좋은 한영사전 알습니까?
May 30, 2009 5:06 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a cheap, non-romanized Korean-English dictionary.

My brother is looking for a Korean-English dictionary and has had trouble finding one to his liking. His specifications:

-non-romanized and not a phrasebook
-electronic or book
if electronic, non-speaking; without color screen or mp3 player
-including hanja (Chinese characters)
-cheap (< $80)
-used is acceptable

Any suggestions of what brands to look for or websites/ bookstores to check out? Also useful would be shops IN SEOUL where good dictionaries can be found.

posted by non-kneebiter to Writing & Language (4 answers total)
Bookstores: any large bookstore in Seoul, such as one of the Kyobo bookstores, or Bandi and Luni's, etc, will stock a pretty substantial selection of dead-tree dictionaries.

Electronic: A few searches reveal the Sharp rd-7500mp as alright, around his price range, with a 180-thousand word Korean-English dictionary. Here are some images. It apparently uses the e4u Korean-English dictionary from YBM Sisa -- no idea on its quality.

How good is his Korean? If he wants to get an electronic dictionary in person (I think it's best to order online), best deal is to walk around Technomart or Kukje Electronics Center, preferably with someone versed in the specific haggling/discounting protocol of these stores. Let me know if you're interested in that and I'll write up a short guide of what to say. It's sort of an adventure in of itself...
posted by suedehead at 7:09 PM on May 30, 2009

If your brother is in Seoul, he should check out Kyobo Book Centre (교보문고). Being the largest bookstore in Korea, anybody should be able to point him to the nearest one - the two largest stores in the chain are the main store in Gwanghwamun, and the one in Gangnam. They are both easily accessible by subway.

I have liked this dictionary, and it should run about $30-$40.

(Also, 알습니까 is a nonsense word - use 아십니까 or 아세요 depending on your preference)
posted by needled at 7:23 PM on May 30, 2009

The brother says:

"Thank you for the advice, suedehead, especially the store names. (I'm not sure about the Sharp, since I've never heard of e4u. My Korean is beginner-intermediate (1 year), so -- only if you have the time -- a guide to haggling in Korean would be really useful, and I would really appreciate it. You can PM non-kneebiter ... there is no rush, however: I don't leave until July. (If you do write a guide to haggling, I encourage you to make it accessible to the Goog. You can probably get a fair number of pageviews by advertising it on expat sites.)

If you don't really want to, a few search terms (Korean) would be great. I might be able to find some advice on naver or daum, given enough time.

And needled, thanks for your advice about Minjung's Dictionary, and the correction."
posted by non-kneebiter at 1:03 PM on May 31, 2009

non-kneebiter's brother,

You're welcome. As for the dictionary, I should have clarified, sorry. The dictionary it uses is actually by YBM Sisa, a very well-established education company in Korea specializing in English education. They're reputable, and I'm pretty sure that their Korean-English dictionary is okay as well, although I haven't personally used it. Analogy: I've used the OED and Merriam-Webster, but not the American Heritage Dictionary, and have no idea what it's quality is (although it's probably not bad).

Miniguide to haggling electronics in Seoul!

This only works in large-scale electronics malls where they expect it, such as Technomart (테크노마트) or Kukje Electronics Center (국제전자센터), Yongsan, etc. Don't try this at regular stores! Oh, and this can range from laptops from cellphones to electronic dictionaries to mp3 players, etc. Whatever's sold in these centers are usually probably up for haggling, although I've never bought TVs or washing machines, so I have no idea how those kinds of things are sold, although I can't imagine things would be that different.

1. If you've done some research, look up the street price at this site. It's in Korean, but pretty easily navigable: just enter the model number and search.

2. Once you're there, walk around. These centers are filled with single, small stores, all functioning independently, often selling similar things. Depending on what you're looking for people may or may not yell out at you to try to get you to look at their stuff. I find that the best deals happen at those stores just out of the way, like on the other side of the elevators, etc. etc. YMMV. Look around, and try out some stuff.

3. Ask the guy how much it is. He'll probably say something along the lines of, "how much were you expecting?" or "how much are you willing to pay?" (They often say "얼마듣고 오셨어요?") If he doesn't, and just quotes a price, then say something like "Hmm - I heard that this was around ₩AMOUNT at other places" or "I was expecting ₩AMOUNT". Maybe something like "다른 데서는 이십만원 정도 하는 것 같던데요.." Give the lowest street price you looked up earlier.

4. He'll probably tap on the calculator a bit and give you a higher price. I've found that haggling for electronics isn't as, uh, haggly as other things are. It's less haggling and more of a code -- once he realizes that you know what the street price is, he'll offer it to you. Also, the price on that website includes online-shopping prices, so don't be surprised if the guy's prices are a bit higher. If you're buying something pretty high-cost, like a computer or a laptop, then mention that you're willing to pay in cash, and see if that gets you a few percent off the price (because the seller doesn't have to pay credit-card fees). If the price is too high, then politely ask for a lower price, see what he says. Oh, and sometimes, in addition to/instead of a price discount, you can get other things for free, like a laptop bag, cellphone accessories, etc.

5. Don't be afraid to walk away and go somewhere else, but do it nicely. ("조금 생각해 보고 돌아올게요" is a good way to put it.) After all, there are a few dozen other shops all selling the same thing. Sometimes they'll agree to your price if you walk away, but don't count on this.

6. If you've asked around a few places, and you've realized that the price you've arrived at is a good one, then buy the damn thing! I personally like to go to the place that helped me out the most, as to be 'fair', but it's up to you.


In many ways, online shopping is easier, and may even be cheaper sometimes. The downside to that is that you (sometimes) might be dealing with small, unknown businesses, and they might not take credit cards but bank transfers instead (it's pretty common). But the upside is that you get to see things in person, and -- it's pretty fun in its own way. Good luck!
posted by suedehead at 6:36 AM on June 2, 2009

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