As I continue my look back not just for 2012 but my journey in learning korean the interesting pieces started to occur around 2009. I had signed up for koreanclass101.com and it was really the best resources for korean language learning compared to what else I found out there but up to the last trip I would take to korea in 2009 I don’t feel I made much progress. I knew some more words and kinda of how to read the korean alphabet but I can’t say I did things right. I tried to go through the beginner lessons quickly and didn’t spend much time on reviews at koreanclass101.com website and I can’t say I knew a whole lot more upon our visit to korea. We had the chance to travel with our korean brother to a number of places but that feeling of nothing being able to communicate or read much of anything around me really started to itch at me.
Now it’s not like we were doing nothing during all this time up till 2009. Got tied down with alot of things married couple gets involved with and we even had a house but I made the decision after the last trip to korea I was going to figure this out. and since that time I must say now as I look that it’s the first day of 2013 how much time has been wasted, not used correctly, whatever but I was determined to learn korean. So after 2009 I started google’ing how to learn languages, tried to pick up some different materials and as I started up with web log in 2010 I’ve tried different things I’ve posted about in the past.
Finding ajatt.com was one of the best things I found on a guy who was putting in some serious time learning japanese. After my trip to korea I also tried taking 2 attempts at a korean language class. The first was at a out of district community college where I had to pay 3 times the normal rate which added up to like a thousand bucks for the class!!!! I worked in what I thought was the district and after talking with the addmissions office at the college they said I would have to pay the triple rate to take the class. I still remember that was too much but suddenly it’s like ok sign me up. I’m serious this time and I’m taking this class.
So you get to class and we had a very old korean women as the teacher. She said she had lived in the united states for like 30 years. Her english was horrible but if you want to live in another country for that period of time and not really learn the language that was a decision for oneself. I just wanted to learn korean so was very excited. Looking around the class which was evening I seemed to be the only working adult. Most of the others were just entering college….one guy I think was in the military and going to be stationed in korea and a woman married to a korean guy that wanted to learn korean, but we had if I remember a decent size class of 12 or 14 people.
I put in a lot of effort in the beginning and got A’s on my first few tests but it wasn’t easy and it was without a lot of help from the teacher who I soon learned didn’t know much about teaching a language and since she never bothered to learn english well didn’t understand what troubles a english speaking person may have with korean.
The best incident was in the differences between the g/k sounds which came up right in the beginning. Now for an english speaking person is you say ‘gate’ or ‘kate’ I can hear the difference no problem. I don’t remember the example words she was using but she would say one korean word and it clearly was the g sound starting it and then in a sentence it was the k sound. I of course wanting to learn so bad asked the question that I didn’t understand which sound she was saying. If she understood her language since I now know what the difference is and that it also depends where in the sentence the word is sitting that it may sound more like a g or k depending on those factores. It was actually a small korean language learning site which I can’t find googling it right now but it was a american talking about that very issue and tried his best to explain it.
But after our teacher at college again said the same combination of the word by itself and then in a sentence I said it’s being said as a g sound by itself and then as k sound in a sentence that I got smacked down. She looked at me and said no one else is having any trouble with hearing these sounds why am I? I looked around at the others and thought that’s because they’re mostly high school graduates who just aren’t saying anything. and I told the teacher that politely but our relationship quickly soured as she thought I was difficult and couldn’t hear differences where actually it was the opposite. She as the teacher of her own native language didn’t understand some basics which now that I’ve been doing this for awhile others do understand.
We did get the situation of her saying 각 a number of times in one of the as she explained the alphabet and then the symbols together but as she is standing in front of class saying this korean combination the one military guy kinda of started laughing. I of course held my tongue as I’m sure I will be in this situation many times saying a word or something and it means something I probably don’t want to say aloud but since she was already nasty to me I didn’t say anything and nobody else did but having this old korean woman say that word while doing it slowly and loudly and opening her mouth very wide in front of the whole class I laughed a few times on the way home. Anybody that knows the korean alphabet and how to say this combination you may want to be careful saying it as our teacher did to mostly guys in the classroom…lol
Second language class for the third time – strike 3.