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Advanced Korean: Includes Sino-Korean Companion Workbook on CD-ROM Paperback – April 7, 2015
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"For beginners, Elementary Korean, which strikes the elusive combination of detailed information and an engaging presentation. For advanced students, Advanced Korean will provide you with the tools you need to up your fluency, especially in writing." —Language Trainers blog
"Good, detailed explanations with ample example sentences." —Hangudrama blog
About the Author
Ross King, Ph.D., is Professor of Korean and Head of the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. He completed his B.A. in Linguistics at Yale and his doctorate in Linguistics (Korean) at Harvard. Dr. King taught Korean language and linguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, from 1990 to 1994, before accepting his current position. Dr. King's research interests range from Korean historical grammar, dialectology and pedagogy to the language, culture and history of the ethnic Korean minority in the former Soviet Union. He also serves as Dean of the Korean Language Village at Concordia Language Villages, a Korean language and culture summer immersion program for young people ages 7 to 18 that is based in northern Minnesota.
Jaehoon Yeon, Ph.D., is Professor of Korean Language and Linguistics and Chair of the Centre of Korean Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He is the author of Korean Grammatical Constructions: Their Form and Meaning (Saffron Books, London) and the co-author of Korean: A Comprehensive Grammar (Routledge), Complete Korean: Teach Yourself (Hodder Education) and Integrated Korean: Advanced I, II (University of Hawaii Press). He has published many articles on Korean grammar and linguistics. He has been teaching Korean language and linguistics at SOAS since 1989. Dr. Yeon's research interests include a wide range of Korean linguistics (especially morpho-syntax) and linguistic typology, Korean language pedagogy, and translation.
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Another reason why this text stands out is that the explanations given are very in depth. These in-depth explanations enable me look at each grammar pattern from different angles and in different ways than I had before. As a result, I'm now able to translate and understand Korean sentences that I just couldn't quite get before. I can now look back at Korean sentences that baffled me before and say, "Now I get it!"
No Korean grammar book will ever be perfect or include all of the grammar patterns that I want explained. But, if you are an advanced Korean language learner and want to move up to the next level, I highly recommend "Advanced Korean."
I'm far, far from being any kind of "expert" when it comes to Korean, but I'm not any beginner either. So, if you have any Korean grammar questions or if you have any comments or suggestions that you want to make, please feel free to contact me at "firstname.lastname@example.org" and I'll help you if I can. Learning Korean is not easy and I have not forgotten how frustrating it was to have a Korean question and to not have anyone to help me,
"Modern Korean: An Intermediate Reader" is excellent and I strongly recommend getting this one too. It does not go quite as far into the language as "Advanced Korean" does, but it is good all the same, and it teaches you lots of folk tales and traditional cultural icons and such that are good to know about. The "Routledge Intermediate Korean Reader", also (as is "Advanced Korean") authored by Dr. Yeon was a bit hard for me, so after doing 3 chapters in it I switched over to "Advanced Korean" and I will then resume it when finished. I think of this Routledge book as a necessary next step in my Korean learning. That Dr. Yeon is behind this one too makes me think that he would recommend it also be used along with ""Advanced Korean". The recently (2011) published complete grammar of Korean by Dr. Yeon again, is a necessary part of all Koreanists' libraries. You wouldn't believe how utterly frustrated I was with the Korean language for 15 years before that book was published, as there was no way for me to learn all the little finnicky points of grammar that never stopped popping up! Interestingly, I figured out about 90% of the grammar in that book by my own efforts before it was published by just using the language over the years and trying to make sense of things! I am also waiting to delve into the Klear "Korean Reader for Chinese Characters" by Dr. Cho.
Among a number of lower level texts, I have completed Drs. King and Yeon's other two textbooks in the series, and the "College Korean" - "Intermediate College Korean" twin set, which are of course excellent too if not quite as extensive as Drs. King and Yeon's. These are hardly the only books I've used to learn Korean though. The list goes on, which I will spare you from! I do hold myself to be quite good at the language, especially as a listener and a reader, but I am hardly an expert as I still do not really understand much TV and I find most things in print to have too many new words in it for it to be fun to read, although I'm "getting there", and I can see how this current textbook is making a HUGE difference for me!
This book is brilliant. It has 20 chapters packed with what the four authors' combined wisdom has determined to be the final grammatical lessons you need to learn at an advanced stage, and also over 1000 advanced level words, so you can understand the news and talk about intelligent things with people about current affairs, business, society and such. Of course, they cannot possibly equip you with every word used in Korean, as Korean uses an ENORMOUS lexicon. However, what they do in fact include is truly very clever. They have a CD ROM included that has another textbook in it. This other textbook has the same chapters and readings as in the bound textbook but this time it teaches you 500 of the most important Chinese characters in Korean words as they come up in the readings, along with other derived vocabulary. This is absolutely brilliant. This fact in itself should guarantee the book a place in every true Koreanist's education! What a smart idea! A Korean teacher I know whom I showed the book to took one look at this and heaped immense praise on it. Anyhow, why this CD ROM of Chinese Characters used in Korean is such an important thing is that since you cannot possibly just brute memorize every one of the most commonly used 20,000 or so words in Korean, which is really about how many you need to know to properly communicate in this language in a natural way, you CAN memorize the 500 root morphemes from Chinese that are in virtually all of them. Thus, given the context of what you are reading or listening to, you will likely be able to figure out either exactly what the new word means, or at least what the gist of it is due to the fact that you can translate at least one of the syllables in it. Like, if you know ka-jok, min-kuk, kuk-min, then min-jok, which is a bit higher level of a term should make sense to you. Korean is built on really relatively few of the Chinese root words. With a solid 500 under your belt, you're all set to handle tens of thousands of combinations.
I am currently working through chapter 7 at the moment. I am already noticing a huge improvement in my Korean ability, which is why I was inspired to spend an hour writing this review right now. Something I'd like to add here is HOW I study using the book. I suppose the assumption when picking the book up is that you would simply read through the vocabulary lists, read carefully the stories and example sentences in the lessons, and then with pen and paper do all the work at the back of each chapter. I don't think the stuff will stick in your head enough if you merely do this; maybe you're a super genius but I'm not. What I do is COPY everything in Korean in the text by hand! I find by copying out every vocabulary word, the whole story in every chapter, and all the example sentences and grammar patterns, that about 97% of it (or more) sticks in my memory. When it comes to the activities at the end of the chapter, I actually just go and copy out the answers at the end of the book. It works for me anyhow.
I hope this review helps to give this book the exposure it deserves and I hope you buy it and use it all the way through. It is terrifically extensive and amazingly lucid and detailed. It is solving my "advanced learner's woes" that plagued me for so long. It bridges the gap from being good at Korean to becoming a full participant in the language and life of the country. I'm very happy with it.