Language Learning & Productivity Blog

FAQ

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know – and all the things you never knew you wanted to know at all!

Here’s an ongoing FAQ for anyone who is dying to know about these sorts of things. Check back for updates!

Where do you live? – I’m Canadian. I was born in Toronto. My parents moved us back to Montreal when I was six months old. I lived there most of my life. Then, in 2011 I moved with my husband and two kids to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Why Korean? – It’s really hard to explain. It started because I was listening to K-Pop and I got curious about things like how to say hello, please, thank you, and what certain things meant in the songs I loved. I made a very firm stance about how I was going to learn a few phrases using romanization (words spelled out phonetically in English) and that I was absolutely not going to try to learn a new alphabet that was unrecognizable to me. Turns out romanization sucks and is often inaccurate, and Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, is remarkably easy to learn. Since June 2022 I’ve been studying and the more I learn the more I want to know. The language is beautiful and nuanced and while it’s sometimes frustrating and often difficult, I get an immense amount of joy in learning to read, understand, speak, and write in Korean.

What level are you? – As of today (Feb 2nd, 2022) I am a mid-level beginner. Different study resources divide it in different ways, but I’m a level 2 as per my school where I take formal classes (15 week semesters, 3 hours per week, twice a year) and as per Talk To Me In Korean (which is one of my favourite resources). My goal is to reach an intermediate level in TTMIK by the time I have been studying for one year, which will be June 2022.

Don’t you think you should learn a useful language like French if you live in Canada? – LOL. I grew up in Montreal. I am fluent in French and use it in my job as well.

So how many language DO you speak? – English is my first language, and I am fluent in French. I am a level 2 in Korean, and can speak a tiny sliver of Spanish (basically travel/survival Spanish) though I’m not particularly great at it. Other than that I can say random phrases in Arabic to say hello and thank you and offer good wishes on holidays to my next door neighbours. I love languages and often wish I had studied more of them when I was younger as I ‘d love to be able to communicate more with a variety of languages.

Why don’t you learn [insert other language here]? – I am only one person. I work a full time 40 hour a week job with occasional overtime, I have a family, I walk a dog 3X per day for a total of at least an hour and a half, I have other hobbies and interests, and I have a limited amount of time. In a perfect world I’d love to speak a ton of languages but right now Korean is the one I’m interested in learning. While I’d like to speak better Spanish and learn others like Arabic, Russian, Italian, and Japanese, I just don’t have the time and trying to learn multiple languages at a time would likely reduce my ability to learn any of them reasonably well. While I appreciate suggestions, I’m sticking with the one that I’m passionate about – which is Korean.

You mentioned K-Pop. Who are your favourites? – Ahhh. I have so many songs on my playlist. It’s currently over ten hours long. However my favourites are: Taemin (as a soloist), Stray Kids, SHINee, SuperM, BTS, EXO, Girls Generation, Taeyeon (as a soloist), ChungHa (as a soloist), and Itzy. But I listen to a lot of others too.

Playlist? Can I see? – Sure! It’s here! I’ll also embed it down at the bottom.

Okay but who are your biases? – Oof. Ultimate bias has been Taemin since my K-Pop journey started. Stray Kids bias is Changbin, SHINee and SuperM bias is obviously Taemin, EXO is Kai, and BTS is always changing but probably V.

Why do you listen to K-Pop? – The music is just fun. Some people don’t get how I can listen to songs that I don’t fully understand, but music is music. A lot of the time you can catch the feeling and mood of the song just by listening to how they’re singing and how the music sounds. A lot of it is upbeat and fun and very VERY danceable. Some of it is melodic and has beautiful meanings if you take the time to look up the lyric translation. I can find K-Pop to suit any mood or need whether it’s something energetic while I’m walking or doing housework, or whether I need something to soothe my soul for self-care.

Self care? Define self care! – I’m glad you asked! For me it can look like a lot of different things. It might be a face mask like you see in magazine articles, but not always. It can be listening to the music I love. It might be watching re-runs of  The Office or Friends. Maybe it’s starting a new K-drama or putting on a scary horror movie (you can see what I’m watching and loving here). It’s walking my dog or playing with my pet bunny or hanging out with my family. It’s watching vlogs on YouTube. I also love to just sit out on my back deck and relax with a book. My self care is simple. I find the simple every day things are often more effective than big efforts.

Where else can I find you?

Have you considered a YouTube channel? – I have, and I think about it often. I don’t have the time – or maybe I don’t want to carve out the time – that is necessary to edit a lot of video but I do toy with the idea of doing simple vlogs or Study With Me videos (which I love watching while I study). You never know. I do have a YouTube channel already if you’re curious enough to check it out, though I don’t have a ton of stuff up there publicly at the moment. If I move forward with something, I’ll let you know!

What if I have another question you haven’t answered yet? – Let me know by using my contact form!

 

MASSIVE K-POP SPOTIFY PLAYLIST: