I mentioned in a previous post, that I have a conversation partner who helps me learn Korean and I help him with his English. Today we met and he handed me this old torn up, little blue book. I open it and notice Korean phrases written in the English alphabet. My eyes light up like a kid on Christmas morning. It was an English to Korean and Japan phrase book. He rented it for me from our university library. I am so pleasantly surprised that my university has such books, this one especially, it’s from 1962.

I am a firm believer that a good teacher (or friend), and speaking and listening practice is the fastest way to learn a language, but this little blue book seems like an amazing source of quick phrases that I can memorize. I think I read through the first 10 pages within minutes of having it. I am now actually going through it with a Korean friend sitting next to me and helping me pronounce certain sounds.

I was planning on writing about a different topic today but I am so excited about this little blue book that I had to share it with you. If you can find something like this in the language you want to learn, do it! A basic phrase book that teaches you how to pronounce the words using English letters is a great help. It is especially helpful if you have a native speaker who can correct you if you mispronounce anything or if something confuses you. I will forever appreciate my friend or 남동생 (namdongsaeng: younger brother, a common way for a female to address a younger male friend) for giving me this book, and actually even taking the time to find it for me.

Here’s to good friends and good books!