안녕하세요 (ahn-nyong-ha-se-yo)

Which is Korean for hello…

Why Korean all of a sudden? It’s a rather short story: I was thinking about what I would like to do after I finish my month in Japan this summer, and it struck me that I could take a ferry over to Korea and spend a couple of days there before returning to finish out my week then fly home. I started investigating things on the internet which piqued my curiosity even more, which of course led to all kinds of interesting stuff and ultimately a desire to learn at least a little bit of the language so I could get by during a short stay.
I bought a couple basic “learning Korean” books and was ready to dive in when I made a trip down to the Korean Center of Los Angeles in the mid-Wilshire district on Monday. I had gone to see what kind of tourist information I could pick up, but tucked into he stack of fliers, brochures and maps I grabbed was a little flyer about the Sejong Institute—the Korean language teaching program there at the center. And it just so happened that the next term’s classes were starting the next evening—I drove down last night and signed up!
What a great deal, I might add! A 10-week class—two hours every Tuesday night—in basic Korean for only $50.00, including the textbook. That will coincide perfectly with my timetable too: the last class will be two days before I leave for Japan. By then I should be able to decipher the Hangeul writing system (which seems a lot more straightforward than it looks) and know enough phrases to at least get by. I just hope that I don’t A) get confused with my Japanese, and B) forget everything before I finally get to Korea on July 19th or so. If I want to keep studying when I get back home, they have six levels of classes for the same bargain rate.
So there you have it—I can now add yet another notch in my language learning belt: this is number seven.
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