History of My Korean Learning Journey

Marsha. Singaporean. Freelance Korean-English translator. Yonsei Korean Language Institute graduate. Self-studied Korean since 2010. TOPIK Level 5! Loves K-everything, music, concerts, travelling, design, and food.

안녕하세요~ 저는 싱가폴에서 태어나서 싱가폴에서 자라는 마르샤라고 합니다. 2010년말부터 한국어를 독학으로 즐겁게 열심히 공부했고 한국어과 관련 있는 일을 하고 싶은 꿈을 가지면서 연세대학교 한국어학당에 4급부터 다녔고 2013 가을 학기 졸업했습니다. 그리고 2016년 49회 한국어 능력시험에서 5급까지 합격했습니다. 😊✌🏻

Hi, I’m Marsha, born and bred in Singapore. I have a passion for the Korean language and have been self-studying since late 2010. After two years of working as a graphic designer, I attended Levels 4 to 6 of Yonsei University Korean Language Institute in early 2013, graduating 9 months later. I have also received Level 5 in the 49th TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean) in November 2016.

I’m available for freelance Korean-English translation work. Please contact me here. 😊

Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / K-pop Tumblr / Last.fm / YouTube / MyDramaList.info / MyDramaList.com

MONTHLY LANGUAGE REPORTS

I film MLRs as often as I can. Watch to find out what they are, and subscribe for updates!
Do check out my Korean Learning Journey entries too. 😊

[All of my past MLR videos have been privatised as I move to a new YouTube channel here: Hangeulove. Please bear with me as I take the time to re-edit the first video and re-upload all of them onto the new channel.]

IN SHORT (SUMMARY):

My first exposure was to K-dramas on local TV many years ago when the world was just getting into the Hallyu Wave. I then moved on to K-pop and back to K-dramas around 2010. Whilst I managed to pick up a few words here and there through K-dramas, I felt frustrated with always needing subtitles or translations, so I made it a challenge to myself to learn and master the language. I have also grown to love everything about Korea (culture, people, etc.)~

Whilst on my language learning journey, I felt that nothing else interested me more than this, so my goal now is to become a professional translator/interpreter. 😀

IN LONG (TIMELINE):

2002 / 2004 / 2006 / 2007 / 2008 / 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018

2002

Rain and BoA were really popular, so I kept seeing ads for them on TV.

2004

Watched Dae Jang Geum (대장금/大长今) on local TV, but could not catch up, so watched it on DVD with Mum instead.

2006

Watched Goong (/) on local TV and fell in love with it. I can never forget the scene where she drooled on his back! xD

2007

Watched The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince (커피프린스 1호점/咖啡王子1号店) on local TV. I can still remember her expression from when she walked into his house and he was only in a towel! 😆

2008

A friend shared Super Junior-Happy’s Cooking? Cooking! MV with my friends and I, but I was too into the English music scene (YAY ANBERLIN!!!), so I thought it was cute, but that was it.

2009

My BFF, however, liked Super Junior’s Yesung and started looking into them. She linked me to Exploration of the Human Body (인체탐험대), which we watched together, and that got me hooked. They were hilarious!; I slowly started learning their names. I started listening to K-pop and started watching K-dramas again.

English music? Yeah, I still love Anberlin and think they’re awesome!

2010

SMTOWN LA. Met my BFF (IN REAL LIFE, ~OMG~. Finally, after 3+ years! :whee: <#), and two new friends. Whilst driving us around LA, my new friend played K-pop in the car, and highly recommended BIGBANG, but I wasn’t too into hip-hop. Gave them another chance when I got back to Singapore and got hooked.

End 2010, I quit my graphic design job of 2 years, and armed with a handful of Korean words learnt from dramas, started self-learning Korean through Korean Wiki Project and Talk To Me In Korean. (insert all sorts of awkward Korean sentence structures with misspellings)

English music? I’m not sure I’m liking Anberlin’s new direction after they joined a major label…

2011

Took a cheap Groupon 5-lessons basic Korean class, which did nothing for me since I was too advanced for it. Though I did learn how to bargain cutely, LOL.

VIRGIN TRIP TO KOREA~~~!!! Since we got lost a couple of times, I got to make use of my very limited Korean to ask for directions! EXCITING~

K-pop? SUPER JUNIOR, BIGBANG, K-DRAMAS, K-CONCERTS. SUPER SHOW 3 IN SG!!! BIGBANG IN SG!!!

English music? …yeah, I still listen to it once in a while…

2012

I challenged myself even further and took TOPIK Elementary and Intermediate in April! D: Whilst waiting for results to be out, signed up for my first proper Korean class (Dae Han Advanced 1). Found it a little too easy, but completed it anyway and passed the level test without continuing to the next level.

Discussed with parents about doing a Korean language course in Korea instead for faster results. Decided to go for the next TOPIK Intermediate in October, but Dae Han cancelled my registration due to miscommunication. Finally registered for Yonsei KLI’s Regular Program, and am currently waiting for confirmation.

I received Level 3 in the 26th TOPIK held in April 2012!

K-pop? YES~ BIGBANG IS BACK. LOOK AT BEAUTIFUL T.O.P WITH HIS AWESOME BLUE HAIR, HE IS AMAZING. NO ONE ELSE COMPARES. CAN I HAVE HIS BABIES? 탑오빠, 저랑 결혼해줄래요~? ㅋㅋㅋ

English music? …boomshakalaka?

2013

After getting my admission letter from Yonsei KLI, I applied for my D-4 student visa. At the end of March, I flew to South Korea and started lessons in April. I was initially put in Level 3 after taking the placement test, but after getting and looking through the textbooks, I realised that I already knew 95% of the grammar. In the first week of lessons, I requested a transfer to Level 4 and retook the placement test. Based on my retake results, I was told that if I continued in Level 3, I’d do really well, but if I went to Level 4, I’d have a hard time. I decided to go to Level 4 anyway instead of wasting time and money. Thankfully, after 9 months of studying madness, I graduated without having to repeat any of the levels! 😊

K-pop? I’ve been focusing so much on the language in the last few years that aside from updating my music library, I’m out of touch. I’ve simply just lost interest. I’m more into K-indie now; gave Standing Egg almost all of my love this year. 😊💕

English music? Sure, I listen to all the old music I have on the rare occasion.

2014

I’m currently doing freelance Korean-English translation work. I have also applied to take the Advance paper of the 34th TOPIK. I still have a long way to go in being a professional translator/interpreter, with plenty of courses that I’d need to take for certification purposes, but I’m slowly making progress (I hope). It sure isn’t easy switching careers!

I received Level 5 in the 34th TOPIK held in April 2014!

2015

It’s my 1 year anniversary as a freelance translator! 😀 It has been a hard year not without mistakes, but I shall work even harder! I also started giving Korean tuition.

I got hired by a Singapore-based Korean broadcasting company.

2016

Starting My 6th Year of Learning Korean

I reached my 1 year anniversary of working in the company!

I received Level 5 again in the 49th TOPIK held in November 2016!

I quit my job to go back to school.

2017

25 January: ‼️ After a long and hard time of thinking, I decided to rebrand DailyBap to:

👉🏻 Hangeulove 👈🏻

I’ve already renamed all of DailyBap’s SNS accounts, but I’m still trying to figure out how best to move the blog to the new name.

25 April: Moved the blog over to this new URL! 🎉

I got the lucky chance to interview JBJ in Korean! 😄

2018

I got another lucky chance to interview IN2IT in Korean! 😄

Last updated: 24 April 2018

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6 Replies to “History of My Korean Learning Journey”

  1. 안녕하세요! 오늘 처음 블로그를 만들고 우연히 보게 된 포스트에서 한글이 보여서 반가운 마음에 구경하게됐습니다:) 저는 한국에 살고 있어요. 하고 싶은 일을 위해 노력하는 모습이 정말 멋지고 응원하고싶습니다! 저는 영어공부를 열심히하고싶어 매일 영어일기를 쓰기 위해 만들었는데. 한국어 일기를 쓰고 있다니 이 또한 공감이 되어 반갑네요! If you don’t mind I will keep in touch and we study together :) 늦었지만 Happy new year!

    Like

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