Category Archives: Books

새 책들!

(Originally posted on my 비행기 Tumblr account)

The package my sister and I ordered from Korea (which took quite a while to get here) was supposed to be delivered yesterday, but for some strange reason we missed the mailman. Today we went and picked it up from the post office, so now my Korean novels are here!

(From top to bottom: 냉정과 열정 사이 – Rosso & Blu minibooks; 사랑 후에 오는 것들; 엄마를 부탁해)


Picking those books from a list of the many books I wanted to have was a chore. At first, I wanted to read Guillaume Musso’s 당신, 거기 있어줄래요, but thought that if I should read a novel in Korean I should start with novels that are originally written in Korean (Musso’s French, so naturally, his novels are originally written in French). But guess what? I bought a mix of translated works and novels originally in Korean. 엄마를 부탁해 is written by Shin Kyung-sook, and one of the books making up the novel 사랑 후에 오는 것들 is written by 공지영, but the other three books are by Japanese writers (Tsuji Hitonari wrote half of both 사랑 후에 오는 것들 and 냉정과 열정사이, whereas Ekuni Kaori wrote half of 냉정과 열정사이).

I wanted to buy 내 이름은 김삼순 as well, but apparently it’s already out of print? Hmm. There could still be some copies lying around somewhere, but I didn’t get to buy it. I should’ve bought 커피프린스 1호점 too since it’s quite cheap (it’s sold at Libro for 4900 Korean won–if converted, that’s less that $4.50!). Ah well, maybe I’ll just try and get them some other time.

I’m happy about my purchases, for the most part. I’m giddy to start reading 엄마를 부탁해 in Korean–I wanted to read it for so long (it’s available in English with the title Please Look After Mom) but didn’t because I wanted to get it in Korean first. 사랑 후에 오는 것들 is a novel that wasn’t actually high up in my to-read list, but…I dunno, I just wanted to get it. And when I found that there’s an available set of that plus 냉정과 열정사이 (originally 冷静と情熱のあいだ or Calmi Cuori Appassionati, which I’ve wanted to read ever since finding out about the plot) in mini format, I grabbed the chance to buy it. The minibooks are cute and tiny, about the size of my smartphone and smaller than my Pilot pencil.

Words cannot express just how ecstatic I am at just seeing my books. I’ve always loved reading stories and I love learning Korean, so to have those two things collide is just incredible for me. Of course, it won’t be easy to read these books; I looked at 엄마를 부탁해 and was floored at how many words I don’t know (yet). But it’s okay. I’m going to read everything in my own pace and just enjoy the idea that I’m reading a novel in a language that, for the first…18 years of my life (I think? I don’t really know when I actually really started learning Korean), was something entirely foreign and something I had no care for.

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당신, 거기 있어줄래요?

Above is the cover for Guillaume Musso’s novel, Seras-tu là? which has been translated in Korean. The cover is gorgeous, and even the introductory text draws you in. I swear this will be the first novel in Korean that I will finish. 

Here’s the author’s introduction:

누구나 한 번쯤 생각해보았으리라.
시간을 되돌릴 수 있다면 인생을 어떻게 바꿀 것인지에 대해.

인생을 다시 쓸 수 있다면 우리는 어떤 실수를 바로잡고 싶어질까?
우리 인생에서 어떤 고통을, 어떤 회한을, 어떤 후회를 지워버리고 싶을까?

진정 무엇으로 우리 존재에 새러운 의미를 부여할 것인가?

그렇다면 과연 무엇이 되기 위함인가?
어디로 가기 위함인가?
그리고 누구와 동행하기 위함인가?


Finished with Integrated Korean’s Beginning 2. *rowdy cheers* It took SOOOO long, mostly because I was stuck in a rut, that endless pit of “I’m not learning anything new!” Thank goodness that’s finally over. Now all that’s left is a renewed sense of fulfillment and excitement of what’s to come. I know if I keep on studying diligently I’ll be able to quickly gain new grammar patterns and perhaps have the confidence to actually try to find a Korean penpal/e-pal/whatever-they-call-those-these-days.

Up next in my to-read list are the following:

Integrated Korean Intermediate 1. Ooh. Just the thought of trying to read a book that says ‘intermediate’ excites me. I think my reading comprehension can match up with whatever the textbook throws at me, but I’m not quite sure about my writing skills just yet. Hmm…

연세 한국어 1. Oh yes, right from the very beginning. I quite like Yonsei’s colorful illustrations–they don’t give out much of that textbook-y feeling that other language textbooks have. It kind of reminds me (slightly) of my Spanish Vistas book, which was super engaging and fun to read–truly unfortunate that I wasn’t quite into Spanish (at least…not yet. I might be in the near future *winkwink*). The flaw of the Yonsei Korean 1 textbook is that it assumes the reader is in a Korean class, which means there’s a teacher who guides the reader through the lessons. There’s very little English involved, unlike the elaborate explanations in the Integrated Korean series. In the first lesson of Yonsei Korean 1, words like 부르기, 성과 이름, 찾으십시오, and the like are to be seen, and if you’re a total beginner with little to no help from a native Korean, it’ll be quite confusing, not to mention frustrating. And we don’t want to be frustrated right at the very beginning, yes? XD

연세 한국어 읽기 1급 – 2급. I’ve been reading this on and off for a while and I think it’s a good place to start trying to read articles/stories. I personally liked two stories from 2급, which are 동물들의 나이 자랑 and 효성이 지극한 호랑이. Very nice folk tales. :D

And I’ll continue to read a few webtoons, because I learn stuff from there that I won’t learn from textbooks, not to mention that it’s a great motivator (because if I keep studying, there may come a day that I’ll understand most of what’s written without having to look up so many words). Ooh, and I love the Naver app for smartphones. Very useful–영어사전 on the go, yeah! :D

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Reading Korean

Note: This was posted in my other journal, , last November 5, 2010.

I mentioned in my last post that my sister just bought 15 books, 5 of them my picks–Yonsei University’s 한국어 읽기 (Reading Korean) series. I went ahead and started reading the first book out of that series, 처음 배우는 한국어 읽기, and it starts with teaching the reader how to pronounce 한글. I skipped most of that stuff since I have a basic understanding of the difference between ㅍ, ㅂ, and ㅃ, and other sounds that are confusing to foreigners and went ahead with the short readings and dialogues, and here are two examples, a dialogue and a short reading:

제6과 한국 생활

김 선생님: 안녕하십니까? 반갑습니다. 저는 한국말 선생님입니다.
다니까: 안녕하십니까? 저는 다니까입니다. 일본에서 왔습니다. 저는 대학생입니다.
김 선생님: 한국 생활이 어떻습니까?
다니까: 한국 생활이 재미있습니다.
김 선생님: 친구가 있습니까?
다니까: 예, 친구가 많습니다.
김 선생님: 한국 친구가 많습니까? 일본 친구가 많습니까?
다니까: 한국 친구가 많습니다. 저는 한국이 좋습니다.

제15과 한국 음식

우리는 오늘 오후에 한식집에 갔습니다.
식당에 사람들이 아주 많았습니다.
저는 냉면을 좋아합니다.
우리는 냉면과 비빔밥을 시켰습니다.
냉면은 5,000원, 비빔밥은 4,500원이었습니다.
음식 값이 비싸지 않았습니다.
음식이 모두 맛이 있었습니다.
제 친구는 한국 요리를 배우고 싶어합니다.
저도 한국 요리를 배우고 싶습니다.

Continue reading

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드라마하고 책하고 외국어

Note: This was posted in my other journal, [info]ice_cobalt, last November 2, 2010. I figured I should post it here as well, to sort of revive this little language blog of mine.


성균관 스캔들 (Sungkyunkwan Scandal) is ending tomorrow. Although I love this drama to bits, I felt that my excitement for each episode dwindled slightly through the end, much like how I felt when I watched 내 여자친구는 구미호 (My Girlfriend is a Gumiho). Still, it’s one of my favorite dramas of the year.

And speaking of favorite dramas of the year, what are my 2010 favorites? There’s 추노 (Chuno/Slave Hunter), of course, 내 여자친구는 구미호 (My Girlfriend is a Gumiho), 아직도 결혼호고 싶은 여자 (The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry), and 성균관 스캔들 (Sungkyunkwan Scandal). I would have thought Rain’s 도망자 (Fugitive) would be included since the Writer-Director tandem responsible for 추노 (Chuno/Slave Hunter) made this one as well, but I…couldn’t love it no matter how much I tried and have stopped watching it. Then there’s 파스타 (Pasta), which was cute–but had nothing special to offer, 신데렐라 언니 (Cinderella’s Sister), which had an excellent start but dragged on til the end. 개인의 취향 (Personal Taste) was okay, but it wasn’t one of the best that I watched. I had high expectations for 로드 넘버원 (Road Number One) since 윤계상 (Yoon Kye Sang) and 소지섭 (So Ji Sub) were there, but meh…I couldn’t watch it.

…AND I still have yet to watch the entirety of 동이 (Dong Yi), 제빵왕 김탁구 (King of Baking, Kim Tak Goo), 장난스런 키스 (Playful Kiss), and 산부인과 (OB/GYN). And then there are dramas that have yet to air, such as 시크릿 가든 (Secret Garden–I LOL at the Korean spelling, which, when romanized, is sikeurit gadeun) and 메리는 외박중 (Mary Stayed Out All Night). :D



the SNU Korean textbooks and workbooks

Just last Friday my sister ordered a huge list of Korean textbooks online and, owing to excellent customer service (and perhaps because the package comes only from LA, LOL), we already have the books today!!! :DD So now we have Seoul National University’s 4 Korean textbooks plus workbooks, two Korean Grammar books, and the Yonsei University reading books I’ve lusted over for months now. :D All in all, 15 books. They’re obviously quite expensive, but not to the extent of Yonsei University’s pretty, pretty textbooks, which are loads more expensive.

In any case, I’m happy even though the textbooks aren’t mine. :D Why? Cause I get to use them as well ㅋㅋㅋ.


I’ve had…*counts* four language blogs–1 Japanese, 1 Korean, 1 Tagalog/Filipino (yeah, it’s not foreign to me, but I’ll include it in anyway), and 1 smorgasbord-ish blog–all of which are now idle and have not been updated in a long while. Yeah, making blogs are easy; maintaining is hard. SOOO I figured I should just put my foreign language thoughts in this blog instead. It makes perfect sense to me since I don’t update LJ that often anymore (there’s nothing really fun or exciting going on in my life that needs to be recorded, meh D:) yet I still visit it every single day for Omona and other communities, mostly for Omona. XD

So I will be posting in Korean (and sometimes in Japanese–I hope) and will record my progress here. Not sure how this plan will go, but I’ll be a positive thinker for once and hope that I’ll be constantly updating this and see some progress in my Korean (and Japanese?). :D

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Went to Sanseido today with and she got me the Genki II as a sorta belated birthday gift (for last year, LOL). So now I have both Genki books, the Elementary Japanese books, Japanese for Everyone, plus two Kodansha dictionaries, not to mention tons of podcasts I got back when I had a premium subscription at JapanesePod101. In other words: I’ve got the goods to study. Whether I can make full use of the material I have to really study Japanese or not…well, that’s the question.

D: See? I have yet to even try making a Japanese post. Where was that little journal suggestion I had? Nowhere. D: BAH.

And and I saw a few Doraemon dictionaries and bilingual mangas–thank God I had my sister there and had not one cent on me, or else I might have tried to buy every single Doraemon thing I saw there. T-T


I watched episode 6 of 내 여자친구는 구미호 without subs because I was really itching to watch it. I managed to understand some dialogue–BUT I can’t really know if what I understood is absolutely spot on or not until I actually read the subs tonight. EEP.

For some reason, I feel like my brain comprehends more Korean than Japanese, even though I’ve been exposed to 日本語 far longer than 한국어. Maybe it’s because I seriously studied Korean and had a freaking schedule to study Korean in between studying for my real tests–yeah, I was that serious.  is thinking of buying a few more Korean textbooks (YAY)–this time the SNU textbooks, so I guess I’ll be able to mooch some knowledge off of the books. WHEEE.

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