I’m pleased to report that I’m still working away at learning Korean. Listening to Talk to Me in Korean(.com), reviewing like mad, thrilling to each new word I recognize while drama-watching. But I recently hit a small, tiny, infinitesimal little snag…
A brand new word. I mean brand new. No memory tug like I’d had with mul. (Because a drama just isn’t a drama without a tall glass of water to dramatically drink down after a days worth of UST-filled banter. Or to throw in someone’s face). But while characters demanded mul all the time — this other word? Not really mentioned.
Sure, its morning delivery keeps the downtrodden Candy girls in rent money. And it can be a great way to pass adorable messages on to the one you’re not quite ready to admit you love. But apparently, it’s not spoken of. Definitely not demanded. Talk to me in Korean said uyu and I said, “?”
So there I was, totally flummoxed by this new word and I realized: the time has come to make flash cards. Which spotlighted a very important question I’d left festering in the corner of the room. Do I Romanize, or do I go hardcore and learn Hangul?
Thing is, I hate being illiterate. I’ve always been a fast reader and catching what’s written in the background of movies and shows has always been a fun way for me to get a deeper glimpse into a character or world. Sometimes shows deliberately hide hints and insights for those quick enough (or dedicated enough to use the pause-button) to find. Not being able to read Hangul, not even to sound a word out to look up later… it’s bugged me.
So, long story short (too late?), I’m learning Hangul.
First stop was this post that promises that you can Learn to read Korean in 15 Minutes. Which, no. But it was a good overview and some of the memory tips are really helpful. (B=bucket, or S=summit, for example.) Mostly, I just dug this little guy.
Second stop (where I’m still hanging out, actually) is a phone-app advertised on Talk to me in Korean, Hangul Match. It’s replaced Angry Birds as my go-to game. And I think it’s pretty helpful. (Especially once I stopped hitting the Hangul letters first to hear the sound. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that wasn’t actually testing my memory.)
I plan on making Talk to me in Korean‘s two part youtube lesson on Hangul my last stop. After I’ve learned all the vowels on Hangul Match. (There’s… a lot of vowels. Once you throw in the combinations.) I took a sneak peek and Hyunwoo Sun explains some of King Sejong’s reasoning for various letters’ shapes. Which can only be awesome!
So progress continues! Just a little slower than I’d expected. But hopefully in a tortoise versus the hare kind of way. In the battle between King Sejong and uyu… I mean seriously, it’s not even a question who wins, right?