German Volume Update: Dropping Korean

Yesterday was day 22 of Korean, and Day 4 of Japanese.

I want to say thanks to those who commented on the last post.

I did some thinking and after a few days of doing both languages I have to say doing both languages at the same time is quite stressful. Ain’t gonna lie.

The good news is, my Korean writing seems to have dramatically improved. My writing has gotten a lot faster and a lot more accurate. I’ve been keeping it up with at least an hour a day with the German Volume Method, and a half hour with Pimsleur.

And now with great regret, I know that I have to focus on one language. I dearly love Korean and it is extremely useful to me now. However, I can’t pretend that I am going to continue on with the volume method throughout the year for Korean. My plans are to be in Japan next August. I’m going to need Japanese. In Japan Korean is almost useless. And knowing a very basic level of Korean is even more useless.

It is like Clugston said, this German Volume method is not for people who want to play with the language. It’s for serious people who have the time to put in to achieve serious results. It is like taking an intensive course at a University program like Yonsei. (The Yonsei Program is of the famous ones, but there are others just like it all around Korea).

I did finish 2 hours of Japanese with the Volume Method last night, and 1.5 hours of extensive reading. I was a zombie at the end. I have to start reading earlier.

I just realized that I did 5 hours of studying Korean and Japanese yesterday. And the previous day I did 5.5 hours. And I went to the gym. And I went to work. So… All of my energy just went out. The next morning I woke up on the floor feeling like an old rusty bicycle that hasn’t been picked up in years. It was hard to get moving.

My Study Space

Here is my study space. As you can see no computer. So no distractions. On the shelf you can see my textbooks on the left and my graded readers and easy reading material on the right. On the desk is Heisig’s RTK 1 and 3. And the textbook on the bookstand is Genki 1. 一生懸命頑張ります!

On top of this, I have to somehow figure out how I’m going to get back on studying Kanji. I have some very powerful books to start learning. I got my old copies of Remembering the Kanji 1 and 3 sent over from America last week. And I also have the new and beautiful KanjiPro book.

Chances are I’m going to get started with Kanji Pro and after a few months, I’ll start on Heisig’s RTK1 and finally move on to RTK3.

I also need to increase the volume that I’m getting from my Japanese textbook. 3 hours if the Volume Method with with an extra 2 hours of extensive reading should work pretty well.

I’ve already seen some amazing results with my Korean in the very short time that I’ve applied this method. Most of all, it’s gotten me to focus and to track my process and what I’m doing. That’s something that a lot of “youtube experts” don’t really talk about much in detail. And honestly, I see why. It’s not the sexiest thing to talk about. Unless there’s this cool hip productivity app everyone is tweeting about. 😛

I love Korea and the Korean language dearly. And I look forward to using it everyday, even at a very limited level which is painful for me. But what’s even more painful is being in Japan and getting my butt kicked in Japanese. 😀

So that’s the final nail. German Volume Method with Japanese only. Not recommended for two languages at the same time if you enjoy your sanity.

German Method: Japanese and Korean Plans

Genki I and IISo, Genki came in last week! Yay!

So now I have the chance to study both Japanese and Korean via the “Eastern Bloc Volume” or “German Volume” method.

I have to decide which is more important to me. As I write now, my plans are to go to Japan next fall. I need to prepare myself rigorously for this if I want to have as many opportunities as possible. When I’m there I’ll also want to study for one of the proficiency tests which will open up even more opportunities in the future.

I also need to really bring up my level in Korean while I’m here in the country. Korean is becoming more and more important economically.

The past two years I acquired a lot, but hadn’t really used much of it, and sadly have lost a lot of it. Only the words that I need for the school and classroom management do I really know very well. These are words and phrases I hear and work with everyday.

칠판앞에 나오세요! Come up the the blackboard! 

오늘 공책이 필요해요. Today you need notebooks.

Korean Study Plans

I’m going to study Korean for at least 1 hour via the German Volume Method. No more than 2 hours. On friday, I almost burned myself out on a little over 3 hours.

I’m also using Pimsleur Audio that I purchased on Itunes. It’s been going well. It’s really helping me with my speed for basic things. They also start out with formal expressions which of course are the hardest in Korean just because they are so much longer. Sadly they only have I and II right now. But when I finish two I feel I’ll have a very strong basic foundation since I’m using it with the Volume method.

Japanese Study Plans

With Japanese I need a minimum of 2 hours each day with a maximum of 3 with the German Volume method. Again, I need to bring up my level even more intensively with Japanese. Especially since I’m not in the country. Japanese is going to take longer, even though my level of Japanese is still far above my Korean in many respects.

I also need to restart extensive reading with Japanese. I have to get the Japanese running through my head as much as possible.  With extensive reading, I’ll have to do at least 2 hours a day minimum with a maximum of 3 hours a day.

Study Totals

This brings my total Japanese study to 4 –> 6 hours a day.

My Korean study will be 1.5 –> 2.5 hours a day.

Total language study will be 5.5 -> 8.5 hours per day.

Wow. That’s a lot. Is that possible? I think I’m going to have to start off at the low end of plan for now. I don’t want to burn myself out on this stuff. I realized it’s so easy to do. Even today, I only spent an hour on Korean, but yesterday I did a little over 3. After 3, I was a zombie.

Okay, so gotta start off low and work my way up. It’s just like weight lifting; You can spend 3 hours at the gym and not go back for a week because your body needs to recover from all the crap you put it through, or you can go to the gym for 30 minutes for the day and continue to go every day of the week.

We’ll see what happens tomorrow.



I’m going to be tracking in my paper notebook and on an spread sheet on Google docs. Along with that, I’ll be tracking my exercise and eating habits. I really have to pay attention to those too. Because I know it’s going to affect my study so I need to be on top of that. Eating right and doing some daily exercise of some sort is and important part of the language learning process.

Cheers for now. Look for further updates coming soon.

14 Days of the German Volume Method for Korean

I thought I’d post an update again, even though I posted one on Friday.

German Volume Update for Korean

I did the calculations and it looks like I’ve been doing a little under 2 hours a day on average. Last night I did 152 minutes which includes half an hour using audacity and practicing describing family members.

Family members have different names depending on their relation to you. It’s not as crazy as Chinese. You don’t just have an older brother. If you’re a woman you have an 오빠 (older brother). If you’re a man your older borther is called 형 (or 행 where I’m living)

I knew all of this before of course from living here and studying Korean before. But I couldn’t remember simple things like 여동생 (younger sister). Probably because I just don’t hear it very often and If I do hear it, I wouldn’t be able to recognize it unless the context was very apparent. Also Koreans just use first names for younger siblings usually, whereas they use “big brother” and “big sister” a lot more often.

Using Pimsleur for Korean again

I had purchased the Pimsleur Korean 1 and 2 on ITunes about 10 months ago with the intention of using it, but at that time I was doing too many other things such as training a tutor to do TPRS, and lots of extensive reading in Japanese among other things.

I had used Pimsleur for Japanese with great results. During that time I was in Boston going to weekly Meetups for the wonderful Japanese/English group. I was also using a textbook called Japanese from Zero. It’s probably one of the best textbooks out there as it has lots of examples, exercises, decent explanations, and it doesn’t make you feel stupid. This is put out by a guy who’s a translator in Japan and also runs his own school and website.

Aaahh the nostalgia is really setting in. This was fall of 2009/ winter of 2010.

Anyways, back to Korean. I’ll be using Pimsleur Korean again starting today. It makes sense to me to use this with what I’m doing now in the German Volume method. I really have to nail the basics down and build up that foundation. Especially the functional foundation. I’m still pointing and pantomiming for silly stuff that I should know how to say because I can’t quite remember the right words. Not good. Example “I’ve got to run to the ATM because I left my cash card at home, I’ll be right back.” this is when I’m in the supermarket about to pay for groceries.

Where am I in the book?

I’ve just finished the 3rd chapter in a 20 chapter elementary textbook. Around chapter ten I’ll start to implement the right brain techniques. I don’t have enough of a base to use the techniques yet. Even though I’ve studied Korean before and know quite a bit, I’ll hold off until chapter 10 for now. I really need to concentrate on the basics before I do anything else.

Chapter 4 is 어디에갑니까? This is about going places, directions, and describing what you’re going to do. It’s still very simple and basic. The language is still very honorific. Honestly I need more practice with the honorific cuz I just don’t get enough exposure to that unless I’m watching the news in Korean. (way above my level)

I’ll probably be working with the dialogues tonight in Audacity like I did before. It proved very helpful last time I did it.

What happened to Hangul Type Attack?

I’ve got to put up the typing app again. It’s been down for way too long. I just didn’t keep it up to date and let it go. Can’t do that. It was helping too many people. There are other applications out there, but they were all complicated and/or not free to use. My app was very simple. It got you to ramp up your muscle memory and increase your speed. People were asking for whole words instead of just the character elements and timed sentences and all sorts of junk.

I say just pick up some Korean text, switch your keyboard to Korean mode and start typing once you’ve got the keys in your muscle memory. That’s how I did it. You need to get off the training wheels eventually.

Okay, so that’s another project I have to get back up and running. Stay tuned for more updates on that.

Diet and Exercise

Well, It’s too early to post updates on that. I will say that the water-fast is going well. But I only just started. Stay tuned.


12 days of the German Volume Method with Korean

My hands don’t tire so much from writing, and I’m writing faster now. I’m just filling up pages and pages of notes fast from practice.

One thing that has really helped me realize what I’m doing is more exact tracking. I’m tracking time more precisely now. And I can see how much I have improved thus far. it seems that as I learn new things, I’m slower, and then I get faster as I over learn it. This would seem obvious, but tracking it helps me stay motivated.

It also helps me see what 3 hours feels like and what 1 hour and 2 minutes feels like. Today I’m proud to say I did 3 hours and 4 minutes of korean study. That excludes the little breaks I took in between. So it’s 184 minutes straight!

I know what it feels like, and I know what I need to do to take that to 4 hours. That’s the goal. I want to fill up at least 4 hours of straight study a day.

And yes, it’s hard. It’s extremely intensive to do what I’m doing for 4 hours straight every day. But I can do it. I see myself doing it. I feel the foundation slowly getting stronger. Though I’m only on chapter 3 still. After 12 days, I guess that’s not bad. A chapter every 4 days. But I should admit that everyday was not the same amount of time so a day is not accurate enough. You can’t simply go “Did I study today?” That is terrible.

The one thing I feel great about is that I’ve been keeping it up everyday for at least an hour.

When I get my Japanese books in, I feel confident that I can keep up with the study for both languages. That is as long as I am tracking tightly what I’m doing. I’m learning a lot about myself and my habits lately just by tracking.

And now it’s time to go to sleep as I see myself babbling on and on in circles…


Korean with German Volume Method; Sixth day update.

Okay, so I’m using the german volume method. I still have some planning to do on my end. I’ve been doing this for six straight days. my tracking has been good, but it needs to be better. I see myself taking lots of breaks and getting distractions here and there.

I also haven’t been using Audacity much at all, as I just want to get through these sentences. But then I started to do something. I started to read aloud when I was writing. I can only imagine this is good. Because I caught myself pronouncing vowels wrong and getting tongue tied at times. then I just stopped to work it out in my mouth and in my head.

Zebra Mechanical Pencil Orange

My hands hurt and now my eyes hurt a bit. I bought a good mechanical pencil with a thick grip so my hand doesn’t hurt so much when I write for so long. It’s working. I’m not sure if it’s the pencil or if it’s because my hand is getting stronger. Maybe it’s a little bit of both.

First thing I need to do is to set up a goal for myself. I haven’t really thought about this. Should I have a time or page count? Or even a chapter count?

I think with a time limit I could get lazy and drag out the time. Therefore I should have both a time and page number goal.

I think I can do 3 pages and 4 hours of Korean study during the week until I get my Japanese textbooks. That’s including taping my voice and translating the playback. That’s about 90 pages a month.

So I would finish this textbook in 2 months? Maybe I should push myself to go through more pages… I’m no sure yet. We’ll see how well I do. Maybe I’ll get faster the more I do it.

This is why more exact measuring is so crucial. I need to see where I am and where I need to be. But most importantly I need to focus on the processes while I track my progress. Tracking really helps me keep on track. 🙂

After day 4 of Learning Korean with the German Volume Method

It feels like I’m starting all over again. I’m using a elementary textbook produced by the Sungkyun Language Institute. “Easy to Learn Korean 1”

Easy To Learn Korean 1

I bought this book almost 11 months ago with 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. My plan was to study all six books and get really fluent… and then I didn’t do that.

Yep. I know. I failed. I lost interest fast and I thought the textbooks were really boring. Also these books were made for classroom instruction because it has very little English translation.

I honestly just didn’t know what to do with the books. I made flashcards and then that got boring and I never studied from them. I lost sight of the process of studying from them. And also I didn’t see myself improving very much at all doing it on my own.

I did manage to rush through 11 chapters in the book to the part where they talk about being on the telephone. And then… 迷ってしまった〜

Now with the German Volume method, this book proves to be very handy. I’m not rushing through the chapters to see how many I can get through in a day. I’m not putting the example sentences on flash cards like I was doing.

German Volume means over learning. Repeating like crazy till you build those reflexes. You build that strong foundation. And it’s working out pretty well.

German Volume Method: WritingI noticed that I wasn’t always very fast especially at some very basic words and phrases.

In this method we write a lot. I can’t tell you how much or what times. Again, It’s not my method to give away for free. I will tell you that we write a lot and my hand hurts. And, It’s more than just writing too.


It really is truly an elite method. The more I do it, the more motivated I am. This is day 4.

I started on November 12th. I still need to keep better time tracking of the method. And I need to set up the process a little bit better.

More to come on my progress!

German Volume Method (Eastern Bloc Volume Method)

I’ve been waiting for the German Volume Method to finally be disclosed by Christophe Clugston.

I finally got it last night. I read through it this morning and reading through it one more time tonight.

I will not go over any specifics of the method as those interested will have to buy the PDF for the man’s hard work. And I must say he did put a lot of time and effort into this. It’s not a bunch of anecdotes and useless rants like some of the other guys who will sell you a PDF on how to learn languages. This is actually a legitimate well researched plan.

As he says, it is heavily a left-brain approach with lots of over-learning. He goes into greater detail about why it’s important to go through the over-learning. It’s so essential to develop the language as a reflex so you can cut down on processing time. This is a hard thing accomplish with other self study methods.

I think TPRS works better, but it’s more expensive and you need a tutor who knows what he or she is doing. You also need to work around your tutor’s time. That’s what I did for Chinese. Clugston is right. You do need to learn it from people using Right-brain approaches because they are more powerful. This method is for serious self-study that can also bring powerful results if you put the work into it.

Okay, let me tell you more about the German(Eastern Bloc) Volume Method.

He also offers a right-brain extension pack for an additional $10. It’s kind of a no-brainer to get this (no pun intended.)

As he says, yes, this is a lot of hard work for the elite. These types of methods were used in the former eastern bloc countries with great results due to their amazingly efficient and well funded education system. They were leaps and bounds ahead of the US in terms of education and science considering that they had to rebuild their country after WWII. And also the US made sure the Soviet Union was very much economically isolated.

I will be writing about my experiences and progress in this blog. I will not disclose any information about how to do the method, so don’t ask me. If you are serious and you want that information go here:

For this method he talks about getting 10 good solid text books for the language. I am ordering two right now, and on my next trip to Japan I will get the rest. I have a few already, but those are in the “specialized” category and don’t cover the whole language. So I have ordered Genki I and II and I plan to get some more intermediate and advanced texts when I go to Japan in a few months to visit.

I am contemplating using this with Korean, as I already have many textbooks, however many of them are in textbooks not intended for self study. They have lots of Korean and little to no English.

I do however know a bit of Korean already. So, I think I should be fine. Luckily I am here in Korea with many wonderful beautiful Korean friends to help me along the way if I am truly stuck.

I have to be honest, I don’t want to devote too much time with Korean right now. But… I have break periods at school as well as time in the morning for Korean. And, I really only want to study Japanese after work. I really need Korean. I’m here in Korea with so much happening around me that I’m missing because of this language barrier.

And yes, it helps the lower students if I can help bridge the gap by using their L1 in my English class more often. Sorry strictly English people. Unless you are using methods such as “Where are your keys” or TPR, you need to use the L1.

Okay, more about this method;

This will suck up a lot of time. Is it worth it?

Yes, absolutely. One of the main problems I have sometimes is response time and processing time. This method helps cut down that response time and processing time. This is crucial for speaking and listening in real situations!

After reading the PDF, I really learned something about myself and what I’ve been doing. People try to reach for the stars too quickly but end up not bringing enough oxygen and fuel with them. I’ve been doing the same. And also, my consistency and tracking have been almost nonexistent. My times were best when I was actually tracking myself.

More updates to come. Maybe the Genki books will show up next week. I’m not sure. I do have other books I can use but I don’t want to start from there and skip around. I need to maintain a consistent and sequential study regimen.

More to come.