Whether you’re teaching English in Korea, starting a corporate job, or serving as a soldier, knowing a bit of Korean will make your life in Korea that much more awesome – guaranteed.
Hi, I’m Chris Backe. When I moved to Korea, I wasn’t sure I’d ever pick up Korean. Why? Every book that taught you Korean did the same thing: they spent about five seconds on the basic parts of the language, then jumped right into full phrases and lecturing about boring points of grammar. Did you really enjoy conjugating verbs in high school? Yawn.
Chapters are broken down into simple, easy-to-digest chunks – less thinking required!
Sure, I ended up learning Korean – and I realized you will never need to know the phrase ‘I am wearing a green sweater’, so why learn it? You will need ‘Where is the bathroom?’ and ‘One beer, please!’, so you’ll learn those two.
Learn the Korean you’re actually going to use while in Korea.
We’re going to use words and phrases, not dialogues. We’ll pair up the words and phrases you’re going to use, show you what it looks like in Korean, then show you how to say it in simple English syllables. It’s as simple as that.
This e-book is not a dictionary or quick-study book for tourists – it’s written specifically for people coming to or living in Korea.
You’ll start with hangeul, the Korean alphabet. You’ll learn the letters, how to put them together to make syllables, and how to make sounds with them. We’ll look at some real world examples – a hint that there are thousands of English words secretly disguised as Korean words. Later on, we’ll talk about everything from Korean alcohol to getting off the beaten path.
So what else are we going to talk about?
- Getting the pronunciation right – the locals are picky about this.
- About formalities and honorifics – a big deal in the Confucian-based society.
- Getting to know people – everyone from co-workers to your students
- The holidays Korea really celebrates – including the ones you won’t find on most calendars
- Eating – with a special section for vegetarians and those with allergies
- Korean alcohol – some of the most potent stuff around
- Curses – the words and phrases that’ll make the old people blush
- Handling your students (if you’re an English teacher)
- Talking to your boss and co-workers (using the formal tense)
- Traveling around Korea – how to read the maps, get help, and get around without a guidebook
- What to say when you feel like crap
- Korean expressions and slang – stuff some locals have never heard from a foreigner’s mouth.
And plenty more.
Version 6.0 was updated in January 2020, and plays nice with any modern device.
IMPORTANT: the audio track is not embedded in the e-book file. Instead, head to http://is.gd/kmeaudio for a ZIP file of free, unrestricted MP3 tracks to go with the book. Load them up on your MP3 player or Kindle and hit play – there’s at least one track per chapter.
About the author
Chris Backe (rhymes with hockey) has written about travel since 2008 and has been around the world a couple of times. He's written over 30 books, and has been seen in Atlas Obscura, io9, Mental Floss, Everything Everywhere, Perceptive Travel, Travel Wire Asia, and many other publications. When not traveling, he loves tabletop games and a glass of white wine.