30 Day Challenge #1

The word Han-geul in Han-geul. Hangeul is read...

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I am sure I mentioned this before, but I am a self-diagnosed, severe….procrastinator.  I have so many things I want to do in life, but if given too much time to get them done, they never get done.  When I was in high school I got my best grades after I started working not one, but two jobs.  My dad joked that if I got a third one, I’d get straight A’s.  He was probably right.  Right now I have the luxury of time on my hands and am therefore not getting much accomplished, so I’m going to try to change that starting today.  I, of course, have tried setting goals for myself before and failed miserably.  However, I’m hoping that if I post my goal on here in a public forum, the idea of having to tell you I failed 30 days from now is much scarier than simply admitting the failure to myself, alone in my apartment.  So if I fail, feel free to laugh, point and mock me.

Any of you who watch TED will recognize the following video:

It is a very popular video on TED because it’s short, sweet and relatable.  Most people I know want to accomplish something from learning a language, playing guitar, getting into yoga, cooking…the list is endless.  I normally don’t jump on these inspirational bandwagons because of, well, the aforementioned failure rate and my ability to stay focused on one interest for more than like 3 days.  But alas, I am desperate.

So, what is my challenge you ask?  I am going to learn at least one new lesson a day from the Talk to Me in Korean (TTMIK) website.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I love languages and am currently attempting to learn Korean.  This seems like an obvious To Do since I live in Korea, but most foreigners here don’t bother to learn it, so I am part of a minority I assure you.  You can get around without it here, but I love languages (I should start collecting nickles…err 50won…for every time I say that) so I want to learn it while I’m immersed in it.  I wanted to go to an academy to learn it seriously, but I can’t afford one since one of the main reasons I’m here is to pay off student loans.   The cheapest academy for 2 classes a week is like $175-ish/month.  I’ve been trying to self study for a year, but haven’t been doing so well staying on track.  I’ve got lots of pretty Korean books on my shelf though!  They have free classes on Saturdays at the Seoul Global Center, but I don’t think once a week is enough time to keep my focus; however, now that I’m actually living in Seoul, I may go just to meet other learners and buy another pretty textbook.  😉

If you are in Korea and haven’t heard of TTMIK yet, it’s worth checking out.  It is much more than just a podcast.  They have 6 levels of lessons that include audio lessons and follow along PDF, plus a ‘workbook’ every 10 lessons so you can practice what you learn.  On top of that, they are very interactive.  They encourage and respond to questions and comments.  They always post interesting things on their Facebook site too like translation challenges and cultural lessons.  I’ve never seen a language website so well-rounded, so helpful and so…FREE.  They are amazing.

I have studied some of their lessons already, but I would get overzealous in one day and try to do like 10 of them and end up not retaining anything.  So I will try for one a day and see how much I can learn from just a website.  I think those who live in other countries might struggle with learning from only a website, but since I live here and interact everyday with Koreans, it should be easier for me to incorporate the lessons and practice speaking.  As of right now, I read Korean and know the basics like numbers, where things are, how to order food and buy things and how to ask if a store has something you need.  You’d be surprised how far that little bit gets me.

So without further ado, the challenge commences.  I may post about what I’m learning from time to time, but probably not everyday.  Cross your fingers and wish me luck!

P.S.  I’ve named this post Challenge #1 because I also would like to make myself read/study Italian for one hour a day too, but I don’t want to take on too many goals at one time like I normally do, so we’ll save that for another day o’ motivation.  🙂


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. stephaniejt
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 21:53:28

    That sounds like a great idea! I know what you mean about taking on too much and not retaining anything. Sometimes I just listen to the TTMIK podcasts but then I realize I haven’t really been paying attention. It is definitely something you need to sit down and really focus on.


  2. Jackie Paulson Author
    Sep 14, 2011 @ 17:50:28

    You are so ambitious, I have no interest in Korean so I admire you for taking on this challenge. It’s a challenge each day to write and keep up with all of my online things. Congrats to you for doing it.


    • ficklefolly
      Sep 15, 2011 @ 02:30:36

      I don’t think many outside of Korea aspire to learn Korean unless they are coming here to work or study. It’s not easy for English speakers, but it’s much easier to write than Chinese. 😉 And it helps that the lessons I’m shooting for every day are only like 10 minutes long. HAHA


  3. Yuna Park
    Sep 16, 2011 @ 05:36:47

    Does this mean I can speak to you in Konglish when I see you next month? 😉
    I will share that TTMIK link to my bf, who’s trying to learn Korean as well. I should also set a goal for myself to study Spanish everyday, so I can understand more than the word corazón in latin music…


  4. Trackback: Updates…and Writing for Your Health? « FickleFolly

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