Challenging the Impossible Self Study

Ever since theHallyu wave has became a global sensation, many people started recognizing South Korea and the Korean language. I came to learn the language like 7 to 8 years back, but that time I was still too young to know what is “keep going” and “don’t give up”.

Back then, the Korean language classes which I enrolled only have about 4 to 5 people? Whereby nowadays, most of the Korean language centers are a full house!

I attended classes during the early stages when I was still a beginner, but I find it faster if I am studying on my own although what I learnt is only limited to the books. Yes, I am about to share my experience on self studying the Korean language today. During this era, one could basically find almost anything on the internet, and it will be a companion for acquiring vast knowledge. And so, I have decided to take up the challenge which many people think is IMPOSSIBLE, which is self study. Did you see it wrongly? No. I self study. I began to continue again around 2 years ago after a long hiatus on my Korean studies and during that time I was only able to recognize the Hangeul characters without any vocabulary knowledge.


Of course, self study is not the way to go for everyone, but if you plan to give it a try, you will need a particularly high self discipline, good management of time, and getting the materials which you most likely will not be able to get in your own country. The biggest yet toughest challenge when I faced studying alone is that I couldn’t reach a decent level of writing, speaking and listening. It is also because of this reason that I gave up 7 years ago. “Keep going”, is what I always said to myself whenever I felt hopeless and depressed. What I did was endless listening to audio recordings, watching dramas with minimum help of subtitles and chatting with Korean friends on Facebook in the form of writing (and speaking if possible) to improve the part which I am lacking in.20140706_123319

After continuing for 6 months, I went on a trip to Korea, but, it isn’t sufficient for me to converse and understand to what the locals are saying to me. However, I made a promise to myself to work even harder. About a year later, I was able to do some basic conversation with Koreans, chatting in Korean, talking and listening in the local language, ordering food using their mother tongue as well as able to read parts of the native articles online. Though only able to understand them if they speak slowly and as long as I have learn the words, it is still a huge climb right? Being told by a local that my Korean is very good, it really makes my day as all the hard work has been paid off for the past 2 years.

If you really believe in what you’re doing, work hard, take nothing personally and if something blocks one route, find another. Never give up. – Laurie Notaro

Keep that in mind, and keep up the hard work on your Korean studies. 노력을 계속 하면 꼭 성공할 수 있습니다.

20140706_125850I will be sharing some of the books which I bought for studying on the next post, so do keep an eye on Kimchee Magazine!


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