Pororo Flashcard App

Well, since I’ve recently joined the land connected to apps (previously I had a phone that would only make calls; so 20th century 🙂 ), I’m getting to enjoy some of the language resources that my friends have been using. As I continue to get connected, I’ll share what I’m finding, but if you have kids, this one is a must.

The iPhone app is Korean language flashcards featuring Pororo. You can find it by searching for this 뽀로로 첫 낱말놀이 in the app store.

It goes over several categories of words, like words used at home, colors, animals, and numbers. It’s really cute and I think most younger kids would enjoy using it. A great way to begin building a vocabulary.


Learn Korean with Professor Oh (formerly AnyongKorea.com)

Right now I have more language resources than I have time to use, but I’m still excited when I find new avenues for learning Korean. You just never know when a new system or site will really work for your learning style.

This site, http://sweetandtastytv.com/shows/learnkoreanwithprofessoroh/, looks like it’s just getting started. There are four lessons on there, as of this post, but it starts with the basic alphabet and works up from there.

That may be a little too basic for me at this point, but it might be good for a refresher or for helping Little Man learn the alphabet. I also think it’s good to hear as many different people speak Korean as possible, just to get used to hearing variations in pronounciation.

Anyway, it’s worth checking out, especially if you’re just starting your Korean language journey. As with yesterday’s post, I want to give credit where it’s due. I again found this one through http://curdsandkimchi.blogspot.com/, who highlighted one of the videos in a recent post.

Inspiration for Learning Korean

Learning a second language is hard, no doubt about it. And sometimes when you’re older (say 40) it seems like you’ll never get past a certain point (for me it’s particles and verb tenses; ugh!). And while this story is about a teenager, I have to say it inspired me to press on and work harder.

Alyssa Donovan of Maine (a caucasian American) recently became the first person of non-Korean descent to place in a Korean speech contest, which was hosted by the U.S. National Association for Korean Schools in Burlingame, California. An attempt to impress a boy in junior high prompted Alyssa to learn Korean, but instead has resulted in a life-changing path for her. She’s been studying since 2007 and, as you can see from the video I link to below, she has far surpassed my preschool Korean (and I started studying in 2006).

Of course, you can’t compare learning timelines or paths since everyone is different (and obviously as a 40-year-old part-time working, full-time homeschooling mother of a 5-year-old I must, at times, have other priorities). Still I found Alyssa’s story encouraging. I believe with all my heart that knowing the Korean language will be important and beneficial to Little Man. And who better to help him along the way than his mom.

So read more about Alyssa and watch the video at the links below. And 화이팅 Korean language learners!

Here’s a write-up about Alyssa from the Chosun Ilbo. http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/07/18/2011071800463.html

And this mention on the KoreAm site includes a video of Alyssa speaking Korean, in case you had any doubts about the story. http://iamkoream.com/maine-teen-first-non-korean-to-place-in-korean-speech-contest/

Mango Languages

Since embarking on learning Korean five years ago, I’m constantly looking for language programs that can help my family on this journey to a second language. It seems there’s a lot more out there than there was three years ago. I’m thankful for that, and if the program happens to be free, even better.

Mango Languages is one I just learned about. You’ll find it here. www.mangolanguages.com/

While you can sign up for the site as an individual, if your library subscribes to Mango, you can use your library card to access the program for free. Our local library district does subscribe, so we’ll be using it more, I’m sure. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll find a Library Locator button that will tell you if your library subscribes.

I’ve done a little playing around with it already and it seems that it’s kind of a hybrid of Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur. I really liked Pimsleur because by the end of the lessons, I could actually use what I’d learned. This seems similar, but you will see the words and phrases written in hangul, like you do with Rosetta Stone, which is the one thing I think Pimsleur is missing.

I’ll let you guys know how it goes as we explore more.


Family Names Explained

If you’ve been exposed to Korean language even a little bit, you know that almost every family member has its own term. For example, instead of just saying “aunt,” there are different terms used depending on whether the “aunt” is your mother’s sister, your father’s sister, or an in-law.

A couple of months back The Korea Blog did a post about these family terms titled “Who’s Your Big Daddy?” You find it at this link: http://blog.korea.net/?p=1926 

Using graphics and detailed explanations, this entry will answer all your questions and/or possibly confuse you beyond belief. 🙂  But honestly, it’s the best explanation of family terms that I’ve seen. It would be a great one to print out and keep on hand for reference.

Language Tips to Help You Remember

Ever since college association has helped me remember things. It worked wonders in my arts history class. And I’ve found it helps me as I learn Korean too. So I thought I’d pass on these tips to you.

The Korean consonants weren’t too hard for me to remember. But the vowels, especially ㅛ(yo) and ㅠ (you), confused me. So I began thinking of them this way:
ㅛ(yo): this character looks like how you’d hold your hand as you said the word, “yo”
ㅠ (you): this character looks like it has two legs, just like “you” do

Corny, I know but it’s worked for me. Yesterday, I was going over conjugating Korean verbs into the past tense and the present tense. (I’m learning this via TalkToMeInKorean.com, which I still feel is one of the best, easiest, and certainly the cheapest, ways to learn Korean.) The endings that you add to make a verb past tense or present tense are similar, and I kept getting them confused. So I turned to association again and came up with this.

So to change a Korean verb from its basic form to its present tense form you add 아요 (ah-yo), 어요 (uh-yo), or 여요 (yeo-yo) to the verb stem (which one of the above you use depends on the last letter in the verb).

And to change a Korean verb from its basic form to its past tense form you add 았어요(ah-sseo-yo), 었어요 (uh-sseo-yo), or 였어요 (yeo-sseo-yo), again depending on the final letter of the verb stem.

My way of remembering which ending is the past tense is to remember that my “past” is longer than my “present,” so the longer ending is the past tense and the shorter is the present. Of course, once I finally move to Level 2 and learn the future tense that might blow this association out of the water, but for now it’s working.

It’s not easy to learn a new language at 40. But it’s not the most difficult thing I’ve ever done either. I’m enjoying the challenge, and little associations like these make it easier on me. Are any of you studying Korean? If so, I’d love to hear what helps you. Also if you’re interested in learning more about the present tense and past tense of Korean verbs, visit TalkToMeInKorean.com and check out Level 1, Lessons 16 and 17.

Word Shower Web Site

OK, I know I just said that I’d be taking a break but my friend Amber just shared a language site with me that I have to pass on. It’s www.wordshowers.com/index.html

If you’re looking to build your Korean vocabulary, this is a great place to start. The site currently has more than 3,000 words available, broken down in to the categories of Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, and Adverbs.

On the site you’ll see the word in hangul and hear audio of the pronunciation. Plus, there are MP3 files that you can download.

I think this one is going to be big for me since I’ve been longing for someway to build up my Korean vocabulary. While I love TalkToMeInKorean.com, I feel somewhat limited in the amount of vocabulary I learn in each lesson. TTMIK is great for explaining the language and sentence building, but I think this site will be a great resource for adding new words to make sentences with.