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17 December 2004
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KLB - Rosetta Stone Korean

I downloaded all six Rosetta Stone Korean CD image files from E-donkey and mounted them with a virtual drive (so I don't need to burn them) and have been testing them out. Of course, I will buy them if I like the series. So far I don't really like it that much, but the sound quality is good and the interface makes it easy to replay the sentences and repeat them. It's also nice to have all the pictures. However, once again, as seemingly is the case with all Korean study guides, the speaking is unnatural and Julie tells me nobody talks like that. At least it's something.

I've been studying Japanese more and more using Pimsleur, which is a very good system. I finished the first 30 lessons (one lesson is 30 minutes) by listening to them on the subway everyday and I can already say that I've retained a lot. Pimsleur is very effective because it's all listening and repeating over and over again, and practicing what you've learned so much that by the end of every lesson you really remember quite a bit. Even after not listening for a few days, you still remember most of the each lesson. Also, what they teach you is actually useful. I know how to say things like, "You want to drink beer with me, don't you?" or "How much is the the beer." Instead of "The ball is under the desk," or "My nose hurts." With the long commute I can study 4 lessons a day and I have 60 lessons yet to go. I'm excited to think how much I will know at that time. Then I will just have to go and visit Japan again to test it out. Who knows, maybe I'll end up there someday teaching English.

So, why the hell are you studying Japanese when you live in Korea? you might ask. Well, it's because it's something to do on the train besides reading a newspaper or staring at my cellphone and I haven't found any good Korean language audio mp3s yet. It's also much easier for me to hear and speak than Korean. Unfortunately, the Pimsleur Korean series is only 10 lessons of extremely formal Korean, but the Japanese is really good. It should be for how expensive it is to buy (I'm going to buy it soon, of course.) This might be because the Japanese is informal. According to the notes provided with the series, Japanese people never expect foreigners to speak formal Japanese, whereas in Korea, if you speak to elders using informal Korean, called banmal, you will come across as being a rude moron. I just don't see myself talking to elders in Korean enough for me to learn the very difficult formal sentences. Not to mention, if you speak formally to your Korean friends they will think you are overly polite and probably a bit weird, if they can even make out what is your saying (since they won't be expecting anyone to speak to them that way).

Well, back to studying Korean. It's a language o' rama around here lately.


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