Korean Cultural Center Philippines vs. Ateneo Confucius Institute

Chinese & Korean

First off, a bit of background: one of my goals is to learn Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Yes, all three. Yes, I know it’s kinda crazy. Anyway, as part of this goal, I originally planned to start learning basic Korean or Japanese as soon as I attained an advanced level in Mandarin Chinese.

Actually, I will be re-taking Intermediate Level 6 (out of 6) at the Confucius Institute in Ateneo Professional Schools, Makati next week in order to further polish my skills before proceeding to the Advanced classes. So, not quite at the advanced level—yet.

Regardless of which, I decided, against sanity and the advice of some people, to enroll in a Basic Korean class at the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines. On the same day. Chinese in the morning and Korean in the afternoon. Saturday was the only schedule that was feasible for me due to my work schedule. I’m not yet sure if this would cause some linguistic confusion but I hypothesize that it would not due to the level disparity. Well, let’s see how it plays out.

For now, let’s just focus on these two government-supported institutes. Having attended classes at the Confucius Institute for over a year now, I’ve noticed some differences in their approaches, which I’ll talk about in this post. This is not about which one is better; I’m simply contrasting them should you be interested in learning Chinese or Korean from these institutions.

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Awesome Korean, Japanese, and Chinese Language Resources to Enhance Your Learning

It’s inspiring how one person can collect and build such a great body of work at Guide to Japanese. Strangely enough, I found this blog when I was looking for a specific construction on Chinese.

Wikis are immensely useful for collecting and organizing information on languages. The Korean Wiki Project is a great example. I looked for an equivalent for Chinese but haven’t found one yet.

Professor O’s Learn Korean Videos are not only informative but also entertaining. I like the way she uses graphics and different characters to give examples of language use.

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Why Learn a Second, Third, or Fourth Language?

It takes somewhere from 720 hours to 1320 hours of learning a language to gain a decent level of proficiency above the survival level. We can argue how we would define proficiency, but the point is this: language learning takes time, effort, and commitment. So why do it at all?

Whether it’s learning a new language from another region of your country or from another country, we all have our reasons for doing so. I’ve compiled my own selection here.


Whenever I stumble across signs in real life, pictures, or movies, product labels, website content, and other content in a language I’m learning and I get to understand some of it, I feel empowered. I gain self-esteem because I know that I’m becoming a better person. I feel that I can achieve more in the world, make my life better, and contribute more—all because of something that I learn and continue to learn.

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