1. How long have you stayed in Korea, and what made you come to Korea?
I have only lived in Korea since August of 2019. When I was in university, I majored in international relations. I took a course on Asian development, and I become interested in Korea when the professor taught us about Korea’s rapid development. It gave me a massive insight into Korea, and I really wanted to study at the KDI school. I applied for a Korean government scholarship, and luckily I received it. I know that I could also have come directly to KDIS without receiving the scholarship, but I think learning about Korean culture is the most important thing to do before getting the experience of Korea. Also, languages and culture are inextricable, so this was a big part of why I made my choice.
2. You speak Korean so well. How long have you studied Korean, and where did you learn it?
Because of Korean dramas and K-Pop, I knew how to spell out words in Hangeul and could speak some simple words before coming to Korea. Since I was required to pass TOPIK 3 at a minimum, I took a Korean language course for 1 year. I attended a Korean language school at Keimyung University in Daegu. One of my friends there introduced me to one Korean friend, and then I met many other Korean friends through them.
3. How did you feel when you learned about Korean for the first time? What are the most difficult and interesting points?
When I first learned about Korean, I felt like it was too easy. For example 밥 먹었어? (Did you have a meal?). But the more I learned, the more difficult I felt it was. The biggest hardship I faced is when I took TOPIK. I know that high-level Korean words always relate to Chinese characters, which were so confusing, and there were lots of academic words. The best point is that Korean is just such a beautiful language. There are tons of diverse expressions in Korean, even when I just want to use one expression.
4. Are there any differences between the Indonesian language and the Korean language?
Indonesian has no tense changes in verbs when speaking. For example, if you say that you ate something yesterday, you must use the word “yesterday.” Also, compared to Korean, there are not as many diverse expressions. For instance, we also don’t have polite forms of speech for when you speak to older people.
5. Do you have any goals related to anything about Korea?
I hope I can get a job in Korea after graduating from KDI school. If I go back to Indonesia, I would want to work in a company that cooperates with Korea.
6. Can you share any hot tips for learning the Korean language?
You should definitely memorize a lot of words. If you want to take the TOPIK, learning Chinese characters is also important. If you want to speak well, you need to rewind stuff and watch it again when you’re watching Korean videos or listening to K-Pop. Try to speak as much as possible if you have Korean friends to talk to, and practice is also important. By listening to and repeating KBS news or Sebasi (세바시, similar to Tedtalks), you will learn how to pronounce things more accurately.