Rosetta Stone

Right now it’s only 57 days until I leave for Korea… so I’ve really been upping my Korean language learning.  Andy and I received Rosetta Stone for the holidays and so we’ve been using that.  It’s AMAZING.

About 3 months ago, I asked around to see what people thought of Rosetta Stone for Korean… and to be honest, people were totally hating on it.  Major complaints included that it waited too long to teach practical phrases, instead highlighting the importance of phrases like “the boy is under the soccer ball.”  I can see that is in fact the case, but what I didn’t realize was this: Rosetta Stone is fun.  Really fun! It shows you images and never translates what you’re learning, so you learn by observing.

I figure I have some time to learn some of the less relevant phrases, since I won’t even be moving for 2 months.  Any language software that makes learning enjoyable gets a good grade in my book.  Even Andy couldn’t wait to make an account and jump in after seeing me using it.

Since this isn’t wholly comprehensive, I hope to use Rosetta Stone alongside Mango Languages, youtube lessons, and some of the many online Korean-learning websites.  Who knew learning Korean could be this entertaining?

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Learning Korean

Since there are still 76 days, 21 hours, 55 minutes, and 7 seconds before I leave for Korea (not like I’m counting…), I’m getting kind of antsy. Andy and I have our visas, our plane tickets, and our director is in the process of securing our apartment for us in Daegu. Our friends (who helped us get these jobs) are actually furnishing the place for us, since they’re already there. That’s a relief since apparently when they moved in, they had a giant ottoman instead of a couch. If I could be a part of this process, I would, but it’s just not feasible.

So what should I do instead? That 76:21:55:07 works out to 2.5 months. 2.5 months of waiting, reading blogs, watching videos… it’s A LOT of time to wait to get there. Luckily, I have access to Mango Languages, an online language learning program. Lehigh had it, but apparently their services don’t extend to alumni. Boo! But the local library has it too, so I’ve already done a chapter of basic spoken Korean. Mango is an online program that heavily utilizes recordings and flash cards. I happen to learn by writing and in a classroom environment. There’s obviously a disconnect here, so I started writing down all the words and giving myself “homework” to help me learn. It’s very, very dorky, but I know it’ll be way more effective this way… and hey, I’m moving to Korea! I’ve got to learn it eventually!

Unfortunately this means my poor boyfriend gets to hear me repeating Korean phrases all day. Anyong-haseyo! Oneul nalshee cho-cho? Ne! As a result, he is learning some Korean too so I think it all works out in the end. I’m pretty excited about this since I love languages. I almost majored in Linguistics but my college didn’t offer it, so I ended up in International Relations instead. We didn’t have a language requirement (I took Hebrew, French, and Spanish) or a study abroad requirement (I went to Madrid, Spain), but I didn’t need it to be mandatory. I’ve also learned to read Russian on my own… so yeah, I love languages. I can now read and write in Hangul and understand very basic stuff. In the next 2.5 months, hopefully I will learn enough survival Korean to get me through the beginning. I know EPIK (public school system) offers free language classes to its teachers, but I’ll be at a hagwon (private cram school). I plan on finding a course to do while I’m there. When I went to Madrid, I knew very little Spanish, but since I was taking a Spanish course while I was there, I was able to learn lots and use new grammar and vocab daily. I hope the same will be true in Korea.

This ended up being an extremely long post… so, to reward my dedicated readers, I will present you with a photo of my favorite Korean dish so far – 잡채 (jap chae):

You know you want this.
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