Yesterday I had a call with my Korean friend Tiffany to practice Korean. It went quite well, however, I noticed something interesting – I wanted to use Chinese grammar to say “I have a friend” – In chinese it is “I – there is – one – piece – friend” with a counter word, but in Korean the word order is totally different, the verb goes at the end and there is not counter word – it is just “I – friend – there is”. I got so confused for a moment, but luckily I remembered the correct way quickly.
It got me thinking that now my Chinese is starting to overpower Korean and that probably I should practice Korean more or maybe even come back to Korean books and start learning again, because right now I’m just keeping it in maintenance mode. I also thought how I’m still not satisfied with my Korean. I can talk in Korean non-stop for one hour, but it’s not fluent, I have to think what I’m going to say, sometimes I get stuck. In other words, it’s far from perfect.
So last night I was again dreaming of going to Korea to learn the language properly. I even started checking out different visa options etc. We’re in the middle of the pandemic so of course it’s not gonna happen any time soon, but we all have dreams and aspirations, and this is one of mine. However, as soon as I start to think about it the second voice chimes in: “and what about Mandarin? You have to take it to fluency as well!” and I just get overwhelmed 🙂
But I think that luckily I’m still young and with the right planning and cooperation from my hubby we might just be able to pull it off 😉
In 2018 my life was a crazy whirlwind of business trips, non-stop events and travel. My travels took me all around the world, but when I saw that Polyglot Conference was going to be held in Ljubljana I just knew I had to go.
I’m still waiting for the results from the test, but all I can say – it really helped my motivation! The pressure to not “lose face” really pushed me to study vocab. Previously I was just listening to the Zoom classes without really trying that hard because my main focus was Chinese, but because of the test my priorities and focus shifted. I thought this sudden burst of motivation would disappear right after the test, but it’s still there (at least for now).
I have always really enjoyed watching polyglot videos on Youtube where people were speaking multiple languages, even if they were just on a beginner level, but I was always too shy to have a go at it myself. However, recently a switch flipped in my mind and I thought “why not, even if the video flops it will still be a good practice of switching languages”.
About one month ago I’ve signed up for a free A1 Indonesian course organized by the Indonesian embassy in Vienna. I thought “it’s free, and it’s A1, so it won’t be too hard”. So for the past weeks every Friday I was joining the Zoom classes with our bubbly and energetic teacher Ardhana.
Since I’m used to learning “my way”, I was still trying to apply my methods with Indonesian, for example concentrating only on high-frequency words, inserting all the words in Memrise etc. To be honest, I am pretty busy with Chinese Mandarin (which I study every day), so I was not very consistent with Indonesian, often doing the homework at the last moment and not revising the words regularly. And then something happened and my motivation changed completely. Yesterday Ardhana casually told us “by the way guys, next week we’ll have a test and you will need to know this, this and this”. It was at this moment that I realized that I will need to grind the Indonesian this week in order to pass, haha 🙂
While I agree with most of the contents of what we have to learn, I really don’t agree with the necessity to memorize all the colors, and how to describe a person. How often in daily speech do you need to say “he has curly hair” or “her skin is dark” or “her nose is long” or “her face is round” or my personal favourite “she has slanted eyes”. In my humble opinion, I would almost never need this in order to have a conversation, but we have to follow the course. I guess I will need to learn it all anyway for the test, but still, I don’t think it’s super useful.
1. This week I re-discovered Chinesepod by trying out their Pre-intermediate and Intermediate classes. I realized that I was wrong in thinking that they were lame and annoying, they are actually quite good, especially because some of them use quite a lot of Chinese on an understandable level. Before, I was only listening to the intermediate grammar course, which was a bit annoying, but recently I found that usual classes are actually better. And what is also great about them is that I can listen to them together with P. while resting in bed or on the couch, and I don’t have to strain my eyes. During the pandemic I spend too much time on various devices already, so it’s nice to be able to study with only audio input.
2. Recently I was getting more and more back into kpop, since a lot of cool stuff has been going on – I especially like SuperM “One” release and Taemin’s album, so I found myself watching videos related to these releases, like behind the scenes of music video shooting or dance practices. In order to not feel like I’m just procrastinating and losing time on this I challenge myself by watching them without English subs, luckily almost everything is captioned in Korean, so every time there’s a new word I look it up on Naver dictionary and add it to my Naver wordbook. What I also noticed is that Naver dictionary always has Chinese characters next to the Korean word, so sometimes I check them out with my “Zhongwen” extension and try to make connections between Mandarin and Korean, this way I’m kind of studying both languages at the same time.