My Korean test (TOPIK 한국어 능력 시험 18회) is 2 1/2 hrs away. I’m testing for the 중급 which I tested for last year but failed miserably.

The test is three and half hours from 2pm to five thirty. Last year I took both 초급 in the morning and 중급 in the afternoon. . . and a whole day of testing was very tiring. Three hours and a half doesn’t sound that bad compared to then.

I haven’t studied much directly for the test, wanting it more to function as an evaluation of where I’ve come then something to worry about. This last week I went over old tests, but most of the last month and half I have focused on conversation (and this last month on reading). I’m a bit curious how much it has carried over into the things that will be tested — reading, listening, grammar, and vocabulary.

Writing was my lowest score last year. I’ve practiced extensively with Lang-8, so I’m curious if there will be any difference there as well.

Well, I better take a shower. . . and head over there. 화이팅!

Time is not Recyclable ~이외수

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Here are the first sentences I got recorded on Rhinocast. . . . a tweet by Korean novelist 이외수. I uploaded the recording here:

인생의 기본재료 중에서 가장 중요하면서도 가장 소홀히 하기 쉬운 것이 시간입니다. 한 번 써버린 시간은 재활용이 불가능합니다. 당신은 지금 무엇을 하고 계시나요.

Recording Korean voices. . .

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Some time back a friend studying Mongolian alerted me to a new website — RhinoSpike. As the explain in their About page, they plan to be an online tool with which language learners around the world can get audio recordings for texts they want to listen to.

When I joined there were no native Korean speakers, so I was quite pleased yesterday to get a notice yesterday that one of my requests had been recorded.

As more members sign up, the site should become more and more useful. I have three more requests up — hopefully they’ll get recorded soon.

Reading and accent

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Today I got a lot of reading done (as you can see from the stats below). Actually since I’ve taken part in the International L2 Reading Contest, I’ve been surprised how much reading I can fit in my day.

Today when I had conversation practice I first read a chapter of 별을 헤아리며 and then we talked about it and practiced summarizing the contents. My language helper remarked that I was reading a lot faster. I might have been (which is encouraging) but when we recorded by accident a bit of myself speaking Korean, I sounded terrible. I sounded still too much like a foreigner. I have to work more on my accent and intonation.

Reading Stats for today:
책: 내가 처음 쓴 일기, pg. 66-94 (27 pg)
바보, 바보, pg 32-45 (10pg)
몽실 언니 pg 62 – 108 (43 pg)
별을 헤아리며 pg 31-pg 40 (10pg)
인터넷: (1pg.)
합계: NF: 38pg F: 53 pg

실례를 무릅쓰고 제가 한 말씀 드리겠습니다


Yesterday I tried to write down the script for this monologue and failed miserably. Fortunately with the help of a bunch of friends on Lang-8, I finally got the complete script. It’s from one of the dramas playing these days — 부자의 탄생.

실례를 무릅쓰고 제가 한 말씀 드리겠습니다. 지금 존경하는 강연자분께서는 본인이 직접 쓰신 책의 내용처럼 긍정의 힘이 위대하다고 말씀하셨습니다. 그러니 긍정의 힘을 갉아먹는 부정의 힘 같은 건 깡그리 무시해라, 이런 취지이죠. 한 예로, 이(口癖) 차가 너무 막히는 교통지옥에서도 짜증은 금물, 이왕 막히는 거라면 그 시간을 즐겨라, 라디오나 노래를들으며, 혹은 애인과 통화를 하면서요. 근데 전 이런 생각을 해 봅니다. 아, 정말 차 막혀서 차 못 몰아 먹겠네. 어휴,대한민국 교통체증 정말 문제야, 라고 짜증을 내는 흡혈귀들이야말로 그 지옥 같은 교통체증에 문제를 느끼고 해결할 의지를 갖지 않을까요? 즉 대한민국을 교통지옥에서 구하는 것은 긍정이 아니라 바로 부정의 힘인 것이죠. 부정의 힘이야말로 긍정의 힘을 갉아먹는 걸림돌이 아니라 긍정을 진화할 수 있는 디딤돌로 여러분 기차에 없어서는 안 될 위대한 힘이라고 생각합니다. 제 생각에 부정적 견해를 가지신 분은 기탄없이 말씀해 주십시오. 그 의견은 저를 더 한 층 더 성숙시키는, 소중한 자양분이 될 테니까요.


강연자님한테는 제가 흡혈귀일 테고, 이 기차에서 끌어내리고 싶을테니 이만 물러나겠습니다.

잠깐만요, 어느 기업 자제분이신지…

저도 그걸 알고 싶습니다.
그래서 말인데 여기 잠시 제 목걸이를 좀 봐 주시겠습니까?

Favorite tweet of the day I found

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One of my favorite tweets I read today:

71.아줌마가 새댁에게 아이를 낳으라고 권하는데 새댁은 도무지 뭐가 좋은지 와닿지가 않네요. 아줌마는 어떤 결정적인 한마디를 던질까요-애는 돈으로 키우는 것이 아니라 사랑으로 키우는 거라우.

Tweeting one’s way to fluency

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These days I’ve been using my account on Me2day once again, and I started my twitter account as well. I’m constantly surprised how useful both setups are conducive to language learning. For Twitter yesterday I found this site — Korean Tweeters — and promptly added some of the guys with the most followers.

Both sites contain loads of original (and close to spoken style) speech. As Goldfibre mentions in one of his tweets, you can use twitter to find example sentences for different grammatical endings. Searching for 더라 for instance leads to lots of example sentences to read or put in Anki.

There are other benefits as well:

You get to talk to native speakers. Me2Day has an extensive commenting system that allows others to reply to your tweets in a variety of ways.

You engage in extemproaneous conversations with More

Looking forward to April

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These days I’m getting lots of speaking practice but I haven’t been able to do much reading (as is obvious from my Study Progress Worksheet). I have several books I’m in the middle of that I’ve been wanting to finish for a while.

This month I want to continue the intensive speaking practice as well as really working on reading. I’ve joined the International L2 Reading contest.

I haven’t been able to keep up on my Anki either. My goal is to review reps for an hour every day but I find it hard to sit that long working at it.

For this month I’m going to try to break up my Anki study time (20 min in the morning, 20 in the afternoon, and 20 in the evening) to make it easier to finish an hour every day. I’ve tried this before with varying amounts of success.

Looking back on March


Dedicating 8/10 hours per week to practicing Korean conversation during the month of March has really helped. I feel a lot more fluent and can say longer sentences without pausing and stumbling. I also feel more relaxed and confident that people will understand me.

In our practice sessions, we usually spend part of the time on watching or reading something (a Pingu episode (I’ll start Mr. Bean this week) or reading a chapter from a book).

Then I try to summarize the story. After I’ve tried to summarize it in my broken Korean, my friend summarizes the story. This last summarization we record, and then we go over the recording together, pausing whenever there’s a word or phrase that I don’t know or can’t catch. This constant retelling of More