New Korean Friend
I am not a cellphone person. I actually fail to check messages or missed calls about 90% of the time but I have been so fixated with my phone recently. And since I’m in the process, better yet, find a Korean friend to chat with. So then I remembered italki.com. I’ve been using that since 2012, but I haven’t been studying recently so I forgot about it. What I usually do is search for Koreans who intend to study English, and send follow requests if they look approachable and as much as possible, same-aged. Then I met this friend. He is 23 years old (Korean age), but technically we’re both 22. As young as he is, he already finished his mandatory service, and is intending to study abroad. But first he needs to pass IELTS, which is basically hard to achieve in his level. I asked, from 1 to 100, how much English he knows and he only said 10. Since he can’t actually speak so much English, we chat in pure Korean through KakaoTalk.
I sent him that photo and I was surprised that he was surprised about seeing that kind of phone for the first time >.< First world problems, Seoul people only see Samsung and iPhones hahaha. I told him that it was actually a bit hard to chat since there were no Hangul characters in my keypad, and he can’t understand what I was saying so I sent him that photo. We got closer easily since we basically have similar interests including music, Busker Busker-type. He plays the piano and guitar as well, so we talk about techniques and other stuff. In about two days we already speak in 반말.
Last Thursday night, I made the effort to teach him the most basic of the basic English. Since I don’t even know how to start, or what to teach him, I asked him to introduce himself and made a disclaimer that from then onwards, I will only be chatting in English (of course I cheated sometimes when I can explain something in Korean that he can’t understand in English no matter how hard I try to simplify). From his introduction, I saw his errors, and focused more on those. I started with the sentence constructions, the subject and predicate, and the first four parts of speech, noun, pronoun, adjective and verb. I also explained the simple present tense and present progressive. And then I briefed him as well about grammar stuff in Korean that does not exist in English like the particles and the like.
We finished at 12 AM, and for some reason, I was not able to sleep till past 2 AM. Heck I still had to wake up at 4 since I have to be at the office by 6 AM. Good thing, work was not that stressful, but I was contemplating if I should meet my friends since I only had a little sleep. By the time I got home at 4 PM, I slept hard for two hours. I had to do it since I would never want to miss out on our Friday night review.
Last Friday Night
Since the three of them only reached 2급, and the two of them already passed TOPIK 2급 (same time when I lost my stub, 헐), we only made an effort to review grammar patterns from that level. It can never be a good idea to move forward to 중급 when I myself have not studied for quite some time.
Recently, we’re addicted with Starbucks Reserve coffees so we have been meeting there three times in a row now. The interiors, the conduciveness of the place, and the rare and exquisite coffee make us come back again and again.
We had a run through of the grammar patterns from New 가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners | Elementary 2 (초급2) and tried to differentiate grammar patterns from each other. Like the difference of 만 and 밖에, or 때문에 and 덕분에. Most especially, the ever confusing roster of grammar patterns including -아/어서, -(으)니까, -(으)ㄴ데, -는데, -(으)ㄹ테니까, -(으)ㄴ/는/(으)ㄹ 것 같다, -(으)ㄹ 테니까, etc, where there can be different usages per pattern. Whenever we were struggling to find the answer to our discussions, I KaTalk my friend and ask him to explain it (in Korean of course, I have no choice). Since I was trained to understand Korean explanations and even to define Korean vocabularies in Korean (thanks 노선생님!), I can almost always understand where he was going to.
We finished studying at 1 AM and went home by ourselves.
35th TOPIK I
Just hours ago, I tried to take the New TOPIK. I only know so little about the new TOPIK and I didn’t research so much about it because I was not in Korean mode when it first came out, so earlier, I just took it without knowing how much has changed. I was surprised that 쓰기 is not included in the examination anymore. I really didn’t know.
Anyway, I downloaded the 35th TOPIK I at http://www.topikguide.com/ and took it while downloading a BIGBANG concert DVD, haha.
Surprisingly, my 듣기 is perfect at 100 points!!! But the rest… 헐. Well at least, I pass for level 2. I might try taking the TOPIK II tomorrow if time and ability permits.
Also, 11 more days, and it’s Christmas!