[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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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 😐

[BOOK] 외국인을 위한 한국어 문법2 | Korean Grammar for Foreigners 2

DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that this review is not very reliable since the book is advanced and I’m still at this level where I may not understand about more than 75% of the book. And as always… skip the blurbs if you want to proceed to the review.

I don’t know why, but whenever I read ‘____이라고 합니다’ through about me’s and 자기소개s, I go dumbfounded.

There are two points to that first sentence. I didn’t put ” ” before and after the sentence because I don’t want it to appear like a “quotation” or something *boooooring*….. sooo (1) I never tried looking for its meaning (or… yeah once)… though I know that _____ is your name, but why not use ‘_____입니다’ instead? I mean (2) it’s complicating. I never heard that kind of introduction from anywhere else yet, or may not have noticed it, but… *fails at explaining*.

But then, after some years or months, when I read back my posts, maybe I’m gonna regret why I posted that first sentence because by that time, I may understand why they use it rather than the other one.

Grammar is as confusing as why kids have to sleep in the afternoon. *바보 metaphor, 죄송합니다* So I try to study them religiously, trying to compare the grammar patterns side by side, why use this rather than this, etc.

외국인을 위한 한국어 문법2 | Korean Grammar for Foreigners 2

외국인을 위한 한국어 문법2

외국인을 위한 한국어 문법2

See how good it looks? *dies* Well maybe not… but it’s in hardcover which is one of my book weaknesses.

Why 5 stars?

I don’t know… uhm maybe, I don’t know.

Or… I don’t know? 음… 몰라.. 아! 진짜 잘 모르겠는데!!!

Why 5 stars?

Why 5 stars? THERE.

Well… except for the fact that maybe every Korean grammar point/pattern/sentence ending, from the day they were born up to BIGBANG and 2NE1 era *sorry for that pointless* ARE ALL HERE, the book is just 100% complete for me to take. This book might lack a lot, but there are just too many stuff inside for me to even know what that missing stuff is.

AND THIS BOOK IS JUST TOO ADVANCED FOR ME TO EVEN CARE ABOUT OTHER GRAMMAR PATTERNS THAT I HAVEN’T LEARNED YET.

I tried to count all the grammar patterns and there are about 1000+ of them. From the simple:

-습니다

-습니다

to…

-으냐는데요

-으냐는데요

which is half-Korean, half-gibberish to me.

As for the book, it’s obvious that it’s the second book… well exception is 외국인을 위한 한국어 발음 47 which is also obviously NOT the 47th book from the series. *바보*. Anyway, for additional info about the book, click the link.

The first book is the ‘체계 편’. I’m not gonna focus on that book since… Well okay, I opened the book once because it looked very interesting, and very ‘for me’, but when I opened it, I didn’t understand a thing, and definitely ‘not for me’. I was looking for grammar pattern-esque book but it contained none. This is just a guess, but maybe the book explains a lot about the Korean grammar system. Theoretical, more more texts, etc, but not about usage. Which…

is left for the second book, *which I am very stupid why I didn’t open it in the first place*. I have been seeing this book for weeks in the library but I never bothered opening it. These past weeks, I looked for the first book again just so I can try very hard to understand at least what’s inside through the table of contents, but it’s missing from the shelves for so long, then I learned a teacher borrowed it. So I finally checked the second book WHICH IS JUST PURE HEAVEN.

This book series is like the grandparents of Korean Grammar in Use series but sooo much more. *without the English though*

일러두기

일러두기

 

 

The explanatory notes contain 9 parts.

1. 표제어 – which is the entry 것. The table of contents contains all the 표제어 arranged in 자모 order. -습니다 and -ㅂ니다 for instance are both listed, but the page containing -ㅂ니다 will just redirect you to -습니다 page.

2. 주요 용법 – which contains the primary use or function of the grammar. For example, the first of the first grammar pattern ‘‘ is ‘문장의 주어임을 나타내는 조사‘ ‘The particle that indicates the subject of the sentence.

3. 분류 – which indicates if it’s a 조사 (particle), 어미 (ending), or 표현 (expression), etc.

4. 관련어 – which lists related patterns with the entry grammar pattern itself. For ‘‘, it listed ‘-께서, , , , , ‘.

5. 형태 정보 – which contains morphological information about the entry. It explains the possible forms of the grammar, as for ‘-는데‘, it explains that -는데 is for verb stem or ‘있다/없다, -았-, -겠-‘, -은데 for ‘‘ adjectives… etc. etc. You got it right?

6. 가표제어 – okay I don’t know this one, but listed under ‘-는데‘ is ‘-ㄴ데‘, if that makes sense.

7. 용법 – this is the main part of every entry. For ‘‘ there are 9 usages. The first usage, it says [‘누가 무엇을 하다, 누가 어찌하다, 무엇이 어떠하다, 무엇이 무엇이다’ 구성에서’] which is *not very* easy to understand but word by word, it will eventually and surprisingly make sense. Oh and it says ‘어떠한 상황이나 상태의 주체나 대상임을 나타낸다.

After those explanations, you are presented with several sentences containing the grammar pattern. (1) 아이 밥을 먹는다. (3) 사과 너무 비싸요.

8. 결함 정보 – which presents examples where the grammar pattern is used incorrectly. For ‘‘ it says that it can’t be connected with another ‘조사’ like ‘도’. It looks like this:

(1) 철수 왔어요? (O)
(2) 철수도 왔어요? (X)

And finally…

9. 보충·심화 – which contains additional, deeper, and important information. For ‘‘, it explained that this is not to be used for higher levels, since there’s ‘께서‘ for use with 부장님, 아버지, 선생님…

More of the grammar lists

More of the grammar lists

 

See how thick this book is? The book starts with a Foreword (all books have, duh?), the Explanatory Notes *which I discussed earlier*, the exhaustive index of the grammar patterns and hoorah! The no frills, no ornaments, no ‘arte’, no gimmicks, no special effects, no dubbing, grammar patterns.

There are about a thousand grammar patterns in 906 pages, not sure up to which level. Not being very ‘know-it-all’ but this might just be up till 4급, or 5. Dunno. Less guess, less mistakes. Or this might be up till advanced.

The book is easy to navigate. There’s a sewn bookmark *similar with bible bookmarks* so you won’t forget the page of that grammar pattern that made you cry. The index is listed not by usage, or importance or level, but by 자모 order so if you know how to search printed Korean dictionaries, this is not different from it. Well actually, thinking about it, this is like a grammar dictionary.

Will I recommend this for first time learners?

No. Definitely not. I don’t recommend this for myself either *which is like a joke, lol*. But seriously, this is too advanced. This book will look like a joke if you’re still there at ‘안녕하세요’ or ‘감사합니다’ levels.

Why this one makes me think about other pure-Korean-written books, why they’re called ‘외국인을 위한’ ‘for Foreigners‘ when in fact, the book won’t make the language less ‘foreign’. Just last time, I checked my niece’s grade 3 English book, just to check which grammar patterns are being taught first (will be discussed on my other entry), so I half-asked myself, why is the book written entirely in English, when we speak Filipino?

Giving answer to myself just now, while writing this, There’s your first language, a second language, and a foreign language. Second language is the next language you speak most comfortably, next to your first (which is English, WHICH answers my question). But then, Korean is mostly a foreign language for a lot of nationalities, but why is the book in pure Korean? If it’s for ‘foreigners’ why is it so ‘foreign’? Please give me your two cents in this through the comments section. *To clear things, I’m not complaining why the book lacks English, I actually like it this way, but… yeah, my points.”

Pros

  • If ‘Korean language’ is a religion, this is the bible.

Cons

  • No English, so definitely ‘not’ for first time learners.
  • Pricey (but good for its quality).

Conclusion

I would definitely recommend this as a stock book if you’re planning to study up till you grow old or smell pungent. If you’re contented with basic Korean, this is definitely not for you since 1 year of learning Korean may still be inadequate to fully grasp the power of this book. The first book is also *or I don’t know* important since it’s the ‘first’ book, but I don’t know. I have to check it again.

Looking simply at the examples from the usage and mis-usage section of every grammar pattern is already a big help if you’re confused when and when not to use the grammar. The sample sentences are usually simple *for simple grammar pattern, that is*, but if it’s really hard, there’s a dictionary to check. And sometimes, not knowing the full meaning per word, just seeing ‘-에’ would give you a sense of it, if it’s a place or time, etc. There are magical things about Korean language that even if you don’t understand, you understand *winks*.

Technical facts about the book:

외국인을 위한 한국어 문법 2 | 용법 편
한국어교육 자료 총서2
국립국어원_지음

초판 1쇄 2005년 11월 3일
초판 10쇄 2010년 9월 9일

커뮤니케이션북스
Price: 45,000 원
ISBN 89-8499-489-8

As always, I hope this review helps.