[BOOK] Hangeul Master | 한글마스터

DISCLAIMER: Skip to the picture for the review. And apologies if I’ll be mixing romanizations of 한글 from Hangeul to Hangul. In the end, it should be read as 한글 anyway. ㅎㅎㅎ

After some years, I will finally be reviewing another book. My last review was posted some years ago so it’s about time to start another one. I decided to post this first rather than the other books I originally planned to review just to warm up a bit since I haven’t been writing for a long time now.

I bought this in Korea last year, some random 교보문고 visits and I can say that this book is just an impulse buy. I’m not being ‘all that’, snubbing Hangul books just because I already know how to read and write and I’m already at 중급 (intermediate level), since surprisingly, some books that are often overlooked upon can give you that basic knowledge that you may not even know of even if you’re already at the higher levels.

Some people actually get by using a language without learning how to read and write (shoutout to phrasebooks), which is not a bad thing anyway for the sake of travel comforts, but in my sphere it’s always knowing more than just the basics. I always have the itch for in-depth information about stuff so when I saw this book, I immediately picked it up.

I am honestly ‘not’ in the process of studying Korean when I was in Korea so I haven’t had any updates about new books and whatnots so this was a completely new book when I saw it. And when I’ve read from the cover that it was from Talk To Me In Korean, I had no hesitations. This was my first book from them, and it’s just fair for me to give back since I owe them about 20% of my Korean knowledge. I didn’t have any means to donate way back so buying this book would at least help them to continue spreading the love for the language, and I hope it really does! TTMIK 화이팅!!

한글마스터 | Hangeul Master
★★★★/ | 4 and a half stars

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“Go from being a novice to a Hangeul Master in a short time with this book! Hangeul Master is chock-full of everything you need to know about Hangeul!”

“Secrets of reading Korean Handwriting”

“300 writing samples from native Koreans”

To start of…

How do I buy books? (this includes English literature and novels)

  1. Design
  2. Author
  3. Price
  4. Promising content (without reading blurbs and book introductions)

1. I base on design. Yes. I believe that there’s nothing wrong in judging the books by their covers. We’ve reached the new millenium, guys please!! If authors can put their mind, heart and soul into writing a book’s content, they should be able to judge as well how the covers should look like. They’re not the designers of course but at least the publishing company should be able to match the content with the book’s physical attributes. Right??

2. Since this has been written and designed by Talk To Me In Korean, I already had the feeling that the book would be simple, easy to digest, and visually exceptional. And yes, it truly is.

3. Price is a bit ‘up there’ but then again, it’s me giving back to TTMIK so no hesitations at all, really.

4. Since this has been marketed as a book that will be able to teach you Hangul without buying any other books, that thought alone sounded very promising to me, so I didn’t bother checking the back cover for serious intro. I don’t read novel introductions as well lol. I breezed through the pages though to check how it looks like and it got JUST WHAT I NEEDED.

Basically, this book met my expectations whenever buying a book so let’s hop into the review. (This is me being very defensive why I bought the book, haha.)

The book is comprised of four (4) chapters:

1. The History of 한글

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This chapter is an overview of how the language came about. Basic stuff, really. I expected more but of course, people don’t always take particular interest regarding history of certain stuff so keeping this chapter short was just practical.

nook-exampleThe chapter talked about how 한자 was used before and how The Great King Sejong came up with the writing system to replace it, and when in October 9, 1446 한글 was announced (so it became 한글날 / Hangul Day) in Korea. Also about how it wasn’t at all embraced immediately by the people due to possible relationship issues with China, and how Japanese took over Korea for some time, hence the ban of the writing system in all publications… and all that stuff.

But then I was expecting more. I was particularly interested about 훈민정음 (Hunminjeongeum) or The Correct/Proper Sounds for the Instruction of the People, but it was just mentioned. Furthermore, I was also very interested about Middle Korean; What those characters were, how they were pronounced, or at least a brief overview on how they evolved. Also when was the time they totally ditched the mixed script and went on publishing in full Hangul (sans 한자). This chapter felt incomplete, knowing that the entire book focuses on 한글. Maybe it’s just me again since I just needed an in-depth info.

2. Introduction to 한글

Totally just an introduction about the vowels and consonants, stroke orders and the c+v / c+v+c / c+v+c+c syllable blocks.

3. Learn 한글

This is the main part of the book where you can learn everything about 한글, from writing, to reading, to pronunciation and all that good stuff. Please be advised that audio files are available for download through this link.

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This includes appropriate illustrations and even the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) to match the standard pronunciation. Another chapter is also dedicated to 받침 (final consonants), since pronunciation for a certain character depends on where it is placed.

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Some things that I STILL DON’T KNOW ABOUT are these compound final consonants. Without this book, I wouldn’t be able to know that there are 11 compound consonants and it’s still a good FYI especially for pronunciation since it’s baffling at first when you’re asked to read 읽다 and you don’t even know if it should be read as 일다 or 익따.

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Of course, the ever confusing linking sounds such as 좋다 [조타], 같이 [가치], 막내 [망내], 신라 [실라] and all that complex pronunciation rules are present in this book.

And of course one of the main reasons why I bought the book is…

4. 한글 Handwriting

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I am very fascinated about the writing system so I started learning how to read and write 한글 even before studying basic phrases (aside from the very basic 안녕하세요s and 감사합니다s). I honestly pushed myself to study the writing system since it’s more of like a bragging right to be able to read another language (even if I didn’t know what they meant).

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I can still remember how my writing looked like that one from above… and how it turned out to be like this…

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It’s really small, mind you but I like it just the way it is. However I still wanted to write naturally as how Koreans do so I really am trying to make an effort to mix and match the techniques from the book to come up with my own natural-looking handwriting.

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The handwriting part takes about more than 50% of the book so if you really want to try and emulate how Koreans write naturally, this book is filled with examples.

As simple as the book is, there are a lot of exercises and final exams as well. For convenience, answers can be found on the back of the book. There are also trivia like when Korean start to learn Hangeul, what are 한자s, Korean loanwoards, etc.

Will I recommend this book for first time learners?

Most definitely!!! There are a lot of amazing resources online and basic level 1 textbooks include 한글 as part of the first few lessons. But if you think you really need to be a modern 한글 master, this book is a good resource not just on how to read and pronounce, but to write in correct order and in cursive form if you challenge yourself to write as natural as possible right from the start of your studies.

Pros:

  • Very much beginner friendly. Relevant words and phrases when first learning the language for the first time are presented through examples.
  • Focuses on the Hangul writing system, the stroke order, pronunciation, and all that good stuff.
  • Supports Talk To Me In Korean (if you buy it, it will be a good help to the team).
  • The ‘only’ (please correct me here) Korean book targeted to foreigners that will teach you how to write like a Korean.

Cons:

  • More information regarding the history of 한글 particularly the Middle Korean characters that look like triangles or the triple final consonants, etc.
  • Pronunciation (I wouldn’t stress about this though, I reviewed a pronunciation book before 외국인을 위한 한국어 발음 47 | 47 Korean Pronunciation for Foreigners Book 1 and knowing that there are two books in the series, who am I to demand better pronunciation guide through this mini book?)

Conclusion

There can never be a better book in learning Hangul than this book right here. Like what I’ve said before, Hangul can easily be learned through resources online but to become a Hangul Master, this is definitely the book.

Technical facts about the book:

한글마스터 | Hangeul Master
Copyright © 2014 TalkToMeInKorean

Price: 19,000원
ISBN: 978-89-5605-719-4 (13710)

I hope this will help you on your way towards becoming a Hangul Master!

Intermediate Korean TV 3 | 중급 한국어 TV 3

Hi everyone. Finally, I finished my Intermediate Korean 1 (3급) through Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines, also an accredited Sejong Hakdang Institute (세종학당) where I started my Korean studies way back in 2012. I finished the class after not continuing it before due to work schedule and stuff.

Unfortunately though…

I did not pass.

Which is still okay, since I expected it anyway. I’m actually very lazy when it comes to studying so I know this would happen. I’m lazy in a sense that I shy away from the textbook and whenever I’m studying about the current lessons, I would procrastinate and look up words, topics, or grammar patterns that appear until eventually I’m too far away from what I have to study at the moment. So that’s what happened, and since I think I already reached the point where I can already come up with more stricter study plans and habits, or at least get by without guidance from a proper teacher, I may have to just continue to study by myself through online materials, textbooks, immersion with locals and unorthodox methods. The foundation I got from Korean Cultural Center is definitely unbeatable. Even if most of the self-studying students are better than my level, I have no regrets that I was handled by one of the greatest teachers in KCC, 노옥진 선생님!!

Video Presentation for Graduation

So yesterday’s our graduation. The program includes the graduation of Basic Korean classes, Elementary Korean 1 and 2 classes, and the only Intermediate Korean class which was our class. Per usual, graduation day is the moment when everyone can showcase what they’ve learned for the whole term. Mornings are for language classes and afternoon comes cultural class presentations (K-Dance, K-Musical, Taekwondo, Traditional Music, etc.). The only way we can present how much we’ve learned about the language easily is through video presentations.

Ours is actually the third from the Intermediate Korean TV series which was started by my classmates from the Intermediate class that I was unable to finish. They have tackled about Korean proverbs way back, and since I had previous classmates who took the following Intermediate class, they followed and created the second episode of the series tackling about onomatopoeia and mimetic words (의성어, 의태어) for their graduation video.

This time, we talked about 성격 / Personality and shot the entire show through an iPhone. My classmate, James (second top student 추카추카!!) was in charge of the flow and the script. I edited the whole show, including the selection of music and some of the directing when I’m not editing simultaneously while they were shooting. I had no high hopes for the video since this was my first time to do a video as crazy as this (though in all honesty we had a higher edge than the lower classes since we have a better command of the language), but watching even the video presentations of Basic classes got me surprised. Everyone’s video had it’s certain charm and everyone really did their best.

IMG_9019.JPGBut of course, the Best Video Presentation award went to us!!  We won P5000 pesos worth (about 120,000 KRW) of gift certificates for a Korean restaurant and we planned to eat out with our 선생님 next year at 정월대보름. It was a very pleasant experience anyway, so even if I failed the class, I definitely have zero regrets! And I promise to study better from now on.

 

 

Just A Brief Comeback v3.0

Please welcome me back, please? ㅋㅋ Also it’s my 24th (26th in Korea) birthday today!!!

Anyway, I opened this account since I’m in the process of…

DISCLAIMER before my DISCLAIMER: I usually post this kind of disclaimer lol.
DISCLAIMER: If I’m blurbing too much about stuff, skip until you see the headings in Bold.

I’m in the process of late night (or morning) studying since it’s already 7:57 AM now, and I’ve been reading since last night. I’m studying Korean formally again, FYI 여러분, and our current lesson is already at lesson 10 out of 15 in my Intermediate 1 / 3급 (from our book’s format WHICH I haven’t reviewed yet, and previously promised that I will review soon), which means that there would be a long exam with the scope from the first lesson up to present. There are long exams after every 5 lessons.

As expected from myself, I procrastinate a lot. In a good way though, or not. I study about something, and then skip and study something else up till I reach subjects that are totally unrelated to what I was originally studying anymore. So then I found a very amazing Korean textbook PDF resource online WHICH WAS TOTALLY MINDBLOWING, and I will probably share it soon. I actually read the book WHICH AGAIN, WAS A TEXTBOOK from the first pages up to about 130 pages, lol. I wouldn’t even read that much even if a novel is a quick read.

And then again… I looked for stuff regarding Korean pronunciation since it’s still bothering me a bit, when my book review for [TEXTBOOK] 외국인을 위한 한국어 발음 47 | 47 Korean Pronunciation for Foreigners Book 1 appeared on Google. Very nice job to me, lol. It’s been a long while since I’ve been here and my last post which was supposed to be a promise to recount my stories in Korea has long been overdue. I’ve been there last March and it’s already November so I probably have to work on that soon.

Unemployment and Intermediate 1

I left my second job after working there for 2 years and 4 months, and I’ve talked about that job during my Just A Brief Comeback v2.0 post, which is extremely funny to me right now as this is going to be another comeback post. The theme here in my blog is recurring. I would comeback and post about studying Intermediate again and again, and it has been tiring, to me as well. The thought of repeating Intermediate 1 again and again, that is. Not that I’m over it, but it’s more of like ‘지치다’? 아니면 ‘귀찮다’?. It seems like I’m a very unstable person with a lot of ups and downs when it comes to motivation and what I really want to do in life.

So then after three years (I was studying the exact same thing, same period three years ago), I enrolled for Intermediate 1 for the third time. Second time was cancelled since the class didn’t reach the minimum number of students. Up till now this is a hard class to get since it’s not offered three times a year unlike Basic, and Elementary 1 and 2 and the number of eligible students who passed from lower levels should be sufficient first for our cultural center to be able to offer this class. Just in time though, Intermediate 2 was offered for the first time during the previous term. Only 1 student passed and it was my friend, lol. So that means I would be able to study Intermediate 2 soon if I pass now and if the class will be offered again.

Also, one of my classmates asked me if I’m the owner of this blog so I’m deeply moved, lol. I’ve really done a good job in that sense.

Improvements in the Language

My study habits from three years ago up till now never changed. The habit itself I mean, but not that I’ve studied continuously for the past three years. I’m talking more about the process and the methods. My colored pens from three years ago is still alive and I’m still using my color-coding approach when taking notes, which can be found here: No Classes | 수업 없는 주. Hangul typing skills are, if not close, tad better now. Reading, quite fast. 알아듣기는, TONS BETTER!!! I’ve stuck with the same teacher for three consecutive classes now and knowing the pace of her speaking and teaching, I am proud to say that I can understand about 90% of what she’s saying now compared before when I would just nod to anything she would talk about. As for writing, I’m still struggling sometimes. I’m at this stage where I can actually express myself a lot in writing but I avoid using words that are not yet taught just because nuances can still differ and I don’t actually want to appear to be too much of a ‘know-it-all’ so I keep my vocabulary and grammar patterns at bay. So in that sense, I still feel limited.

As for speaking, I would probably have to discuss this on my trip to Korea post, soon.

What I am up to currently… and what my current plans are

Bullet form, shall we? This is for my reference as well on what to do with this blog since I’m at the peak of studying again.

  • I have no plans to return to Korea as of yet since I’m jobless. I would have to start with my Korea Trip post first before that, right?
  • I started watching 언니들의 슬램덩크 just because I love 라미란 so much from when I watched 응답하라1988, also the song Shut Up where she appears as a member of the girl group 언니쓰. I found myself not relying on the subs too much anymore which is totally a good thing. That thought shocked me as well.
  • Also, I’ve rewatched [DRAMA] 화이트 크리스마스 | White Christmas (KBS2 | 2011) for the third time and I have to say it’s still one of the best dramas I have watched (excluding the last episode which was so full of loopholes and seemed forced). Wow, too many old blog post links in this one lol.
  • I plan to look for a job next year since working at this period is much of a waste. It’s going to be Christmas soon and I don’t want to miss any holidays.
  • I have to review 재미있는 한국어 3 which is loooooong overdue. Also *too ashamed about this* but I haven’t reviewed, or even thoroughly checked the contents of the book I have received from twoChois during the twoChois Lucky Draw!. They were very nice to send me a copy of a good book and here I am being so ungrateful. Sorry :(( I will make it up to you and make a very good and detailed review soon.
  • I still have to write two 500자 essay about Dating and Marriage *whut???* and Gifts, both part of the 재미있는 한국어 3 practical topics.
  • I recently passed 1000 followers on Sing! Smule application where I sing Korean songs about 99% of the time. Joined there for years now but I only used it from last April of this year just after I got back from Korea and it’s also one of my unorthodoxed approch in learning the language. I will go to this in detail soon, as well.

Changes

From when I was active back then, I realized that there are soooo many changes in WordPress I can’t seem to keep up anymore. Not just in WordPress but in the way blogs are written or presented or whatnot? Don’t know if it’s just me but I would have to catch up soon, you think?

As always, thank you so much for reading. Suggestions for content are very very much welcome. Help me revive my blog ㅎㅎ.

Re-learning Intermediate Korean 1

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How to study >.< Take note though, that I actually studied while they were playing, lol.

I’ve been studying my Level 3 Korean again using my previous book, 재미있는 한국어 3. And since I’m reusing it from start, not missing any page, I might make a review of the book soon, since I haven’t seen any reviews about it within the hemispheres of WordPress. I was actually thinking if I should repeat my Level 3 using the Ganada 3 that I bought last Gmarket haul, but I remembered, too, that I never finished this book when I was studying in class before. I think I missed about four chapters within the end of the term, but it’s not fair for me to just study those parts since it’s pretty sure that I have forgotten a lot of the things from the earlier chapters during the times that I was idle. Well it’s very hard to retain the words. The grammar is just easy, except for the -아/어 놓다/두다 which is very funny whenever I try to think about its usage, but the other grammar patterns I encountered were not so much difficult.

I’m trying to study at least three to four times per week including weekdays, but due to an upcoming things at work, there’s a huge possibility that I might neglect my Korean again since I will render three more hours at the office every day this week. I hope I can keep up with everything and… >.< I don’t know.