I don’t know about you, but despite all the TTMIK lessons, the Family Outing marathons, and the vocabulary studying techniques I have, I still often feel like I barely know anything. Like I couldn’t survive if I were magically, happily, instantly transported to South Korea right now. 지금. Firstly, I’d die of joy. And secondly, I’d freeze up because of my poor vocabulary, rudimentary grammar, and propensity to mumble my way through Korean songs until I belt out the English phrases.
But aha! I have found another way to study Korean through direct absorption!
만화. Manhwas are wonderful bundles of Korean-ness to learn from. Originally, I was really excited when I discovered that Naver has a free webtoon app and that I can read all kinds of things in Korean on the Internet with pretty pictures and words and and and –
– and yet I couldn’t understand the vocabulary, grammar, or even what the heck the plot was from the pictures some of the time. In the first one I tried to read, I plunged into some full-on intense action story where a lady….offers up her daughter to a mountain god? I think. Who knows? Probably people who actually know Korean.
That was a few months ago. I wrote an excited post about it and then soon discovered I couldn’t do it. The webtoons were too complex for my poor brain. Then recently, I discovered a post by by Alodia from my korean corner (정말 감사합니다 for it!) about a webtoon she’s been reading called Penguin loves Mev.
Penguin loves Mev is a wonderful, wonderful webtoon that I’ve only read the first several chapters of – but I’m obsessed. The Korean grammar and vocabulary is so simple and clear that if I don’t understand all of it the first time, I have no problem figuring it out after a little while, based on the pictures and the pure simplicity of the grammar and vocabulary. And I’m learning from it as I read rather than feeling panicked, rather than scrambling to open Naver Dictionary and dissect a sentence. I trust myself to figure it out, and the webtoon itself to help me.
And for goodness sake, would you just look at the pictures? They’re the cutest. And Penguin and Mev’s romance is the cutest story ever. Those chapters are short, too. You can read just one a night and it’ll hardly take you a few minutes. Go ahead and read that first chapter. And the second. And third. And look, you’re hooked on this. Don’t worry, there are 300+ (and counting) more to read, a fan cafe to join, a blog to peruse and chuckle over the GIFs and pictures, and just…so much wonderfulness to discover. I’m not even going to mention how you can read it wherever you want by bookmarking it on the free Naver webtoon app or site and subscribing to updates to know when a new chapter is uploaded. And ps, you can read comments in Korean by Koreans below each chapter – that’s like a mini bonus Korean workout for your brain!
P.S. this is what I’m listening to…