One way I really find helpful in learning Korean is to record my Korean friends speaking to someone else and then transcribe it. Seeing as how I’m not too interested in “textbook dialogue” (there’s Rosetta Stone for that), this format has been great. This format includes all the “uh, um, er…” etc. that comes with speaking naturally.
I’ve done this with riding a taxi, ordering chicken on the phone, and other instances as well. I know my Korean friend isn’t going to speak “textbook Korean” to another native when conducting business, even if there is a little voice recorder present. So, I’m rewarded with a full, natural dialogue. (By the way, the voice recorder is on my smartphone, no need for additional appliances).
Today is a slow day in the office. The three of us decided to order some pork cutlet and mandu from a local restaurant and have it delivered. I made an audio recording of my co-teacher, Angela, placing the order, and then transcribed it word-for-word below.
Here’s a transcript Angela ordering food from my favorite 돈까스 place, 장우동.
“네. 여기 동성초등학교. 3 (삼) 동에 교과연구실이거든요. 3 (삼) 동 일층이예요. 네. 교무실말고 교과연구실이에요. 네. 거기 그 수타돈까스 한개 하구요, 치즈돈까스 두개하고. 그 다음에 혹시 왕만두나 찐만두 같은 거있나요?
물만두….물만두말고 그러면 꾼만두 하나 갖다 주세요. 예, 예, 예. 감사합니다.”
It translates as: “Yes. This is (school name and address are given). Yes. Not the main office, but the subject teachers office. Yes. Um…one hand-made tonkkatsu and two cheese tonkkatsus. Oh, and is the Wang mandu and Jjin mandu, like, the same thing?
Mul-mandu…instead of Mul-mandu we’ll take one order of the fried mandu. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks.”