저는 필리핀에서 온 디야라고 합니다. 나이는 팔십년생입니다. 나이는 만으로 스물 아홉살입니다. 한국식 나이로 벌써 서른살이 됐어요. 저는 한국인이 아니라서 다행이죠?
저는 필리핀 국립대학교에서 언어학을 전공하고 있는 복학생이에요.
한국드라마 보는 것을 정말 좋아하고 한국어, 한국 문화, 문학, 그리고 역사에도 관심이 많아요.
저는 여배우 김선아님의 열혈 팬이예요. 내 이름은 김삼순이라는 한국 드라마를 처음 볼때부터 지금까지 팬이 된지 거의 칠년이 됐어요. 왜냐하면 연기를 잘하는 것 뿐만아니라 연기가 감동적이기 때문입니다. 또한 재미있고 웃기고 귀엽고 예쁜 배우에요. 그리고 선아언니는 마음이 착하고 따뜻하고 팬들을 소중하게 생각해 주기 때문에 우리는 선아언니를 많이 사랑해요. 그런 배우가 또 어디 있겠어요? 그래서 선아언니를 위해 영원히 응원하겠어요.
선아언니 덕분에 한국어를 공부하기 시작했고 지금까지 계속 열심히 공부하고 있어요.
제 꿈이 원래 선아언니를 만나서 한국어로 얘기 하는 것이고 한국에서 한국어를 공부하며 살아 보고 싶은 것이었어요. 근데 그 꿈들이 다 이루어졌어요. 선아언니를 세번째 만나고 제 한국어 실력은 부족해도 선아언니와 한국어로 얘기 했어요. 그리고 작년 여름에 사십일 동안 한국에서 공부하면서 지내봤어요. 이제는 한국에 다시… 아니 자주 가고 싶고 선아언니도 또 만나고 한국어로 더 많은 얘기 나누고 싶은 것이 제 꿈이에요. 그리고 한국어 실력이 더 좋아졌으면 좋겠고 올해 빨리 졸업했으면도 좋겠어요.
여러분! 제 블로그를 반문해주셔서 감사하고 여러분과 만나서 반갑습니다. 잘 부탁드립니다.
Hi! I’m Dia. 29. I’m from the Philippines.
I’m a student (old returning) from the University of the Philippines, Diliman struggling to finish my degree in Linguistics.
My dream is to graduate soon;
go to Korea go back to Korea (and attend Kim Sun-Ah’s birthday party, visit and take pictures of ALL the locations used on her dramas, meet my Korean friends, and study MA and/or more Korean language). Travel around Asia. Become fluent in Korean. And marry date a man like City Hall‘s Jo Guk Jang Dong Gun A Gentlemen’s Dignity‘s Kim Do Jin (minus the 17 year old son as much as possible) ♥
NO TO KOREAN?
Korean dramas started airing in our country last 2003 and became really popular by 2004. I have no interest in Korean language or culture – not even in Korean dramas (and K-pop was still unknown here at that time). And I don’t understand why a lot of people are getting hooked on Korean dramas. I was even annoyed to the extent of threatening my best friend that I would stop texting her if she keeps sending me messages sprinkled with saranghaeyos and annyeonghaseyos.
KOREAN DRAMA ADDICTION
It was 2006 when I saw my first ever Korean Drama – 내 이름은 김삼순 (My Name Is Kim Sam Soon). I happen to catch the first few episodes on local broadcast (which is probably equivalent to the first half of Episode 1). It was catchy and interesting and looks totally different from the other Korean dramas that I have heard of (back then dramas like Autumn In My Heart, Endless Love and Winter Sonata were the popular ones). However I still didn’t watch it for I thought it’s just going to be one of those ugly-duckling-turned-into-a-beautiful-swan fairy tale stories. Tell me about Betty La Fea! But was surprised when my mom told me that Sam-Soon didn’t really turn pretty and sexy at the end of the series.
Middle of 2006 when it was rebroadcast. Curious with my mom’s explanation of the ending, I decided to watch it. And was immediately hooked! When episode 7 was airing, I can’t contain my curiousness, thus I purchased a DVD copy right away. I watched it without any experience in watching a Korean drama. I’m not used to reading subtitles for 16 hours (more so, bad subtitles — yeah I got a bootleg DVD for MNIKSS *shies away* — but I bought the original afterwards, am I forgiven?). I have no idea how long it will run. I even have no idea how many episodes there are.
And this clueless little noob was left brawling her heart out towards the end of the series. In no time, my heart was totally captured by Sam Soon. I never thought I a drama would affect me that much.
My Name Is Kim Sam Soon offered a big door towards Korean drama series for me. Since then, I started accepting and embracing these wonderful 16 to 20-hour (and sometimes even more) experience.
I’m still not that big drama watcher because of my tight schedule, but I always have a drama to watch no matter what. And my to-watch list is growing way way faster than my bank account balance and credits gained in our university. I’ve finished quite a few (and haven’t finished a handful). I like some of them, I hate some. I’ve lived in soompi.com for years to satisfy this addiction. I’ve even became a fansubber – much to my own surprise. I may not be active in soompi and in fansubbing now but I guess, as long as there is a Korean drama out there, I will continue watching.
I became a fan of some actors (like Go Hyun Jung, Song Yoon Ah, Shin Eun Kyung, Kim Hyang Ki, Park Yong-Ha, Cha Seung Won, Jang Dong Gun), writers (Kim Eun Sook, Kim Do Wo, No Ji Seol), directors (Kim Yoon Cheol, Shin Woo Cheol, Park Hyung Ki) and even a musical director (Noh Young Shim).
I also became
a fan of obsessed with 김선아 (Kim Sun Ah).
KIM SUN AH OBSESSION
Just like most of her fans, I became a fan of hers because of My Name Is Kim Sam Soon. The drama was really something very special to me. I fell in love with Kim Sam-Soon, and I can’t help but fall in love with the actor that gave life to her as well – Kim Sun-Ah.
The more I get to know her, the more I admire and love her. She’s good in what she do and she gave her all on each of her projects. She’s also very witty and funny, that’s why it’s always refreshing to watch her – seems like there’s no boring moment whenever I watch her. And maybe not everyone knows this, but she’s someone with a good and warm heart towards her fans. (sorry for sounding like an obsessed fan – I really am, anyway. hehehe)
And it was because of her that I started embracing the wonderful Korean culture.
I learned a lot about Korea and its culture because of her. I gained a lot of Korean friends because of her. I went back to school because of her too. I even had my first plane ride and overseas travel because of her.
And because of her I started learning Korean.
MY KOREAN LEARNING JOURNEY
My first journey to learning Korean was only through few phrases that I have unintentionally picked from My Name Is Kim Sam Soon (and most of them were 반말). The first sentence that I learned (outside the pre-requisite 안녕하세요 & 사랑해요) was가 지마!
I thought that it must be fun learning Korean, but I didn’t take it seriously. It was just a thought in passing. I then caught “Let’s Speak In Korean” on cable and somehow convinced myself that I could probably learn some Korean. But I swear I won’t study those difficult characters (한글)! And just after a few minutes on “Let’s Speak Korean” I realized that it’s impossible to learn Korean without learning 한글. “Forget it!” I said.
But it was because of Kim Sun Ah that I seriously considered studying Korean. I wanted to join her Fancafe. I don’t remember when it was exactly. All I can remember is that I did spend tons of scratch papers and wrote all those 한글 characters non-stop. I was like a kindergarten student learning how to write for the first time. I had a hard time on some vowels, but after about 6~8 hours, I managed to memorize all of them. It wasn’t that difficult at all.
March of 2007 when I finally managed to join Kim Sun Ah’s Fancafe. I was overwhelmed when I found lots of Korean fans talking about her no less and tons of Korean contents – fan accounts, announcements, and Kim Sun Ah’s messages. Wanting to join the fan discussions and understand everyone and everything I continued studying on my own by following lessons online (Some introduction, then Sogang Online Program) and through a beginner book (Ganada I) that I managed to
salvage borrow from friends. I was more diligent with the first few lessons but after being able to read lyrics of songs and knowing how to write the most basic sentences, I had a hard time focusing – and I ended up not finishing any of the lessons and textbooks I was studying. Also, since I work full-time then, I only have very little time to study.
In 2008, in order to be allowed to join a free Korean language class in TESDA, me and my best friend pretended to show interest in working in factories in Korea.
I learned a lot from our 80-hour session (It was a 4hr/day-5day/week-4weeks stint). My teacher is a Filipino. The first 3 days were boring because we were taught how to read and write. But after that the lessons became more and more difficult. Since we have exams, I was forced to study and memorize a lot of vocabulary words. Even if I’m sleep deprived (because I have a full time job at that time), I studied, studied and studied some more. From the second week onwards, we were memorizing like 30-50+ words a day (!!!) (and I have forgotten more than half of them afterwards). But sentence composition only goes as far as declarative sentences; past, present, future tenses; modifiers; and a quick look at imperatives. The good thing was we were taught both the -요 and -입니다 patterns and, what I consider really important – conjugation. We didn’t use any textbooks. But they provided us with a few handouts that are mostly wordlists (!).
After that I stopped studying again. I was too overwhelmed perhaps of being able to express myself at least in the simplest Korean sentence. I pick up my books/lessons once in a while. There were days when I read during breaks and while commuting. And there were days when I barely open my textbooks. Thus I wasn’t really able to finish any lessons/textbooks.
However, since I’m a big fan of Kim Sun Ah and I love watching dramas, even if I don’t do my lessons, I’m still always exposed to the language EVERYDAY. I read news about Kim Sun Ah, I read and write on her fancafe and chat with her Korean fans. My playlist is filled with Korean songs and almost everyday I also watch Korean dramas. Later on I even joined subbing teams, usually as a timer, and it did improve my Korean.
In 2009 I found out that Kim Sun Ah knows me through her fancafe. And she said my Korean has improved (yey!) BUT I mix it with 반말 (darn!)! More than the joy of knowing that my existence is known to Kim Sun Ah, the embarrassment I felt had more impact on me. Thus from that day on, I picked up my textbooks once again and I decided to start studying Korean properly.
June of 2010, I returned to school and shifted to Linguistics (from Film and Audio Visual Communication). I took Korean 10-11 (lower beginner level – Sogang 1A, 1B) as a language elective. It was an hour and a half class, 4 times a week.
And on September 2010 I managed to get a Grade 2 on the 19th TOPIK.
The following semester I took Korean 12-13 (upper beginner level – Sogang 2A, 2B). It’s also an hour and a half, 4 times a week. And I learned a lot from our wonderful 선생님. She never spoke to us in English even if she is very fluent with it. It keeps us on the edge of our seats all the time.
Usually before the classes even begins, I read the entire textbook. So the classes were actually more of a review-and-practice for me. And in between I study on my own following Talk To Me In Korean and some textbooks.
I then joined my first speech contest because I want to improve on my speaking skills. And I did well. For the first 6 minutes. Then messed up big time. Nonetheless it was a fun experience.
After finishing all the Korean classes in our university last March 2011, I started self-studying again. I attempted to attend an experimental intermediate class by our lovely 선생님 last June 2011 (Korean 100 – Sogang 3A) but wasn’t able to continue because it’s in conflict with my other classes.
Early 2012 my Korean were once again noticed by Kim Sun Ah. This time she said 한국말 잘해요! 박수. I know my Korea is still far from being good, but getting this comment from Kim Sun Ah, THE Kim Sun Ah, killed me 10x.
I joined another speech contest early that year and successfully bagged the 2nd prize while missing the Trip to Korea grand prize by a point. Yes. 1 point. I know I could’ve done better. But I have no regrets. I was actually surprised I won. No, I was surprised I was able to finish my speech on stage! 😄
Summer of 2012 I was able to participate in CNU’s International Summer Program in Gwangju, South Korea. It was a dream come true for me! I only stayed in Korea for 40 days and Korean language classes were only for beginners so I have no choice but to take classes conducted in English. The classes were past-paced since it’s summer semester and at the same time I was also busy preparing a snack event for the staff of Kim Sun Ah‘s drama I Do I Do (aka fangirling). Nonetheless my stay in Korea was not only a blast, it also pushed my Korean to the max! I never get to sit-down and open a page of my Korean textbooks. I never even get to read a paragraph from the novel I brought with me. But my Korean improved tremendously! I tried to use Korean as much as I can. I go out as much as I can. I talked to anyone (friends, school mates, friends of friends, ahjummas, ahjussis, taxi drivers, even bus drivers!) about anything. And I’m glad it worked for me!
When I returned from Korea I started preparing for Intermediate TOPIK and attended a once a week review session with out 선생님 for a month. We answered previous papers and our 선생님 discuss and explain difficult parts. It was still very difficult for me. So I was not surprised when I failed the 28th TOPIK. Nonetheless I was happy with the results and I am thankful for the many things I learned while preparing for it.
Some months I study diligently, some months not so due to tremendous school work. But as always, I never stopped exposing myself to the language. From the moment I wrote my first Hangeul character until now, there’s always something Korean in my everyday life – be it hardcore textbook studying, TOPIK reviewing, novel reading, K-drama watching, fangirling,
stalking keeping in touch with friends, anything! Thus, I didn’t forget what I’ve learned in the past and I still managed to learn a things here and there each day.
Now I’m trying to catch up on Talk To Me In Korean lessons. I’m also trying to review previous Intermediate TOPIK papers some more in preparation for the 32nd exam in October. I still learn Korean through Korean Drama scripts/transcripts and I still hope to finish my textbooks someday. And I’m also
trying struggling to finish the novels that I have no matter how difficult they still are.
I still have a lot to learn. Sometimes it’s frustrating. But sometimes it’s rewarding too. But I will continue learning Korean. I can’t wait for the time when I can understand my novels completely; I can’t wait for the time when I can express myself comfortably without being frustrated (and without frustrating the other party); and I can’t wait for the time I can watch my dramas without any subtitles anymore.
Comments, corrections and criticism are more than welcome. I need it badly.