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Integrated Korean: Beginning 1 (KLEAR Textbooks in Korean Language) Paperback – 15 Dec 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press; Revised edition edition (15 Dec. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824834402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824834401
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 17.8 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. Hughes on 3 July 2010
Format: Paperback
I've tried a few books, and the Rosetta Stone software, with which to start studying Korean.
So far, this seems to be the best.

It is an updated version of an original book released about 10 years ago, incorporating much feedback from (American) students and teachers. The book isn't as dry as Yonsei University's offering. However, it is still quite technical, particularly the introduction, but is worth persevering with. Once you get to chapter 1, you'll find it is quite a user-friendly book. A particular benefit is that all of the audio files (5 for each chapter: 2 conversations, a set of vocabulary for each conversation, and a short paragraph) are downoadable free-of-charge from the publisher, which are great for listening to in the car.

I would have 2 suggestions for improvement. Firstly, it would be useful to have more audio files, particularly for pattern drills. Secondly, it uses the McCune-Reischauer system for representing the Korean alphabet in the Roman alphabet. The Korean governent did away with this in 2000, replacing it with the much more intuitive "Revised Romanisation of Korean". For some reason, however, academics persist with using the old-fashioned McCune-Reischauer system. Hence, if you go to Korea and expect to read road signs, you would be better off learning the newer system - or, even better still, learn the hangeul alphabet. In the book's next revision, I would want it to use the Revised Romanisation of Korean.

Once I have finished this book, I will buy the next in the series.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jimmie on 15 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought this after listening to Pimsleurs learn Korean audio course which I would also recommend as a great introduction to the language.
The book is well paced, it doesn't throw too much at the reader at any one time which makes it easier to recall previously learned rules without tripping over yourself and mixing them up. I feel that this is especially important for a language which has such different grammar from English.
I've seen other books which seem to have mountains of information crammed into them. These books didn't appeal to me as I'd much rather a more structured and gradual approach to learning Korean (as I'm learning through self-study) and after completing this book I think that it does that job quite well. I don't mind buying a series of books that increment my knowledge slowly.
One a side note the pages are nicely designed and structured and overall the book looks well, some people obviously won't care about this but when you're studying a difficult subject it can be a welcome attribute of any textbook and makes it seem less arduous to get through.

One thing I would recommend is writing out all Questions and Answers and Narrations rather than just filling in the blanks in the book as otherwise you won't have written out the words enough to remember them properly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dylan H on 3 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've given this product a 4/5 because of it's content, I think there should have been a bit more content for the amount of money I bought it for. But overall, this is a great book to have of you are new to learning Korean and hoping to achieve a high level of fluency :)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off, this is an excellent textbook, which introduces grammar points methodically and clearly. Except in the introduction, no romanisation is used, forcing you to practice reading Hangeul, and there are quite a few exercises to complete to make the learning process interactive rather than just reading a list of rules.

However, as other reviewers have mentioned, this textbook is clearly aimed at students taking courses at school or university, which is apparent in the lack of CD (the audio files are available online, but how much would it have cost them to include them on a CD), the lack of an answer key, and the fact that a good number of the end-of-chapter exercises are classroom activities. I have followed the procedure to apply for access to the answer keys on the website (including sending a copy of my id in response to an automated email which seemed a bit overzealous/weird) but have not heard anything in response.

So, for what it is it is excellent, but with a bit of tweaking with self-study customers in mind, it would be perfect.
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