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Best paper and ink dictionary?

Discussion in '한국어 (Korean)' started by kevirek, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. kevirek New Member

    Opole, Poland
    Hi everyone, this is my first time posting here :)

    I've been learning Korean by myself for almost three years now but up until now I never felt like I needed a real dictionary. A few days ago it occurred to me that having a physical dictionary helped BIG TIME to build up a considerable vocabulary base when I was actively studying English. You know that feeling when out of nowhere in the middle of some task it bumps into your head: "how do I say this word/phrase in Korean [or any other language you're studying]?". Besides, once you open it to look up the word, you almost always browse through for no clear reason and bump into interesting words that subconsciously sneak up into your memory, something that doesn't happen with an Internet dictionary. I must admit, WordReference dictionary and Google Translate are remarkable resources for a learner but as far as I'm concerned, a paper dictionary is the king.

    I live in Poland, the Korean language's black hole. So I've made efforts to find a reasonable one to buy one through the Internet, most probably Amazon UK or Waterstones, as I have a friend living there, so I could potentially be granted free shipping. However, all items that I found had at least one flaw that discredited them in my eyes.

    To begin with (I can't post links, so you can look these titles up on Amazon, if you wish):

    Collins Gem Korean Dictionary
    Though cheap, it's way too small to be very useful. The reviews say that the typeface used it pretty uncomfortable to read. Also, the number of pages seems pretty disappointing, considering its tiny size.

    Collins Pocket Korean Dictionary
    A bigger brother of the forementioned. Again, pretty small and probably not really packed with words. There's no preview available, so I can't speak for the content.

    Oxford Advanced Learner's English-Korean Dictionary
    The name speaks for itself. However, it's only a one-way dictionary and I need something that translates both ways. Plus, the price is really unappealing because of the GBP/PLN exchange rate.

    Langenscheidt Pocket Dictionary
    Ok, this one's a two-way one and sports more than 650 pages, nice. But not only does it collect pretty negative reviews (due to, apparently, lack of a great number of vocab), but it also sorts the Korean part BY THE ROMANIZATION. I mean, how strange and unhelpful is that?! Only if it were McCune-Reischauer or RR but no, it's some sick system of the author's.

    Minjung's Essence English-Korean Dictionary
    Though pretty much pronounced as one of the best ones out there, the price is WAY too high for me to afford. Plus, again - one-way only.

    But in the end, I found this one: Minjung's Pocket English-Korean/Korean-English Dictionary
    It's Minjung's, it's pretty "fat", it's somewhat affordable at ~£24 (with shipping) but I'd like to hear some opinions.

    Has anyone out there had any experiences with the ones I mentioned? Is there something potentially astonishing you could possibly share?

    Again, what's the best Korean-English/English-Korean dictionary out there for me to pick for a reasonable price?
  2. 경상남도로 오이소 Junior Member

    Most Korean-English-Korean dictionaries published in Korea are of almost the same quality, that is, mediocre according to me. :p I would suggest that you buy one of those Korean dictionaries (dictionary wholly in Korean) so that it's easier to figure out what each word really means.

    There is also a Polish-Korean dictionary published at the faculty of Polish studies of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. The name of the dictionary is 폴란드어-한국어 사전 słownik polsko-koreański. It just so happened that the newer, updated version was published in 2012. Not a cheap one though, but HUFS often publishes very good dictionaries.

    My suggestion is to order from either YES24 or Aladdin, two of the most prominent Internet bookshops in Korea. They ship overseas as well.

    PS You know very well that Amazon UK ships free of charge to Poland, at least for the time being?
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  3. kevirek New Member

    Opole, Poland
    I don't really think I'm fluent enough right now to get a monolingual dictionary. :(

    As for the Polish-Korean dictionary, it seems to be focused on Korean speakers learning Polish, so it might not be that useful for me (elongated explanations of Polish for Koreans). Also, the price is quite high, considering the possible shipping costs.

    I'd rather stick with Korean-English ones, if possible.

    Yes, Amazon UK has free shipping to Poland, but only if the total price exceeds £25.
  4. jakartaman Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum.
    I understand you're looking for a paper dictionary. This may not be the answer you want to hear but it's not only for you but for those who are in search of a decent dictionary.
    It's English-Korean. (Korean-English also works.) Just try if you haven't. I think it offers one of the best learning tools at ZERO cost.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  5. kevirek New Member

    Opole, Poland
    I know, I've tried it before. It's really good, accompanied by the Daum 사전. Still, I need a paper one. I can sit for literally an hour browsing through one and looking for words that just bumped into my head. Whatever good use are these links, like you suggest, for me - nothing beats an old-fashioned book dictionary.
  6. jakartaman Senior Member

    If that's the case... I guess Minjung's Pocket English-Korean/Korean-English Dictionary will be the best for you, all things considered.
    I don't have any experience with that particular dictionary but Minjung has a fairly good reputation when it comes to dictionaries here in Korea.
    I've seen so many Korean-foreign language dictionaries full of errors. When you buy one from that publisher, you can rest assured that you're buying a good one.
    Hope it helps.
  7. kevirek New Member

    Opole, Poland
    OK, a huge thanks for your advice. :)

    Any more suggestions on the topic?

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