46th TOPIK?!

It is finally official! After a week of contemplating and debating with myself with thanks to a few people who helped me with the decision making, I have finally applied for the 46th TOPIK II paper. The only thing I am left to do is to print out my Application Form, which I need to bring with me to the examination venue, and pay the amount required.

I am not at all that confident that I’ll do well. But, unless I try, I’ll never know. My aim is to pass with a Level 4. I’m not sure if I can make it. If I do, 謝天謝地 (Thank heavens). If I don’t, 敗興而歸 (I’ll come back disappointed). Of course, I’ve come up with a game plan to tackle this challenge. Not really well thought through, but I guess it’ll have to do for now. I mean, it’s my first time. I’m not too sure what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong. And now I introduce, my plan;

Given how much progress I’ve made with the Ewha level 4 textbook, I hope to finish it by the end of the month (February). By finish, I mean both the textbook and workbook. Then I hope to do a lot of the Ewha 5 textbook (and workbook, if I can afford it) through the month of March. With these two textbooks, I hope to learn – and retain – a lot of new vocabulary and grammar points. Hopefully, with those, I can do well in the 쓰기 (writing) section; I heard it’s quite difficult for the Intermediate students.

That’s mainly for the 쓰기 (writing) section. For the 읽기 (reading) section, I plan to do a lot of practice using the TOPIK past papers. I think, for this section I have to mainly be comfortable with complex sentences and be prepared for the types of themes that might come out. By preparing myself for the themes, I can roughly guess the meanings of new words when I see them. No? I really have no idea what to do to prepare for this section apart from doing past papers.

For listening, with thanks to Shanna’s advice on her blog, I will be getting myself used to all sorts of accents. This would mean I have to listen to quite a number of podcasts, documentaries and variety shows (for natural speech). Hope and pray that I don’t get too distracted and not pay attention to what I’m supposed to do! Hahahaha

If you have any tips or know-hows, please comment ^^ ❤

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Korean Language Meet-up (23/01/16)

I went to my first Korean Language Meet-up today and met quite a number of new friends! (More about them towards the end of the post:D)

The Facebook RSVP Page stated that the meeting venue would be Raffles Place. Given my curfew hours, I arrived later and had to search for the place alone >< Google Maps DID NOT HELP! And thus, I was tricked. I could’ve taken the Downtown Line and arrived much quicker at Telok Ayer station. I blame myself for not Googling the place prior to leaving the house. Good job, Ryan. Great job!

Fast forward to when I arrived! In hopes of forgetting that tiring search! Honestly speaking, I really expected it to be awkward. But thankfully the people were full of warm welcomes! Although I started out being closer to the foreigners, I ended my day being closer to the locals. And throughout the day, I met quite a few awesome people; John, Won, Jorge, Jae-woong, Xinrong, Marsha (it was my first time meeting her), and Yuxing!

I spoke a little bit of Korean here and there. Still trying to rid of my shyness toward speaking Korean in public. Having learnt Korean diligently for three years, I understood a lot of what was being said in Korean. I do not thank my skills for that, I thank them for using simple sentences! But my hat goes off for Xinrong! I can see his determination towards learning the beautiful language. (Period Dramas FTW! Mainly for the language used in said dramas! haha)

And this is where I start talking about the things we did besides speaking about and in Korean. We started out at Bergs Gourmet Burger. I was there for about an hour or so before we made a move to another location. We of course to a group photo outside the restaurant before heading off to a loooong walk. #NoRegrets Despite the scorching hot weather, we actually walked the whole way from Bergs to Marina Bay. Since we had tourists with us, we stopped by the Merlion statue and took a lot of tourist-y shots before crossing a bridge and settling down at Toastbox.

But my favorite part of the whole journey is the roof terrace of *I forgot the name of the building*. It was so so beautiful! The sky constantly reminded me of Koizora! Although it looked nothing like Koizora, but the beauty just brought Koizora into mind! I really would love to visit the place again! It definitely was very relaxing to see the beautiful clouds and blue sky! Hearty Eyes throughout the rooftop scene!

Believe me, that beautiful place was where I started talking to Yuxing! Such a wonderful wonderful WONDERFUL human being! We share a mutual love in Korean, Japanese and books! We even share the same reason as to why we started our language learning journey in the first place – just for the fun of it! 天気な、かわいい人です!

I hope this friendship doesn’t end! To many more meet-ups and many more friendships~ ❤

With love,
Ryan xxoo

 

오랜만입니다!

It’s been way too long! お久しぶりです!For that, I sincerely apologize~

I’ve been quite busy with O’levels, the results and also applying to my next stage in education. -Just a little insight into my life-

But let’s talk languages and New Years!

Happy New Year! 새해 복 많이 받으세요! 明けましておめでとうございます!I hope that you get to fulfill all of your New Year’s resolutions this year and may it be full of blessings!

I’ve been learning Japanese a lot, recently and I’ve added that into my New Year’s resolutions list. Speaking of which, here is mine;

1: To improve my Korean greatly [More specifically, to be able to read novels without referring much to the dictionary]
2: To be able to speak and write Japanese at a high confident level [More specifically, to be able to read Koizora without much troubles]
3: To improve my own Mother Tongue immensely and sound more like a native who spoke it from birth [To those who don’t know, I’m a Malay and I pass my Malay examinations at a 63/100 average]
4: To get better at Mandarin [More specifically, to be able to read Cafe.Waiting.Love without much reference to the dictionary]

As you can see it’s very language-centered. But I really do hope to be able to achieve all these by the end of the year! I’ll of course be tryibg my best to post more throughout the year! Tell me your resolutions and how you’d go about achieving them!(:

Until next time,
Ryan xxoo

BOOK HAUL

Sorry for the long wait! I posted on the nineth of last month that once I’ve gotten all my books, I’d write about them.

And guess what! The final few books finally came in a few days back! Couldn’t write it then due to tonnes of school work. A million apologies from my heart!

But let’s get started!

I will not go in any particular order!

1: Yonsei Korean 3
I have been wanting this series ever since I first started learning Korean. When I started learning Korean, the first blog I found was Shanna’s (hangukdrama.com) blog which had quite a lot of content! And immediately after reading her review on the Yonsei books, I fell in love! So, I went straight to Kinokuniya to check the price…

Oh god the horror. It was SGD107! What monster would ever actually pay that amount of money! So I ended up not buying until this year when I found a cheaper alternative – Internet Shopping. And so, I FINALLY GOT IT!

2: Lughatuna Al-Fusha BOOK TWO
Funny story as to how I got this one. I went to Kinokuniya after finding out about their 10% off sale. I was searching for an Arabic language learning resource. So I stood there, in front of the shelves, with my mom. Both of us were looking for good ones. And my mom came across this particular series. She took it, read the back and said that it seemed good. I took a look and I thought similarly(literally judging a book by it’s cover). The bad part was that the textbook was SEALED SHUT! So I just went with my mom’s instincts, y’know trusting her and all.

When I got home, I unwrapped the plastic covers enthusiastically. And again oh god the horror… THERE WERE NO ENGLISH! NONE, ZERO, NADA! I was thinking, meh maybe book two wouldn’t be so bad, y’know? Because the mumber two is usually not so bad. BUT GOODNESS WAS I WRONG! So now, I have to go find myself a teacher to make that book worth the money! I paid half of the $70!

3: Malice by Keigo Higashino
Am I the only one who finds it awkward to say Keigo Higashino instead of Higashino Keigo? No? Me alone? Okay then..

It’s goooood! I like the style of writing. I’m two chapters in and never once did I ever get bored! Many other books have this style of writing where they try to make it longer by describing things, which always end up boring me. But not this! The writing is simply so good that it’s practically one of my motivations to further my Japanese skills!

I can’t wait to finish it and read his other novels! Too good! TOO GOOD!

4: ISIS by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan
Ever since the time my teacher gave out articles about the beheading of James Foley, this topic has intrigued me greatly! I wanted to know more about the groups. So I printed another article on my own and bought this book during Kinokuniya’s 10% off sale.

I haven’t read a word from it, therefore I can’t give my opinions on it yet. But I’m rather excited to read it.

I heard that it’s rather new – the topic and everything – so I’m a tad nervous about it. O just wish it won’t be horrible.

5: I’ll Be Right There by Kyung-sook Shin
I loved Please Look After Mother by her and I kind of wanted to read her other works. Since I stumbled upon this, I thought I should give it a go.

The original work is titled “어디선가 나를 찾는 전화벨이 울리고’ which sounds interesting – again, judging a book by it’s cover.

I have nothing much to say about this book pther than how excited I am.

6: Korean Composition
I kept seeing this around and I really wanted to improve on my Korean writing, so I went ahead and bought it.

I found that the insides were rather interesting but unless I’ve gone through a fair amount of the book, I can’t say much about it.

But for now, I’m just really really excited to go through all of them! Tell me your thoughts and opinions about these books if you’ve read/had them!

Possible TOPIK Questions (for my practice!)

저도 연습하야 하니까 이걸 보고 써보겠어요!

Seoul in Black and White

Possible TOPIK Questions:

< 자연 보존과 자연 개발 >

  1. 자연 보존과 자연 개발 중 어느 것이 더 중요하다고 생각하는가?
  2. 그렇게 생각하는 이유는 무엇인가? (2가지 이상 쓰시오.)

< 직업 선택의 조건 >

  1. 중요하게 생각하는 조건 세 가지는 무엇인가?
  2. 그 중에서 가장 중요하다고 생각하는 것은 무엇인가?
    그것이 왜 다른 조건보다 더 중요하다고 생각하는가?

< 행복한 삶의 조건 >

  1. 행복한 삶이란 무엇인가?
  2. 행복하게 살기 위해 충족되어야 할 조건은 무엇인가?

< 예술 교육의 필요성 >

  1. 예술 교육이 왜 필요한가?
  2. 예술 교육을 통해 얻을 수 있는 효과는 무엇인가?

< 토론에 필요한 자세 >

  1. 토론은 왜 필요한가?
  2. 토론을 잘하기 위해서는 어떤 준비를 해야 하는가?
  3. 상대방과 토론을 한 때에는 어떤 자세로 임해야 하는가?

< 선의의 거짓말이란 >

  1. 선의의 거짓말이란 무엇인가?
  2. 선의의 거짓말은 언제 필요한가?
  3. 선의의 거짓말이 가질 수 있는 문제점은 무엇인가?

< 경쟁의 긍정적인 면과 부정적인 면 >

  1. 현대 사회에서 경쟁이 심해지는 이유는 무엇이라고 생각하는가?
  2. 경쟁이 가지는 긍정적인 측면은 무엇인가?
  3. 경쟁이 미치는 부정적인 영향은 무엇인가?

여러분은 존경하는…

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Receiving books soon! (Hopefully)

If there is one thing I’m excited about, it is receiving books. Personally getting them yourself is an amazing feeling. Receiving them as a gift/reward is even better! I don’t know if it is just me or if everyone else feels the same way, but I am darn excited about it! I bet you can tell by now how excited I am!

Okay, okay, okay! I shall stop rambling and start explaining about the books I’ll be receiving! The way I list them has got nothing to do about which I am most excited or which I am least excited to receive! I repeat, NOTHING!

1. I’ll Be Right There by Kyung-sook Shin (신경숙의 어디선가 나를 찾는 전화벨이 울리고)
I loved her novel, Please Look After Mom (엄마를 부탁해). Read penty of reviews and all of them said that the book is good and, a lot like PLAM, the book leaves readers with things worth thinking of. Plus, the synopsis seems super interesting! Not to mention, I love her style of writing!

2. Malice by Keigo Higashino (東野圭吾の悪意)
I have always heard so many praises about his writing. I am not always a fan of mystery or thriller but I am willing to try this one out! I also heard as many praises about his novel, The Devotion of Suspect X(容疑者Xの献身) which I am very tempted to get my hands on!

3-4. Yonsei Korean 3 (연세 한국어 3)
I consider this two books because there are two parts to the level! The Yonsei books has always been in my favorites list. It went even higher up the list when I viewed the interior of the book. So, I guess this has got to be the book(or books) I am most excited about? Haha

5. Korean Composition by the University of Hawaii.
I guess this is directed to learners who wish to improve on their essay writing? I am not too sure either. I have only seen about three pages from the book, therefore I have not much knowledge on what the book teaches or who it is directed too. So, I guess you have to keep a lookout on the review of it? Haha! Suspense 😂

If you have the books and want to give your two cents on them, do leave your comments in the comment section! Love receiving feedback and love to read on your opinions! ☺