Issue 23: K-Book Review
Learning Korean and travelling to Korea soon? Try these illustrated guides!
verybody getting theirselves into learning something like a new language often start out with a good ‘ol phrase book. Before getting yourself into learning complex grammar, drilling vocab and conjugating verbs, set phrases are a fun way to learn basic, but essential, things. You probably learned stuff like “ありがとう” and “おはようございます” way before you knew how to read hiragana. I mean, what use is it if you only know how to conjugate for example the verb “walking” into the past tense yet don’t know how to order a coke in a restaurant. Set phrases are simply essential. The『イラスト会話ブック(Illustrated Conversation Book)』is a charming phrase book series for travel. Books include popular countries like China, France, USA as well lesser known countries such as The Netherlands!
Because I’m learning Korean (at least I try to and at a slower-than-sluggish pace), ofcourse I bought the Korean edition. It didn’t take me long to put this little guide in the shopping basket, I mean, IT’S FULL OF PICTURES AND COLOR! OFCOURSE I had to buy it! Just like everywhere nowadays, everything Korean is also very popular in Japan. If you’re planning a trip to Korea (or just want to know more about Korea), you probably want to get past Kimchi and Winter Sonata.
『イラスト会話ブック- 韓国』shows you how to say everything from Bulgogi to your favorite K-Drama idol to a traditional Hanbok to how to say low blood pressure. Famous places and landmarks are also introduced as well as a whole variety of (non-Kimchi) Korean dishes. Interesting trivia are also sprinkled throughout the book providing you with fun extra info.
The book is full of handy expressions and shows you how to say certain phrases in certain situations. Sentences are presented in a way so that you can choose your own words suitable to specific situations. Words including visuals let’s you mix and match whatever you want to say. All words and phrases have Japanese, Korean as well as how to pronounce the words (in katakana). The handdrawn images about popular Korean culture are instantly recognisable and if you don’t like to express yourself verbally, showing and pointing works equally well.
Typical topics covered are sightseeing, eating, shopping etc. There even is a small chapter at the end of the book about Japan, letting you introduce all things Japanese to your Korean friends! A small chapter about the Korean language is also included.
『イラスト会話ブック- 韓国』, while fun, isn’t meant to be a serious read (nor tries to be). It touches many subjects popular in the Korean culture and then some. The handdrawn images is part what makes this little guide charming. Every page is filled with cute colorful drawings, photos and pictures and even though it isn’t meant for hardcore studying, there’s quite some stuff crammed into this little book. It makes a perfect toilet book! Now you don’t have to be in love with all things Korean to enjoy this book, there’s quite some Japanese reading in it too. And if Korea is not your dream destination, try one about your own country! A funny thing about this book is that the cover sleeve has a hiragana chart with picture words and a couple of Japanese expressions. I guess a lot of non-Japanese people also enjoy these highly fun travel phrase books too!
• title: イラスト会話ブック: 韓国 – Illustrated Conversation Book
• pages: 143
• dimensions: 18.3 x 13 cm
• extra: n/a
• language: Japanese – Korean
• publisher: JTB Publishing (www.rurubu.com)
• order: http://www.amazon.co.jp
• ISBN: 978-4-553-06302-2
• special Chokochoko rating: 85%