Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Language learning tendency. Flaws.

We can only take part in things you could already understand

The hardest part about learning a language is creating a space in your head, almost as if you're creating another mind (within the single head of yours that you have). So that your thinking can be done in the language you're learning.

After you master learning like that, is then, when translation should come in. I think many of us starts off learning a language as if everything is translatable. I mean we know that its not, but somewhere in the language learning process we neglect/forget that knowledge and do it anyway. We think of words with equivalent meaning in the language we speak in, and unconsciously use that as our basis for understanding that word (probably until we come in greater contact with interacting with speakers of the language your learning). You can probably see the flaw here.
We can only learn, what we already know. That is, we learn about words that already exist in our language. The thing with language is that words can exist with a whole new meaning in another language. 
So essentially, we're learning through mindless assimilation. Think about it, if we take a word from another language and think of it in term of our own language - what kind of knowledge base are we building on? The one that is in our language. This isn't what you want if you aim to know another language well. You will eventually want to be able to think in that language you're learning to communicate efficiently. As to, referring back to your native mind then re-enter your self learnt language mind to conceptualise things.
['Assimilation' is one of those theories that cognitive psychology will cover when you learn about how your brain learn new things.]

So how are we suppose to learn if we don't assimilate it to things we already know - i.e. how are we suppose to learn a language if we don't use the language we know already?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cha beung (fried rice)

Being a Teo Chew, it's kind of funny that i never attempted to make fried rice until now. We eat it ever so often. Can't say my cooking here taste all that great, i really should follow a recipe or ask the mum for some guidance.

Anyways, i'm personally not so big on fried rice. In the same way i'm not that into bimbimbab. I don't like  my food mixed into one dish. It's probably due to bland taste buds or something.

Gaginang, jiat beung bwear? ;)
Right now, it's only about 2pm but make sure you eat your rice already.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dump by my language exchange partner.

I think i had a long enough sulk about this. There's a reason behind me not studying, or even trying very hard to study Korean lately (despite that i wrote that "i miss it" on my twitter). My language exchange partner just decided on his own to not meet up with me. Yes. I'm taking this a little personal. In reality, we are two strangers who don't owe each other anything. Yet, still i feel a little abandoned. After all, he kind of just didn't show, and that was it.
I guess partly, it was my fault. The last 2-3 weeks that we were exchanging language, i wasn't as attentive as i usually was. I had assessments due and finals that were doing my head in. I think he just thought i loss my motivation to learn Korean. I guess i really did lose my motivation after that though. Probably because i came to see him as a friend.
Anyways, whatever it might be, it's time to move on. He taught me well. I'll just be thankful of what i did learn from him. I'm sure i'm going to meet many more inspiring language learners that'll be as inspiring as him to help me along the way.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kpop Music Festival in Sydney 2011

Since i haven't blogged in a while about anything...  Here's some delayed kpop concert photos! 

The first one is of Mychonny an Australian youtuber. He had a massive crowd trailing behind him. Priceless look on his face, as he got given a free moochi. The photo after, is of Shinee.. and my view for the night... if i actually had much of a view at all (my camera saw more than i did). Truth is, everyone was so hyped being in the same space as kpop artists that they regarded the concert as best ever simply based on that. Unless you were in VIP standing, you'd probably didn't get to see much on stage. People stood on chairs. Full stop. Seating were not elevated. 

Want close up pictures? Sure. The following pictures are credited to my friend. She got some pretty neat close up shots, i just chose a few to share here on this blog. I'm convince that Jonghyun from Shinee is looking at her camera. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Let's be realistic.

Learning Korean, people assume that you naturally LOVE everything Korean.

That's not true

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Weird coexistence of things i like

I've been wondering how two completely different thing can coexist in my liking lately. 
They couldn't be more different. 
I undoubtedly love my kpop. The other thing is the Wallabies (Australia's team), Rugby Union.

Kpop is entertainment, Rugby Union is a sport.
With Kpop their platform is the stage, with the Wallabies it's the field.
One is pretty and picturesque in every way, the other is life/body on the line just to ensure scores are put on the board.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A bookworm's way of learning Korean

I'm starting to develop this love hate relationship with this person i'm language exchanging with (an actual person from Korea, not that bear above in a hanbok). No. Not the 애인 love hate. It's more like the dreaded hate that you get when you have to meet up with your teacher for a one on one lesson every week. Focus. Upright seriousness. Straight to the book. Then there was tonight's skype session. My liking for the guy has shot up for what he has done with me.

See, he comes across as a bookworm to me. From his voice, down to what he says when he gives his sample sentences and just everything thus this far points to it. I'm going to say it, even if i sound rude, immature and/or ungrateful. He comes across as quite a boring guy. However, despite his lack of a huge personality i think he passed down a method of his for language learning tonight. It made me open my eyes towards him for what he has done to have attained the level of English he is at (he's pretty advanced). It's beyond my imagination on what i thought i could do. So in sync with his bookworm persona of course, this method consists of....

Friday, September 2, 2011

푸딩얼굴인식 Korean Celeb Face Match - Korean iPhone app

 Not really related to learning Korean, but anyone who has a Korean friend has probably seen this on their Facebook news feed at one stage? It's basically an app that takes your photo and matches you up to your Korean celebrity look a like.

My friend Paul has kindly allowed me to use his photo to demonstrate how to work this Korean app.
When i first met this guy, i thought he resembled my beloved Jonghyun from Shinee a little. Sorry Jonghyun. Clearly you're incomparable but for the sake of this post... Paul, you're better looking! Dies. Somebody kill me. Anyway i just discovered that an English version of this app is available. The English version seems quite buggy though. The menu and functions are the same, but it's definitely buggy in comparison to the Korean version that has been around for a while.

Click or type in the following to download the app.
 Korean version: 푸딩얼굴인식 
English version:  Korean Celeb Face Match
Read on if you're still interested in a tutorial on how to work the Korean version.
Or if you think Paul is better looking than Jonghyun....
Please leave a comment if you think this is not true =D

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Learning how to type in Korean - iPhone app

Learning how to type in Korean is a task in itself. I guess most would say that it's like starting all over again in learning how to type. I somehow wouldn't describe it that way. For starters, there are commonality between typing in Korean and typing in English. You will still have that same keyboard (thus the same layout), so therefore your fingers are centred in the same position. That already helps a whole lot with learning how to type in Korean.
Anyway, I'm not writing a post on suggesting how to learn how to type in Korean. I'm still learning myself.
I do want to share however, an iPhone app that is good for familiarising whereabouts each letters are.

The app is called 타자 연습 Type Words for iPhone Free. If you type that into iTunes you should find it with no problems, or click here. Below are some screenshots of the app.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Blog Updates - 18/8/2011

+ I added a new page to my blog Language-learning serendipity
It's going to be a list of what learning Korean has done for me - sort of in response to those who think nothing better of it, and partially so i'm reassured that it has done something for me. In a way, it serves as my memory.
The word serendipity sounds a little cliche but it does seem to capture the essence of what i'm trying to get at. Learning Korean is not limited to... whatever it's suppose to be limited to. There's no limit~! ^^

+ I've also made some minor changes in the About.
Just added links to my new page and a sentence more on what my blog is about. See if you can spot it if you're that bored.

+ Then there's my Similar Pronunciation Rating page, that is now transformed into a Similar Pronunciation page.
So now i get to have a collection of my similar words list, on top of, explaining how my similar pronunciation works on the same page.

Learning Korean brushes up on my self-presentation

My Korean friend suggested i record myself to practice my Korean. So earlier today, while i was studying Korean i recorded myself.
I've only recorded myself for assessment tasks when i did Korean 1A and 1B at uni. Other than that, i don't really record myself talking. Let alone, play it back to listen to myself.

What i discovered was that, if i speak/pronounce sentences in Korean towards the back of my mouth or more within the mouth (as to more at the tip of my mouth/outter part of my mouth?) - it sounded more natural and calm.
I was thinking, if it was just me or that's the case for everyone. So i tried recording myself in English, just out of curiosity. Not really thinking about anything in particular.

That's when i realised, even in English - speaking in the demeanour i spoke in just doesn't have the same effect as speaking with the back of my mouth.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Just sharing an article.. on tongue extension

I'm not going to comment, but take a read at this article.
It's something i haven't heard of before, so i thought i share it.
In short, someone learning Korean had surgery on their tongue in order to be able to achieve a more perfected Korean pronunciation.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Learning Korean through people i have never met

I just want to say...

If anything happens to me.
It's because i talk to strangers.

If my Korean improves drastically.
It's because i'm talking to strangers.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

English-Korean Dictionary: Berlitz Korean Compact Dictionary

I was studying Korean just now, and instead of using my iph to look up a word (because my phone was in another room charging) i used my actual, physical, hand held copy of a dictionary.
I have to say, it's been a while.. even though it's neatly placed on my desk amongst other dictionaries and references that i own. You would think, if it's close by and easily accessible - one would make use of it. But no. Not for me. Why? Well, i think i just discovered why...

See, especially for a compact dictionary, there's only so much writing that a physical copy can contain. Not only that, but, one of the thing is looking up Korean words in romanisation, as I just discovered, is kind of an odd process.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cute and fun way to learn Korean - Quiz/puzzle book

I was in Morning Glory, and it was ever so random that i came across this. 
(I was probably flipping through every notebook i saw ^^)

It's a puzzle book, with instructions written in Korean. 

It was cute and there was bits and pieces of Korean, that made me think i could take this on with the help of a dictionary.
Awesome. I've got something with cute drawings to learn Korean with!

So.. i went to pay for it... 
The guy at the counter serving me thought he had to tell me "are you sure? it's in Korean". 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Teo Chew poem/rhyme

This video is uploaded onto my channel for the time being, since GaginangUNSW doesn't have it's own YouTube channel.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Seo Yeong Ju (child actor from 내 마음이 들이니? Can You Hear My Heart?) looks like Kevjumba?

So while watching 내 마음이 들이니?, it occurred to me that Seo Yeong Ju somewhat resembles Kevjumba.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Danger of taking Korean words out of a sentence to look up in a dictionary

I just looked up the dictionary for 자지 because i came across it in the textbook i'm studying from. To my surprise, that translate at 'dick, penis, cock and so on....' @_@ Surely, Yonsei wouldn't include such thing to teach me in Chapter 1? Anyways, i then typed in more of the sentence and found that 잘 자지 못해서... translate to something more like '....because i couldn't sleep well'

Ahh... that's a relief.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Curious - sentence structure and Korean's way of thinking

If Korean sentence structure is back to front compared to English....

Such that:
I want to go to _____
______가고 싶어

....does that mean they have to have made up their mind before they verbalise things out loud?
i mean we can say... "hmm... i want to go to..." but Koreans obviously have to say something different... like "어디에 가고 싶은데..."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Me and my random Korean textbook purchases

This is actually a textbook for primary school kid. Random? Not intentionally. I bought it because after a year of beginners level, one can read, and one starts to get curious. Flipping through all these textbook available here in Australia, are just depressing. Not only are the collections of textbook limited to the typical greeting, food, family, transport, school topics - they are simply boring. Typical.
Initially, i was thinking of high school 국어 (language textbook) but then i thought that would be an overload of new vocabs for me (I actually bought some other random set of books before this, that was probably of high school level). So i thought why not a primary school level textbook.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Note to self: make more mistakes!

So I said to my friend the other morning: "wow! you look like shit today" upon seeing how tired he appeared.
He responded with: "well, you look like crap everyday" (props to him for not letting down his guard even in his tired state)
But yeah! I had no intention of insulting how he looks physically.. It was just language "without boundary" with a close friend. By that I mean of course, that we're close friends, you know what I mean, I don't want to sound like I'm prying, but I'm a little concerned etc etc.

This is where language gets confusing.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Curious which Universities Teo Chew association/society/club are at?

Visit this facebook group.
Teo-Chew College Coalition
The group was created by Teo Chew students from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and students from Universitiy of Berkley (UCB) who aimed to help facilitate the creation of other Teo Chew groups around the globe. They keep the list of new groups formed up to date.

GaginangUNSW (Teo Chew Student Association) was created last year, with their support. To see just how well, the Australian's Teo Chew group is doing~ visit UNSW's TCSA facebook page.

If you're too lazy to browse...
These are the Universities where there are Teo Chew association/society/club:

In Australia

University of New South Wales (no bias at all ;)
University of Sydney

In America

University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Berkley
University of California, San Diego
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Riverside
University of Texas, Austin
University of Washington
Oregan State University

Monday, February 28, 2011

Where is Teo Chew?

The question should be more like: "where does Teo Chew people come from?" or "where does people who speak Teo Chew originate from?"
1. Teo Chew people are all over the globe
2. Our language might just be more central to what bind us all, more than anything else.

Note: this is coming from the younger generation's perspective; especially from those who does not reside in China, possibly residing in Australia, America, Europe etc

Look for 潮州 on the map! That's the Chinese character for Teo Chew. In English there can be numerous ways of spelling depending on which language you're translating from.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Similar Pronunciation:★★★ - Haksaeng

Let's start this blog off with a word that's exactly the same in both language, to just illustrate the mysteriously similar pronunciation.

Note: i'm going to to rate similarity on a scale of 3
★★★ pronunciation being exactly the same in both language
★★ Korean pronunciation more similar to Teo Chew than Mandarin
★ Korean pronunciation just as similar to Mandarin, as it is to Teo Chew

A simple sentence like: "I'm a student." will quite easily illustrate how the two languages are different, and why it wouldn't be easy for all to notice any similiarity between the two languages.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Has anyone ever noticed any word(s) that sounds similar in Teo Chew and Korean? ...It's not just me, right?!

I'm a Teo Chew-nang and in the midst of my kpop/kdrama lovin' i've picked up a few similar words between the two languages. I know... To say that Korean words sound like Teo Chew words, can also be the same as saying "Korean words originated from Chinese characters... blah blah" to some.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011