Reading newspapers

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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.

10 Ideas for Writing a Foreign Language Diary

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Writing in a diary in a foreign language is very good for your language skills. . . but how does one go about it?

When I first started writing Korean diary entries I put them online and asked visitors to correct my entries. That worked. However now I use  lang-8.com. I usually get corrections to my diary entries within twenty minutes of posting them.

Sometimes when we write though (and I’m just the same as anyone else) it’s hard to know what to write. Since I’ve been posting (in Korean) over there for around three years now, I thought I would write up some ideas I’ve used.

1. Write what is normally considered a regular diary entry. . . what did you do today? What did you feel? What did you think? Who did you meet? What did you talk about?

2. Write things you said in the language but you stumbled and it was awkward. Rephrase it. . Practice talking about the subject you were talking about with a friend by writing a diary.

3. Make up a conversation. Either make the conversation  funny or poignant. Or use a conversation you had with somebody as an inspiration. Or use a book like Conversation Inspirations to talk about some kind of imaginary incident between two imaginary people. Try to More

Ipod dictionaries I use

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When I first started studying Korean, I used Korean online dictionaries exclusively, either Daum or Naver or my cellphone dictionary. Later on, figuring I needed a portable dictionary (and also to support my Korean drama addiction) I bought a Iriver dictionary.

The Iriver dictionary was useful but once I got my laptop and started going everywhere with it it became less useful. When I got an ipod it became even less useful — there was no way I was going to carry an ipod, a laptop, and an electronic dictionary everywhere I went. And I found out that the dictionaries available for the ipod were much better than the Iriver ones.

Now I don’t use my Korean cellphone (naturally) since More

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

My Anki Deck

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I’ve exported my Anki cards and uploaded them here. Its 4598 cards, gleaned from a very large variety of sources. I have all the slang from the well-known list thats been circulating the web. I also should have all the sentences from the 500 Korean Verbs and 500 Korean Adjectives, as well as loads of sentences from Daum dictionary. The sentences from Daum were usually connected to words I had come across in my reading or in talking with people. Unfortunately very few of the sentences are tagged. Also, although the vast majority of sentences have an English translation not all do– some I didn’t feel the need for any, some required few notes in Korean.

I’m sure with any collection of sentences this big there are also some mistakes. I noticed just recently as I was reviewing that I had typed in 는이 for 눈이 in a sentence about snow. If you do find any more mistakes I’d be grateful if you’d let me know.

I hope the file will prove a bit useful to some as we struggle onward together.

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