Surprising Korean library

My university has a Korean library that has a lot of Korean textbooks, grammar books, cultural books, novels, comics and so on. However, this library is only available for students whose major is Korean language. My major is English Linguistics and Literature, so I am not allowed to go to this library.

During four years of university, I always dream of being able to go to that Korean library. I cannot understand why the managers do not allow students who have great passion for Korean to go to this library. My department also has an English library and students who want to use this library have to make the library card with a reasonable cost. Students whose major is not English are still able to use the library, but need to spend more money on the library card. Why don’t the Korean library’s managers use this system so that other students can get access to the library? I have to borrow Korean books from students majoring in Korean language or ask my Korean friends to buy Korean books.

Today, when I went to my university on Thu Duc campus for the internship report, I caught sight of a new area inside the general library. This area was called “Korean reference room- Window on Korea.”

Korean reference room “Window on Korea”



I curiously went to that room and found out that this was a Korean library. I asked the librarian if I could go to the library. He kindly said that students of university of Social Sciences and Humanities could get access to this library. I felt extremely excited and happy. I gave him my student ID and explored the library. First of all, the bookshelf of Korean albums and film DVDs caught my attention because I could easily spot SNSD albums in the blink of an eye. There are also many albums of famous Korean artists such as IU, 2NE1, SISTAR, KARA…This was also my first time seeing the Korean film DVDs.

IMG_2319-2

1) The bookshelves of this library is full of Korean textbooks, Topik books, cultural books, novels and so on. However, I was very interested in the Korean textbooks section. This was my first time seeing the EWHA Korean textbooks series. I read many good reviews of this series, and it turns out that EWHA Korean series is one of the most beautiful Korean textbook I have ever seen. The book title in the cover is textured and glittery. The illustration in the books are so beautiful and eye-catching. What I like about this series is that the reading passages are long and full of new vocabularies. The contents are also very interesting. I love this series so much!!!
Next to the EWHA Korean book series is the 재미있는 한국어 series (Fun!Fun!Korean). The significance of this series is the good dialogues. The reading passages seem much easier than the EWHA series. The grammar points are also too easy. There are not many illustrations in this series.

EWHA Korean textbooks and 재미있는 한국어 series (Fun!Fun!Korean)

2) Another corner that I love is the Sogang Korean textbook section. The Sogang books are extremely thin. The grammar and listening part of this series are too easy. The good point is the long and interesting reading passage with many useful vocabularies. There are also many beautiful illustrations in the books.

Sogang Korean textbooks

3) My favourite corner is the Yonsei reading series. This series is one of the best series to practice reading. There are interesting reading passages about Korean life, culture and so on. The books even provide the new vocabularies with the Hanja. There are also many exercises to practice reading skills and revise the vocabularies.

Yonsei reading series

4) The famous series “Korean grammar in use” is also available in this library. However, there are only beginner and intermediate series. I am looking forward to the advanced book. This series categorized the grammar points according to the usage, so you will remember and distinguish the similar grammar points easily. There are also dialogues related to daily life topics and CDs to practice listening. Most of the grammars in this series appear a lot in the Topik exams, so you can use this book to prepare for the topik exam.

There are also the series Korean vocabulary for foreigners (외국인을 위한 한국어 어휘) and Korean grammar for foreigners (외국인을 위한 한국어 문법). As for the grammar books, the grammar points are presented according to the alphabet order. Therefore, you can easily look up the new words. However, it is not a good way of studying grammar. In my opinion, we should study grammars according to their usage and know how to distinguish the similar grammar points. When using this series, I feel like reading a dictionary.

“Korean grammar in use”, “Korean vocabulary for foreigners” (외국인을 위한 한국어 어휘) and “Korean grammar for foreigners” (외국인을 위한 한국어 문법).

5) The Topik bookshelves are impressive with many topik preparation books. I also have the Topik master series and feel very satisfied. In each book, there are 10 Topik sample tests. There is a small booklet consisting of the answer keys, new vocabularies and explanations. In fact, these sample tests in this book are more difficult than the real Topik tests.

Topik preparation books

There are also more Korean books to explore. This Korean library is new, so I guess there will be more updates. I am so happy because after waiting for four years, I finally get access to the Korean library. However, I am going to graduate soon and will be no longer students of this university (My student ID is only valid in 2010-2014). I wonder if I will be still able to use this library.

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28 thoughts on “Surprising Korean library

  1. I can feel your excitement while wandering between these bookshelfs. When I went to the library in Korean Cultural Center I was overwhelmed by all the goodies ;]. After I improve my korean skills I’m going to use some of their resourcers – mostly manhwas and magazines ;D

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment. I love being overwhelmed with a lot of books. The Korean cultural Center in Ho Chi Minh city doesn’t have many books. I think that after we improve our Korean skills to some extent, we can use Korean comics, magazines or novels to practice Korean.

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  2. Ah, that really sucks that you are not allowed in there. Maybe because the place is so new; they want to reserve it for the Korean majors first. Congrats on graduation! It feels like I would need a lot of discipline to not only study one language but also to track a second.

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    1. It’ a little bit difficult to study many languages at the same time, but if we try our best to study, we can have good results. I hope that the Korean library will be available for any one who is interested in Korean soon.

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  3. What a wonderful resource! My university has small, individual language sections in one big library, but I could never imagine a whole library space dedicated to just the one language – it’s incredible O.O

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    1. Thank you for your comment. In fact my University has 4 Korean libraries in total, but I can only get access to one library. I hope that there will be more Korean books in your university library.

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  4. Holy moly! So many Korean books~~ and DVD’s and CD’s! It must be like heavenㅠ

    I’m in Australia and when I was growing up. The closest place to get any Korean things was 2 hours away by train. So I didn’t go there often. 1 Cause my mom never let me and 2 Cause it was so far and expensive.

    You’re so lucky to find a great place like that~^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment. In fact, it took me 2 hours to go to that Korean library by bus, so I feel a little bit lazy to go there. Another campus of my university has a Korean library near my house, but I’m not allowed to go there because my major is English. 😦

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      1. Oh man! In that case we had the same experience with getting Korean books and mediaㅠ
        Yes I was the same way~ Always felt lazy to go. 2 hours is a long time!
        It was always better when I had a friend to go with. Even then I was still so lazy to do it. Are any of your friends into Korean at all?

        I saw that in the post about the uni library! It’s so unfair!ㅠ Your idea to allow access for payment or joining like the other library makes so much sense!
        They’re teasing you by putting it all there and not letting you go thereㅠ

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  5. Oh my goodness I am going to sob over these pictures because that section looks so beautiful. My college’s library and my public library don’t have any of those books. If I want to see them, I have to travel to a Korea town in my city or order them online. It’s amazing to see that many books on a language. It might be because in the U.S. you’re more likely to find books on Spanish or even Japanese if you have a Kinokuniya nearby, but other than that good language books are so sparse. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places. Then again, most people buy phrase books and “learn x in 30 days” vs being serious about the language.

    Hopefully they’ll allow alumni to make use of the facility. I know my college does and they don’t do much lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It took me 2 hours to go to that Korean by bus. I hope that one day we can get access to the Korean library easily. ^^
      I hope that they will allow alumni to use the Korean library too

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      1. There isn’t. Although I know there’s oriental library in one uni but I doubt there will be textbooks. I will try to go there and look around when I can.

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  6. Woah ! it looks impressive ! I wish my college had a Korean library…Unfortunately, we can’t have such a privilege :/ I hope you can get one day full access to it 🙂 I bet it would be amazing 🙂

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  7. I am surprised seeing a complete Fun! Fun! Korean textbook series. I actually have the Book 3 along with its workbook 😀 I also like the Ewha Korean series as well as the Korean Grammar in Use. 🙂

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    1. Hello philippinesaram,
      Thanks for your comment. Korean grammar in use is my favourite Korean grammar book. I am looking forward to the “Korean grammar in use-advanced”. I haven’t seen it yet in the library.

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  8. Hello unnie !!! I’m a freshman at Faculty of English Linguistics and Literature 🙂 I also love Korean. Nice to meet you ^^ Can i ask you this one? Can we access to this library and borrow these books? I’m really fascinated by our wonderful library. I just attended basic Korean class in Kanata but now i don’t have enough time to continue learning. I intend to self study. I don’t know where to buy Korean textbook (I mean the photo one) Can you suggest me the way to study because i know you self-studied Korean. I admire you a lot 🙂 ( can i speak Vietnamese in your English blog ? ^.^ )

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    1. hello Julie. I’m glad you enjoy my blog. You can speak Vietnamese in my blog.
      If you are a student of University of Social Sciences and Humanities, you can get access to this Korean library by showing the the librarian you student ID.
      P/S: Em ơi em học khoa Ngữ văn anh huh? Nếu em chọn tiếng Hàn làm ngoại ngữ 2 thì em nên học tiếng Hàn ở trung tâm ngoại ngữ trường mình thì mới có cơ hội tốt nghiệp em ơi.
      Chị được bằng topik tiếng hàn quốc tế cấp 4 mà giờ pdt vẫn đang đi xác minh vì ko phải bằng trong trường, chị ko biết có tốt nghiệp được ko nè.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi chị 🙂 E đăng ký học tiếng Nhật rồi chị à :-s E đang tính tự học tiếng Hàn 😀 Ở thư viện thì sách tiếng Hàn chỉ cho đọc tại chỗ thôi chị :(( E mới vô thử, họ ko cho mượn về nhà :(( E muốn mượn sách về nhà nghiên cứu mà chả bik sao luôn :-s Tiếng Nhật thì cũng thú vị mà khó nhưng mà tại thấy giờ cần tiếng Nhật nên e đk học, tiếng Hàn chắc e tự mò ( e thik tiếng hàn lắm !!!) :))
        P/s: Chị có bằng topik trung cấp 4 rồi mà sao vẫn ko dc xét nhỉ? Bằng này quốc tế mà :-s À mà chị biết chỗ nào bán sách photo của Yonsei này nọ ko c? E chỉ có giáo trình của Seoul thôi. Tks chị 🙂

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        1. Tiếng Nhật khó lắm ah, nhiều bạn chị vì ko lấy được bằng B tiếng Nhật mà ko được tốt nghiệp ah. Tại vì bằng tiếng hàn topik quốc tế, ko phải bằng trường nhân văn nên khó xác minh.
          Còn em muốn sách Yonsei thì em mượn photo lại quyển photo của các bạn học khoa Hàn quốc ah, tuy hơi mờ nhưng học vẫn được. Nhưng mà quyển Yonsei tự học khó lắm ah, cần có giáo viên hướng dẫn. Nếu em tự học thì mua bộ tiếng hàn tổng hợp dành cho người việt nam (giáo trình chính bên khoa hàn quốc học văn bằng 2 ah)Em ra chỗ photo khu C hoặc nhà sách đối diện trường mình ở Đinh Tiên Hoàng có bán đó.

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        2. Tiếng Nhật khó lắm ah, nhiều bạn chị vì ko lấy được bằng B tiếng Nhật mà ko được tốt nghiệp ah. Tại vì bằng tiếng hàn topik quốc tế, ko phải bằng trường nhân văn nên khó xác minh.
          Còn em muốn sách Yonsei thì em mượn photo lại quyển photo của các bạn học khoa Hàn quốc ah, tuy hơi mờ nhưng học vẫn được. Nhưng mà quyển Yonsei tự học khó lắm ah, cần có giáo viên hướng dẫn. Nếu em tự học thì mua bộ tiếng hàn tổng hợp dành cho người việt nam (giáo trình chính bên khoa hàn quốc học văn bằng 2 ah)Em ra chỗ photo khu C hoặc nhà sách đối diện trường mình ở Đinh Tiên Hoàng có bán đó.

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  9. Tks chị nhìu lắm !!! E cũng tính khóa sau đổi sang tiếng Hàn lại 🙂 Tiếng Nhât khó thiệt:( Thôi về với tiếng Hàn vì dù j e cũng thik phim, nhạc Hàn này nọ nên chắc học cũng tốt hơn 🙂 Cám ơn lời khuyên của chị nha 😡

    Liked by 1 person

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