Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Korean Class, Round 2

Well, I've finally think I'm motivated enough to buckle down and start learning this new language. I've just about wrapped my head around the Hangul script, and with the exception of a few consonants and vowels that are totally alien to me, I can just about cobble together sounds, syllables, and simple words (although I don't know any of the words, and can hardly do any of the above in any sort of timely fashion).

I'd put off learning Korean for a little while for a number of reasons. Chief among them: I wanted to spend some time listening and hearing sounds for a little while, before I "jumped in" and started trying to spit them all out. While Japanese has some phonemes that are difficult (although nothing I found unmanageable) several of the consonants and vowels in Korean are completely foreign to me and quite intimidating. My Korean tutor even admitted he has trouble distinguishing the sound difference between a few of the vowels at times!

Naturally, this makes Romanization of the Korean script more difficult as well, whose Romanization is notoriously inconsistent (for political as well as linguistic reasons, as I understand it). So while the Korean script is well known for its ease of use, many of the sounds don't easily correspond to English/Romanized equivalents. So in that brief period before I know the script and the sounds that go with them, I wanted to make sure I was learning the sounds that go with the Hangeul script correctly. I thought spending time with a tutor and some time listening would prove useful.

Realizing all of this, I thought it possibly quite easy to fall into bad habits I would then have to unlearn and correct for months (or years?) to come. I must also ashamedly admit I'd forgotten how much work learning a foreign language required, and I have been procrastinating as well. While I've learned volumes about how to pick up a new language, it still remains a lot of work! No more laziness though!

I'm meeting a whole bunch of potential new friends there and having a good time with it all. Hopefully my new Korean friends will be patient enough with me while I stumble and trip my way into their tongue. Soon as well, I hope to be writing and typing parts of this blog in Korean. hopefully within a few weeks as well. We'll see.

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