Kraemders lazy Korean log

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AnneL
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Re: Kraemders lazy Korean log

Postby AnneL » Sun May 10, 2020 12:02 am

kraemder wrote:I feel like I'm definitely struggling to learn new grammar in Korean. I have at least read through all of Korean Grammar in Use for beginners but I haven't absorbed the later structures yet. They don't come up as much I guess. Certainly not in Rosetta Stone. I really wonder how far Rosetta Stone goes.

Yeahh I was too, for the first 6-8 months I'd hear stuff and it wouldn't stick. I just completely left that part for a long time, just spent time watching stuff with English subs trying to understand what was going on. Then when I went back to grammar, everything was easy to understand, not more effort than a European language. Personally I just read or watch grammar videos or the TTMIK podcasts when outside for a walk, I don't really try and remember, just understand. I keep learning vocabulary via any means I can think of / been advised, and listening to stuff I'd like to understand (now I can understand slightly better because I have vocabulary)... I cycle through grammar points, rewatch videos several months later if I can't even remember something (happens often), and then it sticks... if it doesn't I don't care, I'll come back to it later. As long as you keep doing something, listening to something everyday, I believe you don't need to stress too much about grammar, it will stick when you're ready. I've made 0 effort on stuff that was hard and I'm still making progress.
Was Japanese much easier on this subject?
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kraemder
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Re: Kraemders lazy Korean log

Postby kraemder » Thu May 14, 2020 6:17 am

AnneL wrote:
kraemder wrote:I feel like I'm definitely struggling to learn new grammar in Korean. I have at least read through all of Korean Grammar in Use for beginners but I haven't absorbed the later structures yet. They don't come up as much I guess. Certainly not in Rosetta Stone. I really wonder how far Rosetta Stone goes.

Yeahh I was too, for the first 6-8 months I'd hear stuff and it wouldn't stick. I just completely left that part for a long time, just spent time watching stuff with English subs trying to understand what was going on. Then when I went back to grammar, everything was easy to understand, not more effort than a European language. Personally I just read or watch grammar videos or the TTMIK podcasts when outside for a walk, I don't really try and remember, just understand. I keep learning vocabulary via any means I can think of / been advised, and listening to stuff I'd like to understand (now I can understand slightly better because I have vocabulary)... I cycle through grammar points, rewatch videos several months later if I can't even remember something (happens often), and then it sticks... if it doesn't I don't care, I'll come back to it later. As long as you keep doing something, listening to something everyday, I believe you don't need to stress too much about grammar, it will stick when you're ready. I've made 0 effort on stuff that was hard and I'm still making progress.
Was Japanese much easier on this subject?


Yeah it was a lot easier because I was lucky to have a great Japanese teacher at my local community college. They were great for grammar. Basically A1, A2, and B1 grammar got covered (JLPT N3). I'll be forever grateful for that experience. I really wish I could find a Korean class like that.
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kraemder
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Re: Kraemders lazy Korean log

Postby kraemder » Fri May 15, 2020 5:56 am

My Korean class ended last night more or less. I think officially there's one more class but it's not required. The teacher was good friends with a lot of the students and would like to see people in person one last time since she's going back to Korea and not staying in the US. She initially brought the idea up in early April and that's when my dad actually got the virus and I was like, uhh I'm not going. Well thankfully he's recovering ok so I'm less paranoid.

I really enjoyed the project we did for class at the end. This seems to be a staple for Korean at Pima Community College. We all have a presentation of some kind to do at the end. This time it was supposed to be a book fair where we all did a big poster board with pictures and artsy writing maybe show casing what we learned or whatever from the book. It didn't happen. We ended up doing Power Point presentations (or something similar if not Power Point) and presenting online. Recorded presentations were ok, or we could present live on camera. The teacher was very very vague about how we were to present except that it had to be multimedia. I think the intent was to not stress us out as she was going to be grading us very leniently. A lot of students did stress out though and crammed tons of information into their presentations. I expected that. I purposefully made mine close to the minimum length possible for this reason, to give more time for other students. And I figured we would be staying late past the end of class into the night, to let everyone go if that's what it took too. And we did.

It's 4:20 long.


I decided to use this software I just downloaded for doing let's play type videos or you could use it to make a variety of videos I guess. It's totally free and seems very powerful (there's an even more powerful paid version I think). I also used it to make a let's play of my Rosetta Stone studying session:



This was actually pretty fun to make and makes me want to make more, which would get me to do more Rosetta Stone. My channel is mostly dead though and my videos barely get double digit views and no comments. I don't advertise or promote the channel at all. Despite that I like making the videos so I think I might continue. I was even eying a cheap teleprompter for vblogging for your smartphone. I notice a huge improvement in content quality (my previous video presentation is 4:20 scripted, I think it would be 20+ minutes unscripted) when I write a script out in advance, but I hate losing the eye/face contact when you're just talking to the camera. Also, I would have a ton more confidence making videos in foreign languages if I'm using a teleprompter. I know some people use one to 'cheat' and make it seem like their foreign language skills are much better than they really are. I don't want to come off as doing that so I might put a disclaimer in the notes. I'm undecided. And I haven't gotten any teleprompter yet so I don't know if it will make me seem like an amazing Japanese/Korean speaker etc. overnight. There are already actual videos of me speaking Japanese off the cuff with no preparation or anything and just talking at the camera. They are very honest I think :lol: .

Now that my Korean class has ended I definitely have more freedom to do what I want. Part of me wants to just forget about studying and jump in World of Warcraft Classic completely, escape reality, and immerse myself in pure alternate reality fantasy MMO goodness. But the language nerd in me is appalled by that and wants to hit Korean really hard, to make the progress I maybe couldn't make before because I was studying a Korean 101 textbook. I know that due to Coronavirus just about all schooling is online which might make it a lot easier for working adults like myself to attend classes we otherwise couldn't. I checked briefly online. Checking for available classes is a little time consuming though.
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kraemder
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Re: Kraemders lazy Korean log

Postby kraemder » Sat May 16, 2020 6:40 am

I had a really good experience with a Korean teacher/tutor on iTalki. I've had some good tutors already but they're all booked solid for weeks now so I had to find a new teacher. She's pretty new to iTalki and so her schedule is very open. I'm sure that given a month, if she teaches all her lessons as well as she taught mine, she'll have more lessons than she can handle. Her prices are a little higher than my other teachers though so hopefully that'll keep the crowd away. (they're not too prohibitive just not a give away). $20 for an hour or $27 for 90 minutes. I really liked the 90 minute lesson. I think students who are new to foreign language learning will be exhausted after 90 minutes of one on one teaching. In a group class you can sit back a bit and rest some when it's someone else's turn to answer etc. but there's no break for you in a one on one lesson. I booked the lesson for like two days in advance I think or maybe a day in advance.. I'm not sure but she didn't have tons of time to prepare the lesson. I didn't really take that into account when I booked the lesson I just selfishly grabbed Friday night because it worked well with my schedule. As an English teacher I would try not to spend too much time preparing a lesson. Maybe 15 minutes per lesson or so if possible. Berlitz kind of set it up so that was all the time I had anyway so I didn't have any choice. I think she spent tons of time preparing this lesson. I said I wanted to work on reported speech because I haven't covered it with any class at all and although I've read it in my Grammar book I am completely uncomfortable using it in conversation. Which isn't surprising - it's pretty complicated in Korean compared to other languages I think. There's so many ways to do it. In no way was I thinking we should cover them all and I said as much in advance but I left it up to her to decide which to do since well I don't know what's best. I'm pretty sure she spent all night doing the power point presentation. She actually said that after the lesson when I was complimenting her on the material and asked if it were all custom just for this lesson. I think I was the first student to ask to do reported speech so next time she'll just whip out these slides. I hope more students ask her to do them. We didn't do all the patterns she prepared just two of them which was really plenty for me. And then we reviewed one of the ways to say -but- in Korean. There's a few. I now have to take another grammar lesson with her at some point to make sure those other reported speech slides don't go to waste.

I asked her about doing a vocabulary lesson. She really didn't seem comfortable doing a 'vocabulary' lesson per se. She said several times that she thinks vocabulary should be learned in context. Which I totally agree with but I also think that just reviewing vocabulary with another real live human, no matter how you do it, gives it a lot more of a chance to stick in your long term memory than otherwise. And I'm totally learning vocabulary out of context as well as in context at the moment. I'm using Evita's Korean vocabulary deck which seems to be very well organized in terms of words that students should learn first etc. But any flashcard deck that you download is out of context I would say even if it includes example sentences. In context to me is in real life. From movies/shows/conversations/reading material. I'm on the fence regarding using that vocabulary in an SRS deck. I think I might end up pushing myself to remember words that above my current level creating tons of leeches and frustration.

Anyway, I signed up for another lesson with her for Tuesday evening. she has a few different lesson types. The one we did is 'grammar'. This one is 'reading' 'listening' 'writing'. I wrote her a message saying let's not do writing. I have no intention of writing anything in Korean anytime soon if ever. And she already replied back to me asking me what I expect etc., she wants to -prepare- for the lesson. Not a let's wing it type of person. Which is good, we had an excellent lesson today. But I don't know what to tell her. I don't really know what to expect and I'm open minded :P . I wonder if she'll wring more information on what I want out of me before the lesson that I didn't even know was there.
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kraemder
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Re: Kraemders lazy Korean log

Postby kraemder » Sat May 23, 2020 4:02 am

I had a second tutoring session with that same tutor and it was ok but not as good as the first one. I think she is a bit annoyed at my going into Japanese mode all the time when I am trying to go into Korean. I've found she's not the only tutor to get annoyed by this. The only tutors who don't are tutors that speak Japanese... so basically they get annoyed when they can't understand or relate to whatever is coming out of my mouth. Which is understandable.

One thing I've tried to do most of the time that I've been studying Korean is to maintain Japanese at least a little bit while using Korean. Because I worked -so- hard to get to where I am in Japanese it seems a waste not to enjoy it and let it get worse. But when I studied Japanese I totally shut off my other foreign languages so that I could obsess or focus on Japanese better and it worked. Japanese was still really hard but I'm sure it would have been even worse had I pushed myself to maintain my much stronger languages. A youtuber I saw recently called her languages rooms in her head and the metaphor works well I think. She felt that most of her languages were separate rooms that didn't overlap or get confused... except for Spanish and French where she would often mean to walk into one room but go into the other by mistake sometimes without realizing it (and sometimes realizing it). According to her she is very confident that as she reaches a C1 level in those languages that will just go away. Well, for me, especially for Asian languages, I seriously doubt there will be any C1 level. But Japanese did get to a B2 level and when I go Japanese, mostly Japanese comes out. I say mostly. Occasionally I've found myself wanting to say 'ne' for yes in Japanese because I was studying Korean earlier that day or the day before. I haven't outright just spoken Korean instead of Japanese without realizing it though. Mostly just 'ne' or something similar where the Korean popped into my head first and I had to concentrate a bit to remember the Japanese too. If I get better at Korean will that also keep it out of my Japanese? Being a polyglot stinks. I think I qualify as a polyglot if a rather inept one. Although I'd feel more like a polyglot if I brushed up my German, French, and or Spanish. Not going to happen very soon though.

I'm going to try to ignore Japanese and really focus 100% on Korean. I'm just not a great multi tasker. At least right now. I will say that I think I was better when I was younger. I sort of studied all three of those languages at the same time without any adverse effects except maybe my progress was a bit slower as a result. But now I think it's a lot worse. There's still one thing I haven't tried yet however. Getting a full night's sleep every night consistently. I tend to average between 6 to 7 hours of sleep a night sometimes a little less even. It's ok for me to get by ok but pushing yourself to learn a new language and then juggle multiple languages even is a whole other thing. I really think getting more sleep would help a lot. I am also very doubtful that I can pull it off except for weekends. Every night I tell myself to go to bed before midnight and every night I'm watching YouTube, Netflix, or doing something, anything instead. I just can't resist squeezing a little more me time in before knocking off to sleep to wake up and start work the next day. I truly respect people who maintain a consistent sleep schedule where they get 8+ hours of actual sleep a night.

Anyway, in part because my class ended maybe, I've felt a bit less motivated and focused on Korean. I think that by trying to limit myself to just Korean and no Japanese (or any other language) etc, it should help get me back on track and doing SRS reps and reading and listening etc.
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kraemder
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Re: Kraemders lazy Korean log

Postby kraemder » Sat May 23, 2020 11:50 pm

They say that thanks to Google, these days, if you think a certain way or want to find evidence supporting your opinion or idea, no matter how silly or ridiculous, you can find it. I finally found an article supporting my dilemma not on how much sleep to get but how long to stay in bed per night. Certainly 8 hours of sleep is the standard, but who falls asleep right away when they go to bed and stays asleep until the alarm goes off? Well, not me anyway. https://qz.com/1301123/why-eight-hours-a-night-isnt-enough-according-to-a-leading-sleep-scientist/ This guy says that 8.5 hours a night is the new 8 hours. Finally, I found an expert who thinks like I do telling me how long to stay in bed. Will this finally get me to go to bed on time?? Will my Korean studies now progress exponentially?

Anyway, as it's the weekend and I'm trying to think how to motivate myself to do what needs to be done to get Korean moving along.. I did have an idea to write about. It's not a really new one but still.

I keep wanting to engage native material and well do the Steve Kaufmann thing of just tadoku or extensive reading but well it just hasn't worked for me so far. My vocabulary and grammar (especially my vocabulary) is just too small that reading it's too panful, slow, and even if I look up everything sometimes I am still left scratching my head. I wish I had a Korean Core deck similar to the Japanese Core deck but it doesn't exist. If you don't know what the Japanese Core deck is, you can Google it. However, there is Evita's vocabulary deck which is also quite nice, just no example sentences. According to many language learners this is a fatal flaw. This has prevented me from really getting motivated and applying myself to do this deck and I keep flip flopping between it and other Anki decks and making my own decks usually from https://www.howtostudykorean.com. But making decks is hard and those sentences on that site are generally good but not always good - they're sometimes weird. It's not a Core deck.

Yesterday I was watching YouTube and saw a medical student raving about Anki and in particular an add on that helps him to do 1000 reviews per day. I don't know if I've ever done 1000 reviews in a day and I've had some crazy all day study days. The add on is called Speed Focus Mode https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/1046608507 and it simply forces you to answer a card within a set time frame. IE, you can set it to show the answer after 4 seconds or whatever you want. It has a couple other options like it plays this horrible sounding bell that warns you that 4 seconds are almost up. That last bit is what turned me off the add on when I had heard about it and tried it before. This med student YouTuber likes the bell it seems but he shows you that you can turn it off and also turn off the option for the add on to auto mark a card wrong after that time period if you had done nothing.

I'm finding that just having the card turn over in 3.5 seconds or so is a great way to keep me moving at a good pace through a deck and most importantly it really does help me relax and focus and keep studying longer. So this has thankfully gotten me more motivated and positive about Korean studying. My goal is still to get into Native material but right now that just isn't a very enjoyable way to learn. I'm thinking that I can hit up Evita's vocabulary deck really hard and also her Grammar deck and then go back and see if reading Harry Potter goes better. To be honest, reading Harry Potter on LingQ right now isn't the worst. It's doable even if I'm looking up almost every word. But it really doesn't feel like I'm learning anything from it. Aside from a few vocab words like 'magic' or 'wizard' in Korean I don't think much has stuck. Certainly nothing of use for having a conversation with a tutor or a language exchange. But I digress. I was thinking of trying for some concrete goals. They say concrete goals help you focus and stay motivated when studying a language. I haven't found them at all useful for me but I think I might have been doing it wrong. (or it's hopeless, we'll see). I would try a goal like learning 20 words per day in Anki or studying Korean grammar every day for 15 minutes even.. please God.. just if I could only study the stupid stuff for 15 measly minutes a day. I thought they were ok goals because they seemed specific enough but it occurred to me to try to make a goal for a month. A month is a long enough goal where you can see some real results but it's not so long (like a year) where you are likely to lose focus. This month I could try to learn X amount of words in Evita's vocabulary deck. Well, by learn I mean get them into the review rotation and be more or less on top of my reviews. And I would like to work on my grammar too. So I could look to add X amount of grammar cards in Evita's grammar deck. I have other decks I'm interested in but I think I'm going to jut focus on those to for this one month challenge. I don't plan to make other goals at this time like read for X amount of minutes or watch k-drama or do tutoring with I-talki tutors. I probably will do that stuff but it will be the same as before - just when I feel like it.

My goal is to add 1000 new Korean vocabulary cards this month. I currently have about 1400 cards mostly young at the moment. I actually exported Evita's vocabulary deck to Flash Cards Deluxe and it doesn't have the same add on but it has a similar count down timer feature to keep you moving along. Yesterday and Today I already added a lot of new cards. But if I increased my daily review to anywhere near the amount Anki Med Student YouTuber Prerak Juthani then I can add tons more cards very aggressively and be ok. When I think about it it's a little bit shameful. Look at a typical med student's Anki Flashcard. It has tons of information including detailed diagrams, pictures, and explanations etc. My vocabulary cards are stupid simple in comparison. 공 (ko-ng) means ball. Wait I forgot already :x

I've started and given up doing Evita's Grammar deck many times. Grammar flash cards are a lot more difficult for me but as my Korean gets better, so does my tolerance for grammar flash cards. Per Anki I have 310 young cards and zero mature cards in this deck. As I said, I have started and stopped it several times so I think I restarted it from scratch again recently. It's a little arbitrary but I will make my month goal for this deck to add 400 more cards.

So there it is. My goal for the next month is to learn 1000 new vocabulary cards and 400 new grammar cards. If I could really review 1000 cards per day then this would be too easy. But it's also more new material than I've done in a while if ever. I can get pumped up but the reviews usually slow me down a lot. I'm counting on this Speed Focus Mode to bring my studying to a new level. :geek:
Last edited by kraemder on Mon May 25, 2020 3:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Christi
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Re: Kraemders lazy Korean log

Postby Christi » Sun May 24, 2020 8:51 am

1000 reviews per day and reviews in 3 second sounds crazy to me :shock: I've tried speed reviewing before, but it didn't seem like I was actually processing what I was doing. I need more time.

And how on earth would you learn 1000 words per month? If I could do that I'd be a pro at Korean in no time. Maybe I should start reading more :oops:

Btw, I've also been reading Harry Potter in Korean, but if you're adding almost every word you see then the level is probably too high for you right now. Maybe it's a different experience since you're reading it digitally and I'm using the paper version, but it just seems very brutal to me.
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2020 resolution words learned: 472 / 1000
Pages read at end of 2020: 220 / 1500

kraemder
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Re: Kraemders lazy Korean log

Postby kraemder » Sun May 24, 2020 6:18 pm

Christi wrote:1000 reviews per day and reviews in 3 second sounds crazy to me :shock: I've tried speed reviewing before, but it didn't seem like I was actually processing what I was doing. I need more time.

And how on earth would you learn 1000 words per month? If I could do that I'd be a pro at Korean in no time. Maybe I should start reading more :oops:

Btw, I've also been reading Harry Potter in Korean, but if you're adding almost every word you see then the level is probably too high for you right now. Maybe it's a different experience since you're reading it digitally and I'm using the paper version, but it just seems very brutal to me.


For this month my focus is the pre-made deck Korean Vocabulary by Evita. I'm not using vocabulary from Harry Potter. I might read some Harry Potter and look up some words but I am not studying them aside from looking up unknown words as I encounter them.

Yeah, I was thinking that setting a really high goal would motivate me and then if I didn't make it at least I'd have learned a lot of words. But I was reconsidering that last night. I think setting a good goal that is very realistic and that I can and should achieve would be better. But I'm going to try to stick to the 1000 word goal for this month. It's one month and not a each month kind of thing. And it's based on the fact that I haven't added many new words to my SRS routine in a while so my reviews were like 10 to 15 minutes per day. If I were already doing nearly two hours of reviews a day clearly adding 1000 more new words would be more difficult. And I don't have to really know said words just have them as active in my SRS app.

What makes this worse though is that I've also decided to test myself not just on recognition but on active recall (English/picture on side 1 instead of Korean) which in effect adds at least 1000 more cards to review (same words though but still) to this challenge of mine. Actually it adds more because I haven't done -any- recall cards so I'm having to start from card 1 on the recall cards. But I did 2 hours of reviewing yesterday of just Evita's vocabulary and it was ok. A lot of that was going through recall cards for words I mostly know already though but just hadn't tested myself that way.

So far so good but as anyone who's got experience with stuff like this knows it's easy to over perform at first when you feel motivated and something is new and fresh but it's another thing to maintain it. I'll keep posting here.
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kraemder
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Re: Kraemders lazy Korean log

Postby kraemder » Mon May 25, 2020 7:08 pm

Back in the day on the old language forums I posted tons and tons about studying Japanese. I think that showed how interested and motivated I was to learn if also how slow and frustrating it was :cry:. It seems I'm posting a lot again about Korean which is good. Maybe a few too many posts for people who want to keep up but aren't so interested they want to read a book about it.

As noted in a previous post I got pretty motivated when I watched a video about how a talented med student was using Anki to review 1000 cards a day for med school. His cards were mostly question/answer so basically production so I thought I should do production cards too. Well, I changed my mind after doing a lot. My cards aren't question/answer but English/Korean and that's not quite the same. To make good production cards I would have to put real time and effort into making the cards and even then I might not be happy with them for language learning purposes since I'm not cramming for a test.

And another thing I ignored was that he suggested using the Speed Focus add on to facilitate reviews not for learning new material. I am ok with using SRS flash cards to learn new vocabulary without spending tons of time on each new word just trusting that once I see it in the app I will likely see it outside the app somewhere else. Sure with my current level of Korean I barely understand anything but these are really useful words I'm focusing on so I think it's ok. But I don't have a lot of 'learned' cards per say so doing 1000 cards a day would mean doing 500+ newish cards and that's well too much. I think I have added about 200 to 400 new cards in the past week or so and my study time has gone up from 5-15 minutes per day to two hours on this deck. Even with the timer making me move along I'm failing a lot of cards over and over which is tiring. I'm hoping it gets better.

I saw another inspiring video on YouTube this morning :geek: MIA Matt's friend Yoda talks about studying for JLPT N1 in Japan. His videos are a lot less polished than Matt's and more like mine so I like that and since he passed the N1 in a relatively short period of time I was interested in what he had to say. He had three tips. They were probably all good tips but I already forgot two (maybe I'll rewatch the video) I think I already do them or can't realistically do them because I'm not in Korea. But he said he literally made himself think in Japanese all day except for 1 hour or so. This thinking in another language is something I've certainly heard is good but I have never heard of anyone going so far as to try to do it all day. He definitely got results and I think this may have been key. I know that with German which was my first foreign language and one that sunk itself pretty deeply into my brain, more deeply to me then Japanese although Japanese is definitely permanently there too, I probably thought in that language the most. I did this in part to improve my German but mostly because I was really into that language and wanted to think in German. It sounded cool to me at the time. I have tried thinking in other languages since then but it was not nearly as much. When I was in Japan I did think in Japanese some but I definitely didn't before going to Japan. I didn't really force it too much though. It was more like Japanese would naturally come to mind as a result of my studying it 6+ hours a day. Anyway, it makes sense to me that deliberately making yourself think in the target language is going to improve it. And you check yourself constantly when you do. I know in German I had a pocket paper dictionary with me and I was looking up words etc., and in Japanese I had my iPhone with Midori (a great Japanese dictionary) and some other dictionaries too.

The only Korean that I've thought to myself has been echoing the Rosetta Stone sentences in my mind. I haven't really forced myself to think or converse with myself in Korean. I think Yoda went cold turkey literally going from not really forcing himself to think in Japanese to doing almost all the time at once. Being in America I don't think it's realistic to think in Korean all day - only when I'm alone. Ok that's most of my day actually but still. I'm going to try to work gradually on this without a set goal except to think in Korean at least -some- each day.
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kraemder
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Re: Kraemders lazy Korean log

Postby kraemder » Mon May 25, 2020 8:58 pm

I just stumbled on something I posted recently on YouTube when someone liked it. It summarizes my thoughts on thinking in a foreign language pretty much until now. Basically, it came naturally to me for German because I was young and loved the language so much. As an older guy who is interested in a language but not necessarily infatuated with it, can I get myself to do it? I am convinced that it is quite helpful at least for improving speaking (maybe comprehension too?). Can I make my old brain do some new tricks and think in Korean?

I really liked this interview and pretty much agree with all the comments. I've heard the advice that you should practice or learn to think in your target language to become more fluent. Of course logically this makes sense. Way back when I was 21 and in Germany and a beginner at German but completely in love with the language, I was walking around Berlin thinking to myself in bad German. I did it constantly. I guess I probably put a bit of effort into it but really not too much because it was something I wanted to do. I also found myself dreaming in German pretty often and that's not something you have any control over for sure. Since then I've studied and made some real progress eventually in Spanish and French but never really thought in those languages or dreamt in them. At the young age of 34 I started learning Japanese spending 3+ hours a day doing something in those languages be it flashcards, an app, watching anime (yes a lot of that), or reading a textbook. After about 5 years of studying Japanese I moved to Japan for 2 years and taught English. I never really thought in Japanese the way I did German or dreamed in Japanese (maybe a little when I was in Japan but not much). I think I spent more time with Japanese than German overall even but it didn't happen. So I think it's great to think a target language but if you're not really young maybe it's just not going to happen like that. Just my thoughts from my experience.
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