쪽 가세요

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Translation: (Go) Straight ahead.

We changed things up on class this week, as my teacher was a bit late showing up. But the one teacher whom I swear I scared away the last time we worked together (her last appearance was waaaaay back when) came around, so we spent our time practicing pronounciation and vocabulary.

A beneficial change of events as I think I discovered a way to hit the ever elusive “으” sound consistently. From watching my teacher’s lips I noticed that she didn’t seem to be moving them at all when she was making the “eeewww” sound. Which is really tough if you were to try it. So I’ve found to make it (at least semi-properly) you have to make the “eee-eew” sound with your tongue resting on the bottom of your mouth while your lips are stationary. It’s a pet project of mine to figure these tougher sounds out; we’ll see this coming Sunday if my super-sleuthing has paid off.

In a classic case of “one step forward, two steps back” I was then hit with the word “behind.” Behind as in behind you, (sadly) not as in rear ends. Behind (you) is 뒤 or “dwee” phonetically, which is also extremely tough to master correctly. I was dfaulting by saying “do-ee” but it’s not two syllables. So using the same slack-jawed tactic I’m using against “으” I’m thinking I figured it out. After a lot of trying.

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Most of the rest of the session was spent using the skills I practiced last week. Last week’s theme was asking the question, “Where is…?” so I spent much of this week asking “where is the convenience store?” (백의점은 어디에 있어요?) and learning the aforementioned new vocabulary; most of which concerned directions.

A theme I had unconsciously started earlier that morning when I loaded in “left” (왼쪽) and “right” (어른쪽) into my Anki deck. I had gone bike climbing with my Korean friend Saturday night and felt it would be good to learn some words that I might use everyday while riding. Even if most Koreans apparently will understand me if I just tell them “Left! Left!” or “Right!” as directions. When in Rome…

So all in all not a bad week even if it did leave me extremely light in terms of actual homework. A point of contention as, over dinner this week, my two teacher got to talking. This week’s teacher was concerned that she had somehow overloaded me with vocabulary. A fear my regular teacher did her best to eliminate.

“But I think it’s too many words.”

“Oh no, I don’t think that’s even possible. He’ll get it all done.”

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She wasn’t joking. All of it and then some.

Last week I had a host of new words to learn in addition to dissecting my book’s recorded dialogue every day to improve my fluency through intonation and the like. This week I was tasked with learning less vocabulary; which left me initially feeling a bit undermotivated.

Monday I loaded 1/3 of the new vocab. into my Anki deck and went to work. Not feeling the challenge adequate, I then decided to continue my morning bike ride routine of dissecting the previous chapters’ dialogues to further improve my fluency/intonation, while also (on Thursday) cracking open the old 명작동화 (fairy tale book) every night.

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Last night I made a huge discovery known to practically every other foreign language learner. Basically using your finger to follow the text as you’re hearing it is a HUGE aid in comprehension. A lot of words I was missing when just following with my eyes started jumping out at me. “좋아, ah 좋다 is “to be fine” so 좋아 must be one of its conjugated forms!” I’m onto you Big Bad 늑대!

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