Issue 12: K-Book Review
Starting from the very beginning, Korean ABC through Japanese!
’ve actually tried to learn Hangul, the Korean alfabet, a couple of times before. First I tried some Japanese Nintendo DS game ‘teaching’ Korean which was fun but it’s one of those games that you’re already expected to know Hangul. Then I browsed my local bookstore (slim pickings) and found this yellow-and-blue book called ‘Read & Speak Korean For Beginners’ which comes with a CD (though the sound clips sound like some French person speaking Korean) but it too didn’t really teach Hangul. Then I gave up on learning Hangul at the time until something better came up.
Choosing a book
Upon browsing Amazon Japan for some new books I searched for some books on Korean just out of curiosity and to my surprise found lots of books teaching Korean from the very basic, its ABC, Hangul. I particulary liked『３日でできる超入門ハングル』, it comes with a CD and teaches nothing but the alphabet. Perfect for me 🙂 Now the book itself is only about 80 pages thick, but then again, it’s only the alphabet that it covers. It’s part of a series of two, the first being this book on Hangul and the following being an introduction to the language and grammar.
Baby Bite Sized
The thing that frustrated me when I was trying to learn Hangul before, is that I couldn’t keep certain letters apart, the mostly vertical and horizontal lines that make up words are very similar and I kept mixing them up and forgetting them. What I love about this book is that it groups all the letters into groups of 5 to 10 and focuses on hearing the sound first, seeing the letter and then writing them out. Everything is very logical and the book uses a smart repetition system!
3 Days Only
The book is divided in roughly three chapters which cover a day each. Each day is then split into lessons of an hour each, 4 in total. So basically the whole course is 3 days of 4 hours each. This is quite intensive but the book recommends you spreading it over a week or slower if you don’t have that much time. I’ve been doing it at a pace of two 1 hour lessons a day. Lots of attention goes to each single letter, letting you first listen to the accompanying CD then trace and repeat afterwards. After you’ve learned a group of new letters, the CD lets you learn and practise them in a natural and playful way using listening practises and simple games. Simple words using the just-learned letters helps you recognise them and shows you how words are constructed and the book repeats previously learned letters in such a way that it reinforces what you’ve learned before everytime you advance. I really like this book and if I can learn hangul, then you can definitely too!
For me, somebody who was looking for an easy (easier) way to learn the Hangul script, this book was perfect. It is aimed at Japanese people and thus written entirely in Japanese ofcourse. I liked that the lessons were divided and written in a really easy to digest way, you almost can’t go wrong. The drawings and games make it fun and keeping it light and there are plenty of audio files and listening exercises on the CD allowing you to become familiar with the Korean sound.
• title: ３日でできる超入門ハングル書き取りノート
• pages: 80
• dimensions: 25.7 x 18.5 cm
• extra: CD x 1
• language: Japanese – Korean
• publisher: ALC (www.alc.co.jp)
• order: http://www.amazon.co.jp
• ISBN: 978-4-7574-1352-8
• special Chokochoko rating: 90%