I’m living in the countryside in Korea trying to become native-like in Korean as fast as I can 🙂

ㅋㅋ Now I’m living in Israel  the middle east volunteering, translating (from Korean to English), teaching English while learning different languages (but specially Hebrew). However still can’t give up my first love — Korean. . . so I guess in a sense I’m still trying to become native-like in Korean as fast as I can.^^


Q: What languages have you studied?
A: I’m also studying Hebrew. You can see my posts about learning Hebrew over at my Hebrew learning blog. I also started studying Turkish.

Q: Why are you studying Korean?
A: Because I love Korean. Actually, I’m obsessed with Korean. 흑 흑

Q: Then why do you like Korean?
A: When you really like something it is often hard to give a reason why. I could make up tons of excuses. . . but they would just be excuses. Suffice to say that I came across the language rather accidentally because of my interest in Mongolian. However, the more I learned Korean, the more I fell in love with the language and the culture and the people. Eventually what began as somewhat a distraction, lead to a love affair, and then to an obsession.

Q: Why Anno?
A: When I started studying Korean I used a wordless picture book called Anno’s Journey by the Japanese artist Mitsumasa Anno. In it the hero takes a journey through Europe.

When I used it for language study with my first nurturer (language helper) I was surprised at how the story unfolded. The first pages were very simple with only a few details. However very quickly the pictures became more and more detailed. I felt this paralleled my languacultural journey. I was not learning a language but re-learning the world, and just as the pictures got more and more detailed as Anno’s journey progressed, so I also, as my learning progressed, was able  to understand and describe more of this new world I had entered.

So, I too, am Anno.

26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. David
    Dec 14, 2010 @ 04:11:03

    Hi, I am also learning korean. As an american its really tough


  2. Jerry Nam
    Jul 26, 2011 @ 21:33:16

    Any question for learning korean? just ask me.

    i live in near from Gangnam station in Seoul and i would love to help people
    especially like you guys.
    Since i realized that i love having a conversation with forigners, i started
    learning English.. that was 2years ago.
    After traveling about 15 countries, one thing just came up with my mind that
    i want to help people like me.

    So.. forigner who live in Korea.. or interested in Korea or anything like that.

    Anyway i think i can exactly understand how does it feel.. learning language.
    Especially korean?? yes.. i’m pretty sure i know quite many things about korea, being a korean.. and how to pronounce.. cause u know.. I’m korean.
    dont hesitate ask for help.


  3. Anno
    Aug 04, 2011 @ 18:04:30

    Well in some ways it can seem that way, but actually one of they keys to learning it (at least for me) was realizing the opposite — that it is actually easy. Another key thing — if you want to learn Korean like a native you have to become a Korean. For Koreans its not hard at all — babies learn it very easily. So you too, can.^^


  4. katecdet
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 15:08:31

    Hi. I love your blog interesting stuff :)) I’ve also been studying korean. And I’m loving it for the past year and a half.

    keep posting.


  5. Anno
    Sep 03, 2011 @ 08:22:11

    Thank you! I just looked at your blog. . . lots of interesting stuff too^^


  6. Mathieu
    Dec 31, 2011 @ 18:28:03

    Hi, you have a great blog! I’m also in love with the Korean language, obsessed in the same way you are it seems haha how long have you been studying korean for?


    • Anno
      Jan 01, 2012 @ 00:40:22

      I’m glad you enjoyed the blog. . . it’s been about three and a half years.^^


  7. Katharine (수정)
    Jul 07, 2012 @ 14:28:37

    hello there! I just want to let all followers of underneaththestarss know that I have moved to http://seoulcrystal.wordpress.com

    I hope you can follow me there as well.
    Thank you!



    • Anno
      Aug 30, 2012 @ 17:41:33

      Hi, I updated your link! Thank you for letting me know!^^


  8. Confect
    Aug 11, 2012 @ 17:36:23

    Why hello there. *Follows a fellow (though probably far more advanced) learner out of curiosity*.


    • Anno
      Aug 11, 2012 @ 17:45:25

      Hello^^ Are you also studying Korean?


      • Confect
        Aug 11, 2012 @ 18:22:10

        Yes, and I almost left my IME on and sent you a load of nonsensical Hangul. ^^;
        (In the middle of a Lang-8 entry). I’ve been learning for about twenty months now, but I’ve also been very busy with University, so I’m not much good.

  9. Dinomite Mommy
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 21:14:03

    Cool blog :-). I am of Korean descent, but am not fluent in Korean. Mastering the language is definitely something on my bucket list.


    • Anno
      Sep 13, 2012 @ 11:46:31

      Thank you! 🙂 Good luck on your studies!


  10. Murphy
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 04:32:49

    Hi, I would like to check if you accept text link ads on your website. If so, how much would it cost?


    • Anno
      Oct 03, 2012 @ 06:25:10

      Yes. Send me an e-mail at hangugeohakseng [at] gmail [dot] com and we can talk about it.


  11. dreamhighskyhigh
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 23:20:44

    You have a pretty cool blog. Even I am learning Korean, not through a teacher but through various websites and korean dramas. I am in love with this language and like you even I am obsessed with it. Can you recommend a good book which would help me make some progress in it?


  12. Murphy
    Oct 03, 2012 @ 06:58:05

    Hi dreamhighskyhigh, how about this book “Colloquial Korean” by Routledge? I have this and think is quite good for newbies.


    • Anno
      Oct 03, 2012 @ 07:06:20

      That’s a great suggestion, Murphy! ‘Using Korean’ by Cambridge and the “Korean Grammar for International Learners” is also useful (you can find them electronically online (ehem) in different places.


  13. dreamhighskyhigh
    Oct 03, 2012 @ 15:40:16

    Thanks Murphy and Anno. I have downloaded “Colloquial Korean” and “Korean Grammar for International Learners”. It has exactly what I needed. I guess the rest can be learnt through your blogs and various tools you have suggested.


  14. Aaron
    Dec 03, 2012 @ 00:56:05

    Hi Anno! Well, actually, that feels funny because I am quite familiar with the original Anno. As a child, I had a wonderful book called Anno’s Counting House, by the very same Mitsumasa Anno.

    Anyway, I am also learning Korean, and since my wife sometimes gets tired of my constant Korean questions, I am working on a web app called Lingua (https://www.asklingua.com/). Anytime you have a language question (e.g. how do I use this in a sentence, what’s the difference between these two words), ask Lingua, and a native speaker will help you. Likewise, you can help others by answering English questions.

    I have a lot more things planned for Lingua, but the basics are in place. If you have a chance, please take a look. I’m curious what you think of it as a learning tool.

    (I found you through your Anki deck, by the way, which I am downloading now.)


    • Anno
      Dec 15, 2012 @ 17:09:27

      Wow! It’s very nice to see someone else who enjoys the Anno books. So far I’ve been using Lang-8 for a lot of my language questions but your web app sounds like a great idea. I’ll try it out!


  15. notsochunky
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 21:26:09

    I am new and want to learn Korean because I love their movies and can’t get enough I may as well be able to understand them in the original language. I just wanted to say congrats on your dedication I can’t believe that you still post and are still interested after 5 years! How fluent would you say you are now? Can you watch tv and understand most of it?


    • Anno
      Jul 30, 2013 @ 22:11:23

      Thank you! Yes, I still use Korean every day. (Probably most days most of my conversations are in Korean.) I can also read with pretty good comprehension (although it really depends on the genre — some genres are obviously easier to understand than others). For TV dramas i can watch and understand. I still trouble listening to news (reading news is ok). That all said though I still come across bunches of things here and there that I don’t understand and so I’m continuing trying to get lots of input over quite a breadth of genres.

      I think the key thing is though — enjoy the ride to fluency. . . and realize that even though you can always get better it’s no excuse to not incorporate it in your life at this moment as much as you can. I’ve been speaking English since I’ve been two and I still am learning new words and expressions and idioms.


  16. Kieran Maynard
    Sep 24, 2013 @ 23:08:20

    Very happy I found your blog while searching Google for Rhinospike and Korean. I have made many wonderful Korean friends through learning Japanese and Chinese, and I’m happy to learn their language at last. Korean is an exciting new world for me now. I have a lot to learn from your experiences and wisdom.


  17. Theo
    Dec 31, 2013 @ 09:08:34

    Thanks for the anki decks and information you’ve provided me in my Korean journey. The sentence and vocabulary deck will be most useful after I acquire some of the basics such as grammar to make sense of the more difficult materials.


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