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Beginner's Korean (Hippocrene Beginner's Series) Paperback – July 30, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0781810920 ISBN-10: 0781810922

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Beginner's Korean (Hippocrene Beginner's Series) + Korean for Beginners: Mastering Conversational Korean (CD-ROM Included)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 510 pages
  • Publisher: Hippocrene Books (July 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781810922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781810920
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 5.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,207,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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See all 9 customer reviews
The entire book uses the Korean alphabet (hangul) as well as romanization.
Amazon Customer
All in all the book seems to be written by people who didn't care too much about usability or usefulness but more about publishing (getting money out of it).
B. Benjamin
I'd say that after using this book, a person should be able to read a basic Korean reader.
Joel Bjorling

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have been trying to learn Korean for almost two years and have built up quite a collection of Korean language book. My first question when I saw this book was: why bother? A few features made me change my mind.

Most Korean language books focus on formal and polite speech. I have not found a book where they are covered in the same chapter, which leads to a lot of flipping pages. Casual and plain speech are usually only mentioned, not covered.

This book has a handy chart just a few pages in that shows the four levels of speech, plus additional optional honorifics, all in one place. Questions, statements, commands, what to do it the verb ends in a vowel or a consonant, it's all there. The chart is worth the price of the book. There are more charts and lists throughout the book that are equally helpful. In fact, the authors deserve credit for such a thoughtful and intelligent layout of information.

The entire book uses the Korean alphabet (hangul) as well as romanization. I cover the romanized words since learning the Korean alphabet is easy and well worth the time. After all, why go to all the trouble of learning a language only to be illiterate?

One quip: each chapter begins with a huge chunk of dialogue. I find language book dialogues to be mind numbingly boring but I realize that many readers enjoy this way of learning.

An extremely affordable book, I can easily recommend it to anyone learning Korean. If you can only afford one Korean language book, Beginner's Korean is an excellent choice that belongs on any beginner's bookshelf. More of my constant companions in learning Korean:

...Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Adrienne on September 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the first Korean text I've used in my journey to learning the language. The book has a very simple format. First, the book takes you through understanding the sounds and characters that make up hangul. There is a reading exercise prior to beginning any actual lessons, and I've actually used this to practice typing in Korean on my laptop. That's not what it's supposed to be used for, but I'm just throwing the idea out there. The lessons are set up like many beginning language books: you learn greetings, directions, how to talk about yourself, shopping, and so on.

There is plenty of vocabulary (as well as additional vocabulary) in each lesson and there is also a grammar section which is very useful.

The book comes with two CDs which basically walks you through the vocabulary and dialogue. It's very helpful for helping with pronunciation of words. The use of hangul and romanization is also helpful for making sure you write the words correctly.

There are also exercises at the end of each lesson. They aren't exhaustive, but are just a quick check to make sure you understand the material. There is an answer guide at the back of the book. There's nothing fancy about the book, and it leaves it up to the reader to determine how to learn the material. It simply tells you what you need to know about vocabulary, grammar, and the culture.

This is very suitable for self-study or as a reference.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gracey London on July 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought this book hoping I could use it to teach myself Korean. I have friends who are native Korean speakers, so I have some idea of how the language works, but as far as real independent "study," this book would have been my primary resource.

It's an okay book, as these kinds of books go, but there were several points that disappointed me. For one thing, the book tends to be too scholarly for the average reader. It goes overboard with details about pronunciation rules and the intricacies of grammar--far more than the average Korean probably knows or needs to know, let alone the native English speaker trying to pick up Korean as a second language.

In addition, I don't think the book was written by people who had a clear idea of how a good textbook should be organized. The layout of the vocabulary and grammar is less than reader-friendly.

I am planning to buy the Ross textbook, *Elementary Korean*. I flicked through a copy at Borders today, and it looks like it's better organized, more reader-friendly, and simply a better textbook. If you're really planning to learn the language (not just pick up a smattering for a summer visit) I wouldn't recommend this Hippocrene book. It's better to invest a little more money and get a "real" textbook.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joel Bjorling on August 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent introduction to the Korean language. I wanted one that used Hangul lettering and this book has that as well as transliterations. It is a book about traveling in Korea--asking direction, making phone calls, food and restaurants, barbershops and salons--yet it is still very useful in learning the language. It has a brief section on Korean grammar. I'd say that after using this book, a person should be able to read a basic Korean reader. It is not a college text, but it is a very good alternative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Bernstein on November 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my wife who started to learn Korean, and according to her (and her Korean teacher) this book is very good and useful. The audio part in the attached CDs is also helpful.
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