[TEXTBOOK] New 가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners | Elementary 2 (초급2)

Just the thought of ‘New’ had me so happy when I learned that the newer version of 가나다 books started to be distributed to students at my school since early this year. It was so sad though because my old Elementary 1 classmates who retook the term, took them last year when the older books were still used. So that’s why I haven’t had a chance to get a glimpse of the book, not until I borrowed the book from my current classmate. I’ve learned about the newer books since last year since I’m searching for the follow up book, and found out that the newer versions are super.

The older 가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners Elementary 1 is still a good book, though. But like what I’ve said… ‘the thought of ‘New” is a big thing to consider. The book was published on 1997, so even if some of the things inside are somewhat universal, there are things that are so outdated, that Koreans barely use them anymore. ‘다방’ is already not in use, but ‘커피숍’.

If you *might* still be waiting for the ‘New 가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners | Elementary 1’ book, I don’t think I’m gonna review it solo-ly anymore. This book is the follow up, and it looks exactly just like the Elementary 1 book, same format, only different content.

New 가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners | Elementary 2 (초급2)
★/ (4 and a half stars)

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New 가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners | Elementary 2 (초급2)

The yellowness of the book makes me happy, lol. As always, 가나다 Korean for Foreigners books are also offered in Chinese and Japanese, and since I don’t know how to speak neither, this is the English version. And this comes from the school so even if I do know Japanese, I don’t have a choice. In regards with TOPIK, it is good to take the beginner TOPIK after this book since this covers the second half of 초급, WHICH… the other half is obviously inside the first book *dumb*.

The MP3 CD

The MP3 CD

The book includes 1 MP3 CD *thank God* since the older book contains 4 audio CDs, and it’s just hassling *not really, since I ripped them through my laptop*. Korean native speakers converse and read the contents of the book for proper pronunciation and listening.

Explanatory notes

Explanatory notes

Like new and fancier Korean language books, 가나다 finally added a structure to their books. Well, the older one also have a structure, but not as solid and intuitive as the newer books. Actually, the structure of the newer books don’t help much. Unlike ‘재미있는 한국어’ books *which I will review some other time*, it poses a specific goal to achieve every unit. What’s not good about those books though are lesson division complexities, that I will discuss through that review.

There are eight (8) main parts per lesson, and two (2) additional parts:

1. 대화

그동안 어떻게 지내셨어요?

그동안 어떻게 지내셨어요?

As far as I can feel, all Korean language books for foreigners start with a conversation, this book is not in any way different. Good thing about this though versus the older 가나다 books, is that the English translations are not exactly below every line. It can be found through the next page. I actually don’t remember any instance where I checked the translation.

The conversation is always in 6 lines. Vocabulary is included in this part since new words that were introduced through the conversations are what’s listed in it.

2. 문법

-(으)니까. Good thing they finally used '-' instead of '~' *because I call it the 'gay hyphen' *loooool.

-(으)니까.
Good thing they finally used ‘-‘ instead of ‘~’ *because I call tilde the ‘gay hyphen’ *loooool.

The important part of the book. New grammar points that appeared from the conversations can be found here. Aside from the short English explanation, it includes three examples. I have always had problems with the explanations because it’s not extensive enough. Without the help of my 선생님, I don’t see myself understanding some of them. For a fact, I HAD MY FIRST ABSENT yesterday, and I can’t exactly learn how to use -(으)ㄴ 지 and –아/어 가다/오다.

3. 유형연습

유형연습

유형연습

Of course, it’s always vital for students to get the feel of the new grammar points by using already learned words, and mixing some newer ones. It is achieved through here. There are exercises for every grammar pattern. Some answers only require correct conjugation, basically copying the format from the example, and some requires legit answers from students… and that is where the supplementary workbook comes.

Words that are newly introduced through 유형연습 are also listed after the last question item.

4. 듣기 – this is probably the thing I most loathed. Not because the book presented it badly, but this is just too confusing and hard for me. HIGHLY NECESSARY, though. This is usually presented in ‘맞으면 O, 틀리면 X‘ format, but there are also exceptions when you have to get dates, or time, etc. But usually, a conversation is read to you through the CD and you have to mark O for correct ideas and X out the wrong ones.

According to the book, this is to give students a more ‘real-life’ grasp on the use of the grammar, but I don’t find it very successful in doing so. Well, maybe, unconsciously, but students are just pressured to take down memo of things they hear, and sometimes, just base from it, without actually realizing the grammar used.

5. 읽기 – this is the ‘funner’ part of the book. The topics are interesting to read, and easy to understand even in full Korean. There are topics like a trip to the amusement park, something about Itaewon, the four seasons, etc. After reading, there are questions to test the students if they understood it. Answers are usually ‘ready-to-copy’ though. You just have to skim through the whole text again to look for the question, and copy the sentence through there and tada! But there are also questions where you are asked to share your own, like there’s this topic about what Koreans eat during every season, and the question asks the student about what their country’s food are like during the said seasons.

6. 활동 –  this is the fun activity session, but since we almost always skip this part, I’m guessing that this part is somehow complex for current leveling. There are different games like, crossword puzzle (that we fortunately didn’t skip), etc.

이상형을 찾아봅시다

이상형을 찾아봅시다

*I only remembered adding this here because I’m currently listening to 버스커 버스커 and remembered one of their songs titled as ‘이상형’* ANDDD!! It’s also funny because when our 선생님 asked us what 이상형 meant, me and one of my classmates answered ‘weird brother’ LOOOOL. Anyway, in this activity we had to find out about our ideal type. First question goes like this ‘데이트 할 때 식사비는 반반씩 나누어서 냈으면 좋겠어요.’ ‘It would be great if I divide payment for the food half-half when I’m on a date.’, and you may choose to answer ‘네’ or ‘아니요’ which will direct you to forward to another number where another question will be asked again.

A B C D

A B C D

Eventually there would be 4 ideal types, the A ideal type is the stylish and good looking type (like 이영애 or 장동건), with B (I got this type) first impressions matter, if a person turned out to be not cool or not suitable to one’s liking, it can be changed to another one easily. C ideal type is the money and brains type, which is funny because one of my classmates was redirected to this type. Finally with D, it’s more of a confident partner and someone you have same interests with.

7. 확장단어 + 8. 한국문화엿보기

차 + 한국 나이

차 + 한국 나이

This is the extensive word section. There’s a section like family members, weather, kinds of clothes, colors, Korean teas, among others. Below, it includes interesting topics regarding Korean culture. Some topics that appeared includes 김장, Korean age, transportation cards, etc.

The ninth part is the index of words and grammar which is attached at the back of the book, and tenth part is the CD. The book also includes conjugations.

Unlike the older book, the newer ones include 30 lessons (vs. 25). This book is at 275 pages and the lessons don’t have any starters anymore, since this is already a second book. Some grammar patterns that can be found through the older Elementary 2 book can be found on the newer Elementary 1 book, among other changes.

New 가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners Workbook | Elementary 2 (초급2)

New 가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners Workbook | Elementary 2 (초급2)

New 가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners Workbook | Elementary 2 (초급2)

 

It is wise if you also get this book. This is in pure Korean so even if you have the Japanese or the Chinese textbook counterpart, it won’t matter. Through here you’ll find some grammar patterns that are not discussed fully through the 문법 part of the textbook like -중에서 -제일/가장, -(으)ㄹ 생각이다, etc. Questions inside are somewhat similar with the 유형연습 part of the textbook, but so much more. You are more required to think and construct sentences through this workbook, and not just format and conjugate.

Through this workbook, our class had more framework in dividing the lessons, after 5 lessons, there’s 1 review part, so lessons are equally divided three lessons per week (1 lesson per class meeting), and two lessons and a review day for the subsequent week. *I hope I explained it clearly*.

Will I recommend this book for first time learners?

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

Well definitely not. This is for continuing learners who got hold of the first book. Good thing though, they finally included a better index of lessons, since older books only include titles of the conversations which didn’t make any sense. Way way back when I was still using the older book, I already knew of this newer version because I searched 가나다 books through the internet. I never knew I’ll continue my Elementary 2, so just in case, I was planning to buy this. I believe it’s best to learn from a book series rather than learning from 가나다 first, then moving to 이화 the second, and 서강 the third… etc. If you’re planning to study that way, it would be very confusing, and grammar patterns may be lost. A certain grammar pattern may appear on the first book of 가나다, but since you used 서강 as first book and 가나다 as second… you feel me?  It’s highly better if you study two different textbooks at the same time, same level, but that’s just impractical.

Pros:

  • The book is more colorful and enjoyable to study.
  • It has 1 MP3 CD, better than 4, which is hassling.
  • Verb conjugations and word/grammar indexes at the back.

Cons:

  • The book is lacking important and beginner grammar patterns like -(으)ㄴ가요/나요, -는지, -(으)ㄹ게요, -(으)ㄹ래요, etc.
  • There are no specific goals to attain per lesson.
  • Some grammar patterns that appear on the workbook and exercises were not discussed through the grammar section.

Conclusion

I’ve used 가나다 since my Elementary 1 and so far, I am proficient in the level that I am currently in. The lessons in the book are not so good for self-studying, but with a teacher it is a good material.

Grammar Points (자모):

  • -같다
  • -거든요
  • -게
  • -겠네요
  • -고 있다
  • -군요
  • -네요
  • -는
  • -는 데
  • -는 동안
  • -는 중
  • ‘ㄹ’ 불규칙 동사 + 형용사
  • – 만에
  • ‘ㅂ’ 불규칙 형용사
  • -밖에
  • -보다
  • -아/어 가다/오다
  • -아/어도
  • -아/어도 되다
  • -아/어 보다
  • -아/어서 ① ②
  • -아/어야 하다/되다
  • -아/어 주다
  • -아/어지다
  • -아/어하다
  • -았/었으면 좋겠다
  • 어떤
  • -요
  • -(으)ㄴ ① ②
  • -(으)ㄴ 것 같다
  • -(으)ㄴ데
  • -(으)ㄴ데요
  • -(으)ㄴ 일이/적이 있다/없다
  • -(으)ㄴ 지
  • -(으)니까 ① ②
  • -(으)ㄹ
  • -(으)ㄹ 것 같다
  • -(으)ㄹ 것이다 ① ②
  • -(으)ㄹ까요?
  • -(으)ㄹ 때
  • -(으)ㄹ 테니까
  • -(으)ㄹ 줄 알다/모르다
  • -(으)려고
  • -(으)로 ① ② ③
  • -(으)면서
  • -(으)면 안 되다
  • -(이)나 ① ② ③
  • -(이)든지
  • -(이)라서
  • -지요?
  • -째
  • ‘ㅎ’ 불규칙 형용사

Technical facts about the book:

가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners | Elementary 2 (초급2)
Copyright © 2011 by GANADA Korean Language Institute

Language Plus
Price: 25,000 원
ISBN: 978-89-5518-911-7

Price (Workbook): 11,000 원
ISBN: 978-89-5518-918-6

GANADA is the first three basic consonants, ‘ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ’ joined with the vowel ‘ㅏ’ which represents 한글.

As always, I hope this review helps.

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[TEXTBOOK] 외국인을 위한 한국어 발음 47 | 47 Korean Pronunciation for Foreigners Book 1

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

외국인을 위한 한국어 발음 47 | 1 It comes with a slip-on box.

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.

a

The book comes with a beautiful hard slip-on box.

 

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CD

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.

How to Use This Book

How to Use This Book

I never thought how important the ‘How to Use This Book’ parts were. Learning Korean helped me realize its function.

연습

연습

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.

으이으이의

으이으이의

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.

Book illustrations

Book illustrations

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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • There are no English instructions, so it’s not really recommended for people who can’t understand in pure 한국말.

Conclusion

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
ISBN 978-89-5518-723-6

I hope this review helps.

Self-studying Korean | 독학으로 한국말을 배우다

Way back, I haven’t been reading a lot of blogs from people who self-study Korean, but now that I’m blogging about my learning experiences, I’m extremely curious about how hard self-studying is.

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My books

I started learning Korean through self-studying which is a good start for an intensive course. That way, I for sure, would just be learning about the most basic of the basics. So when I start with the real lessons, I won’t have to experience culture shock.

Especially, 한글 is extremely easy (sans the complex pronunciation rules, e.g. 연락, 막내, etc.), so studying it alone wouldn’t be very hard. What more, mastering how to read and write 한글 in advance is vital if you’re planning to study formally. That way, you’ll only be focusing on correct pronunciation rather than memorization. Other lessons like -(스)ㅂ니다, or -아/어요 are also exceptions but here comes the tricky part. Which speech level to learn first.

Through TTMIK, I started learning through -아/어요 form, so when I attended formal lessons, it shifted to -(스)ㅂ니다 form it was completely different. From ‘가요’ to ‘갑니다’, ‘읽어요’ to ‘읽습니다’, it was not really confusing, but I thought I would commence learning from what I already know.

Why worry about the difficulties of self-studying if you have a good textbook? It’s still hard. I’ve seen good and systematic textbooks, starting from conversations, dissection of words and grammar points, further explanation of the grammar points and student’s application. But I feel it’s not enough. There are some vocabulary entries that requires explanations. I’ve seen ‘그렇습니까’ defined as ‘That’s right’, which is really confusing if I don’t know the word ‘그렇다’ yet. And it’s more confusing since it was not used as ‘That’s right’ when you read the dialogue. Also, local bookstores (as for here) don’t carry a lot of good Korean books. More on faulty romanized dictionaries and phrase books, but as for legit textbooks… ㅡ.ㅡ

Some other words have different meanings, like for ‘쓰다’, I thought it was just ‘to write but I’ve learned four (3 verbs, 1 adjective) which I might not use if I haven’t heard it from my 선생님. Then there’s ‘사용하다’ which means the same, but when do you use them. How about -아/어서, -기 때문에, and -으니까? How about the various usages of -(으)로 and -(이)나? Of course you can always consult good books like ‘Korean Grammar in Use’ but you can’t expect to get answered instantly. Also, there are various Korean language study communities and resources online, but it’s not very instant.

Of course it’s also hard not to self-study most especially if you’re in desperate need of learning the language but no classes are being offered nearby, or it won’t fit your schedule, or it’s expensive and commute is inconvenient. But still, having a teacher is completely important. There are people who could juggle words and grammar patterns, make good sentences, but if you ask them to read what they have written, they sound like 군인, 사투리, or 평양 사람. They can introduce themselves but if you ask them in Korean what they did last weekend, they’ll be “네?? 음…. 그냥…..”.

Self-studying Pros/Cons

I try to look at both sides for every pro and con, some things can be a pro and a con at the same time.

Privacy, no fear of criticisms

Is this really a pro? Maybe in a different setting, it might be a pro, but when it comes to language, you don’t need privacy, you need criticisms. Why? Learning a language is liquid. You don’t use it just within yourself, you would never improve if you don’t want to talk with peers or a teacher about the language you’re learning. Having the confidence to read and write alone is good, but if you would not apply and use that confidence for conversations, there’s no sense in learning the language at all.

Why we need criticisms? Reading like a soldier, or in a different dialect-ish tone is just as embarrassing as being afraid to talk (though you’re proficient by yourself). People know you study hard about the language but when there’s a chance to be introduced to a native speaker, you go mute, and shy.

Time and pacing

Another good thing about self-studying is time flexibility. The ‘가나다’ book that we’re using right now is perfectly divided for the whole term of 72 hours, 1 lesson per day, and a review segment for the sixth day. Sometimes, only 1 easy grammar pattern is being taught for a lesson, and even if we can freely move on to the next, we just don’t. When you self-study, you can choose how much lessons, words or grammar patterns to study for a certain period. You can choose to ponder for a whole grammar pattern the whole day, but at school, you just have to move on. But then again, you can always ask your teacher about confusing matters.  Without this, studying alone adds more confusion and frustration.

But what’s the downside to a flexible time? Before, I would go for 3 to 5 TTMIK lessons per day and understand it perfectly, but the day after… *brain farts*. The more you learn, the quicker you forget. At school, there’s a syllabus to follow so practice and repetitions are guaranteed to increase mind’s retention.

Extensive source

This is not particularly limited to self-studying, but focusing on self-study, you are not being boxed on a single book. You can choose which method is better. You can choose to learn online if you don’t have a book. You can choose which particular book to use, etc.

But then again, if you’re having formal lessons and you have a required book, you can still look things up on different sources. I for one got very confused about -(으)ㄴ데/는데, so I looked it up through TTMIK and my confusion dissolved. You can always buy a book, ask native speakers through online communities, have exchanges with fellow learners, etc.

Syllabus

When I was still planning to learn the language, I’ve been looking for a good syllabus online. I had no access to elementary textbooks, so I wouldn’t know how to learn systematically and time-wise. Self-studying lacks this. If you’re planning to take the Beginner TOPIK you wouldn’t know up to what grammar point, and which grammar point to study first.

Which, on the other hand, if a syllabus is followed strictly, your teacher may not extend lessons outside the planned lessons. Like now, we encounter a lot of pure Korean and 한자-derived words, so I would at least want to learn how the word looks like in Chinese, so I have to look it up myself, which is deadly confusing. Self-studying is more wider and limitless, but it lacks system and order.

Motivation and confidence

Self-studying may take years until a student feels proficient and fluent enough, but conversationally, I’m not sure about their confidence and adeptness. They may be perfectly well and self-taught. May know most words up to Intermediate level. Can mix up a lot of grammar points, but when conversationally asked about things, I’m not sure.

Self-studying can be less motivating since you only study by yourself. Eventually you’ll lose practice and come to a conclusion that you don’t want to continue anymore. You don’t receive compliments if you did well. You’re not sure if you’re still learning the right thing, so when you have been studying wrongly and finally had the opportunity to converse with a Korean and you get corrected for something you thought right for a very long time, it’s embarrassing and demotivating.

With proper lessons, you get classmates and friends you can talk with, simple things about the time, weather, what happened last weekend, etc. And besides the teacher would be guiding your every step so mistakes are at minimum. It’s also demotivating depending on the teacher. There might be instructors who would make you feel down if you don’t get the lessons. But then again, it’s more important if you get criticisms and corrections… but that is…

Native teacher

It’s good to study formally if you will be handled by a native speaker. There are two sides to it. During my Elementary 1, my teacher had this hard Korean accent which was very hard to understand at first but as time went, it became bearable and music to the ears. And besides, it’s a good practice since most Koreans may also have hard English accent, so conversing with them in English might not be so hard anymore, given the chance.

It’s also okay if non-native speaker would teach, but then again, there are no deeper backgrounds from the words. A native speaker used the word all her life so explaining it from an experience rather than from a book is more fluid, accurate and more relate-able.

Romanization and translations

I never studied Korean through romanization. It is super super foul, and may I say ew?? Of course, at one point in my life, I searched for romanized lyrics, but I just didn’t want to study that way. The moment I learned how to read and write, I have always searched lyrics in 한글. I might have had difficulties reading them at first, but the results were all worth it. Now I can read and rap-along to Korean hip-hop music. For self-studying learners, this is one of the biggest mistakes. Instead of studying about how to read and write, they tend to study phrases and things they hear from dramas, then tweet or status it on Facebook, IN ROMANIZATIONS. It’s really foul, sorry.

There are mixed views about translations though. There are people who find it important. As for me, I try to skip translation as much as possible. Of course it’s necessary, but now that I can simplify definitions in Korean, I try hard not to use translations anymore. Sometimes, it’s also helpful to translate complex Korean words/grammar to own’s native language. ‘이/그/저’ for example is translated to ‘this/that/that’ in English. There are two ‘that’s and at first, it’s complicated to remember which is which, but since in Filipino it can be translated to ‘ito/ayan/ayun’, it’s easily recognizable.

Conclusion

Self-studying is probably the most convenient way to study Korean, but it’s also important to have lessons if you have the luxury of time. It might not be very necessary for some to take lessons if they can be proficient by themselves since proper studying habits and motivation are the only key in learning a language. It’s probably hard since Korean is almost always considered to be one of the hardest languages to study for English-speaking natives, but having goals on what to attain after studying is also important.

Immersion is as important as learning it by book. Having five years of self-study without personal interactions with native or Korean-speaking people is, for me, a waste of time.

It would probably be best to do both, formal lessons and self-study. As always, there are a lot of free resources online. Good thing about proper lesson gives you a system of learning, gives you a reason to stay focused, and on time. Good thing about self-study on the other hand is more on the improvement side. Things taught from school can be widened through owned books, online articles, online lessons, and people alike learning the same language.

What are your thoughts about self-studying?

Korean Grammar in Use: Beginning and Intermediate

I actually have an upcoming post about a drama, but since this is more recent, and since I posted about this some days ago, here it is! I FINALLY GOT MY BOOKS THAT I BOUGHT FROM GMARKET!!!

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Korean Grammar in Use: Beginning + Intermediate

This package was sent to me by TOP!

This package was sent to me by TOP!

I called PhilPost this morning since I’m very scared and worried about what might happen to my package, having have read other posts from other bloggers about their bad experiences with customs and all that. I called at 9 am, and this very courteous woman processed my tracking number and asked me to call back again some hours later since the package is still being processed, and if it would be delivered door-to-door or for pick-up. Well I wasn’t wishing for the second option, since that’s the thing I’m most scared of.

But then again, when I called back to ask about the status, the woman said that my package is being delivered that moment, so I was very ecstatic. I was at the office so I haven’t had the chance to spazz about it personally.

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It arrived at about 1pm, and my dad paid 50 pesos for the delivery, so sweeeeet!

Here is the box within the box.

Here is the box within the box.

Sorry if I can’t contain myself since this is the first time I received a package directly from Korea. I ordered K-Pop CDs before but that was through Facebook K-Pop shops, so the seller would pack the items themselves. It was from Bandi & Luni’s Bookstore, one of the biggest bookstores in Korea besides Kyobo Book Centre.

HERE THEY ARE!!!

HERE THEY ARE!!!

I bought three books, the green one (Intermediate) for myself, and two yellow (Beginning) for me, and for Alyne 누나.

I would review the books once I start using it. I checked the Beginning to Early Intermediate book but I don’t exactly know what’s the difference, but I was looking for the grammar point -(으)ㄴ 가요/나요 that I’ve read from the other book. It was not here, but… yeah. I don’t know what happened. But for sure, that grammar point never died or got banned or anything >.<

[TEXTBOOK] 가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners | Elementary 1 (초급1)

This is going to be my first review, so please bear with me. I may still overlook some parts and features of the book so… let’s start with my chit-chats, and if you want to skip. Go skip till you see the picture of the books.

As this was my first Korean language book, I decided to have it reviewed first. There is a newer version but I might post it with a side-by-side comparison with this book if I have time to compare them. When I started classes at Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines, there was NO TUITION FEE (more info will be available on another blog post). We only have to pay for the price of the book in which during my time (May 2012), I only paid for PHP 800.00 / ₩ 21,000.00. It was extremely cheap for an intensive class.

I didn’t have any right to review or judge the book before because it was the most precious thing I had way back. It was my gem, since it was the first book I used in learning the language.

가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners | Elementary 1 (초급1)
☆ (3 stars)

가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners | Elementary 1

가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners | Elementary 1

This is the English version of the book, as there’s also a Chinese and Japanese version. First book from the series of six books, two levels per category (Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced). The books are somehow in accordance with TOPIK leveling. It’s good to take the Beginner TOPIK after finishing the Elementary 2 book, Intermediate TOPIK after the Intermediate 2, and so on. The Advanced books are in pure Korean.

There are 25 lessons in 223 pages, and the lessons start from formal -(스)ㅂ니다 form, with the polite -아/어요 form only appearing on Lesson 23. It was weird since I started learning in polite when I was studying through TTMIK, and learning formal the first thing was a bit of a shock for me. I don’t have a strong viewpoint yet if it’s better to start with the formal form. But in a sense, this allows beginners to get a grasp about the importance of respect through the language, first good thing to learn about. You may not choose to use it colloquially, in everyday life, but it is good that you learn to speak and use it first so if there are certain circumstances that you need to use the form in real life, you know how it’s used, and it wouldn’t be awkward. Imagine learning 반말 impolite/informal form first, and then go ‘annyeong, annyeong’ or use slang everywhere else, it’s very pitiful, and seems like you never even cared to study a bit of politeness at least.

At least for Filipinos, it’s not very hard to comprehend the importance of politeness, since Filipinos also have ‘po’ and ‘opo’, similar with Korea’s ‘요’. But for other students who never encountered polite levels in language, it might be a bit hard to understand the real use and its complexity.

가나다 cdThe book includes 4 audio CDs for the dialogues, the exercises, reading, and listening. They used male and female native speakers to enable learners to achieve correct pronunciation and pacing.

Simple dialogue from Lesson 2

Simple dialogue from Lesson 2

Every lesson starts with a dialogue to give the learners a grasp on how the words and grammar points are used. There are English translations just below every line so I find it very impractical, since learners might have difficulties in shifting from English to just Korean, since they would occasionally check the meaning in real time. In the newer books, translations can be found on the next page.

Vocabulary (above the grammar) and grammar section

Vocabulary (above the grammar) and grammar section

Basically, new found words and grammar points from the dialogue can be found first page after the dialogue page. There’s a vocabulary part just above grammar, but I failed in framing the shot >.< Anyway, it just looks like the ‘additional words’ part that can be found below. Grammar is explained at minimum, and the book presents three examples per grammar point. Content and explanation-wise, this book lacks a bit, so it’s hard for self-studying learners.

Additional words

Additional words

This is similar with the vocabulary section I was talking about. But instead of words from the dialogue, this section has the words that will be appearing in the following exercises. There are more or less 500 words all throughout the book, enough to be used for sample sentences and for Basic Korean knowledge.

Exercises

Exercises

Exercises are basically fill in the blanks, you are given a word and you just pattern it from the sample sentences from every exercise. It is very weak in practicing you in terms of usage, but just the form. If you need more practice to perfectly make use of the grammar and vocabularies, get the complementary Workbook.

pron

Extras

Every after 5 lessons, there are review pages where you can practice reading and comprehension, some other times there are puzzles and other gimmicks, and of course a listening exercise. And every after lesson pages, you are presented a page of extra knowledge and random necessities, such as Korean culture, Korean traditional songs, synonyms and antonyms, a map, etc. As for this page, it’s about pronunciation. I saw the advanced books and up to that level they still present a bit of pronunciation rules.

Will I recommend this book for first time learners?

Not anymore. It’s better if you get the newer version since it’s… yeah you got it, NEW. And besides, this book is more of a classroom book rather than a self-study material. There are a lot of textbooks that can be used for both purposes because it is more in contents, visuals and explanations. But looking at the bright side, this book has been published in 2007, 6 years may have a lot of difference but this book still contain a lot of universal information.

Pros:

  • The book contains important words and grammar points for beginners.
  • It has 4 Korean CDs with Korean native speakers for accurate speed and pronunciation.
  • Grammar points are taught in order of importance.
  • Verb conjugations at the back.

Cons:

  • The book is not updated, get the newer version instead.
  • Titles of dialogue are what’s in the table of contents so it’s hard to keep track of grammar points and where can you find them.
  • It starts in the formal form, which is not used even for first time Korea travelers.
  • Visuals are monochromatic and boring.

Grammar Points (자모):

  • -거나
  • -겠
  • -고
  • -고 있다
  • -기
  • -기 때문에
  • -께서
  • 누구
  • -는/은
  • ‘ㄷ’ 불규칙 동사
  • -도
  • ‘ㄹ’ 불규칙 도사
  • -마다
  • 몇 –
  • 무엇
  • -부터 -까지
  • 숫자 1 + 2
  • -(스)ㅂ니다. -(스)ㅂ니까?
  • 시간
  • 아니다
  • -아/어요
  • 안 –
  • -았/었-
  • 어느
  • 어디
  • 어떻게
  • 언제
  • -에
  • -에게/한테
  • -에게서/한테서
  • -에서
  • -와/과
  • -와/과 같이(함께)
  • 우리
  • -(으)ㄹ까요?
  • -(으)러
  • -(으)려고
  • -(으)로
  • -(으)ㅂ시다
  • ‘ㅡ’ 불규칙 동사
  • -(으)시
  • -(으)십시오
  • -을/를
  • -이/가
  • 이것/저것/그것
  • 이 – / 저 – / 그 –
  • -(이)나
  • -이다
  • -전에 / -기 전에
  • – 지만
  • -지 맙시다
  • -지 않다
  • -후에 / -(으)ㄴ 후에

Technical facts about the book:

가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners | Elementary 1 (초급1)
Copyright 1997

Price: 20,000 Won
ISBN: 978-89-5518-163-0

GANADA is the first three basic consonants, ‘ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ’ joined with the vowel ‘ㅏ’ which represents 한글.

I hope this review helps.