I’ve been studying Korean for about 2 years now, and most of that time has been purely from a textbook with little interaction with actual Korean people or current media. So whenever I do have that kind of experience come up, it can be either really exciting when I realize I’ve learned enough to grasp something that I didn’t a few months ago, or disheartening to be reminded there’s a whole vast amount of vocabulary and grammar and slang to learn that I haven’t even scratched the surface of. Even when that happens it doesn’t want to make me quit it just kind of puts me back in my place…
Anyway, one of my weakest points is listening, as it is for most people studying a language while not actually abroad. But I stumbled across a wonderful tool! So for anyone reading this who is studying Korean also, I hope you go and find it is helpful also. Naver is basically the Korean Google. Don’t be fooled by all the stuff on the page, it’s just the Korean aesthetic, supposedly. But it is a search engine, hosts videos, images, blogs, email news etc etc just like Google. I usually try to go there every once in a while to see if I can understand anything at all. But I stumbled upon this today: Junior Naver!
This is Naver for kids, and so it has a a lot of adorable graphics and simpler language/subject matter. It has all kinds of games and studying tools for Korean kids to learn their own language, English, has hints about how to write a letter or a book report, you can read the latest issues of popular comics, play games (both for learning or just for cute fun), practice your korean nursery rhymes with audio and lyrics, etc etc. It’s really great because it’s such a wide range of topics and mediums, and there’s a lot of content with audio to practice your listening. Every time I go I find a few new things to get excited about. For beginning learners it seems like a great tool to utilize.
Also, if anyone happens to be reading this who can help me, I have one problem. My computer can generally read and type in Korean fonts, and almost all websites show up just fine. But for some flash or java applications the text is a bunch of random symbols. Is there some language pack I should download? I can’t seem to find a solution anywhere. I’ve tried using a mac and a pc, safari, firefox, and internet explorer and it’s the same on all of them (not to mention a lot of parts only work on internet explorer anyway). If someone happens to stumble upon this post and know the answer, please let me know.