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2015년 12월 1일 화요일

My Experiences with Chinese Friends


 
 As I mentioned in the last posts, I currently have a Chinese roommate. This is the very first time in dormitory, but I also have the other ones. I had a pen-pal experience in 2004 to 2006, and a homestay experience in 2006, so I’m going to explain my cultural experiences with Chinese friends
 Firstly, my elementary school had a sister school in China and it was a Korean Chinese school, so we used to send Korean letters and sometimes some gifts to each of our pen-pal friend; my pen-pal’s name was Seolmae Kim. Through the letters I admired her Korean abilities because she was a bilingual just the age of 10, and I realized that K-pop had a real popularity; she gave me some pictures of Korean pop stars like H.O.T. and Dong Bang Shin Ki. Our connection had ended in the second semester of 2006, because all of our pen-pal friends had become middle school students ─ Chinese students’ school life is a half year faster than Korean.
 The second experience was my visit to China in 2006; I visited my elementary school’s Korean Chinese sister school, and I had a homestay in a house of Korean Chinese friend who had attended that school, and her name was Hyeja Seonwoo. I visited just before she graduated. There were some experiences that I was surprised. We usually use dried towel, but in her house I used wet towel to dry my hands; I didn’t believe wet towel did work, but surprisingly, it did. Second experience were about the taxi. I visited Shenyang, and I don’t know whether other Chinese cities had it or not, but in there the taxi had only three wheels, so I felt some big movement while I taking the taxi. The last experience was in the karaoke room; we ordered some main dishes like corn, bread, and soup in there while Korean karaoke just provide some drinks and snacks.
 Finally, now I have a Chinese roommate, so I have learned some new cultural things. First of all, Chinese government blocked most of foreign internet sites and mobile applications like Facebook, Instagram, and Kakaotalk etc., so Chinese usually use their own sites and applications ─ but some people can use them through the other path; my roommate did, she now has Facebook, Instagram, and Kakaotalk. For example, their mail is 163.com and their messenger application is WeChat. Secondly, they are banned from taking a semester off in university except really special cases like being hospitalized. However, the weird thing is if a student want to repeat the university entrance exam, then he or she can attend high school again, so there are more lower burden than Korea about this issue. Lastly, the average marriage age of Chinese is lower than Korean’s; their average is the 20’s while Korean is the 30’s.
 I have learned living with Chinese friends through pen-pal, homestay, and being a roommate. Even though it had been almost 10 years since I had Chinese pen-pal and homestay friends, I remember vividly about that time because it was very dynamic, new, fun, and exciting experiences; I even remember their names! I can’t believe there’s just 2 weeks and few more days left that me and my Chinese roommate get together, so I’m going to make more meaningful times with her until the end of this semester so I can recollect her more vividly in the future.

 
 

2015년 11월 29일 일요일

Dear Demi Lovato, I Want You To Visit Korea!


Busan, South Korea
November 23rd, Monday
Dear My Superhero, Demi Lovato
 
  Hi Demi, I’m one of your biggest fanI’m a Lovatic!from South Korea. These days, I’m all into your new fifth album which is called Confident. It’s been five years since I have loved your songs, movies, and yourself, so now I’m here to write a letter to celebrate the fifth anniversary of them, and to ask you a request.
  I discovered you at a December 2008 celebrities issues of Tiger Beat magazine which I bought in Canada for my souvenirI stayed in Canada for two months from January to February in 2009. At first I had really bad English reading skills, so I just looked around some of your pictures in it, not the descriptions or interviews written in English. However, in 2010, when I started to love English and crave for some exciting English contents, I picked up that magazine, and read the whole descriptions and interviews. At that time, I was so inspired by your This Is Me lyrics from your movie, Camp Rock (2008).
  This is me, this is real. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be now. Gonna let the light, shine on me. Now I’ve found who I am. There’s no way to hold it in. No more hiding who I wanna be. This is me.
  This is my No.1 song, because its rhythm is really good, and its lyrics are so hopeful. Whenever I got tired and sick of anything, I’ve always listened to this song, and it always makes me feel good. Camp Rock is also my favorite movie, because it is also a hopeful oneit is about a girl who has a dream and had been hiding, but she finally express her dream into the world at the end.
  Like above, I really like your everything. Please visit South Korea this upcoming Confident World Tour! I've really wanted to enjoy your concert since 5 years ago, I mean, my high school days. I had a bad situation at that time so I wanted to quit everything, but after I understand your hopeful storymost of your hopeful songs are about your story, I couldn’t quit and I finally focused on my work, and it really worked. Thank you! Hope you see in your world tour in South Korea. If you have a chance to visit here, then most Korean would be inspired by you!
 
 
 
 
 
Love

2015년 11월 19일 목요일

Teaching Korean to My Chinese Roommate

 
 “What are you watching now?” I asked to my Chinese roommate.
 “It’s Korean yaeneun.”
 “Yaeneun? Ah, Korean yaeneung!
 “Yeah, yaeneun! But I can’t pronounce that word correctly. Yaeneun, yaeneun, yaeneun, yae...neun!”
 This was my roommate’s pronunciation for Korean word ‘yaeneung (it means entertainment programs)’ at the first week of this semester, so I explained the differences of 'neung', 'neun', 'eung', and 'eun'. At first it was really hard because I just asked her to repeat after me. She couldn't pronounce it, so I finally thought of phonetics.
 I had myself almost completely forgotten the correct Korean phonetics, and there's no Korean phonetics book available to me; then I suddenly remembered my English phonetics book (because my major is English!). I think it worked. What we discussed was the sounds of 'neung', 'neun', 'eung', and 'eun'. The 'neung' sound starts with alveolar and then finishes with velar; the 'neun' sound is alveolar and then alveolar; the 'eung' sound is velar and then velar; and 'eun' is velar and then alveolar. I spent more than 30 minutes explaining this. At first, I couldn't understand why she was unable to pronounce the sounds correctly; however, after thinking about how I initially had trouble pronouncing the correct English, I could finally understand her. Due to this, I was able to teach calmly and patiently, even though she failed to pronounce the sounds correctly many times. After an hour, she could finally speak with a very clear and accurate Korean pronunciation!
 Even though my major is not Korean, I can teach Korean pronunciation because everyday I use it. However, teaching Korean grammar is a little bit awkward to me. One day, my roommate asked me to correct her Korean writing homework, and why this expression is right. I pondered, pondered, and pondered, but I couldn’t think of any reasons for that although I noticed whether it’s right or wrong, so I couldn’t tell the correct grammatical reason. I asked my Korean friend who also has a Chinese roommate, and she also has been had a trouble with explaining the correct Korean grammatical reasons, so usually she just says “I’m really sorry, I just don’t know. This part is difficult to explain while I can notice this is right or not.”
 Through this experience, I found teaching Korean to foreigners is really fun, but I realized that even for native speakers, teaching their own languages to foreigners is not always easy; they also have to study linguistic things about their own languages. I can teach some Korean pronunciation for now, so I am going to keep studying my English phonetics (anyway it’s really useful for any languages), and I am going to study some Korean grammar so I can tell the correct grammatical reasons.

 
 
<English Phonetics>




2015년 11월 6일 금요일

[Narrative Essay] My Chinese Roommate



 Those were desperately lonely nights with no roommate for the first  three days of the new semester.
 “Can I sleep over in your house today?”, I asked my friend with a sob. She accepted very soon and I spent the previous night of the new semester with no loneliness.
 The next night and the next and the next, my feeling was getting better a little bit, but I still had some loneliness. Then the fourth day of the new semester at around 11am, someone suddenly entered my room saying “annyeonghaseyo” (it means hello in Korean). She introduced herself as a Chinese exchange student.
 I used to think that I wanted to live alone in the dormitory, but my thinking had been changed when I was exactly in that situation. There are more good things living with roommate than alone, even if she is a foreign student.
 
 Our roommate life started like this: I entered the room late at night at the first day we met because I had an appointment, and my roommate texted me with a concern, “Jieun, are you coming back soon? Did you bring your umbrella? It seems like raining soon. If not, I’ll bring it to you.” I was very thankful to her, and I expected our awesome roommate life.
 The first awesome thing was I didn’t have to feel lonely anymore. We always say “annyeong” (it means ‘hi’ and ‘bye’) when we each go out and come in, and “jalja” (it means good night) when we go to sleep. This words are Korean, and the Chinese ones are “ni hao” and “zai jian” for “annyeong”, and “wan an” for “jalja”. However, we’re almost using Korean because she’s good at Korean, but I can’t speak Chinese.
 Except for this, sometimes we share delicious food and some cute stuff. For example, I shared some fruit, chocolate, Korean traditional purse, Hello Kitty case etc, and my roommate shared some fruit, yogurt, candies, bread, Disney spoon and fork etc.
 The next awesome thing was we can share each other’s language and culture. I often teach her Korean words and I also sometimes learn Chinese from her. The cultural thing also. For instance, I was told that in China there are no Membership Training and Chinese senior university students usually preparing for finding a job instead of attending lectures at the university.


 We usually separate Korean and foreign student's rooms in dormitory, but the rare case just happened to me. At first I was afraid and I was wondering if I could get along with my new roommate, foreign roommate for this whole semester, because of the communication difficulties and some stereotypes about Chinese. However, those are going to be okay because she can speak Korean very well so we can communicate in Korean (sometimes using English), and because I haven’t felt any stereotypes; the stereotypes are just stereotypes. Therefore, now I'm pleased that she has been here with me everyday because she is really kind, friendly, funny, and furthermore, she came here with her hopes for having a Korean roommate, so she is also happy about having a foreign roommate. I’m expecting we’ll make other good memories soon!

   

2015년 10월 27일 화요일

Blog Links

1. http://amandaslifechina.blogspot.kr/2012/12/gifts-for-your-chinese-roommate.html
It was helpful to choose what gifts I should choose for my Chinese roommate. Most girls just like cute stuffs in all countries.


2. http://langwangshu.blogspot.kr/
This blogger explain roommate issues about neatness, alchol, and guest and suggest tips. I haven't had any of those problems, but just a little bit of neatness problem just like everybody else; both of us are not clean-nerd, just normal person. I have to find other issues about this (e.g. language issues etc.).


3. https://ucirvinegradinterconnect.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/conversations-with-my-roommate-written-by-robert-garcia/
This blogger had had three Chinese roommate for now, and have experienced lots of cultural things. I gotta think about those cultural things in my experience.

2015년 10월 13일 화요일

About Me

 
 
Hello, my name is Jieun Kwon and I am 22 years old.  I'm a junior in the department of English at Busan University of Foreign Studies in South Korea, and I currently live in BUFS dormitory.
 


I like learning foreign languages.
I've been studying English for almost 10 years. After majoring in English, I became interested in English Syntax, Morphology, and Phonology so these are my favourite studies these days.
 
Except English, I learned Japanese as a high school subject, Latin and Greek as non-major classes in my university. The reason why I chose Latin and Greek was that these are helpful in learning English Etymology which is a part of Morphology.

Nowadays, I'm trying to learn Chinese. The start reason was my current roommate is a Chinese. I just wanted to communicate her in Chinese words sometimes, even though she's good at Korean.
 
 

I also like having new experiences

I like new and dynamic experiences, because these drive me vital of my life.

My biggest experiences were DMZ Peaceful Unity Long Territory March in 2014, attending Canadian school and doing homestay with a Canadian family for two months in 2009, and having a foreign roommate now in 2015, and more in the future.
 
 
 
 
Finally, I like writing diaries.
I've been loving writing diaries since when I was young. Writing diaries is helpful for building composition skills, keeping good and long memories, and keeping good mental health. I already wrote my opinion essay about writing diaries (read it here!).

 

 


Like above, I like foreign languages, new experiences, and writing diaries, so mostly I am going to post English diaries about my new experiences with my Chinese roommate (maybe Chinese languages also) this semester.

 
 
 
 
Hope you enjoy then!


2015년 9월 20일 일요일

Do Write Diaries


 


 These days, many people usually don't like writing a diary, and still think it’s boring and useless. However, writing a diary is good for many reasons, so I want as many people as possible to write diaries. There are three reasons why diaries are useful; composition skills, good and long memories, and mental health & growth.


 Firstly, we can build our composition skills. There are two things we can improve; the ability of word constructions, and sentence structures. We can find the most appropriate word of any circumstances as we’re writing more and more compositions, because we can come up with any missing words from our brain and learn new words through thinking or looking them up in dictionary. In common with the word constructions, the ability of writing sentence structures will be accomplished too. Like speaking can be improved through talking, sentence structures can be improved through writing, and I think the easiest way of writing is a diary. In my case, I have loved writing diaries since elementary school, so sometimes I win a big prize in a writing contest. For example, the biggest prize of my life was the gold prize at the National Beautiful Letter Writing Contest in 2011.


 Secondly, we can keep good and long memories. Good memories will be made arranging each of memories, and long-term memories will be appeared if we read our own diaries later in life. I have good and long memories because I remember most of my recollections more vividly than other people. For instance, I can tell all of my homeroom teacher’s name (2001 to 2012 = 12 teachers) without thinking. It is because I have loved and written diaries since when I was young. While writing diaries, I arranged lots of memories and it has became long-term memories because I often read my own diaries ─ it’s really fun!


 Finally, the most important reason is that we can get help for mental health and growth. Writing diaries can make good events happier, and even if we have to go through bad events, it can be a chance to reflect on ourselves, and later we feel better ─ it is good for mental health. Talking about mental growth, we can heal our minds (especially, the blue mind) through writing diaries, and later our minds will be stronger than ever. In my case, I could heal my broken heart through writing diaries this summer. I was in very big negative affairs so I couldn’t get them out of my head so I was really stressed, but while arranging my thoughts through writing, I could finally calm down. Therefore, now I’m stronger than I have been before. I feel so confident.

 In conclusion, people should write diaries in these dynamic worlds. There are many kinds of ups and downs in our life. Therefore, why don’t you write a diary? It gives us composition skills, good and long memories, and mental health & growth. Change your life through writing a diary!