How fluent will you be after levels 1-10 of Talk to Me in Korean?

Talk to Me in Korean (a.k.a. TTMIK) is a website that teaches Korean to absolute beginners. It starts with stuff like “this” and “that” and “hello” and “goodbye,” the very basics of the basics. I’m not fluent in Cantonese yet, but I’m comfortable enough that I’m ready to start branching out into other languages. Besides, I’ve been watching a Korean drama lately that’s quite fun. I didn’t used to like the sound of Korean very much, but the more I listen to it, the more it grows on me, so I’ll be idly – very, very idly – learning Korean for the next year.

There was no special reason for me choosing Talk to Me in Korean, except people criticized it online for being too basic and I thought “That’s what I want!” Plus I downloaded a few other random resources and textbooks and they were all way too hardcore for me. My hardcore language for now will continue to be Cantonese. Korean will just be my bit on the side until I’m ready to dig deeper, so “too basic” is just perfect for me.

How’s my progress so far? Well I’ve learned all the basic Hangeul alphabet using a Memrise app for that (I used the Android version, not the website I linked, but it’s the same thing). It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Some people say you can go do it in 15 minutes, but for me it took about 2 weeks of repeated drilling for it to stick in my head. Now I can recognize most words after some study, and I think my recognition speed is getting faster by the day. Memrise is pretty handing for drilling stuff until you finally master it, more on it some other day.

After finishing the Hangeul, I’m now on Level 1 of the Talk to me in Korean lessons. I told you I was just doing the basics, didn’t I? Most recently I learned “It’s not me” and “That is not a cat.” I’m so fluent now… not! 😀 Baby steps. One thing I’m not doing is listening to the podcasts. I realized quickly they spend 95% of each lesson speaking in English. Besides, I don’t really like podcasts. I read much faster than I listen.

So what I do is, I read the PDFs under each lesson, then I drill them into my head using the corresponding Memrise lesson. Simple enough. It only takes about 15 minutes a day to go through a lesson so it’s not getting in the way of my other learning efforts. And since there about 265 lessons in the TTMIK curriculum, I should be done in roughly 8 months if I’m faithful and don’t skip too many days. I googled a lot to see how fluent I should be at that point, and the answer is “not very” but I want to see for myself.

I’m not affiliated with either Memrise or Talk to me in Korean, btw. Just recording what I’m doing and how it’s going. I’ll check back after… hmm… 3 months? If I don’t forget, that is. I’m also using Memrise to kick my Cantonese up a notch but I haven’t seen too much progress on that front yet. More on that story as it develops.

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