There are a lot of resources I came across with. How I wish I have the time to check AND use each one of them. I’ll be limiting this list of resources and materials that I have, have used, currently using, and planning to use.
I’m very techie and I love gadgets and I pretty much utilize them in studying Korean. I’ve always used my very reliable little pink netbook (Asus EEE Pc 1005P) for studying on/offline. Recently I got myself a pretty 7″ Android tablet (MSI Enjoy 7 Plus) and am very happy with it and the handful of very useful apps that I can use to make studying much more convenient, easily accessible and more fun (Check My Android Apps for a list of apps that I am using).
LG KF350 pre-installed E4U Eng>Kor>Eng dictionary – this is what I am currently using when I am offline and reading novels or textbooks. Not as good as a real electronic dictionary, but good enough for quick word checks when there’s no internet available. I survived 40 days in Korea (and even organized a small snack event) with just this little friend of mine.
I got this phone for free from a store in Dongdaemun. Most OLD (of course everyone uses smart phones now!) Korean phones have pre-installed dictionaries with them.
NAVER Online English Dictionary – the ever reliable and most popular online English>Korean>English dictionary.
NAVER Online 국어 Dictionary – I’m beginning to appreciate this Korean>Korean dictionary now since I’m on my intermediate Korean phase. There are some Korean words that you simply can’t find in the 영어사전, but will appear here.
Google Translator – NOT RELIABLE but can still be a little helpful. I usually use it to HELP me QUICKLY VERIFY one or two words, or to HELP ME REMEMBER words I’ve momentarily forgotten, or let me have a really QUICK OVERVIEW of long paragraphs or for a QUICK SPELLCHECK or simply TO HAVE A GOOD LAUGH!!! It’s not accurate (and probably will never be) but I’ve seen Google Translator improved over the years. DO NOT USE THIS FOR TRANSLATING. AGAIN. DO NOT USE THIS FOR ANY KIND OF TRANSLATIONS! PERIOD! Study Korean instead!
Paper Dictionaries – I was able to get hold of 3 so far. (1) Elite English-Korean and Korean-English Dictionary 엘리트 합본사전 that I got as a gift from joining a Korean speech contest. (2)
Prime 영한 – 한영사전 that I borrowed snatched from my best friend, sat on my bookshelf for many months and was sent back to my best friend. And (3) Berlitz Korean Concise Dictionary given by my Korean 10-11 Professor as a price for winning a 삼육구 game in class that I have given to my best friend since I haven’t really used it because the Korean entries are romanized first before written in 한글, making it very difficult to search Korean entries. I have never used these paper dictionaries since I’m always online and I find it so time consuming! Udea Electronic Dictionary – Lent to me by a friend and I used it for 2 semesters while attending formal Korean classes in our university. It’s battery operated and you can put mp3s on it. I used to love it because it’s easy to use and very concise to carry- practical for someone like me who often carry a very heavy bag. (EDIT: I have returned this years ago and since I now have my tablet and my LG cellphone cum dictionary I have no intention of getting an electronic dictionary in the future).
Hanlingo – a language exchange network with real-time chat. You can ask questions with other users. Very useful and helpful!
Lang-8 – also a language exchange network. You can post whatever you have written and other users will correct it for you and/or leave comments.
TT4YOU – similar to Hanlingo where you can chat with various users. But I think the Korean community in Hanlingo is bigger.
SharedTalk – another language exchange community website. This is actually where I met my current language exchange partner – an 11-year old kid.
Learn Korean – another online community. There are forums and chat functions too. Most people there, I think, are from Talk To Me In Korean.
Corean Big Sis – another online community. There are forums and chat functions too. Plus a lot of goodies (lessons, lyrics, wallpapers, etc). It is maintained by a very nice Sis/언니/선생님 who is always willing to help, guide and answer questions from students/members. (EDIT: It’s not being updated regularly anymore.)
ONLINE KOREAN LESSONS:
An Introduction to Korean – My very first lesson. Very useful for beginners.
Sogang Korean Program – A wonderful website with lessons from beginner to intermediate. I started learning grammar on this website. I’m currently reviewing the novice lessons and I can’t wait to get my hands on their intermediate lessons soon.
Talk To Me In Korean – a really fun and informative site for learning Korean. Podcast lessons from beginner to advance learners. I’m currently following the lessons here too.
Online Intermediate College Korean – I haven’t started this one, but planning to – soon!
Korean Grammar Database – basically a Korean grammar dictionary. I find this really useful especially when I’m reviewing for TOPIK.
Ezcorean – a haven of grammar lessons. I really wish I have time to study this website.
LP’s Korean Grammar Guide – another Grammar guide. I haven’t explored this one, but it looks very useful.
Matthew’s Korean Study and Reference Guide – a very informative blog in learning Korean. Lots of goodies and useful links too. I visit this often.
Korean self-studying isn’t lame… – a nice blog with loads of lessons and materials. However, too much materials that I don’t know where to start. By the way, I agree, Korean self-studying isn’t lame!
Official TOPIK Homepage – you can get details about upcoming exams, registration, results and previous exams
TOPIK Guide – a blog dedicated to TOPIK Preparation.
TOPIK Revision – a blog about TOPIK.
S-TOPIK Basic Level (1 and 2) word list – an excel file with list of vocabulary words that are essential in preparation for TOPIK 초급. I studied this list. I wasn’t able to memorized all of them, but I guess I have memorized 75% or more. (EDIT: And I have forgotten about 30% of them by now I guess.)
KOREAN LANGUAGE BOOKS:
가나다 Korean for Foreigners Elementary 1 – My first ever Korean language book. It focuses on formal language (입니다 form). I wasn’t able to finish it and have no intentions of reading it anymore. Gave this to a friend.
(GANADA Korean Language Institute, translated by Lee Hae-Young, comes with audio CD)
서강 한국어 Student Book 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B – books used on my Korean 10, 11, 12, 13 and the experimental Korean 100 classes in the University of the Philippines. It covers Beginner level (lower and upper beginner) and Intermediate (lower intermediate). It comes with workbooks (that we only use in Korean 10-11 class & Korean 100) and Audio CDs that we listen to in class. I haven’t finished 3A and 3B and still keeping 1-2 for reference.
(Sogang University Series, with audio CD)
Basic KLPT 실용문법 연습서 – I love this book! I used it in preparation for TOPIK 초급 last 2010. It tackles basic grammar patterns. I learned most of my basic grammar from this book. But since this is a review book, the sample sentences and the explanations were limited. There were a lot of exercises per lessons though and has answer sheets at the back. I lent this to a neighbor reviewing for a KLPT exam.
TOPIK 초급 review book – I got this book from our Korean professors in preparation for TOPIK 초급. It’s basically a compilation of sample TOPIK exams. I wasn’t able to use it at all since I ran out of time in reviewing for TOPIK. I browsed it a little though. The questions were actually more difficult than the actual TOPIK 초급 exam. I’m planning to practice with this book in my initial preparation for TOPIK 중급.
(with Audio CD)
살아있는 한국어 관용어 – Part 1 of 2 series of idiom book. I love this book too but I haven’t read this yet. Recommended for intermediate or at least upper beginner learners because the book is entirely in Korean.
(Korea Language Plus)
Korean Grammar for International Learners (English edition) – A good grammar book. At first it was difficult for me to read this. Not just because of some difficult words (after all, everything has translations), but the linguistics terms were all difficult for me. But after gathering enough linguistics background, it’s not too difficult anymore. It’s not like Sogang or any series out there because it is not arranged in the level of difficulty. The approach is very linguistics. It’s a good read because you’ll get to understand the structure of Korean language more. What I am doing is I try making sentences using grammar points that are being discussed in the book.
* * I don’t own the download link. I just found it online
Using Korean: A Guide to Contemporary Usage – A nice book about Korean language. It has a linguistic approach and I love it for that. I still haven’t finished this book too.
* * I don’t own the download link. I just found it online
Elementary Korean – As the title says, it’s elementary Korean. Basic grammar lessons. I haven’t read it and may not read it anymore.
(Tuttle Publishing, by Ross King and Jaehoon Yeon)
* I don’t own the download link. I just found it online
Continuing Korean – The continuation of Elementary Korean (that I’ve mentioned above). I borrowed the book from our library but didn’t manage to read it. I’m not sure yet about the level of the book, but I’m thinking it’s more of upper beginner than intermediate.
(Tuttle Publishing, by Ross King and Jaehoon Yeon)
Korean for Intermediate Learners – I borrowed this from the KCC library with the intention of preparing for Intermediate TOPIK. But I was a bit disappointed because I already know all the lessons in the book. I was expecting some hardcore intermediate lessons. So I didn’t read it anymore. But I must say the book is pretty good with the explanations, examples and exercises.
Korean Grammar in Use Beginner – I believe that the Korean Grammar in Use is one of the best series out there. A Korean friend gave it to me as a send-off present last summer. I was too shy to tell him I need the intermediate one instead. And I ended up throwing it away (along with a few other stuff I have) in Incheon airport because I was over my baggage allowance. I brought home the Audio CD though but haven’t opened nor listened to it yet.
Phrase books are NOT MEANT FOR ANY LANGUAGE LEARNING. It may be useful for travellers who just want to have something handy for emergency situations. For Korean, just make sure you’ll get something that has Hangeul translations and not just romanizations – so that you can simply point the sentence to the locals and they will be able to read and understand it.
Korean At A Glance – a travel phrase book (with a little dictionary). I bought this when Korean textbooks are still unheard of in our country and under the impression that I can actually learn Korean. I never learn anything from this book, but nonetheless it’s pretty decent for travellers. I also find the little notes about Korean culture interesting.
(Barron’s Educational Series, Inc)
Making Out In Korean – a
ridiculously funny phrase book. The difference of this one from other phrase books out there is that it focuses on slangs – specifically relationship/romance slangs. And no, you wouldn’t learn anything from this book. It’s just a fun read for me. First of the 2 series.
(Tuttle Publishing, by Peter Constantine)
Korean Drama Scripts – I love watching Korean dramas, so I love learning from them. How great it would be if Korean dramas have Korean subtitles, right? Unfortunately only very few of them has one. I usually just read the scripts of the dramas though. Check my K-drama Scripts/Transcripts & Audio Files page for more details.
Junior Naver – this site is a haven of children learning materials. I haven’t explored it much, but I usually check the short animated stories. They come with Korean subtitles.
Please do check my side bars for additional useful links in Learning Korean.