Relatively recently I came back from the far east, having spent a year in Seoul in South Korea. While there I focused on learning the Korean language with the easy to pick up Hangul script. As it happens the script is the reason for a national holiday in Korea today, brought back since a hiatus in festivities since 1991 (article in the economist).
I am now in a situation where I either ‘use it or loose it’ re the Korean language, and it is very difficult to do this while I am back in Europe, where Korean is as alien as Sumo wrestling.
While in Korea, I was learning at a university, so always surrounded by the positive influence of other students, in a world where Korean is everywhere, on adverts, in public announcements. Korean was basically unavoidable.
Because of the new learning environment, I am having to change language learning methods, away from the time consuming learn by repetition that I was used to at university, to preferring a more systematic approach. Part of my new learning technique is founded on a new book, written by professors at my old university; ‘Korean: a comprehensive grammar’. This allows me to dissect Korean and quickly pick up on grammatical patterns that maybe with Korean teaching methods was much more difficult.
Today, I am looking at texts written in a Yonsei text book and checking the grammar in the grammar text book. An apparently quick way of learning patterns in the language.