I spent this weekend studying with the awesome book called 유행어보다 재치있는 우리 100대 속담. This is a Korean children’s book with 100 short chapters each explaining the background story and use of a certain proverb. There are many reasons why I enjoy this book. The first and obvious one is that I become more familiar with the use of Korean proverbs, which in itself is enough reason for liking it. The other reason is that I greatly enjoy the way this book is written. Now what do I mean by that? Since this is a children’s book the language is greatly focused on storytelling. This is done in a way so the choice of words and expressions strongly stimulates the reader to vividly imagine the situations described.
Here’s an example to illustrate this point:
Instead of just writing 비가 오는 날 (a rainy day), the book uses phrases such as 비가 주룩주룩 내리는 날 (a day with dripping pouring rain), and instead of writing 햇살이 있는 날 (a sunny day), the book uses the phrase 해가 쨍쨍 내리쬐는 날 (a day with dazzling rays of sun).
There are loads of onomatopoeias in this book, and it is really fun to read. Also, the book is packed with so many useful words as well, words that are not necessarily found in textbooks.
It is not an easy book, but for intermediate/advanced learners there are so many language gems to be found here that if you study and learn with this book, your Korean is bound to become much more lively and nuanced.
Tip: Try reading out loud from the book as you would to a young child. You’ll likely find that emphasizing certain words and making funny voices will help you remember the content of the book better.