I’ve been using the show Run On to study Korean for a while now, so I wanted to share some resources and techniques.
If you haven’t seen it, it’s a pretty slow burn romance/melo, in which a relationship blossoms between a track athlete and an interpreter. It’s one of the more mature and relatable relationships I’ve seen in a kdrama, which is one reason I wanted to study the dialogue.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Im Siwan is the male lead. I’m 100 percent obsessed with Siwan’s Korean—it’s so clear! The female lead is fabulous but she does not enunciate.
In short, I use exported subtitles from Netflix to study new vocab and grammar points, make Anki decks to study/review all the sentences, and listen a million times to clips of the show, so that everything I’m learning has context and is tied to the sound of the language.
- Clips. I made a playlist of all The Swoon clips available for the show on YouTube, one from each episode. Playlist.
- Subtitles Using Language Reactor, I exported the subtitles from Netflix for each episode, which includes both Korean and English, found the sections that correspond to the clips, and cleaned them up in a spreadsheet. Spreadsheet.
- Anki. I then made an Anki cloze deck using the subtitles, using only sentences with at least four words that made sense without (too much) context. The front of the card has Korean, with one deleted word, and the English. The back has the deleted word. I used some coding to help with this, but in the end, it’s a very hands-on process, which is part of the learning process. Anki deck.
- Vocab. After watching the show with English subtitles, I downloaded and studied all the subtitles, adding vocab I didn’t know to my monster vocab list. (I’m pretty arbitrary about this, often adding words only after seeing them a second time, or if I happen to like them.)
- Grammar. I used Mirinae or Papago to try to understand any grammar or colloquialisms that I was missing. (Aka where I knew the words but didn’t understand why they meant what they meant.)
- Anki. Reinforce what I had learned through the Anki cloze deck. Some sentences have new vocab, but many others are great practice for word usage/conjugation even if I already know the word.
- Listening. I listened to the clips over and over again, just playing them while I was making dinner or cleaning or something.
- Shadowing. I tried to shadow the actors, using the Language Reactor addon on Netflix, which lets you move through the subtitles and repeat each one as many times as you need. (Tbh I gave up on this pretty quickly, because I found that the easier sentences I could do, and the harder ones were just impossible, no matter how many times I tried.)
I used the same method for the entire episode 1, and plan to keep going. I exported the subtitles, made an Anki cloze deck, and ended up studying them that way rather than line by line. This was actually way more efficient then the clip method—but you learn as you go. Best part is that you can download Netflix episodes to your phone, so I’ve listened to entire episodes on road trips/long runs etc. It’s amazing I’m not bored yet!