Korean Reading Practice: College Diary 대학일기 Webtoon Review

Looking for reading practice in Korean? A friend introduced me to my latest Naver webtoon obsession. 대학일기 or College Diary is an adorable, easy-to-read look at the daily life of a college student. It’s witty and poignant, clearly drawing on the writer’s personal experiences and causing readers to comment Continue reading

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Webtoon 추천: Spirit Fingers 스피릿 핑거스

안녕하세요!

Lately I’ve been really into a newer webtoon called Spirit Fingers (스피릿 핑거스) and unfortunately I finally caught up with all the currently released chapters, which means that I now have to wait a week between each new installment. While I wait, I thought I’d tell you about why you should check out this webtoon. As I’ve written before, webtoons and manhwa are a great way to practice Korean.

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The art is fantastic.

I can be a bit of a snob when it comes to watching or reading things that are created not only to tell a story but also to please or provoke in a visual way, like anime, manga, manhwa, webtoons… These are art forms, and if I don’t like the style, I really won’t be able to enjoy the story. #snobstatus

Spirit Fingers has scenes that are so pretty that I just want to drool on my phone screen. I found this webtoon by accident, I judged it by its art style and decided to keep reading, and I was not disappointed. And not only is the art great, but art is the thing that brings the characters together in the first place!   Continue reading

Naver Open Dictionary exists (& you should check it out)

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If you’re like me and are constantly looking up one word or another and jotting down its meaning, you also probably have encountered words that you can’t find definitions for anywhere. Sometimes I switch between online dictionaries (my main is Naver and Daum is my backup) in order to find more uncommon or unknown words but there are other times where even a random Google doesn’t reveal any hints as to when the word is used or how.

What then? You could either ask a Korean person via Kakaotalk or Hellotalk or you can head over to Naver Open Dictionary. Open Dictionary is a tool by which anyone can submit an unknown word in pretty much any language and ask for people to give their own definitions. This is extraordinarily useful especially if the word or phrase is slang and/or it also needs cultural contextualization. Continue reading

Korean Memes: 겟!짤

In my return into the world of 만화 and 웹툰 (Korean comics both in print and online), I have discovered a feature on the Naver Webtoon app: 겟!짤

Essentially it’s a place where you can peruse bad puns, comics recreated entirely through symbols, and…well, the inappropriate trolls that are common to everything on the internet.

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If I pretend to care will you go away?

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눈팅. The crime of all 카톡 crimes. Checking a message but not replying (so the little 1 next to the message goes away but no reply ever comes…)

Continue reading

오 my goodness, what time is it?

안녕하세요…I admit that the title is cheesy. But the topic of 오 (o) and what it means is exciting! At least to a word nerd like myself.

 

Continue reading

Learning Korean Vocabulary with Naver

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If you’ve ever formally studied a language in school, you’ve probably dealt with the usual awful assignment: Copy each of these vocab words/phrases x-times in insert target language and x-times in insert native language. Well, that’s great. You memorize the word for the test and then promptly forget it.

GIF not mine

So what’s the point in memorizing for a test? This is language-learning; hopefully you’re remembering for life.

But memorization isn’t all bad. Go ahead and memorize – just remember that the point is to keep remembering, so memorizing it in one sitting isn’t going to do any good. You have to keep using the word, keep practicing it in conversation, writing, listening, etc.

GIF from Bruce Almighty (not mine)

This is how I feel when I’m using new vocabulary.

For the summer, I’m coming up with a vocab learning plan Continue reading

My Korean nickname is disease

missInterpretation header made in Photoshop 11 by myseouldream.com creator

안녕하세요!

I seem to have a propensity to put my Korean foot in my mouth whether it’s because I mix up words, misunderstand, or completely misspell a key word. My most recent mistake was Continue reading

Naver Dictionary (the greatest thing since sliced bread)

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Have you been using Google Translate to figure out if you said something correctly? Or have you been getting lazy and just typing out everything in English, checking it a couple times by translating it back and forth with Google, and then sending off a message to your language partner? Bad idea. Not an awful idea, because Google Translate is definitely helpful. But it’s also dangerous, because it throws a word back at you and you really don’t know if that word means what it’s supposed to mean in the context that you put it in. I’m speaking from experience.

Princess Bride (awesome classic - go watch it now! 지금!

My poor language partner must always feel like this when he reads my Kakaotalk message

Naver’s online dictionary is awesome. Yes, go ahead and use Google Translate to check things if you must (guilty, I use it sometimes, too) but don’t get dependent on it. There are lots of other online resources that work much, much better. Naver Dictionary is a prime example.

I love Naver Dictionary, henceforth titled as Endic (English Dictionary, which is the version I use because hey, English is my native language…although you wouldn’t think it if you actually heard me trying to talk coherently in real life – learning Japanese, Korean, and Spanish has severely messed with my ability to do the words flowing nicely together thing) for many reasons. Here are some of them.

  • You can type in either a Korean or English word and get tons of results
  • Words/meanings? Synonyms? Antonyms? Idioms? All of these pop up when you type in just a single word
  • Contextual examples. That’s right. They have specific references to actual news sources on the web or elsewhere with the context of the word explained, highlighted, with neon signs blinking around it and a giant Pororo dancing on top of it (well no but you get the idea)
  • Many of the results have audio – go ahead and listen to what you’re reading
  • Teaching yourself Korean and have hardly any vocabulary to flaunt? You can view Korean word lists for 7th through 12th graders by clicking on them on the right side bar or by searching specifically a grade’s curriculum
  • Search by importance of words, by a specific subject/field (ie philosophy, literature, history, religion…)
  • After you search, it usually comes up with similar words that you might want to check out
  • You can make a Naver account and save words that you look up automatically to as many different vocabulary lists as you want
  • You can also view a history of the words you’ve looked up in case you tend to forget the word you just learned (now that’s annoying)

Endic is pretty fantastic. But it is a little tricky to navigate at first, so give it some time. You’ll love it once you do.

감사합니다!