Learn the Basics of Korean Quickly

The Korean Language

The Korean language is written in an alphabet known as hangeul. King Sejong created it back in 1446 as a way to help his people become literate. Luckily, the language is a scientific language, whose 24 letters (10 vowels and 14 consonants) reflect what happens in the mouth.

Why Learn Korean?

There are many reasons why a person should consider learning Korean. Maybe you want to sing along to Psy's hit song "Gangnam Style." Perhaps you will be teaching English in Korea and you would like a head start on learning Korean. You might have Korean family or friends who you would like to speak Korean with. Whatever the reason, to help you on your Korean journey, I thought I would share a book that I bought recently which has helped me immensely with my desire to learn Korean. I'm not fluent yet, but this book is helping me get a foundation in the language.

The Book

Korean through English is written by Sang-Oak Lee and is a series from The National Institute of the Korean Language. I have been working through Book 1 on a regular basis and have noticed an improvement in my ability to read hangeul. What I like about this book is that it gets you used to the Korean alphabet, rather than introduce the romanized or English characters in the text. Since there are many ways to spell romanized Korean, it makes sense to learn how to read hangeul.

This book teaches you how to read Korean characters. The included CD allows you to hear the characters, words, phrases and conversations read by a native Korean speaker. Everything is repeated twice, once by a female speaker and then by a male speaker.

It's both a textbook and workbook. You learn a lot of new vocabulary in each lesson and can always consult the glossary at the back of the book if you forget a word. Each chapter gives the reader an opportunity to practice what they have learned. The answer key at the back of the book allows you to check your answers.

- 25 lessons
- Overview of lessons in "Lesson Details"
- Learn to write Korean letters (hangeul)
- Learn vocabulary and phrases
- Practice listening to native Korean speakers with included CD
- Focus on the polite form of Korean, distinguish between the forms
- Learn about the history of Korean in the Appendix

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