Old meets new – Learning Korean with Flashcards

You may have noticed I have been tweeting a little about my new found activity of the martial art Choi Kwang Do. I also wrote a bit on my personal blog here and here about the ongoing journey that both I and predlet 2.0 have started on with SouthCoast CKD
One of the interesting and enjoyable things about CKD is that whilst the moves and exercises are combat related it is not a competitive sport but about self improvement and dedication. It is as much about the mind and awareness as it is about the ability to punch and kick. As the founder Grandmaster Choi is Korean all the moves and instructions are in that language. I have never been great at learning languages for conversation, but I can apply myself to learn individual words and phrases. It is particularly good that these words and phrases then map to physical space so they work well with my visual and physical memory more than my verbal linguistic parts of my brain. It is this visual memory and use of space that fits with my interest and work in Virtual Worlds. It was also why I started training before CKD using my Xbox Kinect and the #UFC trainer. Shadow punching and kicking with an avatar but sensed and counted by the Kinect sensor got me onto this path.
This years #ufc #kinect (not including #ckd sessions)
Every couple of months in CKD we get to attend a grading to level up on the belt we are wearing (we have one this weekend). Once levelled up then the techniques you learn increase. Each of these techniques have a Korean phrase with them and in attending the classes you start to pick up what they are. As part of the grading you get tested on your Korean phrases too. It is not essential to learn them all but I have found it very helpful and an interesting exercise to try and learn something completely new not tech related for a change.
However I was sitting looking at the lists of words, I have about 100 (even though my belt is a subset of those) and thinking whats the best way to get these in my head. That evening I was watching a recorded BBC Click and along came Quizlet in the web roundup from @katerussell (thank you Kate!).
This simple little web site lets you make word pairs that it then forms into good old fashioned flash cards. These you can then read to yes yourself on, in this case choosing either korean to english or vice versa. It also create all sorts of other tests with the words, pairs games, multiple choose etc. It has been very useful for me so far and as it arrived in front of me serdipitously just as I was wondering what to do it made sense to follow it up.
Here is my attempt at the Choi Kwang Do terms sheet, or a cut down version. Its a start 🙂

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