Here with another book review~ Today, I want to talk about TalkToMeInKorean’s “Everyday Korean Idiomatic Expressions.”
One day I was at the book store with my boyfriend looking at all the many Korean study books available when he happened to pick this one up. I had passed over it, not really interested, but he got really excited flipping through it! He was surprised that a book like this, explaining Korean expressions, even exists, and as he flipped through it he told me that I should definitely get it! Having received the native seal of approval, I figured that this book needed to find a place in my small personal library!
What’s in it?
As it says on the cover, this book contains one hundred expressions that Koreans use in daily life. I actually sat down with my boyfriend and asked him to mark the expressions that I should learn first—that is, the expressions that he felt were most commonly used, or that he personally used a lot. Out of the 100, he marked 47. That isn’t to say that the other 53 are useless; he just said that those are a little less common or ones that he doesn’t use as often (but can still understand). Overall, he said this book would be great for me (and for other Korean learners) to learn expressions that will lend their speech a more natural feel. Considering I am not a native speaker and don’t have the same intuition about things like expressions that he does, I’m taking his word for it.
Now, what do I think about the book? In general, it’s a really fun, helpful resource for learning some Korean that you would likely not encounter in your usual classroom setting, or even in most other study materials. Each expression is given two or three pages. Each expression is presented with a breakdown of the words that it is comprised of, the literal meaning, and the figurative meaning of the expression. A short description of the usage of the expression follows, along with example conversations that are written first in Korean and then in English. Also, some of the expressions have fun (if not slightly disturbing at times) illustrations showing their literal meanings.
Sometimes I found myself wishing that the descriptions of the usages of the expressions were a little more detailed, but for the large part, the short descriptions provided and the example dialogues will be enough to give you a decent idea of how to use them.
If you’re looking for something to help you get a more natural feel in your Korean, I would recommend checking out this book. Foreigner tested, native approved!