[BOOK] Hangeul Master | 한글마스터

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Secrets of reading Korean Handwriting”

“300 writing samples from native Koreans”

To start of…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The book is comprised of four (4) chapters:

1. The History of 한글

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

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

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

2. Introduction to 한글

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

3. Learn 한글

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

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

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

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

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

4. 한글 Handwriting

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

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

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

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

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

Will I recommend this book for first time learners?

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Conclusion

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

Technical facts about the book:

한글마스터 | Hangeul Master
Copyright © 2014 TalkToMeInKorean

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

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

Intermediate Korean TV 3 | 중급 한국어 TV 3

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

Unfortunately though…

I did not pass.

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

Video Presentation for Graduation

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

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

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

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

 

 

Just A Brief Comeback v3.0

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unemployment and Intermediate 1

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

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

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

Improvements in the Language

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

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

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

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

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

Changes

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

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

I Took the 29th TOPIK (Beginner) | 제29회 한국어능력시험을 봤다 (초급)

Woooooh! I got 89.5 점~

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Thank goodness, it’s better than my last attempt to mock-exam myself. I also did the writing part but since no one would check it, I just assumed it to be at 20 points at least… but I think it lacks more words, lol. How is it counted again? By words, or by characters and spaces?

I only had 2 errors for the 문법, 쓰기 part so I think it’s good. I was just regretful about the 6-point question that I got wrong. The correct answer should be ‘앉는 것을’ but I answered ‘앉기가’. >.< I haven’t checked the questionnaire yet again, so I have to check more of it. And another thing, I still have a lot of words I didn’t knew >.<. Thankfully though, those words were just easy and you can easily understand it through context. 그리고 there are some grammar patterns that appeared that I haven’t studied at school yet (but know basically through context and self-check/study and TTMIK), like -(으)ㄹ래요, -(으)ㄴ가요 / 나요, and some others I can’t remember.

What I love about my score is that, for another time again, I didn’t review before taking it. I feel like even if I get mistakes during the real exam, I think I’ll be able to pass Level 2 easily, but I just don’t like to claim it yet since that’s very boastful of me, lol. Or should I? Just so I can attract positive vibes, and do real good on the exam date 😀

My score breakdown, for the ‘어휘 및 문법’, I got 96 points. For the ‘쓰기’, I got 84 (+20 *essay) points. As for ‘듣기’, I got 91 points, and finally for the ‘읽기’, I got 87.

96 + 84 + 91 + 87 = 358 points out of 400. = 89.5%

Assuming I didn’t pass the essay part, 358 – 20 = 338 points out of 400. = 84.5%

…which is still considered passed for Level 2 ^^.

I don’t wanna answer too much old TOPIK exam papers because I don’t want to spoil the moment. But since the exam date is approaching, I should probably take more mock exams (since after taking Beginner TOPIK, I’m not gonna take that exam again), and focus mainly on the essay part, and have it checked by someone Korean. I’m not very confident with that, but as far as common sense goes, I just have to be consistent with my endings. I shall never use 반말, and most importantly, to use the -(스)ㅂ니다 form just so it can take much more space, lol.

But what exactly is my take on TOPIK? I shall discuss it in the future.

Finally Enrolled! | 드디어 입학했어요!

Stage 1: 재능과 능력은 다르다

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Aside from the fact that I successfully enrolled my Intermediate Korean 1 (still without asking my boss about it), I’m also happy that in three days, I finally finished ‘Stage 0’ and ‘Stage 1’ of ‘세상에 너를 소리쳐!’ It was GD’s story *I guess?*, and as how I saw it…… 음~  well I only saw Korean characters and aside from just understanding about 10% of it, I haven’t seen anything at all. But honestly, I can say that my reading pace has been quick than before. I think I need to read more since I still have difficulty rapping along with a 가사, but after this book, I’m gonna try and evaluate myself how faster I’ve become.

I actually never had time to read at home since when I get here, I can only do three things, eat, blog, and sleep. Only time I can read is through commute. In the morning while I’m waiting for my train, and just up till the first station, which would roughly be at about 20 minutes? I can’t read longer than that since I remembered from my elementary Science that reading in a moving vehicle can cause damage to the eyes, my vision’s already blurred, and it’s just dizzy-fying and I don’t wanna throw up in my book, lol. I also go home by train so it’s not very possible to read while I’m inside a can of sardines. So I myself was surprised with how fast I read the first chapter. Or maybe some learners can read it in one day, I’m not sure >.<. I hope I get more faster in everything in the nearer future. I’m somehow fast at typing already, now I’m starting to hone my reading speed, next would be listening and speaking, and let’s see what should be improved next.

Enrollment

I had half-day off from work since I have to pay for the enrollment fee, which is still very painful for my pocket >.< Well it’s still super super cheap *super only because super super is 1,000원, lol*, and even if it’s a bit more expensive it’s still gonna be super super worth it. I arrived Korean Cultural Center at about 3, even accidentally rode the bus together with my Elementary 2 classmates on my way there. The other one’s enrolling E2 again since she didn’t pass, and the other one would be taking Intermediate 1 with me. In our class, I bet all of us who passed will be taking this term’s I1. Well it’s good because I don’t have to adjust myself so much. I wouldn’t want to take next year’s I1 because I don’t want too much delay. There were 6 of us who passed, and I’ll be having two of my E1 classmates as classmates again!!! That’s just sooo hooray!! Another’s already an acquaintance so I already have 8 friends from the start, and I heard only 13 students enrolled. It means I’m already friends with more than half of the class which is just sooo much more hooray!!

Enough with the hoorays though…

I don't even know what happened to that face... no amount of BB cream would whiten that >.<

My Elementary 1, 2 and Intermediate 1 IDs.

I don’t even know what happened to that face. No amount of BB cream would whiten that >.< Thanks to that flash I looked highly African. *please don’t think I’m racist, because I’m not. In fact, I really love Africa, and would want to travel there someday*. It’s just that this picture made me ‘Fifty Shades Darker’.

Or maybe I was just darker this day? With my E1 classmates!

Or maybe I was just darker than usual this day? With my E1 classmates!

This day was actually sad *for a bit there*, because our E2 선생님 asked 찰린 누나 if we were planning to go somewhere after the enrollment. Since she was asked and she didn’t even know how to manage the conversation since it’s hard to explain everything to a Korean, it was hard to decline our 선생님’s offer. She actually asked the whole E2 class to have a meal with her *maybe her treat*, but everyone’s a bit carried away since it was not planned, and we had plans (E1) ourselves, and it would be very awkward to go even if 선생님 allowed our former classmates (not her students) to join. My heart’s breaking a bit because she told 찰린 누나, that we didn’t bid her goodbye during the graduation. I don’t know, but after our stage picture, I believe we said goodbye. But….. Anyway, it’s complicated. We asked our 선생님 to have another pre-planned dinner instead, during class days.

We successfully escaped! Had our coffee at Kuppa, with pizzas and pastas go sponsored by 엘리자 누나!!! Some sentiments, nostalgic moments and picture takings, bonding’s never been better with my E1 classmates.

After pre-planning on where to go next, we rode this very cute and utopically sweet, electronically powered ‘E3’ at Bonifacio Global City.

I wish there would be more of this around the metro, but sadly… there are none.

Believe me!!! The picture might look very low quality and stupid, but this is agreeably one of the best things that ever happened to each and everyone's lives yesterday!

Believe me!!! The picture might look very low quality and stupid, but this is agreeably one of the best things that ever happened to each and everyone’s lives yesterday! ( 김재신 in his dark and invisible self at the back)

Then finally, we had another stop at Serenitea, when my other classmate had to go back to work just to open a meeting, and came back after some minutes, just after saying ‘Hello, I’m 벌리’. Cool right? And again we had nonstop talks about Korean stuff, the upcoming classes, Korean travel experiences and tips, and future Korea plans.

We had to go home then since two of them will still be having work afterwards. The two of them (even while working), and 엘리자 누나’s currently on LINE as I’m composing this entry, and we’re still talking about the things that happened earlier. We’re just THAT close.

Maybe next week or later, I’ll finally talk with my boss about my classes. I expect him to be okay about it since I go under time and they don’t pay me for that. If he won’t allow me then work’s finished! I make sure I do everything on time when they give me projects, so I don’t see any deviations for him not to give me considerations. I’m still having my Korean as priority since I’m still young and having this kind of opportunity to study can’t be found nowhere so if my Korean’s not gonna be permitted, then it’s time for me to compose my resignation letter, in Korean I suppose, lol. *BUT WHY AM I RANTING ALL OF A SUDDEN?!*