Korean morning glory mini notepad for vocabulary
Self studying Korean

I was wrong about “Korean word of the day”

I was wrong about Korean word of the day. Korean vocabulary notes | A Flicker of KoreanThere are many Korean Tumblr blogs (I’m on Tumblr too!), Twitter accounts, apps and widgets, even e-mail lists, which present learners with one Korean word of the day. The idea is simple: you subscribe or follow them, each day they publish one Korean word with translation, and you learn it.

I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with that but honestly I had always found it a boring and an incredibly slow way to learn. I changed my mind about both.

Well, sort of.

I need to find a way to keep progressing even with my extremely limited capacity. It’s great when I can learn 5 or 10 words in one day, but such days are becoming few and far between. But even on my worst days I should be able to memorize one Korean word. Some progress is better than no progress, even if that progress is very slow… very very slow. But hey, I haven’t vowed to learn no more than one word per day. On good days I can still learn more and speed it up.

So right now, one word per day it is.

Now about it being boring. Even though I always find learning Korean exciting, for some reason when I see one lonely word someone else picked I can’t bring myself to care. Luckily, that problem is easy to solve. I’ll pick my own words. Anything that piqued my interest that day.

For example, right now I was wondering how to say “flicker” because, well, look at the URL. So I added 깜박 to my Korean vocabulary notes. I also find it amusing because it kind of sounds like “come back”. Yes, I do keep coming back to Korean. My Korean learning has been flickering on and off for years. But there’s always a flicker of hope I will reach fluency some day. 깜박. Come back often and leave a comment! I want to chat and make new friends.

Example oh how I use Korean vocabulary notebook

For my “Korean word of the day” project I picked a cute little Korean vocabulary notepad, called Kind Word Book (although the back says it’s called 친절한 단어장 which could also translate to a Friendly Word Book, as in Casper the Friendly Ghost because of all the little cute ghosts on it). I got that vocabulary notepad in my Korean stationery haul.

Example of Korean vocabulary book
This Morning Glory Word Book has a neat feature – if you want to test yourself Korean -> English, cover the right side, English -> Korean cover the left

The front flap of the vocabulary notepad is made of two parts which helps you test yourself either starting from Korean and trying to think about the meaning in English, or starting from English word and trying to remember the Korean word for it.

Korean stationery morning glory kind word book with two pens pastel colors

So far I’ve been picking up one Korean word per day for 9 days straight.

Edit: You can go to my post about consistency in learning Korean, written several months after this one to see if I managed to keep it up regularly, and for how long.

Do you make use of those sites or apps offering Korean word of the day? Do you manage to do it every single day?

12 thoughts on “I was wrong about “Korean word of the day””

  1. you should learn from korean song lyrics. that’s an easy way to learn 10 words/a day or whatever arbitrary number you choose

    1. I think using whatever you’re passionate about as the source (or rather, one of the sources) is the best way to learn Korean.

      I can’t listen to music, though.

      1. Just suggesting that since audio is super helpful for learning words especially if you’re beginner/intermediate

        1. I agree. I think audio is extremely important at all levels of language learning. Songs, news, movies, podcasts, … whatever one can get their hands on. Even for absolute beginners who can’t understand anything passive listening is good to get the tone and flow of the language.

          But I can’t listen to any audio. It’s a huge handicap for me, but either I can accept it as it is, or give up Korean altogether which is not an option :)

          1. As many as you can while still being able to revise the ones learned the previous days.

            For example, if you find it possible to learn 30 words a day, keep in mind that after 10 days you will have 300 words to revise. After a month, almost a 1,000.

  2. I need to try learning at least 1 word a day. Anything more than 5 or 6 and my brain just doesn’t hold it lol. It’s weird because So far, I can remember grammar rules no problem! But we’ll see if that lasts once I move past basic level. Keep up the good working retaining vocab words!

    1. Thank you!

      I also find that if I learn one word per day I memorize it without needing to revise vocabulary often. On the other hand if it’s 5 or 10 words per day I need to use spaced repetition if I’m to retain majority of the words.

      And you’re right, I do find it easier to learn vocabulary now that I’m past basic level. If I know 부엌 is kitchen and 문 is door, then I get 부엌문 kitchen door for “free” :)

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