twoChois Lucky Draw!

I finally received my gift from twoChois! I don’t want to consider it a ‘lucky draw prize’ because I find these items more warmer and personal than just a simple giveaway/draw. It’s so sad that I haven’t gotten any chance to purchase from twoChois yet, but through this gift I received, I got to experience their amazing and wonderful service.

http://twochois.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/16th-lucky-draw-the-winner-is/

These past week or two I’ve been talking with them through KakaoTalk and they’re just accommodating, even sending me messages occasionally by themselves, not as replies. It’s good to see their passion in what they do and it makes me want to avail their services soon *legitly, by purchasing, haha*. It’s just sad when you don’t have too much resources, or a card, or something something…

I received my notification from the post office this Thursday, and just as how excited I was, I had my day cut short from work to get the parcel myself. It was a blessing in disguise, though, since it was my first time to go to that part of Manila. I’ve always been fascinated by the beauty of our city, though there may be problems and et ceteras, I still see my city as super interesting, historical and magical.

Manila Central Post Office Building, photo from http://shutterchitecture.wordpress.com/

I had to have my first post office experience because of this package. I already bought once from Apple Online Store, twice from Gmarket, and some other local K-Pop stores on Facebook, but all of those were delivered straight to our doorstep. Though I wished for this parcel to also be delivered straight, I was also hoping it’s not, because I really wanted to visit the post office for a more appropriate reason that is, because I wouldn’t even know what to do there if I just visited without any reason.

Anyway, my package should have been claimed since maybe earlier this week, because from my tracking record, the parcel arrived from Haeundae to Manila on the 26th. Maybe there were problems with systems that’s why I failed to receive it earlier. I’ve been calling post office and other offices regarding my parcel but there were problems with tracking as I also can’t track it myself.

The package! It looks messed up because I already opened it when I stayed at some tea shop.

The package! It looks messed up because I already opened it when I stayed at some tea shop.

When I got it, I was not expecting this kind of box because I was used to getting bigger ones, lol. I was not expecting for a bigger one though because I’m only gonna be receiving one book and it would be super ridiculous if I get a bigger box, haha.

BROMIDE!!!

BROMIDE!!!

It may be very shameless of me to request for a YG-related freebie, but I did anyway, and they did anyway 🙂 They sent this Bromide magazine with B1A4 and BAP as semi-headlines, I think? But it also has G-Dragon and Seungri inside, and they were too kind enough to consider that because I think they know I’m a BIGBANG fan. I’m so touched :”> And, everything’s in 100% factory-esque condition because they wrapped the items ever so carefully.

Then I was like, "뭐야?!", they wrote my name in full, hahaha. It was cute though.

Then I was like, “뭐야?!”, they wrote my name in full, hahaha. It was cute though.

The drawing was cute, and the message too 🙂

Here's the book!!!

Here’s the book!!!

It’s still covered, not yet unearthed because I will definitely be reviewing this and through that review, I’ll be sharing the photo of the book in full 🙂

Again, from the bottom and the inner walls of my heart, thank you so much twoChois for giving opportunities like this to help us foreigners learn more about the language, and to share culture with everyone through blogging.

twoChois

twoChois is an online shopping website especially made for Korean learners run by two ‘Choi’ sisters.

If you want to order Korean books, language textbooks, specialty notebooks, other cutesy materials, CDs/DVDs, K-Pop stuff, and other Korean stuff for special ordering that they may provide, visit their website at http://www.twochois.com/ and have fun shopping. They provide book previews, free items, personalized notes and K-Pop CDs if you purchased a certain amount.

You might also win your own Korean textbook WHICH you’re required to learn from, use and review. If you want to win, visit their WordPress blog at http://twochois.wordpress.com/. It would be fun!

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Iyagi, Ihaehagi | 이야기, 이해하기 (Talk To Me In Korean)

I hope everyone understands the title since I didn’t put the English-ness of it. I just thought how it both sounded very cool when put together.

Stage 2: 정직한 노력은 어디서나 빛난다

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It was a Saturday, 잘 쉬었어요? I did. I woke up early so I can rest early. Now I know the difference of sleep and rest. I would always hear my dad before when I suddenly jump from sleep to computer or anything else, he would always say ‘Kakagising mo lang, magpahinga ka muna!‘ ‘그냥 일어났는데 먼저 쉬어야 돼!‘ ‘You just woke up, you should rest first!‘ *I don’t know if I constructed the Korean sentence correctly, correct it if you must :). I can’t understand it at first because you already slept for hours and then you’ll just gonna rest again after waking up? 너무 이상했죠? But now, I understand it because I tend to feel more tired after longer hours of sleep so I limit my waking time to mornings. Even if I don’t get a full eight hour or six or anything, I need to wake up from 8 am to 9 am just so I could rest and enjoy the day well and longer, even if I slept so late.

But then, the day was super boring. I don’t want to open my Korean textbooks because I just don’t want to. I don’t even remember what I did earlier. I planned on cleaning my shoes, or read ‘세상에 너를 소리쳐!’, but didn’t. I just know that I slept again at about 4 pm, and woke up at 7. Just when the moment I woke up, I decided to go to Chatime, bring my book with me (세상에 너를 소리쳐!) and have a short date with myself.

Recently I’ve been using Talk To Me In Korean’s Levels 2-3 in random as background. Whenever I’m doing something or whenever I’m idle, or just before I sleep so I can review stuff that I might have been forgetting little by little, I put their lessons on because I have up till Level 7 on my iPod. What’s good about listening to TTMIK again is that I’ve never reached Level 3 before. When I started studying at my school, I only finished about more than half of Level 2, so doing this again excites me and gives me the feeling of nostalgia (those days when I’m still learning the language and being able to read a signage or a random word gives a big smile on your face), because I also missed how 현우 씨 would bully 경은 씨. It’s cute, funny and gives you this feeling that you’re just studying with them naturally. And what’s good about TTMIK lessons is that they’re not so hyper-traditional like what you’ll be finding from textbooks or classroom teachers. They teach you more to speak ‘street-smart’. Just 그제, since I learned it through TTMIK, I started using -아/어야 되다 rather than -아/어야 하다, because the latter is more written than conversational, and obviously the first one’s more natural.

While walking to my destination, I was listening to a certain lesson. I believe it was the -(으)ㄹ/를 위해(서) / -기 위해(서) lesson. While listening to it, the song ‘All For You’ runs continuously in my brain. ‘너를 위해서~ 난 너를 위해서~’ And just now (while composing this blog), I realized that it is somehow the Korean translation of the title itself *바보*. But then, what’s good about not realizing it is that I can now say that I can finally understand Korean sentences by itself, without the need of translating it to a language I know *spazzes* (간단한 문장밖에 이해하지 못 해요~). Sometimes I also have this mistake of using Korean words when talking to my ‘non-Korean’ friends (friends that don’t even have interest, etc). I would say, ‘I don’t have 도시락 so don’t ask me to eat outside.’ or ‘I borrowed this book from our 도서관 so I have to take care of it.’, etc., and through their wrinkled faces, I realized I am sometimes unable to process quickly how to explain what 도시락 and 도서관 are, lol. I have to think first before translating it to lunchbox and library.

세상에 너를 소리쳐! *spoiler alert*

As I was having a cup of matcha red bean milk tea earlier, I finished Stage 2 or Taeyang’s part. I’m super glad that Taeyang’s part was way easier than GD’s. I can understand more things and probably can read faster now. I understood the PC gamer part, the Jinusean music video audition part, his influences and that moment when…

Last night while reading it, there’s this moment (as how I understood it) when there was like a meeting with 양현석 대표님 and he was *roughly* like, “영배가 지용이가~ you became trainees almost the same time right? But you, 영배, you think you can now sing better? 지용 did better, now what would it become of you? Watch yourself 영배, are you aware that you’re my biggest problem?” He even told Seungri “너, 작은 승현아~ You’re also problematic. If you still practice like that, you’ll be just like Taeyang (영배처럼 된다). Taeyang said that he was so embarrassed. OMG, just like that while reading in the train last night, I became extremely sad. I never thought he had been a problem for YG, and just the thought of how it felt for him to be embarrassed like that is just too sad. But anyway, in the nearer end part of that story, GD told him something like “When other people points out your problems, when you get back to your room, ask yourself about it over and over again.”

All in all, I understood more sentences in Taeyang’s part. And finally I searched words through the dictionary, some things like 순간 that I just confirmed since I can understand it through context, 스스로, 시절 (연습생 시절 *understood 연습생 as a trainee), among other words that appeared a lot.

Iyagi  (Natural Talks in 100% Korean)

Just after reading Taeyang’s part, I finally decided to go home… and then turned back and went up to the bookstore. I had a Facebook status earlier that I wanted to go to a bookstore, and since I still had time (about 1 more hour before the mall closes), I went. Books are on sale at 20, 50 or 70% off but sadly, I haven’t bought any. Of course, checking the language section for Korean stuff is just a waste of time because I probably know each and every book in there, or maybe even know every Korean book in every bookstore in the whole country >.< There are just phrasebooks (some good, some not) and rubbish dictionaries, in which thinking about it, calling it rubbish is a bit harsh, but in reality it really is, so why do they keep on selling that stuff, or why do the publishers or writers even started a reference material like that when it’s faulty and won’t help readers achieve something at all >.<

Walking back from the mall to home, it took about 20 minutes of very slow walk (usually it takes 15). I’m planning to reach home at least 30 minutes so I walked slowly but I still arrived after 20 minutes >.<. I was listening to another TTMIK lessons, this time, the -(으)ㄴ 다음에/후에/뒤에 which the other stuff I really didn’t know before. I only knew 후에 but not the others, and I don’t know why I don’t know those, and why our teacher never even mentioned it since 현우 씨 said that he’s more fond of using 다음에 >.< (>.< overload).

When I arrived, I can’t find another lesson in the Levels 2-3 range that I’m interested with as of the moment, so I checked their website just to have a feel, then I remembered that they have Iyagi lessons! Those are lessons where they talk about a certain topic in absolute Korean in an almost-everyday pacing. Incidentally, their second Iyagi lesson out of about a hundred plus O_O, the topic was 서점!! I just came back from a 서점 so I was excited to listen to the lesson and try to understand it without looking at the script.

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Weird right?

I did my own way of evaluating my listening and understanding skill by putting a piece of paper just below the audio wave, and marking the parts that I had difficulties with. Surprisingly, not so much!!! I can perfectly understand the parts unmarked, and it’s cool that I don’t have to cheat myself by looking at the script, or pausing the audio file. After this blog, I might take a look at it so I can study it more, parts by parts. There are still grammar patterns that I heard and just familiar with but haven’t tried learning myself, like ‘-에 대해서 and -잖아요‘. And of course, there were words that I can’t understand, so I really have to check the script.

Doing more of these ‘Iyagi’ lessons, I hope, can help me with my listening skill so when I come across the Korean guy from the elevator from last time again, (Panggap-seumnida Story #003 | 가식 이야기 #003) I can properly hear what he said, and reply back naturally. And mainly, this is a good warm-up before I start my Intermediate Korean 1 class.

Have you tried Talk To Me In Korean’s ‘Iyagi’ lessons? Check them at their website: http://talktomeinkorean.com.

여러분 좋은 일요일 보내세요~

Hangul Typing | 한글 타이핑

It was one of those days when I was in the middle of ‘panggap’-ing as Korean ‘한국인 척하는 중이다’ when I realized how great it was for me to know how to type in Korean. I’m trying really hard to ‘panggap’ while I was standing inside the train, but unluckily for me, no one’s asking me to take a seat. I am studying while standing which is super super hard. Whenever I had no time to make my homeworks at home and at the office, I do it while I’m on my way to school.

So that time, I am answering my workbook, but not through my handwriting, because I don’t want my book to be super messy and that is way too impossible. Besides writing inside the train even if you’re sitting is a bit dizzy-fying. So I have my trusty Blackberry phone for these moments.

QWERTY keypad sans 한글

QWERTY keypad sans 한글 ㅜ.ㅜ

Last February, I have been contemplating for so long if I should get a Samsung SIII Mini or a Blackberry Curve 9320 for my postpaid plan, but since I hate anything Android, and SIII Mini would just sacrifice itself as a toy, not a phone (since people would be playing or do a lot of stuff in there), I chose Blackberry. And another big reason for me, is I want to learn how to type in 한글 through my 휴대폰. Not that I’m making things inconvenient (touch screen phones are the easiest way to type), I just want to feel how to type through my phone in 한글 even if there are no 자모 indicators.

Before I got this phone, I already know how to type in 한글, up to 70-80 Korean characters per minute through my laptop. Now, I’m on a whopping speed of 130 Korean characters per minute, which still may not be fast for you. Hmm, probably I still consider it slow, but I can now type long paragraphs without looking at the keyboard, with minimal typos.

Back to my ‘panggap’ moment from the train, I have the book on my left hand, and my Blackberry phone on my right. I am answering my assignment which is not a simple fill in the blank with words. You have to answer the questions in sentences. It’s hard to type in one hand since your left hand already memorized the keys, and giving it all to the right is very confusing and slow. I can now type 한글 through my phone too without looking, but with one hand, it’s just so hard, but just the thought that I could at least do it 천천히, I’m contented. Now…

How I started learning how to type

I started by sticking hand-cut 자모 letters through my keyboard but it didn’t even last a month. In short, I haven’t had any practice with it. It keeps on falling off so I got annoyed and removed it right away.

I installed Korean input and had a Korean keyboard layout picture always open. Back in the days, I was just like this:

Notepad + Korean keyboard layout picture

Notepad + Korean keyboard layout picture

Everything I type goes straight into my very trusty Notepad, before I paste in on Google or anywhere I might need Korean characters.

I practiced like that, without buying Korean keyboard stickers, or typing through romanizations. I just let my fingers memorize the letters as how I could see it through the layout. When I finally half-memorized the keys, I finally neglected the Korean keyboard layout picture and just did it ‘correct-as-you-type’, frequently hitting backspace and trying my luck on another key if that’s the right character. But then I had to step up, so I tried to find interactive ways how to type, looking for WPM tests, etc. And these are, for me, the best tools I’ve used for practicing my typing.

Daum 기즈짱 – 타자연습

키즈짱 타자!!

키즈짱 타자!!

Basically it’s a Korean typing game for kids. There are three modes:

  1. 자리연습 – in this mode, you type per 자모. This mode is divided into three, the 기본자리, or the middle layout with practices for ㅁ ~ ㅎ or ㅗ ~ ㅣ, 윗자리, or the upper layout with practices for ㅂ ~ ㅅ or ㅃ ~ ㅒ, and the 아랫자리, or the lower layout with practices for ㅋ ~ ㅍ or ㅠ ~ ㅡ. I honestly didn’t practice through this mode because it’s boring. LOL. Or not… but this one’s actually good. There are rockets with the characters in it, and you have to make them explode before it reaches the screen.
  2. 낱말연습 – in this mode, there are words written on bombs, and the kid have to zap it before it destroys the whole city. This is where I practiced a lot. Before I could only get 700점 over 1300점 for Level 1, but now I can go even 1400점 easily for Level 5. Level 1 for slower fall and easiest words, Level 7 is the fastest and more complex words. I still can’t pass through Level 6 so maybe I still need more practice.

    예~

    예~

  3. 문장연습 – in this mode, you get to type sentences. This one’s boring so I rarely tried it.

10FastFingers 타자 테스트

You are given a minute to type a horizontal list of words which I’ve read from somewhere, does not make any sense, since a good typing test should be sentence-based. But anyway, I have been playing here before and I only get 70-85 WPM, but just now, I tried it and I got 97 WPM and three mistakes for first try, since playing this after a long time is tenseful. But for the second try, I got: 

So happy.

So happy.

TypeRacer

마지막으로… I settled here since this is more ‘accurate’ *or not* than 10FastFingers, since 112 WPM is too much. I only get 100+ for English, and I get 112 for Korean? That’s just wrong calculation, lol.

Google Translate alert...

Google Translate alert…

In TypeRacer, you compete with other players and you get to track your progress so it’s better than the other two. And this is more accurate since it measures CPM rather than WPM, which is more important in Korean because a word requires a lot of characters before it’s formed. There’s also a ranking system, Beginner at 0 – 60 CPM, Intermediate ate 63-75, Average at 78-103, Pro at 105-135 (I’m at 130), Typemaster at 138-198, and Megaracer at 200+.

Why type?

As soon as I learned how to read and write, typing has been one of the things I mastered. I consider myself a Google genius, since I can find the hardest things to find in the internet through my carefully picked Google search terms. Now, I can also find rare Korean torrents and files (hihi) and articles through the help of my typing. If you don’t know how to type, you’ll mostly rely on online virtual keyboards or typing through romanizations which is way uncool. And besides, it’s cool if a friend sees you typing in another language, another bragging rights for you. And yeah… as much as it’s important to know Korean words, grammar, and expressions, if you can’t type, you’re nothing. LOOOOL.