Person holding Korean textbook in bed
Korean language

Learning Korean on my own -The Beginning

Self studying Korean language from bedThis is the beginning. Not the beginning of my Korean learning journey, but the beginning of trying to chronicle it and share my triumphs and defeats. Many many defeats. This is a Korean self study blog with a twist. The twist? I can never sit down at a desk to study. Let me explain.

I first started self studying Korean around 2011. It went pretty well, I memorized Hangul and basics of Korean grammar rather quickly. I was spending more time looking for where and how to learn Korean rather than actually studying. Now, in 2018, the tables have turned. I know every obscure place where Korean materials are hiding and I am well-equipped to study, but my brain isn’t.

You see, sometime after I started learning Korean, I got sick with severe neurological illness.

Person holding Korean textbook in bed
On good days I study Korean while lying on my back with textbook propped on my knees

It has left me bedridden, with memory issues, learning difficulty (learning impossibility, more like it), unable to read more than a few sentences at a time, and memory issues that would make a goldfish seem like an elephant compared to me. Did I mention I have memory issues?

Let’s face it, learning Korean takes a long time and is often difficult even for the healthiest among us.

I am not one of the healthiest. I need a nap after one textbook paragraph. I don’t have the strength to hold a pen for more than a few seconds when I practice writing. And when I use online resources screen light hurts my eyes.

The most recent ingredient my brain decided to throw in the mix is a seizure every now and then. And these seizures love to rear their ugly heads (technically they rear my ugly head) every time I see movement on screen or hear sound from speakers which means Korean video lessons are out of the question.

I’ve broken every rule of best language learning practices. I’ve spent months, years, without revising what I’ve learned. At times I studied just vocabulary for months because I couldn’t understand grammar. And now I’m studying Korean without hearing it.

So why don’t I just give up?

The truth is, I love learning Korean. In all of this mess, I love making some progress, I love colorful textbooks with that enticing smell, I love the look of Hangul, I love filling out notebooks, and above all I love the idea of having access to Korean culture (and online shopping, ahem) that someone who doesn’t speak the language can never have.

I started this blog for several reasons.

One is to break the isolation of studing alone. Another is to chronicle my progress, as sometimes it seems I’m not making any. That can be very discouraging and embarrassing. Honestly, it makes me terrified that 7 precious years of my life have passed and that I haven’t improved as a person.

But it’s not true! I’ve come a long was from confusing ㅗㅇ withㅎ.

And yet another reason is that I had to find shortcuts to overcome my limitation, I had to find the best Korean learning resources to make any progress at all. I want to share all I have learned and discovered, because one thing we all have in common is that there is never enough time.

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