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Lesson 15 (Beginner 1A L7)

The 7th lesson of the term. This lesson was where I paid my fees for the next term (another 8 lessons). I got the reminder and invoice on the 6th lesson. The final lesson will be 2 weeks from now, because of Chinese New Year next week.

I did some calculations. If I intend to continue until I finish the intermediate syllabus, it will easily be another 2 and a half years at minimum. The estimate is 1 year for beginner, and 1.5 years for intermediate. I've just about finished only the first set of beginner classes.

There are 52 weeks in a year, and 8 lessons a term. Let's say there are 6 terms in a year. (Only 48 weeks, because of public holidays and Christmas break and other such things, like the teacher going back to Korea.) That's about $2000 a year for lessons. I get $500/year from my company to offset for courses. $1500/year.

The hourly cost is $20/hour. $30/lesson. It's okay. I guess I could get around that rate on italki too if I bothered.

German classes are more expensive, both online and if I went to Goethe Institut. Lessons are Goethe are much more expensive. This is why I don't go for classes there even though it is within walking distance from where I live.

But I also kind of like having a class.

I'm only thinking about money because one of my friends is probably not continuing the lessons because of money. I don't want to talk about it in this post, since this should be about the lesson. But I might make another separate post about it, depending on what happens.

There were only 5 of us in the class for this lesson, as 2 of the other students couldn't make it. I prefer it when the class is a bit smaller as I'm always... somewhat afraid of speaking in a big group.

We had another student join on the Christmas celebration lesson (she didn't attend this lesson), and that was also the week that one of the students stopped coming. I'm not sure what happened: if he quit, or transferred to another class.

Because of where I sat, and due to the odd number of students, for one of the speaking exercises I ended up doing it with the teacher. We finished it in record time. It was awkward. I should consider carefully before sitting in that seat again. (We changed classrooms this week, which is why I'd not been in this position before, though I know it sometimes happens, as I'd always sit somewhere further back.)


Recall this first rule from last week:

1. ์—ฌ๊ธฐ๊ฐ€ N์ด์—์š”/์˜ˆ์š”.

This is used for asking questions and making statements about the place where the speaker is located.

You would say something like "์—ฌ๊ธฐ๊ฐ€ Times Square์˜ˆ์š”."* if you were talking to someone and walking down Times Square. Translated, it means "This is Times Square."

It doesn't have to be a place that is physically in sight, as you can use ๊ฑฐ๊ธฐ (there) to indicate a place that was previously mentioned that is out of sight.

There is also ์ €๊ธฐ for a place that's within sight of both the speaker and listener, but relatively far away from their current location.

*I am not sure if the correct way is to use ์ด์—์š” or ์˜ˆ์š”, but I opted for the latter because foreign words don't technically have Batchim. I'm unsure of the convention. However, the truth is, if you are speaking, once you speak fast enough, they both sound the same anyway.

These are the 2 new rules covered in this week's lesson.

2. N์— ์žˆ์–ด์š”/์—†์–ด์š”.

This is also for indicating location, but this is used to express where something or someone is (or is not) located.

This is actually very unnatural, since when you first encounter ์žˆ์–ด์š”/์—†์–ด์š”, you learned that they meant that [someone] has/does not have something, as in the sentence N์ด/๊ฐ€ ์žˆ์–ด์š”.

The natual tendency of the English speaker, then, is to associate "์žˆ์–ด์š”" with the verb "have". After all, ์ด/๊ฐ€ is a particle, and it's thus far been perfectly sensible for particles not to change a verb's meaning.

(Now to be fair, I don't actually think this is even a correct statement to make, but that's one possible way to view what's going on, as a kind of simplication. It's perhaps more correct to say that it's simply a verb which has multiple meanings, and for certain meanings, it will take certain particles. This is simply a result of the function of the noun in that sentence. After all, the particle indicates what the noun does in the sentence. It then becomes natural to associate certain meanings of the verb to particular particles.)

The teacher said that in the construction N์ด/๊ฐ€ ์žˆ์–ด์š”, "์ด/๊ฐ€ ์žˆ์–ด์š”" is equivalent to the Chinese ๆœ‰ (have). But "์— ์žˆ์–ด์š” " from N์— ์žˆ์–ด์š” is equivalent to Chinese ๅœจ (at).

I think that's already somewhat clearer than in English, but I found it even clearer if you think about Japanese and the equivalent ใ‚ใ‚Šใพใ™(arimasu). Now, I didn't remember this for Japanese, apart from the fact that ใ‚ใ‚Šใพใ™ means "to have" in the most basic sentences that I'd learnt before.

Over dinner last night, I casually asked my dad (who is learning Japanese rather casually on Duolingo and Memrise) how you would indicate location in Japanese. He told me it was with the particle ใง and then the sentence ends with ใ‚ใ‚Šใพใ™. Interesting...

While typing that out, my computer suggested the Kanji as well, and it turns out that the verb ใ‚ใ‚‹ (aru, the infinitive form) can also be written as ๆœ‰ใ‚‹ or ๅœจใ‚‹, though apparently it's not that common as simply using ใ‚ใ‚‹. (Sorry that it's the French version of this page that mentions this, not the English one...)

So did the two words originally (as they were in Chinese) somehow combine to one that sounds the same and are henceforth written the same in both Korean and Japanese?

I digress.

Let's talk about using N์— ์žˆ์–ด์š”/์—†์–ด์š” to form sentences.

To say that something (N1) is found at a place (N2), you would use: N1์ด/๊ฐ€ N2์— ์žˆ์–ด์š”. N2 is a place, but N1 can be a person, a place (e.g. a building), a thing...

To say the opposite, that is, that N1 is not found in N2, you would use: N1์ด/๊ฐ€ N2์— ์—†์–ด์š”.

Using ์ด/๊ฐ€ is based on whether N1 has batchim or not.


  1. ๋งˆ๋ฆฌ ์”จ๊ฐ€ ๋„์„œ๊ด€์— ์žˆ์–ด์š”. (Mary is in the library.)
  2. ๋ฐฑํ™”์ ์ด ๋ช…๋™์— ์žˆ์–ด์š”. (The department store is in Myeongdong.)
    • Myeongdong is a famous shopping district in Seoul which I did not know about - I have not been to Korea in over 10 years and I don't really keep up on the cultural aspects, unfortunately. I know I should pay more attention to culture when I study a language, but this seems to be my style more often than not. This is another digression, but:
      • I started learning French when I didn't even know on the first lesson that "bon voyage" was French!
      • When I learnt Japanese in high school, I only knew bits and pieces from my prior trips and that I liked the food. That's why I gave it up a year later... and it was a pity that I discovered manga 2 years after that. I really should learn Japanese again.
  3. ์ฑ…์ด ๋ฐฉ์— ์—†์–ด์š”. (The book is not in the bag.)
  4. ์ค„๋ฆฌ์•™์ด ๊ต์‹ค์— ์žˆ์–ด์š”. (Julian is in the school.)
    • The emphasis here is on "in the school", and is more suited to answer the question ์ค„๋ฆฌ์•™๋Š” ์–ด๋””์—์„ธ ์žˆ์–ด์š”? ("Where is Julian?")
  5. ๊ต์‹ค์— ์ค„๋ฆฌ์•™์ด ์žˆ์–ด์š”. (Julian is in the school.)
    • The emphasis here is on Julian being in the school, and is more suited to answer the question "Who is in the school?"
  6. ์—ฌ๊ธฐ๊ฐ€ ๋‚จ์‚ฐ์ด์—์š”. ๋‚จ์‚ฐ์—๋Š” ์„œ์šธํƒ€์›Œ๊ฐ€ ์žˆ์–ด์š”. (This is Namsan. N Seoul Tower is in Namsan.)
    • The first sentence implies that both the speaker and listener are in Namsan when it is being said.
    • The second sentence's particle ๋Š” is to indicate a topic (๋‚จ์‚ฐ) that has previously been mentioned.
    • Otherwise, it is not necessary.
    • This is a perfectly grammatical sentence: ๋‚จ์‚ฐ์— ์„œ์šธํƒ€์›Œ๊ฐ€ ์žˆ์–ด์š”. (N Seoul Tower is in Namsan.)

3. N์— ๊ฐ€์š”/์™€์š”.

This is used to indicated when someone is going (or coming) to a place.

You use N์— ๊ฐ€์š” to say that someone is going to a place. N์— ์™€์š” is used to indicate that someone is coming to a place (where the speaker is at).

The dictionary forms of the verbs are ๊ฐ€๋‹ค (to go) and ์˜ค๋‹ค (to come) respectively.


  1. ๋งˆํ‹ด ์”จ๋Š” ๋ณ‘์›์— ๊ฐ€์š”. (Martin is going to the hospital.)
  2. ์˜ค๋Š˜ ํ•˜๊ต์— ์™€์š”? (Are you coming to school today?)
    • The person asking the question is in in the school.
    • A possible answer would be: ์•„๋‹ˆ์š”, (ํ•˜๊ต์—) ์•ˆ ๊ฐ€์š”. (No, I'm not going [to school].)
    • Notice that the person who's responding uses the verb ๊ฐ€์š” ("go") instead, because he or she is not physically in the school.
    • In Korean, you must always use ๊ฐ€์š” ("go") when referring to a place that you are not physically at.
    • In English, this distinction is supposed to exist (I guess?) but sometimes informally, we would say "Are you coming?" or something along those lines, even when we aren't at the destination yet.


Ask these two questions with a partner, and take turns answering.

  1. ์–ด๋””์— ๊ฐ€์š”? (Where are you going?)
    • ์นดํŽ˜์— ๊ฐ€์š”. (I'm going to the cafรฉ.)
  2. ๊ฑฐ๊ธฐ ์—์„œ ๋ญ ํ•ด์š”? (What are you going to do there?)
    • ์นดํ”ผ๋ฅผ ๋งˆ์…”์š”. (I'm drinking coffee.)
    • ์นœ๊ตฌ๋ฅผ ๋งŒ๋‚˜์š”. (I'm meeting a friend.)


  • ์— is used to indicate a location, such as where something is, or where someone is going or coming from, as learned in rules 2 & 3 (this lesson).
    • Example: ์œ ์ง„ ์”จ๊ฐ€ ์ฑ…๋ฐฉ์— ์žˆ์–ด์š”. (Yujin is at the bookshop.)
  • ์—์„œ is used with an action, to indicate that an action is taking place at a given location (rule 1, last lesson).
    • More specifically, that the subject of the sentence is performing the action at a given location.
    • Example: (์œ ์ง„ ์”จ๋Š”) ์ฑ…๋ฐฉ์—์„œ ์ฑ…์„ ์‚ฌ์š”. (Yujin is buying a book at the bookshop.)


Mistakes I made in class during this lesson:

  1. I forgot that the verb ๋ฐฐ์šฐ๋‹ค ("to learn") needs a noun while doing one of the exercises (written) in-class.
    • Kind of silly, considering that it's pretty much the same in English (and German, and French...), no?
  2. I mistook the picture on the pharmacy (์•ฝ๊ตญ) for a rice bowl and thought the building was a restaurant (์‹๋‹น).

Lesson 14 (Beginner 1A L6)

In this lesson, we finished chapter 3, and started on chapter 4 in the last half an hour.

We continued practising making sentences about what you are doing (์˜ค๋Š˜/์ง€๊ธˆ ๋ญ ํ•ด์š”?) - both today and right now. Naturally, all of our answers to ์ง€๊ธˆ ๋ญ ํ•ด์š”? ("What are you doing right now?") was some variant of ํ•œ๊ตญ์–ด ํ•™๊ต์—์„œ ํ•œ๊ตญ์–ด๋ฅผ ๋ฐฐ์›Œ์š”. (I'm learning Korean at the Korean language school.) Some omitted the location (like I did), but others included it, with the actual name of the school.

As for what I'm doing after (๊ทธ๋ฆฌ๊ณ  ๋ญ ํ•ด์š”?), I said ์ง‘์—์„œ ์ˆ™์ œ๋ฅผ ํ•ด์š”. (I'm going to do homework at home.)

Which is true, because I always do my Korean homework after class and then forget about it for a week. I know one of my classmates always does it in the morning before our class in the afternoon.

Culture Note

The last thing in chapter 3 was the culture note section. First, we talked about what we do in our rooms (๋ฐฉ).

Then, it talks about place names formed by adding ๋ฐฉ. I've added these to the vocabulary list below, although they aren't strictly in the "official" list.

(An aside on how I compile the vocabulary list: They come from the handouts and the Quizlet cards from the school [which, together, cover everything in the textbook's list], and any other vocab words that we encounter in class. I would count the words in the former as the "official" list.)


Chapter 3's pronunciation (๋ฐœ์Œ) topic was about how when a next syllable starts with the silent ใ…‡, the final consonant from the previous syllable is shifted to the initial position.

I may not have mentioned this in detail, as the first time I learnt this was in one of the foundation classes (the first 8). However, I did mention this rule briefly in Lesson 11 when talking about pronouncing syllables with 4 letters.

As a simple example, if you had something like ์ง์—… (job), it's pronounced as [์ง€๊ฒ].

This rule also applies to syllables that are not part of the same word. For example, consider: ์ €๋Š” ๋ฏธ๊ตญ ์‚ฌ๋žŒ์ด์—์š” (I am American). The ์‚ฌ๋žŒ์ด์—์š” part is pronounced as [์‚ฌ๋ผ๋ฏธ์—์š”].


1. Indicating Location: ์—ฌ๊ธฐ๊ฐ€ N์ด์—์š”/์˜ˆ์š”.

This is the first grammar point in this chapter. According to the handout, there will be 4.

์—ฌ๊ธฐ๊ฐ€ N์ด์—์š”/์˜ˆ์š” is used when asking questions and making statements about the current place where the speaker is located.

์ด์—์š”/์˜ˆ์š” depends on the noun N, whether it has batchim or not. ์ด์—์š” is used when the preceding noun has batchim, and ์˜ˆ์š” when it does not. (We've covered this before.)

  • ์—ฌ๊ธฐ is used for a place where both the speaker and listener is close to.
  • ๊ฑฐ๊ธฐ is used for a place that is close to the listener but far from the speaker (still within sight) OR a place that is not in sight
  • ์ €๊ธฐ is used for a place that is relatively far from both the speaker and the listener, but still within sight.

This is similar to ์ด๊ฑฐ๋Š”/๊ทธ๊ฑฐ๋Š”/์ €๊ฑฐ๋Š” N์ด์—์š”/์˜ˆ์š” (this/that/that over there is N). I covered this when summarising Lessons 1-10 in my very first post.

What I didn't mention then (since it was a summary) was that this distinction reminded me of how it's done in Japanese the very first time I saw it.

For indicating things, you would use ใ“ใ‚Œ (ko-re) for something close to both the speaker and listener (like ์ด๊ฑฐ is used in Korean), ใใ‚Œ (so-re) for something near to speaker but far from the listener (like ๊ทธ๊ฑฐ in Korean), and ใ‚ใ‚Œ (a-re) for something that is far from both (equivalent to ์ €๊ฑฐ).

For places, this is ใ“ใ“ (ko-ko), ใใ“ (so-ko) and ใ‚ใใ“ (a-so-ko). And we have ์—ฌ๊ธฐ, ๊ฑฐ๊ธฐ, and ์ €๊ธฐ as their Korean counterparts.

Now, I have forgotten most of my Japanese (apart from how to read Hiragana and Katakana and some basic phrases), but somehow I remembered these things.

I have no idea why.



Korean English Chinese
๋ณ‘์› hospital;clinic ็—…้™ข
๋ฏธ์šฉ์‹ค hair salon ็พŽๅฎนๅฎค
๊ณตํ•ญ airport ็ฉบๆธฏ
๊ต์‹ค classroom ๆ•Žๅฎค
์€ํ–‰ bank ้Š€่กŒ
์šฐ์ฒด๊ตญ post office ้ƒต้žๅฑ€/้‚ฎ้€’ๅฑ€
์•ฝ๊ตญ pharmacy ่—ฅๅฑ€/่ฏๅฑ€
๋Œ€์‚ฌ๊ด€ embassy ๅคงไฝฟ้คจ
ํ™”์žฅ์‹ค toilet; restroom
ํ˜ธํ…” hotel
์‹œ๋‚ด downtown
๊ฐ€๊ฒŒ shop
์˜ท ๊ฐ€๊ฒŒ clothing shop
๊ฝƒ์ง‘ florist ("flower house")
์„œ์  bookstore ("Chinese Korean" term)
์ฑ…๋ฐฉ bookstore ("Korean Korean" term)
๋…ธ๋ž˜๋ฐฉ karaoke
์ฐœ์งˆ๋ฐฉ (Korean) sauna
PC๋ฐฉ Internet cafe (LAN gaming center)
๋นจ๋ž˜๋ฐฉ laundromat
์—ฌ๊ธฐ here (near to both speaker and listener)
๊ฑฐ๊ธฐ there (close to listener, far from speaker OR out of sight)
์ €๊ธฐ over there (far from both listener and speaker, but within sight)


Korean English
์•ˆ inside
๋ฐ– outside
๋ฐ‘ below; bottom
์•„๋ž˜ under
์œ„ on; above
๋’ค behind; back
์•ž front
์˜† beside
์‚ฌ์ด between

For ์‚ฌ์ด, if you have an object between 2 objects that are the same thing (such as 2 boxes, ๋ฐ•์Šค), then you can say ๋ฐ•์Šค์‚ฌ์ด. If the object is between 2 different objects, say ๋ฐ•์Šค and ์˜์ž, then you will use ํ•˜๊ณ  ("and" for nouns) to join them: ๋ฐ•์Šคํ•˜๊ณ  ์˜์ž์‚ฌ์ด.

The textbook doesn't go into detail on how to use these (in the pages that we covered today), but the homework handout has some examples (actually questions, which initially confused me, because I only knew ์žˆ์–ด์š” to mean "have").

So this is a teaser of grammar point 2 for chapter 4. This is how (I think) you say "The box is on the desk": ๋ฐ•์Šค๋Š” ์ฑ…์ƒ ์œ„์— ์žˆ์–ด์š”.


Korean English Chinese
์—ฐ๊ทน play ๆผ”ๅŠ‡

[DE] Subscription Services

Since this was always meant to be a language blog, and not just a Korean language blog, and I had to do some German homework (a writing assignment-turned-presentation that spawned out of some stuff I mentioned to my teacher after my last class), here's something I wrote about subscription services and why I generally don't pay for them.

The mention of Netflix, Spotify, and Audible is something specific to the conversation that we had, as they were explicitly mentioned.

There's probably some mistakes as I kind of rushed to finish this, and I'm not going to look at this again.

English version is below.

In den letzten Jahren hat sich das Abonnementmodell fรผr Produkte und Dienstleistungen, insbesondere im Internet, immer mehr durchgesetzt. Meine Meinung ist, dass sich Abonnementdienste im Allgemeinen nicht lohnen.

Erstens hat es mit der Charakteristik von Abonnements zu tun. Die wiederkehrenden Gebรผhren lassen die Kosten niedrig erscheinen, aber das ist eine Illusion. Diese Dienste werben gerne damit, dass es nur 10 Dollar im Monat kostet. In den meisten Fรคllen ist es nicht nur eine Dienstleistung, fรผr die man bezahlt. Wenn man alle Dienstleistungen und alle ihre Kosten zusammenzรคhlt, findet man dass es leicht ein paar hundert Dollar pro Jahr sind.

Zweitens hat es mit dem Eigentum zu tun. Genauer gesagt, das Fehlen von Eigentum an der Dienstleistung. Wenn es sich um eine wiederkehrende Gebรผhr handelt, besitzt man das Produkt nie. Die Firma, die den Service anbietet, kann ihn Ihnen jederzeit wegnehmen. Sie kรถnnen jederzeit ร„nderungen vornehmen, und Sie haben dann die Mรถglichkeit, die ร„nderungen mitzutragen oder den Dienst nicht mehr zu nutzen.

Einige beliebte Dienste, die ich derzeit nicht abonniert habe und wahrscheinlich auch nie abonnieren werde, sind Netflix, Spotify und Audible.

Ich schaue nicht regelmรครŸig Fernsehen oder Filme. Ich verfolge nicht gerne Fernsehserien, da sie viel Zeit in Anspruch nehmen. Es ist zu leicht, von diesen Serien sรผchtig zu werden. Frรผher bin ich immer ins Kino gegangen, aber diese Besuche waren auch selten. Heute schaue ich Filme nur auf langen Flรผgen, wenn ich im Urlaub nach รœbersee reise. Deshalb macht es persรถnlich keinen Sinn, einen Dienst wie Netflix zu abonnieren. Ich wรผrde ihn nie voll ausnutzen.

Ich hรถre selten Musik. Ich weiรŸ, es ist seltsam, da ich frรผher im Chor war und Klavier und andere Musikinstrumente (Geige und Harfe) gespielt habe. Ich kenne Musik und liebe sie auch. Aber ich denke, dass es unmรถglich ist, Arbeit zu erledigen, wenn es eine Hintergrundmusik gibt. Ich ziehe es vor, in der Stille zu arbeiten. Wenn ich Musik hรถren mรถchte, bin ich mit der kostenlosen Version von Spotify zufrieden.

Ich hรถre nicht gerne Hรถrbรผcher. Ich lese lieber Bรผcher, egal ob es sich um E-Books oder physische Bรผcher handelt. Es dauert zu lange, um jemandem zuzuhรถren, der mir vorliest. Ich bevorzuge es, in meinem eigenen Tempo zu gehen. AuรŸerdem verliere ich nach etwa 30 Minuten die Konzentration. Ich habe Kollegen, die fahren und sich wรคhrend der Fahrt Hรถrbรผcher anhรถren. Da ich nicht fahre, ist es nicht sinnvoll, denn ich kann einfach auf der Fahrt lesen. Aber ich finde es zweifelhaft, dass man trotzdem viel lernt, wenn man versucht, so ein Multitasking zu betreiben. Es ist so รคhnlich wie der Versuch zu arbeiten, wรคhrend man Musik hรถrt.

Darรผber hinaus hat die Nationalbibliothek eine gute Auswahl an Bรผchern. Dazu gehรถren auch Hรถrbรผcher. Der einzige Grund, warum ich mir ein Hรถrbuch anhรถren wรผrde, ist, wenn das E-Book nicht verfรผgbar ist. Daher macht ein Audible-Abonnement fรผr mich keinen Sinn.

Allerdings gibt es derzeit zwei Dienste, die ich abonniert habe: ProtonMail und Standard Notes.

Vor etwas mehr als einem Jahr, nach dem, was mit Chrome 69 passiert ist, habe ich meinen Hauptbrowser von Chrome auf Firefox umgestellt. Damit begann meine Abkehr von Google. Im Laufe des letzten Jahres haben die Missbrรคuche von Google angefangen, mir immer mehr auf die Nerven zu gehen. Darรผber hinaus ist die Art und Weise, wie Google alles in meinen E-Mails verfolgt, von der Suche bis hin zu den getรคtigten Einkรคufen, nervtรถtend. Ich entschied, dass ich genug hatte, und beschloss, im November letzten Jahres fรผr ProtonMail zu bezahlen.

Ich hatte ein kostenloses Konto fรผr ein Jahr, aber ich konnte den Wechsel nicht ohne Bezahlung vornehmen, da kostenlose Konten nicht mehrere Ordner und Filter zulassen. ProtonMail hat seine Schwรคchen. Es gibt auch Bedenken bezรผglich der Privatsphรคre, wie z.B. die Tatsache, dass die Betreffzeilen der E-Mails nicht verschlรผsselt sind, aber es ist ein Schritt nach vorne gegenรผber der Verwendung von Gmail.

Standard Notes ist ein Notizwerkzeug. Es bietet verschlรผsselte Notizen, so dass alle Notizen privat sind. Ich benutze die kostenlose Version schon eine Weile, die nur einfache Notizen erlaubt, aber ich habe mich entschieden, dafรผr zu bezahlen, damit ich Markdown-Notizen erstellen kann.

Fรผr beides bezahle ich fรผr Privatsphรคre. Wenn der Dienst kostenlos ist, dann sind die Nutzer schlieรŸlich das Produkt.

English Version

In recent years, the subscription model for products and services has become increasingly popular especially online. My opinion is that subscription services are generally not worth it.

First, it is to do with the nature of subscriptions. The recurring fee makes the cost look low, but this is an illusion. These services like to advertise that it is only $10 a month. In most cases, it is not just one service that you pay for. If you add that up, you find that it's easily a few hundred dollars a year.

Second, it has to do with ownership. More accurately, the lack of ownership in whatever service you are paying for. When it is a recurring fee, you never own the product. The company that provides the service can take it away from you at any time. They can make changes at any time, and your option at that point is to go along with the changes, or stop using the service.

Some popular services that I do not currently subscribe to, and probably will never subscribe to, include Netflix, Spotify, and Audible.

I must first admit that I do not regularly watch television or movies. I don't like to follow TV series, as they take up a lot of time. It's too easy to become addicted. In the past, I used to go to the cinema, but those visits were also few and far between. Nowadays, I only watch movies on long flights when I travel overseas on holiday. This is why it personally makes no sense to subscribe to a service like Netflix. I would never make full use of it.

I rarely listen to music. I know it's strange, given that I used to be in the choir, and I used to play the piano and other musical instruments (violin and harp). I know music, and I love it too. But I think it's impossible to get work done if there's some background music playing. I prefer to work in silence. When I want to play some music, I am content with the free version of Spotify.

I don't like to listen to audio books. I prefer reading books, whether they are eBooks or physical books. It takes too long to listen to someone read it. I prefer to go at my own pace. Also, I lose focus after about 30 minutes. Since I don't drive, it's not something that's useful as I can simply read on my commute. I have colleagues who drive and resort to audiobooks on the drive as their only source of books. But I find it doubtful you learn much anyway, if you're trying to multitask like that. It's much like trying to work while listening to music.

On top of that, the national library has a good selection of books. This includes audio books. The only reason I would listen to an audio book is when the eBook is not available. Hence, an Audible subscription makes no sense for me.

However, there are currently two services that I'm subscribed to: ProtonMail and Standard Notes.

Slightly over a year ago, after what happened with Chrome 69, I switched my main browser from Chrome to Firefox. That started my departure away from Google. Over the past year, the abuses of Google have started to grate on my nerves more and more. On top of that, the way Google tracks everything in your mail - from what you search for, to purchases you made - is unnerving. I decided that I had enough, and decided to pay for ProtonMail in November last year.

I had a free account for a year, but could not make the switch without paying because free accounts cannot have multiple folders and filters. I am aware that ProtonMail has its flaws. There are also privacy concerns such as how email subject lines are not encrypted, but it's a step up from using Gmail.

Standard Notes is a note-taking tool. It features encrypted notes, so that all the notes are private. I've used the free version for a while, which only allows plaintext notes, but decided to pay for it so that I could create markdown notes.

For both of these, I'm paying for some privacy. After all, if the service is free, then you are the product, no?

Lesson 13 (Beginner 1A L5)

I have decided to add the lesson number within the course to the title for this and all future posts. This will make it easier to keep track of in future. I don't imagine I'd stop taking the lessons for a while. I'll continue to increment each lesson by 1 still for each post.

I'm currently on the second set of 8 lessons, which is Beginner 1A. Before this, the first 8 lessons were classified as Foundation.

In this lesson, there was a test on the conjugation for the verbs and their meanings. Last lesson also had one too... but it was a pop quiz on the verbs and locations. Previously, we have always been told when there are tests.

We are still on chapter 3, but next week should be chapter 4. The homework was to finish up the handout. Based on this chapter and the last two, it seems to take about 3 lessons to complete a single chapter in the book.


Two grammar points today:

  1. Indicating the location where an action took place
  2. Negating a verb

Indicating Location of an Action: N (location) ์—์„œ + action

Add ์—์„œ after a location noun (refer to the vocab list in Lesson 11) to indicate than an action takes place there.

The handout simply says "action", but to be clear, an action would consist of either:

  1. a conjugated verb (e.g. ์ผํ•ด์š”)
  2. a conjugated verb and an object (if the verb must take an object, for example, say, ๋ฐฅ์„ ๋จน์–ด์š”)

It doesn't matter if there is Batchim or not in the preceding noun. You add the same particle in either case: ์—์„œ.


  • ํšŒ์‚ฌ์—์„œ ์ผํ•ด์š”. (I'm working at the company.)
  • ์ง‘์—์„œ ๋ฐฅ์„ ๋จน์–ด์š”. (I'm eating a meal at home.)

Negating a Verb: ์•ˆ V

Generally, you add ์•ˆ before the verb to negate it.


  • Positive sentence: ์ €๋Š” ๋ฐฅ์„ ๋จน์–ด์š”. (I'm eating rice/a meal.)
  • Negative sentence: ์ €๋Š” ๋ฐฅ์„ ์•ˆ ๋จน์–ด์š”. (I'm not eating rice/a meal.)

However, if it's a N ํ•˜๋‹ค verb, ์•ˆ is placed after the noun, but before ํ•˜๋‹ค.


  • Positive sentence: ์ €๋Š” ์ผํ•ด์š”. (I'm working.)
  • Negative sentence: ์ €๋Š” ์ผ ์•ˆ ํ•ด์š”. (I'm not working.)

This doesn't apply when it's a verb that ends in ํ•˜๋‹ค, but it's not a noun before, such as ์ข‹์•„ํ•˜๋‹ค.

So if someone asks you if you like oranges:

  • ์˜ค๋ Œ์ง€๋ฅผ ์ข‹์•„ํ•ด์š”? (Do you like oranges?)

And you don't, you would say:

  • ์•„๋‹ˆ์š”, ์•ˆ ์ข‹์•„ํ•ด์š”. (No, I don't like (them).)

(Interesting how the object can be dropped here in Korean, but it would be weird to do so in English.)


There is no new vocabulary for this week since we are still on chapter 3.

You can refer to Lesson 11 and Lesson 12 for the vocabulary for this chapter.

Random: Words for Yes

This is a completely random thought that popped into my head while walking home today. The Korean word for yes is ๋„ค (romanised ne), and it sounds similar to the Greek word for yes: ฮฮฑฮฏ (nai, writing the letter nu in uppercase as that makes it clearer that it's not a v).

First, I don't know why I didn't realise this sooner. It took only, what, 4 months? Possibly because I've not touched Greek in very long, and I was only ever a beginner in it, so it doesn't come to mind as often.

Second, I also don't know why this didn't confuse me as much. I know when I started with Greek, ฮฮฑฮฏ sounded so much like "nay" that I always had to stop to think whether it was yes or no.

Perhaps it has to do with how the Korean word for no is so different from yes, because it has 3 syllables? Then again... ฯŒฯ‡ฮน has 2 syllables... so... I have no idea.

A New Year Greeting

I forgot to include this in the post for the last lesson. We did a gift exchange for Christmas and so apart from wishing each other a Merry Christmas, we also did a New Year greeting. (The next time we will see each other is in the new year.)

"Merry Christmas" is... Merry Christmas: ๋ฉ”๋ฆฌ ํฌ๋ฆฌ์Šค๋งˆ์Šค.

To wish someone the best for the new year: ์ƒˆํ•ด ๋ณต ๋งŽ์ด ๋ฐ›์œผ์„ธ์š”!

Bonus (German, since my teacher made me say this the day before for my German lesson): (Ich wunsche dir) einen guten Rutsch ins 2020!

Literally, you are wishing the person a good slide into the new year, kind of like wishing that the new year will be smooth sailing.

It's past midnight where I am now, so it is the new year. Happy 2020!

For myself, I hope it will be a good year, better than 2019... no, not just hope, but I'll make it better.

Lesson 12

There was no lesson this week because of Christmas and New Year's, but since I was a post behind, I still have something to post. Plus, this also serves as revision.

This lesson was where we learned two main things:

  1. Conjugation for the informal polite present tense
  2. Direct object marker

Conjugation (Informal Polite Present Tense)

The teacher emphasised how this is the most important thing for the entire Beginner level. I'm not sure if she meant the entire Beginner level, as in the set of 8 lessons (just Beginner 1A), or Beginner 1 (which has 1A & 1B, 16 lessons), or even... Beginner 1-4. Regardless, it's important.

This conjugation is for the informal-polite present tense, but it can also be used for an action planned to occur in the near future. This "near future" part was not mentioned in class, but it's in the handout that I have.

I'm not sure if it's similar to the future proche in French in that it's really near future events and not far future (since that conjugation is different from the prรฉsent de l'indicatif), or more like how in German (and... Italian too?) where you simply use the present tense also to sometimes mean something in the future. I'll have to look it up to figure out how it is actually used.

There are 3 ways verbs are conjugated:

  1. V-์•„์š”
  2. V-ํ•ด์š”
  3. V-์–ด์š”


This is used when the verb has the vowelใ… or ใ…—. This refers to the character before ๋‹ค. You remove ๋‹ค and add on ์•„์š”.

An example with ๋งˆ๋‚˜๋‹ค: You remove the ๋‹ค and add ์•„์š”, so it becomes ๋งˆ๋‚˜์•„์š”, but since ๋‚˜์•„ and ๋‚˜ are the same, you remove the ์•„ and are left with ๋งˆ๋‚˜์š”.

A second example with ๋ณด๋‹ค: You remove the ๋‹ค and add ์•„์š”, making ๋ด์š”. Notice that the vowels combine where possible.

A final example with ์•‰๋‹ค: You remove ๋‹ค and add ์•„์š”, resulting in ์•‰์•„์š” (pronounced [์•ˆ์ž์š”]).


This is for all the ~ํ•˜๋‹ค verbs. Simply remove ํ•˜๋‹ค and add ํ•ด์š”. It's very straightforward. In fact, it's the most straightforward of the 3.

A single example with ์ผํ•˜๋‹ค: ์ผํ•ด์š”.

I don't think another example is necessary.


This is the catch-all: used for all other verbs. Remove ๋‹ค and add ์–ด์š”. Let's look at a few examples.

๋ฐฐ์šฐ๋‹ค: You remove ๋‹ค and add ์–ด์š”, but ์šฐ and ์–ด can combine, so you have ๋ฐฐ์›Œ์š” as the conjugated form.

์ฝ๋‹ค: ์ฝ์–ด์š”. Since there's already 4 letters, you can't push the ์–ด on to combine. (You can't combine also when there are already 2 vowels.)

Finally, something rather interesting, ๋งˆ์‹œ๋‹ค. When combined, you end up with ๋งˆ์…”์š”. The teacher mentioned that the reason for this is by the sound. After thinking about it some more, I realise I don't understand what that means. This is also something else that I have to go look up on my own.

Direct Object Marker: N์„/๋ฅผ

The direct object marker is ์„/๋ฅผ. They are used to indicate the direct object in a sentence.

The rules follow the usual:

  1. ์„ is used when the preceding noun has batchim.
    • ๋ฐ›์นจ O + ์„: ๋ฐฅ์„
    • Sentence: ์ €๋Š” ๋ฐฅ์„ ๋จน์–ด์š”. (I am eating rice/a meal.)
  2. ๋ฅผ is used when the preceding noun has no batchim.
    • ๋ฐ›์นจ X + ๋ฅผ: ์นœ๊ตฌ๋ฅผ
    • Sentence: ์ €๋Š” ์นœ๊ตฌ๋ฅผ ๋งŒ๋‚˜์š”. (I am meeting a friend.)

Direct Objects and Word Order

I'll include something about direct objects because it's good to articulate everything, even if I think that I know it well enough.

The teacher likes to use the example sentences (she used it twice, in this lesson and the previous one):

  1. Tom loves Jane
  2. Jane loves Tom

These two sentences are not the same. In English, the position of the nouns tell us the function that they serve: subject or object. The object in English appears after the verb (except in a passive sentence).

The object is the thing in the sentence that the verb is being performed on. In the first sentence, Jane is the one being loved, so she is the object of the sentence.

By contrast, the subject is the one that performs the action. In the first sentence, it is Tom.

(The difference between direct and indirect objects is another topic altogether, but it also sometimes has to do with the verb itself. I know in English, French and German, some verbs can have both direct and indirect objects, while some verbs naturally take indirect objects... I wonder if it'll be the same for Korean?)

In Korean, the two example sentences can be the same if you attach the correct markers. The word order doesn't matter.

This is, of course, much like how the declension of German nouns (and articles, and adjectives) allows a fluid word order that does not exist in English or French. In particular, the case of a noun tells us the function that it serves in a sentence.

A completely random fact is that Latin allows for a flexible word order too.

Transitive Verbs

A transitive verb is one that must take a direct object, or it is not grammatically correct.

Korean - at least for the verbs that I have seen - seems to have a few verbs that are transitive, where its English equivalent is not.

For example, for ์ฝ๋‹ค (to read), you have to specify what you are reading, as in ์ฑ…์„ ์ฝ์–ด์š” (I'm reading a book). You cannot simply say ์ฝ์–ด์š”, although in English it's perfectly acceptable to say "I'm reading."

These are language-specific quirks for certain verbs that just have to be learned.


Korean English Chinese
์ข‹์•„ํ•˜๋‹ค to like
์‹ซ์–ดํ•˜๋‹ค to hate
๊น€์น˜ kimchi
ํ”ผ์ž pizza
์ผ€์ดํฌ cake
์ดˆ์ฝœ๋ฆฟ chocolate

Losing My Memrise Streak... Again

I lost my 140+ days (at most) Memrise streak today. Today I was greeted with a 0-day streak on half of the courses I usually do (it's only 8 now). Initially I thought I had forgotten, because of all the events yesterday. Having to go to the hospital early in the morning, and afterwards, the work (post-)Christmas party... which I also ended up leaving early to go to the hospital for another visit.

Then I remembered that I did finish it, early in the morning, while waiting at the cafe in the hospital. The internet was spotty, so the progress didn't sync. I probably should have used data instead, and checked on the website afterward, but it didn't cross my mind. You'd think after getting punched in the face by Memrise so many times in the last few years I'd be more careful... but... I honestly didn't care. Not anymore.

It's funny how I used to care so much about it. I mean, I won't go out of my way to destroy my streak, but if I forget... well. I've already lost my longest running one of 1549 days back at the start of November. That was entirely my fault, I was distracted, and did not finish all the courses. Over the years it's just become a number, not really a meaningful estimate of anything. Especially since Memrise's streaks are course-based, and if I'd taken that course seriously, I'd finish it much earlier and not even have such a long-running streak.

Keeping the number is purely nostalgia, because it reminds me of - and links me to - the time when I was just starting out on this language-learning journey. But I still have Duolingo for that. (Duolingo is another... thing that I've not been using very much since... its usefulness is limited. It's really best for the mid-beginner stage, terrible for complete beginners, and not much use for intermediate users. But I keep doing 1 a day for that 10XP, training German from French.)

I'm glad that I've finally gotten to this point. Anyway, I've been moving away from Memrise in the recent months. Especially after I've gotten used to Anki. I used to take Memrise much more seriously, doing it on the desktop. Mobile is just too easy, and I find I'm not learning much. I'm going to resume downloading my Memrise courses - though there's some small handling of dirty data that I'll need to fix in the script for at least one course. Then I'll import them into Anki and I can say goodbye to Memrise.

For real this time.

Lesson 11

Merry Christmas! Since I've a day off on Christmas Eve too, I figured I should finish this post. Now, this is for a lesson that was more than a week ago...

In which I learn that the verb for "to work part time" in Korean (์•„๋ฅด๋ฐ”์ดํŠธํ•˜๋‹ค) comes from the German Arbeit, which simply means "work".

We started on Chapter 3 of the book. It's the Seoul National University book.

Basically this lesson was an introduction to other verbs (apart from "to be" and "to have" which was covered before). Lots of verbs, but just their dictionary forms (infinitives). Conjugation is next week (from the time I learned this lesson, not from when this is posted, since it's way past both lessons).

We also learned the names of a few common places (see vocabulary below).

Interesting that the distinction between learn and study is whether you do it alone (study - ๊ณต๋ถ€ํ•˜๋‹ค) or with someone else's help (learn - ๋ฐฐ์šฐ๋‹ค).

For German and French (and quite possibly a few other European languages), the distinction is about whether it is your course of study or something that you study/learn in general. For example in German, you can only studieren your course of study. You do not Deutsch studieren unless you are majoring in German. Same with French, you don't รฉtudies franรงais, you apprends franรงais. (Pretty sure it's the same with Italian's studiare and imparare if my memory did not fail me.)

You can, however, both ํ•œ๊ตญ์–ด๋ฅผ ๊ณต๋ถ€ํ•ด์š” and ํ•œ๊ตญ์–ด๋ฅผ ๋ฐฐ์›Œ์š”.


ใ„ฑ, ใ…,ใ…Ž, combined with ์˜ˆ (๊ณ„, ํ, ํ˜œ)

The resulting pronunciation is [๊ฒŒ, ํŽ˜, ํ—ค]. That is, ๊ณ„ is pronunced as ๊ฒŒ, ํ is pronounced as ํŽ˜, and ํ˜œ is pronounced as ํ—ค.

Apparently it used to be as written (e.g. gye for ๊ณ„ instead of ge), but not any longer.

This is why ์‹œ๊ณ„ (watch; clock) is pronounced shi-ge and not shi-gye. Mystery solved.

Syllables with 4 Letters

Previously, we already learned that if the next syllable starts with ใ…‡, then the final consonant "moves over" to that upcoming syllable, and then everything is fine since you can just pronounce the remaining 3. As an example, ์•‰์•„์š” would be pronounced [์•ˆ์ž์š”].

But what if the next syllable doesn't start with ใ…‡?

You don't pronounce all 4, that's for sure. The consonant to pronounce on the bottom is the one first in alphabet order:

ใ„ฑ ใ„ฒ ใ„ด ใ„ท ใ„ธ ใ„น ใ… ใ…‚ ใ…ƒ ใ…… ใ…† ใ…‡ ใ…ˆ ใ…‰ ใ…Š ใ…‹ ใ…Œ ใ… ใ…Ž

  • ์•‰๋‹ค is pronounced [์•ˆ๋‹ค], since ใ„ด comes before ใ…ˆ.
  • ์ฝ๋‹ค is pronounced [์ต๋‹ค], since ใ„ฑ comes before ใ„น.

I don't have more details, and there's probably more complex rules, but this will do for now.


Decided to add the Chinese if they exist and I think they'll help me remember. Sites list the traditional characters (obviously) so I'm going with that, even though I'm actually familiar with the simplified characters.

Korean English Chinese
ํ•˜๋‹ค to do
์ผํ•˜๋‹ค to work
๊ณต๋ถ€ํ•˜๋‹ค to study
์šด๋™ํ•˜๋‹ค to exercise
์•„๋ฅด๋ฐ”์ดํŠธํ•˜๋‹ค to work part-time
์ „ํ™”ํ•˜๋‹ค to talk on the phone
๊ตฌ๊ฒฝํ•˜๋‹ค to sightsee; to look around
์ƒค์›Œํ•˜๋‹ค to take a shower
์‡ผํ•‘ํ•˜๋‹ค to shop (go shopping)
์š”๋ฆฌํ•˜๋‹ค to cook
๋งŒ๋‚˜๋‹ค to meet
์ž๋‹ค to sleep
๋งˆ์‹œ๋‹ค to drink
์‰ฌ๋‹ค to rest
๊ฐ€๋ฅด์น˜๋‹ค to teach
๋ณด๋‹ค to see; to watch
์ฝ๋‹ค to read
๋จน๋‹ค to eat
๋ฐฐ์šฐ๋‹ค to learn
์ฃผ๋‹ค to give
์ˆ™์ œ homework ๅฎฟ้กŒ
์˜ํ™” movie ๆ˜ ็•ต
์˜ค๋ Œ์ง€ orange
ํƒœ๊ถŒ๋„ taekwondo
์–ด๋”” where
์ง‘ house; home
๊ณต์› park ๅ…ฌๅœ’
๊ทน์žฅ theatre ๅŠ‡ๅ ด
์˜ํ™”๊ด€ cinema ๆ˜ ็•ต้คจ
๋„์„œ๊ด€ library ๅœ–ๆ›ธ้คจ
ํ•™๊ต school ๅญธๆ ก
์‹œ์žฅ market ๅธ‚ๅ ด
์ปคํ”ผ์ˆ coffee shop (cafe)
์นดํŽ˜ cafe
์‹๋‹น restaurant ้ฃŸๅ ‚
ํšŒ์‚ฌ company ๆœƒ็คพ
๋ฐฑํ™”์  department store ็™พ่ฒจๅบ—
์‡ผํ•‘๋ชฐ shopping mall
๋งˆํŠธ mart (megamart)
์Šˆํผ๋งˆ์ผ“ supermarket
ํŽธ์˜์  convenience store
๊ฐ€๊ฒŒ shop
๊ทธ๋ฆฌ๊ณ  and
๊ทธ๋Ÿผ then (if so)
์ง€๊ธˆ now

On Learning Languages

I don't know, felt like writing some non-technical (not really technical per se) stuff, so this is partially more reflective. Or more like a regular journal. Really a text dump of my rambling thoughts.

For Korean, I started to learn it because I had two friends mention that they were going to take a Korean class in September. It was an arbitrary statement about signing up that one made to another at a gathering, that it was the last day to sign up for a discounted price. I went home and immediately registered for the Korean class without really thinking it through.

At the time, I was still doing my German lessons (I am, still, actually - they're online - just not as frequently as before) though I was really getting bored and demotivated because there doesn't seem to be a purpose to it any more. My German is good enough and I think that's all I want. I know I should take the B2 exam, but I'm honestly too afraid to do it because of the speaking component. My teacher has been pushing me to do it for a year(!!), and I've held off. I know you can now take the exam in parts, but I don't want to because... well, I'd still have to do the speaking eventually. And it feels like cheating somehow, that you couldn't do it all together. I should also take the exam for French, which I reached B2 much earlier. I'd probably have to work harder on it to take the exam now, since I've not been actively revising it. But I also have no one encouraging me to take the exam, so that's even less likely.

I learn languages not really for connection to people, not in the personal sense. I get exposure to other cultures, yes, but that's different from having a personal connection with someone. I don't have friends that speak the languages I learn. And now that I'm learning alone most of the time, and sometimes individually with a teacher, it can be very isolating.

For now, Korean is fine because it's in a class. But the truth is, I know if I really wanted to advance faster, I'd take individual lessons again, and probably end up in the same situation that I'm currently in with German.

I don't think it's all that bad. I feel if you stay in the language learning community online enough, there's a lot of things about speaking and learning to speak well. That's all fine and good when your motivation is to communicate with others. I guess I like learning languages for the thrill I get when I can understand this text that I am reading in a foreign language. Sometimes, too, the snippets of conversation that I catch in a foreign tongue. Or even when I can't make out the words, I know the language's melody well enough, that I can say for certainty, "Ah, they're speaking in French." All this, without having to pick out a single word in the thread.

More often than not, schools will drill grammar, vocabulary. I actually find that tolerable, if not... fun. I hesitate to use the word fun, because it's not really fun when you have to do all those exercises. Or pehaps it is, when you are done, and it's an accomplishment. But it's not something that I struggle with very much - writing is never a problem. It's always speaking. It has always been. Not surprising, considering that I'm an introvert.

This Korean experience has been interesting, because it's the first language I'm learning (as an L2 language) that uses a different writing system. I know Mandarin Chinese, but that's from when I was young too, like English. Even then, not really the first, since I took a year of Japanese in high school. (I didn't get very far, and the only things I remember are how to read the hiragana and katakana.) But Korean is the first in a different writing system after I understood more and experienced learning 3 new languages (though all European - French, Italian, German).

I like the writing system for its simplicity - the consonants reflecting the tongue positions. I'd taken an introductory linguistics class in university, and then afterwards I did learn more IPA on my own. Put into that context, a lot of things made more sense, trying to map the symbols to their respective sounds. Still, Korean has rather unique consonants unlike any other language, not just with aspiration and without, but also with double consonants (tensed). Turns out some of these double consonant sounds already exist in Chinese, so it wasn't nearly that bad.

It's interesting too because of my unfamiliarity with the writing system, that I find I'm memorising the sounds of words rather than their spelling first. It's good because I'm not using spelling - and by extension, writing - as a crutch (though in this case, it isn't that misleading, since the spelling is pretty much phonetic, unlike, say, French).

I don't like to talk about my motivations for learning a language, because usually it seems rather trivial in comparison to others. Other people always seem to have such good reasons. Because they have friends or family that they want to speak to. For work or business. Because they love the culture. I know my friends are learning Korean because they have an interest in the culture, the food, the country... it's not as though I dislike them, but it's not something that I love especially. I'm not one for K-pop or K-dramas. Just as a simple comparison, I prefer Japanese food, and also the cultural elements (manga) more. I know it sounds as though I do these things... rather passively, as though it happens to me, as it were. But it's also a choice. The original 8 lessons of the class has ended, but I decided to continue.

When I started with French at the university, it was... a choice between French, German and Korean, for a special program that required you to take 4 semesters' worth of classes, and then you could go on exchange in a country that spoke the respective languages. I took French then, also because I had another friend that wanted to take French, and we took most of the classes together. For me it was either French or German. (Korean, in my mind then, was really not worth it since there was just one country - or two - that speaks it. In fact, I didn't even remember this part - that I once said no to Korean - until I wrote it.) It mattered not then, they were just two languages, interchangeable. It's different, now, of course, now that I know them both.

Then, I went on exchange - to Switzerland. It was there that I learnt Italian. I guess out of all these, Italian was the one that I had more interest in. If my university had offered it, I'd have taken it in my first year. But then, it's not as though I really wanted to learn it, or that I liked it more than French or German. If I really did, I'd have worked harder to do it, and I'd also be more proficient in it by now. (My Italian is still A2 at best.)

Of course, Switzerland is predominantly German-speaking. Yes, there's Swiss German too but the official things are in High German. I recall being rather... irritated that there were so many things I could not read when I travelled around the country. So many signs I could not understand. See, even then, it was more of wanting to be able to do something, to learn a skill, rather than connect with people, that drove me. When I returned, I had a first semester without French (since the university only has 6 classes, and I'd had 8 semesters total for 4 years of study) so I took up German. And I continued, not just in the second semester, alongside French, but even after I graduated.

What I've come to realise is that every language is different. Not just because they are factually, linguistically (that much is obvious), but because of my own personal experiences and interactions with them. These interactions colour my perception of the language. They also inadvertently chart my growth as a person.

I think I learn languages simply because I like to. Because I want to, and because I can. I know when people ask me, I usually tell them rather flippantly, "I was bored." On the surface, I don't want to admit anything, even if I did like something about that language or its associated culture. But more deeply, I think I hate to admit that I don't have a good enough reason, not the way I am supposed to, or should. But why can't "I want to" be reason enough? Why do I hold myself to a standard that is set by others, when it appears to make no sense?

Sure, your "why" is important. It can be your anchor, the reason you keep fighting when things go tough - and they will. Indeed, perhaps if I had a stronger reason for learning German, I would not be in this demotivated state that I am now in. That's my first thought. But I think there there will still come a time, no matter how strong your why is, that you still want to give up. That you want to stop.

If goals are the pull factor, whys are your push. But it is in the hows - the daily habits that you set up, the routines - that will push you through. I know this as a certainty for me, because I've experienced it. But I think that's the topic of another post, if I decide to make it.

Lessons 1-10 Vocabulary

This is overdue because there was some resistance on my part to list out everything. Here's some vocabulary from the first 10 lessons.

There's more, but I doubt there is point documenting them here, since I already have them as cards in Anki. The only point for documenting is to see the weekly progress, and this is a dump of 10 lessons' worth.



Countries, Languages, Nationalities

Korean English
๋‚˜๋ผ country
์ง€๋„ map
ํ•œ๊ตญ Korea
ํ•œ๊ตญ์–ด Korean (language)
ํ•œ๊ตญ ์‚ฌ๋žŒ Korean (person)
~์‚ฌ๋žŒ Person from ~ (country)
๋ฏธ๊ตญ America
ํ˜ธ์ฃผ Australia
์˜๊ตญ England
์˜์–ด English (language)
๋…์ผ Germany
ํ”„๋ž‘์Šค France
๋ผ์‹œ์•„ Russia
์ผ๋ณธ Japan
์ค‘๊ตญ China
๋Œ€๋งŒ Taiwan
ํ™์ฝฉ Hong Kong
์‹ฑ๊ฐ€ํฌ๋ฅด Singapore
๋ง๋ ˆ์ด์‹œ์•„ Malaysia
๋ง๋ ˆ์ด์–ด Malay (language; Bahasa Melayu)
ํƒœ๊ตญ Thailand


Korean English
์ง์—… occupation, job
๊ธฐ์ž reporter
ํšŒ์‚ฌ์› company employee
ํ•™์ƒ student
์„ ์ƒ๋‹˜ teacher
์ฃผ๋ถ€ housewife
๊ตฐ์ธ military personnel
๊ฐ€์ˆ˜ singer
์š”๋ฆฌ์‚ฌ chef
์˜์‚ฌ doctor


Korean English
์ด๋ฆ„ name
๋ช…ํ•จ name card
์ „ํ™”๋ฒˆํ˜ธ telephone number
์ฑ… book
์ฑ…์ƒ desk
์‚ฌ์ „ dictionary
์šฐ์‚ฐ umbrella
๊ฐ€๋ฐฉ bag
์‹œ๊ณ„ watch/clock
์•ˆ๊ฒฝ glasses/spectacles
๋ชจ์ž hat
์นœ๊ตฌ friend
์ฐฝ๋ฌธ window
์˜์ž chair
ํ•„ํ†ต pencil case
์—ฐํ•„ pencil
๋ณผํŽœ ballpoint pen
์ž ruler
์ง€๊ฐ‘ wallet
์‹ ๋ฌธ newspaper
์žก์ง€ magazine
ํœด์ง€ tissue paper
์ปต cup
์ปดํ“จํ„ฐ computer
๋…ธํŠธ๋ถ notebook (laptop)
ํ…”๋ ˆ๋น„์ „ television
ํœด๋Œ€ํฐ mobile phone
์ปคํ”ผ coffee
๋ฌผ water


Korean English
์•ˆ๋…•ํ•˜์„ธ์š”? Hello.
์•ˆ๋…•ํžˆ ๊ฐ€์„ธ์š”. Bye. (to the person who is leaving)
์•ˆ๋…•ํžˆ ๊ณ„์„ธ์š”. Bye. (to the person who is staying)
๋งŒ๋‚˜์„œ ๋ฐ˜๊ฐ€์›Œ์š”. Nice to meet you. (casual)
๋งŒ๋‚˜์„œ ๋ฐ˜๊ฐ‘์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค. Nice to meet you. (formal)
์ด๋ฆ„์ด ๋ญ์˜ˆ์š”? What is your name?
์ง์—…์ด ๋ญ์˜ˆ์š”? What is your job?
์–ด๋Š ๋‚˜๋ผ ์‚ฌ๋žŒ์ด์—์š”? Which country are you from?
"X"์€/๋Š” ํ•œ๊ตญ์–ด๋กœ ๋ญ์˜ˆ์š”? What is X in Korean?


From the grammar summary in the previous post and the vocabulary list above:

How do you say:

  1. I am a singer.
  2. I am American.
  3. I am a company employee. (formal)
  4. I am not a singer. (formal)
  5. I am not English. (formal)
  6. Steven, are you Australian? (formal)
  7. This is a ruler.
  8. That is mobile phone.
  9. That (over there) is a laptop.
  10. How do you say "hello" in Korean?
  11. Give me a coffee. Here you go.
  12. Please give me some water. (gentle)
  13. I have a map and a hat.
  14. I have a watch, a ballpoint pen, and a pencil. (formal 'and')
  15. Kelly does not have a cup, tissue paper, and an umbrella. (formal 'and')
  16. I am X and I am Y.

Lessons 1-10

I've been learning Korean for 3 months, and I thought it would be good to document my progress. But first, I should write down what I've gone through so far, so that in future I can just build on it.

It's always interesting to see how my language learning process changes from language to language. Part of it has to do with the language itself, and part of it has to do with the methods that I use, and perhaps, it might also be me.

I hope I did not make any typos; I'm still not used to typing with the Korean keyboard.

Grammar Summary

N is a noun.

  1. N1์€/๋Š” N2์ด์—์š”/์˜ˆ์š”. (N1 is N2.)
    • ์€/๋Š” is used to indicate the topic of the sentence.
    • ์ด์—์š”/์˜ˆ์š” is the conjugated verb "to be" (am/are/is) in an informal setting.
    • ์€/์ด์—์š” is used when the preceding noun has batchim.
      1. ๋ฐ›์นจ O + ์€: ์„ ์ƒ๋‹˜์€ (The teacher)
      2. ๋ฐ›์นจ O + ์ด์—์š”: ํ•™์ƒ์ด์—์š”. ([I] am a student.)
    • ๋Š”/์˜ˆ์š” is used when the preceding noun has no batchim.
      1. ๋ฐ›์นจ X + ๋Š”: ์ €๋Š” (I)
      2. ๋ฐ›์นจ X + ์˜ˆ์š”: ์˜์‚ฌ์˜ˆ์š”. ([I] am a doctor.)
  2. N์ด/๊ฐ€ ์•„๋‹™๋‹ˆ๋‹ค. ([I] am not N. [formal])
    • ์ด is used when the preceding noun has batchim.
      1. ํ•™์ƒ์ด ์•„๋‹™๋‹ˆ๋‹ค. ([I] am not a student.)
    • ๊ฐ€ is used when preceding noun has no batchim.
      1. ์˜์‚ฌ๊ฐ€ ์•„๋‹™๋‹ˆ๋‹ค. ([I] am not a doctor.)
    • The corresponding question is: N์ž…๋‹ˆ๊นŒ?
  3. N์ด/๊ฐ€ ์žˆ์–ด์š”. ([I] have N.)
    • Again, ์ด is used when the preceding noun has batchim, and ๊ฐ€ is used when preceding noun has no batchim.
    • The negation of this sentence is N์ด/๊ฐ€ ์—†์–ด์š”. ([I] do not have N.)
    • The question is simply: N์ด/๊ฐ€ ์žˆ์–ด์š”? (Do you have N?)
      1. ์‹ ๋ฌธ์ด ์žˆ์–ด์š”? ๋„ค, (์‹ ๋ฌธ์ด) ์žˆ์–ด์š”. (Do you have a newspaper? Yes, I do.)
      2. ์‹œ๊ณ„๊ฐ€ ์žˆ์–ด์š”? ์•„๋‹ˆ์š”, (์‹œ๊ณ„๊ฐ€) ์—†์–ด์š”. (Do you have a watch/clock? No, I do not.)
    • To ask what someone has, you say: ๋ญ๊ฐ€ ์žˆ์–ด์š”? (What do you have?)
  4. ์ด๊ฑฐ๋Š”/๊ทธ๊ฑฐ๋Š”/์ €๊ฑฐ๋Š” N์ด์—์š”/์˜ˆ์š”. (This/that/that over there is N.)
    • ์ด๊ฑฐ is used for objects close to the speaker.
    • ๊ทธ๊ฑฐ is used for object close to the listener AND for objects that are out of sight.
    • ์ €๊ฑฐ is used for objects far from both the speaker and listener, but still within view of both.
    • The question is (while pointing at something): ์ด๊ฑฐ๋Š” ๋ญ์˜ˆ์š”? (What is this?)
    • ์ด์—์š”/์˜ˆ์š” is used when there is/isn't batchim (see point 1 above).
  5. N ์ฃผ์„ธ์š”. (Give me N.)
    • There is no rule about whether N has or doesn't have batchim.
      1. ์ฑ… ์ฃผ์„ธ์š”. (Give me the book.)
      2. ๋ชจ์ž ์ฃผ์„ธ์š”. (Give me a hat.)
    • You can make the request more polite by adding ์ข€: N ์ข€ ์ฃผ์„ธ์š”.
      1. ๋ฌผ ์ข€ ์ฃผ์„ธ์š”. (Please give me some water.)
    • When you pass someone something, you say: ์—ฌ๊ธฐ ์žˆ์–ด์š”. (Here you are.)
  6. N1ํ•˜๊ณ  N2 (N1 and N2 [informal/spoken])
    • This "and" (and the next formal version) only works with nouns.
      • You would use S1 ๊ทธ๋ฆฌ๊ณ  S2 for sentences, verbs, and adjectives.
    • This version is the same regardless of whether N1 has batchim or not.
    • ๋ฐ›์นจ O/X + ํ•˜๊ณ 
      1. ๋ถˆํŽœํ•˜๊ณ  ์นด๋ฉ”๋ผ (ballpoint pen and camera)
      2. ์นด๋ฉ”๋ผํ•˜๊ณ  ๋ถˆํŽœ (camera and ballpoint pen)
  7. N1๊ณผ/์™€ N2 (N1 and N2 [formal/written])
    • ๊ณผ is used when N1 has batchim. (It's different from the earlier rules!)
      1. ๋ฐ›์นจ O + ๊ณผ: ๋ถˆํŽœ๊ณผ ์นด๋ฉ”๋ผ (ballpoint pen and camera)
    • ์™€ is used when N1 does not have batchim.
      1. ๋ฐ›์นจ X + ์™€: ์นด๋ฉ”๋ผ์™€ ๋ถˆํŽœ (camera and ballpoint pen)