[BOOK HAUL + BOOK REVIEW] Pagijong Press Korean Language Book Haul plus Korean Grammar for Foreigners I and II (외국인을 위한 한국어 문법 I&II) Book Review

Recently I did a TOPIK and Korean grammar book haul because I thought I would be able to take TOPIK II this year. However, I was not able to register for this year’s exam due to schedule conflicts on the exam dates ㅠㅠ I would just probably take TOPIK II next year together with my other classmates. Anyways, there is another reason why I bought all of these books *ehem* Jini *ehem*. I met up with nocturnalinseoul’s Jini and she kept on endorsing these books while we were roaming around YP bookstore in Euljiro! ㅋㅋ Well, I did not regret giving in to her endorsement because these books are awesome! I also just figured out that they were published by the same company which is Pagijong Press.

Like my previous book hauls, I bought these new language books online. I frequently buy online especially in GMarket because I could use my coupons to get discounts for the books. I usually get the books in a cheaper price compared to the offline bookstores if I buy from GMarket and use the mobile coupons. If I have books that I wanted to buy, I check them out first in offline bookstores and if I have decided to purchase them, I just order online to avail them at a cheaper price.

For this book haul, I have four books: TOPIK 필수문법 (고급-Advanced), 빈도별 토픽 (고급-Advanced) and 외국인을 위한 한국어 문법 Books I & 2. As you may notice, most of the books in this haul are for Advanced learners (well except for the 외국인을 위한 한국어 문법 as it could also be categorized as a book for Intermediate learners). Like what I keep saying on my previous posts, I am now on my journey to Advanced Korean so I try to get more 고급 books for practice. I am currently using Korea University’s Fun! Fun! Korean 5 and Darakwon’s Korean Grammar in Use Advanced as my main textbooks for the Advanced grammar and vocabulary words and so far I am satisfied with their lessons. I am still in the process of looking for more good advanced Korean books and I hope to find other good books in my next trip to the bookstore.

토픽필수문법 고급 (14,000 won) and 빈도별 토픽 고급 문법 (16,000 won)

토픽필수문법 고급 (14,000 won) and 빈도별 토픽 고급 문법 (16,000 won)

Aside from posting about my book haul, I also have a review for the books I and II of 외국인을 위한 한국어 문법 (Korean Grammar for Foreigners I and II)! Among these four books, I have been using these two Korean grammar books frequently because THEY ARE FREAKINGGGG AWESOMEEEE!!! If you want to know more about these books, then keep on reading! 🙂

외국인을 위한 한국어 문법 I & II (15,000 won each)

외국인을 위한 한국어 문법 I & II (15,000 won each)

Here are the basic details of the blue book:

Title of the book: 외국인을 위한 한국어 문법 I

Number of Pages: 265

Authors: Kim Jinho, Lee Taehwan, Kim Seonhee, Lee Sooyeon

ISBN: 9788962921205

Contents: Book (1pc)

Price: 15,000 won

The blue book is basically the first installment of the two books on Korean grammar. It contains ten chapters and each chapter has a more in-depth discussion of the specific grammar patterns included in the general set.

외국인을 위한 한국어 문법 I(Korean Language Grammar for Foreigners I) Front and Back Cover

외국인을 위한 한국어 문법 I(Korean Language Grammar for Foreigners I) Front and Back Cover

Each chapter starts with the heading containing the general function, a translation of the function in five languages, an illustration showing the usage of the grammar and a list of the specific grammar points that is discussed in the chapter. The photo below shows the first chapter of the book which is about grammar points under Cause and Reason set. The overview of the grammar list is usually divided into two- grammars used in regular cases and grammars used in special cases. Aside from the main grammar points, they also discuss additional patterns such as sentence endings like the almighty -거든요 and -잖아요.

Introduction of the First Chapter – Reason

The set-up of each chapter goes like: Grammar Pattern – Explanation – Sample Sentences – Practice Questions – Grammar Comparison. One important information about this book is that it does not contain English explanations. Although each chapter has a small list of vocabulary words with English translations, all the grammar points and grammar comparisons are explained in Korean. Beginners in learning Korean might have some difficulties in digesting the lessons since they’re all in Korean. I believe Intermediate to Advanced learners will appreciate this book than those who are just starting to study Korean. Personally, I like books with explanations in Korean rather than in English because translations could be misleading and confusing. The explanation of each grammar pattern is very, very meaty and informative! Actually whenever I use this book when reviewing Korean, I always thought of one of my Korean language professors because she would always give concise but meaty explanations of the grammar points. This book is like my professor in the form of a book.ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Sample Lesson from Chapter 1 - V/A -아/어서

Sample Lesson from Chapter 1 – V/A -아/어서

Important Details:

  • Each section provides really simple sample sentences which are very easy to understand.
  • For the practice questions, they are your generic 가 and 나 conversation exercises or fill in the blanks exercises but I still find them very useful for reviewing the grammar function.
  • I think the best part of this book is the 비교 or the section on the comparison of the featured grammar pattern with other pattern with either the same form or almost the same meaning. This section is amazing because whenever I finish a section, I feel so enlightened (like yes, literally enlightened with a beam of light dawning on meㅋㅋㅋㅋ). Most of my questions about the differences between the grammars were answered by this section of the book!!!! I really hate Korean language textbooks saying this and that grammar are the same because I think they are not! They might be similar but it there are still differences probably in their functions, implied meaning, formality etc. but I am quite sure they are not the same and you cannot use them in the same situation. This book won my heart for pointing out the differences between the grammars and when to use or not to use them!
  • There is an old TOPIK-style exercise at the end of every chapter which is categorized into three- Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.
Comparison to other grammar

Comparison with other grammar pattern

Another good thing about this book is their cultural notes at the end of each chapter. This is like your break from all the Korean grammar patterns. It is always nice to learn more about Korean culture while learning the language, right?ㅋㅋㅋ ㅋ They are also in pure Korean so you could practice your reading skills while learning about the culture.

Additional Cultural notes

Additional Cultural notes

So let’s now move on to the second book or the pink book as what I call it.

 

외국인을 위한 한국어 문법 II (Korean Language Grammar for Foreigners II) Front and Back Cover

외국인을 위한 한국어 문법 II (Korean Language Grammar for Foreigners II) Front and Back Cover

Title of the book: 외국인을 위한 한국어 문법 II

Number of Pages: 300

Authors: Kim Jinho, Lee Taehwan, Kim Seonhee, Lee Sooyeon

ISBN: 9788962921212

Contents: Book (1pc)

Price: 15,000 won

The second book is thicker compared to the blue book as it contains twelve chapters of general grammar patterns such as (Need, Admission, Judgement, Check etc.). It has the same lesson setup with the first book: Grammar Pattern – Explanation – Sample Sentences – Practice Questions – Grammar Comparison.

Chapter 1 of Book II

Chapter 1 of Book II

Each section also contains exercises and the list of useful vocabulary words and their meanings.

Sample Practice Question from Book II

Sample Practice Question from Book II

Here is the sample page of the comparison section of the grammar points:

Grammar Comparison from Book II

Grammar Comparison from Book II

I think the two books are very useful especially when it comes to understanding the meaning and the function of the different Korean grammar patterns. Sometimes the comparison section might get so confusing because they try to compare one featured grammar pattern with tons of other grammar patterns. But no need to worry, the book will not torture you with a language analysis overload. I think the authors did an excellent job in explaining the differences or the similarities of the patterns in a way that it could be easily understood.

So here’s the summary of the pros and cons of the books!

Pros:

  • Very informative, very meaty.
  • The chapters and subsections are logically organized.
  • Relatively cheap for a book that could teach you lots of important grammar points.
  • The quality of the paper is A+++++
  • The illustrations are cute haha!
  • It has practice TOPIK questions which are very useful for those who will take the exam. Even though the form is like the old TOPIK style, they are still of big help!

Cons:

  • For those who prefer fancy covers, the cover of this book might disappoint you but if you’re not too particular with the cover, then you might not consider this as a negative point. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about the book from the cover to the pages to the lessons and everything. I just think they could have done better to show this book is worth buying. Cover matters, yes. ㅋㅋㅋㅋ
  • For me the practice questions were okay, but I think it would be better if they could also include practice questions for the grammar points being compared.
  • No English translations for those who like having them. (The book is more charming for not having the English translations, tbhㅋㅋㅋㅋ)

Rating: 100000/5!!!!!!!

To conclude, this book is a must buy for Korean language learners who wants to learn more about the grammar patterns’ functions and meanings. I also think this is very much recommended for those who are self-studying because the explanations are enough for one to get a hold of what do they mean and how to use them. I think those who are planning to teach Korean language to other people would find this book very useful too! 🙂

Where to Buy:

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