9 In Korean learning journey (:/ korean textbook reviews

[Korean Textbook Reviews] 100시간 한국어 1-5 (100 学时韩国语)

I’m churning out reviews pretty efficiently these days right? 😀 So unlike my terrible record of doing 1 every few months. I work faster when people ask for them.

Like what Jeannie says, Yonsei published so many different textbook series/guidebooks that I’ve lost count. I want to every single one of them, like a mini library of my own. Best if they are sponsored. (okay I’m dreaming). 100 시간 한국어 is a rather old series (published at 2004) and I own the Chinese versions of the book. It’s the first textbook series that I’ve owned, but not one that I used regularly. Compared to the later textbooks that I’ve owned or used, this series is lacking in some ways.

As usual, scroll to the bottom for a summary.


I judge a book by its appearance and I would say the appearance affects my study progress (?). The paper quality is LOUSY. It’s the kind of cheap material that tears easily and where I’d not advise you to use ink or markers on it. The book is mono color – and I have no idea why it’s a rather.. weird shade of pink or purple. The pictures are black and white though. Yonsei has a weird liking for putting their grammar explanations right at the back of each chapter and instead start off with exercises on the grammatical construction instead. How do they expect us to do the questions without even learning about it first? O.o That’s a minor gripe that I’m more willing to overlook in their newer textbook series. The book smells (slightly?) and I don’t like the texture. I don’t like the fonts and I don’t like the misleading title. In fact, I never like books that claim that you can master a language within xx number of hours or days. I think I’m fussy.

The series is definitely on the more affordable side, so I can’t complain ):


Pretty standard.

  • dialogue, vocabulary, pronunciation guide
  • grammar exercises
  • extra activities / more vocabulary
  • grammar explanations
  • culture notes / extra reading

(photos chosen from random levels)

There’s something about the whole structure that I’m not that happy with, but I just can’t pinpoint it. Their exercises are more suited in a classroom than for self study purposes and sometimes it’s a chore to run through them.

NOTE: It’s been pretty long since I’ve used this series, so I’m typing from what I can remember.

It’s a 5 level series and I find that the beginner books are suitable for those with no background and it progresses steadily enough. I’m still stuck at the 3rd book (this shows how long I have not touched it) even though I should be comfortable with the 5th book now. I’m flipping through the 5th book right now and it looks like it definitely cannot compare to the Level 6 of the newer yonsei textbook series.
May revise my opinions once I start working on it. I’ll just skip the 3rd and 4th book as of now.

Good points

  • affordable, good series to start from
  • covers ground pretty effectively

To be improved

  • quality of the book
  • content structuring and formatting
  • a little boring to work through

Any books that you would like me to review? *provided I have access to them*

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    8 March, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    yayy! Since you ask, I’m curious about Integrated Korean, the workbook. Do you use them? 😀

    • Reply
      10 March, 2011 at 10:56 PM

      hahahaha unfortunately i don’t and i dun think i have access to them ):

  • Reply
    9 March, 2011 at 8:36 AM

    Hello! I recently stumbled across your blog, and I was wondering if you had any starter tips for a person who was interested in learning Korean? Because I’ve been meaning to do so for a while, and after tackling the alphabet I have no idea where to start…

    I enjoy reading your blog, it’s got me motivated to actually put time aside and focus on language study. 🙂

    • Reply
      10 March, 2011 at 10:55 PM

      If you are thinking of self-studying, talktomeinkorean.com has an awesome range of lessons ranged from the beginners (: The teachers there are the best!

  • Reply
    9 March, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    thanks for the review! will you be doing a review on the Kyung Hee books?

    • Reply
      10 March, 2011 at 10:54 PM

      i wrote a short para on it in my korean language resources page but i’ll definitely do a full review soon!

  • Reply
    21 April, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    We are currently using the English version of this book in our university Korean classes (though I have the Chinese version as you do ;). Overally I like the traditional type of structure the book has and it is good there are longer texts in the books starting from level 3. We study level 2 now. Though the overal vocabulary and grammar to be learnt is good in this book, what I really hate about it is the lack of exercises. Those few exercises are not worth doing at all, since they are all for classroom study (make a dialogue, fill in the tab etc.). Though it may be a more dull one, I prefer the Hangugeo 1-5 of Seoul National University, since there are many drill exercises in it and by learning only the first book you can acquire quite a bit to be able to create really basic stuff on your own.

    All in all, 100 Hours Korean is a good series, but from a methodical point of view, it lacks what learners needs most: exercise.

  • Reply
    6 December, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    Hello, do you know where u can buy the book in SG?

    • Reply
      7 December, 2011 at 8:09 AM

      i bought it in a book fair ^^ not too sure where to get it now. check out those old bookstores in bras basah complex

    Leave a Reply