꿀을 파는 날


Since some of the soldiers will be going back to Korea soon, I went to a restaurant to eat with my boss and two other soldiers this morning. The restaurant was named after the typhoon Haiyan and it’s located 30-45 minutes away from the base camp.

I would have enjoyed it more if only I could understand what they were saying. They talk too fast and use a lot of slangs or dialects which I haven’t heard of before so I couldn’t keep up with the conversation most of the time. T^T Anyway, let me share two things I learned from them today.

“때려 빠쁠라”

When the waitress served the tuna sandwich, my boss suddenly uttered these words when she was out of earshot. I don’t know exactly what it means but they told me it’s a dialect that roughly translates to “I’ll make a juice out of you”.

“꿀을 판다”

It literally means “selling honey”. They use this phrase when someone is not doing anything productive but still earns from it. It’s like when you go to work but not doing the task assigned to you and yet, at the end of the month, you still get paid for doing nothing. One of them said, “What we are doing right now is an example of 꿀을 판다. It’s working time and yet, we’re out eating and enjoying a ride while sipping on mango shake.”

D-DAY: 34th TOPIK Experience

I’ve been self-studying Korean for almost 3 years and finally, I got to take the TOPIK exam. I’m not from Manila so it’s kinda difficult for me to take the exam. So when I finally got the chance, I was excited at the same time nervous about it. I finally took the TOPIK test today and the result will be released in a month. Not looking forward to it to be honest. Lol. Anyway, here’s my TOPIK experience.

The night before, I was battling with myself whether or not I should study more or just rest. After making sure I have everything I need in my bag, I went to bed around midnight but it took a while before I finally fell sleep because I was too nervous.

I woke up at 4:30 AM and headed to KCC at 6:00 AM with my aunt and my friend, Arin, who also took beginner and intermediate exam like me. Since it was too early, we waited outside the building and did a little chitchat while going through our notes. I was surprised to see some examinees were accompanied by their parents. It’s just that there are parents who are against their children learning Korean and would rather have them focus on school.

After the long wait, we were finally told to get inside and find our seats. There were too many beginner examinees and KCC couldn’t accomodate all of us since they have limited number of classrooms. So there were two venues. I’m glad I registered early because the other venue was far from KCC. If I took the exam at the other venue, I wouldn’t have made it to the intermediate exam.

The beginner exam was too easy. I managed to finish the exam at least 30 minutes before the schedule. One of the proctors looked at me  and raised his eyebrows while smiling like he was complimenting me for finishing the exam ahead of everybody. I was pretty shocked that there was one Korean who took the beginner exam. I heard her conversing with her mom in straight Korean so I just thought it would have been better if she took the intermediate exam instead.

When the beginner exam ended, Arin and I rushed towards Jollibee to eat lunch. We had burgers and fries since we were in a hurry. When we went back to KCC, I saw Alodia. At first, I wasn’t sure if it was her but she uploaded a photo of her manicure and that’s how I confirmed it was her. Haha! And I also met Allie. We had a brief chitchat before the exam started and we took a photo after the exam. (I’ll post it later when Allie posts the photo on her blog.)

I was so nervous about the intermediate exam because even though I finished KGIU and TOPIK 150 Essential Grammar, my vocabulary is still limited so I was worried not only because of the writing part. I was worried about listening and reading too.

The proctor was the same one from the beginning exam. He didn’t bother checking my ID and test slip and just gave me that “Do I still have to?” look. Lol.

Surprisingly, the first part of the exam was easier than what I had expected especially the writing part. I was worried about the essay but I was able to write down a decent essay since the question was pretty easy. I finished it about 15 minutes before the bell rang. I kinda gained a little bit of confidence. But that confidence went away when I barely understood the listening part. That’s when te guessing game began. Lol. The voice made me sleepy, I couldn’t concentrate. The reading part was easier than listening. I understood the gist of the passages and I was enjoying reading them until the proctor said there were only 20 minutes left and I still had a few items to answer. So I just started skimming through the paragraphs trying to understand whatever I could from the words I could recognize. I doubt I passed the intermediate exam. It was too nerve-wracking even to the Korean who was sitting beside me. I’m just not gonna expect so I won’t be disappointed.

I’m so glad my parents let me stay til TOPIK exam. I’ve always wanted to experience taking TOPIK and now that I know what it feels like, I don’t think I wanna go through that madness again. These past two months was stressful to the point that I was experiencing a horrifying hairfall. ㅡ_ㅡ;; Maybe when I’m more prepared, I will take it again. Lol.

Now I can go back to studying without pressure. Whew!

제 취미에 대해서

안녕하세요 여러분. 오늘은 시험을 위해서 한국어 쓰기를 연습하고 싶어서 일기를 또 쓸게요. 이번에는 제 취미에 대해서 이야기할 거예요.

제 취미는 한국어 공부하는 것 뿐만 아니라 다른 취미도 갖고 있어요. 사진을 찍는 것을 좋아해요. 그 것은 제 취미예요. 2007년쯤에 사진을 찍는 것을 좋아하게 됐어요. 그 때는 디지털 카메라가 없어서 핸드폰의 카메라로 사진을 찍었어요. 그런데 핸드폰으로 사진 찍는 것을 좋아하지 않아요. 사진의 품질이 안 좋고 침침한 조명이 있으면 사진이 잘 나올 수 없기 때문이에요. 그래서 아빠에게 새 DSLR 카메라를 사달라고 했어요. 그런데 아빠는 제가 학교에서 성적이 높으면 카메라를 사준다고 했어요. 그래서 카메라를 받기 위해서 열심히 공부하고 높은 성적을 받았어요. 아빠에게 비싸고 좋은 카메라를 받았어요. 사진의 품질이 너무 좋아서 마음에 들어요. 카메라를 받은 후에 사진 동아리에 들었어요. 착하고 사진을 찍는 것을 업청 잘하는 선배들을 만났고 동아리에 가입한 사촌 언니, 오빠들하고 같이 놀고 배울 수 있어서 참 좋아요. 선배들이 저를 잘 가르쳐 주셔서 많이 배웠어요. 선배들하고 같이 촬영 할 수 있어서 너무 즐거웠어요. 선배들처럼 사진 찍는 것을 잘할 수 있도록 배우고 있어요. 아직까지는 선배들처럼 못해요. 나중에 사진 실력이 늘면 선배들하고 사진을 전시하고 싶어요.

제 일기를 읽어주셔서 감사합니다. 좋은 하루 보내세요.

Korean Radio Dramas

I’ve mentioned in my previous post that I finally have my laptop back. It kept dying on me whenever I used it even just for a couple of hours so I eventually had to stop using it and I was stuck with my crappy ipod which didn’t even let me browse the web without getting on my last nerve. I had my laptop checked by my brother and it’s fine now. Sort of. It still crashes once in a while but way less often than it used to.

What I was worried about was my files on my laptop. I’m glad that my files were still intact and didn’t vanish. I would have died if they did especially my Korean textbooks in pdf and other materials I use for studying Korean like the scripts that I downloaded which were very hard to find, and the Korean radio dramas that I’ve downloaded from KBS along with the scripts.

Yes, I listen to Korean radio dramas which is kinda weird for me because I was never fond of radio dramas. To be honest, I don’t like the radio dramas here in our country. I’ve listened to it before when I was much younger because my nanny and the maids were very much fond of it and I shivered in disgust because the story was too cliche and it felt like being brought back into the 1970s or even earlier than that. It’s just not as enjoyable as watching a drama on TV.

Korean radio dramas isn’t any different with our local radio dramas. The story is just as cliche and it makes me cringe. But for the sake of language learning, I am enduring it. LOL! I listen to them and I use them when I’m shadowing because the script is available. Normally, I use audios that I ripped from Korean dramas but there’s too many long interludes between scenes and I cannot be bothered to crop those out.

One of the things that I like about listening to Korean radio dramas is that I tend to remember the words more effectively rather than just reading it from the script and I get to train my ears to get used to how fast Koreans normally speak. And unlike watching dramas where there are a bunch of handsome or pretty Korean celebs to distract me, I tend to pay attention more and try to understand what is being said by the voice actors.

I’ve been listening to a radio drama entitled “지울 수 없는 사랑” / Love that cannot be erased. It’s a story about an unmarried couple contemplating on whether or not they should keep their child or just get rid of it through abortion. The woman wanted to keep their child but the man wasn’t ready to have kids just yet so he was trying to convince her. It’s a nice story and surprisingly, I was able to keep up and understand most of it even without reading the script. Maybe because the sentences were easy enough to be understood in my level.

If you guys want to listen to Korean radio dramas with scripts, you better check out KBS 무대. That’s where I got all my radio dramas from. They’ve got tons of dramas to choose from so I’m pretty sure you’ll find something that will interest you.

Anyway, all the bedrooms in our house have been renovated. The walls have been repainted and the closets have been fixed. Now my room looks a whole lot better than how it used to be and it looks so inviting I cannot wait to use it. The paint has dried up already but the room still reeks of paint so I can’t move back in yet. It looks like I’ll have to spend a week or two more sleeping on the couch in the living room with my brothers on a mattress on the floor.

Monthly Language Report #2

I failed to make a language report for the month of February. /facepalm I feel like it’s still January. I wish time would slow down or at least let me fast forward to June or July. I didn’t have time to make a video and my internet connection is so slow, it won’t let me upload large files nowadays. T^T So I just recorded an audio instead. 😀 When I recorded this, I was feeling sleepy so please excuse my voice if it sounds lifeless or boring. XD

이화 한국어 2-1 and 2-2

Yup, I have new textbooks. Seriously, I should stop this bad habit of buying Korean textbooks one after another. After getting the TTMIK book, I promised myself I won’t buy a new textbook and if I want to, I should finish one first before getting a new one. But I broke that promise and decided to get 이화 한국어. I’ve only finished reading three books: 연세 한국어, Integrated Korean Beginning 1 and Korean Grammar in Use: Beginning. I still have so many books left unread and they’re sitting on my bookshelf, collecting dust. I also have tons of ebooks to read as well. I’m almost done with College Korean and I told myself I must finish it no matter what so I can move on to the next book in the series which is Intermediate College Korean. I’m so excited to read that book. I’ve been spending way too much time reading my 응답하라 1997 novel that I have forgotten about my textbooks.

Anyway, I bought this book because Shanna recommended it on her blog. She said it’s even better than 연세 한국어. So I decided to get a copy. I decided to get the level 2 books. I wanted the level 3 books but they don’t have English translation and the entire book is in Korean. I was worried that it might be too advanced for my level so yeah, I settled for level 2. Is it better than 연세 한국어? Yeah. For me, it absolutely is. 연세 한국어보다 이화 한국어는 제 생각에 훨씬 더 좋은 것 같아요. I was disappointed with 연세 한국어 1. I think I expected too much from it. I didn’t learn much from it to be quite honest. The book discussed only a few grammar structures and they were the ones that I have already learned from the internet. And to think I paid P2,000+ for it. Crap.

What I love about 이화 한국어 is that you’ll learn tons of new words from reading one chapter. You won’t just see the usual 가다, 먹다, 살다 and other words that you normally see in other textbooks. There are other words such as 부채춤, 탈춤, 독감, 소독약 just to name a few. The words introduced in the book are really diverse.

I usually skip exercises since I think they’re just too boring but 이화 한국어 is an exception. I find myself having fun answering the exercises because it way more interesting than the exercises I’ve seen on other books. Fill in the blanks? Multiple choice? Come on, that’s boring and I find it useless to be quite honest. The exercises on 이화 한국어 are far better. They provide the keywords that you need then you create a sentence using those keywords. For example, in the section where it talked about (으)ㄴ 지, the subject, the verb and the period of time has been provided and all you have to do is make a sentence with the (으)ㄴ 지 structure using the keywords provided.

이름: 나타샤
시기: 5년 전
한 일: 결혼하다

Sentence: 나타샤씨는 결혼한 지 5년이 돼었어요.

Although the grammar explanations are really short, going through the exercises helps me understand the grammar structure even more and shows me how the grammar structure is supposed to be used.

Another thing that I love about these books is that it’s smaller and less bulky compared to 연세 한국어, Integrated Korean and Korean Grammar in Use. It’s compact and very light. The dimensions of the book is 11 inches x 7.5 inches x 0.4 inch. The colors used are easy on the eyes which is a good thing for me because colors can serve as a distraction for me sometimes.

There are 7 units on 이화 한국어 2-1 and 8 units on 이화 한국어 2-2. Each unit, you will learn about 4-5 new grammar structures. I have included the list of grammar structures below so check it out to see if Level 2 is the right one for you. There are interesting articles written in Korean per unit and they are lengthy compared to the articles I’ve read on Integrated Korean.

Let’s talk about the downsides of this book. I’ve mentioned earlier that the grammar explanations are too short and sometimes I feel like some explanations are a little bit too vague. You may still need to check other textbooks for further explanations and restrictions that 이화 한국어 failed to mention. This is one of the reason why I don’t just stick to one textbook. Another thing that some people might dislike is that the grammar explanations and the English translation of the passages are the only English texts you’ll see in the book. The rest is written in Korean. Yes, even the instructions. Not all exercises have answer key too.

I think 이화 한국어 is really good. I’m planning to get the Level 3 books next time.

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Talk to Me in Korean Level 3 Textbook

After waiting for more than three months, my Level 3 TTMIK book has finally arrived. I wanted a signed copy of the book so I ordered the Level 3 book, together with a copy of Level 1 and Level 2 books for my friend, on December 14th, a day before the preorder for Level 3 book ended. I expected that my friend’s books will be shipped first since the Level 3 book hadn’t been published yet. And since it was Christmas and things get a little crazy over at the post office, I expected that the books will arrive at a later time. I went out of town on the first week of January and when I got home, I was surprised to see that a package was waiting for me. It was the Level 1 and Level 2 books which I ordered for my friend. Her books got here in approximately two weeks so I had expected that my book will arrive by the end of January or early February. January passed and February came, still no book. I kinda got worried that my book got lost in transit so I sent a message on TTMIK’s Facebook fanpage. Kyunghwa unnie told me that they shipped the book on January 10th and she also told me to wait and so I did. I drop by the post office every week to pick up packages and whenever I was there, I always asked them if there’s a package in a yellow envelope with my name on it. But there was none. They told me they’ll send me a notice slip when it arrives. So I decided to give it a few more weeks. March came and still no sign of the book. I was having a battle with myself whether or not I should send another message to TTMIK regarding my book since it’s been 3 months already. But I didn’t. I was like “Ugh. Whatever. Forget about it.” LOL!

And I actually forgot about it until a few days ago. On March 15th, I got a notice slip from the post office. The notice slip was issued on February 18th and a note on the back said I should pick it up within 30 days or they will send it back or get rid of it. I figured it was the TTMIK book since I wasn’t waiting for any other packages. I went to the post office to pick it up. Looking at the stamps on the envelope, I found out that my book arrived on the 16th of January. WTF. I got sort of annoyed that they told me the book wasn’t there yet whenever I asked them about it when in fact, it was already there.

Anyway, enough with the rant.

As soon as I got in the car, I ripped the envelope open and browsed the book during the trip to my mom’s hometown. I’m glad they used a smaller font size and lighter color for the romanization, making it look less noticeable. I’m really not a big fan of romanizations and I’m hoping I won’t see any more of it on Level 4. One should learn hangeul and pronunciation rules and stop relying on romanization. Yes, I know it’s hard but with practice, you’ll get used to it soon enough. I really liked the book except for the romanization and perhaps… the exercises. It’s kinda dull and *yawns* boring. But I usually skip the exercises and just move on to the next lesson. Haha!

Anyway, I don’t have much to say about this book right now since I only scanned through the pages. I’ll write a proper review soon. I’ll have to use it first so I can see where it lacks. The book costs 13,000won (approx. $14) plus shipping fee. It comes with an audio CD. You can also download the audio tracks from their site in case you encounter problems ripping the audios to your computer.