Tag Archives: learn with amy

Why Korean food should be on your menu

butternutWhether you are a student, living alone, living with others, bringing up a family or, y’know, just need to eat, we can all agree that eating well these days is more effort and expense than ever. We’ve become so used to being fed garbage food that claims to be good for us, while slowly poisoning us with colours, flavours, preservatives and other chemicals we need not ingest. It is alarming how we are becoming less and less aware of the contents of our food with every year and so many people don’t even beg the question of what they are putting in their bodies.

No wonder the modern world is plagued with cancer, obesity and other illnesses that would have been rarely seen once upon a time.
Now, I could go on about the evils of big corporations and how they manipulate their products in order to control their consumers, but I’m more interested in helping you find solutions.

Now, as you have probably come to realise from the blog, I am a massive lover of Korean food. While being generally quite enjoyable to make, it also has other benefits:

Flexible

I am yet to find a Korean recipe that has one fixed method of preparation. Everyone seems to have their own little tricks and variations on the recipes that I have not come across a single recipe that I haven’t enjoyed.
There is room to play with your ingredients and method that you have so many ways to make your recipe suit your needs.

Relaxing

IMG_0456.JPGI know in our “all go” age we rarely stop to enjoy the process of doing day-to-day tasks but, speaking as someone who is often in a rush and eager to finish the task at hand, I find Korean cooking incredibly relaxing.
There’s nothing quite like the meditative state I slip into while rolling Hobakjuk balls or the calm of chopping the vegetables for kimchi. I love it and I feel all the better for taking that little bit of time to enjoy the moment.

Delicious

Korean food is, in my opinion, the tastiest food there is. I have never been as satisfied as I am when I eat Korean food as it is the perfect balance of taste, texture and temperature.
The grilled meats are to die for and the vegetable dishes have given me a love for some vegetables that I had hated for 20 years!

Healthy

As well as tasting incredible, so many Korean dishes are actually really good for you. despite loving their salt, Korean food is some of the best you can have. Kimchi, a side dish that is eaten with almost every meal, has recently gained recognition around the world as a super food that is known to be insanely good for you.
Also, if you prepare your meals from scratch, you are also aware and in control of what goes into your food, such as salt and sugar.

Cheap

11696527_850932034991471_1306743554_nPossibly the biggest draw of all, Korean food is generally very cheap to make. I can make easily enough Hobakjuk (Butternut squash rice porridge) to last me a week for £5 or less, because the recipe is so simple. And £5 can easily keep you in supply of kimchi for weeks (or months, depending on how much you eat).
Korean food is such an easy hobby for me because it’s so fantastically cheap, which also makes it accessible for anyone. What money you could spend on instant noodles and burgers that offer little to no nutrition, can go an incredibly long way with the right recipes and storage.

So, there are just a few of the benefits of cooking and enjoying Korean food. If you have any questions on preparation, ingredients or storage of Korean food or want some recipe suggestions to suit you, I will be more than happy to help!
I will have more Korean recipes coming very soon! In the meantime, have an excellent day and take care! Xx

Loving your skin

Photo 21-01-2015 13 36 02 (1)Taking care of your skin is vital keeping it fresh, clean and youthful. Especially for those of us with sensitive skin, it is sometimes difficult to know what the right thing to do is when it comes to skin care and looking good. And sometimes, main brand skin care products can cause mild to severe skin irritation. But we want to look good and find the best way to maintain healthy and nice skin. Here is some advice for keeping that sweet smooth skin just how you like it:

Give It What It Needs

Photo 29-01-2015 01 06 04It’s important that you have inside what you need to reflect your health on the outside.
Making sure that you are eating a healthy and balanced diet will go a long way to helping your health. Getting the balance of nutrients you need from meat (or meat substitutes) and vegetables is so important in every area of your life.
A balanced diet can support good physical and mental health as well as keeping your skin supple and healthy.

A multivitamin a day can really help you to keep your body topped up with all the goodies it needs. There are a lot of vitamins and minerals that we don’t get enough of naturally, so taking a supplement can help to keep your body functioning at its best.
Make sure that you take multivitamins with a meal. It isn’t bad for you to take them without necessarily, but it does mean that your body won’t absorb as much of the goodness as it would while digesting a meal.
Make sure that your vitamins contain iron. Iron is VITAL to your health. If you are like me and suffer from anemia from time to time, you need to make sure that you are getting enough iron.

QUICK TEST: Wash your hands and gently pull down your bottom eyelid to look on the inside of the eyelid. The colour of the inside should be a red-ish pink-ish colour. If it looks pale or your eye itself looks a little yellowish, then you may need to talk to consume more iron.
OR(!) if looking in your eye seems a bit nasty, you can try this other quick test
Gently squeeze the ends of one of your fingers, with the pressure being downwards against the surface of your nail. Then release and watch how long it takes for the pressure mark (usually a pale pink or white colour) to change back to the usual pink.
If it’s slow to change back (or if your nail beds are usually white most of the time) you may not be getting enough iron.

(Note: Make sure that you take and questions and concerns about your diet and supplement/vitamin intake to a medical professional.)

Pick Of the Bunch

Evening Primrose oil, extracted from the Evening Primrose flower, is high in Omega-6, which your body converts into hormones needed for numerous bodily functions, including menstruation in women (helping to make periods shorted, lighter and less painful). But, as well as being a life-saver for us ladies, Evening Primrose actually does wonders for our skin!
Regularly taking Evening Primrose Oil capsules can help to keep skin clear and prevent breakouts and rashes, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also used to treat more sever skin conditions like Eczema.
Consider getting some Evening Primrose capsules as a way of helping to balance your hormones, which will do a lot of good for your whole body as well as your skin.

Stay away from the nasties

There are a lot of companies that want to produce products that SEEM really nourishing and kind to your skin which are actually full of harsh chemicals that you might not want to rub on your face or eyelids if you knew what they were.
Companies that want to cut corners will even use carcinogenic, hormone disrupting or even toxic chemicals in their products.
I know personally that it’s not much help when people say “Try to avoid products containing harsh chemicals” because I was not aware of what those chemicals ARE!
I’m in NO WAY an expert in the chemicals used in cosmetics (I could’ve been a chemist but I figured – hey – I’ll be an actor and blogger instead!) but with just a little searching and research, I’ve managed to freak myself out at the major nasties that have popped up at me, such as:

Parfum or Fragrances

Even some products that claim to be un-scented actually contain chemicals and fragrances to give off a lighter or ‘odorless scent’ (if that makes any sense). These chemicals can be harsh, drying and some can irritate eczema and asthma and some are even believed to be linked to cancers and contain neurotoxins!
If you suffer from acne, eczema, asthma or migraines, then you should be careful how many fragrance chemicals you expose yourself to, as these can be major irritants.
Of course, it is going to be difficult totally avoiding fragrances, but you should be aware of how many products you use regularly that contain them and try to minimize your exposure.

Parabens

Used as a preservative in product, parabens are supposedly really bad for you, even at low levels. Apparently many of them are considered sensitive substances as they are believed to interfere with hormones and have even been found in breast cancer tissue. They are also believed to react with UVB rays in a way that increases and speeds up skin damage and aging from sun exposure.
The way you can tell if an ingredient is a paraben is that the word usually ends in paraben. For example you have butylparaben, isobutylparaben, propylparaben and methylparaben.

Paraphenylenediamine 

(try saying that 3 times fast!)

This chemical, used in hair products, is toxic to the skin and can seriously affect your immune system. I just now looked at a box of hair dye from my old red-head days (before I chose to come back to my natural brown and white colour) and the leaflet states that it ‘contains phenylenediamines’ and repeatedly states that the product can cause ‘allergic reactions’. Is it technically and ALLERGIC reaction if it is something that is actually TOXIC to your skin??? Really???? Or is it just a toxic chemical that they shouldn’t really be encouraging you to rub on your head???
So, please, try to avoid products that contain this very nasty chemical. I, of course, am no expert in this area, but I can tell just from reading about it that it’s not nice stuff.

With all the long chemical names and numbers that you find on packaging it’s hard not to assume that every ingredient is practically acid or just become baffled, but one way of shopping for makeup (without having to memorise all these chemicals and whatnot) is to hold the product in one hand and your phone in the other. Just read the label and Google any of the chemicals you don’t recognise and look them up on trusted sources.
In all honesty, there is a lot of scaremongering over cosmetics products and everyone seems to think everything on an ingredients list will kill you, but try to just be calm and look for the facts. Don’t take any “YOU’LL NEVER WANT TO USE THIS AGAIN WHEN YOU KNOW [blah blah blah]” and just try to go as au naturel as you can.

And in these modern times we sadly aren’t going to be able to totally avoid these chemicals unless we go totally bare-faced, so it’s best that you are just cautiously aware of what you are putting on your face. It doesn’t mean that you have to give up makeup, condemn skin products and forgo shampoo, but you should be aware what you put on your skin and plan accordingly.

Treat Yourself

I know spending a lot of money on your skin isn’t always an option, but sometimes a few pounds (or Euro, or Dollars, or 円 or 원) can go a LONG way!
Just recently I went out with the intention to treat myself to some new beauty goodies. I was all ready to splurge a little and get a little pricey, but in the end, after 3 or 4 stores, I was kitted up and had only spent about £25. It may be quite an extravagant spend for some, but saving a few pence and pounds here and there will soon add up to more than enough!
Here is a list of a few items that can make your skin care routine a lot easier:

Soft wash cloth

A good wash cloth will be like a gentle kiss to your skin, rather than like scraping burlap over your face, and will help to gently wash and buff your skin clean. These days, a good wash cloth isn’t that expensive, just look around for one that feels really gentle. The way to keep your skin like a baby, is to not use anything on it that you wouldn’t use on a baby. Treat your skin with love and respect and it’ll be good to you.
A soft exfoliating brush
I know using a brush on your face doesn’t sound all that gentle, but a super soft facial brush can act as a great exfoliator when paired with a cleansing oil. Just make sure that you buffing your face lightly in small circular motions. I often find a lot of grainy exfoliators irritate my skin and the residue if often hard to fully wash off, but a good brush will do the trick.

Cosmetic pads

Where standard cotton wool can leave residue on your skin and not be very effective, cosmetics pads (while a tiny bit more pricey) will do a much more thorough job of taking off makeup and washing your skin.
I’ve heard that some people actually dry out and reuse their cosmetics pads in future uses. Please don’t do this, it’s basically just wiping days old makeup (and added bacteria) into your eyes and face and can lead to infections. Throw it away when you’re done

Facial band

Don’t you hate when your hair gets all oily/dirty when it touches your face while you’re washing it or you can’t quite wash all your face easily? Getting a nice facial hair band will help a lot. They are usually a strip with velcro either end so that you can wrap it around your head easily.

Eye mask

Light disturbance when you sleep can really affect your skin. Our bodies aren’t designed for all the artificial light in our lives these days and it can play silly games with our sleep, which affects a lot about our health, skin and mental well-being. Investing in a good sleeping eye mask will help your sleep a lot (even if it might seem a little funny at first if you sleep next to someone at night)

Eye cooling mask

Often gel eye packs that you can keep in the fridge, a cooling mask will basically do the same thing as eye cucumbers (eew, nasty mental image) but without the wastage. These help to refresh, wake-up and reduce puffiness in your eyes and are very relaxing.

Nail kit

I work in a restaurant and I also do a lot of art. Restaurant work requires being clean and well presentable whilst also handling food and drinks etc. Art can quickly get very messy and have a laborious clean-up afterwards. to both these effects, I carry around a small nail kit with me that I got from H&M for £2.99 that includes a cuticle pusher, a nail block (one of those blocks with a file and four sides for polishing) and a mini nail brush. It’s a tiny little case and is super convenient. I get so self-conscious if my nails are dirty so this makes me feel a whole lot more secure.

Black-head remover tool

This is a vital part of my skin-care. Because I work in oily environments and do a lot of running around and physical exertion, I regularly have to get rid of blackheads, especially around my nose and just above my eyebrows.

facial steamer

A tiny bit more expensive (at about the £20 mark) but it is great for refreshing your skin. Before I do a facial or black head clearing I always make sure that I steam my face to open up the pores to make it quicker, easier and less irritating.

Oil me up!

I don’t like the normal foaming face washes (especially as most of them contain really nasty chemicals), but I love cleansing oils. They’re soft on your skin and don’t strip away the natural ‘good stuff’ while taking away the dirt and dead skill cells that you don’t want!
A lot of people think “I don’t want oily skin, so oil cleansers aren’t for me. I want tight squeaky clean skin” but that is actually the opposite of what you want. Oil cleansers don’t leave your face greasy and oily all day, and they wash off really nicely. That tight ‘squeaky clean’ feeling you get is actually a bad thing, as it means that the natural good oils in your skin have been stripped away leaving it dry (thus feeling tight).
Cleansing oils might still not be for you, but try to be kind and gentle on your skin by avoiding products that strip the natural moisture in your face. Dirt and dead skin = Bad. Natural and gentle oils = Good.

Overall, a good diet, avoiding nasties, good sleep and gentle maintenance are the best things you can do to keep your skin looking b-e-a-utiful, so take care and be gentle!

(I am in NO WAY a professional. This piece is purely advise that I have gained from my own personal experience and the advice and experience of others. Please use caution and your own common sense when following the advice in this piece. Always take care! Xx)
I hope that you have enjoyed this piece. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel welcome to share them in the comment section below or join us over on Facebook and Twitter! Xx

Learning Language Like A Baby

IMG_1004.JPGLearning a language is easier than people think. Just look at yourself now, you are reading an article written in English by someone probably very very far away from where you are. You most likely learnt this language as a young baby – as your native tongue – or perhaps you learnt the language later in life.

Baby Amy
Me as a baby

Regardless of whether it’s your first, second or sixth language, it got in there. The hard part about learning a language is the getting around your own mind to allow it in. Most of us learnt a language growing up that serves to comminicate with our community in both a written and spoken form (however, some are not so lucky, due to physical or psychological issues) We learn it as we grow for one reason: survival. If we want to get fed, we have to communicate that we are hungry. If we are scared, we need to be able to explain the danger that is facing us.
As a baby, your parents were probably quite good at understanding the babblings and cooings you made as a kind of personalised pre-language to know when you were hungry, sleepy, scared or needed changing. Parents and guardians are very good at picking up on the needs of the people in their care. But you had to be able to communicate better. If you wanted one of the toys in front of you, it would help you acheive getting it if you said ‘Ball’ or ‘truck’, so the listener would know exactly what you wanted.
You aquired language as a necessity for your survival, pleasure and comfort.
Learning a second language requires a bit more work as we try so hard to learn it through our first language. It is very normal to say “What is this in English?” or “So ‘____’ is just like ‘___’ in English?”
When it is a language that is similar to your langage it is okay, but when it is two entirely different languages it gets confusing. One of the biggest problems I am finding in learning Korean and Japanese is that it is so hard to learn it through the context of English, because they are so vastly different. At times, I even find it a lot easier to learn Korean through Japanese, because they are at least slighty similar.
When you were a baby, the only way you could work out what something meant was through context. You would see and hear how it was used and learn from that.
A Korean baby can’t hear the word “비행기” and think “I think that’s Korean for ‘airplane’.” But they hear it said, maybe the parent points at a toy plane or a picture of a plane as they say it and the child will eventually put two and two together.
It can be a slow process, but it’s the best proven method to make you both natural and comfortable in that language – It made you fluent in your native language!
I know it is incredibly tough to learn another language without referencing your native language, but there are a couple of ways that you can try to work around your native tongue.

 

Go Sub-free

Copyright (C) SBS
Copyright (C) SBS

It’s so easy to watch television programs in the language you are studying and always have the subtitles on. It’s the safer and easier option which means you can take everything in as easily as if you were watching a show from your home.
But, you can find that you’ve watched an entire series and barely looked up from the words on the screen!
I love watching Japanese and Korean dramas without subtitles because I can really watch the performances and it’s a great way to test what I know and try to figure out the stuff I don’t know from other sources (i.e how it’s said, the context of the scene and the relationship between the speaker and listener).
It can be tough and you may miss some details, but it really does help (and gives you an excuse to watch it again later)!
Sometimes, as you improve, you will also find ways that the subtitle writers didn’t get it totally right or misunderstood and you can get an even clearer understanding of what the character is saying. I remember watching a Japanese drama where the subtitles consistantly made a mistake that confused me for ages until I watched it without, actually listened to the actual Japanese dialogue and suddenly it all made sense!

Stick to it

sticky note 1One method I use is to put up sticky notes around my bedroom and office space that have words in Japanese and/or Korean that have pictures to describe what the word or phrase means! I don’t put a single word of English on it so that I learn to recognise and appreciate it in that language. It’s a bit like pictionary, if you think about it!

sticky note 2Try to leave sticky notes or flashcards around for yourself so you learn to recognise them with ease. If you’re feeling tricky as you boost the difficulty, perhaps write a description of what the word or phrase means IN the language you’re learning. If you have friends who speak that language fluently, get them to write some of the words and answers for you so that 1) you can’t cheat (because, if you wrote it, you might remember it) and 2) you’ll know for sure that it’s right!

Read it and weep (or don’t weep)

Try buying a book in the language of your choice. Try reading a bit of it from time to time and see how much of it you understand or just try to look at the grammar and sentence structure to get a better understanding of that. Reading an original book in the language will give you a good feeling for how it is consumed on a day-to-day basis and help you really immerse yourself. Don’t worry if the book makes absolutely NO sense to begin with, just keep studying and soon enough you’ll start to pick stuff up.
I bought myself a book of Korean poetry (which was a difficult first choice) and I’m finding with time that I can pick out more and more that I understand. I’ve got a long way to go, but it really helps to have that as a marker of where I’m up to!

Take it social

Again, the more you immerse yourself the more comfortable around the language you will become. I try to make myself unescapably surrounded by all of the languages I am trying to learn – and that includes online too!
On Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, I try my best to keep my exposure to language high. I’ll follow Korean and Japanese people on Instagram and Twitter and try my best to read their messages. Interacting with people is great because it’s a perfect opportunity to test your written knowledge and try have a chat with people.
(Of course, always be careful of who you talk to online. There are creeps everywhere and in every language, so always use your common sense when talking to strangers)
I always keep my ‘Trending Topics’ bar on Twitter set to either Japanese or Korean and I’ll make sure that every time I check Twitter that I am reading every trending topic.
On Facebook, I follow the Korean Huffinton Post, Korean stores like G Market and Retrip (a Japanese online magazine) which is great for a casual glance over the news and makes a nice buffer between quizzes and stressed-out revision statuses!

Listen up

Listening to audiobooks, like reading, gives you a subtitle-free and pure exposure to a text but also has the added benefit of being able to hear clear pronunciation, often totally uninterrupted by noisy surroundings or music that you would find in at TV show or movie.
There is a huge wealth of audiobooks available online, so have a look around and have a listen!
I’m currently listening to the Korean radio play adaptation of Don Quichotte by SBS that is available to listen to on Youtube!

I hope this piece is helpful to you! If you have any questions, please share them in the comments or over on Facebook or Twitter! Xx

6 Common Over-Assumptions About Breakups

10432552_1013181298695894_8304708746044163524_nAs a follow on to my previous post about breakups, I wanted to look into to some of the common assumptions of breaking up that people so regularly throw around as fact. If you are going through a breakup, I am so sorry. It is a horribly painful experience and the loss of a relationship can really shake someone to the core. Know that, if nowhere else, you have support here.

Often, when people preach at you and feed into these “facts”, they are just trying to think of something to say that will help you. they likely don’t MEAN to say something unhelpful or hurtful.
Most of these can apply in some cases, but they may not apply to your case or most cases.

1. Someone is always the bad-guy

Sometimes there is a bad-guy, maybe one of the people cheated, lied or was neglectful, but there isn’t always a bad-guy. Sometimes people just drift apart or a great couple find themselves in circumstances that they can’t make it through together. There isn’t antagonist in every story and it can hurt those grieving a lot more to try and sign the “blame” to someone.
If you find yourself of the position of talking to someone who is going through a breakup, try to consider the feelings of both sides and how they feel about each other before you try to dish out blame or vilifying either person involved.
Also, if you are going through a breakup, try not to vilify your ex unnecessarily. If they did do wrong by you or the relationship, you are fully entitled to your feelings, but don’t blame where it’s not needed. It might seem like it’ll make you feel better, but it won’t. It will only stir you up with aggravation and annoyance. Anger doesn’t solve anything.

2. Breaking up means the relationship wasn’t real or loving

Relationships begin for strange reasons. Personalities, interests and circumstances all club together to make two people click and the beginnings of a relationship is formed. It’s weird how it happens and it’s wonderful. Relationships also end in as just a weird way. Also a combination of personalities changing, a drifting of interests or priorities and circumstance.
Sometimes a great, loving couple just don’t work out, through no fault of either of them.
Breaking up does not mean that you and your partner were never in a real and loving relationship, it just means that the relationship has reached its end.
Breaking up is hard. You are mourning the loss of love, the loss of a relationship that has taken time, attention and emotional investment to form. While some relationships are loveless, that isn’t the case for every couple. Quite likely, your relationship was loving, was valued and was just the victim of circumstance and personal differences.

3. It’s impossible that you still love them

I know from experience that breaking up with someone doesn’t mean that all your love is instantaneously erased. If that were the case, breaking up would be so much easier. Breaking up is the slow and difficult path of walking away from your love with another. It isn’t so easy as just suddenly not being in love – how useful that would be!
Sometimes people, even both sides, continue to love the other for a long time. A breakup doesn’t always mean that there’s no love there and that makes it all the more painful.
If you know someone who is going through a breakup, try to be careful about suggesting anything along the lines that they are completely out of love could be very hurtful to them.
If you yourself are going through a breakup, don’t feel that you have to suddenly act as though you are suddenly completely over your ex. Accept and embrace your emotions.
When times are tough, remember the phrase “The only way out is through”

4. You just need to pull yourself together

Breaking up is hard. It is painful. There has been a shock to your system, causing a chemical storm in your brain as it tries to compute what’s happening, and that’s a valid, real and very undeniably human reason to be shaken and upset.
No-one should be telling you, or even expecting you, to just pull yourself together. Pulling yourself together just means bottling it up and acting as if nothing is wrong, which is unhelpful and inhumane towards yourself.

5. It’s always down to personal fault or flaw

It is true that some breakups are down to personal difference, bad behaviour of character flaws, but that’s not always the reason behind a breakup. Everyone is different, no situation is identical and sometimes stuff just doesn’t work out.
It used to baffle me when I was younger when couples, both good, kind, honest, committed and lovely people, would seemingly break up for no apparent reason. Like they just decided “Eh, that was cool, time to move on” or something. Being young and inexperienced, I then tried to find the reason behind it, assuming that someone was responsible for some wrong doing or other. With time I grew to learn that it is sometimes just a case of people drifting apart.
It happens, it’s sad and there isn’t always a reason for it.

6. You’re smiling, so you must be over them

This is possibly the most irritating of all of these over-assumptions.
So much of the time people, even the people who know you really well, may assume that you are fine, over your ex and ready to get back out there just because you’re not curled up on the floor crying.
Sometimes you just don’t have the energy to cry, or you’re trying to handle things calmly or maybe just because you don’t need to cry about it right there and then. That’s okay. Crying is draining, it really saps your energy and can make you feel a whole lot worse so it’s understandable that you’ll try to avoid it!
Cry isn’t the only way we handle sadness. Especially for women, a lot of sadness is internal. It’s a vicious and destructive storm in the sea of your being which crashes walls of your soul. It’s rough and it’s only made worse when people try to force you to be better.
If you have a friend going through a breakup, be very careful when you suggest that they are better because it can be seriously upsetting to them if that is said when they are no-where near better and, please, do not try to encourage them to get over their ex by trying to hook them up with other people or take them out to get “back out there”, because that could be very damaging.
If you yourself are going through this trouble right now, please take your time in recovering. Let it be as fast or as slow as you need. Stay safe, stay healthy and put yourself first. Only you can truly and deeply know inside when you are fine again.
If you do find that you are taking an incredibly long time to feel okay again, or maybe issues related to things keep cropping up, perhaps try to see a professional who you can talk to to get your feelings out. The great thing about a counsellor is that you can get all of your feelings out using the best words you can and the counsellor will work them all out and tell it back to you in the clearest, healthiest and most satisfying way possible and can give great advice for how to take the best steps towards being happier and more yourself again.

I hope that these myth busts have been helpful to you and perhaps offered you some comfort if you are going through a breakup. Always remember that, even at times where you may forget so, there are people out there who love and care about you and you are of tremendous value. There is always someone to turn to out there. I wish you all the best and infinite happiness in future.
You can continue the discussion in the comments below or come join us on Facebook or Twitter!

Tongue twisters from around the world

Tongue twisters are words or phrases that are difficult and confusing to say. learning and performing tongue twisters is a common pass-time for kids on the UK, but I never realised until I met my best friend (and guest writer on Learn With Amy) that tongue twisters are hugely popular all around the world!

So, for all you language enthusiasts out there, how many of these tongue twisters from around the globe can you say?

First: How do tongue twisters work?

Tongue twisters are phrases that are difficult to articulate as they require fast delivery and/or contain a complex combinations of phonemes. Often they contain two or more sounds that alternate between use of the lips, tongue, jaw and larynx.
Many studies have tried to identify how the complex phrases affect the brain, but the studies have found that tongue twisters actually slow down how fast the brain takes in the information. Tongue twisters aren’t just hard to say, they’re hard to READ too!

English:

The most commonly loved tongue twister in the UK is the famous rhyme, based on the story of Mary Anning, that goes:

She sells sea-shells on the sea-shore.
The shells she sells are sea-shells, I’m sure.
For if she sells sea-shells on the sea-shore
Then I’m sure she sells sea-shore shells.

As it turns out, Mary Anning was actually selling various fossils on the sea-shore as a supplemental income to her family!

Gilbert and Sullivan were famous writers of comic operas that featured tongue twisting lyrics that fast paced and comedic. One of their most popular operettas was The Mikado (Sometimes called ‘The Town Of Titipu’), an opera that satirised British politics and society – made acceptable by subtly masking it with the Japanese setting.
One of the songs, entitled ‘I Am So Proud’ features these very tricky to say (and SING) lines:

To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock,
In a pestilential prison, with a lifelong lock,
Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock,
From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!

Some tongue twisters also try to get you to say ‘bad words’ as a trick for getting muddled.
Try the following tongue twister and see if you can say it all without swearing:

I slit the sheet,
The sheet I slit
and on the slitted sheet I sit.

Did you say it? Eh?
How about this one? Be careful – You might say something you don’t mean! Tee hee

I am not the pheasant plucker,
I’m the pheasant plucker’s mate.
I am only plucking pheasants
Because the pheasant plucker’s late.

Not that easy, are they? Well, things are about to get a lot trickier as we bring different languages into it! We all know that Japanese is quite a tough language, but it’s about to get a lot trickier as we take a quick look at the tongue twisters that even Japanese people find difficult!

Japanese:

In Japanese, the word for ‘tongue twister’ is ‘早口言葉’/’hayakuchi kotoba’ which directly translates as ‘fast mouth words’ – No kidding!
Here’s a fairly easy one to start off with:

“生麦、生米、生卵”
”なまむぎ、なまごめ、なまたまご”
“Nama mugi, nama gome, nama tamago”

The meaning of this phrase is “Raw wheat, raw rice, raw eggs”. Tricky, but they get harder!

“蛙ぴょこぴょこ三ぴょこぴょこ、合わせてぴょこぴょこ六ぴょこぴょこ”
”かえるぴょこぴょこみぴょこぴょこ、あわせてぴょこぴょこむぴょこぴょこ”
“Kaeru pyoko pyoko mi pyoko pyoko, awasete pyoko pyoko mu pyoko pyoko”

This one, which hurts to say, translates as “A frog jumps twice, three times and six times in all.”

If you’re a fan of gardening and fine cuisine, give this one a go:

“にわの庭には、二羽の鶏はにわかにわにを食べた”
”にわのにわには、にわとりわにわかにわにおたべた”
“Niwa no niwa ni wa, niwa no niwatori wa niwakani wani o tabeta.”

This is such a fun one (and made me feel good, because I understood it without the translation – yay, go me!) and it translates as “in Niwa’s garden, two chickens suddenly ate a crocodile”

Korean:

Korean can be a tough language for some to learn as the words can sometimes be quite long and a little less straightforward to say than Japanese can be. However, it’s a beautiful language that’s a lot of fun to learn and speak.
Now, from my experience, easy Korean tongue twisters are difficult to come by, but they’re very satisfying when you get them right. Let’s get this started off right, with a nice bit of soy:

“간장공장 공장장은 강공장장이고 된장공장 공장장은 공공장장이다”
“kan-jang-kong-jang kong-jang-jang-eun kang kong-jang-jang-ee-go, dwen-jang-kong-jang kkong-jang kong-jang-jang-eun kong kong-jang-jang-ee-da.”

This one means, “President Kang is the president of the soy sauce factory, and president Kong is president of the bean paste factory.”

“육통 통장 적금통장은 황색 적금통장이고, 팔통 통장 적금통장은 녹색 적금통장이다”
“Yuk-tong tong-jang jeog-geum-tong chang-eun hwang-saek jeog-geum-tong-jang-i-go, pal-tong tong-chang jeog-geum-tong jang-eun nok-saeg jeog-geum-tong-chang-i-da.”

This mouthful translates as “6 dong bank book savings book is the yellow bank savings book, 8 dong bank book savings book is the green bank savings book.”
Not easy, are they?!

 

So, what do you think? Do you like Japanese and Korean tongue twisters? Let us know what you think of them!

Learn With Amy’s 2015 Challenge!

10432552_1013181298695894_8304708746044163524_nLearn With Amy is all about improvement, working together and fun. I want this website to serve as an informative and enjoyable environment for people seeking information on as many subjects as I can offer.

Whether you are a fan of cooking, Korean culture, personal development, squeeing about cute things, art, writing or acting, I want to be there to enlighten and encourage you to invest in your interests. In the coming year I am bringing a lot of big improvements to the site, but I also thought that some kind of a program to follow would be a good way to begin, and also perhaps serve to even further expand your interests by offering you a wide variety of activities and challenges to try.
So, each month in 2015 there will be a month-long challenge for you guys to follow. It could be something that you do every day, or something that you work on slowly throughout the month, or simply try once.
Also, to make things a little more exciting, there will be a giveaway with each challenge, so you can share your participation with us and at the end of the month, I’ll choose a lucky reader to send a prize.

January Part 1 – A Diary

I want you to start a diary. It can be any kind of diary you want, as long as it is managed with a healthy attitude. No voodoo scribbles or raging. It can be anything from a language diary to practice a language you are learning, an achievement diary, a dream or thought diary or a gratitude diary — anything you want, as long as it is unique!
To enter the giveaway, share your diary idea with us on the Learn With Amy Facebook page, on the Twitter or my Instagram using the hashtag #LearnWithAmy2015challenge and link us, or submit your entry using the contact form below!
The winners of the monthly challenges will be announced and notified at the end of the month, so keep an eye on here and the social media to hear if you are one of the lucky peeps!

(No purchase necessary. No cash prize. No sponsors are involved in this giveaway)

Merry Christmas from Amy!!

I would like to say a very sincere thank you and Merry Christmas to learnwithamy.com’s thousands of readers from around the world and everyone who contributes and supports the site’s growth and reach!
This site has come such a long way since its launch in April of this year and I know that things will only get bigger and better in time.

Thank you so much for being a part of our journey, or education and our online family.

Merry Christmas!!

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Bigger and better: Expanding Learn With Amy

lwa photo tagHey, guys! It’s been a few days since my last post, so I just wanted to give you all a quick update as to what’s going on with things.

I have just had some really good news – I have just been promoted (again) at the restaurant I work at, and I will start my new position when we re-open in January. We’re closing up for Christmas on the 23rd and I only have one day off before then, so I might not get to post a LOT before Christmas, but I will be posting as much as possible over my holiday time and making big plans for the website, that will come into effect in the early months of 2015.

So, I wanted to share some of the announcements for the site with you all:

Firstly, we are indeed expanding onto Youtube!

I’ve had a few people asking if I would be making videos, and I am very pleased to say that I will be doing so and that as many posts as possible will be paired with a video to match! So that is the plan.

In answer to a few people asking, I am not entirely sure whether I will start vlogging. I’m not sure that my life is interesting enough to vlog and, with work, there isn’t an awful lot to vlog about. If an interesting event comes up that seems worth recording, I’ll consider vlogging it.

 

Learn with Amy books!

To help aid in learning, I’ve decided that Learn With Amy will expand into books and other learning materials. These will include books for adults and children as well as workbooks and courses.

 

We are also opening a store!

No, not a real-life store (yet), but the website will grow to include an online store where you can buy Learn With Amy books, clothes and personalised and custom things designed by me.

 

The website’s getting a makeover

The website, still with its little downy baby feathers, is going to be getting a makeover and will have a bright, stylish new look.

This might cause some technical difficulties as we work out the kinds and add all the new features, but we’ll make sure any problems are fixed as soon as possible.

 

Collaboration!

I’m planning to collaborate with number of online content creators and hopefully organise interviews with some exciting people! I’ll keep you updated on this as much as possible!

 

Comics

You already know my KPotD (Korean Phrase of the Day), but I’m expanding into a wider range of comics very soon! I’m going to be playing around with some ideas and trying some styles out, so any feedback and opinions are very welcome!

 

This is a lot of exciting news and I’ll be working very hard to get this all rolling, as well as settling into my new position in my workplace, so bear with while I get Learn With Amy to its next step in its growth.

So let’s make 2015 great together!

As ever, feel free to contact me using the contact form below, leave a comment or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Xx

Korean Phrase of the Day! 무서워(요)

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Today’s KPotD was inspired by my favourite internet cutie Yebin, in this video where her Mom teaches her how to say when she is frightened

This is a useful phrase for anyone travelling to Korea, as you can seek help from natives in dangerous or frightening situations, even if you don’t know enough Korean to describe the problem!

I’ll be back with another Korean Phrase of the Day very soon! Meanwhile, come connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Xx

 

Happy Halloween! How to have a safe Halloween!

10748868_717444431673566_657748307_nI hope you are all having a very happy Halloween!

I’ll be working away at the restaurant tonight — portraying the terrifying character of an exhausted waitress (whoooooooo, scary!) — so I won’t get to join the usual spooky celebrations, but I wanted to wish you all a very fun and safe Halloween!

 

Here are a quick few tips on how to make the best of your Halloween:

Lights on, lights off

I know Halloween is all about scares, and who isn’t at least a little creeped out by the dark? While you’re using the dark to set the atmosphere, be careful to make sure that the area is clear of any trip hazards, and try to have some torches on hand. (also, I recommend that stairs and steps stay lit, as no-one wants real accidents on Halloween)

 

Plan ahead

If you’re going trick-or-treating or to any Halloween parties, plan ahead your route and make sure you know where you’re going. Remember, on a night where everyone is wearing masks, it’s even harder to know who’s behind them.

 

Keep your wits

If something feels wrong, don’t just brush it off. Always keep your instincts with you and remember that safety comes first. If you don’t trust someone you are with, feel safe or have any worries, handle the situation as smoothly and calmly as you can– Don’t ignore it for the sake of a party.

 

Tamper-proofing

Free sweets, free food, free drinks! On a night with so much food and drink being passed around, there comes some risks. Don’t eat or drink anything that you think has been tampered with and just kindly decline. We’ve all heard the stories, we don’t want to live them.

 

Dress accordingly

Sure, you want to be a ‘sexy ghost’, but it’s still October and it’s still cold. Try to take warm clothes with you and avoid getting chilled. It can seriously spoil the authentic look of your costume if you’re shivering and sneezing all night!

 

Have safe fun

On nights where people often let go of their cares and senses to go have fun, a lot of stuff can happen that can ruin the fun. No-one wants to end a ‘fun’ night crying, scared or in the emergency room, so make sure your fun takes safety into account. That way, you can keep enjoying your night and future fun times to come without the burden of worry or upset!

 

10745084_717444415006901_1988275491_nHave a great night guys! Have any great pics from your Halloween parties? Come share them on the Learn With Amy Facebook and Twitter and come connect with me on Twitter and Instagram! Have a fun and spooky night! Bwahahahahahaha!