Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Korean Primer

Do you suck at Korean? Do you want to suck less at Korean? Me too.

1. 2000 Essential Words for Korean Beginners

It's not a textbook, it's a pure vocabulary book. I've finished three chapters so far, which hasn't necessarily worked miracles for my Korean, but it does give one that glow of satisfaction and accomplishment. You can find it at Kyobo books (about $10 cheaper than ordering it from that website). It has tables of irregular verb conjugations, it has an index in the back so you can easily look up words you don't know, each word has a sample sentence to demonstrate its usage as well as synonyms and antonyms, there are neat sections that teach Korean through Chinese characters (fascinating for a word nerd like me), and there's a comprehensive appendix with loads of useful tables and extras. My only complaint is that I wish the sample sentences were given English/Chinese/Japanese translations  as well, but I guess that's how you learn. Really worth the price.

2. Talk To Me In Korean

For the grammar and phrases to round out your vocabulary from the above book. Totally free, and available in either podcast form or PDF form.

3. Start Liking K-Pop

One of my favorite things to do, in terms of language acquisition/practice, is to translate song lyrics. If K-Pop isn't your thing, find a K-something. Try out Busker Busker:

Or Neon Bunny (야광토끼):

Or (last one) No Brain:

4. Find A Good Online Dictionary

And bookmark it.

What else do you do to improve your Korean?

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