Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Fluency Chronicles: TTMIK Lvl 1 Lssn 17 Past Tense / -았/었/였어요 (했어요)

Annyeonghaseyo Yeorobun,

Blast from the past verb conjugation time this go round. Similar in formular to present tense. a__, eu___, & yeo__. but this time  the addition being "sseo-yo" instead  of "yo". so:

verbs with the vowels  or  = _____    았어
Everything else =  었어요
verbs ending in 하   =      였어요 

Easy Peasy, which ends up essentially being just adding -sseo before the -yo of what ever it's preset tense is. ex.

놀다 [nol-da] (Verb stem = 놀 [nol]) = to play, to hang out
Present Tense: 놀아요 [no-ra-yo]
Past Tense: 놀았어요 [no-ra-sseo-yo]

or well it was until you get to anomalies like

기다리다 [gi-da-ri-da] (Verb stem = 기다리 [gi-da-ri]) = to wait
Present Tense: 기다려요 [gi-da-ryeo-yo] (NOT 기다리어요)
Past Tense: 기다렸어요 [gi-da-ryeo-sseo-yo]

I think that it has something to do with the verb stem literally ending in a vowel. seems like one vowel has to drop. in this case the "i" in "ri" but I'm just guessing mind you.

On the other hand I haven't the foggiest what's going on here pronunciation wise:

멋있다 [meo-sit-da] (Verb stem = 멋있 [meo-sit]) = to be cool, to be awesome
Present Tense: 멋있어요 [meo-si-sseo-yo] 
Past Tense: 멋있었어요 [meo-si-sseo-sseo-yo]

why though they're on the bottom of syllable do ㅅ+ ㅆ retain the "s" sound instead of being "t". Is it because they are between vowels?  and how do you know to pronounce  them as part of the next syllable  instead of the one they're written as part of? I'll ask the TTMIK teachers, but perhaps I should just start drilling verbs and tenses as they are instead trying to understand the grammar on this one. ha ha... yeah like that's gonna happen lol. Anyways I've earned my breakfast on this one, I'd rate the difficulty 5/10. ^_^

열심히 일하고 있습니다! ~Let's work Hard!~


P.S. I will ask the teachers later today it seems, after my long comment magically disappear I'll need a breather before I reattempt lol.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Fluency Chronicles: TTMIK Lvl 1 Lssn 16 Basic Present Tense / -아요, -어요, -여요

Annyeohaseyo Yorobun,

I've been doing something a little different lately. It seems the language learning standard is audio  then text. But my dark and twisty lil mind has been making progress doing the opposite. working though the text first seems to be the ticket so far, so I'll keep it up for now.

I've been looking forward to conjugating verbs. In the past when I've failed miserably at translating songs, much of it had to do with being in the dark in this area. I learned how to express events are happening now from this lesson.

All I need to do is.

drop the -다
add the verb stem to
아야  if the last vowel is    or
어야  if the last vowel is anything else other than ( ㅗ,ㅏ,or 하)
여야 if it ends in 

so for example:

좋 + 아요  -> 'this (now) is fun' or literally 'fun it is'.
*Gotta love the subj+ obj + verb Yoda speak lol*

Always wondered at why meokda became 'meogeoyo' or the hae yo in 'saranghaeyo', let there be light. ^_^

열심히 일하고 있습니다! ~Let's work Hard!~


P.S. it's also explored lightly that adding the verb hada to any noun makes it a verb. Fun times. xD

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Are you there Korean? It's me Bella.

Thought I'd share my so called game plan for my studies currently. As part of my new years resolution, I'm spending at very least an hour engaged in language study related activities every day ( no matter what ) and 1 hr listening to spoken Korean.

  • I'm using the lessons + different youtube vlogs and Elementary Korean as my core sources. I'm supplementing with translating simple unknown sentences I encounter
  • Rosetta stone for the vocal pitch recognition ( though I must admit It's not what I expected, but it was a gift so...).
  • I review lessons of flash card in m spare time during the day and I practice my Hangul touch typing with web games.
  • I watch a show or movie or listen to for an hour for the listening requirement. It' s pretty motivating to catch a phrase or word here and there.
  • And Finally I have a native born Korean friend will to have simple conversation text chats with me. But I'm still in the crawling baby stage, where that can only go so far lol.
Sounds like overkill, but an hour+ a day flys past. An avg day might break down to a 17 min audio lesson, 3 mins or less of text chat, 15 mins playing a children's typing game for 20 mins, 20 mins learning a new chapter portion from my text book, and about 5 mins making flashcard of the new vocabulary gained from today's study. And for the listening to native speaker bit, I can watch an episode of Strong heart before bed or listen to Kpop for an hour while making dinner or doing laundry. I use a language log to keep track of where I left off in the different areas and to keep me accountable. Fingers crossed the routine will continue to go smoothly.

Good luck fellow learners ^^. What methods or materials are you using? How's it going so far?
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I've got a new way to walk. Walk. Walk.

I've decided to pursue my Passions (learning Korean, enjoying Asian media + food, and a mixed bag of other pursuits) without mercy this year. I'm going to be, say, do, try, & learn what I want; making excuses to none. No more hesitating from uncertainty, not voicing something because I suspect I'll sound silly. No more paitiently waiting for this language to happen to me. Starting now I plan to 'go out and happen to it.

On the 'not language' front I have equal determination to Attack life so this blog will now also chronicle my exploits, success, and failures in other areas as well.

Wish me luck,

Niko Kitten
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Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Friday I'm in Love..... Fried Shanghai Nian Gao ( Stirfryed Sticky Rice Cake)

Scoff if you will butt I'll be dreaming about these satfyingly chewy mouthfulls of heaven. . My Friend K stirfryed some for me (with ginger,garlic, scallions, faux chicken, greens, peppers, and shitake mushrooms tonight) and it blew my mind. I will definately be buying some of these babies on my next shopping trip.

What it looks like in Clark Kent form

Here's  a promising recipe from

See ya in the soup,

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Feel my heartbeat travelling to the beat. Love the symphony

I made a break through in Korean just now and had to share. I still feel like a clumsy ogre when I speak out loud. but I realized I was drawing the syllables out to long and the breathe holding trick  only worked to a point, and well it also made me look foolish lol. I especially started having problems when I had the bright idea to learn the lyrics to my favorite songs as a way to improve vocab, pronunciation, and speed. It was a major fail. Forget getting to the translating part of the ride, every sentence felt like the cruelest tongue twister ever. I've drilled the syllables over and over again, so why couldn't I string them together when need to, *sigh* so frustrating. I  started snapping my fingers out of annoyance to hurry myself along I guess and surprise surprise I got through the sentence. The light bulb dinged on above my head and Shazam lol!  I raced to my computer to find  a Internet metronome to try. It took a bit of experimenting but so far  I've had the best results with 70 bpm, adagio, 4 beats per cycle, beat 1 accented. I breezed through to the first chorus using this method.

All Hail the Metronome. Metronome be praised

 Also my brain is fighting remembering the lyrics much less. I tried this on my collection of  phrases and it did wonders. Seemed a discovery worth sharing. Let me know if it works for you.= )

벨라 화이팅!
Bella Fighting!


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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Boiled Flower Punch

I adore Sorrel. So much so, I'm tempted to start snatching up and boiling every flower I see. I'll refrain since I dont want to end up as a cautionary news report. "Entusiastic young foodie posions herseIf to death, due to obsessively making random flower teas" lol.

I have really fond memories of buying it from vendors at street fairs as a child. Now as an adult I can appreciate the mature flavors and health benefits more. So without any more ado, here's my recipe. This is how I do 2 qt batches, about a pitcher full. If you want the 2 gallon recipe just let me know.

Bella's Sorrel

6 oz Dried sorrel

Juice of one lime

1 Inch of peeled fresh ginger

1/8 Teaspoon of Allspice

1/8 Teaspoon of Cloves

1/8 Teaspoon of Cinnamon8 Cups water
1 Cup of sugar


Completely optional and awesome:

Frilly little umbrellas for your drinking glasses


1. Rinse Sorrel in a colander. Then place into a pot of boiling water along with your ginger.

2. Allow to boil for 20 - 30 mins. Then remove from heat and allow to steep for an hour or more, then strain. ( The longer you steep the darker and richer the beverage flavor. Alternately if you want a much subtle drink; boil for 10 mins, remove from heat, and strain immediately.)

3. Pour remaing liquid into your pitcher or cooler. Add however much additional cold water you need to fill the pitcher 3/4 to the top.

4. Stir in your Cinnamon, Allspice, Cloves, Sugar, & Lime juice. Then taste, if not sweet enough for your preferences add another 1/2 cup of sugar.

5. Add ice until till the pitcher is just about full, then refrigerate to chill further before serving.


Sorrel is a popular Caribbean drink during the Christmas holiday, made from the flowers of the Roselle plant, a species of red hibiscus native to the tropics. It's bold and fragrant, somewhat like an intense herbal and cranberry/raspberry flavor. The tea is a natural diuretic, and is chock full of vitamin C and minerals. And is purported to be good for all sorts of ailments:

Sorrel is also known to be a sedative, a diuretic, a tonic, a folk remedy for cancer, high blood pressure, mild bladder infections, and nausea. It is also effective against fever, stomach cramps, inflammation, common cold, and bronchial complaints.The added ginger is also a stimulant, Remedy for diarrhea, cold,

chronic bronchitis cough, gas, and nausea.

For Caribbeans in US it's a year round beverage. And bless their hearts for that, it's way too yummy to be a once a year thing. A good test of if you might like this beverage, is if you like Celestial Seasons' Red Zinger Tea since it's a main ingredient.

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