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Reading

~Chinese / 中文
《平如美棠》饶平如

~Japanese / 日本語
「女のいない男たち」村上春樹
「職業は武装解除」瀬谷ルミ子

~English
"Notes on Democracy" Arundhati Roy

~Korean / 한국어
《그렇습니까? 기린입니다》박민규
《소나기》 황순원

~Finished / 読了 / 已读
「コンビニ人間」村田沙耶香
"Factory Girls" Lesley Chang
"Your Republic is Calling You" Kim Young-ha
「色彩を持たない多崎つくると彼の巡礼の年」村上春樹
《裸命》陈冠中
"River Town" Peter Hessler
"Oracle Bones" Peter Hessler
"Country Driving" Peter Hessler
「カンガルー日和」村上春樹
「こころ」夏目漱石
「火の鳥9」 手塚治虫
《呐喊》鲁迅
《娃》莫言
《朋友》余华
"Inside the Kingdom" Robert Lacey
《活着》余华
"A Room of One's Own" Virginia Woolf
「羊をめぐる冒険」村上春樹
《阿Q正传》鲁迅
《倾城之恋 》张爱玲
《茉莉香片》张爱玲
《金锁记》张爱玲
「深夜特急」(2)沢木耕太郎
「1973年のピンボール」 村上春樹
"One Foot In Eden" Ron Rash
「双子の星」宮沢賢治

Korean in 3 Months #Add1Challenge

Can I learn Korean in 3 months with the #Add1Challenge?

三ヶ月に韓国語は習得できるのか?

我能不能在三个月之内学说韩语?

The +1 Challenge was started by Brian Kwong, who has challenged us to learn a new language for 90 days.

The +1 Challenger’s Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIyYMvGTq-ZwL3RuBk72O4Yv5y3cNRpnC

Benny Lewis on the +1 Challenge: http://www.fluentin3months.com/plus-1/

Language Tsar (Conor Clyne) pledges to learn Romanian: http://www.languagetsar.com/1-challenge-with-some-of-the-worlds-top-polyglots/

Alex Rawlings (Rawlangs) takes on Japanese: http://rawlangs.com/1-japanese-challenge/

 

Hello everyone!

This is Kieran and I’m joining the “Add One Challenge.” The +1 Challenge was started by Brian Kwong, who has challenged us to learn a new language for 90 days. My goal is to learn Korean to fluency in three months.

I made a lot of South Korean friends at the University of Georgia, in Fukuoka, and in Shanghai. At Fudan University in Shanghai I lived with three roommates from South Korea and even made a friend from North Korea. I want to learn Korean to 1) to connect with friends, 2) to make new friends, and 3) to experience the beautiful Korean culture, particularly its rich literary tradition.

I’ve been learning Korean every day for a month. I begin my challenge today, September 30th, so my challenge will end on December 30th. At the end of the year, I will film myself having a spontaneous conversation in Korean with a native speaker. My plan is to learn at least an hour of Korean every day with Anki, Talk to Me in Korean, and some other resources introduced on the Mezzofanti Guild. I recommend everyone check out “Talk to Me in Korean;” it’s a fantastic course for learning Korean. I want to say thank you to Hyunwoo, Kyeong-eun, and the rest of the team for their hard work.

My daily goal is to review 100 new cards in my Korean deck. I’m using three public Anki decks. The first one is a deck of the 1000 most common Korean words with audio. The second is a deck of sentences, most of which are from Talk to Me in Korean. The third is a deck of Korean hanja. Since I speak Chinese and Japanese, I think the hanja will help me learn Korean words.

If I win this competition with myself, I’m going to win some delicious bulgogi. And for every day I miss our hairy cat is going to sit on my face. Gross.

I will update every week with a new video, so please subscribe to my YouTube channel! Check out the links at the bottom of the video, especially the playlist for the challenge where you watch other participant’s videos. Thanks for watching!

Kieran

 


8 Comments

  1. GerryBevers says:

    Learn Korean to fluency in three months? I think that is an impossible challenge, but if you learned Japanese or Chinese to fluency in three months, then it might be possible for you.

    I followed you to your blog from “Korean Language Notes,” which is my blog. I don’t think it is possible to learn Korean in three months, unless you are a Fifth Element, but I wish you the best of luck.

    • Kieran says:

      Hi Gerry!

      Thanks for visiting my blog. Your list of Korean slang is really helpful to me; I’m glad I found your site.

      You’re right, it’s not possible to achieve the kind of fluency I really want in Korean in just three months. But it is possible to achieve a lot in three months, especially with the support of the other +1 Challengers! I have been wanting to learn Korean for years, and this gave me the push to say publicly that I am really going to do it. “Korean to Fluency in 3 Months” is simply catchier than “learning Korean every day for three months to see how far I can get toward fluency, which I expect to achieve in two or three years.”

      As for Japanese, from the time I learned hiragana it was 3 years before I felt “fluent,” which was after 10 months studying Japanese culture in Japan (and was really only a low-level conversational fluency). Chinese was easier, since I had learned a foreign language to fluency before, but again it was about 3 years before I was fluent (to my own satisfaction), including 8 months studying Chinese literature in Shanghai.

      I hope to be “fluent” in Korean by the end of 2014 (as in able to discuss lots of abstract topics at length, understand most of an academic lecture, write a reasonably well-organized essay, etc., which I can do passably in Chinese, and somewhat less so in Japanese). The difference this time is I have made no plans to go to Korea, so I will learn Korean online at first, and later by speaking with Koreans in the USA, with the goal of being good at Korean whenever I get a chance to go there (again, since I went to Seoul for five days once while studying in Japan).

      Thanks for your candid comments! I really appreciate it.

      • GerryBevers says:

        Kieran,

        Three years also sounds about right for Korean when studied in country. It took me longer to become fluent in Korean, but I was studying at a time when there were fewer resources, including no computers. Also, I knew no other Asian languages. Your having studied Chinese and Japanese will be helpful.

        I found that list of Korean slang on the Internet, so it is not really mine. I did make a few corrections and added a few of my own, but that is all. It is a useful list.

        Your pronunciation sounds pretty good, by the way.

        Gerry

        • Kieran says:

          I have deep, deep respect for anyone who studied Asian languages before computers and the internet.

          I’m fairly certain I never would have learned Japanese without digital flash cards for Chinese characters, instant dictionary lookups, and instant access to Japanese TV from anywhere in the world. Same goes for Chinese. Many times when I drew a Chinese character on the screen of my phone to look it up I wondered how much harder it would be if I had had to look it up by radical in a paper dictionary. I feel obligated to work harder and push these technologies as far as they are useful, because I have these advantages, and because the end goal is to further my understanding and compassion for other cultures.

          Thank you! I appreciate your encouragement. I’m finding a lot to love about Korean culture and am excited about the journey I have only just begun.

          • GerryBevers says:

            Kieran,
            Korean newspapers used to use a lot Chinese characters even into the 1980s, so I taught myself to use a Chinese character dictionary in the early eighties so that I could read the newspapers, but like you I now use the drawing function on Web sites to look up characters I do not know because it is easier.

            The people who impress me are the early Western scholars of the Chinese and Korean languages. At least I had dictionaries and basic grammar texts, but they had to start pretty much from scratch.

          • Kieran says:

            True! A researcher at Fudan told us an interesting fact. Scholars like Matteo Ricci were trained in Classical Chinese in Macao before going to Beijing to serve at court, but we can assume all of their texts were written with the help of a classically trained Chinese assistant. Most likely, they dictated what they wanted to write in Portuguese, or possibly Latin, or perhaps colloquial Chinese, and the assistant wrote in Classical Chinese for them. The Europeans for the most part found Classical Chinese far too difficult to master.

            However, things changed when the Manchu took over in the mid 1600s. Manchu has an alphabet, and was a living, spoken language, so it was much easier for the Europeans to learn. During the Qing dynasty, they often wrote their texts in Manchu first, and possibly had them translated into Chinese (at lease for the first few emperors; I’m not sure how much Manchu the last emperors actually spoke).

  2. Brian Kwong says:

    awesome, looking forward to see your updates!

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Kieran Maynard

Kieran Maynard

Writer, translator, researcher, traveler specializing in Japanese and Chinese literature.

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