A little over a year ago – around November 2013 – I joined a new roleplay site: Lost Seoul. It’s a crime/gang-based plot that’s, obviously, set in Seoul, South Korea. It’s one of my favorite sites, and, to prove my obsession with characters and creating, I have 17 guys on there.
Because of this site, what had been a passive interest in someday learning Korean became a more focused intrigue. I don’t know much overall about the city or country other that what I’ve picked up from the site, can infer from similarities to Japanese culture, and studied in college. My Korean is less than anything passable, but since I want to go to Seoul, I want to be able to at least partially communicate in Korean. Everyone I know who has been to Seoul says that a combination of English and Japanese will suffice, but I want to be extra sure. Plus, I just want an excuse to learn another language (or as much of it as I’ll end up learning.)
To that end, I’ve started studying on my own. For those who know me, you may or may not be aware that I am not my brother and cannot really teach myself all that much. I work best in a classroom, where someone is enforcing deadlines, is assigning homework, and is readily available for immediate questions and discussions. Such a situation does not exist for me here.
That means I’ve begun marking my calendar with goals and the steps I need to take to get there. For example, February’s goal is to master the alphabet, basic greetings and introductions, and numbers by the 28th or so. Then each Tuesday I plan to master each of these things in order. I have until about the 10th to get the alphabet down, the 17th for greetings and intros, and the 24th for numbers. I’ve already studied these a few times, so I think I can do it. The other months have a theme (travel terms, food, shopping…) with less specific deadlines. By my birthday, I want to be able to have very basic conversations, even if I still need to rely heavily on a phrasebook I bought in Chicago last month.
Over the next months, I plan to update this blog with my progress – however large or small. If anyone reading knows Korean and notices something I post is incorrect, please let me know. I’m pretty much going off of my phrasebook, though I have looked at other sites before, briefly. (As such, some of my spelling will vary when typing up how words are pronounced.) I have no workbooks or textbooks – just this phrasebook, some paper, and many colored pens and highlighters. I also listen to some Korean music and watch some dramas and movies, so I’m trying to tune my ears to the language that way. If anyone knows of a good site that gives examples of how letters or words are pronounced, let me know in a reply. Really, any good aids are welcome. I want to hold off on buying books, though, until I go home simply because I don’t want to ship them back to the States. Any and all help will be appreciated! Otherwise, just follow along and maybe join me in some studying of your own~!