Look at the Korean phrasebooks I’ve bought from Yes24Indonesia!
I ordered and paid these books via bank transfer on Monday and the books arrived on Wednesday.
Essential Korean for Everyday Use (with 1 audio CD) Rp 60,002
Sungmi Kwon, Hyunjung Shin, and John M. Frankl
I don’t really ‘need’ them because I already have some Korean phrasebooks, but they were so cheap, I just couldn’t resist. They were on clearance sale, I don’t know until when.
The books have no explanation on how to read hangeul nor grammatical explanation, at all, so I don’t know, maybe if you’re completely novice to this language, you might have trouble understanding those phrases.
But if you can read hangeul (it’s easy anyway), maybe you will be fine with the help of a dictionary, because actually, that’s how I learn, because I don’t believe in step-by-step learning. I believe in learning from interesting material.
Other people say that learning Korean is a step-by-step process, and you will need learning material that fit to your level, but for me, learning Korean is more like assembling pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, I can start from anywhere I like, and given enough time, I will have all the pieces I need to complete the puzzle.
Just use online dictionary, get your grammar books, and analyze the sentences, one by one. That’s how I learn Korean.
The situational phrases written in the books are simple and pretty basic (just like the title: “essential Korean”), the ones you need to be able to speak off the top of your head in order to be called fluent in Korean. Such as: goodbye, happy birthday, that’s great!, I ran out of gas, my girlfriend broke my heart, etc.
Buy phrasebooks. You know you’ll need them.
I always use expressions from phrasebooks when I tweet in Korean or thank Korean people on Lang-8 or write an e-mail to a Korean at SharedTalk. (My other phrasebooks are written in Japanese, for Japanese readers who learn Korean).
You know those people who say phrasebooks are not useful to learn Korean? Don’t listen to them. They’re not fluent themselves. They learn Korean from boring classroom textbooks and it will take very long years for them TO EVEN USE those simple expressions.
YOU are smarter than that.