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musings regarding my recent Korean output

Posted in korean, writing by choronghi on May 21, 2017

So I know a lot of language learners are obsessed with perfection almost to the point of irritation. no nobody gives a shit about how your handwriting improved for the katakana or the hanguel or whatever from writing it over and over or copying long ass passages of god knows what… perhaps you should put your time to better use. they just irritate me because in away they’re promoting awful learning methods and also seem oblivious or narrow-minded to other various methods of learning out there. my school of thought is I suffered at the hands of compulsory education with the mind-numbing, awful activities like work-sheets or copyings things etc etc…. why are you willing subjecting yourself to this torture on your free time? One of the biggest realizations I made when I was learning Japanese was that I was spending so much time learning about how to learn or various ways to learn or what are bad ways to learn despite years of compulsory conditioning trying to convince me that it’s effective. But I don’t regret spending that time learning about learning because I don’t want to waste any more time on shit and in the overall scheme of things you waste more time learning ineffectively by not learning about learning.

ANYWAYS recently I was outputting my Korean because I had to communicate with this korean person via email (by the way I see no appeal in “pen-pals” whatsoever… I am only communicating with someone if I have something to communicate to that specific person). I just wanted to communicate and deliver the information I wanted to deliver and I also wanted to get answers from this person. My attitude going into this is “ugh let’s just end this in the most painless, efficient way possible.” (I work full time, I have shit to do, it’s the just natural attitude for me to have)

In my view, it’s best to not give a shit and just do whatever is least painful and strenuous because that will lead to MORE output in volume compared to re-reading your sentences or clauses or using the dictinoary to look up crap you don’t have to or just stressing about it because you can’t write as eloquently as a native ( this is such a stupid and asinine and invalid worry. you should be asking yourself WHY WOULD I BE ABLE TO WROTE ELOQUENTLY seeing as you only spent x hours listening/reading/writing/speaking. i wish more people would read AJATT). Because I set this low standard for myself OF COMMUNICATION I did not waste my time looking up words in the dictinoary or re-reading and re-writing my sentences obsessively. I did do the final re-read just to make sure it made sense and my message would be understood by the receiving party. Ultimately I did “proof-read” albeit lazily and half-assedly and I later realized there were still typos when I sent it. But I did not care because my goal was communication and I knew despite whatever mistakes or typos or unnaturalnness or clunkiness of the sentence or fragment the person will understand what I’m saying. And I genuinely did not care if my Korean output seems worse than actually it is due to typos and lack of effort on my effort. There’s a level that you reach in the upper intermediate stage where you know your writing is full of mistakes and it’s unnatural but you know for sure that the native person will understand what you wrote ( I will link my only lang-8 entry that’s in Korean so you can get some idea of my ability to output but honestly depending what I want to output (writing an entry on lang-8 vs cmomunicating wtih someone via email is completely different) the shit can get real raw and terrible as any language learner knows ) . some of the stuff you can obsess over with writing well is so minor with respect to comprehension like the ㅅㅅㅅㅅ you put in to make sentences more formal and respectful. I just shoved the ㅅ shit in when I felt like it because this person’s isn’t going to get pissed at me for not using it when I shouldn’t have or not using it when I should have because he knows I’m not fluent in Korean and he should be able to tell my main goal is communication since he don’t speak fluent english.


So as we have our e-mail exchanges I start to give a shit unfortunately. I take this as a bad thing because I’m wasting time that could be put to better use and it’s just emails so it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect since the only goal is communication. ALSO EVEN if I look up whatever my email will still have mistakes. what happened was I GOOGLED 오랫만 WITH QUOTES because I was unsure if it was correct or not and google says it’s a common mistake it’s actualy oreNNNN man. before I googled it I was thinking o-ret-man is correct and oreNNN is wrong or vice versa or they’re BOTH CORRECT. So after I did what I did I was kinda disappointed in myself for wasting my time googling. so then he responds and he opens his email with OREtttttT MAN so I feel even more irritated at myself wasting time on googling shit. it’s so minor, it don’t matter and he don’t even know if it’s incorrect or he knows but still wants to use it (I know that feeling). Hell I felt like using it and I should’ve just gone for it. You know what I’m gonna ask him about it… I only make a big deal of this because it will be if I get into this tunnel-vision mindset of obsessing over little shit and waste a gargantuan amount of time. It seems like it’s not a lot of time but it really adds up if you’re constantly obsessing over minuscule crap.

How I EFFICIENTLY learn Korean from reading

Posted in korean, language learning, vocabulary by choronghi on May 4, 2017

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1) I don’t like staring at the computer

2) I’ve been at learning Japanese for like 8 years so I’ve been obsessed with efficiency as of late and have let go of stuff that just sucks up time but doesn’t make a big impact. In other words I’m optimizing my use of anki as much as possible.

3) my anki usage for Korean works because of my current level in Korean. I could not do this with Spanish fo sho.
I hate reading Korean sometimes. I only say this because I’m super used to reading Japanese and them Chinese characters. while for Korean words I know are hiding behind a mask until I look it up and go goddamnit that’s such a simple, obvious word. of course the upside to Korean is that it’s easier to type and look up stuff but then again sometimes trying to figure out the meaning that matches the word can be more of a pain in the ass compared to looking up a Japanese word with the Chinese characters in the word but that’s what chiebukuro and lang-8 are for when my analytical and critical thinking skills are lacking or when I don’t want to use them lol. that isn’t to say that my Korean reading is weak. I read fast because it’s inevitable with alphabets to get faster at reading them but alphabets don’t give me that effortless feel that I get when I read Japanese with the Chinese characters. the reading is automatic and effortless because the Chinese characters are so distinct looking.

4) I only read about topics that interest me. the generic advice of read news articles everyday is BULLSHIT. I’m sorry no one gives a shit about the news at least not as much as you unless you don’t even follow the advice you are saying. by the way the most important thing you need to notice is that the person who is spouting this nonsense is not even fluent in their target language. what is up with these assholes that are not even fluent giving advice that are shit.

5) I learn Korean using Japanese. once in a while I use Korean to learn Korean because I just got taken a site with Korean definitions instead of Japanese definitions when I clicked on a link in Google and I didn’t want to waste anymore time in Google since the definition made sense to me. ALSO I don’t have intentions of going monolingual dictionary at all. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel that way. for the most part I prefer to read Japanese because it’s more efficient because they use Chinese characters while Korean they don’t so you gotta really use your brain every f’in time and figure out which word they’re using based off the context at times (which is perfectly, fine, acceptable and effortless to Korean native speakers I’m sure. but I sure as hell am not subjecting myself to unnecessary mental somersaults)

the main reason I want to share this is for THE EFFICIENCY ASPECT. I hope to inspire people to stop being damn perfectionists because it will slow down the rate at which you learn the language. but seriously what is up with those people with the “language notebooks” it’s like their obsessed with their handwriting saying it looks ugly or pretty or improved. it’s like it’s inefficient.  IT’S SERIOUSLY ridiculously depressing how inefficient and ineffective the notebook stuff is especially if you handwrite all the definitions (even worse if you do example sentences from the dictionary or add the hanja) to the words you look up in a book or something and then NEVER Look at it again. talk about a time sink. i don’t know what possesses people to do this shit. it will not get you to fluency and it is not smart. i could never even get myself to do it because i see the futility in doing that like how will this serve me 5 years from now 10 years from now 6 months from now. these people are clearly not trying to become fluent or they refuse to see the errors in their ways in that there are better ways to go about it. clearly their goal is not fluency though they don’t seem to realize it.

First things first, I’ve been reading articles about hanja usage in Korean like mixed vs only hangeul and people’s thoughts on the advantages and disvatanges for both sides.

So I printed out a bunch of articles on my topic of interest. by a bunch I mean 180 pagesworth. I format that shit like boss on microsoft word! I went through half of it so far.

What I do is

1) I read it and circle words/grammar/anything with a red pen.
2) Then on a later day I type in all the words/grammar whatever (not the whole sentence) in a notepad file (I don’t type whole sentences or paste the sentences/paragraphs because then I’m spending a lot of time searching for my single word that I don’t know on the right side of naver translator which makes this shit REALLY INEFFICIENT ). sometimes i do take the sentence or the clause but usually i don’t because it’s not worth it.
3) I paste that into naver translator and translate Korean to Japanese.

http://translate.naver.com/#/ko/en/

4) I read the sentence or the section of the article again with the definition in mind and finally comprehend the sentence/paragraph in its entirety. for the words where the TRANSLATOR fails me or I want a more detailed definition I just mark them to back to afterwards (put a star next it whatever **) because it’s more efficient that way. i mark that in the notepad rather than the naver because naver is finicky. also simplenote is probably better than notepad since it automatically saves but my computer has been rather stable lately so i’m not worried about stuff suddenly closing/crashing.

5) I look up the words in which the translator definition does not satisfy me on naver dictionary by searching all the words in the search bar. for example you can look up multiple words at the same time by putting spaces between them ie “겨워 대신”. You can do a lot like infinite??? but then it gets more difficult to read through so I usually do 5 words at most. I got really excited at this and I tried it on dic.yahoo.co.jp but it didn’t work 😦 but we have rikaisama for Japanese!

OR I use LINGOES dictionary WHICH HAS the korean/japanese naver dictinoary and it has the pop-up option. and i’ve configured it so that if I copy a korean word that is unknown the definition pops up in 30 pt font and I’m able to highlight the definition or multiple defintions and save them. Maybe I prefer this because there’s no internet required so there’s no lag involved.

6) for the stuff that fails naver translate I go to Google and do “word 意味は”” and then if that fails I ask on chiebukuro with a  ほにゃららってどういう意味ですか? and  the whole sentence or the whole paragraph if I need too. sometimes I go directly to chiebukuro (sometimes lang-8) after naver dic fails me because I don’t like wasting time and I have a feeling that Google will fail me. by the way I don’t have to ever do this for Japanese… it’s really rare. usually the Japanese dictionary has my back. but seriously why does the korean dictionary refuse to carry korean grammar stuff.
7) I paste the stuff I get from Google/chiebukruo/Japanese blog into notepad
8) AT THIS POINT after having reading the sentence with the definition I have deleted any words I do not want to learn for whatever reason ( useless/not interested/too easy/ too obscure/etc/etc). I delete the words on NOTEPAD and NOT naver translate because naver translate is finicky and I do not want to waste my time. so I usually repaste my modified list of words into naver translate.

ANYWAYS, I paste the stuff in the LEFT SIDE OF naver translate into EXCEL

9) I paste the stuff in the RIGHT SIDE OF naver translate into excel.
10) REPLACE OR ADD to the entries of the RIGHTSIDE of naver translate with the stuff I got from Google/chiebukuro/Japanese blog WITH if I’m adding. BY THE WAY I DO NOT OBSESS OVER getting PERFECT or complete definitions over every word because that is a waste of time. anki is a tool. it should not be your only contact with the language and you really can’t know a word until you encounter it multiple times in the wild. hence I do not stress over PERFECTING my anki cards (that is a waste of time after a certain point). I only do this stuff with Google/chiebukruo because the dictionary fails me.
11) I select column D and paste =CONCATENATE(A1,11,B1,22,A1)
12) I copy column d, paste into notepad and replace 11 with : and 22 with : using control + h … I’m gonna start doing a1,11,b1,11,a1 so I just replace 11. I used to do

instead of : for the part between the definition and the cloze deletion blank.
13) blank out the random syllable of the Korean word on the left side by using * to blank out all the parts then using control + h to replace that with ____ for my blanks
14) add tags: article on the top of the notepad file so that they’re ALL tagged with article
15) import into anki with the card specifically formatted with 3 fields for cloze deletion blank, definition, whole word or sentence (it’s not often but sometimes I do get the whole sentence or phrase). that way I can edit card type/format whatever so that I get cloze deletion blank definition on the front and whole word on the back.

I feel very content that I’m able to go about it in an efficient way. Because of this I’ve been able to add like anywhere from 20-50 words to anki per week because I work full time and I like to do stuff I enjoy and minimize my use of anki. My expectations are that I won’t really notice much of a benefit from doing this until I add a few thousand words just because I’m not at that sweet intermediate stage where everyday you feel like you improve so much. Right now I’m at a point where I know the majority of the commonly used words which enables me to notice the less commonly used words and also allows those words leave more of an impression on my mind. This is just my assessment of my current situation with Korean based on my experience with Japanese. THe UPSIDE to this upper stage compared to the intermediate is that I will notice improvement from ignoring Korean/not doing stuff in korean. By that I will go weeks without watching/doing something in Korean then watch something or read something and I feel like my korean is somehow better in that certain concepts or words or whatever just makes more sense or is more automatically processed then before. the reason is there’s a digestion/processing thing that happens while i’m not even doing shit in that language. it’s a subconscious thing.  steve kaufman touched on this specific observation in language learning but i don’t know which youtube video it was.

Just sharing because I’ve been  learning Japanese for long and though I cannot take back all the time I “wasted” by doing stuff inefficiently etc I can learn from that and figure out ways to make stuff efficient from here on what. also i try not to think about it because it’s too depressing lol. by the way for japanese i use rikai-sama, excel, capture2text, microsoft word (holy shit control +h for ^p is MIND BLOWING!and i wish i knew about it sooner ), transcripts of japanese tv i linked on the side to be more efficient about it.

if you’re confused about my anki format here is an entry

https://choronghi.wordpress.com/2016/11/24/how-i-learn-korean-with-anki/

if somehow you can think of ways to optimize this process even more let me know. as far as I know there isn’t because there’s no pop-up korean dictionaries that’ll enable me to do this and this is the most efficient way to look up words.

I will post my KOREAN 101 post when I gather up a few more words that make me go why the hell don’t I know this yet.