My First Korean Textbook was a Phrasebook

I’m going to show you the first Korean textbook that gave me confidence to learn Korean on my own.

The book was in Japanese and it was a phrasebook.

Korean Textbook

But it was not like any phrasebook. Every sentence in the book looks like this:

Please Say It Again.

You can see:
– the pronounciation guide in katakana for every letter (if it were an English book, it would have romanization above every hangeul)
– the literal meaning of every word

It also comes with an audio CD. What I love about the CD is, it is bilingual. I find that I can memorize the Korean expressions better if I listen to the translation first in Japanese. Some people insist that one language approach is better in learning a foreign language, but I don’t agree. I love translation. ;P If the audio CD were in Korean only, I would tune it out as unrecognizable noise immediately. The Japanese translation brings me back to focus on listening. (I’m an Indonesian, by the way, if you’re curious.).

I also love the way the author organized the book:

Chapter One, it introduces how the language works, very quickly.
First, the book teaches you how to read hangeul letters, one by one.

And then, it tells you about all the rules of changes in reading hangeul. Like 옛날 is “yennal”, not “yet-nal”, 십육 is “sim-nyuk”, not “sib-yuk”, and so on. When I asked a native Korean (a random person on the internet), he didn’t seem to be aware about the rules. Maybe because Koreans just “read it that way naturally”.

And then, the book teaches you the most common sentence patterns. The positive sentence, negative, past, present, future, etc.

Chapter Two & Three, short and simple phrases that seem useful in real life conversation.
Useful Korean Phrases

If you learn Korean through Japanese like me, you can find tons of books for beginners similar to this one but this one I’ve got is やさしい韓国語会話―基本表現でらくらく話せる (CDブック) by 石田 美智代. ###

4 thoughts on “My First Korean Textbook was a Phrasebook

    • The title is CDブック やさしい韓国語会話 by 石田美智代. Actually, I think, for introduction to Korean, any kind of textbook that you find easy to understand will do. As long as you don’t quit.


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