When I first moved to Korea, I knew the basic alphabet and a few phrases from listening to podcasts online. It took me a while to feel comfortable even trying to communicate in Korean past the basic hellos and thank you’s.
But when we started exploring and travelling more – there were times when I needed help beyond what Google translate could give me.
In fact – Google translate is the worst. Don’t use it. I got laughed at so many times when I tried to use my phone to look up common Korean phrases and words.
I enlisted the help of a tutor, but she couldn’t be with me at all times nor could she teach me every little phrase I needed. She helped me build my syntax knowledge – how to put sentences together and pronounce things correctly. And she helped prepare me for our big vacation by teaching me some helpful questions.
But when it was time to get ready to go, I knew I needed something that I could bring with me to look up weird stuff – like how to ask where the bus goes. A straight English-Korean dictionary was too confusing, and too big to fit in my backpack. So I chose a simple phrasebook that had nice-looking pronunciations.
Survival Korean gives you essential phrases in a small, easy-to-carry format
Imagine my surprise when Tuttle Publishing contacted me and asked if I wanted to review some of their books about Korea and the Korean language!
The Tuttle Publishing Company was established in 1948 in Rutland, Vermont, and Tokyo, Japan, and is today regarded as a premier publisher and seller of books rooted in Asian culture, language, and history.
Imagine more surprise when one of the books they suggested was Survival Korean.
This was the exact book I chose to bring along on our minimalist, backpack-only vacation to the interior of South Korea! You can see it laying out in my post about packing light for a family of five.
They also sent me Essential Korean – which is a little larger and more comprehensive phrasebook. Both books are set up very similar – by topic of discussion with a small vocabulary dictionary in the back.
What I love about Survival Korean and Essential Korean
I knew I had chosen the right book to bring on our trip because again and again, I found the words I needed to say right inside that handy little purple book.
The travel vocabulary was especially helpful. Some of the smaller towns we explored did not have a lot of English speakers and so we had to rely on my Korean skills to navigate the buses, trains, and taxis.
And these books are small so they fit easily into a purse or backpack without weighing you down.
Tuttle Publishing has a whole range of language books for Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Tagalog, and more. And I have to say that from what I’ve experienced of their Korean resources, they know their stuff. They don’t confuse formal language with informal and they give you a relaxed introduction to conversational Korean.
Tuttle Publishing has been so, so generous and offered to give away 3 copies of Survival Korean to my readers! Plus – I will be doing another review and giveaway of some children’s books next week so be sure to look for that post.
Rules of the giveaway:
- You must be 18 and have a US mailing address (APO ok!)
- There is no requirements to enter – simply fill out your information in the Rafflecopter widget below and click “Free Entry”
- Winners will be chosen next Friday (March 6th) and will have 48 hours to respond via email