12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (2023)


Are you looking for Korean textbooks for beginners? Good!

Some people learn from you5 minutes of class. some wantaudio lessons. Then there are the textbooks.

By the way, the textbook in Korean is "교과서" or (gyogwaseo).

A Korean book gives you structureWhat do you need. A path from 1 to 200 pages on Hangul, grammar, writing, reading and everything you don't learn by watching K-Dramas.

Are textbooks the only answer to mastering the whole language? No. But it's a good start and reliable material for learning Korean.

All books have links, so click on them for more information on Amazon. The links are my Amazon affiliate links.You can click on the images or links for more information about Amazon.

12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (1)

1.Living Language Korean Complete Edition: Beginner to Intermediate

  • What makes it good:General book for beginners that teaches everything.
  • By Living Language and Jaemin Roh

Good, smooth and definitely for beginners.Includes books (beginner, intermediate, advanced and a literacy practice book), an audio CD, a workbook to help you with reading, writing and pronunciation, and a handy blank notebook.12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (2)

So you get 4 books in total: 304 pages in total and 9 audio CDs.

I recommend that you start using the CDs as soon as possible.

Listening to real Korean is very important, and you won't learn it just by reading.

I also recommend getting a Korean dictionary if you decide to use this one.

Out of all the Korean textbooks, this one is the best value in terms of features for the money spent.

If you are looking for Korean tutorials, I can also suggestKoreanClass101.com. They offer audio and video lessons from real teachers. Then you can just play a lesson, learn and start talking.

  • You can readmore about them here.

What is the next?

2.Korean from scratch! 1: Best practices for learning Korean with Workbook

Are you a Korean beginner?

Then you will also like this Korean book.

  • What makes it good:General book for beginners that teaches everything.
  • Von George Trombley

12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (3)One of the best Korean introductory books so far. Once you get started, you will be required to learn Hangul, the Korean alphabet, without delay.

Despite having 360 pages, the book is very well designed and keeps you motivated because everything has a structure.

heumany places to practice your calligraphy in the hangul sectionjust like the rest of the book.

It's like a combination workbook and textbook.

According to some students, this is the best place to start.

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3.Korean Made Simple: A Beginner's Guide to Learning the Korean Language

Extremely practical and general beginner's book.

  • What makes it good:General book for beginners that teaches everything.
  • Por Billy Go

That would be my starting point if I ever learned Korean again.

Why? Korean Made Simple avoids romanization (¡lindo!) and teaches Hangul first.

12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (4)

At the end of each chapter, for a total of 20 chapters, there are practice sections and checklists.

There are 348 pages in total where you will learn more than 1000 words in addition to Hangul and grammar.

Out of all the books on this list of the best Korean textbooks, this is possibly my most recommended resource for beginners.

4.Integrated Korean: Getting Started 1, 2nd Edition (Clear Korean Language Textbooks)

This 232-page book was published by the University of Hawaii.

  • What makes it good:General book for beginners that teaches everything. university level.
  • Published by University of Hawaii Press

So it's a college textbook... which doesn't mean it's difficult.12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (5)

I'm just saying it's legit.

If you're looking for the kind of books that students use in schools and not books obviously made by language companies or language bloggers, this is the place.

It comes with a CD and starts off with the basics: simple phrases and Hangul.

Each lesson builds on the grammar you've learned in previous lessons, so it's not difficult.

Well organized and easy to go through.

All grammar and words are clearly explained. You don't need a dictionary if you choose this Korean book.

In general, your reading and writing skills will be very good with it.

5.500 Basic Korean Verbs: The Only Complete Guide to Conjugation and Usage (Downloadable Audio Files Included)

You need this?

Why is it on the list of best Korean textbooks?

Well, it's more of a reference book, but yeah.

  • What makes it good:Learn tons of verbs and master conjugation.
  • do Parque Kyubyong

12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (6)

You're going to need a lot of words to speak more Korean, right?

Here you will get 500 verbs.

It has romanization, which is good news for the lazy ones! It has conjugation tables for all tenses and is a great reference tool. Learn more words; improve your conjugation skills!

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What is my advice on Korean books like this one?

They must be revised gradually.A few words today. some tomorrow. Some next week. Or a few pages a day.

The goal is NOT to overwhelm yourself.

So many times you'll come back to what's good.

In the end, you will consolidate your Korean verb and conjugation skills.

6. Coreano Essentials: A Grammar and Practice Book (Grammar Workbooks)

This Korean book assumes that you already know Hangul.

12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (7)


And are you ready to learn grammar rules? Because this is where you learn them.

  • What makes it good:Learn Korean grammar.
  • de Andrew Sangpil Byon

One of the best Korean grammar books. Clear and detailed explanations of Korean grammar for beginners in 256 pages.

It helps you break down a sentence and understand how subject, object, etc. Get together.

How do I recommend you use this? Go through it bit by bit, similar to the 500 Verbs book. Plus, you'll be coming back to the book to review grammar rules or understand new rules.

When I come across a new phrase pattern elsewhere, I usually go here for explanations.

In addition, there are quiz questions and an answer key at the end of each chapter.

So this one is just for beginners, but there's also aintermediate versionO.

7. Let's Speak Korean - Learn 1400+ phrases quickly and easily

12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (8)

Do you know what it takes to speak a lot of Korean?


Yes, it is important to have a large vocabulary. But it's also good to know the phrases because now you know what to actually say. So this 136-page book teaches over 1,400 phrases on 21 different topics such as: Introduction, Shopping, At the restaurant and more. Very simple book.

  • What makes it good:Learn tons of everyday phrases.
  • fandom education

Diploma: Very easy for beginners.

8. Korean grammar in action_principle

This is another good grammar book.

12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (9)It was written by 3 Korean teachers who teach the language to foreign students.

So people like you.

(Video) Polyglot speaks 20 languages. Here's how he did it.

  • What makes it good:Teaches grammar for beginners.
  • by Ahn Jean-Myung and Lee Kyung, Han Hoo-youn

It has a very simple format. In 376 pages you will learn all possible grammar rules. You will be given dialogs to see the rules in action. Then practice with the exercises.

You will not learn any vocabulary here and you are expected to be able to read. So while this is for "beginners" it is thatNOdesigned for new beginners.

Please learn Hangul before proceeding with this book.

Yes, you can also find intermediate and advanced versions.

9. Dirty Korean: Everyday slang for "What's up?" to "F*%# off!

12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (10)You need this. Why?

Anyone starting a new language should first learn the JUICY bits:the bad words

  • What makes it good:Lustig.
  • von Haewon Geebi Baek

There are 128 pagesSlang, verbal abuse, sexual terms and name-calling.

AGood collection of words ranging from cool slang to dirty words, all great reading material.

Great as a supplement and restful reading.

10. Talk to me in Korean level 1

12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (11)This is a textbook created by the popular Talk to Me podcast in Korean.

These guys are an online company that teaches Korean.

  • What makes it good:Good general book to start with.
  • from Talk to me in Korean

Here you will learn Korean in a conversational style, not the typical textbook school or formal style.

Basically, this is another great starting point for learning Korean, learning grammar, and just making progress.

I like it, so it makes the list. But honestly, any of the Korean textbooks here are good enough if you want to choose.

Just 164 pages and you get bonus audio files.

11. Free Korean textbook

I don't know what you think about PDF "books", but I found a completely free Korean book for beginners with audio files. All thanks to Monash University.

You can download bothmy koreans 1 and 2on the links below.

my koreans 1 and 2

12. Korean Workbook: Hangul Script

Yes, this is not one of the "best Korean textbooks".12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (13)

But if you know me and my love of writing, you'll understand why I put the book here.

It's basically a 100-page workbook. And the aim is for you to practice Korean and Hangul phrases inside. That is all.

As simple as that.

The author is also from my hometown so there's that too!

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While we are talking about the best Korean textbooks...

...we can't ignore Korean phrasebooks.

korean phrases

Why? Korean phrasebooks are a great addition to your learning. A source of easy phrases to add to your Korean learning brain. The result? You speak more Korean.

13. Lonely Planet Korean Dictionary and Phrasebook

Lonely Planet is famous for its phrasebooks, so this one makes the list.

Note that this book is small enough to fit in your pocket.

  • What makes it good:Lots of phrases, good supplemental resource.
  • de Lonely Planet

In 272 pages, you'll learn travel idioms, conversation phrases, how to ask directions, order food, and much more. It's a complete book and well worth having, especially if you're traveling. Or if you just want to review or learn more practical words.

12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (14)12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (15)

14. Korean Overview

This is another great mini Korean phrasebook. I say mini because it's a little small including the font, but it's definitely full of Korean learning. After all, it's 353 pages. The book promises to teach 2,000 words and phrases.

12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (16)

  • What makes it good:Many phrases. good for travelers
  • von Barrons

By the way,I also recommend Korean learning programs like… KoreanClass101. And especially KoreanClass101 for their audio and video lessons.

Yes, it's not a textbook, but it could be the best online course on how to speak, listen and master conversational Korean.

Here's a little 3 minute lesson. Just press play to listen.

This site would be a perfect addition to any Korean book or dictionary you use.

Do you have the best Korean textbooks?What do you swear and recommend? I have yet to write about it.

I will add more over time.

Leave a comment!

~ The main addict

PS As much as I love Korean textbooks, I love online programs the most.

If you want something digital or a full tutorial, I recommend Koreanclass101.com. Basically you set your level and then their system gives you lessons one at a time. From learning words to mastering conversations, etc. If you like to learn togetherAudio-jVideo, you will like them.

Click here for a free KoreanClass101 account

12+ Korean Textbooks for Beginners and Smart Language Learners (17)

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Which book is for beginners in Korean language? ›

What Are The Best Books To Learn Korean?
Best Overall Korean BookKorean Made Simple
Best for BeginnersRead and Speak Korean for Beginners
Best for Self-StudyTalk to Me in Korean Level 1
Best for TravelLet's Speak Korean
Best for Learning HangulKorean Alphabet with Writing Workbook
4 more rows

What books do Koreans use to learn Korean? ›

The Korean textbook series made by Seoul National University (SNU) provides a comprehensive overview of grammar and vocab. It does so through an excellent balance of interactivity, structure and fun, rich content.

Which is the best app for learning Korean language for beginners? ›

  • Rocket Languages. Best Overall App to Learn Korean.
  • Pimsleur. Best Korean App to Improve Pronunciation.
  • Drops. Best App to Learn Korean Vocabulary.
  • KoreanClass101. Best Korean App for Listening.
  • italki. Best App to Find Korean Tutors.
  • LingQ. Best App to Practice Reading Korean.
  • Lingodeer. Best Beginner Korean App.
Feb 24, 2023

Is 1 year enough to learn Korean? ›

Can You Learn Korean in a Year? The short answer is, yes. While you can also speed up your learning process, here are some estimates based on the numbers provided by FSI: You can learn Korean in a year if you study for over 6 hours every day.

Can I learn Korean by reading books? ›

After studying Korean for a while, you'll realize a great way to improve is extensive reading. Reading Korean books exposes you to a wide variety of vocabulary words and grammar structures, allowing you to passively absorb various concepts, as well as see them in practice. Still, it's easier said than done.

What is the hardest part of learning Korean? ›

One of the most challenging areas of Korean grammatical structure is the concept of particles. Because there is no corresponding construct in English grammar. Thus, the idea of using particles appears even more perplexing to new learners. In Korean grammar, particles serve as sentence markers.

What should I study first in Korean? ›

The first thing you'll want to do is learn the alphabet. The Korean Alphabet (한글 | Hangeul) is one of the simplest alphabets to learn, even if you are an absolute beginner.

Is it difficult to read Korean? ›

Korean is moderately easy to read (and write, but I'm not focusing on that). In fact, you could definitely learn to read it in an hour or two, and get good at it with just a few days of practice. Korean is written in its own alphabet, called Hangul (sometimes written Hangeul).

How fast can I learn Korean? ›

It takes about three months or 90 days to learn enough Korean to have at least 3-minute conversations in Korean if you study for 7 to 10 hours per week. Moreover, after one year of looking at this pace, you will become fluent and comfortable with Korean conversation.

Is it possible to self teach Korean? ›

Contrary to common belief, mastering this language is entirely possible if only you know the best resources and ways to do it. You can even learn Korean from the comfort of your home!

How long does it take to self teach Korean? ›

It takes three months (90 days) to learn enough Korean to have a 3-minute conversation in Korean if you study for 7-10 hours per week. After one year of studying at this pace, you can become conversationally fluent. However, we will give you some ballpark estimates for how long it takes to learn Korean.

How can I learn Korean fast and easy by myself for free? ›

3 Online Korean Courses That Are Free to Try
  1. Learn Korean Pronunciation in 30 Minutes (Through Udemy) ...
  2. Learn to Speak Korean 1 (Through Coursera) ...
  3. Introduction to Korean. ...
  4. Korean From Zero! ...
  5. Duolingo. ...
  6. Loecsen. ...
  7. Introduction to Korean (Through FutureLearn) ...
  8. Talk To Me In Korean.
Jan 22, 2023

Which is harder Korean or Japanese? ›

If you compare both languages, you will notice that both of them are equally challenging. The Korean language's writing systems are hard to learn, whereas the Japanese alphabet is complex to understand. 40 Alphabets, which makes creating and understanding sentences easier. Easier as the writing system is more simple.

How many hours do Korean kids study? ›

Students spend much of their time, often between 12 to 16 hours per day, at school or at a special after-school academy called a hagwon. The school system is very test-focused and goal-oriented, urging students to concentrate on their results.

Can I learn Korean while sleeping? ›

Studies say that yes, you can. Listening to a language while asleep can help supercharge your vocabulary. Learn easily with the power of pleasant repetition. With the Learn Korean While Sleeping audiobook, you'll absorb over 430 Korean words and phrases effortlessly.

How many books does the average Korean read in a year? ›

The average book reader in South Korea read around 14.4 books in 2019. On average, around 50.6 percent of South Koreans were reading books that year.

Does it worth to learn Korean? ›

Knowing Korean will give you deeper insight into the way people think, live, and work. So, the Korean language is worth learning. In general, you can find a lot of ways to learn Korean language from the comfort of your home.

What is harder Chinese or Korean? ›

Generally speaking, we might assert that Korean is easier for an English speaker to learn than Mandarin Chinese. But this is very relative. In fact, the US Foreign Service Institute assigns Mandarin Chinese and Korean the same level of difficulty. Both languages are in “Category Four”.

What is easier Chinese or Korean? ›

Relatively, Korean would be an easier language to learn. Thanks to its phonetic alphabet and more simplistic grammar rules, Korean is not the most challenging Asian language to learn. Chinese on the other hand is much more widely spoken. This means that finding study materials and practice partners would be easier.

Which is harder Japanese or Chinese or Korean? ›

Meanwhile, Korean grammar is likely the hardest, while tones in Mandarin are notoriously difficult for native English speakers to hear, and Japanese is the fastest spoken language in the world at over 7 syllables per second.

How old are Korean first graders? ›

School grades
Level/gradeTypical age
1st grade6-7 (8)
2nd grade7-8 (9)
3rd grade8-9 (10)
4th grade9-10 (11)
16 more rows

Should I learn Korean or Japanese first? ›

Korean and Japanese are both similar and different from each other in certain aspects. Both languages share Chinese characters but have different pronunciations and vocabulary. It is easier for people to learn Korean if they already know Japanese and Chinese.

What are basic Korean words? ›

Basic Phrases
  • neh. Yes.
  • ah-nee-oh. No.
  • jwe-song-ha-ji-mahn. Please.
  • gahm-sah-hahm-ni-da. Thank you.
  • chon-mahn-eh-yo. You're welcome.
  • sil-le-hahm-ni-da. Excuse me.
  • ahn-nyong-ha-se-yo. Good morning.
  • ahn-nyong-hee ga-se-yo. Good-bye.

Should I learn Korean grammar or vocabulary first? ›

Learning basic vocabulary makes learning grammar easier and vice-versa. Once you reach the upper intermediate level you'll come across more difficult and advanced level words that will help you in forming better and comprehensible sentences.

How long does it take for a beginner to learn Korean? ›

It takes about three months or 90 days to learn enough Korean to have at least 3-minute conversations in Korean if you study for 7 to 10 hours per week. Moreover, after one year of looking at this pace, you will become fluent and comfortable with Korean conversation.

Which is best to learn Korean? ›

Compare the Best Online Korean Classes
Company NameInstruction Type
First Step Korean Best for BeginnersSelf-paced, online
Italki Best One-on-One InstructionOne-on-one private lesson
KoreanClass101 Best for Auditory LearnersSelf-paced, online
My Language Connect Best for TOPIK PreparationPrivate Skype and Zoom classes
3 more rows
Mar 29, 2023

What is the hardest language to learn? ›

Across multiple sources, Mandarin Chinese is the number one language listed as the most challenging to learn. The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center puts Mandarin in Category IV, which is the list of the most difficult languages to learn for English speakers.

What is the fastest way to learn Hangul? ›

I've found that one of the best ways to learn the Korean alphabet is with spaced-repetition, using an app such as Anki. Getting regular exposure to the new letters, and then practicing reading syllable pairs (also through spaced-repetition) is one of the best ways to master reading and writing in Korean.

How many words do you need to know to be fluent in Korean? ›

This concluded that you're considered fluent if you learn around 3,000 words in Korean.

Is Korean grammar easier than Spanish? ›

The parallel between Korean and English words isn't the only easy part about learning Korean — Korean tenses and grammar are also much more straightforward than languages like French and Spanish.

How long does it take to learn Korean if you speak English? ›

According to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), the agency in charge of training US diplomats, it takes a native English speaker 2,200 hours of dedicated study – or 88 weeks – to reach professional working fluency in Korean.

Is 2 years enough to learn Korean? ›

How long does it take to learn Korean fluently? It will take about 1200 hours to reach a high intermediate level. You'll need additional practice, so you may want to double that number to 2400 hours to get towards fluency. That would be about 23 hours of study per week for two years.

Is it better to know Korean or Japanese? ›

Which language is easier to learn– Korean or Japanese? Korean is considered to be much easier than Japanese. There are more letters in the Japanese alphabet than in Korean. Japanese also contains more complicated Chinese characters and difficult grammar.

Is it better to learn Spanish or Korean? ›

The easiest way to decide which language to choose between Spanish and Korean is to figure out where you want to be. Broadly, if you want to be in America and Europe, Spanish is the natural first choice, however, if you want to be in the South-East Asian region Korean it is then!

Is it better to learn Chinese or Korean? ›

Relatively, Korean would be an easier language to learn. Thanks to its phonetic alphabet and more simplistic grammar rules, Korean is not the most challenging Asian language to learn. Chinese on the other hand is much more widely spoken. This means that finding study materials and practice partners would be easier.


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