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u/peppermint-kiss · 6 pointsr/Korean

Just to give you a benchmark, the words you listed are ones I would consider low-intermediate level. Think about what age American children learn words like 'smile' and 'art museum'. Then think about the English vocabulary you learned in middle and high school - I would consider those 'high intermediate' and 'low-mid advanced' respectively. I would guess that your grammar is pretty close to the same level, maybe a bit higher, compared with your vocabulary. Also, It's easy to overestimate how much we understand when listening or reading in the target language. Try translating what you hear in real time and you'll get an idea of where you are. If you really want to be sure, take a practice TOPIK test and see how it turns out.

The reason I tell you this is to try to give you a realistic outlook about your level and give you an idea about what kind of resources you might look into.

If you're enjoying TTMIK and it's not too boring, I would definitely keep up with that. You'll breeze through the beginner stuff and correct any small errors along the way, and then be able to slow down once you get to stuff closer to your level. Generally their material is really natural, accurate, and useful. I would give anything for a resource like that in Romanian or Finnish ㅠㅠ

I also recommend the Korean Grammar In Use series to brush up on grammar. It's easy to use and effective. I suggest starting with the beginning level just because that's my preference as a language learner and as an ESL teacher - review almost never hurts, and can help a lot, filling in gaps and increasing fluency and confidence.

For other textbooks I recommend:

  • the Korean Made Easy series, although this will be majority review for you (you might just want to check out the intermediate book if you're in a rush)
  • the Practical Korean series by Cho Hang-rok, published by Darakwon (make sure you get the right book series - there are several called "Practical Korean" by other authors). You could probably get away with starting at Basic 2 if you like, although of course you know my position on review. ;)
  • The Integrated Korean series is written for university students and can be pretty dry at points, but it's definitely the most comprehensive curriculum I've found and will make a big difference for you. I recommend starting at the beginning levels because there will certainly be a lot you haven't been exposed to.

    So that's grammar, usage, and guided practice covered. As far as vocabulary, I can't recommend using a flashcard service enough. I really like iKnow because I can create my own courses and I like how it quizzes you on audio, reading, spelling, you name it. I haven't looked at many other options though so you may want to investigate. I strongly recommend inputting every single unknown word you come across in your Korean study into this program and using it as often as you can (daily if possible). Listening to the news, reading practice, etc. are also valuable but you don't need to include vocab from that yet unless it's a word you're particularly interested in for whatever reason. Once you're at the advanced stage where you're comfortably reading newspapers, textbooks, etc. I would start in with that kind of advanced vocab study. Also, starting now, consider using it for grammar/sentence practice and not just vocabulary - sometimes I find that's the best way to drill new constructions into my head, although it can be a bit time-consuming.

    Unlike the majority of language teachers it seems, I do NOT recommend trying to be more productive with the language than your level allows. Writing when you're not sure of the correct grammar or vocab, forcing yourself to speak, etc. is not the best path to increasing skill or fluency - only familiarity and drilling are. That said, it's definitely not useless, and you should try to practice when you're with native speakers. But I would recommend against putting too much emphasis on that. The epidemic of Koreans who can pass English tests but not speak is not due to lack of practice, as is common belief there, but more due to the fact that the majority of their English study is geared toward multiple choice tests and very narrow language use rather than natural language. You can tell that's true because they also have trouble understanding TV/movies, reading novels, etc. in English. As a native English speaker and ESL teacher with a degree in linguistics, I would not be able to get a perfect score on their English exams. So don't believe the myth that "conversation practice" is an essential component to fluency - it's valuable, but not the main component.

    Once you get through TTMIK and the textbooks I listed, and have made vocabulary practice a regular part of your life, you should be at least a low-advanced level, which is likely more than enough to communicate most things in your daily life with family etc. In the meantime you can also practice translating songs, young adult novels, etc. from Korean into English. Once you've reached the advanced level I would recommend investing more in your conversational skills, perhaps hiring a tutor, doing a language exchange, taking a trip, etc. as well as doing some of the TOPIK textbooks (just an example; haven't tried that one) and doing more advanced vocabulary.

    OH! And as for slang and independent vocabulary work, spend some time playing around with Probably the best source for natural language, although of course there are still some errors and mistranslations. But for the most part that will be your best bet.

    I really hope this has been helpful for you! If you have any other questions or would like any other advice just let me know. :)
u/[deleted] · 11 pointsr/Korean

I highly recommend this website for learning the alphabet and intonations. I speak something resembling passable korean now, but when I started this is what I used to learn the alphabet:

After that, you'll want to find yourself a good book series or lesson plan. My highest recommendation goes to Sogang's book series, but if you're not in Korea, it may be more difficult to get a hold of.

However, there is a website which encapsulates most of the early books in the series, and if you can get a notebook to practice in while doing the online lessons, this is also a great resource:

In addition, I highly recommend finding yourself a quality grammar book. This is easily the best book on the subject, and I recently finished and moved on to the second book after some months:

If you're considering Rosetta Stone, it's a good option as a supplementary resource and vocabulary builder. Flashcard programs like Anki can seem great, but I would highly discourage their use UNLESS it is specifically for review of already known words. If you are trying to become exposed to and learn new words using the program, you will waste time, become discouraged, and worst of all won't retain much.

Lastly, you should search language exchange websites for a native Korean who is an English Teacher and lives in Korea, of which there are many (websites and English Teachers). Your best bet in general for finding a language exchange partner is someone who is completely willing to teach you your language of choice in full English conversations. I have had a few language exchange partners for different languages, and far and away my best partners have been native speakers in the country speaking my language who have taught as English teachers for several (sometimes 20+) years. They know how to teach and don't mind spending the entire time using English.

I have used but there are several more and you should have no trouble finding someone that will be a good match for you.

Good luck.

u/treelala1 · 10 pointsr/Korean

I was at a bit more advanced level when I first used this reader, but I can highly recommend it when you feel up for it. I suggest you look at the preview and decide what you think of the first story (the difficulty ramps up a bit on the later sections of the book).

At this point, I've gone through that text countless times now, with a focus on improving my reading speed and comprehension, and it's really helped build up my confidence to tackle native materials.

I've moved on to trying to read webnovels and webtoons on kakao and I try to use a routine I worked out from going through that book:

  1. first pass I just do my best to read through the text without any dictionary
  2. transcribe the text into a word document
  3. go through everything with the help of google and naver dict and try to leave nothing unknown
  4. re-read it again a few times and aim to get faster
  5. schedule myself to come back to re-read the text on another day
  6. repeat step 3 on anything I forgot. I might do some more re-reads if I'm still not comfortable

    I guess TLDR: re-read a lot. That's just what's worked out best for me so far. Your experience may vary.

    That same company seems to have a more beginner level reader text but I've never used it so I can't give an opinion on it. It looks like it also has a preview of the first story.
u/PeoplePoweredGames · 5 pointsr/Korean

Korean Made Simple is an awesome companion to LingoDeer and other resources like Talk to me in Korean. I wish I started with this book first, everything that I somehow wasn't taught from other resources were covered in the first couple of chapters in this book and cleared up a lot of confusion for me. There's also a companion YouTube channel that you can check out whether or not you get the book.

Another YouTube channel you should check out is Motivate Korean. This one is more focused on some of the more philosophical concepts of learning Korean, but there's also some good grammar and vocab videos in there as well. Especially check out the Motivate Korean pronunciation videos since you said you still need some help there, they are the best pronunciation resources I've come across so far!

u/robobob9000 · 5 pointsr/Korean

Yeah don't use that list because it's not sorted according to word frequency. For example, 태하다(to face, confront) is not the 18th most common word used in the Korean language. Instead it's in the 1000-3000 range. That list in its entirety does contain the top 6000 words, but it's a random mix of those 6000. I don't know why they didn't take the 2 seconds it takes to sort the data according to word frequency.

Personally I ended up buying this book:

It doesn't list word frequency from 0 to 6000 either, but it does separate them into three categories: 1-1087, 1088-3198, and 3198-6070. Which is much more manageable. And it sorts words according to parts of speech, which is helpful for creating mnemonics for words that have Chinese origin. You can also download matching MP3s from their website, which is good for training onset pronunciation.

Another thing to point out is that the most common words in the English language are grammatical constructs like "the to and with he will some". However in the Korean language those concepts are expressed with particles which are attached as either prefixes or suffixes to real words. They don't consider those particles to be "real words" so they are usually excluded from high frequency word lists.

This was really frustrating to me because those grammatical particles are said and written much more often then many of the words in these so-called word frequency lists. For example, 박물관 (museum) is included in the top 1000 words, but 고 (the conjunctive "and") is not, just because it's used as a particle instead of an independent word. You need to get a grammar book in order to learn those particles, which are the true "most frequently used words" used in the Korean language. This series is the best I've found, because they also have intermediate and advanced books that follow them up:

u/balimoon · 1 pointr/Korean

Totally doable. Here's how I did it:

Watch Korean dramas (Netflix has a small selection that's good enough to get started; otherwise, try Great so you actually hear what Korean sounds like. The idea is to learn passively. I promise it works

Check out [Naver's dictionary] ( when you stumble upon new words

Read bilingual news on [Joogang Daily] (

Invest in good reference books. My favorites for:

-[Grammar] (

-[Vocabulary] (

Try Sogang University's free online courses

STUDY UP!! Korean is very different from Western languages, so be regular in your studies and you'll be fine.

u/itsapraxis · 1 pointr/Korean

I only have the TTMIK Level 1 workbook and use it with their free PDF's and audio recordings (not sure about their grammar books). I would recommend that you take advantage of their free resources first before buying the workbook. It's a bit sparse compared to what you would find in, say, traditional school textbooks like the Sogang Korean or Ehwa.

Also if you live in a city that has an online e-book library, you can probably borrow some TTMIK e-books online through Overdrive. I was able to request a few of them at my own library.

Recently I switched over to this book and it covers a lot more than TTMIK. Be sure to read the reviews and click the "look inside" link on Amazon to see if you'll like it.

u/GrimRapper · 3 pointsr/Korean

I haven't used Lingodeer since it went to a paid model, but for an app it's pretty good. Starting out, is pretty good too IMO

The majority of my studying has come from this textbook series though: Integrated Korean

u/RaffyMcBappy · 1 pointr/Korean

Talk To Me In Korean, I would say is pretty good for beginners. They have free grammar lessons on their website and you can also buy their grammar books. They also have some reading books that you can buy. You could also buy this book

The folktales are highly modified to help the learner understand each story. However, as you progress through each story, the difficulty will increase and get longer (but not too hard, I would say). You could also use this popular dictionary (really helpful). I'm reading 엄마를 부탁해 (really difficult for my level) right now and it's helpful.

u/super_infinite · 1 pointr/Korean

I have Integrated Korean as well, it seems to be one of the better self-study books I've come across so far. I've been making steady progress, although it's taking me longer than I'd like because I'm not in a class. Also, for grammar, I'm using Basic Korean: A Grammar and Workbook, and I'm really enjoying it, because it gives you tons of exercises to do, which is really helpful.

u/foureand · 3 pointsr/Korean

If you are a good independent learner, Integrated Korean is a really good textbook series that I recommend.

Also check out talk to me in korean for podcasts that are very easy to follow.

Other than that, the best advice I could give is make flashcards for the most common nouns, verbs and adjectives (start with 100 of each and add more periodically) and learn those. Even if you can't use more than the most basic words, you should be able to get your point across. Once you have a core to build on, you could try talking to mom in korean and just build vocab from there.

u/thevintagecut · 2 pointsr/Korean

I've been using KLEAR Integrated Korean textbooks to learn Korean this summer. It's actually really great and I've been making progress. There are the textbooks and workbooks, plus all the audio files that accompany it can be downloaded online for free. I definitely recommend it.

u/Sugarcakes · 11 pointsr/Korean
  • Start with Hangul. (I did this by using Memrise Hangul lessons.) Example I also suggesting writing them down a ton, getting used to them and utilizing many of the other free resources. Although, I would just learn the basics, trying to memorize when sounds change because of their placement in the word is a bit confusing at this point.

  • Move on to basic phrases and the most common verbs. (The beginner lessons on TTMIK might help.) Write these down. Get used to reading them without the romanization.

  • At that point I would get a language partner to help with pronunciation or whatever you are having trouble understanding.

  • Then, I suggest getting a text book, or what have you, like Integrated Korean.

    I only say to wait this long before using a textbook, because the most suggested book -is- Integrated Korean, and I found jumping into it did not help me. (aside from maybe the Hangul lesson at the beginning, but even that was a bit much.) I found the lessons to take a much different course than other languages that I have learned in the past. I really feel basic communication (Hello, Thank You) and the verb "to be" should be included in the very first lessons you take. They kind of jump right in without great explanations.

  • I suggest going with the lessons in the text book as well as doing memorizing of common verbs/nouns/words either via Anki (or since you're limited in time) Memrise.

    I hope that's a good starting point. Its basically how I've gone about it, without all the stumbling around aimlessly trying to figure out what works for me, what didn't work, and lots of wasted time studying things I wouldn't fully comprehend until I had a better foundation of knowledge.

    I find to get the most out of Anki you end up putting lots of time into creating decks, which can be a bit overwhelming or complicated.

    Edited for clarification.
u/katsubun · 3 pointsr/Korean

I just got this book on Amazon called Korean Stories for Language Learners. I like it a lot because it has traditional folktales. For each short story, it has its English translation as well as some vocabulary, culture notes, and comprehension questions! I would definitely recommend getting a good grasp on some grammar first, as the stories difficulty scales with each one. It also comes with a CD!

EDIT: I realize it’s not exactly what you’re looking for, but thought I’d recommend it since you’re starting out. :)

u/learnhtk · 3 pointsr/Korean

> Other examples, blood and rain sound the same in Korean yet they are [email protected] differently.

So, 피 and 비. They are two distinctive sounds. It's just that your ears are not tuned to Korean language yet and can't really distinguish them now.

I think it would be really beneficial if you pick up a book like Sounds of Korean and spend several weeks solely dedicated to learning Korean phonology. It will help out immensely with your ability to recognize and produce the sounds in Korean language.

u/bookwolf · 3 pointsr/Korean

Hi there regua, I'm a fellow newbie. I'm also more of a book learner, though I use TTMIK's lessons and my Korean neighbors to get my comprehension / speaking practice in.

Somewhere in the Ultimate Beginner Resource Thread, they mention a particular textbook that, Integrated Korean. I'll put the data on it below, but I have it and it's been great so far for slowly getting a grasp on the grammar, expanding vocabulary, and giving starker explanations of stuff the other resources might breeze over. opinion disclaimer

Integrated Korean: Beginning 1

u/CourageNA · 14 pointsr/Korean

Probably one of the best and most user-friendly self-study resources on the market right now would be GoBilly Korean's "Korean Made Simple"


Independent Site:


u/Nkmks · 1 pointr/Korean

I found [Elementary Korean] ( pretty good when I took Korean at my school. Grammar was useful, explained well, and there's a workbook that you can buy with it!

Though I wouldn't vouch for the (sequel) book after that which is [Continuing Korean] ( due to the grammar that was explained so poorly and grammar points that seemed really useless when talking to other Koreans. (Even my Korean friend who helped me with it said that some of the grammar points that were in the textbook were useless and most Koreans barely use them)

u/Gossipmang · 4 pointsr/Korean

Buy this book. It walks you through all the basics assuming you know nothing, building your skills one type of sentence at a time: Korean Made Simple: A beginner's guide to learning the Korean language

For example they cover hangul and then each chapter is dedicated to how to say or ask something. The chapter starts by showing you a basic conversation between two people. It then proceeds to break down each sentence/word in the convo. At the end of the chapter there are some review sentenced where they swap out some words to test you. Honestly the best book I've come across for a total beginner.

Pair this with the app Lingodeer and you will be set.

Other apps and books tend to be too difficult or include romanization with English characters - you don't want that.

u/minandychoi · 1 pointr/Korean

I have a friend who’s learning Korean. She recently bought this book: and she’s quite happy with her purchase, so I think you might also want to check it out!

u/ShinshinRenma · 2 pointsr/Korean

I have. I've been doing the AJATT method to learn Korean after successfully doing it for Japanese. I'm currently just over 1,000 sentences in. I started with the Monash books (which were free, so although I have some qualms with them, not too shabby), now I'm using this one.

After that, I watch Korean dramas or Korean versions of movies I'm already familiar with.

I'm not very creative yet in Korean, though the spark is starting to show at this point now that my vocab is starting to hit a critical mass, but I do understand a lot that is thrown my way, and picking up words from the dramas here and there has also been fun.

There's a lot of detail involved here, but learning a language always comes down to two rules:

  1. Learn new words.
  2. Don't forget old words.
u/Better_nUrf_Irelia · 1 pointr/Korean

I've had a good time with this so far, but I already knew a bit from possibly worth going through their level 1 before getting it :)

u/nappeunnom · 3 pointsr/Korean

There is really not a ton of stuff. The Yonsei reading books are graded, but pretty dry. There are texts like:

but again, it's not the most exciting reading.

u/oegukeen_LK · 1 pointr/Korean

If you want to learn it on your own, I highly recommend the book Sounds of Korean: A Pronunciation Guide
It is 300 pages worth of nothing else but pronunciation rules, tips for improving accent, etc. Around half of that is audio listening exercises.

u/zippityzeepow · 3 pointsr/Korean

This post is perfect for me, thanks for it!

For writing and some basics in Hangul I bought a book on Amazon that had good ratings. Not sure if this sub will love or hate it, but it has given me a lot of practice in how I should actually write out the characters when I do them:

u/diphylleia948 · 9 pointsr/Korean

걸어서 30분 is the easiest webtoon i've found and this is my favorite textbook. there's also a workbook that goes with it and it goes until intermediate 2

u/b_r_u · 3 pointsr/Korean

Easy. Just get a copy of "Handbook of Korean Vocabulary"

By the way, I really shouldn't say this but I have seen a couple of digital copies of this floating around the web somewhere...but the paper book is better.

u/TeBags · 3 pointsr/Korean

Yes there is! The "Handbook of Korean Vocabulary" is EXACTLY what you are looking for. It completely focuses around Hanja meanings and which words they go into. I find it interesting just to look at even when I'm not studying.

u/ggFuji · 7 pointsr/Korean

I'd expect this sort of attitude towards disc drives in 30 years from now when they are ancient but really man it wasn't that long ago when every computer had one. My laptop doesn't have a disc drive either but I bought a usb one for 20 bucks.

How I would do it is very easy. I use both windows and mac and it's the same on both.

  1. Plug portable usb disc drive into computer usb drive. You can get one here:

  2. Select all the files on the disc and copy them to my dual flash drive. Purchasable here:

  3. Insert the flash drive into my phone and copy the files to my phone.

    It's not illegal for you to do this. You are just copying files from a disc to your computer without any intent to sell it. Also I see people on these subreddits sharing full photocopies of language books over google drive so it's not like we are so careful on legality. You are either being over dramatic or serious I can't tell but this is kind of sad especially if you are over 20 years old and don't know how to use a disc drive lol.

u/Tatsutahime · 3 pointsr/Korean

I'm gonna chime in and vote against the Ehwa books as well. When I was studying on my own I found Korean Made Easy and Korean For Beginners to be very informative.

If I recall correctly (because I've since lost the book), Korean for Beginners throws A LOT of (helpful) information at you kind of all at once. The Korean Made Easy book didn't have as detailed explanations, but paired with the other book it made it easier to parse things down and learn step by step.

u/hiimbears · 2 pointsr/Korean

Currently using this myself. Came highly recommended from friends who have worked in Korea and picked up the language.

u/binarychoice · 1 pointr/Korean

that one does look great! i have this one:

its good but it doesnt have any subsequent ones, so ill have to switch to some other series once i finish this one.

u/lineofire · 4 pointsr/Korean

I recently bought this book, The Sounds of Korean: A Pronunciation Guide, and so far it is excellent. It is very detailed and has tons of practice exercises.

You can check out a preview of the book here at Google Books:

and you can download the exercises in mp3 format here:

u/forthecpt · 2 pointsr/Korean

There is also a resources link in the sidebar.
I've been reading Basic Korean Grammar. Nice and concise lessons. Only complaint is the vocab section.
The same publisher makes a very nice frequency dictionary (albeit a little pricey).

u/Salamander319 · 13 pointsr/Korean

I’ve been using the Integrated Korean textbooks by Klear. They have lots of grammar and vocabulary, plus they have workbooks you can get (which I recommend) to practice all the stuff you just learned. They’re like 25$ each on amazon. Here’s a link for Beginning 1

u/odor12 · 3 pointsr/Korean

"noticing patterns" will be very inefficient with your time. Instead, use this book which lists hanja roots and words based on those roots. It has been very helpful for me to make guesses when I encounter new words and has helped reinforce memorization of words with hanja roots.

u/coolzero20 · 3 pointsr/Korean

The sidebar to the right has you covered.
Also, my favorite korean grammar book is this one

u/bkkc · 1 pointr/Korean

Over 60% of Korean vocabulary descended from Chinese. So that should really help you with words. Some Chinese (Sino-Korean is the term used) roots are the basis of dozens of Korean nouns, and nouns are turned into verbs, adverbs, modifiers, etc. in a very systematic way. Many dictionaries show the Chinese character when the root is based on it and I suggest buying this book to get you going:

u/TMills · 1 pointr/Korean

If you're interested in this kind of thing more generally, I found this cool book at my local library:

in which you can look up words or morphemes and it tells you their derivation and what other words they are in.

u/bigbirrrd · 1 pointr/Korean

Go Billy's book "Korean Made Simple" is a lot better.

IMO most books made by Korean people aren't good for beginners because they lack a native English speakers clear explanation of things. A lot of the ones I've seen just jump in using Korean even for the directions. Counter-intuitive if you ask me.

u/acid_jazz · 5 pointsr/Korean

Isn't this a bit dramatic? It's seriously not hard to hook up one of these and then export the audio to your phone. I've done this millions of times and it's a lot easier than learning Korean.

u/ugh_yeah_fine · 3 pointsr/Korean

I don't have my copy of it with me to check the table of contents, but I think Sounds of Korean has a chapter at the end about sentence level intonation that could be what you're looking for.

u/Smilelin · 1 pointr/Korean

Think I found what you´re looking for while looking for something else. 30 plus themes, romanized pronunciation, example sentences.

u/jaycenemerys · 4 pointsr/Korean

Why not just buy keyboard stickers like these? Only a couple bucks usually and they come in many colors, the set I have is even Hello Kitty themed.

u/HothSauce · 11 pointsr/Korean

Routledge Intermediate Korean Reader

Advanced Korean

KLEAR Korean Reader for Chinese Characters is also a graded reader but it's based on progressively harder hanja, not Korean grammar

u/Kaiwa · 1 pointr/Korean

Next time you could try to google it: Dirty Korean Book

u/Loveinkorea · 1 pointr/Korean

This book helped me a lot. It explains pronunciation of all the letters and explains the difference based on their position in a syllable and in a word. It comes with a ton of audio material and exercises.

u/sinarb · 2 pointsr/Korean

This is the one he co-authored (Yeon Jaehoon is his name). Then there is also the Continuing Korean book, which I'm on at the moment. You have the TTMIK books so definitely stick with those. The ones I use for Uni have tons of translation exercises which I like but I can't say how useful they would be for a self-learner.

u/b_author · -2 pointsr/Korean

I'd forget the Internet for a few months, and use these two books:
Elementary Korean (

Continuing Korean (the next one in a series of three)

What you will find online is a messy hodgepodge of information, some of a dubious nature. I'd use the Internet as a resource for examples, fine tuning certain points, and forums like this for well-thought-out questions (if you don't want to be abused!).

Those two books are very similar to a college class, well organized, with a logical progression. And chiefly written by a native English speaker...yet another problem with online resources is that many of them were done by Koreans in shitty English (this is also a problem with a number of books)...

Some of the crap on youtube is just a joke, by the way. Books are the way to go, if you ask me.