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Customer reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
Colloquial Korean: A Complete Language Course (Colloquial Series)
Format: Audio Cassette|Change
Price:£14.89+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 15 February 2004
Colloquial Korean is a self-taught course in Korean. It is comprehensive and teaches all sorts of expressions. The register used is not as formal as in other books, which in fact make this book more realistic for everyday and business use in Korea. There is a good introduction to the Korean alphabet (Hangeul). Hangeul is essential if you want to travel to the country. All dialogues are given both in the Korean script and the romanized form. You should obviously aim at using the Korean script whenever possible. There are a number of exercises, but the book is fairly heavy on the grammar side. Some rules are not explained properly. They tend not to be important, but then, why mention it at all. Generally, the grammar section is readable and easy to follow. The book could do with more exercises, but then you can devise your own ones. The book is a good introduction to the language and you should be able to have simple conversations with Koreans. There is also a tape with the dialogues to accompany the book (recommended).
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on 12 February 2002
I have found this book to be one of the best books on the market for studying Korean language and grammar. Other books just touch on grammar making it very difficult to make sentences on your own. This book teaches (like the title says) colloquial Korean. It also teaches (which is very important) 'Culture Points' and explains why certain language is used at certain times. The format is laid out so that the reader can open the book and learn a new sentence ending in a few mintutes. I have used this book through university and have found it to be the best one out of many.
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on 12 July 2001
First of all, Korean is a difficult language. No matter how good your book is, it is still a difficult language to learn, but a bad book doesn't help.... The introduction of this book mentions about a current trend in teaching new languages. Attention has shifted from teaching grammar and so on to actually doing something with the language which is not a bad idea. However, I'm a bit puzzled by the authors intentions. When trying to do the exercises I have found that most of the words you need to do the translations are not mentioned in the text before the exercises, so the student has the following options: a) browse through the lessons following the exercise, b) look up the words in the (not too extensive) wordlist in the back of the book c) read the key to the exercise and copy it, d) make a wild guess. Whichever option is chosen, I think the effect is far from optimal and, quite frankly, I find it highly annoying. Another point is grammar. It's not explained well and I'm sometimes confused by what seem to be inconsistencies in the dialogues and exercises. Fortunately, my significant other is Korean and she is a big help, but I don't think everybody has the luxury of having native speakers nearby to help you out. It has some good points though (which explains the two stars): Hangul (the Korean 'alphabet') is explained quite well and thoroughly and you can learn quite a few things about Korean when you work through this book. All in all, I think this book will teach you more than a phrasebook will ever teach you, but I think there are better books available (I wouldn't know which one, because I haven't looked at any other books).
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on 9 August 2006
'Colloquial Korean' does not come with any audio material, which is absolutely essential for learning Korean. 'Teach yourself Korean' includes an audio CD in the initial price, saving the buyer around £15. 'Teach yourself Korean' is far better value for money for beginners.
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