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Posted March 3, 2011
OK let's get the negatives out of the way: 1. the book is written in romanization = there is no Korean script used in the book (Hangul) 2. the book's explanation of how to pronounce Korean vowels under the Yale system for pronunciation is not good It is true that you need to learn the Korean script at one point or another if you decide to learn this language, but to be perfectly honest you can learn the Hangul script in a matter of weeks if not days. The difficulty in learning Korean is getting a decent mastery of the grammar and making your sentences flow nicely together, in other words the spoken aspects, the script is really the least of your worries. The book's description of how to pronounce Korean vowels under Yale romanization is not good at all, but it is very easy to find clear explanations online at places such as wikipedia and britannica. There are 24 "real" chapter. Each chapter usually has this outline: 1. a reading dialogue 2. supplementary vocabulary 3. notes to the dialogues - grammar explanations: here you also get cultural information and the social context of the expressions you use 4. exercises - responding to questions, matching sentences, making your own short conversations, translations, etc What I really like about this book are: clear and uncomplicated explanations of grammar, extensive coverage of grammar, effective and varied exercises within each chapter, short chapters, you can do almost all exercises as a self-learner. I actually found the book very enjoyable and easy to work with. The book covers the same amount of grammar and vocabulary as most one-year courses would. However the book goes a little bit further than most beginner's books, for example it also mentions different dialects of Korean, how the Seoul dialect differs from others. Before I got this book I had been studying korean for a year. I could read Hangul very well but my skills in spoken Korean - putting my own sentences together and making them flow really well - were not very good. I felt desperately in need of a book that focused on spoken Korean.I truly feel it deserves 5/5, it helped me alot.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.