Finally! Here is the long overdue post on Talk to Me in Korean (TTMIK). For the last how many years that have have been attempting to learn Korean, I always went back to TTMIK. I’ve tried other apps and books and they are either paid, a dry textbook or not suitable for the language level or period of life. I have one textbook that is solely focused to university students and I am certainly not one.
I find TTMIK a very good resource to use regardless of your money situation but also it depends on how you learn, if it is beneficial for you. I first started off with the audio files that they have available on their website (www.talktomeinkorean.com) and there are PDF files that can be downloaded along with them. They don’t go into 한글 (Hanguel – Korean Alphabet) but there are so many resources online that could teach you. They start off with really simple important sentences/expressions such as 안녕하세요 (annyeong-haseyo – Hello), 감사합니다 (gamsahabnida – Thank You), 네 (Ne – Yes), 아니요 (aniyo – no), and etc. Then they go into simple grammar like: to be – 이예요/예요. Also sentences/expressions that can help you at least get around and importantly, how to order food….. I don’t use the pdfs as much anymore but I found it is a great resource to listen on my daily commute and the PDFs can help if you are a visual learner. I don’t think a lesson has really gone over 15-20 mins so far.
While I was using the podcast, I originally came across an app that I’m not sure if they worked with TTMIK ( I assume no because the description in the app store says unofficial app) but it did have links to their podcast as well as their YouTube videos, if I remember correctly. If you type in TTMIK in the App Store – I have an iPhone – there’s a KORLINK which was the one I didn’t like because it wasn’t stable, the second one is Talk to Me in Korean Lessons + which is the one that I use and then there’s another one that says, TTMIK but they charge $3.99CAD so that is definitely a no. The TTMIK Lessons + is a heck of a lot better. The developer is Technical Data Freeway Inc., if that helps to search. How it’s laid out makes it easy to figure out where the courses and additional resources are. What I like about this one, even though KORLINK has also this feature now, is that you could download each of the lessons to your phone/device so that you don’t have to use your data and you can listen to it on the go. Under curriculum, they have the same lessons that is available on their website. They also have Stories (Iyagi) and “How Do You Say” sections. Under Shows, they have their YouTube videos that talk about pronunciation and little knickknacks that you wouldn’t find in a textbook. Again, all of these you can download to your phone so that you can listen or watch them on the go but do be mindful that it does take up space on your phone. I downloaded about three levels and it was already 1 GB so I suggest you download some and as you complete them, take them off your phone by uncaching them which can be done all within the app.
Now for the books! I guess you can say, as a gift to myself, I purchased the TTMIK Beginner [Extended] Package – Hangeul Master + Level 1, 2, 3 (Textbooks + Workbooks). Because I bought mine during the holidays, I had a 20% discount. Regularly the books are $94 USD. Every so often, there would be sales so definitely keep an eye on the site or subscribe to their site. They also have different packages like textbook and workbook bungles and Beginner package (which includes includes Hangeul Master, and the Level 1 textbook and workbook) During the holidays, I told myself I would study a lot but I didn’t. I started with the Hangeul Master and refresh my memory in the Korean alphabet, partially did some of the hand writing and I started doing level one of the textbook and I’m about to start doing the workbook. The good thing about these books is that if you want reinforcement or if you were a visual learner, these books work well with the podcasts/audio files. When it comes to writing, I really feel that I would need these. They give you really good examples as well as the cartoons are very interesting to look at. The lessons are bite size just like the podcast so each chapter is fairly very short so if you were going hard-core with studying, you can probably finish a textbook in a day. The audio tracks that they referred to in the textbook are available online for free to download so that is also another plus.
Depending on how you learn, some of these resources may be of some help. For me, I usually do like the reinforcement of going to class but that’s kind of expensive so I just have to rely on these books, the app, and language exchange. I hope that this review has helped you figure out whether or not you would want to purchase these. If you do live outside of the US though, you do have to be mindful of currency because I’m in Canada and that’s usually why I get turned off from buying anything online. I’m paranoid when it comes to shipments coming from outside the country because I feel like they’re going to get lost so I chose the type of mail that can get tracked so it came in two weeks and that was amazing.
Comment below if you are using TTMIK to study and if it what are you using? What’s working for you?