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Issue 23: K-Book Review

July 20, 2010


Learning Korean and travelling to Korea soon? Try these illustrated guides!


explanation-3awhiteverybody 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!


explanation-3aKorean Guide
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.

explanation-3aExpress Yourself
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!

Book Info
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 (
ISBN: 978-4-553-06302-2
special Chokochoko rating: 85%

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Miriam permalink
    July 21, 2010 10:36 am

    This book is so cute. I love all the little drawings and pictures.

  2. Mia permalink
    August 14, 2010 3:35 pm

    I need to stop reading your blog! I end up buying [almost] every book you recommend! And that’s not good for my pocket.

    I love your pictures, they make everything look even more appealing. Keep up the good work! 😀
    Your blog is amazing.

    • August 15, 2010 8:55 pm

      Hahaha, good for you! You know you want to buy them! 😀
      Thanks for reading, got some new stuff up soon!

      • Mia permalink
        August 19, 2010 1:07 pm

        Looking forward to it! 😉

    • June 24, 2011 8:51 am

      Aaaw, I can’t say how much I love this site! There is so much new things for me. Even I have learned japanese nearly 4-5 years, but it is still only lower-intermediate.

      And what Mia sais is definitely true! I need to buy these book recommentations asap. Especially all korean things. But little sad that it’s not good for my bocket, too. I don’t even know how many Japanese learning books I already have – too many :D.

      But now I just started learning korean (yes I finally learned those hanguel and pronucation rules, which are quite hard for beginning.) and hopefully I can learn it lot fastern than Japanese. I’m sure that my Japnese study will definitely help me learn it fastern. Or least now I have some kind of knowledge how I should learn =]

  3. March 9, 2011 5:07 pm


  4. Andini Rizky permalink
    May 13, 2012 10:43 am

    Kinokuniya in my city sells this book for about twice of the real price. It’s good for beginners or travelers. but the content is not so good for serious learners. So I skipped it and bought another Korean book in Japanese which was even more expensive. So how’s your Korean learning going?

    • Squire Starsquid permalink
      May 17, 2012 2:41 pm

      Hi Rizky,
      Yeah, sometimes its ridiculous what prices they charge (instead of the actual selling price).
      Korean is nowhere near the radar at the moment hehe

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