I’m going to ramble about learning Korean in this post.
I think you already know this: there are 4 areas of skills that you need to acquire/train when you learn a language. They are:
So when you use your Korean textbook, all you need to do is make sure that you can read, listen, speak, and write all the Korean sentences in it. If you can do all that, you’re doing very well. There’s no need to buy a lot of textbooks, just use one thoroughly. (Especially when you’re learning basic level.)
Having said that, now I’m going to show use new Korean textbooks that I purchased this month. I love Korean textbooks. They make me happy. 😉
This is a TOPIK preparation textbook for level II (intermediate and advanced merged into one level). All in Korean. I think you better finish your intermediate level first to use this book.
What’s in it? It’s written on the cover.
Get it? If you don’t, don’t buy it. Basically, it consists of 2 parts: first part is:
-explanation about TOPIK problems
-(lists of) words/onomatopoeias/synonims/idioms/proverbs etc.
which are going to be tested,
and the second part is:
-2 sets of TOPIK simulation and answer keys (with short explanation in Korean).
And there’s one MP3 CD for the mock tests.
Most of the words and grammars in the book… I haven’t learned yet. Oh no, can I really do this? And what about the writing section? How should I prepare for it I can’t even make the shortest sentences correctly? This is… impossible! Arghhh…@#e432$@% (This is how I give myself a panic attack).
Anyway, you can’t learn new words and grammars from this book because words are not given translation or sample of usages in sentences, and grammars are explained very briefly and only will give you “???” if you’ve never seen it before.
The 2nd part of the book is TOPIK tests with the new format.
This book is only going to be useful to check whether you have learned everything or not for the TOPIK. I can say that if you don’t plan to take TOPIK, don’t buy it.
By the way, what’s EBS 교육방송 anyway? Anybody can tell me how to watch it from outside Korea?
Next, I have Hello Korean 1 with Lee Joon Gi (이준기와 함께하는 안녕하세요 한국어 1) – English Edition, with CD. It’s a beautiful textbook.
Maybe if you’re a fan of Lee Joon Gi, you’ll be motivated to study hard with this book. He sounds like a very handsome young man (because he is!). The book is colorful and looks easy to use but I don’t know because I haven’t used it. Hey, why they put English translation of dialogs at the last pages…? But it looks good overall.
Next, Arirang Korean Basics 1 and 2.
Can I recommend them? I don’t know. I think they’re good as supplemental textbooks and if you want to know about Korean culture at the beginning of your learning because each chapter has one article about culture, in English.
The audio CD only covers the short conversations for each lesson. There are other sample sentences, which are good and natural, but not available as audio in the CD, and no romanization for them, so how would you know the correct pronunciation? Internet is the answer (maybe Google Translate or Skype), but you shouldn’t need to do it as a beginner, I think.
I noticed there were no warnings about some words with pronunciation changes. Beginners wouldn’t be aware of those, unless they look for them on Naver Dictionary (국어 사전). But I like this series. I like having them.
Next, I got an essay book 아프니까 청춘이다 by 김난도. Everybody in Korea knows about this book. It’s that famous. Actually, I made that up. I don’t know any Korean person and I never asked any Korean on the internet about this book. But it was a bestseller, there were some Korean celebrities mentioned about it, and I’ve been wanting to read it, even though my 청춘 is over long time ago.
And I also bought a little picture book “A Friendly Universe” by Byron Katie. My sister despises her but I think she’s some kind of philosopher and I’d like to adopt her philoshopy -called Katieism- because it seems easy to be happy if I do. The book consists of sayings which are explained in her other books, so it’s just some kind of reminder.
So that’s all my new books! ^^
(I’m still waiting for Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Why hasn’t it arrived yet? I should ask the post office.)
Anyway, thank you for reading! 즐거운 주말 되세요.(=Have a nice weekend!) ###