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Matt Strum
Basic Information
Gender Male
Age 24
Blood type A+
Hometown Anchorage, AK, USA
Current location Seoul, South Korea
Native languages English
University University of Utah
Major Computer Engineering
Studying Korean since October 2005
Music Big Bang, 2NE1, Epik High
Movies/drama Soulmate, Classic
Food Kimbap and Spicy rice cake
Hobbies Programming, photography, ukulele
Blog On My Way To Korea
Twitter Mstrum
me2day Mstrum
LinkedIn Mstrum
YouTube mattstrum
MySpace Mstrum
Facebook Mstrum
Cyworld Mstrum

Korean Projects

How, Where and Why I Learned Korean

I have always loved studying languages. I studied French for one year in middle school, German for two years in high school and one year of Chinese (including traditional characters) in university. I had thought I would settle on Chinese, but fate has something different in store for me. Although I am no longer LDS/Mormon, I did serve two years as a full-time volunteer as a missionary. My church told me to learn Korean and teach the Korean people in Vancouver, Canada. I was so surprised, I had thought they would send me to Taiwan because of the recent language study I had taken. Sadly, I couldn't even tell you where Korea was on a map let alone anything about the culture or people. In October 2005, I entered the missionary training center where I studied Korean (along with missionary stuff) everyday for twelve weeks before being sent out on my own. All of my fellow missionaries (except one) were being sent to Korea, so I knew I would have to study extra hard to master the language without being immersed in it.

Once I arrived in Vancouver in January 2006, I finally got to use the Korean I had learned in the classroom. For two years strait, I was constantly street contacting and meeting with Koreans every day. I was always going through whatever study material I could get my hands on. I kept a notepad on me where I would write about ten words to study every day. I immediately fell in love with everything, the culture, the food, and the people. As missionaries we weren't allowed to listen to music or watch TV or movies so I never got to experience Korean dramas or K-pop the whole time (or even anything English). Missionaries are also not allowed to date or be in relationships, so I kept everything professional. Better than anything I can listen to or watch, I was able to build 정 with the wonderful Koreans I met and that was enough.

When I returned home in October 2007, I immediately started to watch some Korean dramas and listen to music which I absolutely loved. I went back to my university in January 2008 and took some extra Korean classes for personal interest. Ever since then I have been continually watching movies and dramas (I have a HUGE collection now) and listening to new music. I'm currently studying at Seoul National University and will be here for all of 2010. My long-term dream is that I can involve Korea in my job in the future.


  • Playing the ukulele

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To-do List

  • Learning Hangeul
    • Flesh out the Jamo pages
  • Chinese roots
    • More roots
    • Connect pages to the roots
    • Chinese character redirects
  • Work on and release another minor version of Hangeul Assistant
    • Work on virtual cellphone input method
    • Add ALT button method to be able to type english letters
  • Learn the MediaWiki extension engine
  • Section with songs and vocab lists

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