Rosetta Stone x Jamie Chung
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Rosetta Stone, but these opinions are my own, and you are about to learn a lot about me. Hopefully this inspires you to learn a second language!
Growing up, I’ve always struggled with learning a new language. Looking back, I think it was also, in a way, me just trying to fit in. I purposefully shunned my Korean Heritage so that I could be more “American,” in hopes that it would stop some of the teasing and snark remarks made by other kids in grade school. I was very insecure. But now as an adult, boy do I regret not fully embracing all the attempts my parents made to make me bilingual. Good news is, it’s not too late for anyone, myself included, to learn a new language. THANK YOU ROSETTA STONE.
I think the classroom approach to learning a language just didn’t stick. From years of Korean classes throughout grade school, high school and college, to my last attempt at a language class through the Korean Center in Los Angeles in my late 20’s the results were all the same; none of them worked. It was discouraging. All I want to be able to do, is have a conversation, an eloquent conversation, in Korean, about my life and work with my parents and possibly for future interviews. One day, I’d love to do a movie or show in Korea. Look, these are big dreams…but this time around I’m really committed to learning and that’s thanks to Rosetta Stone. Back to the basics! It’s gonna take some time and sheer dedication to unlearn what I’ve been taught but the format of this program is easy to learn. And something you can accomplish almost anywhere you go.
Before I dive deeper into why RS works for me, let’s start with what sparked my interest, yet again, to learn Korean. Earlier in the year, I took a trip back to Seoul to take some meetings and to make a conscious effort in supporting Korean Designers at Seoul Fashion Week. I’ve gone back to Korea a total of 4 times now. Once when I was in the 5th grade with my Korean School, a very fun student exchange program. The second was for press back in 2009 promoting the movie “Dragon Ball” and then back for the third time with the 2011 Busan Film Festival. The fourth being my most recent trip for Fashion Week. I had a lovely host that took us out and showed us around Seoul. She spoke perfect English. I was embarrassed that I couldn’t hold a conversation in Korean with her or my other peers. Let me be clear, I can speak Korean, but it’s the equivalent to a third grader and that comparison is being very generous. I came back from that trip wanting more and expecting more from myself.
This leads me to…Rosetta Stone. It’s a popular program and so I’ve heard a lot about it, but never looked into it. I was deterred from looking into the program because I assumed it would be just like all the other failed classes I’ve attempted to take and that it would be too expensive. I assumed wrong. The program is designed for you to succeed and it’s got different tiers of membership making it affordable for any budget.
Back to the Basics! Rosetta Stone has set up it’s program so it makes learning a language as natural as possible. It’s taught in a way that allows you to absorb the language, much like how you learned your very first language!
It’s separated into different 12 different units; Language Basics, Greetings and Introductions, Work and School, Shopping, Travel, Past and Future, Friends and Social Life, Dining and Vacation, Home and Health, Life and World, Everyday things, and Places and Events. Within the Units there are 33 different lessons in various exercises; core lessons, pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and speaking just to name a few. They have the best speech recognition tech, instant feedback and offer private tutoring with one of their teachers online. What I love most about this format is that it can be done in the privacy of your home or on the go! I’m usually working on set or traveling, so I’ve downloaded the app onto my phone, iPad and computer. That way, I can work on my lessons on set, at a cafe prior to my meetings, at the airport or gym. There’s really no excuse to practice 15-30 minutes a day. I’m a week into lessons and already loving it! My friend has a membership to Rosetta Stone and challenged himself to practicing for 250 days straight! Now he speaks fluent Spanish! I’m down for a challenge that empowers me and that finally allows me to take a big step towards achieving my bilingual goals! I’m confident that on my 5th trip to Korea, I’ll be fluent in Korean. I’m looking forward to it!
Photographed by Shelly Guburek