- Series: TY: Complete Courses
- Paperback: 287 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (January 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0071414363
- ISBN-13: 978-0071414364
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,894,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Teach Yourself Korean Complete Course Package (Book + 2 CDs) (TY: Complete Courses) 1st Edition
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When I decided to move to Korea, I went to my local bookstore and I bee-lined to buy Teach Yourself Korean because I found the Teach Yourself Bulgarian set extremely helpful in getting me started with Bulgarian before and while I lived there.
Unfortunately, I was greatly disappointed with this set. From the beginning, it was all over the place! Why wouldn't the hangeul characters be placed next to their associated sounds? It was such a hassle to have to look back and forth from the paragraph to the printed characters to try to figure out their sounds! On top of it, the pronunciations aren't correct (I don't have hangeul on this computer so I can't write them out for you), but I can safely say as a North American mid-westerner, the pronunciation given for the "a" sound is "bat" and not as it is really spoken here (as in "father"). The same goes for the short o sound which is given as "hot" but is really pronounced more like "young" here. In fact, I would say that the o sound in "hot" like way I pronounce it is much closer to how the "a" is pronounced in "father" and in Korean. So needless to say it can be frustrating to a first time learner.
Unlike most reviewers I found the romanization alongside the vocabulary to be helpful (even if the pronunciation was off). Well, that is, the concept of romanization. There are plenty of inconsistencies other reviewers have elaborated on.
Also, there are many exercises in this book but they don't all feel related and the audio was so hard to follow. One minute the dialog is extremely slow "annyeong ha..se..yo" and the next minute they are skipping exercises in the book! It would have been helpful to say the page numbers and to give a little pause in between exercises to give time to locate the next part. Korean is spoken so rapidly and vowels are melted together, so if it pronunciation you are after, go with Pimsleur- those speakers teach you correct pronunciation, but speak at a faster pace.
I honestly stopped after two lessons and I didn't pick it up again until after living in Korea for 10 months (I am ashamed to say without any lessons or self-study) and began the Pimsleur Korean lessons (its major flaw being how incredibly formal it is). But once I looked at this book again as more of a supplement and with the little background I have in just picking up bits and pieces around me, things started to gel a little better.
This set in no way met my expectations nor delivered on its promises to progress quickly, communicate nor learn the language in depth! I think this book actually discouraged me from learning Korean! Hopefully I will be able to get more use out of it now, but as a true beginner it was useless!
One positive thing is that after reviewing it, I have decided to use some of the dialogs with my ESL students.
Good luck in your language pursuits- but maybe shop around! I have read many reviews for other books and it doesn't seem like this is the ONLY "best" book on the market. I also highly recommend the Pimsleur course if you can afford it.