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How I EFFICIENTLY learn Korean from reading

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


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.


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


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.

Interesting Korean Article with AUDIO

Posted in korean by choronghi on April 9, 2017

They have the whole transcript of the audio!! It’s a goldmine for language learners. For me with my current level of Korean it doesn’t really matter if I have the audio or not but nonetheless I will definitely listen to this once I read this article and look up all the words. Plus I’m curious how calm and collected and composed everyone will be since sometimes debates get heated. One of my favorite things I love watching/listening to Japanese is people debating about something heatedly and the atmosphere gets tense and people start talking even faster and interrupt each other and start saying things that are kinda mean but in keigo etc etc lol… it’s just great entertainment and great for my Japanese learning.

The link to the interview is below. The topic is writing Korean using only hangeul VS writing Korean with hangeul and hanja mixed together. That’s a topic that’s really been of interest to me as as person who is learning Korean after Japanese (I’m still learning Japanese but  I am just saying it like this because I recommend learning one language at a time. I absolutely don’t see the point of learning 2 languages from scratch at the same time unless you love being inefficient!!! ). I’ve been able to find interesting articles to satisfy my curiosity in Japanese but there are articles that aren’t translated into Japanese for obvious reasons so I just had to read the Korean articles and discussions. This is the only one I found with audio so I felt that it was my duty as a fellow Korean learner to share in case anyone else finds this topic interesting. I personally have printed a lot of articles including this one to read… I’ve been looking up stuff using naver translate because that enables to generate anki cards in MCD format EFFICIENTLY.


I will paste one little excerpt from this interview-y thing that totally resonated with me.

그러면 한 가지 예만 듭시다. 어휘력이 상당히 떨어져서 상당히 외래어를 많이 쓰는데 제가 아주 답답하고 불쾌한 것은요. 바로 어제께도 뉴스에서 어떤 문제가 나오면 이슈라는 말 잘 써요. 당면문제, 시급한 현안 해도 될 것인데. 그 다음에 TF팀을 구성한다 그럽니다. TF라고 하는 걸 태스크포스라고 좀 더 분명하게 말하는 경우도 있는데 그것은 특별전담부서라고 하면 됩니다. 그러니까 점잖은 우리 말이 있는데도 불구하고 자꾸 외래어를 쓰고 하는 거는 우리말이 황폐화하고 있다는 증거예요.


There are some foreign words they use in Korean that I absolutely despise and “issue” is one of them! If I ever write in Korean and need to say issue I will definitely use one of the other words he suggested. BTW I wrote my very first lang-8 entry in Korean earlier this year out of necessity. I just had to ask for suggestions and of course nobody answered. I didn’t make much mistakes but the person was fixing all the spacing errors since I didn’t space anything lol.