So What Exactly Does a Korean Notebook Look Like?

My Korean Language Notes

My Korean Language Notebook(s)

This is probably that ONE post in common among all the Korean language learning blogs out there, whether it’s students who self-study, web-study or classroom study.

I, for one, have not had a notebook specifically for taking notes during Korean class.  Which is surprising, considering the number of notebooks I buy a year.  The thing is, the textbooks from my community centre classes come with loads of white space. The pages are only printed on one side, leaving huge amounts of space for me to scribble on, so I’ve never really had to crack open a brand new notebook to start noting on.

But starting with the NUS Extension classes, and the Kyunghee textbooks they use, I’ve discovered a very urgent need for (a) a good notebook and (b) a very good method of taking notes.  Because, the Kyunghee textbook (not the workbook) has GLOSSY pages.  /me no like to write on glossy pages *glower*

The notebook on the left in the picture is something I tried to start some time late last year, but the effort petered out after a few pages.  The one on the right is the one I started for the NEX class.  Not sure how I should do it though, because there’s the textbook (which I don’t like to write on, so it means taking notes) and then there’s the workbook, which is normal (matte? acid-free?) paper, which means I can, and will, write in it.  But it’ll mean my notes are … all over the place!

For the moment, I think I’ll keep on with this notebook and use it as a “replacement” for the usual notes-in-my-textbook scribbles, so it’ll be vocabulary, new phrases, short example sentences etc that are introduced during the NEX class.  As for the community centre class, I’ll still continue to scribble in the white space provided.  for now.  until I come across something better.  when I’m more organized.  which is probably never.

Anybody out there taking more than one Korean language class? Do you keep more than one notebook?



A TOPIK, A Class and oh! A Class

I might have been feeling a biiit too ambitious last month. I’ve been with my current 선생님 at a community centre for a couple of years already, with a half-year break in between.  I’m finally done with Intermediate 2 with her again (it’s the second time I’m taking Inter 2 with her), and now moving on to Advanced 1.

Because it was the second time taking Inter 2, I think I got a bit too over-confident, and decided that I needed more immersion into 한극어 rather than just 1.5 hours a week.  So I registered with the Korean programme at NUS Extension, and had my first lesson 2 weeks ago.

dun-dun-dun I had no idea the teachers there went that fast.

My current community centre lessons go at a much more relaxed pace. 장선생님 is probably more conscious that the students there are working adults or are taking classes for recreation / pleasure, rather than studying seriously towards TOPIK certifications or for work reasons. So even at Intermediate 2, she still tries to translate at least 85% of the class into English.

Which is probably what lulled me into my sense of over-confidence. Because as compared, the one at NEX speeds along merrily for 2.5 hours, conducting most of the class in Korean, and some explanations in English.  I’m not complaining, this IS what I was looking for. It’s just that having been complacent for so long, (and having stopped watching K-dramas for almost 6 months), I find myself having to concentrate on listening harder and bringing myself back to the level I think I was at 6 months ago.  The other good, or bad, thing about NEX is that they expect a lot of self-study.  I can’t bring myself to class unprepared anymore and expect to understand more than two-thirds of what is going on.  I actually have to go through the material for next week, before even turning up.

So now, I’m registered for once-a-week 조급5 classes at NUS Extension, once-a-week Advanced 1 classes (which probably translates into NEX 조급6) at the community centre, and oh yes, did I not mention it? S-TOPIK 조급.

I also almost signed up for TOPIK revision lessons with 장선생님 (her classes are cheaper than those by SKS or NEX), but she couldn’t get enough students to start the class *phew*. So she’s suggested that she provide me with past test papers, and I’ll do them my own, and get them marked by her every week. Which means … 숙제 ㅔㅔㅔ !!!

Advanced 1 starts tomorrow, and (I’ve taken it once before, this time is revision) guess what 선생님 has promised us? More 숙제 ㅔㅔㅔ !!!  In fact she’s promised we’ll have to do some every week, instead of alternate weeks like back in Inter 2.

죽고 있는데! yay me!

Anybody Going for KTO’s Fun Korean Lesson Trip?

I was quite tempted by this “Fun Korean Lesson Trip” organised by KTO and Kyunghee University. It’s a 7-day trip that includes a homestay with a local Korean family and 5 half-days of Korean language lessons at Kyunghee.  The cost of the trip is about kRW 600,000, which is around S$600-700.  The link contains a write-up of the previous trip and it looks pretty fun.

I bumped into a friend who had taken a longer winter language course at Seoul National University.  She said the price is quite reasonable, considering homestay is included.  I was really planning to sign up for this 1-week course, especially since they have something going on in August, birthday month!, and I could do it as a birthday present to myself ^^  The thought of being able to be immersed in a Korean speaking community for a week sounds really quite fun, and I think it would be quite good for improving my Korean language.  And it’s Kyunghee University too!  I’ve been wanting to go there for some time, although my most recent (and first) trip to Korea was too packed and I had no time to go.

But I think I won’t go for it this year, because a week in summer in Seoul might just kill me ^^  Also, just 5 half-days of Korean language is kind of neither here nor there.  It seems more suitable for more basic learners, or some who just wants the fun of the homestay, a few lessons, and a quick 5-day trip to Seoul.  I might just consider the longer 3-month course that the various universities offer, and give myself more time to do more research, as well as improve my Korean language to a level that can allow me to ‘face people’ ^^

Anyone who’s interested can check out the link for schedules or email for more information.  You can also check here for the application form or leave a comment for me, I’ll be more than happy to email it to you.



Korean Word of the Day: 키보드

Yup a new Korean word…well not really Korean, more of a borrowed English word, and new just to me.  All in celebration of my new keyboard.

My new keyboard

My new keyboard. It’s so pretty when lighted up ^^

I bought it in hopes that it’d be easier to type on (it is!) and that would encourage me to blog more this year.  Wish me luck!

and here’s the Korean WotD again: 키보드

TOPIK or KLPT or not at all

My teacher brought up the topic of taking TOPIK exams this year again.  She’s quite in favour of us taking the exam this year, but probably the Basic levels one.  Not having done any research thus far, i decided to do a quick check and came across this amazingly detailed post comparing TOPIK and KLPT from

It’s probably time to think seriously about whether I want to continue with learning Korean.  If I do, which I think I really want to, I think the TOPIK exam is probably the direction to go in.  It seems to carry more weight than the KLPT, surprisingly, as Japan seems only to use the JLPT as the national gauge. Then again I could be wrong.

So, can anybody share more about taking the exams? Seems like it’s a pretty stressful, time-is-ticking kind of thing. Is that true? I’m quite bad at reading Korean very quickly, and worse at comprehension.

음악회/콘서트 Korean for concert

음악회…it literally means music society ^^

why 음악회?  because after last year’s K-Pop Night, and this year’s Super Show 3 (2 times, no less!), I just can’t get enough.  So I’m headed to this year’s Korean Music Wave!  I’m so looking forward to seeing FT Island, Big Bang and 2NE1 all on the same stage!  After last year’s K-Pop Night, I always regretted not listening to FT Island earlier, so this is my chance!!!

the logo’s p.d. cool too

Now my wishlist for live Korean groups and solos gets longer and longer…MC 몽 for one, 은지원 for another, or even better Clover! 지원’s new project group.  I’m totally taken by their sound and have been listening to the album endlessly.

So who’s going to fulfill my dream line-up?

oh my g.o.d

okay, i just discovered 김태우, like, 15 years too late…

Because I am now in love with his 사랑비… seriously slow, I know, because this song came out 2 years ago…my jaw keeps dropping at how amazing it is 🙂

김태우 (Kim Tae Woo) – 사랑비 (Love Rain)
title: 사랑비 (Love Rain)
artist: 김태우 (Kim Tae Woo) [of G.O.D]
album: T-Virus
track number: 3
preview: live performance
translator’s note: if you haven’t listened to this song yet, GO DO THAT. NOW.

사랑했었던 어떤 이가 떠나간 적 있겠죠
once someone I loved left me
모든 게 내 탓이란 생각이 든 적 있겠죠
and I thought it was all because of me
나 그래서 잡지 못했죠
so I couldn’t hold onto her

이런 아픔쯤은 모두 잊을 수 있을 거라
I thought that I could forget this pain
다른 사랑이 찾아 올 거라 생각했었죠
that another love will come to me
왜 그런데 잊질 못하죠
but why can’t I forget

그저 하늘 바라보며 외치죠 다시 한번
All I can do is to look up at the sky and shout once again
나를 사랑해줘 내 맘속 작은 바램이
love me , when this little hope in my heart
비가 되어 내려오면
becomes rain and falls

내 사랑이 머리에 내리면 추억이 되살아 나고
when my love rains on my head the memories come alive again
가슴에 내리면 소중했던 사랑이 떠오르고
when it rains on my heart I think of the precious love
내 사랑이 입술에 닿으면 널 사랑해 내게 외치며
when my love touches my lips I love you shouting to me
비가 내리는 그 길을 따라
following the road where the rain comes
걷다가 걷다가 걷다 보면 바라던 내가 널 기다려
You’ll see me waiting for you if you keep on walking walking and walking

믿음이란 열쇠로 사랑이란 상잘 열어
open the box called love with the key of faith
사랑이란 기도를 전하는 전화를 걸어
call with the phone transmitting a prayer called love
내 맘이 널 찾지 못해도
even if my heart can’t find you

그저 하늘 바라보며 외치죠 다시 한번
All I can do is to look up at the sky and shout once again
나를 사랑해줘 내 맘속 작은 바램이
love me, when this little hope in my heart
비가 되어 내려오면
becomes rain and falls

내 사랑이 머리에 내리면 추억이 되살아 나고
when my love rains on my head the memories come alive again
가슴에 내리면 소중했던 사랑이 떠오르고
when it rains on my heart I think of the precious love
내 사랑이 입술에 닿으면 널 사랑해 내게 외치며
when my love touches my lips I love you shouting to me
비가 내리는 그 길을 따라
following the road where the rain comes
걷다가 걷다가 걷다 보면 바라던 내가 널 기다려
You’ll see me waiting for you if you keep on walking walking and walking

돌아가 그때로
return again to that time
내 삶에 단 한번 기도했던 대로
to my life like that one time when you prayed
이렇게 외치면 사랑비가 내려와
when I shout like this the love rain falls

너의 사랑이 나의 눈에 내리면 내 앞에 네가 서 있고
when your love rains in front of my eyes you stand in front of me
내 귀에 내리면 네가 다시 사랑을 속삭이고
when it rains on my ears you whisper love into my ears again
널 사랑해 내 품에 안으면 또 다시 행복해지면
I love you when I hug you, when I become happy again
해가 비추는 그 길을 따라
following the road where the sun shines on
같이 또 걷다가 걷다 보면 바라던 우리가 서 있어
We will see us if we keep on walking walking and walking

내게 다시 오라는 기도 한번 더
once again praying for you to come back to me

translated by:
original lyrics from: naver music

Stole the lyrics from here