My Order from “” Just Arrived

Yaaay… new Korean books from Japan!

It’s my first order on a Japanese online store called “honto” ( They’ve got all kinds of Japanese books, CD, etc. and they ship internationally. No additional service charge at all, and you only have to pay for the book price and the real shipping fee (the options are EMS, airmail, or SAL). They will tell you the shipping fee via e-mail after they pack your order.

I chose airmail (cost me 1,450 yen for shipping to Indonesia), and my order arrived on day 10th. Not bad. I’m very satisfied.

The postman didn’t ask for any fee. (He charged me Rp 3,000 the last time). So, thank you, Mr. Postman.

Some (most?) language learners say that explanation in a language other than the target language is distracting. According to them, it’s better to have native speakers teach you entirely in the target language, and read books in the target language only. But I strongly disagree.

I learnt Japanese in a language school, and I always had difficulty grasping the new concept explained to me in Japanese by native teachers. All, yes, all my foreigner friends felt the same way, we complained to each other, we discussed and made a lot of “guessing” of what the teachers said, and then, guess what we did, we bought Japanese grammar books written in English, in a language we could understand.

So I like having a new concept explained to me in a language I can understand, and then after I really really get it, I will memorize the concept in its original language, which is Korean, without translating it into any other language in my head.

The final goal in language learning is understanding the language without translating it to any other language. So eventually, I want to be able to understand Korean, in Korean. (I can do that now with short sentences). But that will only come after many many hours of learning. I believe the ability to understand Korean ‘in Korean’ will come naturally, like I said, after many many hours of learning. No need to rush. I just need to be patient and trust the process. Well, I don’t need to be patient because I’m having fun.

I don’t believe grammar explanation which is not entirely in Korean is distracting. I don’t believe pronounciation guide (romanization) is a distracting. I don’t believe audio CD with translation is distracting. I think they’re helpful.

At my level now, after 1 year of learning, I can read and comprehend explanation in Korean, too, but I want my learning to stay fun and less painful so I keep learning Korean using books written in Japanese. Besides, Japan’s got the best books designed for self-learners.

Here’s the first book:

今井 久美雄(著), 金 妍廷 (著), 李 知宣(著)

This one is a grammar book explaining about 184 sentence patterns “so you can sound more like native”. It’s meant for intermediate and advanced learners. Audio CD included (read in natural speed). I’ve just started  learning from TOPIK Advanced level (I downloaded the problems and answer key from the internet) and I noticed that this book also explains about the grammar tested in TOPIK.

The composition of the book is simple. Very short grammar explanation on the upper left side, and then 3 kind of conversations using the expression (2 speakers speaking in casual language, 1 using casual tone and 1 using honorific tone, and both speakers using honorific). I did mention that this book came with 2 CDs, right?

And the 2nd book:

韓国語辞書にない俗語慣用表現 増補改訂版
チョ ヒチョル (著)

This one is a dictionary of Korean colloquial expressions that are not explained on regular dictionaries. It’s not that thick, a little too pricey at 2520 yen (no audio CD), and not very complete. Most of the entries actually can be found in Naver dictionary. For explanation on slang words, nothing beats the internet, of course. But I think it will be very cool if I can memorize all the words in it. (I probably will, just give me 5 years. Yeah, hwaiting, me!)

So there’s the expression written in hangul, the direct translation, the real meaning, and 1 sample sentence each, with translation. And there’s a little red pepper icon that tells you the ‘rudeness level’ of the expression. This one is also not for beginners.

Great books. I’m so happy.


4 thoughts on “My Order from “” Just Arrived

  1. Hello,

    I’m a scientist and I’m interested in pedagogy theory as a hobby.
    What you write is real. First, you have ton understand general concept, it’s a matter of understanding, so translations in your own language and so on aren’t bad. Only after the understanding phase you have to practice a lot to get used with vocabulary (and also a bit with grammar rules and so on) and even during this phase I don’t think you can be distracted by other languages than the target.
    What you write about people who say the contrary makes me think about people who say you have to buy a translation dictionnary (for example korean-english, english-korean or indian-korean, korean-indain) made by a company who belongs to the target language. In my opinion, this is stupid, and it’s also silly to speak only with natives because natives absolutely didn’t use the same learning process. Learning process depends on age level : when you are child, you doesn’t learn language’s structure, you memorize it. So, many native speaking people don’t see difficulties, exceptions, and so on because they simply memorized them. It’s a bit the same for “native companies”. They give mostly advices to their customers, but not to customers from the other language !

    But it’s also necessary to speak with natives because otherwise your language becomes too academic, not smooth enough, and almost impossible to modulate to adapt to diverse situations.
    Personnally, I consider I learned english only by myself, by reading books and on internet. I spoke to very few natives. So, as you can see, I’m pretty weak. I tried to learn during lessons during my studies, but even if I wasn’t totally wrong, learning process was only focused on memorizing lists of vocabulary, without understanding anything and with no real practice… and I quickly understood it was nearly impossible to read books and to be fluent with this wrong method.

    Anyway, you are right not to follow common rules and standards : they don’t work for anybody. It’s nice to know yourself to elaborate your own method.

    Thank you to share your thoughts in your blog.
    Keep up the good work 😉

    See you


  2. Hi KoreanVitamin! 안녕! ^_^
    I just would like to ask about the order process via honto. 미안해용~
    I’m from the Philippines by the way^^ I’ve read several honto tutorials/howtosignup/howtoorder. But I would like to know more about the process. Errr, rather, I’d like to hear it from someone who have successfully ordered a book from honto 🙂 Did you put a random Japanese address and a phone number? I’ve seen on the tutorial that the order will not go to the Japanese address tho and will directly be sent to the address associated with the account. And also, is it okay to use a Visa debit card? Waaa. Again, sorry for asking you these kind of stuffs and kamsahamnida ❤


    • krispinkcreme 님 안녕하세요. I don’t know the answers to your questions, sorry, it’s better to ask the store directly via website or e-mail. By the way, I hate that store. I lost my package once, no refund, and e-books I bought there are unreadable on my computer/smartphone, also no refund. Now I use CDJapan and Neowing . So far they don’t give me problems like Honto and they can communicate in English.


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