I’ve finished reading a Korean book published by Talk To Me In Korean ( http://www.talktomeinkorean.com/news/idiomsbook/ ), “Everyday Korean Idiomatic Expressions: 100 Expressions You Can’t Live Without”. I bought the e-book version on Google Play Book. (https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=XS9IAwAAQBAJ)
At first I thought I didn’t need it because I already have 2 other books about Korean idioms written in Japanese that I haven’t even read yet but then I saw that the price of the e-book version of the TTMIK’s book was… cheap so at one point I clicked ‘purchase’. Oops. I didn’t read the e-book right away, but finally, I got interested in reading it recently and I finished it in 3 days.
I think Korean idioms are interesting but difficult to retain when you’re still learning basic/intermediate level. Idioms can wait until you’re learning advanced level. I don’t know any Korean in person but I suspect Koreans don’t expect you -a foreigner- to know Korean idioms, at all, even if you’re fluent. So it’s OK not to master Korean idioms right away. Not that urgent and it can wait until much later. But it’s just my opinion. You can learn whatever you want if you’re self-learning, right?
I’m not so used to reading books in e-book form, actually, so I thought I would hate the experience of reading the book on Google Play, but then I found that I could enlarge page and characters (see picture) so I can read the hangul in the e-book even more clearly than a real book. I guess I’m still in the transition phase to be able to enjoy reading e-books. One day, I’ll get used to it. Yes, I will. Because I already bought 12 Korean e-books to read this year.
What you can get from the book? 100 Korean idioms with romanization, literal translation of the idioms, real meaning, explanation in English, and 2 conversations with English translation to show you how the idiom is used. And also 100 creepy (fun?) illustrations to help you remember the idioms. The organization of the book is simple. Simple is good.
TTMIK’s channel has a video to show you inside the beautiful book: ↓
The book itself is meant for every level of learners, basic learners included, and I guess that’s why the Talk To Me In Korean team was careful when giving romanization for the idioms. For example for the idiom 번지수를 잘못 찼다, the romanization is [beon-ji-ssu-reul jal-mot chat-tta]. I wouldn’t realize it by myself that the word 번지수 (house number, address number) is supposed to be pronounced [번지쑤] / [bon-ji-ssu].
However, they still made some mistakes in romanizing few words. For example 콩깍지 in the idiom 콩깍지가 씌다 is supposed to be romanized [kong-kkak-jji] not [kong-kkak-ji] because it’s pronounced [콩깍찌]. And 눈빛만 in 눈빛만 봐도 알다 is supposed to be romanized as [nun-ppin-man], not [nun-bin-man]. Maybe only that two. Not that big a deal.
If you don’t believe me (about pronunciation), I believe you are smart enough to check monolingual Korean dictionary for the standard pronunciation of Korean words, on your own. I might not live in Korea but we all have equal access to these wonderful online Korean monolingual dictionaries:
We live in an exciting time to learn Korean. Equal access to Korean learning resources for everyone!
Anyway, I liked the book. It was an enjoyable read. The book doesn’t come with audio CD or mp3 files but by the time you’re able to read it cover-to-cover you will already know how Korean language sounds anyway. Or you can type it into Google Translate and make it read the sentence for you. Just a thought. ###