Starting a New Language

This year I got a chance to pick some electives at university, so I jumped at the chance at picking a language. Devastatingly, my uni doesn’t offer Korean D: but after some umming and aahhing between Mandarin, Japanese and Polish, I picked up Polish.

So now after studying Polish for the past month, I’ve gotten a stark reminder of how hard it is to start a new language and how the key difficulties between languages differ. With Korean I’ve never really struggled with pronunciation or Hangul, it’s the sentence construction and multitude of grammar bits and pieces that get me. So far its almost the opposite with Polish, sentence construction seems simpler, but the pronunciation is so much more difficult! Its by far my biggest hurdle with the language right now. Hopefully in time it’ll get easier .(^-^).

What are your biggest hurdles with your language studies?


5 thoughts on “Starting a New Language

  1. alodia says:

    It depends on the language and my interest on the language. I never learned Japanese because I was annoyed right from the start (several personal reasons & unavoidable circumstances). Pronunciation was easy for me. Although grammar was difficult, it was kinda ok (because it’s quite similar to Korean) but I hated the vocabs (and I often confused them with Korean words). I didn’t know how I passed my Japanese class when I can’t remember remembering a single Japanese word. For Chinese grammar was way simpler, I am sometimes looking for more (since I’ve been used to the complexities of Korean grammar) but pronunciation (not to mention tones) is a real challenge for me. I am better with vocabs than Japanese, but I have a hard time retaining them in my memory for a long time, unlike Korean.

  2. Gabriel Wyner says:

    Hi Z! I recently found your Korean language blog. I just finished a Korean resources section of my language learning website, and thought your readers might be interested in the learning methods I talk about. If you like them, I’d love to spread them to a wider audience (on other blogs, etc)!

    Korean resources:
    Language learning methods:

    Best regards,
    -Gabe Wyner

    • sydneytoseoul says:

      Really interesting site, I’ve been introduced to the no translations techniques too in my recent Polish studies which I’m writing a post about it. Keep up the good work ^-^

  3. Monika~ says:

    I’d like to start with saying that your blog and your worksheets and cheat sheets are helping me for quite some time with studying Korean. I’ve never really left a comment because, well, I’m kind of shy, but today i come to your blog and see that you’re starting to learn Polish, which is actually my mother language 😀 So, if you need anything, I’d be glad to help ^^

    • sydneytoseoul says:

      Aw~ That’s so sweet ^-^
      Ended up picking Polish since my mum’s side of the family is Polish, but mum never taught me 😛
      Enjoying it so far, but the pronunciation is so hard!

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