On Reading Korean | 한국어 읽기에 대한

Stage 4: 너만의 캐릭터로 승부하라

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I should actually be sleeping now because I felt super tired this past week because it’s my first full week without early out or a day of absence since after my Elementary 2. Before finally deciding that I would take up Elementary 2, I surveyed a lot of closest friends about what they think about my weeks, if it will feel shorter, or longer. All of them said that my week would definitely feel longer since I still have to do some stuff after work, etc… But just weeks after having classes, they were super wrong. I felt more energetic and excited about everyday when I started my classes. To point out, I’m not very happy with my work anymore, so even that 1 hour early off of work, is super more than enough for me to escape the stress. I have to leave work early since my classes start at 6, and my work finishes at 6. Of course, school was stressful, but then, I’d rather be stressed at school than at work.

Well finally, I finished T.O.P’s part. As I expected, it was hard to understand like GD’s, but I understood most parts during the first stories, but the following stories, I had no idea about them anymore. I’m actually very surprised that I’ve reached this far reading something I don’t really understand. I only have about 2 hours of total reading hours in a day, and just about less than two weeks, I’ve already read 4/5 of the book. As how I can remember it, I read each BIGBANG member for two days (4 reading times). I have about 1 hour non-continuous reading time in the morning when I’m on the train and when I transferred train, and another hour in the evening after work when I’m on the train, and after transferring. I don’t read at home because I tend to get sleepy.

I don’t really consider myself a bookworm, but I have a lot of English novels, those sorts like ‘The Twilight Saga’, and the ‘Harry Potter’ boxset that I bought, which is super pretty in hardcover and a treasure chest-kinda. I also have a lot of Dan Brown, and some other self-help and some bargain books which I myself never knew existed.

Sometimes when I’m tired and try to read a novel, I can feel myself zoning out of the novel and catching myself having different thoughts about something not very connected with the book. I don’t use bookmarks so when I am in the middle of zoning out, and I chose to close the book since I think I would not make any progress, it’s hard for me to get back and look for the page I’ve been reading anymore. I usually don’t check the page number before closing the book. I just estimate, and try to read the page vaguely, and then estimate again if I should turn the page backward or forward, depends on what I read. But then when I’m zoning out, I don’t have a choice but to reread about 3-5 pages I half-missed.

Sometimes I don’t really understand what I’m reading word-per-word. I don’t know if it’s just me, but when I’m reading, I just let it flow, without the need to understand the whole material word-per-word. I don’t usually read the book once, I do it twice, just like the movies, to check parts I missed during the first viewing, connecting dots, formulating theories and hypotheses, etc.

As for Korean, what’s good about reading it for the first time without understanding about 90% of the material is that I can check myself in the future how much progress I made. And it also checks my 알아듣기 (?) if it works or not. Of course most of the time, it won’t work because the book is still too advanced for me. I don’t try to look for words or grammar from a different source because I want to evaluate how much I know just through reading it alone. It definitely is hard, but when I feel I understood something so clearly, I feel like it’s a major achievement. It’s just hard when it’s already given that I don’t understand what I’m reading and then sometimes, I still zone out. That’s doom.

Finally though, I learned how not to self-pity when I think I still lack too much. Whenever I read blogs, and feel their progress from their start to the present, instead of pondering about it why I’m not like that, I just visualize myself being able to surpass or at least be like it in the future. Reading this book helped me realized that. I would never understand anything about this book if I’m reading this in 2011, but in 2 years of about less than a year of studying, I can finally grasp a story flow although without understanding the material word-per-word. Reading this book for the second time will also give me a lot of good realizations, and that second time would probably be after my Intermediate 1. There are still a lot of stuff I can never understand in my level, and looking it up won’t help, because I believe I don’t have to look up something that I only saw or read. I should look up something that I frequently hear, or something that I will be able to use in everyday life. Of course it’s not going to be like that forever, but for now, it’s better that I only learn practically, because I’ll definitely be getting to reach the point where I have the freedom to study Korean complexities at its purest, and that’s when I’m gonna study a lot of stuff that I may not be able to use frequently… but just.

Like ‘세상에 너를 소리쳐!’s story patterns, they all dreamed a dream, and they had to go through a lot before getting there. Knowing that fact, I should not be unfair. They’re now famous, I’m not dreaming to become famous, so I guess my dream would definitely be easier to achieve. There would be bumps along the way, but I just have to get through it. Reading this book made me realize that if I could never understand this book way before, and can understand a few now, I’ll definitely understand a lot more in the near future.

PS. Please, if this post sounded weird, I’m so sorry. That’s because I’m too sleepy, but I just can’t blog this tomorrow as it would be super late.

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10 thoughts on “On Reading Korean | 한국어 읽기에 대한

  1. My attempt to answer your title question “한국어 읽기에 대한”
    I used to pity myself as well when I don’t understand almost 99% of 구혜선의 소설 called Tango. I painstakingly search every word and grammar I don’t understand and I ended up being really tired and frustrated.

    • I typed the exact same title, but I was just playing safe, lol.

      That’s the reason why I didn’t try to look for words yet is because there would be time for that. Why I’m very happy with my reading progress right now, is because I’m just practicing my speed rather than understanding, and I see the results are good so far.

  2. I envy your motivation to finish this book. While I, on the other hand, still haven’t read a single word from the other members’ stories after finishing Taeyang’s story. I should probably have saved Taeyang’s story for last. XD

    • Well I’m motivated to study since I’m 빵갑습니다. Hahaha, but not really. I really didn’t have any concrete reason in reading the whole book in full except for the thought that I want to be faster in reading. I want my eyes to be trained to recognize words as figures rather than words 자모 per 자모. And in reading the book, I noticed the tone and style, and a lot of words that may be frequently used in writing so I should consider learning about them so I can apply them in the future when I plan to write stuff 🙂

  3. I’d just like to ask how much you paid when you claimed your gmarket package at PhilPost. I’m planning to order Korean books as well (both from Gmarket and twoChois) but I fear I might have to pay too much. In your opinion, which has a more reasonable shipping charge between the two? :))

    • It’s standard at P40 whether if it’s delivered at home or picked up, but you should order in moderation. If your purchase exceeded $100 or P5000, it might be taxed heavily, so go for two to three books per order 🙂 I have wanted to order at twoChois since forever, but given that the prices in Gmarket’s a bit cheaper by a dollar, and because of the coupons, etc. and since I usually buy two or more books, it’s more practical to go for Gmarket. twoChois on the other hand gives freebies generously and warmly, and they even give you personalized greetings, and with twoChois, you can have the option of ordering through standard shipment (long wait), versus Gmarket where it’s EMS or express shipment forever, meaning higher cost for shipment no choice. But even if ever I order through twoChois I would also go for EMS, because the books would arrive safely and less than a week after order.

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