Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Why Korean?

This is how it all comes about:-

My discovery of the english subtitled K-drama "The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince" (커피프린스 1호점, a.k.a Coffee Prince) just before last Christmas, while my husband was away on a week long business trip and I was bored in the evenings and looking for some light hearted entrainment to pass away the time, and what a gem I found. The accompanying OST has since become my favourite album, and "White Love Story" and "Sad Thing" my most played songs.

Around July this year, during a very busy period at work I was looking for something to relax me in the evenings and again turned to K-drama. My second foray into this genre was "Oh! My Lady" (오! 마이 레이디) just because the storyline seemed intriguing and a bit different from other offerings, the drama itself was OK but it introduced me to the leading man - Choi Siwon.

Choi Siwon is a member of the popular K-pop group Super Junior and its M-pop sub-group Super Junior-M. Since I am a native Chinese (a Mandarin speaker), I decided to give SJM's album and two EPs a go. The music is a bit different to what I usually listen to but the songs are so catchy that you cannot help liking them and singing along. However, I did find that the Korean version of some of the songs sounded better than the Chinese version even though I didn't understand a word of it. This was followed by feverish few weeks of trawling through youtube to watch the official videos of the SJ-Super Shows. It's during this period, the thought of "I wish I could understand what they are singing/saying" first flitted across my mind, but I am not quite ready yet ...

The final 'push' came last week in the form of our new decking and the first Korean learning website that I visited. Uh? What has decking got anything to do with it. Well, we had a week off work, while my husband and my father-in-law laboured over the new decking we are having put up I was on light duty of providing them with necessary refills of drinks and food, with our daughter away at the childminder's I found I had quite a lot of free time during the day.

On one such day, I decided to check out Korean just to see what kind of language it is. The first website I found informed me that there are only 24 letters in Korean alphabet (한글) two fewer than English, and King Sejong was supposed to have said that "A clever man can understand them in one morning while a dull man may take ten days". I do not label myself as clever but surely I can 'master' them in less than ten days ... thus my decision of start learning Korean as it appears to be 'easy'.

By the time (couple of days into researching on self-study) I have realised that there are actually total of 51 letters (24 of which are the basic vowels and consonants) and it is not as simple as I first thought, I have become fascinated by the language and South Korea the country itself.

Also since both my 7-yr-old daughter and my husband are learning Chinese and have been for the last three years (the latter a bit longer) on Saturdays, I think it is only fair that I should take up a language challenge as well so I am not the 'odd one out' as my daughter would say. Even if I am super busy, I would at least have 2 hours every Saturday to self study while they are attending their Chinese lessons, so far I have been whiling away that time reading novels or newspaper, it can now be put to much better use.

I am starting this blog as a self study journal to ensure my full commitment to learning Korean and to chart my progress from an absolute beginner to ...

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