Review: Talk To Me In Korean Lesson Books (With Video)
- Written byDonovan Nagel
- Read time2 mins
- TTMIK are as good as it gets for Korean
- Helpful dialogues
- Concise explanations
- Beautiful layout
- Slightly overpriced
The design and layout of the TTMIK books are simply gorgeous. It's really easy to read and find what you're looking for, and the grammar explanations are concise and clear.
If you’ve been studying the Korean language for a while then there’s a good chance you’ve already heard about the site Talk To Me In Korean.
I’ve been following their lessons almost religiously since I moved to South Korea just over a month and a half ago working hard to rapidly pick up fluent Korean.
The TTMIK team have been tremendously helpful by providing so much useful content and I owe a lot of what I’ve learned already to their Korean lessons and videos.
Friends of mine who run other blogs and websites for language learning have asked me for advice in the past on ways they can improve what they’re doing and I’ve always used TTMIK as my shining example of extremely high quality content and devoted community engagement.
No other language site or blog that I’ve seen anywhere on the Internet so far compares to the work Hyunwoo Sun and his team are doing for Korean learners all over the world. As well as the brilliant content, they always seem incredibly eager to respond to, assist and meet with readers which I think is fantastic.
Today I’ve put together a very short video review of their latest books that are based on the highly popular lessons available for free on the TTMIK website.
Here are some reasons why you should check these books out:
Each book is currently selling for a little over $20. Pocket change.
The grammar explanations are very short. High frequency parts of the language are taught by example using clear sample dialogue that’s easy to understand.
The design and layout of the books are simply gorgeous. It’s really easy to read and find what you’re looking for unlike many other books on the market.
Unlike the free lessons on the website, the audio that comes with the books doesn’t have any English chatter but is rather pure Korean dialogue. For impatient people who don’t want to sit through lots of English chatter, this is an improvement (I actually enjoy listening to the audio on the website though! :))
I said there are 8 levels in this video but it seems that are actually 9 or 10 which I’m assuming will become available for purchase over time.
These awesome books can be found here.
Do you use the Talk To Me In Korean site to learn Korean?
Make sure to let us know how much they’ve help you below and please share this post too if you found it helpful. 🙂
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Im using the Sogang textbook, but I am doing so while taking a Korean class with a teacher. I think this textbook would be harder without the classes…
Cool. Thanks for the tip. I haven’t even looked at those books to be honest. I will check them out.
I have found the Speaking Korean series by Francis Y.T. Park really good for people who want to learn Korean style Chinese characters. The book itself is quite ok (even though it’s not authentic content in the sense of having actual utterances) but you might be better to just go through all the other books you already have. Once you move onto reading Korean-style Chinese characters then I fully endorse the Speaking Korean book. This will help a lot with Korean vocabulary later.
My own way of studying Korean is a bit laid back and lazy to be honest. With your superior methods and hard-core enthusiasm I’m sure you will improve much faster than I did when I was first learning. These days I take a bilingual book to Paris Baguette in lunchtime and read it for about half an hour. I often (but not always) read aloud as I do it (quietly so as not to freak people out too much) and I have the same tendency to reread the same couple of pages on consecutive days (or with a longer break between readings) until I feel comfortable with it. Right now I’m reading Animal Farm in Korean, and am almost half-way through a set of Russian short stories. I also extensively read with a whole bunch of other books that I have at my house and listen to the radio whenever I drive. Other than that I just randomly read lots of different stuff. As well as reading Korean books I’m also reading Cosmos by Carl Sagan and reading modern Mandarin textbooks and classical Chinese Buddhist texts such as the Diamond Sutra and one section of the Avatamsaka Sutra with Korean pronunciation while referring to Korean and English translations. Of course that kind of thing may seem strange but I can’t help feeling that hacking Chinese through Korean pronunciation may actually be easier than torturing myself trying to read it some forced Chinese way (without being able to speak Mandarin properly), and I think an understanding of Chinese is very helpful for learning to pick up Korean vocabulary better. The idea is to read Chinese the Korean way whilst learning Chinese through listening to Assimil and then later switching to really trying to speak Chinese when I can get some pronunciation help from a native-speaker.
Have you joined any sports or other clubs? If you have some hobby like yoga or martial-arts I’m sure this might be a great way to meet and speak with good people and form genuine relationships. Have a nice day,
I bet Animal Farm’s a fun challenge in Korean. :) Do you find that all that reading is helping you expand your active vocabulary?
I do go to a gym twice a day here where I’ve made friends with some of the guys and I’m looking into Jiu Jitsu classes. I’ve also got a group of Korean students that I meet with every weekend and they’re constantly introducing me to new people which has been fantastic.
Have you checked out the 성균관 University textbook series? I haven’t used them seriously (just a bit) but they seem really great.
I haven’t yet but I’ve heard good things about the series.
I’ll try to buy it next time I’m up in Seoul.
I just read a news article on an Irish website about your Irish language endeavour (unbelievable if not for the fact you prove it here!) and at the end of the piece it mentioned you were in Korea now. As I’m in Korea and learning Korean too this piqued my interest and a google search led me here. Your philosophy and technique for learning is very different to mine and I’ve no doubt that you’ll improve much faster than I did (for reference I’ve been here a little over 2 years and am preparing to take TOPIK 5 early next year).I’ve been inspired to focus more on speaking and care less about making mistakes in interactions with people after reading a few of your articles; I’m far too stuck in my ways to change the way I study completely, but even this small difference should pay off!
Hope you’re enjoying your life in Gumi. I’ve spent the last few Chuseok/Seollal there as it’s my girlfriend’s hometown - don’t know the city well but I like what I’ve seen!
If you’re ever up in Seoul on a weekend you should check out the Hongdae “Language Party” on a Saturday night - similar to Languagecast, but with alcohol instead of coffee!
Cheers and keep up the good work.
Sorry for the late reply.
Glad you found my blog. Are you learning Irish yourself? I’ve met a few Irish speakers in Seoul already which has given me a great opportunity to practice here.
TOPIK level 5 is a huge achievement. Good on you. I’m looking into taking a lower level test early next year as well to give myself something to aim for.
Let us know the details of the language party and I’ll try to make it next time I’m up there.