My favorite podcasts


Finding good Korean podcasts was a bit hard at first, but these days there are so many nice podcasts available, I thought I’d list some of my favorite ones. All of the ones I listen to are available on Itunes and are easily downloadable there.

My all time favorite podcast is:

유인나의 볼륨을 높여요.

I really love her voice. And the content. This program (with a different host — 메이비의 볼륨을 높여요) was the first Korean podcast I listened to and it still continues to have a special place in my heart.

I’ve also started listening to 나는 꼼수다 although (I think because of the political content) I’ve found it a lot harder to understand. I figure though that if I keep on listening it will get easier, though.

I really enjoyed listening to 박예진이 만난 사람 before but they changed hosts and I haven’t gotten as into 성경섭이 만난 사람. I should listen to it more though because I want to listen to more male voices anyway and I really enjoyed the interviews.

There are a couple more podcasts I’ve started downloading but haven’t had time to listen to in-depth yet.

유시민 노회찬의 저공비행

어쩌다 마주친 방송

두시탈출 컬투쇼

Spaces between Korean words 뛰어쓰기

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Although text messages are usually sent without any spaces at all, when writing Korean or for a longer letter, spaces are rather important.

Fortunately, a friend told me abou this new site that seems pretty cool — 자동 뛰어쓰기.

Sometimes where to put spaces between words is difficult to figure out in Korean. However, here if ou can put your Korean text  and it will put in automatically correct any spacing mistakes.

I’m going to try to use it for my lang-8 diary entries before I publish them to double-check to see if my spaces are correct.

Monologue from 유인나의 볼륨을 높여요 (두가지 마음이 있대요)


This is a short monologue from 유인나의 볼륨을 높여요’s 12/08/27 podcast. The script (thanks to friends at Lang-8) is below:

두가지 마음이 있대요
하나는, 나를 위해 쓰는 마음,
또 하나는
남을 위해 쓰는 마음
그리고 그 마음에두요,
몸처럼 근육이 있대요
쓰면 쓸수록 튼튼해지는 거죠
어느 한쪽이 커지면
다른 한 쪽은 작아지기 마련입니다
나를 위한 마음도
남을 위한 마음도
고르게, 꾸준히, 운동 시켜주고 계신가요?

Anki decks


The last few days I’ve started to put some of my Anki decks online using the new Anki deck sharing system.

I’ve put two decks so far. I’ll continue updating them as I include more sentences and more audio.

My primary sentence deck is full of sentences and phrases (in all 7326 sentences) that I’ve been working through and collecting the last couple years. It’s built on the smaller deck I published a while ago — here (at 4598 cards) so it has all the slang (and more) that was in that original deck.

The second deck I’ve added is a TTMIK Deck with audio. All the sentence cards (in this much smaller deck) include audio from the lesson podcasts.

Most of the lessons in TTMIK are pretty easy. However the last few days I’ve quite enjoyed  listening to them. Although originally it was primarily a bid to solidify my foundations and improve my pronunciation and intonation the more I listened I realized there were often several grammar points or words I either didn’t know or was not hundred percent comfortable using (either because of pronunciation issues or a general haziness on exactly how to use them).

As I come across lessons where there are sentences I’d like to continue reviewing, I’ve added them to this TTMIK lesson deck. I’ll continue to do so, picking and choosing whatever lessons seem interesting at the moment. Besides being a useful review tool for me, I hope it will also be useful to other people who use TTMIK.

Future Goals:

  • Make a sentence deck from random podcasts I listen to (together with the audio). I’ll start with my all time favorite podcast — 유인나의 볼륨을 높여요.
  • Make a sentence deck with sentences from favorite dramas. (Along the lines of  subs-to-srs, although I haven’t got that program to work nicely yet — if you’ve had any luck please let me know.)
  • Get and include audio for all the sentences in my main deck.
  • Make a sentence deck with the monologues I’ve collected so far (including adding more monologues).
  • Make a deck with interesting sentences (either because of vocabulary or grammar) from the Iyagi podcasts over at TTMIK.

Deleting Anki cards


I downloaded the new Anki (2.0) yesterday. It’s quite a different setup to the original one and has a lot smoother and slicker feel. Editing cards seems to be easier and you can make cool things as subdecks (as well as browse all decks at once).

Perhaps the most useful change is that you can schedule a certain amount of cards per day so you don’t come back after a few days and see a couple thousand cards piled up. This has been one of the reasons it’s been hard to get back into using Anki regularly. 

Katz over at AJATT has hammered the importance of deleting cards that for whatever reason you don’t like them. Perhaps they just don’t feel right, or they are too long, or they have two many unknown words, or you keep on getting them wrong. Although I’ve always agreed in theory, it’s much harder putting it into practice. But this morning I was in a foul mood and suspended a bunch of cards that were really long and unwieldy. (Suspending is final enough that I don’t have to worry about them at all and yet if I get nostalgic I can always look over them and see if there is any I like or as I learn more words are easier to understand and reinstate them.)

Every card I deleted made me like my Anki deck more and more — and consequently I did many more reviews than I’ve done in a long long time.  In the afternoon after school I put in 19 sentences from two Talk To Me in Korean  lessons with the audio. (I exported the selected sentences with Audacity).

I want to continue putting in more sentences from TTMIK, either from the Iyagi series or interesting sentences from the lessons. Although I know most of the vocabulary and grammar in the lessons every once in a while I come across a grammar point or some vocabulary that I either don’t know or am not too confident about.

All of the sentences I get from TTMIK I’m putting in a subdeck and including the audio as well. I want to focus on pronunciation, intonation and rhythm in the next month so any audio is essential and will be a good review for listening and speaking practice even when I’ve got the grammar and vocabulary down pat.

I also started putting sentences I read and like from Facebook into Anki as well so that I can review them and use them as models for my own writing. These I labeled under facebook so when I make my deck public I can exclude these (possibly confidential or private) cards from the deck. 

Reading newspapers


I just found this quite useful blog — Advanced Korean. Two times a week it will feature a news article with translations, notes on vocabulary and complicated grammar and expressions. 

I’ll definitely be checking this regularly.



Studying Korean, I haven’t thought it worth while to spend much time focused just on learning the Hanja. On the road to fluency you gradually pick up on quickly and naturally on the meanings (but not the writing or reading) of different Hanja and how words can be combined with them.

However, I’ve always wanted to read inscriptions and what not that are still written in Hanja as well as more easily increase my vocabulary and talk about more difficult subjects. So far though it has always seemed more sensible to focus study time on increasing reading, speaking or writing fluency rather than focusing on Hanja by itself.

However, there is a new very useful site that should make studying Hanja much more simple — Reviewing the Hanzi. It’s similar to the Reviewing the Kanji website Japanese learners have been using to study the Kanji.

It uses Heisig’s Remembering the Hanzi but you don’t need the book to use the website. You can make an account, and start putting stories to the characters. Then there is an anki-like interface to review the characters (or you can download them and upload them to review in Anki itself).

Because it’s a community you don’t have to make up stories yourself — you can get ideas from other members of the community or just copy their story in it’s entirety — whatever helps you to remember the character vividly.

There are 3,000 basic (and most common) characters that are offered in Heisig’s two books. There are 365 days in a year so my theory is that I’ll be able to learn all 3,000 easily if I work on it only 10-15 minutes a day. 5 minutes will be on review and 5-10 minutes on learning the new characters. Will ten minutes a day be enough? I’m going to try!

Update: I’m using this website to help with the stroke order.

Colors in Korean


I came across a new color while listening to our Korean couchsurfer talk to his friend in Korean. I described our building’s color as 녹색 but when he relayed the information to his friend he used the word 연두색. It was obviously some kind of green but it was the first time I’d heard it.

Googling the color came up with our shade of green shown in this picture.


Curious how many other colors in Korean I wasn’t aware of I found this 색 목록 or color catalogue of Korean colors on wikipedia. It doesn’t have all the colors but it does have quite a good collection. I’ll now put the ones I didn’t know or am shaky on into Anki. . . .