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[Korean Textbook Reviews] 한국사람들이 일상생활에서 많이 쓰는 관용표현

phew. What a mouthful. The longest title I’ve ever seen for a Korean textbook ^^; The Chinese title is 韓國語實用慣用語寶典. Okay it took me really long to type that and I like typing in traditional Chinese even though this book is published by the Peking University Press lol. In any case, if you don’t know Chinese, fret not!! This book offers explanations both in Korean and Chinese.

Designed for the intermediate learners and above, this book is basically a collection of all the proverbs / idioms in Korean. It’s a good starting place to learn the proverbs, since you don’t come across them that regularly in normal textbooks and articles, but yet they are very frequently used (much more so compared to English) and well, they are tested in TOPIK. ^^;;

Proverbs are super interesting in itself 😀 😀

Usually, I won’t recommend books that list stuff. I absolutely HATEEEEE vocabulary books but this is an exception.

As usual, if you are lazy to read through, scroll down for the summary!!  

The book is very.. simply organized. But I love how even though all the proverbs are listed, it’s super interesting to read through everything one by one and it’s unlike reading through.. a dictionary. It’s divided into two sections, with the proverbs arranged in terms of their starting consonant (like a dictionary). I assume that they break it into 2 sections just so that they will introduce more difficult proverbs with longer sample dialogues.

Each proverb starts with a simple Chinese explanation, 2 – 3 sample sentences and then 1 or two full dialogues. I love how the dialogues are interesting and not too formal and textbook-like. And with the dialogues, you can get a better sense of the situations in which that particular proverb is used in and how to effortlessly weave that proverb into a normal conversation. No use knowing the meaning and not knowing how to use it.

Curiously, the main (long) explanation of the proverb comes at the end and is entirely in Korean. Usually both the literal and figurative meaning is explained, and sometimes even the story behind certain proverbs. It’s quite interesting that they choose to put the explanation right at the end, and that it’s only in Korean. O.o So, this book is actually for every Korean learner, not just those who knows Chinese. To be honest, I never bother with the Chinese explanations / translations and I only look at the Korean parts of the book.

Good points

  • one of the most comprehensive list / book on Korean proverbs
  • good and detailed explanations
  • offers both sample sentences and a full (interesting) dialogue
  • easy to search glossary

Bad points / to be improved

  • nothing.

All in all, I recommend this book to all Korean learners. Maybe those of at least a low intermediate? This book will serve you well through your learning journey!! I’m still using it ^^

ISBN: 978-7-301-12501-4 

p.s. sorry for the bad photography and lighting. I’m so tired my hands are abit wobbly. ^^;;

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  • Reply
    8 October, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Great book… cannot find it in any online bookstore though :/

    • Reply
      8 October, 2012 at 8:39 PM

      ohh really? D: i guess its not that widely available. D:

  • Reply
    8 October, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Is this book available at Kyobo or YP Books? I am going to Seoul next week.

    • Reply
      8 October, 2012 at 8:38 PM

      mmm i doubt so ><

  • Reply
    8 October, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Hi~ I’m wondering where to get Korean books since there aren’t many good ones in my country. Did you buy online or you bought it when you were in Korea? ^.^

    • Reply
      8 October, 2012 at 8:38 PM

      you can try gmarket ^^

  • Reply
    9 October, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    wantttttttt *sobs uncontrollably*

    • Reply
      9 October, 2012 at 3:49 PM

      if you’re ever interested in doing a gift exchange, just let me know *HINT HINT*

      • Reply
        9 October, 2012 at 5:27 PM

        Heeeheee. 😀

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