English vs. 5000 other languages
Jim, it’s been just a week since the summer school, but it seems so long ago. I’m back to my normal life and I am very relaxed as I’m doing nothing special, and staying at the residence. While I was taking the course I had to take the tube for about an hour to go to the class. You might not understand why I had to travel by tube. Here’s the reason. My university has two campuses. One is natural sciences campus which is in Suwon where I’m staying and the other one is humanities and social sciences campus which is in Seoul where the summer courses took place so I had to go there every morning. It was really tiring to travel every morning when so many people commuted. I don’t know much about London and how busy and crowed it can be. Here in Seoul, or suburb areas when it’s rush-hour, it’s incredibly busy, sometimes the tubes are fully packed with people, and you cannot move. I hate it. Sometimes it goes the same for buses. They would be quite reliable unless there was bumper-to-bumper traffic.
As I lived in the countryside, I wasn’t used to this kind of busy city life, you know, where I lived, people knew each other, and there was kind and friendly environment like say hello to each other in the morning when I went to school. We didn’t even lock the door except when we were going away or at night. Before I started to live at residence, I had lived with my grandmother in Seoul and had to travel almost 2hours at most. Every morning I took the tube and saw so many people surrounding me, and just thinking we don’t know one another, just we are someone who go somewhere, we don’t say hello, and surely we never see each other again. It’s highly unlikely that I bump into someone I know in this kind of city. I started to feel so lonely about living in the city. Do you know what I mean? Since moving out from my hometown, I’ve become indifferent to many things which I used to care about and I think sometimes I’m being selfish. I know that there are so many advantages about living in cities, too. I love going out here, but also you lose something valuable at the same time. .
By the way, yes I took the photo of the beach in Pusan. How could you be taken while you were jumping? As soon as I saw your picture, I remembered the picture of me jumping, so. I’m putting it on. Here is the Cotswold. On the way to Bath, I stopped by here and took a walk.
I wondered how many languages are in the world, so I googled it and no one knows exactly, and there is an estimate sayiing between 3000 to 8000 languages exist. these days, so many people are learning enlgish as a second language and it's considered as important to speak English.
Taking about my English skills, I’m better at writing than at speaking. The reasons are simple. I like writing more than speaking even in Korean. Well, I’m not a shy person, but I tend to listen to people rather than say whatever I want to say first. It’s quite relative, though, I mean if a person I talk to is very shy or not talkative, I’m being chatty. Also, I didn’t have enough opportunity to speak English in the class because studying English was just for exams, so I read a lot, and studied vocabulary and grammar and practiced listening a lot. As almost Korean students have done, or will do, or are doing English exams to enter a university or get a job or study abroad, English is just as important as Korean. I mean speaking Korean well in public or writing essays in Korean and taking Korean exams are also very hard. To make things worse I’ve also had to learn so many Chinese originated words and Chinese characters which help you to get a better understanding of what you read in Korean. I can say that I know English grammar more than Korean one, which is so complicated, and has so many exceptions.
Well, I can’t only blame the education system, here. English is so different from Korean, there’s nothing common between two languages. We can also learn Japanese at school, and I think it’s the same education system but, we learn Japanese much faster, and speak it quite well. One more thing is that even though you become good at speaking English because you have lived abroad, when you get back here, it’s difficult to keep up as no one speaks english in everyday life here. So, it’s been an unsolved problem to learn English in a desirable way here in Korea. However, things have been changing, when I was at high school, we started to have a class with a native English speaker as a teacher, and I would say that many English learners and teachers have recognized that speaking English is more important than any other, so education system has changed. So, I think the younger they are, the better education they get and the better they speak English. Hopefully, things are looking up.
Actually, I have seen this video clip before, and I was surprised to see the Chinese students screaming English. Well, I guess the world makes people become English mania. I agree that we need a common language to communicate, and English has already played a role as a common language, so, we need to learn it as long as you want to study or work abroad.
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