Introduction to Korean for Kids by Dino Lingo

A random Internet search several weeks ago yielded a new Korean language resource for kids (or beginners). But when I inquired about the products, they hadn’t been released yet. Now the products are ready for release and last week I received a review copy of the first DVD in the series, as well as the flashcards and posters that accompany it. The language program is byDino Lingo, and it can be found at DinoLingo.com.

The first DVD in the series (and the one I reviewed) is the Greetings and Animals Set. Included are the DVD (which is about 35 minutes long), a poster, a fold-out booklet, flashcards, calendar, and a parents’ guide.

In the DVD animal names are repeated in Korean several times, as are common phrases such as hello, how are you, and it is a …. . Toward the end of the video there are little quizzes with the phrase “what is this” asked in Korean and time given for the child to answer.

My son is 6 and really enjoyed the DVD. Some of the cartoons are little silly, which of course he loved. The flashcards are business-card size, which I actually like since they are easier to take with us and quiz while we’re out and about.

The two things I would suggest are more for the parents than the kids. Since the program is recommended for children 7 and under, the written stuff likely won’t affect the kids. First, I would suggest that the Parents’ Guide include a list of the phrases and greetings that are said throughout the DVD. The poster, flashcards, etc., are wonderful at sharing the words for the animals, but unless you’re already familiar with the Korean language, you might be a little lost when the greetings and phrases are being said. UPDATE: I’ve just heard back from Dino Lingo that are working on adding a guide for the greetings and phrases. Yeah!

Second, I don’t believe the romanization follows the current standard for putting Korean sounds into English. This isn’t a huge bother for me because I personally hate romanization and think it hinders rather than helps in learning Korean since so many of the sounds just don’t correctly translate. In these products all of the animal names are written in hangul on every piece. So my suggestion is to ignore the romanization on the products; they’ll likely not help you pronounce the words and phrases correctly in Korean.

What will help is the pronunciation, which is right on (I double checked with our Korean exchange student). And if you stick with reviewing the hangul as you listen, you’ll begin to pick up the sounds that each hangul character makes.

The Greetings and Animals DVD set is available now and can be purchased from the web site DinoLingo.com. The full set (5 DVDs) should be released in the a few weeks, according to the company.

So if you’re looking for a Korean language resource, you should check it out. You can see a clip from the Greetings and Animals DVD on the web site. I’m sure our son will be watching this one regularly.

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