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Korean. Easy. Irreverent. Even, dare I say, fun?

Version 3.0 (January 2013) – AUDIO TRACK AVAILABLE! WOOHOO! This audio track features a native Korean speaking the Korean in the book. Also, a new section on grammar has been added, along with minor expansions in the other four sections.

Important: Head to www.oneweirdglobe.com/kmeaudio for free, unrestricted MP3's to go with the book. Load them up on your MP3 player or other device and hit play - there's at least one track per chapter. You can also listen to them in your browser, or download them all in one click!

Coming to Korea?

  • Want to teach English in Korea?
  • Want to do business in Korea and really understand the way they think?
  • Want to chat with a cute / handsome Korean at the club?
  • Want to do more than just order a beer or stumble around the major tourist destinations?

It's time to LEARN KOREAN.

Hi, I'm Chris Backe. I'm an English teacher living in Seoul, South Korea. When I first moved to Korea, I wasn't sure I'd ever pick up the language. 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.

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'll use the phrase 'Where is the bathroom?', so you'll learn that one.That's the whole idea here – learn the Korean you're actually going to use while in Korea. We're going to use words and phrases, not dialogues. We'll going to 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 - it's written specifically for people living in Korea. Whether you're coming to teach English, serve in the military, work as a businessperson, this is for you. If you're coming as a tourist, this will help the locals see the question you're trying to ask, but it's mainly geared towards people 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 – signs from around Korea. Later on, we'll talk about everything from Korean alcohol to getting off the beaten path.

The biggest difference between this e-book and others: no fancy language terms like 'fricative' or 'nasal consonant' at you. We're going to keep this so simple, even a ten-year-old can keep up.

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 this historically-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.

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