BYKI (Before you Know It) is a nifty little program that allows you to create, upload, and download lists for 64 different languages. The free version (which I am using) is excellent. You can’t create lists but you can download lists that others have created. For example, the Japanese and Korean lists, which I am using, include lists for learning kana, kanji, hanja, hangul, words, and phrases.

The program has four stages of progression for your lists. You start off at the first stage where you simply practice the cards and there is no scoring. As you progress, you get the chance to practice typing in the language (for languages that use a different alphabet this forces you to remember where the keys are– instead of glancing at a printed out copy like I do!). By the time you get through the five stages you should know your word list backwards and forwards, including how to type it out on the keyboard without looking.  Also, most lists come with sound so you can practice your pronunciation as you study the cards.

The full version costs $40, and so I’m not ready to make such a huge purchase. For the time being the free version is good enough. The only inconvenience is that there may not be enough lists available or lists at the right level. But I say try it out and see if it works for you. And, Just for fun try out a language you’ve never heard of such as Uzbek.


Last night I had the craziest dream that I was in South Korea. I felt like I was in the middle of some weird thriller/mystery on the set of a Korean drama/movie (think Scooby-Doo mysteries). I was speaking in Korean and could understand what people were saying. Crazy, huh? It prompted me to update the resources section with some links to amazon.com guides and other resources. Check it out. Slowly it’s growing.

Antique Bakery is a South Korean film that hasn’t yet made it’s debut. I’m eagerly awaiting it, as it has one of my favorite actors–Joo Ji Hoon— in it. I have a friend who lives in South Korea and she let me know that release has been delayed. However, she sent me a link to a blog with some promotional pictures. I was frightened by Joo Ji Hoon’s weird mustache he is sporting for the film. Nonetheless, I can’t wait.

In dedication to Joo Ji Hoon here is a Youtube slideshow (with awesome music) of him.


My Netflix List

17Jun08

International films on my Netflix list (in order):

*Note that I’ve linked the movies to summaries of them just in case someone out there in cyberspace is interested.  The titles are mostly the English version titles.

Kamikaze Girls– Japanese film

Fear and Trembling– French/Japanese film (highly recommended!)

Vibrator– Japanese film

Moon Child-Japanese film (who can resist Gackt?)

White– French/Polish film

Red– French/Polish film

Chocolat– French film

The Double Life of Veronique– French/Polish film

Grave of the Fireflies– Japanese animation film

Like Water for Chocolate– Mexican film

The Dinner Game– French film

Eat Drink Man Woman– Chinese Mandarin film

4 months, 3 weeks, and 2 days– Romanian film

Take Care of my Cat– Korean film

Shiri (or Swiri)– Korean film

Sex is Zero– Korean Film

Eternal Summer– Taiwanese film


14Jun08

I found these awesome destination charm necklaces at Urban Outfitters, and right now the Venice and Tokyo ones in my shopping cart.  I have a long history and love of Italy, and at one point in my many language adventures tried to actually take up Italian. I have vivid memories of meeting Italian nuns, eating authentic Italian pizza, and visiting the markets in the city.  My mother wants to go back soon and I want to go too.  Of course, planning a trip to Italy (in my view anyway) also means picking up some of the language!  I wish I had the patience and discipline to steadily learn a foreign language instead of going around in circles.  Nonetheless, the journey is pretty fun and you learn new things.

Just how does a person integrate all of her favorite countries?  I could just by destination necklaces of each (if it were only that simple!)

I wanted to leave you with a video.  It’s from Epik High (a South Korean hip-hop group) and it’s from their latest album.  I love the song and the video, so check it out here.


I’ve updated the “fun stuff” page. In it you’ll find some of my favorite sites including a few downloading sites if you like to play Sims 2. I’m in the middle of going through all of my personal book marks so more will be added, and I will also add other links in the other pages (especially language resources).

Also, a couple of days ago, I ran across Koda Kumi’s video which featured American R&B singer Fergie (which you can check out here). The single is to be released June 11, 2008. It’s pretty good stuff actually. I’ve either loved or hated Koda Kumi’s music but this one has grabbed my attention, even more than the song she did with Korean boy group DBSK.


Wow!

17May08

I hadn’t realized so many days had gone since I posted! I got moved into my new apartment and am beginning summer classes so things will settle soon.  Just to make it up, I’ll put up some links to some nice videos!

Amuro Namie – 60s70s80s

S.H.E. ft. Fahrenheit – Xie Xie Ni De Wen Rou

I missed Rain’s appearance on the Colbert Report. Luckily you can catch the parody of Rain, as well as his appearance on the show!

Stephen Colbert’s Parody of Bi (Rain)

Dance Battle: Rain VS Stephen Colbert


27Apr08

I have finally enrolled myself into the Japanese classes offered at my college. I realized I needed the discipline that classes would give me so that I can get over my hump of not feeling like I’m getting anywhere. I will be entering my FIFTH and final year of college, hopefully taking a year of Japanese will fill in the gaps in my own knowledge of the language.

The reason I decided to enroll was primarily because I was looking at studying east Asian studies in graduate school and most of the programs I looked at wanted formal education under the belt, and a certain level of skill that I don’t have at the moment.

I’m moving beyond studying Japanese simply because it is fun and now see it as something I need to take more seriously (without losing the simple pleasure I get out of studying it).  We’ll see how it goes.