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Korea - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Culture & Customs
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Korea - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Culture & Customs

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  107 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Culture Smart! provides essential information on attitudes, beliefs and behavior in different countries, ensuring that you arrive at your destination aware of basic manners, common courtesies, and sensitive issues. These concise guides tell you what to expect, how to behave, and how to establish a rapport with your hosts. This inside knowledge will enable you to steer clea ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Kuperard (first published November 2004)
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Julie Shuff
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Despite the fact that the date on the ebook publication says 2012, for some reason this book reads as out of date. It's as though certain parts were updated, but others have been left alone since 1997. I was a bit disappointed after the funny and engaging style of Culture Smart! Japan, but this book still had many interesting nuggets of information and things I hadn't heard about before. Still likely a valuable resource for anyone traveling, but not as enjoyable as the Japan volume.
Maron Anrow
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I read this (very short) book for a cross-cultural psychology course I teach. We're traveling to Seoul for a week in March, and when I taught the course last year students said they wished they'd learned more about Korean history and customs. It's a psychology course, not a history course, so this year my co-instructor and I are assigning this book as one means of delivering the content students requested. It's a decent brief introduction to Korea, although it's almost too short. The section on ...more
I like this. Concise, friendly, practical. And humorous at times. The tone is totally different from The Korean Mind.

I think this may be the one I read all those years ago. It has the funny bit about how if you're standing on a bus you shouldn't be surprised if someone gently tugs at your bag and takes it on their lap for you. On the other hand, I don't recall the story about the author's one and only kisaeng party and how the hostess massaged perilously high up the author's leg and kept encoura
Apr 03, 2016 rated it liked it
I decided to read this Culture Smart! book on Korea in preparation for a Korean language and culture class I am taking this fall. This seems like a decent general overview of Korean culture. It could have gone into more detail in a few areas and I wondered if some of the information was a little dated, but it was still an enjoyable quick read and provided interesting comparisons between life and culture in both South Korea and the more carefully controlled North Korea. I also liked that I could ...more
Jan 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every country has it's quirks, it's customs and little bits of randomness. This is a book designed to introduce you to some of Korea's both North and South.

Why I started this: I'm flying to South Korea on Tuesday. (Favorite sentence.) And I thought that it was time to do some serious cramming.

Why I finished it: Who knew that people on buses and subways who are seated will hold packages for those who are standing? Or that the business card is vital to social interactions in Korea? And that the mo
Ira Noviani
Sep 06, 2014 rated it liked it
A very brief introduction about Korea and its people. What I like the most about the book is that there is a delicate balance of the stories of North Korea and it is not depicted as negative as what the main stream media has been doing. While the content may not be so in details, it touches the necessities to have a social conduct with Koreans in general. It would be interesting to know what the native Koreans think about this book though. This book could also be the prelude to more in-depth stu ...more
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is essential for anyone thinking about travelling to Korea. It is filled to the brim with facts and statistics about the country and its citizens; tips and need to know information about the etiquette and customs of the country; and information about getting around, things to do, where to stay, etc. Even though I have yet to go to Korea, I feel better about myself when I do so, after having read thia book. I am seriously thinking about going to Korea to teach ESL for a year and this bo ...more
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperback
It's a compact smaller size book meant to take when traveling. Most bits are surface observations one might be curious about during a quick trip through Korea. I found some interesting info, like how puddle jumper air flights used to be and are again becoming a better way to move about the country than taking cars. Or comments on the prostitution culture. Sigh. However, nothing had the depth or breadth or historical reference I was looking for.
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
For anyone traveling to Korea and needing a brief, yet informative, primer on Korean culture--North and South--this is an excellent choice. The author writes from extended experience living in both Koreas and the information he provided is as thorough as a book of its length can do. I recommend this to anyone traveling to Korea for the first time.
Nov 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: korea
A good introduction to Korean culture and customs and even historical background. Mr Hoare has worked and lived in both the North and the South and does a fine job of distinguishing between the two countries. However, the descriptions of the South are predominantly based on Seoul and mostly from Mr Hoare's personal experiences so don't expect a comprehensive overview.
May 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good for a nice, succinct overview of Korean culture and customs. We'll see how much I remember when I'm there... I think I'm supposed to use two hands when offering anyone anything, never pour my own drinks,.. and point to my white boyfriend so people know I don't speak any Korean.
Scott Worden
Jan 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-on-korea
Although some of the tips are a bit outdated due to the social changes in South Korea, I still agreed with a lot of the tips.
Brandon Current
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Read and Pass. This book was a helpful brief overview of Korean culture and what it is like to live among and interact with Koreans.
M Christopher
Apr 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
A decent, brief introduction to Korean history and culture may be found in this slim book, primarily meant for the traveler.
Apr 11, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a good introduction to the culture of Korea but it's more useful for travelers than for those looking at the culture of Korea from a more sociological or academic viewpoint.
May 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia, nonfiction
This is the best book I found about Korean culture. It includes North Korea so I skimmed those parts. It's very readable and the information is practical.
Feb 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: korea
This was a good overview of Korean culture. It was a quick and easy read. However, it's a little dated.
Sabrina Robinson
May 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-borrowed
Gave me some basic background to the country while Frank was there. Cool to learn about a place when all of a sudden it becomes important to you!
Oct 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very helpful in learning a few things about korea before i move there... not sure if i will be able to master the metal chopsticks though!!
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