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Studying Korean - good online resources and textbooks

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Hey folks, 


So I'm thinking about starting to study Korean next (I'm a native English speaker) and I'm wondering if anyone has some good recommendations for websites and/or textbooks. I'm living in China (Guangzhou) where there are a lot of Koreans, so I'm thinking I should be able to find a Korean teacher. Now finding a Korean teacher, who speaks English may be tough, but if I had to I might be able to do with someone who speaks Mandarin.







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Here is a free textbook and another one here http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/korean/klec-korean-textbooks/

I also like http://gobillykorean.com/korean-made-simple/%C2'> ,but it's not free. It has a nice bite sized lessons, easy explanation of grammar and it's written for english speaking student. But there is no audio available for it. But the good think is that after the initial lesson, where it teaches hangul, it doesn't use any romanization, so you get used to hangul.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Cyber University of Korea offers free video Korean language lessons on their website. Great for getting started.


I'd also suggest Verbix, an online verb conjugator, that lays out all the different verb forms. It's probably overwhelming for beginners, but it'll show its usefulness if you keep up with your studies and get to a point where you want to become conversational.



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Thanks folks,


My school is almost out for the summer. I'll take a look at all these suggestions. This is one of my summer projects with the idea of starting to study sometime in 2016.

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  • 4 months later...
Chris Two Times

Many thanks to all for listing all of these resources. I have begun learning Korean and have picked up a few Korean textbooks in Beijing, but they are just so-so. Extra materials online will come in handy in this endeavor.


I have a tutor, a Korean grad student who is very helpful. We use Mandarin instead of English in our lessons and I actually prefer this. It helps with my Mandarin.


Happy K-study!


Warm regards,

Chris Two Times

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I live in Korea and I'm learning Korean now. 


The books published in Korea are really good. I think they shouldn't be hard to find online with international shipping because I know a lot of people from different countries ordering those books. Prices might be hiked up though.


Here are some short impressions of some good books that I've used:


-Sogang University: Reputed to be great for conversation-based learning, not so great for individual study because of the conversation activities. You'll probably hear about this book the most if you google Korean textbooks published in Korea but I think it's better used in a class setting. I like that it is usually together in a textbook, workbook, and has it's own grammar book because that's how I organize my language learning (in separate notebooks... for example, one book for vocab, one for grammar). Overall, they are easy and fun books even if using through self-study. 


- Ewha University: This is great for a dedicated self-learner. It may be too much for someone who's just casually learning.


- Seoul University: I really like that it has an interactive CD. There are exercises and fun content in the CDs as opposed to other books which only have audio CDs. Really great, well-rounded textbook. One negative thing is that grammar parts are not explained that much in detail in comparison with other textbooks. 


-Yonsei University: This publisher has different books for each level. So for each level there's a textbook, a reading book, and a workbook. I find this the toughest book. It's just dense with information and activities. It's also not designed for self-learners as it has no answer keys. It's difficult to get through.


-이민자를 위한 한국사회이해 (Understanding Korean Society for Immigrants): This series is specifically for immigrants who wish to attain a specific visa. There are Korean classes run by the government using this textbook and if you take enough classes you can get points towards getting a specific visa (for example, a spousal visa that doesn't depend on your Korean spouse's sponsorship, or a immigrant visa that doesn't depend on a employer's sponsorship, etc.) I find this book very easy to get through. This book is only in Korean as opposed to the other textbooks so you have to be diligent in looking up things yourself but it's not too hard to do that.


All the university books have English versions and I think they all have Chinese versions too. If I remember correctly Yonsei has a version that's in both English and Chinese. Some also have Japanese versions. 

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  • 4 months later...

이민자를 위한 한국사회이해 (Understanding Korean Society for Immigrants)


Just happened to be reading through this thread again and see that I somehow missed this comment.


If there happen to be any lurkers that are interested in the KIIP program,

has taken the liberty to upload the entire KIIP textbook catalog as PDFs up on Google Docs and provided links in the description box of a Youtube video. This includes the beginner level all the way to the advanced level quoted above. 


The KIIP beginner textbooks might not be viable if you're a barebones beginner since it doesn't teach Hangul, already assumes you know basic grammar and has no English to boot but would probably be useful if you're a year or so in.


If anyone wants more ways to study, I'd also recommend doing a search for Arirang TV's Let's Speak Korean series. If you can stomach the late 90s/early 2000s cheese they're excellent. It follows roughly the same format as the series I recommended in my last post (dialogue, grammar, vocab) but streamlined into small, bite-sized 10~15 minute episodes.

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The books My Korean 1 and 2 (http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/korean/klec-korean-textbooks/) mentioned by gombicek above now come with downloadable audio. What's even better, the page links to another page http://talkingtokoreans.com/

which hosts a newer edition of these books, including audio recordings and additional resources.


talkingtokoreans.com also hosts two older books: Korean Through Active Listening 1 and 2  http://talkingtokoreans.com/korean-through-active-listening . This is a listening course (beginner to lower intermediate) which originally came with cassettes and went out of print. The course is now available free of charge, including the audio as mp3 files. (On the webpage the audio links for book 1 and 2 point to the same file; to get the audio for book 2, replace 1 with 2 in the file's address.)

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