[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!

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End of the Book, Start of Classes! | 책의 끝, 수업의 시작!

Stage 5: 자신을 믿는 자가 승리한다
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It’s sad that I finally finished the book. I stayed true to my schedule though. Each member exactly fits two days of commute time, and just earlier, I finished 승리’s story. And as usual, I didn’t understand so much, but just the thought of finishing a book in full Korean would be one of my Korean studying highlights. All in all, I’ve read the book for two weeks. I started reading last last Tuesday, the day after I received my book.

Anyway, every member’s story, there’s a part where some of the staff give their cents regarding each member. Each and everyone’s attitude, their impressions, etc. And just to share, 황상찬, YG Family’s personal health trainer, who is more commonly known as 황싸부 (for people who watched 2NE1 TV or any other YG-related stuff, you probably know who he is), gave his thoughts on how he see Daesung, T.O.P and Seungri. That same ‘황싸부’님 has been following me on Twitter since last year *O*

*O*

*O*

We tweet once in a while whenever I have questions about vegetables, sleeping habits, etc., lol I’m so 가식. But legit, I had a question in my Twitter before but no one bothered answering it. I was like, ‘Can I jog or run for a while even if I didn’t get any sleep for more than 20 hours?’, when he replied something in Korean that it’s not very good. Running is great but sleeping is much better. I was dumbfounded, lol.

And another thing to share…

Please excuse my fail artistic shot of the book >.<

Please excuse my fail artistic shot of the book >.<

I was thinking of what to type when I suddenly looked at my CD wall, and saw the book reflected in it. I thought it was cute, but I just can’t compose the picture exactly as how I see it in person >.<

Some times after my Intermediate 1 classes, I might consider rereading this again, and by that time, I might then consider looking up the words and grammar patterns. But then, I don’t think my Intermediate 1 course would be enough for me to finally do it, so I might just reread it without understanding and see if I can at least understand more than what I understood during the first time. Let’s see.

Start of Classes

I don't like the picture's quality as it was taken by my Blackberry phone >.<

I don’t like the picture’s quality as it was taken by my Blackberry phone >.<

Thanks to my book though, 케스, a fellow blogger found me at school. That moment was just awkward, but thanks to her super friendly self she approached me. If it was just me, I wouldn’t know it was her as I haven’t seen her pictures yet, except for her cartoony avatar, hahaha. She was sweet and friendly, and she’s wearing a VIP jacket *dies*. She even ‘안녕히 계세요’d me, and I didn’t even know what to say so I think I said ‘계세요’ too *바보*.

I was too immersed looking for books, and as how I was always self-curious about what the ‘이화’ books provide, I checked them. I have avoided the ‘이화’ books before. Why? Since it’s from Ewha Womans University, I had a slight 바보 thought that the books are somehow meant for ‘Womans’. Kill me now, lol. Anyway, I’m not yet sure about them if I like it or not. I first checked the 3-1 book because that’s my *supposedly* current level, but since 3-1 books onward seems to be written in full Korean, I checked the 2-1 book instead. And as I expected, there are still a lot of grammar patterns that I don’t know. Grammar points like -(으)ㄴ/는/(으)ㄹ 게 아니라, -에 비해(서) and the grammar pattern I so want to learn the soonest, -도록 (because I really love PSY’s ‘미치도록’). I really like how the book looks like. I like the Ewha KOREAN embossed text in the cover, in fact I’m actually touching it now, lol.

Actually my class haven’t started yet, but I came to school yesterday to see my Elementary 1 classmates, and of course, to get my textbook. We loitered inside the library for a while, and afterwards, had coffee at Starbucks while I helped them prepare for their first day of classes. We reread the dialogue parts, and I gave them brief overview of the easy grammar points, and things that might get difficult for them.

As for me, first day would be next Monday because my teacher had a Korean vacation and will be back before the classes start. I’m just nervous because the book that we will be using looks very complicated >.< I don’t like it. Or maybe I will, let’s just see, since I still haven’t experienced using it in a classroom setting. What’s good about my upcoming classes though is that I already know about 6 or 7 or 8 of them out of 18 students who were actually supposed to be 25, but since, like what I’ve discussed previously, tuition fees increased so a lot of slots, even for Basic and Elementary 1, weren’t filled and sold out.

I’m super excited and increasingly getting nervous. I should do super super well, because I already have six pre-absences *Singapore tour in November* that I discussed with my 선생님 during the speaking exam last term. If I don’t do good, I won’t be getting any certificate, since my only certificate hope would be if I’m one of the top 3 students (I’m already disqualified from getting a certificate of participation). Can’t wait ㅠ.ㅠ.

세상에 너를 소리쳐! and Korean Class III | ‘세상에 너를 소리쳐!’와 한국어 수업 III

Yesterday, my package from Gmarket arrived! Wooooooh! I swear I’m gonna try twoChois for my next purchase, but for now, I chose Gmarket since I’m already at Gold status.

세상에 너를 소리쳐!

The box

The box…

…which is smaller than my previous package received. I actually encountered a little problem with this order, this one should’ve arrived last Friday but it delayed a bit. Monday morning, I called PhilPost to track my EMS package, and said that it already arrived and will be delivered the same day. What I love about Gmarket is that it’s very timely, and I don’t pay so much for stuff that is supposed to be more expensive that what I’m paying for, especially since it’s from Korea.

It's from TOP again!

It’s from TOP again!

It's from Interpark, nicely wrapped than Bandi and Luni's.

It’s from Interpark, nicely wrapped in a thick plastic container with bubbles. Better than Bandi and Luni’s.

모두 다 소리쳐!!!

모두 다 소리쳐!!!

I’m currently reading this, not because I can understand, but I will try to read it up till the end, without understanding anything. I think I will be using this for three major times. I will (1) read this continuously so as to increase my reading pace. I will read quickly when I’m on transit, and loudly when I’m at home. After reading it’s wholeness which may take months, I will (2) use the book for studying, to check words and unfamiliar grammar points that I haven’t learned before, at the same time, learning about the story in gradual. And finally, I will (3) re-read this again in time after reaching a certain level in my Korean when I’m confident enough to read a whole book. Just this morning, I already read 22 pages, and I understood about 2% of the book. Good thing about rereading this in the future, is when I evaluate myself how much I understood, even if scattered and not continuous, I would know how much progress I made. For now, I’m just gonna enjoy ‘panggap-ing’ outside, while reading the book when in reality, I can’t understand anything at all. I just hope no Korean would randomly approach me and ask me about the book, cause that would be very… HAHAHAHAHA.

I’m just looking forward to that day, when I can finally see a post in my blog, titled ‘[BOOK REVIEW] 세상에 너를 소리쳐!’.

Intermediate 1 | 중급 1

I finally booked for my Korean classes!!! I’m 100 percent on this, though my pocket’s not. Maybe I just have to find a way on how I can pay for my tuition fee. Booking started early this morning, and as I was talking with my Elementary 1 classmates, two of them would be taking Intermediate 1, and three of them, Elementary 2 (two of them repeating the course). It’s just fun because our schedules are exactly the same, so just like E1 days, we get to see each other every class days which will run for three days per week.

I finally finished Elementary 1 and 2, but in reality, I think I only learned about three-fourths or less of it since I feel like I’m still lacking. I still have too many vocabularies to learn for my level that is, but I’m just lazy to study by myself. Maybe when I finally resign from my work, I’ll be sure to study words everyday, because that’s my biggest weakness when it comes to studying Korean. My classes will start on September 16, and even if I’m not yet asking my boss for permission, I don’t care, I’m gonna take this Korean while I’m still young.

Things I Want to Buy | 사고 싶은 것

I should probably make this post dynamic, or maybe just put up a page or something? This is a hard topic to blog about because it changes from time to time >.<

Anyway, I’ve put up a new page called ‘Reviews | 리뷰’, if you have the time, check it up on my blog.

In learning Korean, it probably applies to everyone, that whenever you encounter something, whether it be a book, a notebook, a pen, a CD, a gadget… anything that may help in pushing self-studying, thoughts of buying those things spring out. But then again, it’s not very easy for us to acquire such stuff, since we might not be very financially lucky, we can’t possibly order online, or we can’t visit Korea, etc…

So for the things that I wanna buy…

1. iPad mini | Wi-Fi | Black, 32GB

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Price: ₱ 20,990 | ₩ 540,000 | $429.00
Productivity Rate: 90%

I’ve been using the iPad 2 for a long time now, and I’m gonna be reviewing apps soon. From my experience, it has been priceless so far. But recently, my brother asked for the iPad back *since it’s originally his*, so I’m really really sad. I’m not being very dependent with the iPad or anything, but I felt like I lost a part of my body when it was taken back. I basically do all my stuff there, from 사전, to Dropbox whenever I have no time to answer the workbooks through handwriting, I would just type the answers on a notepad, and access it through my Dropbox. I can also do this with my Blackberry phone but it’s somehow hassling. I have Korean textbooks in there, some music videos and concerts and whatnots, so it’s basically my war machine.

I don’t really want to push myself in purchasing a different gadget. I HATE ANDROID, but it might be a choice if… yeah, there would be no choice. But things I’m considering includes another big iPad (iPad 4), iPod touch (5th), and a cheap Android phone which will cost less than ₱ 5,000 ($120.00). I considered iPod touch because through there, I can also use the apps that I’ve been using on the iPad. What I don’t like about it though, is that it’s too small. It looks just like a cellphone, and I don’t want another iPod. I already have a 160 GB iPod classic, and getting the touch is somehow redundant even if I’m not gonna be using it for music. As for the iPad 4, it’s basically the same with the iPad 2 (just newer features I don’t really care about). I don’t consider another iPad 2 anymore because by September 10, it would already be three generations old. And the iPad is just too big.

As to why iPad mini? It’s in between the size of the iPod touch and the iPad. That way, I can use the mini publicly without too much worry. Using the iPad in the train for example, attracts too much attention. Philippines, honestly speaking, is not a very safe country, so avoiding the use of such gadgets are highly encouraged. But then, I don’t wanna limit myself so if I have to use it outside, I will. Then, the iPod touch is just too small, so studying through it would not be very conducive. In short, iPad mini would be the perfect tool for my Korean learning journey. But then again, this is expensive, so I should ask my dad to buy one for me *closes eyes*. And I might just have to wait until September 10, for announcements of new product releases from Apple.

2. A new laptop

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Price: Entry-level laptops ranging from ₱ 20,000 – ₱ 30,000
Productivity: 100%

It won’t matter whether it be a VAIO, or an HP, or an Acer. I prefer Windows over Apple, since I wouldn’t be able to afford Apple anyway. In determining a laptop, I only consider the price. Basically, the laptops that you’ll find for a certain price range would always be almost similar in specs. It would be better if the RAM’s at least 3 to 4 GB. Don’t care about the hard drive so much since I have two 1TB external harddrives. I want it to be light or possibly thin, and of course, in Windows 8. The laptop I’ve been using is already almost at 5 years in my possession. It looks like garbage, seriously, so don’t ask for pictures anymore. LOL. My whole college life depended on this, and this laptop has been with me through my ups and downs in learning the language, so I owe A LOT from this laptop. I will surely cry the day it gives up, but please, not just yet.

3. 세상에 너를 소리쳐!

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Price: ₩ 10,650
Productivity: 10%

I haven’t been looking at Korean blogs before, but… Seriously though, I never knew that this book is SUPER OVERRATED within the Korean learning community. I don’t really know what this was about, but I liked it anyway since way way before. When I saw G-DRAGON’s ‘미치GO!’ music video, I wanted to have it more. And just recently when I rewatched BIGBANG’s ‘시크릿가든’ parody, I saw GD had this again. This book embodies BIGBANG. And like my first concert, I want this to be my first reading book.

Whether I admit it or not, this is not going to be very useful for me, YET. In the future, it will be. But in my current level, I might not understand 15% of the whole book. I CAN’T EVEN UNDERSTAND THAT ‘꿈으로의 질주,’ THINGY! I actually ordered this through Gmarket earlier, so I just have to wait up till Friday when it arrives. I just decided to include it here, since it’s still not arriving, LOL.

And, for now… this would be all. Now you guys, what are the things you would like to have?

Make-up class | 화장품 수업

Okay, don’t judge me with the Korean title, it’s meant to be a joke. Lol.

Remember how bad the weather was? Well today, it’s still bad. It’s raining pretty hard yesterday night, then it will stop, and rain so hard again, you could almost feel the roof falling off. Good thing about everything though is that there’s a little glimpse of sun whenever the rain stops.

Anyway, we would be having a make-up class later. Supposedly, it’s our final exam day, but it’s just weird if we don’t have at least one review class before the finals. Most especially, I missed two lessons, and there’s just no justice if we take our final exam without studying the final lesson.

And one more thing…

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Today’s the final day for TOPIK applications. I’ll be having my first TOPIK, and I’m aiming for Level 2. I just hope I can do the 쓰기 part because it seems hard. And of course, to pass the exam. Is it weird that I’d rather fail, than pass at Level 1? HAHAHAHA.

And finally, I’ll be returning this book that I bought which has been in my possession for already 2 weeks.

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Again, please don’t mind my butt face.

I borrowed this last August 5, renewed it the next Monday, and since there were no classes for the past three weekdays, I can only return this now. I can actually renew this again, but that’s just too much. Maybe I’ll just buy this when I get the time *coughs* money.

And just now… it’s raining again 😐