11 Best Books for Learning Korean 

Table of Contents

This is our review of the 11 Best Books for Learning Korean.

There are many reasons to learn Korean, but here are just a few. South Korea is home to some of the world’s most popular cultures, with K-pop and K-dramas at the forefront and the Korean language is fast becoming one of the most popular Asian languages for non-native speakers to learn.

In addition, the country is home to bustling cities like Seoul and Busan, as well as stunning natural scenery. And thanks to South Korea’s growing economy, there are plenty of opportunities for those who know the language. 

Finally, learning Korean can be a fun and challenging experience that can open up new possibilities for travel and cultural exploration. The question is, can you get into the Korean language without knowing any of it? Yes, but there are too many choices you can take.

Why Books As A Way to Learn Korean?

There are many reasons why people might want to learn Korean. Some might want to travel to South Korea and need to be able to communicate with the locals. Others may be interested in learning more about Korean culture. Whatever the reason, books can be a great way to learn the basics of the language.

Books provide structure and a variety of learning tools. They can help beginners learn the alphabet and basic vocabulary words. They also teach grammar rules and common phrases. In addition, books often include exercises that allow learners to practice what they have learned.

Learning a foreign language can be difficult, but using books as your primary resource can make it easier. With enough practice, you will be able to speak Korean with confidence. In this article, you can find 10 best books for learning Korean. 

Criteria for Choosing Best Books for Learning Korean

Choosing a book for learning Korean can be overwhelming due to the vast number of options available. One important factor to consider when making your decision is the level of formality in the text. 

Many textbooks are designed for learners with a formal background, which can make them difficult for beginners. Another consideration is how up-to-date the materials are. Some books are based on outdated research and can lead to confusion.

When choosing a textbook, it’s important to find one that is tailored to your specific needs. If you want to focus on speaking and listening skills, find a book that includes plenty of exercises and dialogues. 

If you’re more interested in reading and writing, then choose a text that has detailed grammar explanations and practice exercises. There are many great Korean textbooks available, so take your time and find the one that’s right for you!

One option to choose a textbook is to preview the contents of a textbook before buying it. This can be done by looking at the table of contents or reading excerpts online. If you have someone you trust who learns Korean, they may be able to recommend a good textbook for you. 

Additionally, reviews of textbooks can be helpful in making a decision. It is important to find a book that is suited to your level and interests.

Here are the 10 best books for learning Korean for you. 

11 Best Books for Learning Korean

1. Korean Made Easy

Korean Made Easy is the best book for beginner learners. It provides comprehensive explanations in daily use as well as a great review. The listening and reading sections are based on the modern Korean language, which is perfect for those who want to learn the current slang and expressions. Furthermore, the customer reviews are incredibly positive, with many people stating that this was exactly what they were looking for.

Publisher: Darakwon
Author: Seung-Eun Oh
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Review:
“We use this book in my beginning Korean class and it is well written, useful, and easy to use. I like the way they use vocabulary words to help with the specific portions of the alphabet we are learning in each chapter. The little quizzes at the end of each chapter are useful as well. The book helps advance progressively toward introductions and basic conversation. Well, put together.” (J***)

You can buy it now on Amazon.

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2. Korean Made Simple

If you are new to the Korean language, or if you are looking for a comprehensive and straightforward guide to learning Korean, then “Korean Made Simple” is the book for you. Kindle and paper formats are available. The grammar section is concise and easy to follow, while the vocabulary section provides 1,000 words that are essential for beginners. In addition, the book includes 20 in-depth lessons that will help you learn how to speak Korean like a native speaker. Finally, the higher-level notes provide valuable insights into Korean culture and grammar.

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent
Author: Billy Go
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Review:
“I’m about halfway through the book so far, and I feel like I’ve used it enough to leave a thoughtful and (hopefully) helpful review. The first thing that you should know is that this probably isn’t the best “stand-alone” book. It’s not a textbook, so it’s not going to have everything that you need to learn the language. It IS, however, very helpful for a beginner to gain a lot of basic understanding of the language and how grammar fits Korean sentences together…” (G****)

You can buy it now on Amazon.

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3. Korean From Zero 1 

It can be difficult to find a textbook that meets your needs as a beginner learner of Korean. If you’re looking for more than just basic grammar and vocabulary instruction, you’ll want to consider a resource like ‘Korean from Zero1’. This comprehensive guide contains over 600 words and expressions, along with example sentences for easy reference. Additionally, the Kindle format offers pages, notes, and flashcards that make learning even easier.

Publisher: From Zero
Author: George Trombley, Sunhee Bong
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Review:
“Absolutely awesome book for beginners to Korean! I love the fact that it’s both a workbook and a textbook, and everything is so down to earth! It doesn’t feel like you’re just reading a huge wall of text like most language books. I think it’s really great that the writing portion teaches you everything you need to know about reading and writing hangul, and after that chapter, none of the Korean words are romanized. I absolutely recommend this book to any beginner wanting to hop straight into learning Korean on their own.” (T****)

You can buy it now on Amazon.

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4. Korean for Beginners: Mastering Conversational Korean

If you’re looking for an enjoyable way to learn Korean, look no further than Korean for Beginners: Mastering Conversational Korean. The book is written with a sense of humor that makes learning the language fun and easy. You’ll learn practical and natural Korean conversational language quickly, which will come in handy when traveling in South Korea or interacting with Koreans online.

Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Author: Henry J. Amen IV, Kyubyong Park
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Review:
With its tricky pronunciation, complex grammar, and elaborate honorific forms, the Korean language can present a daunting prospect. This was the first book I used. it is a nice option if you prefer a gentle introduction to Korean. It’s also entertaining with plenty of cultural information packed it.” (Perapera Language Tools blog)

You can buy it now on Amazon.

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5. Sogang Korean 1A

There are many different Korean language learning programs and applications on the market these days. So, which one is the best for students in a classroom setting, or those working with tutors? We believe that Sogang Korean 1A is the best choice. This program is motivating for self-learners from beginner to advanced levels, with plenty of lessons and content. In addition, the program has an excellent reputation for quality.

Publisher: Hawoo Publishing
Author: Song-hee Kim
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Review:
“I think this is an excellent book if you’re being taught by someone, but it is definitely not meant as a teach-yourself book plus it is almost only in Korean, but for my purpose it is great!(Re*****)

You can buy it now on Amazon.

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6. Ewha Korean

A textbook that covers the basics of the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing is a great tool for students who are learning a new language. The “Try it” section in each chapter is designed to help students apply what they have learned in a realistic, everyday situation. Ewha Korean is such a textbook, and its lessons are based on the communicative approach to language learning. This approach emphasizes using language for real-life communication.

Though, unlike traditional textbooks, this book divides the language chain into real-world scenarios that you may experience, such as arranging a day’s schedule and cooking food.

Publisher: Express
Author: Mi-Hea Lee
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Review:
“This book has all four things and is user-friendly. I like the small chunks of vocab and the audio for strengthening my listening skills. The book does not come with a CD but on the two choices manufacturer site it explains that all CDs have been converted to downloadable MP3 for free…(B**********)

You can buy it now on Amazon.

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7. Korean Grammar for International Learners

Korean Grammar for International Learners is an invaluable reference for those who want a complete understanding of the Korean language. The book provides detailed information on how the language works, from sentence structure to verb conjugation. It’s also an excellent tool for practicing grammar drills.

One of the strengths of this book is its focus on everyday speech patterns. The examples are drawn from real-life conversations, so you can see how the grammar rules are used in context. This helps you learn not just how to say something, but also when and why to use particular grammar structures.

The explanations are clear and easy to follow, making Korean Grammar for International Learners an ideal resource for both learners and teachers of Korean. If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to the Korean language, this is it.

Publisher: Yonsei University press
Author: Ho Bin Ihm
Rating: 4.9 out of 5
Review: 
Excellent resource book for serious Korean Language learners. Not necessarily a beginner’s book, but excellent for when you get a little more experienced. Many grammar items are explained with several sentence examples. Index in the back to look up specific items. Will add clarity to your learning.” (S**********)

You can buy it now on Amazon.

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8. Elementary Korean

When learning a new language, there are many different resources to choose from. If you’re an independent learner looking for a comprehensive resource, Korean Grammar for International Learners is a great option. This book provides clear explanations of grammar rules with plenty of examples, as well as exercises for further practice. 

In addition, the conversations in the book are rich in idiomatic expressions and cultural insights. If you’re a beginner who wants more writing practice, this book is also a good choice. The dialogues and exercises provide ample opportunity to improve your writing skills. And if you’re looking for extensive conversations in Korean, this book has you covered too. With its engaging dialogues and useful vocabulary, Korean Grammar for International Learners is an essential resource for anyone wanting to learn Korean.

Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Author: Ross King, Jeahoon Yeon
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Review: 
“The layout makes for a digestible read; each chapter begins with a dialogue and vocabulary list, followed by grammar points and exercises. The chapters are spattered with side notes that warn about common mistakes and caveats in a given lesson. I also have the accompanying workbook, which gives a lot of good practice.” (Goodreads)

You can buy it now on Amazon.

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9. Active Korean 1 

Self-studying Korean can be a daunting task, but with the right resources, it can be a fun and rewarding experience. When looking for self-study materials, it is important to find texts that have practical examples as well as an easy-to-grasp grammar reference. In addition, supplementary resources such as online tutorials or tutors can be very helpful in complementing your self-study.

One great resource for beginners is the textbook Active Korean 1. This text has been designed specifically for self-study and includes an abundance of examples and exercises. The grammar section is also very clear and concise, making it easy to refer to when needed. If you have a tutor, it is more helpful to learn with this book. 

Publisher: Moonjin Media
Author: Language Education Institute of Seoul National University
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Review: 
“This is the perfect starter book as an intro to Korean. If you already know Hangeul, then it will be even easier to dive into. The first chapter introduces Hangeul and a bunch of vocabulary words for practice. The words are just there for practice and to show the different characters. It can look kind of scary, but it doesn’t obligate you to know all of them…” (S*****)

You can buy it now on Amazon.

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10. Integrated Korean: Beginning 1

If you’re looking to study Korean in a more traditional academic setting, look no further than the Integrated Korean series. This series offers 10 volumes of grammar-focused instruction, complete with cultural context notes. What’s great about this series is that it’s designed for long-term study; each volume builds on the one before it, so you can be sure your Korean skills are progressing steadily. Additionally, the author team is made up of experienced teachers and linguists who have successfully combined tradition and innovation in their teaching approach.

Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Author: Young-Mee Yu Cho
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Review: 
“I’m learning Korean in a college class right now and this was the book that was recommended. I think the first part as far as learning the alphabet would be difficult to figure out by yourself but after learning that in class, I’ve been able to go on past what we’ve learned and it’s fairly easy…” (C****)

You can buy it now on Amazon.

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11. Learn Korean with BTS – Korean Learning Book for Beginners

 Learning a new language can be interesting, but it is also difficult. And students can get bored quickly if they focus on learning grammar or vocabulary lists in learning a language. However, the book consists of various episodes of about three minutes and is unified into one theme, such as greetings and how one’s been. 

It is designed to increase learners’ concentration with short videos and learn essential expressions without complexity. I think it will be a great motivation for BTS fans who wanted to learn Korean but couldn’t concentrate steadily.

 

Publisher: Big Hit
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Review: 
“I absolutely wonderful, worth every penny. I love how specific it is about the grammar, I am happily surprised by that. I would recommend this to any ARMY” (Q*****)

You can buy it now on Amazon.

Conclusion

In conclusion, these 11 best books for learning Korean are excellent resources for those looking to learn Korean. They are all packed with valuable information, and they will help you improve your language skills in no time. So if you want to start speaking, reading, and writing Korean, be sure to check out these ten books!

Do you want to learn some smart tips for other fields? Check out Smartly Tips! There are a lot of resourceful articles. 

Here is a suggested article that you like: 7 Best App To Learn Korean (A Comprehensive Review)

Smartly Josh
Smartly Josh

Smartly Josh is the founder and chief editor at LearningSmartly.com. He is passionate to learn new skills. His aim is very simply. Just help you take the right courses for your future.