AWAD – Oh I see 그렇군요 (phrase)

Recently, I have been using HelloTalk quite frequently. I realised that Koreans use the phrase 그렇군요 (geu-reo-gun-yo) often. Since then, I have been using this phrase during my communications with them. This is an example of how I used the phrase.

Friend: We have about 15 – 20 days of annual leave each year.
J: 그렇군요.

Simple! Just use 그렇군요 instead of ‘I see’ or ‘Oh I see’. So go forth and use it. 🙂

Always Wanted to Learn Korean in Korea?

Truthfully I don’t expect myself posting anything about Korean in this blog until I finish my part time studies. However, Korean seems to be my current procrastination activity of choice. If you have always wanted to study in Korea, like me, this post is for you!

If I did not take up my studies, I would have taken up the 3 weeks intensive Korean programme in SNU or Ehwa. Since I am unable to and had to even ditch my TOPIK exams, I’m pretty disappointed that my official learning journey ended this way. I’m still trying to learn through immersion by watching dramas, variety shows and listening to music.

Recently I found about about The Cyber University of Korea or CUK in short. They provide structured lessons that I find is similar to normal classes of I were to take them. The best part of it, it’s free.

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If I complete the 4 levels, it should equip me for TOPIK 3. As you would imagine, I am excited at this find. I’m addition, I believe that this course is just as good as a course taken in a university, less the vis-a-vis element, because of the course creators.
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What made me like this more than other online Korean university classes is the structured learning that is matched to TOPIK, the video lessons, pdf files of the lesson and online test for me to know my standard.

If you are interested to pick up Korean at your own pace, yet follow a syllabus that will be similar to any Korean university, check out Quick Korean now. It’s free and can be accessed even via mobile.

Sejong Korean Language School Lesson 1 Review

This week, I had my first lesson in Sejong! I was so excited to be back in class to learn Korean. As usual when I do reviews, I will be as fair and brutally honest as I can. There is nothing worse than a biased review yes? That’s why I am hiding behind a letter ‘J’, where I can be honest and anonymous. =)

Class size: a maximum of 15 students. My class had 13 or 14? students.

Textbook: The school compiles their own textbook. 100x better than Cambridge’s. It’s in colour! So far I don’t have any complaints about it, afterall, it’s my first lesson. I do not have to pay for the materials and I like it. There is homework to do!

Teacher: A teacher makes or breaks the class. Thankfully, this teacher is pretty humorous. Speaks to us in Korean (stress!). She is a native speaker.

Activities in class: We started out introducing ourselves since this was our first class. Then we moved on to some new vocabulary words. We had to repeat them a couple of times but it helped with pronunciation. Next, we moved on to same example sentences/questions using the words we had just learnt. Repeated them 1 or 2 times then had a few minutes to practice with a partner. (I like this opportunity to practice)

We also covered a grammar item (particles… my love hate). We were a little confused with the pronunciation but the teacher explained when we asked. No biggie. We read a couple of examples as a class.

The last activity we did was to convert a couple of English sentences to Korean. I like this activity.

Overall, I enjoyed the first lesson at Sejong. It is 1.5 hours long as compared to the previous 2.5 hours where I was deadbeat and tired after 2.5 hours of class after work. I was wondering how it was possible to keep to a similar pace as NEX. Looking at the textbook, I realised that they do not teach students how to use formal honorific sentence structures. E.g. 습니다.

I was quite concerned as I wanted to take topik but looking at the past year papers, I realised that topik uses the polite form they are teaching. So Sejong does adequately prepare students for topik. Anyway you don’t really use much formal terms when in Korean for holiday.

Cost: 360 for 12 lessons if I’m not wrong. 120 per month and my pocket is pretty happy about it too.

Markers: A love hate relationship part 1

I suck at Korean markers/particles but at the same time I find it interesting from the language point of view. I am no linguist but am intrigued how a word can totally mess up a sentence or give it meaning. This is my review of the markers I should know broken into a few parts. I hope it would be useful for you too!

When I was school I was not taught about the subject and object in sentences as schools advocated incidental learning of grammar then. But I had to pick it up when I started working. Before I go into Korean grammar, I would like to refresh your memory first in a very layman way.

Example:
Alvin eats an apple.

In this sentence, Alvin is the person we are talking about so he is the subject. An apple in the thing in the sentence so this is the object. In this case, eats is the verb in the sentence.

Try to find the subject and object of these 2 sentences.
Jamie carries her bag.
A dog bites the girl.

Answer
Jamie – subject
School bag – object
Carries – verb

Dog – subject
Girl – object
Bites – verb

Subject (이/가) using those 2 examples.
Alvin: 앨빈 (이 is used because of the final consonant ㄴ)
Jamie: 재미 (가 is used because there is no final consonant)

Object (을/를) using the same examples as above.
Apple: 사과 (를 because there is no final consonant)
Bag: 가방 (을 because there is the final consonant ㅇ)