Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Learning the Language - Take 2

I got a private tutor.  His name is Troy.  He's a rockstar.  It's actually more a language exchange - he helps me, I help someone else, that person helps another person, and the circle of life continues.  It's a rockin good time. (and for those concerned about my visa - no money is exchanged for any of these lessons.)

We meet twice a week for an hour each time.  The book already seems to be far more beneficial than the book from the other class I took. (Well, tried to take.) The basis that I have from Rosetta Stone and my previous class that I bombed out of have been hugely beneficial. I already know how to read Korean and how to construct sentences, I just don't know enough verbs to make sentences. With Troy, I teach myself the vocabulary then he works with me on pronounciation.  It's just like any other language - just because you know how the characters sound individually, you still have to learn how they work together, how to know when a letter is silent, when syllables merge into one sound, and how on earth do you pronounce those double vowels?

Korean is really hard for me.  I could attribute it to several things but I think a large part of it is because I generally talk very soft.  (In this context, soft is the opposite of rough, not loud.)  A lot of the sounds are deep in the back of your throat, or are aspirated much stronger than any of the sounds in English.  It's very difficult for me.  I can honestly say at this point that I will be spending another year here so I need want to learn it.  It's definitely easy to live here and not know any of the language, but with my seven years of complaining that half of the Orlando population had no interest in learning English, it would be unforgivingly hypocritical if I didn't really try.

I'm doing pretty well, I think.  It's more about creating situations where I can actually practice these things I'm learning.  He taught me a few things I can say when walking Charles so maybe we can make a few more friends and a few less enemies.  I highly recommend the private tutor route for anyone interested in really learning.

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