Learning Korean NOT through textbooks

I haven’t been studying a lot of Korean these days, textbook-wise. The Integrated Korean book I borrowed from my sister is now back to its hiding place, as I haven’t touched it since school started–now that I remember it, I actually did, and I even brought it to school. Alas, I never read it; I just slept inside the library (I do it all the time now T-T).

Textbook studying aside, I am doing some sort of studying…if we count drama watching (heh, can it really be counted?) and comic reading. I’m still learning stuff, although it’s a different sort of learning. Comics give me new words and the casual kind of speaking style people use in everyday stuff; the bad thing with reading comics is that sometimes the artist doesn’t really use the correct spelling and instead write out the dialogs the way they’re said (e.g. 용 at the end of a speech instead of 요 to make it cuter, etc.).

As for dramas, I know some people don’t think one would learn anything in dramas, but there is something there. If you try to not just watch a drama for the sake of watching and try to catch whatever a character is saying, your brain gets to try and decipher the sentences as you watch it! Of course watching dramas tends to be easier than having to listen to all Korean podcasts like the 이야기 series of Talk to Me in Korean (which I love listening to) because there’s clues you get from seeing what they’re doing or knowing what the plot is, but you get some kind of practice nonetheless.

And culture points! Culture points! I once did a culture/language post while watching 추노 (Slave Hunters), dealing with the Joseon-era speaking style (more deference, less casual style). Now, while watching 공주의 남자 (The Princess’ Man–a short digression here, but isn’t the Anglicized title a little…weird-sounding? To me it’s not as fluid as the Korean title…), I noticed that unmarried women style their hair in long braids, whereas once they get married they switch to low buns with that hairpin decorating their hair. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed that before, but I do now!

Here’s the change, from when Princess Kyeong Hye is still single

to when she’s already married.

See? I’m actually learning stuff! XD Not huge stuff, but it’s still fascinating to see these things.

A few more things I learned:

소자 = means I, me, myself, used when speaking to parents. Naver’s English dictionary doesn’t say whether this term is explicitly for sons or if it can be used by daughters, but I’ve only ever heard the male characters say this in 공주의 남자. The daughters use 소녀 when speaking about themselves to their parents, mostly–at least, from what I’ve understood from watching.

송구하옵니다 = I didn’t find the right term in Naver Dictionary (only found 송구스럽다, which is kind of the same, I guess, but not really) but as I searched through the web I found that someone out there wants to know what this means (just like me!), and asked this question at Nate 지식, which is kind of similar to Yahoo! Answers. Someone gave this answer:

송구는 두려울 송(悚), 두려워할 구(懼)를 사용해 ‘두려워서 마음이 몹시 거북하다’는 뜻입니다.

미안하다, 죄송하다란 뜻이죠.

Hmm…what else? I kept a list of them somewhere but it seems I’ve lost it. D:

Anyway, yay! I updated! I was feeling a little disappointed with myself for not updating this after I said I’d move to WordPress. I’m glad I did.

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8 thoughts on “Learning Korean NOT through textbooks

  1. meloncreme says:

    Hello! I saw a link of your blog from Elfira’s blog. ^^
    I haven’t done some “formal” studying these days too. I barely touched my Yonsei textbook and have been watching Running Man more often. But I still learn some new words just by watching it. I also get some good laugh. ^^

    • kaaaaaaat says:

      Hi! ^^
      Sometimes it’s just hard to really read through textbooks as they can be boring at times. Watching shows, on the other hand, are fun! :D

      …and I’ll add you to my links. :D

  2. becomingbitter says:

    I’m actually learning a little Korean from dramas myself. My Korean friend tells me I’m doing a great job. Just know that If I ever went to Korea I would never die hungry or not know how to greet people. I would also be able to convey my frustration. In reference to the hair style change you mentioned I noticed that as well. I’m not a huge fan of Korean history based dramas though. The only one I faithfully watched was Sungkyunkwan Scandal, but that of course wasn’t based on any real history. Nice blog you got there. Feel free to drop by and check mine out. I don’t have many posts yet, but I will. Are you a believer of reincarnation? (*looks at banner*).

    • kaaaaaaat says:

      Hi! Thanks for commenting, and no, the title of my blog isn’t about reincarnation–it’s about living through learning languages, based on a Czech quote. ^^

      • becomingbitter says:

        The idea of your blog is awesome. People do need to learn other languages. The Korean language is beautiful, but more importantly than that it’s precise. If I want to eat something or say “do you want to die?”. I don’t need to speak many words in Korean to convey my message.

  3. Tiffani says:

    I completely agree about learning from the dramas! Linguistically and culturally they are a great way to study. Love the post. ^^

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