[BOOK] Hangeul Master | 한글마스터

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Secrets of reading Korean Handwriting”

“300 writing samples from native Koreans”

To start of…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The book is comprised of four (4) chapters:

1. The History of 한글

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

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

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

2. Introduction to 한글

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

3. Learn 한글

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

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

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

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

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

4. 한글 Handwriting

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

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

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

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

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

Will I recommend this book for first time learners?

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Conclusion

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

Technical facts about the book:

한글마스터 | Hangeul Master
Copyright © 2014 TalkToMeInKorean

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

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

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Book Shopping at Gmarket | 지마켓으로 책을 사는 것

This is actually my third time to order at Gmarket. First experience was when I bought Korean Grammar in Use: Beginning and Intermediate. It was a fun experience because I received the parcel without any hassles. For the second time, 세상에 너를 소리쳐! and Korean Class III | ‘세상에 너를 소리쳐!’와 한국어 수업 III, I only bought one item, and it experienced a slight delay. It was not so much, but since I’m dead excited about the book, I was contacting various departments regarding my order. I was expecting it on a Friday, but it arrived nonetheless just the following Monday. I’m b*tching so much when it failed to arrive that Friday, lol.

Meetup Turned Shopping

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Pardon my shameless selfie (but please bear with me for now, lol). I was just actually going to meet my Elementary 1 best friends for no reason at all aside from the fact that that particular coffee shop is the most convenient place for us to meet. That time, me and 김재신 had to wait for hours and spent the entire time doing things by ourselves. I was studying Intermediate 1 then, he was listening to Juniel or I don’t know, lol. He wanted to order two Korean Grammar in Use books as well, since it’s actually a staple book. Everyone studying Korean should have those lol. He wanted to get the Advanced as well, but I insisted for him not to get one yet since the book is already *obviously* advanced and it’s not a very practical book to buy in our levels at least. I suggested getting a Level 4 book instead, but he ended up just getting the first two books of the Korean Grammar in Use series. As for me, I was looking at getting the NEW 가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners Intermediate 1 since I used 재미있는 한국어 3 as my Level 3 supplement, and I just wanted to pick up from where I left off at 가나다 Korean Elementary 2. I also wanted to get 재미있는 4, same reason why I wanted to get the Intermediate 1 of 가나다. We both don’t have credit cards, but I offer my prepaid card since we can use it to shop online. Unfortunately, our bank accounts don’t have so much so I can’t reload the prepaid card and buy through it. Payday’s still a bit far away.

By the time Eliza nuna arrived, we just talked about pretty small things and smoothly reverted to the sudden book shopping plan. We really had zero plans to shop that night (though I was planning to get the same books I ordered even way before, just to continue studying by myself). Since Eliza nuna owns a credit card, we asked her as well if she wants to buy a book, and said that she was looking for a certain travel book by 고현정 (Ko Hyun-Jung) and I told her excitedly that it would be impossible for Gmarket not to have that book. So then I checked it for her. By that time I already added four books in the cart, the two Korean Grammar in Use books, my 가나다 Intermediate 1, and 재미있는 한국어 3. I proceeded to add her book as well, and said that she wants to order another textbook. Any Korean textbook, as long as we could share it. I convinced her to get the 가나다 Intermediate 2, so I can just lend her the Intermediate 1, and I can borrow the Intermediate 2 when I need it. When Alyne nuna arrived, we asked her if she wants to get a book, too. Originally she asked Ross nuna to buy CDs and books for herself, but episodes in life happen. Ross nuna failed to take the items home due to over baggage. It was a sad experience for the both of them, so this time, Alyne nuna asked to get the book one more time since she failed to receive the first one. As usual, it’s the Korean Grammar in Use book again. On my first Gmarket order, I ordered the Beginning book for her so this time, she got the Intermediate. All in all we ordered 7 books, and by far this is my biggest Gmarket purchase so far.

Purchasing Through Gmarket

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Oh look, it’s GD! (like I’m still surprised, lol)

It was heaps easier now since it was faux-bilingual before. Some parts of the site appear in full Korean, and sometimes, it’s in English. I even remember signing up in full Korean before, with all those Korean fields that you have to figure out to be able to supply your correct details. Now, they’ve gone global and it’s easier to navigate the site now.

To be able to buy things, though, you should still, in a sense, know how to read 한글 or understand a bit particularly when buying Korean items. Some items don’t display its English equivalents. Even the merchant’s name, or color variations (when buying clothes or gadgets or whatnots), they sometimes appear in full Korean, and since some would be part of a drop-down list, it might be hard to copy-paste them to Google Translate so you should know at least how to type or input Korean texts as well.

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Check as well, sometimes, prices vary since delivery’s either Free, or Free on Condition. But since’s delivery would be international (I suppose), just check the airplane icon just above the item. Some items are not eligible for Worldwide Shipping, but it’s just a matter of looking for the same item being sold by another shop. For books, I highly recommend 인터넷교보문고 (Kyobo, major bookstore in Korea), 반디엔루니스 (Bandi and Luni’s) and 인터파크도서몰 (Interpark). 비에이쇼핑 is good as well, though the first three I mentioned are major bookstores in Korea including the third one which is just present online.

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After putting the items in your shopping cart, the shipping fee will be calculated with the item, depending on your country. Assuming I will buy EPIK HIGH’s album, and just that album alone, I would have to pay 19300 KRW for the item, and an additional 19040 KRW for the shipping which we can say, is almost the same price as the item itself. It’s ridiculous I know, but they ship the items through EMS. If you buy somewhere else, there are shipping methods, like Standard Shipping which will take a months, or less than a month if you’re lucky, there’s a Standard Shipping with Tracking which gives you a peace of mind at least, and by far the most expensive, EMS (Express Mail Service), which will enable you to receive a parcel within a week, or even less when sent to you directly. In my Gmarket experience, it would always arrive between 7 to 10 days (including weekends). Usually, when I order on a Wednesday, I will receive it next Thursday, something within those lines.

It’s good if you order an item from one seller, so your items wouldn’t have to be consolidated. As for me, I tend to buy from different sellers just to see how they package the items, and how long it takes for them to send the items to the Gmarket warehouse where they will be consolidated and weighed for shipping quotes.

And that what’s good (or bad) about Gmarket, the accuracy of the shipping price. If you plan to buy at Gmarket just once, you might hate the idea that they charge you an approximate shipping fee, and once your items have been consolidated in the warehouse they will quote you another price. If you paid less, then you would have to input your payment method again to be able to settle the shipping fee, WHICH, if you fail to settle, your items will get delayed for shipment. If ever you paid more (which happens to me all the time), it will just be credited to your amount for future use. It’s good because it makes you feel like you’re paying less for your next purchases. And what’s good about Gmarket, too, is that shops may offer book cash and other discounts with your purchase, so the next time you order, you can apply those coupons to minimize your total.

After the purchase, you will receive a confirmation, and then comes the hard part. Waiting. Don’t worry, it won’t take long, since it will be shipped through EMS.

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You can access what’s shown in the picture by clicking the button above, My Gmarket > Shopping List. Currently, Gmarket displays your delivery status next to the items you purchased. As for my own, it’s already completed so it displays ‘Delivery Completed‘. I can only remember seeing five statuses. If there were others, it may just be quick statuses that won’t take long to process, or it might include a status in which you have to pay for the additional shipping. ‘On Domestic Delivery‘ means that the seller already sent your items to the warehouse and is already on its way. ‘Domestic Delivered‘ will appear once your items has reached Gmarket and is being processed for worldwide delivery. Alternatively, if you click on that ‘Order Details’ link, it will show you ‘Tracking’ buttons for each item. Since they may be from different sellers, it’s quite possible that some items will arrive sooner than the others. Beware though, it’s usually in full Korean so it might just be complicating if you check it. It will be on ‘Waiting for Worldwide Shipping‘ by the time they consolidated your orders and sent your items for worldwide shipping. When your package has been processed for worldwide shipping, ‘Tracking’ buttons will appear next to your items, but if you click each of those it will only link you to the EMS track and trace website.

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By this time, your status should be ‘On Worldwide Delivery‘. It will get transferred from some part of Korea, to Incheon or whichever airport, and it will be delivered to your country. Looking at the picture, the item reached Philippines on the 12th, and just the day after, I received my item. It will then change to ‘Delivery Completed‘, or ‘Delivery Failed‘ if no one is available to receive your item. When your package reaches your country, you can alternatively search for the EM************KR (EMS) number through your local EMS tracking website. That way, you’ll know where the item is, locally.

day 13

After receiving the items, you would have to click certain buttons next to the items on your shopping list, acknowledging that you already received them. You can choose to write a short review, too, to be able to earn Gstamps (that I still don’t understand).

Anyway, this has been long. And this is just a basic overview of how I order through Gmarket. It’s very hassle-free, convenient, and 100% safe. Beware though, I only ordered books, and usually books don’t get charged by your local customs. If you try to buy items like shoes or clothes, makeup items or gadgets, or just about any items exceeding 100 USD in total, you might get taxed. REAL BAD. So you should buy moderately, and just enjoy shopping. Buy with friends to be able to maximize shipping prices.

As for returns, refunds, exchange, or any other questions regarding shipments, payments and other stuff, it’s good to visit the website, since I’ve said earlier that it’s good to navigate their site now, compared before.

day 14

We’re such happy customers lol. I delivered some books to them just the following day, and will deliver the other books when we meet again. Happy shopping.

On Reading Korean | 한국어 읽기에 대한

Stage 4: 너만의 캐릭터로 승부하라

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I should actually be sleeping now because I felt super tired this past week because it’s my first full week without early out or a day of absence since after my Elementary 2. Before finally deciding that I would take up Elementary 2, I surveyed a lot of closest friends about what they think about my weeks, if it will feel shorter, or longer. All of them said that my week would definitely feel longer since I still have to do some stuff after work, etc… But just weeks after having classes, they were super wrong. I felt more energetic and excited about everyday when I started my classes. To point out, I’m not very happy with my work anymore, so even that 1 hour early off of work, is super more than enough for me to escape the stress. I have to leave work early since my classes start at 6, and my work finishes at 6. Of course, school was stressful, but then, I’d rather be stressed at school than at work.

Well finally, I finished T.O.P’s part. As I expected, it was hard to understand like GD’s, but I understood most parts during the first stories, but the following stories, I had no idea about them anymore. I’m actually very surprised that I’ve reached this far reading something I don’t really understand. I only have about 2 hours of total reading hours in a day, and just about less than two weeks, I’ve already read 4/5 of the book. As how I can remember it, I read each BIGBANG member for two days (4 reading times). I have about 1 hour non-continuous reading time in the morning when I’m on the train and when I transferred train, and another hour in the evening after work when I’m on the train, and after transferring. I don’t read at home because I tend to get sleepy.

I don’t really consider myself a bookworm, but I have a lot of English novels, those sorts like ‘The Twilight Saga’, and the ‘Harry Potter’ boxset that I bought, which is super pretty in hardcover and a treasure chest-kinda. I also have a lot of Dan Brown, and some other self-help and some bargain books which I myself never knew existed.

Sometimes when I’m tired and try to read a novel, I can feel myself zoning out of the novel and catching myself having different thoughts about something not very connected with the book. I don’t use bookmarks so when I am in the middle of zoning out, and I chose to close the book since I think I would not make any progress, it’s hard for me to get back and look for the page I’ve been reading anymore. I usually don’t check the page number before closing the book. I just estimate, and try to read the page vaguely, and then estimate again if I should turn the page backward or forward, depends on what I read. But then when I’m zoning out, I don’t have a choice but to reread about 3-5 pages I half-missed.

Sometimes I don’t really understand what I’m reading word-per-word. I don’t know if it’s just me, but when I’m reading, I just let it flow, without the need to understand the whole material word-per-word. I don’t usually read the book once, I do it twice, just like the movies, to check parts I missed during the first viewing, connecting dots, formulating theories and hypotheses, etc.

As for Korean, what’s good about reading it for the first time without understanding about 90% of the material is that I can check myself in the future how much progress I made. And it also checks my 알아듣기 (?) if it works or not. Of course most of the time, it won’t work because the book is still too advanced for me. I don’t try to look for words or grammar from a different source because I want to evaluate how much I know just through reading it alone. It definitely is hard, but when I feel I understood something so clearly, I feel like it’s a major achievement. It’s just hard when it’s already given that I don’t understand what I’m reading and then sometimes, I still zone out. That’s doom.

Finally though, I learned how not to self-pity when I think I still lack too much. Whenever I read blogs, and feel their progress from their start to the present, instead of pondering about it why I’m not like that, I just visualize myself being able to surpass or at least be like it in the future. Reading this book helped me realized that. I would never understand anything about this book if I’m reading this in 2011, but in 2 years of about less than a year of studying, I can finally grasp a story flow although without understanding the material word-per-word. Reading this book for the second time will also give me a lot of good realizations, and that second time would probably be after my Intermediate 1. There are still a lot of stuff I can never understand in my level, and looking it up won’t help, because I believe I don’t have to look up something that I only saw or read. I should look up something that I frequently hear, or something that I will be able to use in everyday life. Of course it’s not going to be like that forever, but for now, it’s better that I only learn practically, because I’ll definitely be getting to reach the point where I have the freedom to study Korean complexities at its purest, and that’s when I’m gonna study a lot of stuff that I may not be able to use frequently… but just.

Like ‘세상에 너를 소리쳐!’s story patterns, they all dreamed a dream, and they had to go through a lot before getting there. Knowing that fact, I should not be unfair. They’re now famous, I’m not dreaming to become famous, so I guess my dream would definitely be easier to achieve. There would be bumps along the way, but I just have to get through it. Reading this book made me realize that if I could never understand this book way before, and can understand a few now, I’ll definitely understand a lot more in the near future.

PS. Please, if this post sounded weird, I’m so sorry. That’s because I’m too sleepy, but I just can’t blog this tomorrow as it would be super late.

Things I Want to Buy | 사고 싶은 것

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

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

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

So for the things that I wanna buy…

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

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

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

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

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

2. A new laptop

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

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

3. 세상에 너를 소리쳐!

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Price: ₩ 10,650
Productivity: 10%

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

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

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

[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.