About Korean Grammar Dictionary

Korean grammar dictionaries

Korean grammar dictionaries

The best English grammar books for foreigners are written in English.
The best Japanese grammar books for foreigners are written in Japanese.
So I thought that the best Korean grammar books for foreigners must be written in Korean, too.

That’s why, from the very start of my learning, I decided that I must be able to read grammar explanation in Korean . So, then, I bought a Korean grammar dictionary, written entirely in Korean: 외국어로서의 한국어 문법 사전.
First, because I read a review about it on HangukDrama blog. Second, because I knew that it had been translated into Japanese and published in Japan so it must be good, right? The Japanese title is 韓国語文法辞典 ¥4,830.

But I ended up regretting buying it. I was a beginner, then. Even after I looked up every single word I didn’t know, I couldn’t understand the grammar explanation in Korean.  f(^^;) 괜히 샀어.

It was not until I had finished TOPIK Essential Grammar 150 for Intermediate Level, that has bilingual grammar explanation: in Korean and the translated version (Japanese, in my case), that I found myself finally able to understand the entirely-in-Korean explanation in the grammar dictionary. I needed to get used to reading and understanding long grammar explanation written in Korean first, and I couldn’t do it without translation.

But the irony is, once I could read the dictionary, I found that it was not very complete, many grammars were not explained there. So I looked for a more complete grammar dictionary. But I didn’t want to repeat the same mistake (buying an expensive dictionary that I couldn’t even read) so I bought the translated version of 외국인을 위한 한국어 문법 2 (in Japanese, the title is 標準韓国語文法辞典 ¥6,510). Oh, Panggapseumnida blog reviewed the original Korean version. Go check it out.

So do you really need a Korean grammar dictionary to learn Korean? I don’t know. Maybe not. Maybe if you have entire series of Korean textbooks (usually book 1 to book 6) or Korean Grammar in Use (basic, intermediate, and advanced), you don’t need a Korean grammar dictionary, which is very expensive. But for me, from the very start, I didn’t have the patience to follow chapter-by-chapter or step-by-step learning, so I just read stuff of my interest, translated every word and looked up grammars. That’s why a grammar dictionary comes in handy, for me. (←So I don’t have the patience to follow a textbook, but I have the patience to do this.).

And do you really need to understand Korean grammar explanation in Korean? Maybe not. Maybe it doesn’t matter. I mean, in the end, I got a Korean grammar dictionary written in a language I know better. And the advanced Korean grammar book I’m studying with right now actually has Japanese translation. (Korean Grammar in Use – Advanced). But it doesn’t hurt to be able to do it. And you can’t call yourself an advanced learner if you can’t read grammar explanation in Korean, right? Right? Maybe. I don’t know. Haha. Do as you like. Just learn something new every day. Bye. 안녕! Thank you for reading my rant. ###

6 thoughts on “About Korean Grammar Dictionary

  1. They sell a few types of grammar dic in my country ( The Japanese bookstore ). I think that the dictionaries will be more useful when we’d finished the TOPIK syllables in grammar. I think that the dic will come in handy when I’m doing translation or I’m a Korean Major. Haha! Thanks for the review!


  2. A Korean grammar dictionary has been on my list for so hehe ^^ problem is I can’t really pick which one to buy – and I don’t know if my Mum will let me buy all of them!🙂 I should try lol

    Yeah. You can’t call yourself an advanced learner without an advanced book :p


  3. Ira says:

    ah! Please forget my comment on your other post. Now I see why you don’t like the grammar dictionary. I don’t mind it being written in Korean (though I will need uhmm several years to be able to enjoy it effortlessly), but if it’s not complete then maybe I better complete my Korean Grammar In Use first.


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