand more if you know the alphabet.
Korean is crazily difficult because..
it has a very different structure compared to English and Filipino. It’s like saying everything backwards. I really suck when it comes to grammar and stuff so learning Korean really uses up all of my brain cells. And there are times that I’m really slow so it’s crazily difficult for me.
Korean is über easy to learn because..
That’s it. I hope you enjoyed reading my story.
How about you, what’s your Korean language experience? I would love to hear your stories too. 😀