LingoDeer interviewed me (stay calm Chlöe)

LingoDeer interviewed me (stay calm Chlöe)

Ahh my heart is so happy. I entered LingoDeer’s contest to win a life time membership to their amazing language learning app. You had to submit a video of yourself talking in Korean about a chosen subject. I chose my K-Drama obsessed Mum 😛 It was nerve wracking and I didn’t know if I’d know enough words but I managed it.

And I won!
Oh my gosh I couldn’t believe it, I just ran around the house screaming and no-one knew what the heck was going on.

Thank you so much LingoDeer for choosing me. I won’t let you down.

The Interview

For this year’s Mother’s Day we asked our Instagram followers to post a video or photo of themselves speaking/writing about their mothers in their target language. Here’s the video of our winner, Chlöe. Her speech about her drama-addicting mother will make you smile. 

LD: Tell us about yourself and how you got into Korean? 

C: Hi! My name is Chlöe and I’m a cat loving, K drama bingeing pet portrait artist from England.

It’s always been my dream to be bilingual but I’m so interested in everything I kept getting distracted. Then last July something amazing came into my life…Korean dramas! It started with Strong Woman Do Bong Soon.

Things were pretty hard at the time and K-Dramas filled me and Mum’s world with light! We watched it, then we watched it again! And again! When Dad commented we were watching too much TV Mum said “it’s only Tv. It’s not like I’m having an affair!” and soon he was just as obsessed too!

I was entranced! The language called to me. I immediately started reading about Korean culture and fell in love. I knew I had to learn it. I researched for the best ways to learn Korean which is how I found LingoDeer.

LD: Name 3 things you want to do with the Korean language

C: I think the dream of all language learners is to go to the country where it’s spoken. So I want to go to Korea, see all the amazing places, talk in Korean visit JeJu Island and probably come back with a tonne of merch (and maybe my favourite actor Lee Jong Suk, if he agrees. 

So many interviews with our Korean idols don’t have subtitles and I always see comments begging for an English translation. So I would love one day to be fluent enough to translate the videos on YouTube. I want to do it for all the fellow Korean lovers who don’t know the language.

And 3.  I’ve always felt like I learnt Korean for a reason. Like it’s a path I’ve always been meant to follow. Haha, destiny! So I’m really excited to find out what is on that path.

LD: How did you complete the challenge? How did you feel after you completed it?

C: I desperately wanted to win. I was also excited to see if I knew enough words to talk for two minutes. I felt so nervous like I was going to perform on stage.

All night I kept dreaming that the LingoDeer teacher was saying how bad my pronunciation was.” Haha as you can see it really meant a lot to me. I’d wake up thinking “ahh I said half past Saturday! Idiot Chlöe!” So I just kept my fingers crossed. When I won I smiled all day and just walked around in a daze not knowing what to do I was so happy.

LD: How do you stay motivated? What do you do when you feel stuck or frustrated by learning?

C: My sheer love for the language motivates me and I love creating K-Drama drawings for my Instagram. Creating my account was the best thing I’ve done. I’ve met such lovely people who inspire me on a daily basis with their motivation and love of languages.

If I’m stuck and feel I’ll never ever be fluent I’ll watch a K drama and feel the love of language rushing back. I’ll watch my favourite idols or listen to music.

Children songs are great to learn from (mainly because they get stuck in your head) Baby shark…

If that doesn’t work I’ll just do something that isn’t related to language. But K-Dramas are usually the answer.

Now Korean fills my every day and I’ve happily let it take over. I feel so lucky to have found something that I love so much (even though I accidentally bowed to a non Korean and replied in Korean too. I’m excited to see where the language takes me.

LD: What’s your Korean learning routine these days? How do you use LingoDeer?

C: I study for half an hour at the kitchen table when I wake up with a big cup of tea and I make sure I write everything down. It’s so important to have a routine with learning a language, like brushing your teeth, so I also study Lingodeer when I’m brushing my teeth! My teeth get super clean.

I love LingoDeer because it pushes you in the deep end with the grammar but in a way that you think you’re in the shallow end. Before you know it you’re talking in sentences from the off and I always want to unlock the achievements and keep my study streak up.  Each lesson is the perfect length, not too short or long so I can do a quick lesson wherever I am. I try and do all the lessons for each unit everyday, but it’s so addictive, sometimes I do more. Spelling is my weakness so the spelling test at the end helps so much. When I get it wrong and LingoDeer cries, my heart breaks too.

We hope you enjoyed the story as much as we did!!

Want to be featured in a community story? Your story will encourage and inspire other LingoDeer users just like Chlöe’s! Sign up here and a deer agent will be in touch: https://blog.lingodeer.com/interview-chloe-learn-korean-lingodeer/

Korean One Year Anniversary

Korean One Year Anniversary

My Korean Anniversary approaches! Sometimes you just find something and it’s like you didn’t know you were missing it until it fits snugly into your heart never to leave.

My love for the Korean language and K💜Culture has been like a whirlwind romance but instead of breaking up after seeing each other’s faults, it has kept on like an olympic flame, happy and cosy like a warm happy marriage.

Some days I’ve felt so full of passion I could burst. And some days I have stared up helplessly at the mountain that is the Korean language and wondered if I’d forever be hanging around at the bottom trying to acclimatise to the grammar and sentence endings and those smug particles that just when you think you’ve understand them, show you ‘another variation’ and you drop down a few feet back to BASE camp….

But one thing that’s always been there is love.

Would I have kept this passion burning without K-Dramas. After all I watch at least one episode every day. I think so. Because just hearing the sound of Korean spoken makes my heart glow a little brighter. As comforting as drinking tea while the rain dances down the windows. As bright as an ocean full of luminescent plankton. I just need to hear one word and my heart is just singing with happiness.

HOW IS MY KOREAN?

I still feel I could have learnt faster, I should have spent less time reading about learning Korean and actually studying it. I probably should have watched a few less dramas but that was never going happen ^_^ It’s been a year and I’m now Level Three on TTMIK. I sometimes wonder if I could have got there faster, well yes I could have listened to the audio’s in that time but I wouldn’t have learned it. I don’t want to just listen, kind of get it and move on.

But I’m also aware I’ve stayed on one subject for too long because I didn’t get it. I’ve learnt that it’s ok to move on from it, it might come up later, or you might see a different way that it’s taught.

I’d struggled for a while with turning verbs to adjectives, because the word was still a verb, why was it an adjective. But then my tutor mentioned the subject in passing and I just got it. As I said to my tutor, “I understand the Korean part, it’s the English bit I don’t get.” I need to study more grammar.” And my weakness is definitely my Korean spelling. Luckily that’s nothing a bit of old fashioned obsessive writing can’t change.

As for positives I’ve been told my actual pronunciation is good. I do listen to K-Dramas with my eyes closed sometimes, going over each words and copying it until it feels right. My reading has really improved. Before it was a bit like wading through mud, occaissonally falling forwards only to get stuck again. But when I started translating song lyrics with my tutor I was shocked at how fast I could suddenly read.

But the best thing about learning Korean and joining the K💜World, is about the happiness that it has given me. From dusk till dawn my heart sings with my love of the language and dramas. I never expected something like this to completely take me over but it has changed my life. And changed it into such a happy one. Like I was a happy butterfly before but I upgraded my cocoon and emerged in an even brighter world!

FUTURE PLANS

I’m so excited for the day when I meet someone talking Korean, in the street, or a shop. I hope I’m brave enough to start talking to them. I hope I’ve learnt enough to be able to understand them. I dreamt last night that I was reading a map with someone and part of it was in Korean. I smugly said ‘Do you know what these characters say.” Only for the girl to start talking in Korean. But I could follow it. My brain in my dream had put all the Korean words I knew into a conversation. It was so cool and we had a great chat. Wow even studying in my dreams.

As for my second plan, well so many interviews with K💜Drama idols don’t have subtitles and I always see comments begging for an English translation. I would love one day to be able to translate those videos for my fellow fans.

And the biggest plan, just to keep learning, to keep loving and enjoy every second on this wonderful adventure.

Dare to Daydream – How to use your imagination to supercharge your studying

Dare to Daydream – How to use your imagination to supercharge your studying

Warning, the following post contains swooning over K-Drama chefs. There are actual tips hidden in here though.

“Stop daydreaming! Get back to reality.”

If you were like me you’ll have heard those words a lot as a child from teachers (and maybe even now) Always with our head in the clouds, living in fantastical worlds. As we grew up we were forced to stay grounded in reality and all those daydreams seemed to just stay behind, staring sadly at us from our childhood.

Well it’s time to dare to daydream!

Our imagination, in my opinion, is the most magical gift we have when it comes to studying (or anything really) And it’s something that isn’t often used. We’re taught to write notes in our books, to practise speaking aloud or by listening to audios. But we are missing a magical key that will open up so many more doors of our learning.

Whether you do it already for fun or you think that it’s something only little kids I hope you find these tips enlightening. I do this all the time, often in place of any actual pen and paper study session.

HOW TO STUDY AND DAYDREAM

Let’s Dream – Maybe you don’t know any native speakers or are too shy to talk to them. Close your eyes. You have a whole world right inside your head. And the best bit, you get to choose who lives there. Your favourite actors, singers, your heroes.

Here’s the catch though. You’re here to study. So you HAVE to talk in your target language. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to say much, or if you’re worried you’ll get it wrong. It’s all in your head anyway. No-one is going to laugh at you.

Plan – Think of what you want to learn or practise. At my lunch time break I wanted to go over my flashcards on Korean kitchen vocabulary. I’d also been rewatching the heart wrenchingly beautiful K-Drama ‘Oh My Ghost’ on Netflix, so it made perfect sense to visit Chef’s kitchen (It wasn’t anything to do with Chef Kang Sun Woo, honestly…

Greetings – . Start easy. It’s the first thing we learn and the first thing we would say to a native speaker. I greeted Chef in Korean and asked for a table for two. It would have been easy to get sidetracked with a romantic plot especially with him looking so sweet ^_^… but I resisted. I was here to study.

Be mindful – Immerse yourself in your surroundings. Your brain actually believes what you think, so the more realistic it feels to you the more your brain will soak in the information. Taste the food, feel the scratch of the pen on paper. While they prepared my meal I started writing down the vocab words I wanted to learn (opening my eyes now and then to check the flashcards) I didn’t write a single word in the real world. Only inside my head.

Slowly, methodically, both in English and Korean writing in my real time but in my daydream. And I remembered it. I was staggered when I was stuck on a word in the real world, only to close my eyes and remember writing it in the dream.

Chef spoke to me now and then and I was only allowed to respond in Korean. This is where you find the gaps and your surprising strengths. “Oh I didn’t know I remembered that. Nice one ChinChin.” “Ah you idiot. Of course that was the answer.”

It would have been easy to get sidetracked with a romantic plot especially with him looking so sweet ^_^... but I resisted. I was here to study.

Get up close and personal – (not with Chef) Even in the world of daydreaming there is nothing like a hands on approach. So hold the things you’re learning about. If it’s zoo animals, go to the zoo in your daydream and name them all. If it’s seasons experience each one vividly. For me, I joined Chef in the kitchen and he tutted at my lack of Korean (daydream Chef’s can be mean) saying I needed to work harder. He handed me every single kitchen object, saying the name, making up fun mnemonics and cheesy jokes to remember them.

Test yourself – . Just as you would on paper test yourself. Chef would throw one item to me and I’d have to gabble out the name. It was so real, if I wasn’t fast enough he’d interrupt.

And that was my study daydream session.

I was so happy the next day to realise I still remembered everything. Bar one or two. And I just needed to glance at the word again for it to be cemented in my memory.

So, what do you think? Are you questioning my sanity or is it fun? It may not be for everyone but it’s such a fun and successful way to learn especially if you’re tired of writing manually and need a break. Next time you’re going to study why not give it a try. Even if you decide it’s not for you, you might decide that *insert favourite idol* is! Let me know how you get on 😀

My Korean Study Adventure

My Korean Study Adventure

안녕하세요 

Hi, I’m the Chopstick Noodle aka Lee Chin Sun and I am obsessed with learning Korean. I’m a cat loving, noodle slurping, K-Drama binging artist. And this is my little study buddy 

For the past year my mind has been filled with mainly three things. Drawing, studying Korean and watching K Dramas. Oh and Lee Jong Suk ^_^ 

And it’s all because I innocently stumbled across my first ever K-Drama. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon last July. I’d never seen anything like it. Everything from the people to the language, the plot and the romance. I was entranced. You’ll soon realise I get super passionate about everything I like but this was different, I was swept away on the Korean wave and dragged (quite happily) deep beneath the surface. And so were my family. Mum is as big a fan as me.

That day, my life was transformed, after a few episodes I decided to learn Korean. I’ve been studying pretty much every day for eleven months now. The moment I wake up I’m straight into the kitchen to study for forty minutes. And all day in between drawing, I’m pouring over books, watching dramas and confusing my family by accidentally responding in Korean. I even secretly read flashcards with a torch at night. Haha yes you can guess I’m obsessed.

Ever since joining this new and exciting world, I’ve met so many wonderful people from around the world who all share a passion for learning languages, Korea and of course K-Dramas. You guys inspire me so much! 

The more students I meet the more I realise not everyone understands this passion. I hear the same story from so many people, ‘My family don’t understand my love of Korean.” “They say I’m wasting my time.” “My friends have dumped me because I like K-Pop.”

This is so sad!

Surely it is the greatest gift in life to find the thing that you are passionate about. The Japanese have a word for this Ikigai (生き甲斐) It’s basically your reason for being. The thing that makes you jump out of bed in the morning, the thing that makes your life brighter! 

For me my Ikigai is my love of learning and drawing. And my dream is for everyone to find their Ikigai. And that is another reason why I decided to create this blog. To hopefully inspire you to learn a new language, or maybe just to follow your dreams no matter what anyone says.

Hold tight to the things you love, even though people try and make you let go. Even if they think what you love is stupid. If it makes you happy then that’s all that matters. This is your life. Fill it with the things you love.

I’m excited to fill my blog with everything from crazy study hacks, diary entries, fascinating facts I learn about East Asian culture, fan art and who knows what. Whilst it will be predominantly about Korean studies I hope my study tips can help whatever you are learning. I have some crazy tips, but they do work. 

I feel I’ve always been destined to learn Korean because the moment I started I felt like I’d put my foot on a path that I was always meant to take. Where will it lead us to? Join me on the adventure and let’s find out. 

ChinSun – 

Thank you for reading my blog. I’d love to get to know you 🙂 Are you a fellow language learner? Or K-Drama lover? 🙂

What is your Ikigai? What inspires you to get out of bed every morning?