Saturday, October 5, 2013

Learn Korean at Kongbubang today Lesson 1 Level 0

Even though I have some idea of the alphabets, vowels and consonants, I have had some difficulty with the vowels in the "w" range, ie. the complex vowels. So this afternoon, I head over to the Gal Wol Centre near Sook Myung Women's University to attend a Korean class by the team "Kongbubang".

‘Hanguel Kongbubang’ literally means Korean study room in English.

  • Some of you, if you have stayed more than one month, you might have heard of some names ending with BANG, such as Norae-bang and Video-bang. Bang means a room in Korean. A room is a private place where you feel comfortable, as you already know. 

Their website is:

Firstly, during the registration or enrollment process, the facilitator assigned me to Level 1 after giving me a quick pop quiz of my reading ability.

During Level 1, I told the teacher about my self-learning and thus unorthodox method that resulted in not yet mastering the "w" or complex vowels segment. I could read normal writing mostly slowly and fine. He was adamant for me to sit on and continue. While thinking if I never made the vowels correctly, PLUS the double "Lower" consanant segment basics, I might confuse myself even further. So within minutes, I decided I should do the unthinkable and look for "Level 0". It's not "O" Level as in GCE, but Level Zero!

It was on the top 6th floor, and actually the view was great. The room was very hot due to the sunlight and a hot sunny day, plus the window panes were directly letting sunlight through. The teacher was Kim Hyang Mi.

We started the basic, vowels, fine here. Korean scripts are a very structured hieroglyph. Double lines then you add a "y" sound. So for example a word with ka, becomes kya, when there's double lines on the vowels.

Next 10 minutes were about the complex vowels. Usually these tricky chips are sounding in the vicinity of "w". "Wa", "wae", "wae" (again? Yes if you watched KWOW there's the episode that explains the usage), "wo", "we", "wi", "ui".
KWOW: Learn Korean 2 Alphabets, Basic Consonants and Vowels

We continued until double consonants and finally ended with a 10 point quiz.
There were about 8 people in the class.

Original Level 1 class setup

View from Level 0 class.

Great city scape. Sook Myung Women's University area.

The big tower on the mountain -Nam San.


  1. Hi, be careful of 'koppi", which is easily mis-pronounced and mistaken to mean nose bleed. Coffee in Korean may be romanised as keo-pi, while nose bleed in Korean gets romanised as ko-pi. :)

    1. That's the fact that was revealed after I had set-up the blog's name. What a misnomer. Agreeing definitely the alphabet should be "eo". Will come up with a "plan B".

      Meanwhile, may I know how you found my blog? Regards.