Monthly Archives: March 2011

Learning Korean – a few online resources


After two months of classes, exercises, repetitions and a lot of writing practise, I can honestly say that Korean is, hands down, the hardest language I’ve learnt. Not that I’m finished learning it, of course, but you get my point. Anyway, it was early on, when the classes had just started, that I came to realize that, in order to really learn the language, I would have to find a lot of extra material for self-study; as good as the weekly classes I attend are, they’re just not enough.

Fortunately, nowadays it is super easy to find lessons, vocab lists and all other sorts of things in any language you may want to learn on the internet (whether this material is good or not, well, this is a whole different story), so that’s where I headed.

I have to admit that, at first, it was kinda hard to find exactly what I wanted, because that search actually began way before I started the course, so I actually didn’t really know what to look for, but, little by little, I came upon language forums and Korean blogs that put me in the right path. Now, even though my learning is in its early stages, I do have a better understanding and am able to So, below, you will find a small compilation of websites that may help you along the way.

The Sogang Korean Program is one of the most recommended all through the internet. That’s actually the main reason why it made into this sort of top 5 list, because I found the first lessons, the ones on Korean sounds and alphabet, quite bad. And since pronunciation is my biggest problem so far, you may understand why I prefer other resources for that. Still, I liked the way they structured the lessons and I can tell it’ll be quite useful as soon as I get to a higher level of understanding.

Professor Oh has a few videos on her YouTube channel in which she explains the basics of Hangul pronunciation. These videos were really helpful whenever I forgot how to say a specific character or in establishing more clearly the difference between some others. She also has a couple worksheets for download.

KBS World Radio also offers Korean lessons. The best thing here is that they have the explanations in 10 different languages! The grammar explanations are brief (I love loooong explanations that cover all rules and exceptions), but they have lots of example dialogues with audio for lots of different situations.

Korean Flashcards was one of the first sites I visited and I really liked the way they organize and present information. They focus on, surprise, surprise, flashcards and also explain basic, intermediate and advanced sentences word by word. I kinda like their layout and the way content is presented, but there are no pronunciation features.

One more vocabulary resource, the Flashcard Machine is quite useful once you already know how to read Hangul, obviously.

Now, there are some other sites I visit every once in a while, but, depending on what I am after, they are a bit deficient. I also imagine that, for intermediate and advanced students, these three below are lacking. Click on the images to go the sites and, should you know some other good learning resources, share them via e-mail!

Check out more posts from this collaboration HERE.
Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.
Check out The Korea Blog!


Video of the week #3: Do you know South Korea?


I’m still having problems with images for my posts, so, as I don’t really know how long it’ll take for me to find the photos I’m looking for (I’m really messy and my picture archive is in a terrible state), I searched for a few videos that show beautiful things/places in Korea.

I leave you now with this one, “Do You Know South Korea?”, by David Dutton. I found it on seoulful and loved it right away. The video is lovely, some of the places shown are beyond beautiful and the music helps you get into the right mood to fully appreciate it.


Check out more posts from this collaboration HERE.
Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.
Check out The Korea Blog!

Korea Blog contributors list


The Korea Blog has released the full list of blog contributors with a link to their blogs. I’m in there, which reminds me I’m totally late in posting my texts. There are a few of them pretty much done, I just need to get some picture to illustrate the whole thing. So you definitely can expect a few Korea-related posts in the next few days!
For now, I’ll leave you with the full list of blogs. Be sure to check them all out!

Alexandra DeMaria –
Anne-Maria Cole –
Austin Wallace –
Belinda Kew –
Betchay –
Chris Backe –
Cindy Zimmer –
Daria –
David Teszar –
Eleonora Ibragimova –
Francesco Morello –
Huidrom Renuka –
Hyekyung25 –
James Larter –
Jen Pace –
Jennie Griffin –
Jepoi Ordaniel –
Jihyun Siera Lee –
Jo-Anna –
Jordi Sanchez –
Joy Iris-Wilbanks –
Jun Duong/octotoni –
Katie Herron –
Kieran Tully –
Kimberly Hiller –
Lauren Kilberg –
londone7 –
Magdalena Sieminska –
Maria Margareta –
Nana Cuellar –
Nicole Gonzales –
Oliver Geronilla –
Paul Matthews –
Pearl Grace –
Philip Gowman –
Roger Tyers –
Saftira Angga –
Shelley D’souza –
Somchandra Nahakpam –
SooHee Oh –
Suzanne LaGrande –
Yelena Lim –

Check out more posts from this collaboration HERE.
Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.
Check out The Korea Blog!

So, I’m a Korea Blog writer!


Life was pretty hectic for a while, but over the last couple weeks I’ve been organising everything so I’d have more time to do the things I really like, blogging, for example.

Having been chosen as a blogger for The Korea Blog also played a big part in it, I have to admit, since it sort of compels me to become more active than before. I was so glad to be chosen that I told everybody about it, hahaha. So, now, I really have to put some effort into this.

(By the way, if you want to check out all the folks who made the cut, go here!)

To start this whole thing, I’m posting something that was already seen on my old blog, The Annotated Life. The original post dates back to early 2010, when I was still in the beginning of my obsession/passion for Korea. Even though it’s not 2010 and the article I refer to in the text doesn’t make much sense anymore, I really like this post because it kinda shows a bit how excited I was to be discovering such a rich culture for the first time.

So, here it goes!

Seoul: a city to visit in 2010, according to The NY Times
(originally posted on January 12, 2010)


I guess I haven’t talked about my obsession with Korea in here, have I? Well, that’s pretty much it: ever since I came to London, I kind of fell in love with it, a country I had never given too much thought before. Yeah, I know it does sound bad, but I’m really trying to redeem myself: I’ve been reading about its culture and habits, as well as getting started on Korean literature. Of course, I’m also looking for a place that teaches the language and have already begun planning a trip to the place in July (more on that will follow, surely). I subscribed to many Korean-related blogs, too, and it was in one of them, Ask a Korean, that I found out that Seoul, the capital city, was selected as one of the 31 places to visit in 2010. Not only this, but they were voted #3! Pretty cool, huh? Here’s what the newspaper had to say:

“Forget Tokyo. Design aficionados are now heading to Seoul.
They have been drawn by the Korean capital’s glammed-up cafes and restaurants, immaculate art galleries and monumental fashion palaces like the sprawling outpost of Milan’s 10 Corso Como and the widely noted Ann Demeulemeester store — an avant-garde Chia Pet covered in vegetation.
And now Seoul, under its design-obsessed mayor, Oh Se-hoon, is the 2010 World Design Capital. The title, bestowed by a prominent council of industrial designers, means a year’s worth of design parties, exhibitions, conferences and other revelries. Most are still being planned (go to for updates). A highlight will no doubt be the third annual Seoul Design Fair (Sept. 17 to Oct. 7), the city’s answer to the design weeks in Milan and New York, which last year drew 2.5 million people and featured a cavalcade of events under two enormous inflatable structures set up at the city’s Olympic stadium. — Aric Chen”


True enough, I’m not a design aficionada at all, but I’m pretty sure I can find other interesting things to do and places to visit (which, in this case, means that I could actually go to Seoul in any year I feel like, not particularly this one).

Interesting fact: a comment on the post I mentioned above led me to discover that, for some people, Seoul is actually quite a bit disappointing. =( Sad, but I’ll just refer to a quote by Rainer Maria Rilke that I recently found: “If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is no poverty and no indifferent place.”


Oh, and another list in which Korea appears: the world’s strangest festivals mentions Boryeong, a sort of mud party that happens every July.

Something extra: nice little Lonely Planet video on Korea: The ending is the best part, actually; “say hello to kimchi (…). You’ll get used to it”. Yay!


*All pictures in this post were definitely NOT taken by me (surprise, surprise), but come from the Lonely Planet website. Check their South Korea page by clicking HERE.

Check out more posts from this collaboration HERE.
Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.
Check out The Korea Blog!

Originally published here.