This e-book offers plenty of reading material to practice reading Korean. The audio material might even help you improve your speaking skill. I can truly say this book is worth its price especially during a sale.
I have recently bought an e-book from TTMIK containing 15 Korean folk tales and 15 fables by Aesop. It is time to tell you what I think about the book.
In a previous post I already mentioned I bought an e-book from TTMIK (Talk To Me In Korean) to practice my reading. This ebook contains 15 Korean folk tales and 15 fables by Aesop and the book title is therefore unsurprisingly “Korean Folk Tales” and “Aesop’s Fables”. Now I will share my thoughts on this purchase as promised by myself in the previous post.
The biggest fear I had when purchasing this book was actually that I was buying an overpriced e-book and let me explain why. Both the folk tales and Aesop’s fables are open to the public as they are part of the public domain. This makes it easy to just grab them put them in a book and start selling it. It involves little to no work. However, this concern has proven to be invalid.
After reading the texts of the TTMIK e-book and then checking with various materials online, I notice that TTMIK did not simply copy paste the tales. They altered the stories sometimes substantially to make them more accessible. This of course means I will not share the Korean versions of the stories to respect the hard work of TTMIK.
However, the best part of the ebook is perhaps the audio material they offer along with the stories. Each story is read in 2 ways: Natural speaking voice and a slow speaking voice. The slow speaking voice nonetheless still feels natural and will help anyone who wants to emulate it to improve their Korean (such as myself). I utterly enjoy the audio and often listen to it while I am doing groceries by myself. Though I do get weird looks when I softly parrot what I hear.
Grammar, Vocabulary and Example
Lastly the e-book does not simply give you texts to read, it also helps you learn a thing or two. Each story is followed by one grammar topic that was present in the text. Often they choose to explain the more advanced grammar topics, but they also do more common grammar topics.
Besides grammar, there is plenty vocabulary that is explained so you won’t constantly need a dictionary near you. The books are marketed towards learners who passed their first hurdles of learning Korean and thus already have some grammar under their belt. Therefore most often vocabulary lists will only give words that a lower intermediate learner has yet to learn. They anticipated those words quite well as I barely needed a dictionary also known as my Korean roommate.
Lastly there is always an English translation included so you can check whether your translation is any good or not. Translating texts is harder as it seems as you will need a perfect understanding of both the vocabulary and the grammar. It is a great test to see if you really understood the story. It is why I am going to share my translations here.
All in all I am very pleased with my purchase and I will not hesitate to buy other books from TTMIK in the future. I, however, do hope they plan to publish more of their books as e-books since I utterly dislike shipping and import costs that I often have to pay. They needlessly increase the price. This book costs $ 15.99 and I think this is an acceptable price for what they offer. The audio material alone gives plenty of material to work with as a learner to justify the prices.