I’ve seen this book through our library shelves during my Elementary 1 days but I didn’t pay attention since I didn’t even know what that book was. I didn’t knew what ‘발음’ means so I left it there without checking what’s inside.
I’ve taught about 10 friends how to read and write 한글, some of them were highly confused about 어, 오, and 우 or ㅂ, ㅃ, and ㅍ. I myself, am not very contented with the tissue test (putting a tissue paper in front of your mouth to test the air that comes out when pronouncing syllables and sounds), so I decided to borrow the book.
I haven’t found any book as unique as this. There were only systematic textbooks, grammar books, word books, etc, but not a pronunciation book. So here it is…
외국인을 위한 한국어 발음 47 | Book 1
There’s a second book but I still haven’t checked the contents. I don’t wanna go too advanced ㅋㅋ. But I think it will focus more on the 받침 pronunciation rules. This book is highly important since pronunciation is one of the fundamentals in learning a language. Native English speakers, or other Asian languages, most especially Westerners can have difficulties with Korean pronunciation since there are just too much differences. Having that said, learning the correct pronunciation from the start helps a lot in practicing speaking and reading since it’s hard to revert wrong pronunciations when someone already got used to it.
The book is divided into two, 모음편 (Vowels) (Units 1-9) and 자음편 (Consonants) (Units 10-28). There are 6 CDS, each CD containing 5 units each. What’s a pronunciation book without a CD, right? In terms of generosity, this book wins.
In full there are 166 pages, all focused on pronunciation. The book contains illustrations of lips and side views to have a clearer understanding about the correct positioning to be able to enunciate syllables correctly. Through this book, I finally solved my 애 and 에 problem. I was always taught that they’re just the same so when someone asks me, I answer the same way. “It’s just the same”.
Everything in the book is Korean except for a few exceptions, like how to use the book, etc. But virtually anything from the start of the book proper up to the end, everything’s in Korean, so I don’t recommend it for zero-knowledge learners if they plan to use the book for self studying.
I never thought how important the ‘How to Use This Book’ parts were. Learning Korean helped me realize its function.
Basically the book starts with listening to simple sentences which will help the learners recognize the overview of the unit. An illustration follows on how the mouth should look like, and there are additional information how to pronounce correctly. Third, the book checks the current status of the learner about the pronunciation rules to be discussed through the book. You listen to words and check if the pronunciation read through the CD was right or wrong.
For the main part of each unit, there are four stages. ‘준비연습’ is something of a warm-up. You are presented with repetitive or shuffled syllables and you read aloud with the CD.
After being more comfortable with the syllables, you are then presented with ‘단어연습’ words containing the sounds. From syllables to words, next comes ‘문장연습’ sentences. Finally, there’s a ‘대화연습’ to help with the learner’s communicative skill.
There are also tidbits of easy stories presented in comic-style. There’s this funny dialogue where a customer is asking the waiter for a new glass, “여기요. 새 잔 주세요.” But then the waiter may have heard incorrectly so he brought three glasses (세 잔) instead of a new glass (새 잔), “여기 있습니다. 한 잔, 두 잔, 세 잔!”. The customer was dumbfounded. That was just funny. There are also tongue twisters like, “내가 그린 기린 그림은 잘 그린 기린 그림이고……”, animal sounds, and other sound effects.
Will I recommend this for first time learners?
YES PLEASE!!! After learning how to read and write 한글, or while studying 한글 this is probably the best stuff to get. Not only it will minimize your questions about possible similarities of sounds, but it will clear out your mind and give you precise pronunciations as you go.
- The book looks good. (Don’t judge me, it’s important!) It comes with a hard slip-on box so the CDs won’t fall if you plan to bring the book outside home.
- The book contains 6 CDs, all audio materials inside spoken by natives.
- More repetition, more retention. More practice, more accurate pronunciation.
- A foreigner guide citing the specific pronunciations that are hard to pronounce per nationality.
- There are no English instructions, so it’s not really recommended for people who can’t understand in pure 한국말.
The book is a complete guide to Korean’s ever-confusing and complex pronunciation. It’s good to study the book when planning to learn the language. As I’ve said earlier, it’s hard to revert something you’re already used to, but if you have the time to pick up this book, it would be so much better. As much as it’s good to speak, talk and read in Korean, it’s 100x better to sound at least near Korean. This book covers the basics, so for 100% complete pronunciation guide, it’s good to get the second book also.
Technical facts about the book:
외국인을 위한 한국어 발음 47 (1)
지은이_ 서울대학교 언어교육원
초판발행_ 2009년 1월 2일
Price: 23,000 원
I hope this review helps.