A couple of months ago, Talk to Me in Korean released a new way for their learners to practice reading Korean called “News In Korean.” Every week on Tuesday and Friday, you’ll be sent three short news articles, mp3 files of the readings in three speeds (fast, normal, and slow), and a commentary. You can choose between a one-month subscription (5 weeks) for $8 or a three-month subscription (13 weeks) for $18. It does not automatically renew so don’t worry about it pulling out money you don’t have when you least expect it. I went and got the 3-month subscription about a week after they started it and I regret nothing!
Full review under the invisible dotted line~
Do keep in mind my reviews are always from the POV of someone who enjoys a challenge so if I say “this is easy” you may be like, “wth this is not easy what did you do how could you why.”
Now the articles are short, but there is a lot of new vocabulary to learn. I think this is best for anyone in the middle of the basic level where you know some ground grammar points and basic vocab to low intermediate where you should know a majority of the grammar and maybe half of the vocab used in the articles. If you’re still around the basic level, this will be a bit of a challenge for you and if you’re low intermediate how simple or challenging it will be depends on what types of materials you used up until now. Higher than low intermediate and you may feel it’s too easy for you.
The words in the articles are words I don’t usually see in textbooks- which is a good thing. If you used or are using Yonsei Korean textbooks, the words lean a little more towards the academic side so you may be familiar with more of them vs. someone who used Integrated Korean or Ewha Korean, for example.
I don’t want to post any samples that I shouldn’t so here are the samples from the TTMIK website: http://www.talktomeinkorean.com/newsinkorean/
At first, because my language level is all over the place, I had a bit of a struggle getting used to reading the articles. After a while though, it definitely became easier to understand natural Korean. The grammar, syntax, and mindset needed to understand natural Korean is completely different from English so a lot of things can feel vague in explanation since you just need to feel the meanings rather than looking up the words and getting a simple meaning. I’ve also had to resort to the Kor-Kor dictionary on Naver a couple of times since explanations about Korean are best explained in….
SPANISH! Haha, no no I kid. They’re best explained in Korean of course. It definitely takes a while to get used to, but before you know it, you’ll be consulting the Kor-Kor dictionary only.
As you can see in my picture above, each sentence is broken down and they provide the translation in English, but to really get into the material you should try to ignore the English until after you’ve made an honest effort to understand everything and look up words you need to.
The only thing real critique I could have for this is that there should be an edition with longer and more complex articles for intermediate learners. It’s good for if you want something easy to start off with when it comes to reading, but if you like a challenge you won’t feel like it’s for you. A slightly watered down news article would be best. Then again, at that point you should either use 연세 읽기 or jump into some novels. When it comes to foreign languages, reading the newspaper is usually the most challenging because of all the technical, academic, and advanced terms, phrases, and grammar used. Being able to comfortably read it is a huge accomplishment and if you can even understand 50% of it, you should be proud!