March 26, 2010 | Korean

Korean Pimsleur: Status Report

I am falling further and further behind.

Things are continuing to look pretty grim for my goal of finishing all 60 available Pimsleur Korean lessons by April 1. I tried hard today, but I guess Korean tried harder.

Part of my problem is that I kept falling asleep during the lessons. But really, I was awake for plenty of hours and should have been able to do better when I was not actually asleep.

I am still redoing each lesson multiple times. I made my way through lesson 16 (Level II) today, but I have not succeeded in mastering 17 sufficiently to move on, despite multiple efforts. I did the lesson in bed, I did it while stretching after a run, I did it while walking through Central Park to the New York Road Runners Club to pick up my race number for a race on Sunday.

Central Park, West 77th Street Entrance

View Across Central Park's Great Lawn

I know it didn’t help that as I walked in Central Park, I kept taking pictures. Photography is on my list of activities incompatible with serious language learning. I really wanted the pictures, though.

Fourteen lessons left. And five days to do them in. I will have to suddenly become better at Korean, or the lessons will have to suddenly become easier. (Intentional split infinitives there, and they are totally legit, regardless of what your English teacher may have told you back in the day.) Maybe I will get lucky and both will happen!

Comments (4)

blucecloud • Posted on Mon, August 25, 2014 - 6:24 am EST

Hey, just want to say hi because I’m also on my way of Korean pimsleur now, but only on lesson number 9 Korean I, so still a far road ahead….I just want to ask what is the feeling of your Korean after finishing pimsleur and how does it work in helping you to interact with Korean people? Does it help a lot? and Do Korean easily understand what you say to them or they just like “muo yo?”..And the last question is what do you do next after Pimsleur?

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Mon, August 25, 2014 - 11:56 am EST

Blucecloud, thank you for your note. I have to say that I did not speak much to Korean people—I simply didn’t get that far along in Korean during my short time with it—but when I did, they understood me. Somewhat to my surprise, because I felt as though it was hard for me to grasp the pronunciation!

What is your native language? Other than Pimsleur I didn’t love most of my materials for Korean, but I have accumulated information on additional resources since then, so I might be able to suggest something that I haven’t myself tried, including materials based in languages other than English if you just let me know your language background.

blucecloud • Posted on Tue, August 26, 2014 - 5:34 am EST

Hi, thanks for your reply. My native language is Vietnamese. It motivates me a lot when knowing that you’re understood well by native Korean. Actually before Pimsleur, I did finish level I on the website, it’s a really cool site for learning the language, but somehow, for now, I think I should just stick to Pimsleur first, then will move back to the levels on the website later because I’m kind of an auditory learner and I want to form some kind of connection with the language through listening and mimicking without any disturbance of grammar… I hate grammar, it holds us back while speaking foreign language because of the fear of saying it wrong, but Pimsleur chose a different path, which makes us feel like everything just comes naturally and just speak the language like the way children do, not have to learn the language. That’s the great thing about that program, though I wish I could have a native speaker by my side to check the pronunciation for me, because our ears are unreliable most of the times, esp when it comes to a foreign language and for adults…Children just pick up sounds easily but grown-ups don’t because the sounds of native language deeply rooted in our mind and we often tend to interpret the foreign sounds to native sounds, which worsen our pronunciation…

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Sun, August 31, 2014 - 8:30 pm EST

I really can’t do Pimsleur without grammar supplementation. Everyone operates differently, I have found. I freak out without grammar! :)

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