I ordered this book by TTMIK around the time they published it, but I didn’t get to start using it until just recently. I have now finished it and as I have promised a few people, I’m now here to share my thoughts with all of you!
Table of content:
Each chapter begins with a 2 page dialog which is then followed by a vocabulary list.
After reading the dialog and following up on the vocabulary, the real fun begins. A grammar pattern from the dialog is introduced and followed by a few sample sentences that allows you to become more comfortable with that specific pattern.
You then have two short assignments involving that pattern. The TTMIK crew guides you through the vocabulary so you only have to focus on the actual pattern and how to use it. Below the assignment you’ll find the answer key.
After checking your answers, you see two other patterns that are related to the main pattern that you are learning, which then introduces two alternative ways of expressing the same thing as the main pattern. It can be by using other words, another type of grammer or even another level of politeness. Below these patterns you’ll also find a sample sentence as well as information on why the pattern is different/similar, how to use and when to use it.
Each dialog has three main patterns, that all comes with assignments and alternative patterns.
– When reading the dialog, the Korean version is on the left side, and the English version is on the right side. This way you can check how much of the dialog you understand line by line if you wish without having to flip back and forth between pages, or if you are more like me, then you can easily skip the English version completely. You can adjust it according to your preferences.
– The book comes with audio files. A useful tool for any language learner.
– Vocabulary list. A really helpful tool and a good indicator of your level. I’m always excited if I know most of the words on the list. Also, it makes it easier to study on the go, because you don’t need a device to look up the words (though I’m sure most of us just do in through our smartphones anyway).
– The same grammar pattern can be found in different chapters. This is really helpful when it comes to expanding your knowledge of how to use that specific pattern. It’s also a great reminder that there’s never just one way of expressing yourself
– The answer key is printed right after the practice assignments, in a discreet font and color. This is GREAT! When I do assignments in books, I check the answers after each assignment because I don’t want to complete a full page of assignments just to discover that I had misunderstood what I was supposed to do. However, this usually means that I have to go back and forth between the assignment and the answer key. This is why I love it when books have the answer key printed along with each assignment.
As mentioned above, it’s very discreet so you don’t have to worry about the answers jumping to your eyes before you actually need them.
– The book changes between the different politeness levels, unlike many other books who only teach the 존댓말 version.
– The general design of the book is great. It’s user friendly and pleasing to the eyes.
– It has cute drawings with empty speech bubbles. Okay this might sound odd, but think about it! You can go back write your own example sentences using the grammar that you just learned. Sounds like fun to me!
– Fun and realistic dialogs. I know that it kinda says so in the title, but trust me, titles aren’t always honest. I had quite a few giggle moments while going through the book and many of the situations were super relatable.
What could be improved:
– Nothing really.
Overall I really liked the book. Personally it was mainly reviewing for me, as most dialogs only had 1-3 unknown words and I only came across 1 unknown grammar point. For a short time I also wished that the dialogs had been a bit longer, but that’s all just because I’m at an high intermediate stage. If you’re a high beginner/low intermediate stage then this book would be absolutely perfect for you. At this stage it’ll be very helpful to have a book that explains and compares similar grammar patterns as well as help expand you vocabulary. It’ll also help you gain some confidence if you find it difficult to practice with native speakers.
If you’re interested in the book then you can find it right here! They also have it in ebook format and in a beginner edition as well.
Also, I did take a few pictures while studying with the book, so I’ll have another ‘Study With Me’ post up, in a week or so!
6 thoughts on “REVIEW: Real-life Korean Conversations: Intermediate – By TalkToMeInKorean”
Thank you Cammilla! This post was super useful to me as I was wondering whether to get it or not. You also answered some of the questions I had. ^^
I have only one left, do you have any recommendation to make as regards upper-beginner books to read? I mean, I love to read and I’d like to do it in Korean -not just reading my textbooks you know- but I get discouraged when I understand nothing at all.
Also, how do you practice your speaking skills?
Well, I’ll stop here. Thank you again for this review!
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I’m so glad that you found it useful^^
I would like to recommend a book called 백설공주 from indigo. It’s a collection of short and famous stories like Snow white, Red riding hood and Sleeping beauty. The book isn’t very big and the stories aren’t very long either, so you don’t have to spend ages on each story. It also has some really beautiful pictures! I’ll send you a few pictures on instagram!
I also have a book list on the blogs menu, where I try to list all of the books that I read. I haven’t updated it in while, but there should be a few other suggestions for you 🙂
As for speaking, I used to talk in Korean to myself a lot, and my bunnies as well. Now I mainly practice through italki lessons and a few of my Korean friends that I have known for a long time. I also sometimes talk to random people via HelloTalk but I find that a bit overwhelming so I only do it once in a while.
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Ok, thank you for sharing!
I find it overwhelming too and I was wondering how do other learners do. ^^
This seems like such a genuinely useful and supportive book where you are taught how to create your own sentences using structure as opposed to just parroting the dialogue they give you. I wish there was something like this in Norwegian! Also I did laugh at th part of the dialogue where she’s like “are you marrying that guy I know you were with?” And she is basically like “nope someone else”
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It really is! I especially enjoyed the parts where they compare similar patterns because it’s such a struggle when you learn a few patterns that pretty much seems to be the same but actually
emphasizes different points of the sentence.
And yes, there’s a lot of random but funny plot twists in the dialogs!
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Hi. I really want to learn Korean like you. But I don’t know how to get the book. So can you send me the ebook and the audiobook of Real-life conversations intermediate, please? My email: email@example.com. Thank you so much