I got myself a Korean tutor. We are meeting next Monday! I’ll keep everyone posted, but I think I should have enlisted help much sooner.
I’ve made it halfway through Level 2 of Talk to Me in Korean. I’m continuing my Gangnam Style infinite repeat loops on my commutes to and from Staten Island. I think it’s starting to gel and enter my brain through my subconsciousness.
First, some video inspiration of other folk’s renditions of Gangnam Style:
This week, I have tweaked my routine to focus more on learning the lyrics to Gangnam Style. It’s my first week teaching at the College of Staten Island, so now I have a long-ish commute to SI from Manhattan twice a week. I have devoted this commute time to Gangnam-style meditation. Gangnam Style on repeat, over and over again. On the ferry, and then on the bus, all the way to school. After a few times, I end up in a trance. Just today, I caught myself mouthing the lyrics to a verse I didn’t even think I knew. Something is working. Maybe some more deliberate practice will help, but since I have nothing better to do during the commute, why not get into a Gangnam trance?
Week two of my #DesignThyself challenge to learn Korean through Gangnam Style. This week I have learned the first verse of Gangnam Style basically phonetically through rote repetition and memorization. I’ve also been trying to learn the grammar and decode the lyrics word by word, phrase by phrase as well. I’m going to have to pick up my pace and figure out a better way to learn these lyrics.
In the meantime, I’m trying pick up more general Korean language vocabulary and grammar to make learning the song easier and to fulfill the “basic restaurant and karaoke bar” proficiency required by my challenge. I get bored with textbooks and learning materials pretty quickly, so I kind of have a multiple resources that I can refer to and study in a few spare moments, either as a break from other work, or I have also found it to be a nice new ritual to listen to a Korean podcast from Talk to Me in Korean before bed (almost) every night. I find studying a language before bed and then “sleeping on it” helps me remember better. So far, I’ve made it through the first level of lessons from Talk to Me in Korean, so now starting level 2.
Other resources: I have a copy of the Lonely Planet Korean phrasebook on my nightstand as well. I sometimes flip through and learn a new phrase before bed and when I wake up. I just downloaded WordPower Learn Korean vocabulary for my iPad. This might replace my paper phrasebook since it has helpful audio pronunciation files. I also have a copy of Routledge’s Colloquial Korean (books and CDs). I have found it a useful reference for grammar, but it’s a little bit too boring and business-oriented for my needs right now.