Have you ever watched a juicy k-drama where the love interest is crying, and the male lead tenderly gazes upon her shuddering figure as he gently expresses his love for her, but the subtitles make it look like he’s dying? Or maybe you just got into Thai Lakorns, and oh my God, the dramatics of the series is making you want to grab a tub of popcorn! However, the subtitles mess the wording up, and you’re left with a single poorly written sentence as a translation for the paragraph that was spoken. Yeah, me too. I cannot tell you the number of times I watched a certain anime that I liked, and I cursed whoever subtitled it. Don’t even get me started on the dubbing of dramas and movies. I hate it, and I’m pretty sure most people do too.
But then, one day, I stumbled upon the language learning section of Instagram. I cannot tell you how much I adore this weird but absolutely effective side of the app. You want to learn Korean? @koreanstudyjunkie is ready to save your butt. Maybe you wanna learn Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji? Not to worry, @jlptkanjimnemonics is your saviour today. Oh, you’re not really into East Asian languages, and you’d rather learn Russian? Okay then, @bazikschool is here at your service. I don’t think language learning has ever been this easy. All I have to do is download free workbooks online, follow these accounts, listen to a good language learning podcast, and I’ll probably end up acing the language test. Be it JLPT N5, TOPIK 1 or maybe a DSH 1 if I’m feeling a little funky.
The reason I’m fangirling so hard over these language learning accounts is because learning a language is no longer something afforded only by the rich and the privileged. The resources to learn a new language can now be accessed by anyone on the internet. I can now speak five languages; and I didn’t pay for any ridiculously expensive classes to learn them. I can understand movies much better now, and I can finally read the mangas without constantly freaking out over the wrong English grammar and the terrible use of prepositions.
A tip for all my language learning fanatics out there: you can print out free workbooks and spiral bind them. I can assure you, there is no greater pleasure in the world than working in a physical copy of the book with perfect page thickness. Have fun learning your new language!