I just received a review copy of Korean Stories For Language Learners by Julie Damron and EunSun You (Tuttle Publishing).
I’ve noticed a lot of trending interest in language learning short story books lately (see my recent review of this Russian one for example) but there’s not a whole lot available for Korean so I was excited to take a look at this title.
While I’m not actively learning Korean anymore, this brought back some nostalgia! 🙂
The book provides 42 total short stories in Korean (traditional folktales) with English translations, comprehension exercises, vocabulary lists and full audio listening material. Rather than covering typical dialogue material or modern fiction, Korean Stories focuses on traditional Korean folktales (they seem to be children’s folktales).
It comes with an MP3 collection that is an absolute joy to listen to.
The reader speaks in a very clear voice and articulates words clearly – even on the higher-level stories.
A few very minor criticisms but nothing major
One is that the absolute beginner material is inappropriate for this book and the first two stories are strangely disconnected from the rest of the book.
Korean Stories is clearly aimed at high-beginner to lower-intermediate learners but the first two stories and some of the back matter is absolute beginner material and therefore not necessary (there’s not much of it so it’s not a major issue).
Also, as I pointed out in the video, some of the exercises are bizarre (e.g. a writing exercise on your experience with farts!). 🙂
But overall, I’m thoroughly impressed by this book and hope they release more of them in the near future.
Korean Stories For Language Learners is a resource that any dedicated Korean student who loves Korean history and culture would definitely enjoy reading.