Sunday, January 15, 2012

City Hunter is awesome.

The good news is, I am more than one tenth of the way toward my goal of watching 500 hours of Korean television. Remarkably, I am picking out at least one familiar word per minute, if not more. They are fairly common words, and I definitely hear them better when the subtitles are off. My ears are in super listening mode then. I am starting to really like this language learning method.

I can't say enough good things about City Hunter. It's action-packed and the characters are easy to get attached to. Love it. I really appreciate that the bad attitude of the main male character didn't take the whole series to turn itself around. He was rude only for the first several episodes, and now he's actually acting nice to the main female character. If my expectations seem sadly low, I blame it on the first two dramas I watched. Why the main female characters stuck around as long as they did (and why I continued watching the storyline unfold) is beyond me.

In case I didn't mention this before, I have finally decided this: I am watching each scene twice. The first run-through, I watch without the subtitles and try to get the gist on my own, then I go back and watch it a second time with the subtitles. I decided that this is the way to go for a few reasons:
  1. On a sentence-by-sentence basis, the subtitles give me clues about what I should be listening for. They have, on a number of occasions actually taught me a word. The best example of this was the word for "I'm sorry," which is pronounced mian-he (and sounds a bit like "bian-aaaay" when they say it). I noticed the characters saying these words every time the subtitles said, "I'm sorry," so I very quickly put that together when I ordinarily wouldn't have on my own for quite some time.
  2. Using the subtitles, I go back and confirm my suspicions about the words I think I've heard from the first, unsubtitled run-through. Often, I find that I am right, which is great.
  3. Input is much more successful and comprehensible when the whole story background is known. Without the storyline information that the subtitles provide, I have very little knowledge about the goings-on in this drama. I suspect that would make me less successful in deciphering some things and in making sense of what I am watching.
  4. Interest! I lose interest in watching reaaaaaally quickly when I have no idea what is going on. For the sake of my continued watching and learning, I need to be engaged in the storylines that I am dedicating hours to watching anyway. I want this to at least be fun! And it is.
Current KDrama:
시티헌터 "see-tee-hun-tuh" (City Hunter)
TV hours (City Hunter): 19
Total TV hours: 63 (437 left to goal)

Blogs I want to make note of in case I'd like to look at them again:
Gorilla Teacher: Diaries of a Young American in South Korea
Korean Language Notes

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