Intermediate Korean TV 3 | 중급 한국어 TV 3

Hi everyone. Finally, I finished my Intermediate Korean 1 (3급) through Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines, also an accredited Sejong Hakdang Institute (세종학당) where I started my Korean studies way back in 2012. I finished the class after not continuing it before due to work schedule and stuff.

Unfortunately though…

I did not pass.

Which is still okay, since I expected it anyway. I’m actually very lazy when it comes to studying so I know this would happen. I’m lazy in a sense that I shy away from the textbook and whenever I’m studying about the current lessons, I would procrastinate and look up words, topics, or grammar patterns that appear until eventually I’m too far away from what I have to study at the moment. So that’s what happened, and since I think I already reached the point where I can already come up with more stricter study plans and habits, or at least get by without guidance from a proper teacher, I may have to just continue to study by myself through online materials, textbooks, immersion with locals and unorthodox methods. The foundation I got from Korean Cultural Center is definitely unbeatable. Even if most of the self-studying students are better than my level, I have no regrets that I was handled by one of the greatest teachers in KCC, 노옥진 선생님!!

Video Presentation for Graduation

So yesterday’s our graduation. The program includes the graduation of Basic Korean classes, Elementary Korean 1 and 2 classes, and the only Intermediate Korean class which was our class. Per usual, graduation day is the moment when everyone can showcase what they’ve learned for the whole term. Mornings are for language classes and afternoon comes cultural class presentations (K-Dance, K-Musical, Taekwondo, Traditional Music, etc.). The only way we can present how much we’ve learned about the language easily is through video presentations.

Ours is actually the third from the Intermediate Korean TV series which was started by my classmates from the Intermediate class that I was unable to finish. They have tackled about Korean proverbs way back, and since I had previous classmates who took the following Intermediate class, they followed and created the second episode of the series tackling about onomatopoeia and mimetic words (의성어, 의태어) for their graduation video.

This time, we talked about 성격 / Personality and shot the entire show through an iPhone. My classmate, James (second top student 추카추카!!) was in charge of the flow and the script. I edited the whole show, including the selection of music and some of the directing when I’m not editing simultaneously while they were shooting. I had no high hopes for the video since this was my first time to do a video as crazy as this (though in all honesty we had a higher edge than the lower classes since we have a better command of the language), but watching even the video presentations of Basic classes got me surprised. Everyone’s video had it’s certain charm and everyone really did their best.

IMG_9019.JPGBut of course, the Best Video Presentation award went to us!!  We won P5000 pesos worth (about 120,000 KRW) of gift certificates for a Korean restaurant and we planned to eat out with our 선생님 next year at 정월대보름. It was a very pleasant experience anyway, so even if I failed the class, I definitely have zero regrets! And I promise to study better from now on.




On K-Pop, INFINITE One Great Step in Manila and Books | 케이팝, 인피니트의 One Great Step in Manila와 책에 대한

DISCLAIMER: I haven’t watched any concert since last year. This one included.

K-Pop ‘Feels’

And then I just realized that I already started to detach myself away from K-Pop bitterness, except maybe if it’s about TOP or BIGBANG. I’m not a good spazzer myself. I tend to get super red or have those ‘feels’ (which is still an irritating word to me) whenever I watch something or listen to something, but I’m not someone who checks up on my idols, hoard pictures or read endless articles, because that’s just worthless. I became a fan of BIGBANG and 2NE1 because of the music. They’re not artists if not for the music, so I stayed true to the concept of K-Pop. Though K-Pop in a whole may already be interpreted as a lifestyle or a cult, I still think otherwise. It’s still about music.

It’s not that I’m just a plain K-Pop fan, but I don’t follow it religiously. I don’t have to have every merchandise, or every album, but I have a simple, inner and deeper understanding about it. Though honestly, there’s not too much deepness about it, since I don’t even understand the words… but yeah. I call myself a silent fan because I far know my limitations about stuff. I don’t care about bulges or nipple slips because that’s just rude and highly inappropriate for me to buzz about.


A lot of concerts have passed but I never bothered going any. This year opened up with a grand concert with Girls’ Generation, INFINITE, Tasty, EXO and U-KISS (and let’s include TAHITI that I don’t even know), and then comes another round from EXO with SHINee and Dal Shabet… but then I never bothered going. Though I love D.O. and all, and INFINITE, I just don’t have the funds for a good show. I may choose to buy the least pricey tickets, but what’s the point in watching then if it’s just like that?

Super Junior also arrived last week but I’m the least one to even care about it.

I bought general admission tickets for BIGBANG Alive Galaxy Tour in Manila just because I’m just rewatching it, so it’s still worth it, but then for this time, it’s INFINITE in their solo tour. Though it pains me a bit, because I half-swore before that from some time forward, I’m just gonna spend money for BIGBANG, 2NE1 or INFINITE and will never watch a show with mixed groups but just watch their solo materials, I failed to watch and stick to my promise. But then INFINITE concert just ended while I’m typing this and it’s sad.

I’m not crazy about not going there because as far as I can evaluate myself, I’m already detached about things like these. It would be a nice experience, though, but I’m not very bitter about it. I had a chance to watch it through my cousin since she got free tickets, but then I’m just half-decided about it, since I promised not-watching with a friend since we both can’t afford. If we can though, we’ll definitely watch together. Things happen. And besides, it’s still better to watch on a DVD. I thought the same way from a long time ago.

Korean class and Murakami

It’s about halfway. We’re currently at Chapter 8 out of 15, and lessons are… I can’t say getting harder, but getting more complicated and tiring. Sometimes, I want to give up for no reason, but then it’s not a very wise choice because things just happen and I might just be experiencing ‘cold feet’. Just these last weeks, I found another book that opens the bookworm inside me, again. It’s been days or weeks(?) since I last posted something here because I’ve been going on about my busy social life. Not that I’ve been drinking or living the life of a party (because I don’t do that), but I was just spending time discovering new tea or coffee places, going around every bookstore I can go to and just that, being introvert, being myself.

In those days that I haven’t posted something, I already finished Koushun Takami’s (I had to Google that since I have difficulties remembering Japanese names with the exception of Ayumi Hamasaki [not that I like her] and Haruki Murakami) Battle Royale. I’ve watched the film several times before, but then the red book cover caught my eye one time while looking for ‘A Game of Thrones’ and got the idea that I can’t find this book easily anywhere and it would be very stupid of me to not buy it. So I did. In 10 days, I finished the book and decided to pick up my third Murakami book (first was 1Q84 then Sputnik Sweetheart) ‘Kafka on the Shore’. I’ve been reading the book nonstop, just pausing from book exhaustion and sleepiness. I am a very weird person so taking in a Murakami, maybe even in his boldest, won’t exactly be a bother or sickening to my likeness. In fact, I really enjoy his novels, same way as I’m enjoying my Korean classes.

If I haven’t told through previous entries, we had a whole week break from Korean school, and it really was a lot of help to clear up my mind a little. I never noticed that my Korean class is subconsciously adding stress to my being. I myself don’t admit to it since I enjoy it, but then when it went away for some time, I felt like it was a very necessary breather. Not that I want to stop it already, but it’s just something that I never thought I needed. Earlier, I met my classmate for a simple homework date. We just had to take care of our assignments and essay writings since classes will be resuming tomorrow and it would be unwise for me to do it at the office, when in fact, I had a whole full week of study time.

I’m actually having dilemmas about this book because like 1Q84, this is just another Murakami-formulated book that as much as I want to stop reading and go on with my life, I also want the book to not end or just go on, but rereading would not be an option because you want the story to feel as if it’s completely new again. Thus, I haven’t had time to study vocabulary or just do practice with newly-learned grammar patterns.

I should just go with the flow, because life is just an up-down up-down hill and we never know what circumstances may bring. I’m turning 21 on the 21st and aside from not maturing quickly, God may just have too many upcoming plans for me.

32nd Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) | 제32회 한국어 능력 시험

This is it. I didn’t review.

It’s been a bit long since I last posted since I was busy from work school work school routine. Well it seems like I’m not gonna be needing any reviews of any sorts, since it’s already Saturday and the exam would be tomorrow. The studying that I will do would probably be more about my yet uncollated words and grammars from Intermediate 1. I should actually have posted a book review last week but time hasn’t been super cooperative with me.

Or if I still have time, I might practice a bit on writing. Last Friday, our 선생님 finally taught us how to use 원고지, or the paper thingy with boxes where you put the Korean characters, 한 자 한 자. I never knew about putting that ‘V’-esque symbol whenever you need a space and it reaches the end of the paper, lol. My other classmates who previously passed TOPIK didn’t knew about those either, but I think checkers weren’t so much particular with it since it might just be a technicality that doesn’t really measure someone’s proficiency.

I am the kind of person who wouldn’t prepare. I wouldn’t say overprepare, but when there were times that I actually prepared, 50% of the time, I did extremely good, and the remaining 50% missed the line. That’s why I don’t bother disturbing my brain anymore when I have to do something like exams or reports, etc. When there’s something I’m already confident with, I don’t like bothering it anymore, so for this TOPIK, I might not just review anymore. I might do good in TOPIK mocks but when tomorrow comes, I just might go blank instantly. Trust me, sometimes it happens.


Last Tuesday, I borrowed the second book from ‘재미있는 한국어’ series. Currently, we’re using the third book at school but like this matter, I don’t like studying things from different sources since I may tend to miss a lot of grammar and words that didn’t come out from the previous book I used, in this case, ‘가나다 Korean’. Upon checking, I have about 10+ major grammar patterns to study. Frustrating right, so maybe, instead of reviewing for TOPIK, I should just focus on this one, and the words that I wrote on my notebook, and maybe practice a bit through Quizlet, and just bid myself good luck tomorrow morning.

To everyone who will be taking the TOPIK exam, I hope we all do good, especially for the Intermediate and Advanced takers. It’s so sad that I’m only gonna be taking the Beginner TOPIK but it’s okay, I shall go for Level 2!!!


Homework #02 | 숙제 #02

This was our last week’s ‘plan’ homework that I was talking about, and now I’m gonna post it here along with 선생님’s corrections.

잘 쓰셨어요.

잘 쓰셨어요.

이번 학기 계획

나는 지금 그래픽 디자이너로 열심히 일하면서 한국어를 열심히 공부하는 중이다. 2012년부터 한국어 공부하기 시작했는데 아직까지 부족한 것 같다. 작년에는 취직하지 않아서 시간이 많고 한국어를 더 많이 배울 수 있었다. 내가 한국말을 잘하게 되면 한국에서 좋은 곳에 취직하거나 외국 사람들에게 한국어를 가르치고 싶다. 사실은 계획은 아직 없는다. 그래서 이번에는 좋은 계획을 세워 볼 것이다.

내년에 아무리 힘들어도 회사를 옮기거나 떠나고 싶다. 아니면 잠깐 당안 잘 쉬고 싶다. 하지만 일을 꼭 해야 하면 재미있는 일을 하고 싶다. 취직하지 못 하면 그냥 집에서 한국어만 공부하고 싶다. 그때는 아마 돈이 없어질 것 같은데 그 계획을 어떻게 할까? 그냥 지금부터 돈을 모으기 시작해야겠다.

나는 아직 회사에 떠나지 않기 때문에 이번 학기에는 목표를 이루기 위해서 매일 매일 꼭 반복하고 외워야 된다.

1. 열심히 회사에서 일하고 학원 문화원에서 한국어 열심히 공부하기
2. 주마다 매주 한국말로 일기 쓰기
3. 주말에 2시간쯤씩 한국어 복습하기

Add | Subtract

I was anticipating how much I lacked and how much I’ve gained through my writing skills and good thing is that I personally felt I can write more comfortably now, without thirsting for too much words. I can construct at least simple thoughts without thinking in English.

When my teacher asked my classmate who only got two errors, I’ve heard his plan and it was really good. I don’t usually listen before when our teacher asks for someone to read their written material, but now I did. Maybe before I also did, but I think I just didn’t because I can’t understand. Now, I understood about 98% of what he read and what he wrote was really good *envy-yezz*.

When my 선생님 got back to me though, she said in Korean, something like, “조셉 씨도 잘 쓰셨어요! Your writing ability already exceeded 2급, 잘했어요”. I was a bit shocked because I was not expecting for it… but good thing though, I had her rule that she was discussing just before I arrived at school *I was a bit late earlier*, that we should ‘한국말로 생각해야 돼요.’ I don’t really think in English anymore whenever I want to convey something in Korean. It’s hard for others but it not hard for me anymore, except of course when things get too complicated and get way outside my level. But all in all, in my current level, at least I’m able to think in Korean, and I think more practicing of its power will be a good thing in the future.

First Week, Thoughts and Study Plans | 첫 주, 생각과 공부 계획

This is a somehow late super-post but I don’t expect this to be as long as my usual posts, or I don’t know. I just want to share this because I don’t want to blog tomorrow (later *because it’s already 1 AM). I just wanna devote my time to studying and sleeping, and de-stressing myself. 하지만 아무리 피곤해도 보통 많이 쓸 수 있어요. No matter how dizzy or sleep-desperate I am, I can still talk/type a lot. But anyway, I just got home from work and semi-tutoring volunteer work, lol. Though I don’t usually go out on Friday nights, or just about any nights, I had to because my E1 friend, 엘리자 누나, who’s also my classmate right now asked me for help. It was pre-planned last Saturday before our first day but a lot of us weren’t feeling so good and storm came so it was cancelled. We commenced earlier, but it was just her, and 찰린 누나 followed. 엘리자 누나 is already at Intermediate 1 *obviously* but she still lacks a lot since before, I try hard to make them speak in Korean with me, but they just won’t. They were contented enough, and their mentalities were like, “Studying is already enough, I don’t want to talk anymore.”, lol. It was frustrating to me because I can only talk with 찰린 누나. Now, 찰린 누나, though she thought of herself as a lacking student, she improved a lot. Whether it be speaking, writing, and reading, her pace improved. She would even correct me occasionally when I get mistakes, which is very very very good.

As for 엘리자 누나 when 찰린 누나 has not arrived yet, I asked her “Which part are you having difficulties with, except everything?” ㅎㅎㅎ. I asked her like that because I don’t want her to answer ‘everything’. She then explained to me that she’s having difficulties with 말하기 and 읽기. So then, I decided to let her read a lot. I explained the similarities and differences of ㅓ ㅗ ㅜ ㅡ ㅣ regarding sounds, mouth form, etc. Then we went on to read the conversations. At first we would exchange lines, and since I felt she’s having a hard time, I just had to read it, then she’ll listen and repeat. I actually want to do it often, but I don’t know if I can do it without killing myself out of stress.

First week

In three days, we already have about 150 words. O_O. Just thinking about it, I wanna die. Good thing about our vocabularies though, is that they are a bit connected with each other. That’s the good thing about 재미있는 한국어, the book cites specific goals that you’ll be achieving when you finished a lesson, so vocabularies from a single lesson are somewhat biased on a certain topic. Aside from all those new and overwhelming words, we also have overwhelming homeworks. There’s this second homework where we were asked to write about our plans. Whether it be this year’s, next year’s or as simple as this term’s. I chose the latter. I will post it on Monday after receiving 선생님’s corrections.

One more good thing about my classes is that my current teacher is also my Elementary 2 teacher. I wouldn’t have to worry about techniques or anything I need adjustments with. Right now I’m currently having fun. I hope it won’t get super stressful in the next weeks.

Korean Diary

I never thought how exciting it was then when I can write a good chunk of Korean texts. It just so happened that I want to write again since I have to be disciplined. I have to at least see how far I’ve become from simple sentences to more grammar-juggling ones.

I’ve already posted two entries since I started classes and have it corrected through Lang-8. It’s good to see that all the corrections make sense when I read and compare it with my own writing. Though there may be grammar points and words that I would’ve never chose beforehand *since I don’t know them yet, or not too sure*, it’s good to hear outputs. 그리고, the people who corrects your entries don’t know you personally or how simple your sentences should be corrected, so it’s not much of a big deal when my simple sentence turned into a more complex one. I just proved that usage of grammar points really matter in helping a sentence convey a message more clearly and appropriately. Some grammar points may feel safe and appropriate for a particular thought but in reality, there would be a better way on how to communicate it.

K-Pop understanding

Earlier on my way home, I was listening to random K-Pop music. Listening to SE7EN’s ‘이해해’, 2NE1’s ‘DO YOU LOVE ME’, After School’s ‘첫사랑’ and just about any other song that comes out on shuffle. It’s good that three days of Intermediate 1 helped me understand some lines from songs that I wouldn’t even know how it would mean if I listened to it last week. This is what I love about not advancing myself. I ‘NEVER’ tried reading a song’s translation, or try to translate a song word per word, because that’s more ‘leisurely’ than ‘educational’. Most of the time, my mind wouldn’t keep fragments. It can choose pieces of information that may be used frequently, and some pieces can just be left scattered. If I translate a song from Korean to English, it’s just like accepting a fun challenge, but in reality there wouldn’t be so much learning. In listening to Jay Park’s ‘좋아’ I noticed there are more lines that I can understand rather than lines that I can’t. It’s a good progress in a sense. I just thought that if I make the song run a bit slower than usual, just to give me a time to process the sentences quickly, I may understand about 90% of the whole song.

I don’t plan on studying or dissecting a song anytime soon, because this way of surprising myself feels more better and satisfactory. Those are the lyrics you were super familiar with, and when you listened to it for another time, you’ll be super surprised that you can finally understand what it was saying.

Study plans

Last Wednesday, we were asked to do that ‘plans’ assignment. Work is getting busier, and school is getting harder so every little time should be spent well. During E2, whenever I get home, I can only eat, bathe and sleep. I can blog if I choose to, but anything besides those four things, I can’t anymore. On my way home last Wednesday, I already did my assignment through my Blackberry. It’s super convenient because I just have to type, and rewrite it when it’s finished. Since when I got home I was super tired, I haven’t had the time to do it. I don’t really like studying or doing Korean stuff at work because that’s just rude. But then, I can’t figure out a free time for me to write my homework on a paper so I did it during lunch time. There are also some times when I blog at work, but that’s just when I don’t have to do anything productive. And since, just like what I’ve said, everything’s getting hectic so when I still got spare time in the office, I ‘excel’ all the words that we’ve tackled.


Don’t mind the double entries, I don’t know how it became like that but I’ll fix it early in the morning >.<

Firstly, I type all the BLUE entries in my notebook, the 한글 and it’s English counterpart. I use blue for vocabulary so no matter how mixed up my notes become, I can sort them out easily. After typing the entries, I categorize it if it’s a noun, a verb, an adjective or an adverb. Afterwards, I will also put its synonyms. If the synonym is pure Korean or hanja, I will also indicate. Then if it has antonyms, I will also put it there. Next, I will put nouns that can be used with it, if it’s a verb. And verbs that can be used with it if it’s a noun. Then, I categorize them whether it’s a ‘school’ thing, or a ‘major’, or if it’s a ‘cooking’-related word, etc.

I think this would be really helpful for me, since I’m not very good at memorizing. Just doing a simple word list of 한글 and English won’t help. Right now there are a lot of similar words but there are slight to big differences, so knowing when and how to use it will really be productive and helpful for my future speaking and writing.

Starting tomorrow, I will definitely study more. During transit, instead of reading a different book, I should just read my notes and memorize a lot of words. If it’s hard to just memorize, I’ll take time to make mind examples, and relate a word to something so I won’t have a lot of difficulties. For example, instead of thinking about this word as ‘this word’, I will think about how to apply that word into something concrete, and that would make me learn more on how to use similar words correctly. At work, when I’m not doing anything, I will take the time to type newly-studied words and ‘excel’ it. Good thing I’m already quick at typing so it won’t take a lot of time. After work when on transit, I will try to answer my homeworks already, and just study more and harder on weekends.

I hope I can make this plan concrete, and make a list soon so it would be official. Can I buy time? Well even if I can, I don’t even have money for smaller things.