[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


“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


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.


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.


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.


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


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).


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


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.




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.


  • 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.


  • 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?)


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!


[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)


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.

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



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.



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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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.

[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.


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






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*





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.”


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


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


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

초판 1쇄 2005년 11월 3일
초판 10쇄 2010년 9월 9일

Price: 45,000 원
ISBN 89-8499-489-8

As always, I hope this review helps.

[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.


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




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.



Basically the book starts with listening to simple sentences which will help the learners recognize the overview of the unit. An illustration follows on how the mouth should look like, and there are additional information how to pronounce correctly. Third, the book checks the current status of the learner about the pronunciation rules to be discussed through the book. You listen to words and check if the pronunciation read through the CD was right or wrong.

For the main part of each unit, there are four stages. ‘준비연습’ is something of a warm-up. You are presented with repetitive or shuffled syllables and you read aloud with the CD.



After being more comfortable with the syllables, you are then presented with ‘단어연습’ words containing the sounds. From syllables to words, next comes ‘문장연습’ sentences. Finally, there’s a ‘대화연습’ to help with the learner’s communicative skill.

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.


  • The book looks good. (Don’t judge me, it’s important!) It comes with a hard slip-on box so the CDs won’t fall if you plan to bring the book outside home.
  • The book contains 6 CDs, all audio materials inside spoken by natives.
  • More repetition, more retention. More practice, more accurate pronunciation.
  • A foreigner guide citing the specific pronunciations that are hard to pronounce per nationality.


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


The book is a complete guide to Korean’s ever-confusing and complex pronunciation. It’s good to study the book when planning to learn the language. As I’ve said earlier, it’s hard to revert something you’re already used to, but if you have the time to pick up this book, it would be so much better. As much as it’s good to speak, talk and read in Korean, it’s 100x better to sound at least near Korean. This book covers the basics, so for 100% complete pronunciation guide, it’s good to get the second book also.

Technical facts about the book:

외국인을 위한 한국어 발음 47 (1)
지은이_ 서울대학교 언어교육원
초판발행_ 2009년 1월 2일

Price: 23,000 원
ISBN 978-89-5518-723-6

I hope this review helps.