Fail – when mistakes in Korean “bring tears to your eyes”

missInterpretation header made in Photoshop 11 by myseouldream.com creator

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Everybody makes mistakes. The point is that you’re supposed to learn from your mistakes. I’ve decided to start posting about mistakes that I make on my journey of learning Korean (and I’m learning Japanese, too!) in order to help myself not make them again – and to help others not make them in the first place. Continue reading

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Webcomics: easy reading in simple Korean

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A while ago, I stumbled across a neat little webcomic site created by another Korean language learner. Korean Comics is composed of several short scenes with a couple characters. All of the Korean used is very simple and easy to follow (I read this comic when I’d only been studying Korean for a couple months and understood most of it); however, for words or phrases that you’re unfamiliar with, the creator added notes. You can check out the vocabulary for each scene on a separate page, read the entire web comic with English notes beneath each picture, or read it all without any English notes at all to challenge yourself. Continue reading

linguanaut – language learning survival tips

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One of my favorite quick-reference sites is linguanaut. It has over 50 languages available, but I use it for Korean and Japanese. (Depending on the language you’re looking for, it has even more than just what the Korean section includes. For example, the Japanese references include a category just for famous Japanese sayings, which is pretty neat!) Its Korean section includes: Continue reading

italki Review

italki screenshot (not mine)

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Have you been looking for a way to practice your target language? Whatever the language might be (with the exception of some really far-out, ten-people-in-the-world-speak-it languages), you can probably find a native speaker on italki. italki is a site dedicated to connecting you to the people you need. Continue reading

Confucius

When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.

-Confucius

허물이 있다면, 버리기를 두려워말라.

-공자

Translation courtesy of Hwangssabu-nim.

Typing in Korean: how to change a computer’s input language

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There, I just did it. I typed in Korean.

 

Typing in the target language is an invaluable ability for the language-learner. If you take a Spanish class, you have to turn in typed essays. For Spanish, it is not as big a problem if you don’t set your language into Spanish – all you have to deal with is an annoying squiggly line under every single word. But to type in a language that uses a completely different writing system, like Korean, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, etc., a computer has to be set to use multiple “keyboards”.

 

Before you get excited and go add Korean to your computer’s “keyboards”, take a moment to look at your actual keyboard’s keys. They’re probably the alphabet used by English, Spanish, etc. Not Korean, not Japanese, not Russian. They’re also probably in QWERTY format. The Korean keyboard is NOT in QWERTY format because it does not have Q – it doesn’t have any of those letters, technically. It has hangul, and your QWERTY is actually ㅂㅈㄷㄱㅅㅛ. Not the same. Unless you intend to learn through very aggravating trial-and-error, I recommend that you order keyboard stickers. They’re cheap and well worth the money. I use black background stickers with white-symbol QWERTY format, yellow-symbol Japanese hiragana (ひらがな), and blue-symbol Korean (한글) hangul. You can purchase clear, white, or black backed stickers, with either just English and Korean, just English and Japanese, or all three. If you also intend to learn Japanese, it really doesn’t matter if you get Japanese symbols as part of the set too, because that format is rarely used (more about that in a late post). The stickers are best applied with a pair of tweezers, they don’t take long to put on your keys, and they stick very well. I have never had any of them come off or even get a little bit loose.

 

Black background stickers with English, Japanese, and Korean: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003PHOW7C/ref=pe_175190_21431760_M2T1_SC_3p_dp_1

 

Black background with English and Korean: http://www.amazon.com/KOREAN-ENGLISH-NON-TRANSPARENT-KEYBOARD-BACKGROUND-NOTEBOOK/dp/B0038J84NU/ref=pd_sbs_op_3

 

The total with shipping for one set is about $6. If you’re serious about learning Korean, this isn’t a bad price for learning to type.

 

But what’s the point of stickers if you can’t properly use them? While you’re awaiting your stickers, add Korean to your computer. I use a laptop running Windows 7: if you have something different, please just Google how to change your keyboard settings or reference this for Windows 8 ^_^

 

1. Open your Control Panel.

2. Under Clock, Language, and Region, click on Change keyboards or other input methods.

3. Select the tab labeled Keyboards and Languages and click Change keyboards.

4. Under the General tab, to the right of the box with a diagram that says Keyboard, click the Add… button.

5. Scroll down to Korean, click its + sign, click the + sign for Keyboard, and then check the boxes for Korean and Microsoft IME. Make sure you click BOTH of those boxes and BOTH of them have checks. Now click OK.

6. Your box of keyboard languages should now include KO. Click Apply, and then click OK.

NOTE: The rest of this is up to your personal preference, but this is how I have further customized.

7. Select the tab Language Bar and choose Docked in the taskbar. I have Show the language bar as transparent when inactive and Show text labels on the Language bar also checked.

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You should now have a language button on your taskbar. EN for English!

8. Want to switch between keyboards quicker? As I type in three keyboard formats, this is a nice customization. Select the tab Advanced Key Settings. Set a hot key pattern to use to switch to Korean and a pattern to switch to English.

NOTE: The default typing system will remain in English no matter what keyboard you switch to. However, if you look at your taskbar, pressing these hot keys will alter the keyboard so you can toggle between Korean and English when using the Korean keyboard. This sounds confusing but once you start using it, it will make a lot more sense.

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Notice that though the keyboard is set to KO (Korean keyboard format), it will still type in English when you switch to it. See the A. A means that it types in English.

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This occurs for any non-English keyboard. Though this is switched into Japanese, it will still type in English…

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….until the Input Mode ‘A’ is toggled to hiragana, katakana, etc.

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However, when you toggle the A by clicking on it, it switches immediately into hangul! See the 가? The Korean keyboard is will now type hangul!

 

If you have questions or need a step clarified, please comment. 감사합니다!

 

An extra muffin: Often, when you visit sites in other languages, your computer isn’t set to recognize characters from that language’s “keyboard” and it will show question marks or random symbols. It can’t process that HTML. When you add that language to your computer, however, it stops this from happening (most of the time).