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1. Read & Speak Korean for Beginners
2. Basic Korean: A Grammar and Workbook
3. Elementary Korean Second Edition
4. Dirty Korean: Everyday Slang from
5. Korean for Beginners: Mastering
6. Spoken World: Korean
7. Using Korean: A Guide to Contemporary
8. Integrated Korean: Beginning 1,
9. Korean, Basic: Learn to Speak
10. Elementary Korean Workbook
11. Intermediate Korean: A Grammar
12. The Korean Language (Cambridge
13. Korean I, Comprehensive: Learn
14. Korean: Lonely Planet Phrasebook
15. Colloquial Korean (Colloquial
16. Integrated Korean Workbook: Beginning
17. Integrated Korean: Beginning 2,
18. Korean: Audio Cd Course (Language
19. Intermediate College Korean
20. Elementary Korean (Tuttle Language

1. Read & Speak Korean for Beginners (Book w/Audio CD): The Easiest Way to Communicate Right Away! (Read & Speak for Beginners)
by Sunjeong Shin
Paperback: 96 Pages (2008-02-29)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$10.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071544402
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Korean Basics Made Easy--and Fun!

Studying Korean is intimidating. Not only do you face the usual challenges of learning a new language--vocabulary, grammar, verb tenses--but you also have to learn a non-Roman alphabet. To help you master the language, Read & Speak Korean for Beginners entertains you while you learn, lessening the anxiety of a new script and increasing your confidence in your language skills.

This program teaches you basic vocabulary and explains sentence structures for eight key areas of everyday life--introducing yourself, saying where you're from, asking what things are, asking where things are located, describing objects and people, asking how to get around, talking about your family, and describing what you do. The accompanying CD features all the key words and phrases so you can hear how they are pronounced and repeat them after the speaker.

Inside you will find:

  • Clear explanations of how to use basic phrases in everyday conversations
  • Entertaining activities, games, and puzzles with which to check your progress
  • Illustrated flash cards to help you memorize key phrases
  • Listening exercises and audio games on the CD to further reinforce your comprehension
... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good intro- but has some flaws
I got this book of course because i want to learn korean. I had already learned to read when i got the book, so i think it made the experience of going through the book quite different had i not known how to read already. Which brings me to one of my main points.in my opinion, this book has one major downfall: IT DOES NOT TEACH YOU TO READ. It claims you will be able to read by the end of the book, but I assure you, you won't be able to read just by the romanizations it gives you. If you want this book to be a lot more educating experience, GO LEARN HOW TO READ FIRST, then come and buy this book. SERIOUSLY- LEARNING KOREAN WILL BE SO MUCH EASIER IF YOU LEARN TO READ FIRST. I can't stress this enough, I can't imagine what it would have been like if i had not learned to read before delving into the language. Everything will make so much more sense. Plus, learnign how to read Hangeul is really, really easy! :D I mastered it in about 2 weeks. But it will take you only a couple of days to have a very good grasp of it.
Another point I would like to make is that i used this book and more of a supplementary tool rather than my main source of learning. If you arent super serious about learning korean, then i don't think i'd recommend this because you will only know the bare basics by the end. I did like it, however, for the sample sentences it give- thise are very helpful. I actually kind of liked the cd. I put it onto my iPod and i actually used it with the book. The speakers are native which is a plus because you'll know everything is pronounced correctly and naturally, but they speak very slowly. Everything is sounded out- which i guess is also a good thing if you want it broken down, but won't hear what the language sounds like ntaurally spoken. If you want that, listen to k-pop or watch some k-dramas. They're awesome! And easily accecable.
And one last point, I didn't actually play any of the games this book comes with, so I can't give any sort of opinion on those.
So in one sentence i would say this book is good for a younger audience and for someone very new to korean, but already knows how to read, its a good introductory book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Definately perfect for beginners
This workbook provides drawings that bring back memories of being in a kindergarden classroom.Although this book has activities that make it easy to learn Korean, I was not too pleased with the organization of the workbook.

4-0 out of 5 stars Really Helpful
I like about this book because it provides a framework for making conversations rather than just making me memorize a bunch of phrases. The topics are well organized and relevant. Key grammar points are introduced throughout. Audio is provided for each vocabulary section designated as "key
words". A well-written one-page summary in the reference section answers most (though not all) of my questions as to why some hangul characters are pronounced so radically different from that which is indicated in the hangul charts. Its 8-1/2" by 11" size is much more inviting than the paperback
size. Though not a big deal,there are a few typos. More frustrating for me however,is the fact that throughout the audio dialogs, words or phrases that have never been introduced in the text are used. That's a problem for me because I often have difficulty "de-constructing" the audio so that I can try to look up the words or phrases elsewhere.

This book has been really helpful in getting me off to a good start. The author's stated objective to impart "...a real sense of progress" to the reader has in my case been achieved. My wish is that there be a follow-up book by the author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
I received the product quicker than expected.It was in great condition and I am very happy with it and the seller and will purchase future products.Thank you.

4-0 out of 5 stars I like it
I like it. it shows how to pronounce it. Be aware this book is good to learn how to start a conversation. It doesn't cover much. ... Read more

2. Basic Korean: A Grammar and Workbook (Grammar Workbooks)
by Andrew Sangpil Byon
Paperback: 256 Pages (2008-09-12)
list price: US$40.95 -- used & new: US$28.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 041577487X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Basic Korean: A Grammar and Workbook comprises an accessible reference grammar and related exercises in a single volume.

This book presents twenty-five individual grammar points, covering the core material which students would expect to encounter in their first year of learning Korean. Grammar points are followed by examples and exercises which allow students to reinforce and consolidate their learning.

Basic Korean is suitable for both class use as well as independent study. Key features include:

  • a clear, accessible format
  • many useful language examples
  • all Korean entries presented in Hangul with English translations
  • jargon-free explanations of grammar
  • abundant exercises with a full answer key
  • a subject index.

Clearly presented and user-friendly, Basic Korean provides readers with the essential tools to express themselves in a wide variety of situations, making it an ideal grammar reference and practice resource for both beginners and students with some knowledge of the language.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference!
This is an excellent reference!I am very pleased with the clear and comprehensive coverage of beginning grammar topics.This book is more of a reference than a workbook, but there are short exercises at the end of each chapter.I would recommend this to anyone as a supplement to their Korean-language acquisition program!I'm already planning to get the Intermediate level.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Journey of Learning Korean
This is one of the better books to learn basic Korean.It does assume you already know the Korean alphabet but it does a good job to help the reader break down a sentence and how the subject object verb are dealt with.Nothing beats learning from a native Korean speaker but this book will help supplement your learning. It has quizzes and the answers are right there for you.Good book...well devised chapters.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good reference
I bought this for a family member going to Korea to teach English to Korean children, in an after school program.It has served him well to get on his feet with the program.

5-0 out of 5 stars a very useful book for self study

Of course no textbook is perfect in all respects,but I am very happy with this book.I have about 175 Korean grammar books in my collection so far and I must say that this book is destined to be one of my favorites.The author explains certain aspects of Korean grammar in a different way which enables me to understand the material being taught.It is lke a different perspective which gives me an "aha" moment when the lightbulb above my head suddenly lights up.I believe that "Basic Korean:A Grammar Workbook" should be in every student's Korean grammar book library.

5-0 out of 5 stars for everyone
Korean grammar is very tricky in the beginning, so you need good material to help you with it.
To me this was a great supplement to my textbook studies.

This book is ideal for beginners of Korean, for the following reasons:

1. many varied exercises

2. shorter chapters for smoother progress

3. builds up a basic vocabulary of ~400 words

4. clearly explained in non-technical manner

The first chapter covers pronunciation and has many exercises to make sure you can read the script before continuing.
In the remaining chapters there is no romanization.
Each chapter usually has a set of vocabulary to learn, which are needed for the exercises at the end of the chapter.
The grammar is explained very clearly and with examples, the language is not very technical.

To some extent you can skip to whatever chapter you want to use, save for the first chapter that covers pronunciation.
However, this is first and foremost a workbook and not a reference book for grammar, and some chapters do assume that you have done previous ones. So treat this as any other workbook.

In a previous review, before editing, I stated that the book has romanized versions of all words, I was mistaken about this and have corrected the mistake. It just happens that I am using 3 books in the same series and publisher - Chinese, Cantonese and Korean - and I got the them a bit mixed-up, that's all.

... Read more

3. Elementary Korean Second Edition
by Ross King Ph.D., Jae-Hoon Yeon, Jaehoon Yeon Ph.D.
Hardcover: 384 Pages (2009-06-10)
list price: US$69.95 -- used & new: US$35.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 080483976X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Includes Audio CD.

This new edition of Elementary Korean is the most comprehensive and detailed introductory Korean textbook available. Perfect for a first-year university-level course or for the independent language learner, with no prior knowledge of the language necessary.

A new format—now with dozens of illustrations—presents vocabulary, grammar, conversations and exercises that make Korean accessible and understandable. The new edition also includes corrections and some new content, such as new vocabulary and exercises.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best
Went through many korean textbooks, and this is one of the better and more comprehensive ones.Though all elementary books generally have the same material, this book is formatted/organized well and easy to read through quickly.

The second/intermediate book should be bought together with this if you are serious about learning korean.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice book for self study
I started studying Korean with this book for TOPIK exams. It's nice for self-study, contains lots of information and exercises with answers too. However, the material at times appears to be too dense and requires supplementary explanatory material. Good for use in conjunction with any good Korean online lessons.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Dream
I love this book so much. It came with the CD as promised and its very simple. With a little more time after my semester finishes, I'll definitely be able to practice more. The best part about this book is that any question that appears in the book has an answer in the back. That's a huge plus for someone who is learning on their own with the help of [...] for more pronunciation.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Dream
I love this book so much. It came with the CD as promised and its very simple. With a little more time after my semester finishes, I'll definitely be able to practice more. The best part about this book is that any question that appears in the book has an answer in the back. That's a huge plus for someone who is learning on their own with the help of [...] for more pronunciation.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not enough audio
Firstly, only chapters 1, 2, and 5 have vocabulary.The rest of the audio disc comprises all of the conversations and parts of exercises.Also, the vocabulary words don't have any English.In other words, they don't say "English (pause) Yong-oh" but instead just say the Korean.This might not be a problem for some people, but if I'm trying to learn straight vocabulary and can't look at the book or my notes, it's very convenient to have this.

Secondly, there are a lot of errors in the book.Sometimes they just say the wrong word or have a typo.However, for a second edition, I would have expected that this was cleared up. ... Read more

4. Dirty Korean: Everyday Slang from "What's Up?" to "F*%# Off!" (Dirty Everyday Slang)
by Haewon Geebi Baek
Paperback: 128 Pages (2010-06-08)
list price: US$10.00 -- used & new: US$5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1569757798
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description


Next time you're traveling or just chattin' in Korean with your friends, drop the textbook formality and bust out with expressions they never teach you in school, including:

  • Cool slang
  • Funny insults
  • Explicit sex terms
  • Raw swear words

Dirty Korean teaches the casual expressions heard every day on the streets of Korea:

♦ What's up?Wasseo?

♦Holy shit, I'm trashed.Ssibal, na manchiwi.

♦I gotta piss.Na swi ssayahae.

♦Who farted?Bangu nuga ggyeosseo?

♦Wanna try doggy-style?Dwichigi haeboja?

♦That bitch is crazy!Heo nyeon michin nyeoniya!

♦I could go for some Korean BBQ.Na cheolpangui meokgospieo. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nasty, dirty book
A fantastic book to read with your Korean girlfriend while poolside in Vegas. Just about nobody else will know what you're saying, but you two will be laughing like mad. The author is hilarious and surprisingly nasty. If you're a student of the Korean language, pick it up. You're bound to find some useful things in here that Koreans won't want to teach you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good addition to a Korean language reference library if you want slang and dirty words
"Dirty Korean" by Haewon Geebi Baek is a new language book in the "Dirty" series.Other languages in this series include Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.All of them claim to teach everyday slang from "What's Up" to language that would receive an "R" rating if a movie, or only be allowed on HBO and other pay channels without bleeps to block out the word.

As a language book, you won't be learning the Korean language with this single volume.As a supplementary guide to have in your Korean language resources, it is not a bad phrase book.The book does include the hangul (Korean native alphabet) under the Romanization of the Korean words, which is a big plus.I do like that they included the hangul.

The book starts out by saying you deserve to know how to say the dirty words in the language if you want to, and then provides a quick blurb on pronouncing Korean.Again, you are not going to learn the language from this text, but you will pick up some words not found in most Korean language guides.

Before you think the book is only full of vulgarities, it is not.It has much slang that is not offensive at all.You'll learn the shorter slang version of "good morning" as well as the shorter slang for "evenin'" and "sorry."There are also a lot of short paragraphs on Korean culture and etiquette.These are not only educational, but also entertaining at times.The book is a pretty fun read if you are interested in Korea and the spoken language of that country.

The book is divided into chapters titled Howdy, Friendly, Party, Body, Horny, Angry, Poppy, Sporty, and Hungry.Many words are pretty common, but there is enough slang, insults, explicit terms, and swear words to make the person looking for those get their money's worth from this inexpensive little book.I actually learned a lot of the swear words when living in Korea the first time with the military, and they came in handy when living and teaching English there as a civilian.I knew what the kids were saying, and when they found out I understood, the use of that language stopped in the classroom when I was there.So there is a legitimate reason to learn the slang.Besides, it can also be fun, so add this book to your Korean language references if you want a fun, easy to read slang oriented language book.You'll be speaking Dirty Korean in no time.

Reviewed by Alain Burrese, J.D., author of Hard-Won Wisdom From the School of Hard Knocks and the dvds: Hapkido Hoshinsul, Streetfighting Essentials, Hapkido Cane, the Lock On Joint Locking Essentials series and articles including a regular column on negotiation for The Montana Lawyer. Alain Also wrote a series of articles called Lessons From The Apprentice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Korean Language Library Essential
I bought this to fill out my Korean language collection.This inexpensive book is well written and full of youth culture speech. As always it is amusing to see Konglish adaptations such as Snowboard(seunubodeu) which spoken fast must sound close to right. Under drinking games, the first listed is The Game of Death(Deo game ob desseu) "...a no brainer. You chant "the game of death" and point at someone you'd like to see drunk. The one with most fingers pointed at has to drink."I was pleased to come across Fan Dance(Buchaechum), which is a Busby Berklee type festival dance, see youtube. Culture gets good coverage, high (not so much) low and middle. The book is fun and interesting.

Lonely Planet Korean Phrasebook
College Korean
Sounds of Korean: A Pronunciation Guide
Berlitz Korean Dictionary: Korean-English / English-Korean (Berlitz Concise Dictionaries S.) (Korean Edition)
Looking for a Mr. Kim in Seoul: A Guide to Korean Expressions (English and Korean Edition) ... Read more

5. Korean for Beginners: Mastering Conversational Korean
by Henry J. Amen IV, Kyubyong Park
Paperback: 176 Pages (2010-08-10)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$11.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0804841004
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Have you ever considered learning Korean, but been put off by the unusual look of the characters? Don't let yourself be scared away! Korean has been called ôthe most logical language there is,ö and with this friendly and thorough introduction you will soon see why.

As the more than 1 million Americans who speak Korean can attest, Korean is here to stay, and generations of young (and older) adults are determined to learn it. This book is for people who want a grasp of how to speak, write and understand Korean—and who want to enjoy things while they're at it!

Using a lighthearted, humorous approach, Korean for Beginners starts by showing you just how reasoned and logical the Korean alphabet actually is, and helps you master it faster than you learned the English alphabet. Realistic situations you might encounter in Korea are described, and new words are explained in terms of how you'll find them useful to communicate. The CD-ROM lets you listen and repeat, and will help you soon say with pride, ôI know Korean!ö
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Korean for Beginners: Mastering Conversational Korean
I considered Korean to be a language that I would find too difficult to learn, so I was a bit worried when I decided to tackle it. This book quickly dispels any preconceived notions of difficulty. In fact, the book draws you in and brings a sense of confidence as you progress through the chapters. It combines clarity and logic with a lighthearted "take" on the the Korean language.("Lucky for you, almost all Korean words follow certain fundamental pronunciation rules.") In fact, as it integrates culture with language, the book stirs up a sense of excitement---yes, indeed I can do this! ... Read more

6. Spoken World: Korean
by Living Language
Audio CD: Pages (2007-11-20)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$30.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400023483
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This simple and effective introduction to Korean will teach you everything you need to speak, understand, read, and write in Korean.This program assumes no background in the language, and it explains each new concept clearly with plenty of examples, making it ideal for beginners or anyone who wants a thorough review.Living Language Korean includes:

·A course book and six audio CDs
·Two unique sets of recordings, one for use with the book, and a second for use anywhere to review and reinforce
·Natural dialogues, clear grammar notes, vocabulary building, and key expressions
·Plenty of practice, both written and recorded
·Notes on culture, cuisine, history, geography, and more
·Real life “discovery” activities and internet resources
·An extensive two-way glossary ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pimsleur, Assimil, Teach Yourself, or LIVING LANGUAGE?
As an experienced language learner, I can honestly say that the Living Language series is, by far, the best on the market. Specifically, the Living Language Ultimate series and Spoken World series offer an entertaining and effective approach toward language learning. I have found that this product succeeds where others seem to have failed. For example, the audio for the Assimil series is terrible, as the speakers talk at such a slow pace that there's a good chance you'll be waking up several hours later. The reading and writing aspects are other areas in which courses such as Teach Yourself and Pimsleur have dropped the ball. Pimsleur offers zero text and hence, is absolutely useless to anyone who is serious about learning the language. While Teach Yourself does offer text, the authors for some reason or another have decided that it would be better to use romanization. Living Language is the most complete course I have found as both the written content and the accompanying audio are excellent. Here, the authors have taken a sensible approach, using Hangeul with the aid of transliteration in the first few chapters, and then introducing the text in Hangeul. The conversations also arelively, natural, and above all, practical. You will find that every chapter is filled with content that is pertinent, useful and applicable to actual conversations. Unfortunately, for Rosetta Stone fans, you will not find sentences such as "the octopus is behind the library". My only complaint is that the course could be longer. I would also recommend supplementing the material with a dictionary and grammar workbook. Even so, the course is great. If I were to any one product, Pimsleur (trash), Teach Yourself, or Assimil (although the latter two are also excellent in their own right) I would recommend this one.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good "No Frills" Introduction Course
First, as an introduction, I am not an individual who picks up a book and latches onto a foreign language.I have not fluent in Korean (yet), but am working on improving my proficiency.I used this course to get my feet wet through informal study.I have used phrasebooks, Before You Land, and Rosetta Stone resources before but prefer the type of no-frills, no-nonsense instruction offered by this course.

Packet consists of 6 audio CDs and a book - all are user friendly and easy to understand.I especially like how the CDs are indexed with relatively short lessons when compared to other resources.Explaining further, if you want to review a lesson or a specific phrase, the sections are small enough to quickly fast-forward or rewind to the specific point on the CDs.The vocabulary building CD is great to keep in the car to brush up while commuting around town.

I highly recommend this for school and public libraries, and would recommend this to American students who would like a 101-style introduction to this beautiful but intimidating language.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not expensive but not worth the money
I want to learn Korean in the order of reading-writing-speaking-listening. Most books appear to be aimed at the the person who will soon be traveling to Korea and needs expressions for finding a restaurant. This book focuses on grammar, which is exactly what I was looking for. As I progressed through it, though, I became increasingly disappointed. It is literally riddled with errors, some so obvious someone who knows nothing of Korean could still pick up. I mean dozens of errors, and they are more frequent as the book goes on. I'm on the last chapter, which I'll plow through, and then head to the Tuttle book.

I'm a civil engineer. When a design is at the 60% point, we submit the drawings to the client for review. The intent of the design is there, including important details, but is not buildable -- too many gaps. If the book didn't have errors, it would be at the 60% point -- not usuable but providng a good idea of what the final product should look like.

Don't waste your money.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice Recordings, Light on Grammar
It used to be that anyone learning Korean had to go on a treasure hunt to find learning materials.Now that Korea is emerging as a global economic player, learners of Korean are in the enviable position of having too many language learning choices.

Living Language products are sold as no-gimmick learning materials.There are no tricks, no cuteness, just you and the language.The new World Languages series features a fairly thin book and a set of six CDs.

First, the good.The CDs are excellent.The Korean speakers are clearly understandable and they speak at a pace that is easy for a non-native to follow but not so slow that they sound odd.Three of the CDs are meant to be used with the book, the other three are meant as refreshers that can be used without the book.

The book teaches the Korean script (Hangeul) immediately.This alone sets it apart from many of the major Korean language releases.Learning the Korean alphabet is easy and essential to full fluency.The first few lessons have Romanization but it disappears later in the book.

There is good emphasis on casual speech, a topic notably lacking is most Korean learning material.Most books confine themselves to -imnida and -saeyo endings.This book teaches casual speech fairly early, an excellent move.After all, making friends is an important part of language learning and who wants to talk to their friends the same way they would talk to their boss or grandmother?

The exercises are also good.The suggestion of starting a journal in Korean is a wonderful idea and has helped me greatly.Admittedly, my journal does not make for very gripping reading (mostly concerned with work, weather and what I bought today) due to a limited vocabulary, but it gives great practice in actually using Korean.And your beginner's mistakes will be a fun thing to laugh about with your Korean speaking friends once you become fluent.

Now for the not so good.The book is very light on the grammar.Irregular verbs are skimmed over and conjugation is not as well covered as I would have liked.I found myself constantly referring back to my other two Korean books, Beginner's Korean (Hippocrene Beginner's Series) and Elementary Korean (Tuttle Language Library) to find answers to very basic questions.

The vocabulary section is anemic.You are asked to make a Korean journal but they don't include the word for journal?Hmm.

So, it it worth the money?It depends on your finances.If you are on a budget, I would recommend one of the two books mentioned earlier.They are both good as stand-alone textbooks.If you have the money to spend, the recordings are well worth the price of the set.The culture notes included in the book are also good.It will make a worthy addition to your Korean language bookshelf and will supplement your other material.

I would NOT recommend purchasing this set as your lone Korean language learning material.The grammar and vocabulary sections are just too thin to be of much help to a beginner.
... Read more

7. Using Korean: A Guide to Contemporary Usage
by Miho Choo
Paperback: 336 Pages (2008-07-07)
list price: US$36.99 -- used & new: US$30.08
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521667887
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This is a guide to Korean language usage for students who have already acquired the basics of the language. Unlike a conventional grammar, it highlights those areas of vocabulary and grammar which cause the most difficulty to English speakers. Clear, readable and easy to consult, it is essential for all those who wish to take their Korean beyond the beginner's level. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal textbook!
I've been studying Korean for three years now (1.5 years at the Defense Language Institute and a year as an exchange student at the Korean Air Force University) and I still have learned a lot from this book.In particular, it cleared up the confusion I had about a lot of grammar concepts and word usage.If you are a committed learner of Korean, this book should be at the top of your list of books to buy.Like the other review said, this is probably the most important Korean textbook written for native English speakers written in the past decade.I'm sure I'm going to wear this book out reading and re-reading it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Getting it together
People often complain, and rightly so, about the lack of useful works for self-instruction or student reference in Korean at intermediate level. There's no shortage of books, websites and software programs claiming to get people started on the language, and there are some, though far fewer, advanced readers. But until this book arrived, people who had made a start on teaching themselves, or maybe given up on Korean classes because they seemed to be getting nowhere slowly, were hard pressed to find anything suitable to guide them beyond the elementary stages.

This may well be the most important and useful book for learners (and teachers) of Korean published in the past decade. It would be no use to absolute beginners, but then it makes no claim to be. For everyone else involved in learning or teaching Korean, from self-instructing learners who've gained a grasp of the basics, through students at all stages on taught courses, and teachers of such courses looking for effective formulations and telling examples of key features of the language, to native speakers who would like hints on explaining aspects of their own language to puzzled foreigners, this book not only fills what was previously a yawning void, but does so with an accuracy, clarity and concision which are all the more remarkable because the authors had hardly any models or precedents of earlier works at this level to help them on their way.

Korean grammar (though many learners and not a few teachers might disagree) is not actually all that difficult or complex as grammars go. It seems difficult to learners mainly because it is so different from the grammars of Western languages, and since very few people have been taught to understand what grammar actually is (and that it's not the sort of thing people write to newspapers to complain about when they think it's "bad") they find it hard to reconfigure their underlying grammatical skills to engage correctly with the requirements of Korean. Many Korean course-books, after an initial run-through of the basics, then embark on what looks to learners like a dishearteningly endless sequence of "one damn pattern after another", more and more pieces of "usage", seemingly unrelated to each other, all needing somehow to be learned. So even for learners who don't make the mistake of equating difference with difficulty, achieving a reasonable grasp of Korean grammar still leaves them in the shallows of an apparently vast ocean of usage where, without a reliable map and compass or a trusty pilot, they seem to have only featureless horizons on all sides, with no measure or even hope of progress.

This is a pity, because there are indeed substantial affinities between thesebits of "usage", though it's hard for course designers to solve the chicken-and-egg problem that until you know a certain number of these apparently separate items, you can't begin to see how they hang together. Some coursebooks, like the authoritative multi-volumed and monumental (but alas also monumentally tedious) KLEAR Integrated Korean course, take the "head down and trust me, it'll all come together eventually" approach. Which is all very well if an enthusiastic and capable teacher is there to reinforce the request and sustain morale (or if you've paid a large fee up front and bought the coursebooks, and so are motivated to stick with it for that reason alone) but less likely to work with a solo learner.

Although this book contains abundant individual explanations of specific points (many of them a good deal clearer and more accurate that their counterparts in other texts) its great strength is that nothing is ever presented either in the abstract or in isolation. Every single item is illustrated, and indeed often actually explained, through plausible examples (by which I mean examples which resemble Korean as spoken and written by natives rather than being cooked up for teaching purposes) and displayed in its relations of similarity or contrast to other cognate points. Learners seekingclarification about a particular aspect are likely to emerge not just with the specific information they were looking for, but also with a generic grasp of the broader context of that information.

That said, this is not a book that attempts to offer "quick fixes". Though it can, and surely will, be usefully consulted by readers in search of quite definite advice on a well-defined topic, its greatest benefit is likely to be felt by readers who browse through its pages, maybe as bedside reading, and reflect on their own hitherto disorganised encounters with the language in the light of the overviews it offers.

The Korean language is part of a culture in which there are many subtly and significantly different ways of saying (and doing) what to Westerners look like more or less the same thing. The skill lies in knowing which of those ways is appropriate for which context. This book not only shows all the possibilities as far as language choices are concerned, but gives extremely practical guidance as to what is appropriate and where. And it is consistently honest, and usefully informative, about ways in which Korean, like all living languages, refuses to obey the dictates of the Ministry of Culture, whose various pronouncements are treated in many Korean textbooks with a deference that does neither the language nor its learners much service.

The titles and topics of the various sections in the table of contents (which can be seen in the sampler on this site) might strike some people as strangely diverse, or even arbitrary. But a look into each of the sections reveals the fruitful principle behind their selection. Each represents not necessarily a grammatical category or a semantic type, but a way of bringing together apparently diverse examples in a way that reveals underlying affinities and so helps the reader build up a sense of what hangs together in this language and why. Readers for whom much that is exemplified is new will certainly learn a lot. But the learners most likely to benefit are those who have been exposed to enough Korean to encounter many of the things explained and exemplified here, but so far lack any framework of understanding that would let them see the principles behind the practices. In the same way, teachers to whom little or nothing of the basic content should come as a surprise will find new and inspiring ideas about how to help native speakers of a European tongue gain a more productiveunderstanding of how Korean works. Anyone with a serious interest in learning or teaching Korean will not regret buying and reading this book. ... Read more

8. Integrated Korean: Beginning 1, 2nd Edition (Klear Textbooks in Korean Language)
by Young-Mee Cho, Hyo Sang Lee, Carol Schulz, Ho-Min Sohn, Sung-Ock Sohn
Paperback: 218 Pages (2009-11-30)
list price: US$28.00 -- used & new: US$25.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0824834402
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Beginning Level texts and workbooks are the first of a four-level series (Beginning 1 and 2, Intermediate 1 and 2, Advanced Intermediate, and Advanced) developed collaboratively by leading classroom teachers and linguists of Korean. All series volumes have been developed in accordance with performance-based principles and methodology-learner-centeredness, contextualization, use of authentic materials, function/task-orientedness, balance between skill getting and skill using, and integration of speaking, listening, reading, writing, and culture. Grammar points are systematically introduced with simple but adequate explanations and abundant examples, exercises, and drills.Each situation/topic-based lesson of the main texts consists of two or three model dialogues, narration, new words and expressions, pronunciation notes, vocabulary notes, culture, grammar, task/function, and English translation of dialogues. The workbooks provide students with extensive skill-using activities based on the skills learned from the main texts.Integrated Korean is a project of the Korean Language Education and Research Center (KLEAR) with the support of the Korea Foundation. In addition to the four-level textbooks and workbooks, forthcoming volumes include instructor's manuals, Chinese Character Studies, Korean Composition, Selected Readings in Korean, Readings in Modern Korean Literature, Korean Language in Culture and Society, and A Dictionary of Korean Grammar and Usage. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (40)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
This is an excellent book. I bought it for my current Korean class. Even without an instructor, the book is easy to understand and read. I've only ever bought two other Korean language books. This book is 10x better than the ones I've bought before. The only complaint I have for them is the order in which they introduce the vocabulary. They should switch the lessons around. Oh well, still good!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent text
Use this introductory text to develop Korean language speaking skills. Pay particular attention to the details: especially pronounciation and sentence structure. Without these skills first, your vocabulary is not very valuable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for students learning Hangul
There are seven chapters in this book and they have topics related to being a college student or being in korea.Some of the chapters cover these topics, =Korean Language Class, My Day, The Weekend, In Seoul etc...I never took a formal Korean class, and I found this book very straight forward and easy to understand.I like how even tho this is a beginners class they already force you to read and write in Korean from the first chapter.Not much use of romanized Korean words which is great.

Appendix is also adds some everyday important terms like counters, honorific expressions, realitves, numbers etc.Over all very good.I showed this to my korean friend and she was happy haha..

3-0 out of 5 stars Integrated Korean Beginning Textbook
The book overall good with some wear and tear here and there, but had quite a few pages of writings in it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thanks`!
I really needed this book for my boyfriend.
I'm korean so he wants to learn korean..
This book helped him a lot.
Thank you so much! ... Read more

9. Korean, Basic: Learn to Speak and Understand Korean with Pimsleur Language Programs (Simon & Schuster's Pimsleur)
by Pimsleur
Audio CD: Pages (2006-02-27)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$12.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 074355082X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This Basic program contains 5 hours of audio-only, effective language learning with real-life spoken practice sessions.


What is the Pimsleur® difference?

The Pimsleur Method provides the most effective language-learning program ever developed. The Pimsleur Method gives you quick command of Korean structure without tedious drills. Learning to speak Korean can actually be enjoyable and rewarding.

The key reason most people struggle with new languages is that they aren't given proper instruction, only bits and pieces of a language. Other language programs sell only pieces -- dictionaries; grammar books and instructions; lists of hundreds or thousands of words and definitions; audios containing useless drills. They leave it to you to assemble these pieces as you try to speak. Pimsleur enables you to spend your time learning to speak the language rather than just studying its parts.

When you were learning English, could you speak before you knew how to conjugate verbs? Of course you could. That same learning process is what Pimsleur replicates. Pimsleur presents the whole language as one integrated piece so you can succeed.

With Pimsleur you get:

  • Grammar and vocabulary taught together in everyday conversation,
  • Interactive audio-only instruction that teaches spoken language organically,
  • The flexibility to learn anytime, anywhere,
  • 30-minute lessons designed to optimize the amount of language you can learn in one sitting.

Millions of people have used Pimsleur to gain real conversational skills in new languages quickly and easily, wherever and whenever -- without textbooks, written exercises, or drills.

The 10 lessons in the Basic Korean are the same as the first 10 lessons in the Pimsleur Comprehensive Korean Level 1.

The 10 lessons in Basic Korean are also the first 10 lessons in the 16 lesson Conversational Korean edition.

Pimsleur learners progress from either the Basic or the Conversational to the Comprehensive Level 1, and not from Basic to Conversational edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not for me.
I've used Pimsleur products for Mandarin, Cantonese, and Spanish in the past, so when I decided to try to learn Korean, I naturally thought of Pimsleur. The Pimsleur method prides itself on not requiring (and usually not providing) any written material to go along with the lessons. For me, learning Korean this way doesn't work very well. I really need to see the hangul and or the romanization to get a good grasp of the pronunciation. Also, the Korean language seems to make a lot of social or class distinctions in the way it is spoken, more so than any other language I've studied. I assume this is why the phrases in the Pimsleur presentation, at least for the first few lessons are, for the same phrases, different from my other resources. So because of my auditory issues and my limited brain cell capacity, I've not continued on with Pimsleur Korean.

4-0 out of 5 stars innovative way of teaching korean language
This is a good way to learn Korean for busy people who want to learn during driving, relaxing, jogging ...etc.

5-0 out of 5 stars Han-kook oh ruhr ha shi suh ee sim nee ka?
Forgive the poor attempt at transliteration, but what I've just asked is, "Do you speak Korean?"The Korean language doesn't really lend itself well to English transliteration because of the several problems - most notably complex Hangul vowel sounds that do not exist in English - however, any Korean speaker should understand my introduction (I didn't bother to look up the literal English phonetic transliteration letter alternatives).

The Pimsleur Basic Korean course is exactly what I hoped it would be.Each CD contains two complex lessons, and subsequent lessons build off of what has been previously learned.Much like a good teacher will do, there is an explanation attached to each section; it's not just memorization.Whether it's breaking down a verb, a polite ending, or the words within sentences that initially sounds like mumbo-jumbo, the lessons are thorough and interesting.And just when you think you've got a lesson wrapped up, the narrator will ask you a question from lessons past - keeps you on your toes.

Mixed a male and a female voice, the intonation is clear and precise.Lessons are repeated piece-by-piece, from end to beginning, eventually culminating in a staged conversation between two people.At first I didn't think this method was most effective, but eventually I realized the benefit.In no time at all I had a few useful phrases nearly perfected.The articulate repetition really serves as a great teacher.

The one major downfall to this CD set is the lack of character reinforcement.Since most people don't know how to sound out the Korean alphabet (I do), it wouldn't be beneficial anyway; but, the sounds are sometimes easily confused if the listener is not already aware of the subtle differences between English and Korean sounds.For example, the English vowel "O" can easily be confused for the Korean O and EO, the latter spoken with less rounded closure of the lips.Not to mention the Korean R/L hybrid letter, the G/K hybrid sound, and the nearly indistinguishable AE/EA dipthongs.

Overall, only so much can be done in a few CDs, and this book does a very good job of putting the building blocks (or, with, from, hello, goodbye, a little, now, later, etc.) in place during that limited time.With that said, the answer to my initial query is:Neh.Han-kook oh ruhr chogum ha suh ee sim nee da. (Yes.I can speak a little Korean.)

2-0 out of 5 stars Other languages better; Korean fails
Own two other Pimsleur languages, and it's likely a statement more about the Korean language than Pimsleur, but this is no where as good as either Japanese or Spanish.Pronunciation is very difficult to understand, and lessons follow "stock" Pimsleur without additional explanation.For example, no explanation of how to pronounce the hybrid "R-L" sound; in Japanese lessons this was much easier to comprehend.Have listened to lesson 1 on three separate occasions and still cannot remember the first phrase, "Do you speak English?"For this specific language, Pimsleur Basic system fails to explain necessary details.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not for someone who really wants to learn Korean
this is good for someone (like a businessman) traveling to korea and needs to know a few key phrases.it doesn't really teach you many words and such, but mostly memorizing and repeating phrases.i don't really call this learning a language.it also doesn't have anything written down, so if you're a visual learner, this isn't for you as the entire thing is just on a CD. ... Read more

10. Elementary Korean Workbook
by Insun Lee
Paperback: 240 Pages (2009-08-10)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$19.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0804839794
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Includes Audio CD.

The Elementary Korean Workbook is a companion volume to the new Second Edition of Elementary Korean by Ross King and Jaehoon Yeon, also available from Tuttle Publishing. This workbook contains dozens of exercises covering each of the textbook's 15 chapters, and helps you build the grammar, vocabulary and comprehension skills you need to excel in Korean.
... Read more

11. Intermediate Korean: A Grammar and Workbook (Grammar Workbooks)
by Andrew Sangpil Byon
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2009-08-10)
list price: US$125.00 -- used & new: US$97.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415547148
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Intermediate Korean: A Grammar and Workbook comprises an accessible reference grammar and related exercises in a single volume.

This workbook presents twenty-four individual grammar points, covering the core material which students would expect to encounter in their second year of learning Korean. Grammar points are followed by examples and exercises which allow students to reinforce and consolidate their learning.

Intermediate Korean is suitable for both class use as well as independent study.

Key features include:

  • clear, accessible format
  • many useful language examples
  • all Korean entries presented in Hangul with English translations
  • jargon-free explanations of grammar
  • abundant exercises with full answer key
  • subject index. 

Clearly presented and user-friendly, Intermediate Korean provides readers with the essential tools to express themselves in a wide variety of situations, making it an ideal grammar reference and practice resource for students with some knowledge of the language.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A little clarification on "intermediate"
This is indeed a very good grammar textbook on intermediate Korean.

This book provides both intermediate vocabulary and grammar lessons their corresponding exercises/solutions.

After mastering the contents of this book, you should have a conversational level Korean. But your vocabulary and grammar should be somewhere around a 2nd grade to 3rd grade level. In other words, this book doesn't teach any sophisticated Korean.

If you already have a conversational level Korean, you might benefit from a more advanced workbook. If you want to understand basic Korean grammar and vocabulary, I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great intro to korean grammar
Was at a dead end whilst learning Korean due to the complex and often contradictory grammar, but this book helped fix that. It walks you through the basic grammar, takes into account the multiple politeness levels and provides exercises that really help you to remember them. It's not a total beginner's guide, so you should have at least some understanding of the basic concepts of Korean grammar and particles, and this book will help you realize how to use them. I have one complaint though, the hangul text cannot be viewed any larger than default, and by default it is quite small and hard to read at a distance for a novice.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is INDISPENSABLE, period.
You have to buy this book if you are learning Korean. It explains EVERYTHING you need to know about Korean grammar, and not only that, it does it in a simple way, and even has activities to practice with, including full answers, and plenty of examples, and lots of vocabulary words to improve or refresh your vocabulary skills with. While you should still use an overall language teaching book, like Intermediate College Korean or whatever for overall vocabulary, grammar and even cultural learning, this book has a very different approach which will speed up your Korean learning tenfold. Here is why: instead of gradually and continuously building on prior lessons, constantly adding complexity to what you are learning and requiring that you fully master the previous lessons, this book only treats EXACTLY the point of grammar being taught at the time, so it's extremely easy to understand what is being taught. You also improve or refresh your vocabulary because each chapter uses different vocabulary (including a list each chapter) as the raw stuff to construct the example sentences with. Then you have practice activities at the end of the chapter. In my case I found reading the example sentences enough after a few chapters, since my Korean level was already pretty good after finishing Intermediate College Korean, and I was super-impressed that I was able to read this whole book in just a few days and retain what I had learnt. Andrew Sangpil Byon has simplified Korean down to its simplest parts and separated each one, and done a separate section on each little part, making this the easiest route to intermediate proficiency (i.e. full mastery of grammar, but not necessarily yet of vocabulary) that I have ever seen. This is one book that I think will have to become THE book of Korean grammar. Get it! ... Read more

12. The Korean Language (Cambridge Language Surveys)
by Ho-Min Sohn
Paperback: 468 Pages (2001-04-09)
list price: US$50.00 -- used & new: US$39.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521369436
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This book offers a comprehensive introduction to the linguistics of Korean. It presents essential facts about the language: its speakers, its relation to other languages of the world, historical development, dialects (including the differences between South and North Korean), writing systems, the composition and structure of words, and sound patterns and syntax. It provides a wealth of examples and user-friendly descriptions that do not presuppose advanced knowledge of either linguistic theory or Korean on the part of the reader. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars ESL Teachers' Aid
I am an ESL teacher. I bought this book to understand the phonotactic constraints of Korean. It has been immensely useful fordesigning more productive lessons plans. I wish I had invested in this bookwhen it was first written.

It is comprehensive and clearly written. I refer back to it on a weekly basis while planning my American English Pronunciation classes. Now I understand why my students say [wal. rut] instead of [wal.nut], replacing the onset [n] with a [r]. (I apologize for using inappropriate IPA symbols).

Although, it was not the goal of the book, I would likea chapter abouthow to teach Korean Native Speaker English prosody within the constraints so clearly elucidated in the book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Solid but Nothing Extraordinary
This solidly-written survey of the Korean language is part of the Cambridge Language Survey series. Whilst fairly comprehensive and detailed, the book maintains reader interest for most parts, being aimed at theprofessional or amateur linguist. For the general reader, however, themeticulous description of Korean grammar that is the final chapter becomessomewhat tedious, as does the preceding chapter on word formation.

Sohn'ssurvey of Korean is refreshingly broads, covering general and historicalbackground of the language, genetic affiliation, dialects, lexicon,orthography, phonology, morphology and syntax. In general, each section islucidly written, and, where it does not get bogged down by detail,enjoyable to read.

The book is on the whole fairly accurate, although afew minor textual and factual errors have crept in, e.g., the statementthat Chinese characters comprise 1 to 32 strokes, where in fact charactersexist with many more than 32 strokes. Compared to the content of the text,however, these errors are insignificant.

Physically, the book is wellprinted, the typeface being sufficient large and clear. The Chinesecharacters and Hangul are also clearly printed.

All in all, Sohn's 'TheKorean Language' is a solid survey of the language, on the whole fairlyobjective, although a certain bias favouring the Korean language isevident, and perhaps not entirely unexpected. ... Read more

13. Korean I, Comprehensive: Learn to Speak and Understand Korean with Pimsleur Language Programs
by Pimsleur
Audio CD: Pages (2005-04-04)
list price: US$345.00 -- used & new: US$123.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743536134
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Comprehensive Korean includes 30 lessons of essential grammar and vocabulary -- 16 hours of real-life spoken practice sessions -- plus an introduction to reading.

Upon completion of this Level I program, you will have functional spoken proficiency with the most-frequently-used vocabulary and grammatical structures. You will be able to:

* initiate and maintain face-to-face conversations,

* deal with every day situations -- ask for information, directions, and give basic information about yourself and family,

* communicate basic information on informal topics and participate in casual conversations,

* avoid basic cultural errors and handle minimum courtesy and travel requirements,

* satisfy personal needs and limited social demands,

* establish rapport with strangers in foreign countries,

* begin reading and sounding out items with native-like pronunciation. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars This course helped me more than any other.
I had been attempting to learn Korean for a while before I read about Pimsleur.

This course helped me more than any other I tried.

Yes, the courses is expensive, but its worth the money. I liked the format (one thirty minute lesson each day is manageable even with a busy schedule). Concentrating on LISTENING and SPEAKING helped me in a way that other courses, with their (almost universal) emphasis on learning the Hangul alphabet first, did not. Pimsleur Korean engaged my interest, held my attention, and actually got me to SPEAK and LISTEN to Korean. The lack of a written transcript of the spoken Korean is at times frustrating, but as a teacher I know that overcoming frustration is part of any true learning experience - of course it is much easier to explain this to students than to suffer it oneself.

These courses have given me the confidence to speak Korean and try and communicate with Korean speakers that I simply did not have before.

Some of the other reviews on this section appear to me to be about earlier versions of this course (or perhaps a shorter version? ) in which the formal "Umnida" endings were used. This course mostly uses "Yo" endings, which are less formal, but NO less polite. The "Umnida" endings are given for words words such as Thank You (Kamsahamnida) which are almost always given the formal polite ending in conversation.

I think this is the best introductory Korean course available. I cannot recommend it too highly.

1-0 out of 5 stars From the perspective of a native Korean speaker
I'm a native Korean speaker (born/raised/educated in the country) who checked this material out of curiosity. Here are the impressions I got:

First, the Korean spoken in these CDs are neither formal nor stilted; they are antiquated. These are what you might hear from a thirty-year-old flick. The accent and the manner of speech are nothing like what you would encounter in formal situations, TV news, and etc., let alone everyday life. Language has changed over the last few decades- imagine Clark Gable walking around and going about in his Gone-with-the-Wind way.

Also, the grammar presented is unnatural. This, again, is not to say that it's too formal. For instance, the sentences ending in '-e', which indicates the direction of movement or activity, are very Japanese-like and never really used in any register.

To be fair, some people have raised the concern about the '-mnida'. I say you should learn this first, because you will never get in trouble for being too polite (especially if you are a foreigner- people will think you're cute), but can for being too rude, obviously. Once you learn the delicacy of the '-shi' attachment for verbs, and also having to bother with politeness in general, the transition to the more common '-yo' ending isn't too hard.

I don't know the quality of other Korean learning apparatus offered in the Western world. I wouldn't be surprised even if this one was one of the better ones. My recommendation is that you take up a few introductory lessons in your local community college, and then move on to K-Dramas. There are literally TONS of them, and it's quite a nice way to learn naturalistic Korean, provided there are subtitles.

1-0 out of 5 stars Less than you think
I've got a number of comments about this set of CDs, and I can't recommend using them by themselves. As background, My partner is Korean-American, and speaks decent Korean.When I tried out the phrases I was learning on this CD, I found out that I wasn't saying what I thought I was saying.For example, when they tell you that you are saying "Can you speak English?" you're really saying "Are you able to do English?"In context, this is sort of okay.Unfortunately, you're actually learning less than you think, because they don't think it's worth telling you what you are actually saying.This includes fairly important words like "speak" and "but."

To try and solve the difficulties I was having with this set, I got a Korean-English dictionary and started learning Hangul.In doing so, I found out that my partner was right, not the CD.I'm not happy with this, and I'm certainly not going to continue learning Korean with Pimsleur.

One other thing I would recommend is learning to read Hangul.The script is phonetic and pretty easy to learn.If you can't understand what someone is saying on a CD, if you know Hangul, it's really easy to look it up and find out how to say it properly.

4-0 out of 5 stars A very good product that works well - Comprehensive I Review
This review is of the 30 disc Korean Comprehensive I CD edition.

I have had this product for about two weeks now. I am currently on lesson 9 of 30. I have a bit of an unfair advantage as I am currently living in South Korea so I get to check my progress with friends and co-workers. I have been working on learning Korean for a while now. I started by learning to read Korea, an important first step for anyone interested in learning Korean, and I think it highlights one of the weaknesses of the Pimsleur method. The problem is that it can be difficult to understand, at times, exactly what is being said. But I can ask a Korean friend to write out the phrase in Hangul, which I can read, and then the words and their pronunciation fall into place. Now don't get me wrong, I think the Pimsleur method is the BEST METHOD I HAVE EVER USED. But I would have rated them 5 out of 5 stars if they were able to improve in this one area.

The Pimsluer program can be a bit fast paced if you let it but just take your time and work through the lessons. Don't be afraid to go back a lesson or two, or to move ahead when you don't feel quite ready. They do an excellent job or reintroducing past material. If you moved ahead too quickly then just go back over the most recent lessons.

My one last complaint, and it is really a minor one, is that the disc names and track titles do not import cleanly into iTunes. Some of the discs are titled with the wrong language, or a slightly different wording for the album and artist. This all makes sorting the files in iTunes annoying. But I simpy went into each file and made the required correction.

Overall I would rate this product a 4.5 out of 5 stars.Korean: Learn to Speak and Understand Korean with Pimsleur Language Programs (Comprehensive)Korean: Learn to Speak and Understand Korean with Pimsleur Language Programs (Comprehensive)

1-0 out of 5 stars 1 Star for Content - 0 Stars for Value for Your Money
The main reason why I assume others bought this series of CDs is to hear more Korean as it is spoken to get pronounciation practice and listening comprehension. Unfortunately with this series you will find yourself listening most of the time to -- English! Yes, at least 70% of each CD is filled with someone speaking English. One would expect perhaps to hear the English version of the phrase before hearing the Korean, but this somehow doesn't suffice in the "Pimsleur Method". For their special method you need to get a long-winded introduction and redundant background descriptions of situations and grammatical lessons spoken in English. This is a waste of your time and space on the CDs.

Sure the first time you hear it, it might be useful to have someone explain what you are hearing, but the real utility of a CD course is that you can listen to the Korean phrases over and over again until you hear it in your head. With the Pimsleur method after the first hearing you will find yourself wading through all the English and waiting for the Korean phrase which seems to be thrown in almost as an afterthought.

To add insult to injury, each lesson starts with a review of the previous lesson and then throughout each lesson, words and phrases are included from previous lessons. Again, this sounds like a good idea borrowed classroom teaching -- its always good to review the previous lesson before starting something new -- but on a CD set, where a review can be accomplished by simply inserting the previous CD in your player, this is just irritating.

By the time I got to lesson 10 I started to think, "Hmmm, here I am on lesson 10 and I haven't gotten much further than simple introductions! I hope the rest of the CDs progress much quicker!" Again, I was disappointed to find that the subsequent CDs had an equal lack of content.

I think the best language learning CDs are the ones found in the Foreign Serivice Institute's CD set (although they are hopelessly outdated because I think they were recorded 30 years ago and are mostly recorded in the "formal" style of speech which is only useful for listening to news broadcasts or in highly formal business settings) because they are packed with nothing but Korean that you can listen to and immerse yourself in the language. The best way to learn any language is to listen and learn to think in it. I think the Pimsleur method is fundamentally flawed because it teaches the student to translate in his or her head -- which is NOT what you want to do.

If you were to remove all the English and all the repetition from these CDs, all the lessons' content could be squeezed into 2 CDs! Worst of all is that there is very little text or grammar included along with this CD set, so if this were your only method of learning Korean you would have no context for the stock phrases you have learned.

The most difficult thing about Korean for English speakers is the structure and grammar of the language. In Korean, by and large, verbs change because of the person spoken to and not because of the person doing the action. The concept of these different levels of "politeness of speech" is essential to any study of the language and yet Pimsleur neglects to really explain this. Sentence structure is demonstrated on the CDs but not really explained beyond saying that verbs appear at the end of the sentence. Again, because Koreans tend to omit the agent of the action when speaking (e.g., "I go to school." is usually spoken as "Go to school.") it is important to be able to recognize and remember WHO is doing the action during a conversation and this is accomplished through the understanding of the topic particle or subject particle -- another important concept neglected by Pimsleur. These are BASIC concepts, so if these are omitted, you can forget getting any explanation of tenses or compound sentences in this CD set.

Granted, when I heard this course for the first time I had already been studying Korean for almost a year and already had a decent grasp of the basics, so perhaps for the absolute beginner these CDs might have more utility. Also I was lucky to have gotten this CD set on loan from my local library. Had I shelled out $200+ I think I would have been seriously angry.

For the price of this set of CDs you can buy 10 really good books on Korean. I think you might even be better off getting some good books on Korean grammar and then getting the excellent Vocabulearn series to hear how words are pronounced to build your spoken vocabulary.

There is nothing "Comprehensive" about this course. After memorizing everything taught in this set, the student will hardly be able to order a cup of coffee in a restaurant, which probably could have been learned from a Berlitz-style phrasebook. Save your money. ... Read more

14. Korean: Lonely Planet Phrasebook
by Minkyoung Kim, J. D. Hilts, Lonely Planet Phrasebooks
Paperback: 256 Pages (2008-03-01)
list price: US$8.99 -- used & new: US$3.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1740594916
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
You don't need a black belt in t'aekkwondo - 'the way of the foot and fist' - to master the Korean language. Just open this book, avoid putting your foot in your mouth and talk you way to the best bulgogi in town.

Our phrasebooks give you a comprehensive mix of practical and social words and phrases in more than 120 languages. Chat with the locals and discover their culture - a guaranteed way to enrich your travel experience. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very useful & portable
This book was very easy to understand and the perfect size to carry in a purse or pocket.Great buy!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful for teenager, too
My teenager uses this book to communicate with her international friends at school, over emails, and text messages.It works!Information is accurate and they are better able to communicate.

5-0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT!
I've been living in Korea for about 6 months now and use this book frequently.It's small enough to carry around in a purse or pocket but holds TONS of information.Everything you need on a daily basis to get around with the locals.The layout is great, you can see it, sound it out or if all else fails... just point!Would definately recommend!

2-0 out of 5 stars 44 pages less than the 3rd edition
This is the 4th Edition (purple/violet cover 2008) I borrowed the 3rd Edition (red/maroon color 2002) from the library. The earlier edition has 300 pages and appears to have more info in it than this newer version.

I have two other books. I'm using Korean for Dummies and Beginner's Korean. And this has a section on grammar that seems to compliment them. I initially bought a 2008 edition but returned it.

Though it is not as color coded as the new version, I'll be purchasing the 2002 (3rd edition) instead! ... Read more

15. Colloquial Korean (Colloquial Series)
by Danielle Ooyoung Pyun, Inseok Kim
Paperback: 304 Pages (2009-09-18)
list price: US$54.95 -- used & new: US$36.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415774462
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Colloquial Korean is easy to use and completely up-to-date!

This second edition of the popular course is specially written by an experienced teacher for self-study or class use, the course offers you a step-by-step approach to written and spoken Korean. No prior knowledge of the language is required.

What makes Colloquial Korean your best choice in personal language learning?

  • Interactive – lots of exercises for regular practice
  • Clear – Concise grammar notes
  • Practical – useful vocabulary and pronunciation guide
  • Complete – including answer key and reference section

By the end of this rewarding course you will be able to communicate confidently and effectively in Korean in a broad range of everyday situations.

The pack contains the paperback and 120 minutes of audio material, recorded on CDs. These complement the book and will help you with your pronunciation and listening skills.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Aimed at conducting Korean business
This book is okay if you would like to learn Korean for business and are already familiar with the basics of Korean.It attempts to teach you the basics of Korean grammar while teaching you conversation that is relevant to business.I think it is too fast paced for a true beginner, and is more appropriate for an advanced beginner.The book comes with exercises, and answers on the back, as a well as CD which are all helpful for individuals learning Korean on their own.The male speaker on the CD does not sound like a native Korean speaker, but his speech is still good and may actually be easier for non-native speakers to understand.I give it 3 starts instead of 4 because I would have liked to have seen 2 more chapters in the beginning about basic Korean grammar, with shorter, easier conversations about non-business topics like family.

5-0 out of 5 stars I like it!
This book is a pretty good resource for learning basic Korean. It has much substance too. Dialogs are presented in both Korean and Romanization, so it's easy to follow. So far I like it.

2-0 out of 5 stars First 20+ pages missing
Open the cover and the first page you find is page 21 - somewhere close to the end of the first chapter. No intro, no TOC, and so on. Flipped through the whole book - it's not a matter of the pages being out of order - they are just plain missing. ... Read more

16. Integrated Korean Workbook: Beginning 2, 2nd Edition (Klear Textbooks in Korean Language)
by Mee-Jeong Park, Joowon Suh, Mary Shin Kim, Sang-Suk Oh, Hangtae Cho
Paperback: 234 Pages (2010-08-03)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$18.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0824835166
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good book
I'm new to this language all together. I'm really into learning korean, I watch so many K-Dramas and listen to K-pop. So it was really hard for me to decide what kind of textbooks i should get. After reading so many reviews, i had ended up getting this textbook series. I have to say that i have learned alot in the first book, and i'm ready to for the second. In many reviews people seem to complain alot about the audio not being mp3 format, or the $195 aduio cds that can be purchased. Well i was able to get the audio on my ipod, so im able to listen to theaudio were every i go. (Macbook Pro, it was easy using my laptop)Advice to people who are self-study, this is a must have book. The lesson aren't "Fast" they can become like that if you don't take your time to study the vocab.

4-0 out of 5 stars Better than Level I Beginner
Out of all the self-paced textbooks available, this series isn't perfect but it does get the job done. This particular textbook (Beginning Level 2) is very useful and contains some of the best explanations of Korean grammar I've ever seen. If you are a native English speaker and want to learn Korean grammar and incidental vocabulary, pick up this book.

Remember this textbook is designed to be used in a classroom; namely the University of Hawaii. It outlines the goals, vocabulary and grammar points quite well and actually fits a self-paced and self-determined student quite well outside of the classroom. The chapters are logically laid out and are never too difficult to follow. This book not only takes it slow, but systemically explains and compares previous grammar points to avoid confusion.

Like the other books in the series, the publication date is dated and needs an update. Almost ten years since the last one. However, unlike the previous book in the series (Beginning Level 1) this book stays pretty natural throughout the text. The situations are mostly quite believable and the appropriate level of speech is used most of the time. I found myself pleasantly surprised at the scripts. It rarely felt like a textbook in that it didn't feel dry.

All in all, it's a relatively cheap and easily obtainable self-study resource for explaining Korean grammar in English. I highly recommend it as an additional if not primary resource for studying Korean.

5-0 out of 5 stars Using In Class - Good Book!
This book has been very good when combined with an instructor who actually cares about the students learning the language.Our instructor - a graduate student who is an exchange student from Korea - prepares slide shows and other material from the book for a two hour class every Tuesday & Thursday.

Physically, the book is pretty high quality. The pages should stand up to a lot of page turning.

Sentences in this book are not the useless things that you'll find in some other language books.They generally make sense from a conversational point of view, and will do things like:

(In Korean): "I assume that you were born in The U.S.?"
(In Korean): "No, I was born in Seoul, but we immigrated to the U.S. when I was two years old."

This allows you to see how "born" and (paraphrased) "assumed born" are said in Korean as well as making use of other vocabulary.

In short, this is a very good book when used in a classroom with an instructor who cares about their students' learning.It's also inexpensive, which is a major boon for any student.

However, I do not recommend this book for self-learning.You will NEED explanations and someone to go to with questions.That's all there is to it:This is a classroom text book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Probably the best book out there so far.
This is a well organized series, and follows pretty much the same layout that the Genki series did for Japanese.It's very controlled, with the first dialog or so taking a few grammar concepts from the previous chapters and introducing new ones as well.You get about 7 or so new grammar points, with maybe 20-30 or so new words per chapter.The task/function sections in the chapters clearly had classroom work in mind, but it's not entirely useless for self learners.I used this as my main study material for the KLPT, and with this book (to beginning 2) plus spaced repetition software managed to score a level 1.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not for self learners
This book might work well in a classroom, but it doesn't work at all for someone trying to learn the language on their own. It moves very fast, and the workbook exercises (particularly the listening comprehension exercises) quickly become so difficult as to be impossible for someone who isn't already used to the sound of the language. Some grammatical concepts are used without being explained, and the grammar index includes references to sections in which the relevant grammar is not explained at all, merely used. All of this is very dejecting, and it surely needn't be that way. The problem, of course, is that there are very few other textbooks around -- in particular, there are very few textbooks that avoid romanization, as this one does. But being the best of a bad lot doesn't make it useful. ... Read more

17. Integrated Korean: Beginning 2, 2nd Edition (KLEAR Textbooks in Korean Language)
by Young-mee Cho, Hyo Sang Lee, Carol Schulz, Ho-min Sohn, Sung-Ock Sohn
Paperback: 278 Pages (2010-08-03)
list price: US$28.00 -- used & new: US$26.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0824835158
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18. Korean: Audio Cd Course (Language 30) (Korean Edition)
Audio CD: Pages (2002-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$13.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1931850070
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19. Intermediate College Korean
by Clare You
Paperback: 280 Pages (2001-11-05)
list price: US$35.95 -- used & new: US$31.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0520222954
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This companion volume to College Korean (California, 1992) enables students to continue their development of Korean language skills and to enrich their understanding of Korea. Because language is a fundamental component of culture, the text incorporates themes relating to Korea's cultural customs and social issues, presented in the form of dialogues, anecdotes, short essays, and poems. Also included are themes tied to the country's physical geography, including major cities, islands, and historical sites. Each lesson consists of a situation dialogue, core vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, grammar, and exercises on reading and listening comprehension. The vocabulary uses adult-level words from the media and professional worlds and ranges from computer terms to martial arts. Unlike other Korean language texts, Intermediate College Korean goes well beyond everyday survival skills and offers students a much wider exposure to both the language and culture of Korea. A reference section includes an index to patterns and grammar notes, a glossary, spelling tips, a list of connectives, and irregular verb charts. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Super! Unbelievable! Awesome!!!
This book is excellent. It really works. If you're a beginner, then get the "College Korean" book by the same authors and work through it first. This book complements it nicely. If you are already somewhat competent in Korean, then this book is all you need. What I recommend is to copy out the dialogues, all the vocabulary, every example and all the grammar lessons in han-geul, rather than just reading them. (Don't copy the English of course! Just the Han-geul!) This makes you much quicker at learning and retaining them, and also makes you an expert speller and quick at writing. Then, do the exercises too, copying out the questions first. The dialogues cover the whole spectrum of Korean life, so they are excellent for your cultural education, above and beyond linguistic. This textbook weaves cultural and language learning together so you kill two birds with one stone, and at the same time makes it doubly interesting to study with! It cleverly chooses the most important aspects of Korean culture, so that you aren't caught off-guard or clueless about any major part of what is unique about Korean life. I can't believe how quickly my Korean is improving. Unbelievable! I am very thankful for this book! To give you an idea of how effective and absolutely brilliant this textbook is, after chapter 4 I was freely and naturally exchanging detailed emails with Korean friends, and at chapter 6 I was having long and entertaining conversations with Korean friends face to face! I should point out that I am not Korean (I'm of English-Canadian and Ukrainian-Canadian stock) and, beyond the basic, survival-level Korean, this is the only study book I have used. So, I'm living proof it's tremendously and remarkably effective! Going from mute to fluent in a month totally freaked out my Korean friends! I'm very happy with this book! By the way, this text goes beyond just an "intermediate" level. It basically takes you all the way from the end of beginner/survival level, all the way to the advanced level, which means you can talk to anyone, and are pretty handy with websites, books and magazines. Stupendous! The authors and editors are way too humble in their very modest claims of "improved fluency" et cetera. We're talking about a night and day difference between beginning and end, from being unable to really talk at all to becoming the life of the party. Amazing!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Continuation, needs one thing more
Having worked through College Korean, this was the perfect continuation, providing review of patterns with an expansion of vocabulary. Book would have been considerably enhanced by the inclusion of an answer key for those of us doing self-study.

I learned Korean in the Peace Corps many years ago, but have forgotten much.This book is ideal for recapturing much of the vocab that has escaped me over the years.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good advanced textbook
If you already know a lot of Korean, this is is a good textbook. The stories that begin each chapter follow the adventures of Hyun-bae, a US-raised Korean traveling to Korea on summer vacation to perfect his Korean skills. I really liked the first story, with him being so polite to the mother of the crying baby on the plane and the middle-aged man distracting him by asking about his studies.

The grammar explanations are clear, with plenty of examples. Pronunciations of words like chak-ha-da = cha-ka-da are given in Hangul. Some of the grammar exercises were just too hard for me to figrue out, which is the only reason I don't give it another star. ... Read more

20. Elementary Korean (Tuttle Language Library)
by Ross King Ph.D., Jae-Hoon Yeon
Hardcover: 432 Pages (2000)
list price: US$69.95 -- used & new: US$43.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0804836140
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This textbook offers a complete first year course for learning Korean. Loosely based on Beginning Korean by Martin and Lee, it includes updated dialogues, grammar notes, and transcription in the Han'gul character system.
The main objective of this book is competence in spoken Korean through a streamlined introduction to the fundamental patterns of the language. Based on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, this book will provide students with an Intermediate-Low to Intermediate-Mid proficiency level. Reading passages enhance the lessons.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great buy!
This book is great, along with some other supplemental material I can already read Korean in a few hours of studying. The cd that comes with it helps a lot with the pronunciation.

5-0 out of 5 stars The yardstick by which all textbooks should be measured
This book is perfect in every way and was the major, if not central, contributor to my fluency in Korean. The grammar is perfect for the second and third year of a Korean course and the dialogues have a very rich and native flavor to them. The vocabulary is extremely useful and complete. I believe that complete is the exact word for this. This book is complete in every way from the table of contents to the very accessible glossaries in the back.

With the CD that comes with it or a standalone textbook, this book is ideal. The exercises within it are perfect and they reinforce what was learned in the previous chapter. Even the cheesy reading passages are appropriate for the corresponding skill level of a learner at the corresponding level for every chapter.

The color of the cover, the layout of the book is perfect; the font is perfect. The quality of the paper is perfect. Even the introduction is perfect. And the mistake count? To be honest I read this whole book and it only has 4 mistakes in all of its 500 pages. That's like less than 0.01% - as flawless as a book gets in my book.

The only problem I found with this book was that the subsequent volume that Ross King promises within it has not been delivered. Long story short, if all foreign language textbooks were like this, the world would be a more polyglotal(polyglotish?) place.

1-0 out of 5 stars No Vocabulary
The MP3 files that come with this book only have vocabulary for chapters 1, 2, and 5.The authors leave it up to everyone else to figure out the vocabulary from the Hangul.Although I can read and write Hangul, this is very cumbersome.In addition, the files do not have any English, so it is very difficult to listen to the vocabulary files that they do include unless you are sitting there with the textbook.

1-0 out of 5 stars Unhelpful and outdated.
I bought this book for self study and spent some months using it.

The structure is quite familiar to whom has already been studying languages, various lessons are divided into a text, vocabulary, grammar notes and excercises.

Talking about the general structure, I think the lessons are too long (an average of about 20 pages per lesson) so that it is difficult to study them in small time portions (takes about a week to cover a lesson). Many lessons cover too many structures and grammar points so that the exercise can't focus on all of them.

Anyway I'd like to analyze the lacking points in each section of an average lesson.

The text is always too short, uses structures that are not going to be covered in the same lesson and in my opinion is something the authors barely took care of being generally frustrating to read and unuseful to memorize.

Vocabulary section in each lesson cover a hundred or more words, the most part of wich never appears anywhere else in the lesson making it pointless to remember the as you're not going to see them anywhere else (it's like studying from a dictionary).

Grammar notes are pointlessly complicated (especially when explaining verb endings) and stress futile points (like when to pause when using certain particles) while leaving the important explanations unclear.

About the exercises, they are overwhelmingly numerous yet poor in variety.
They are the kind of exercise you may find in a mid-80s textbook, with lots of meaningless writin to do.

This all adds to odd translations and outdated korean spelling.

I would never reccomend this book for studying Korean.
I know it is one of the few being available in English, however I suggest to buy one of the textbooks that are printed in Korea by one of the many universities that hold korean summer courses.

4-0 out of 5 stars A friendly textbook
As a basic textbook for students, "Elementary Korean" is detailed and besides offering you also some simple exercises for practice basics, it answers "friendly" to many questions and doubts one can have with regard to Korean language. Though it aims to university level learning (and it is effective), you can consider it almost as a kind of friendly "human" teacher, for its "voice" is really nice. ... Read more

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