Need some advice. Lately, I’ve been pretty discouraged while studying Korean language. I started a kind of intensive 4-month project, and overall I’ve been pretty disciplined about it (better than I expected ;) ), but I’m frustrated with my lack of progress.
I realize that 4 months isn’t very long, and not to expect much, but I still expected better than this. I’ve recently had a couple very short-lived conversations in Korean, but these did not go well. My listening skills are still very poor, and I don’t express myself well, and my pronunciation isn’t very good.
My biggest frustration though is lack of opportunities to really use it. I do a lot of passive listening using the Iyagi series from TTMIK, Youtube videos and KPop songs. But I have almost 0 opportunity to practice it in terms of conversation. I have found a Korean conversation partner via language exchange (same service I used before with Japanese), but because of timezone changes, we can rarely meet, and so far I’ve been too embarrassed to do voice-chat, just typing.
Thinking back, I think a big reason why i know as much Japanese as I do was exposure through my wife, daughter and Japanese TV. Going to Japan every year to visit family helps a lot too. Even when I didn’t really want to study it, I still “got used to it”, and when I did focus on it during my JLPT studies, it helped a lot. Being able to watch J-Dramas and be able to follow along is great, as is being able to look up stuff on Google in Japanese (even when I can only read some of it).
So, lately I get discouraged. I feel like for all my 9 months of effort (started studying October), I’ve made no noticeable progress. I kind of “know” some things and in a real emergency, I could manage a little, but it’s not the kind of progress I had hoped for.
Part of me thinks I should cut my losses and focus more on improving my Japanese (as I need a lot of improvement). I have much more support and resources available, anyway. Plus it has more immediate benefit, and is fun because at least I can have basic conversations with people now and use it when I visit Japan.
Part of me thinks I should stay with it, otherwise I will always suck at it. I’ve come this far, why stop? Plus, it’s pretty fun learning through lessons at TTMIK and KoreanClass101.1 I’ve met a lot of new, nice people in person and through the Internet, so I that gives me motivation to keep trying, plus it helps me appreciate aspects of Korean culture, food and music better.
Part of me thinks I should keep doing both.
Part of me thinks I should really bear down on one only.
So, I feel pretty undecided right now.
Advice is appreciated.
P.S. I thought about “finishing” Japanese first, then resuming studies with Korean. My wife made the wise point that you never really stop learning a language. Good point. ;)
1 I listen to both lately as they have different teaching styles, and I found the overlap helps me more than using just one source.