I've studied a number of different "learn Korean" series and various other learn Korean books over the years, but found that they all deliver less than advertised. That said, I haven't found many that were absolutely worthless so long as they were used only as a supplement to other active study, but I have never met anyone who learned more than a few basic expressions solely by studying language books. I have not had the opportunity to examine "Teach Yourself Korean" but reviews can be found here REVIEWS on AMAZON
or just search Amazon and look under the reviews.
As mentioned in some of the reviews, the author's use of romanization to express Korean pronunciation is a point of contention. I speak from experience when I say if you rely on romanization to read and learn Korean your pronunciation will usually be way off, and it also takes longer to learn how to read the romanization correctly than it does to just learn the Korean alphabet. If you really want to learn Korean you should begin with the Korean writing system called "Hangul," which is actually not that difficult to learn because the writing system is very logical and efficient -there are only 24 basic letters in Hangul.
Difficulties I encountered with regard to Korean language self-study books:
* Because written text is merely a symbol of living language I could not properly learn pronunciation and intonation from text; however, use of audio media in recent years has greatly reduced this handicap.
* There was no effective means to have my questions answered.
* Books often locked me into looking for certain patterns of speech; when I heard the same words combined differently in real-life situations I had trouble understanding the speech patterns.
* Books did not effectively motivate or encourage me like a real-life language partner/ teacher is able to do.
* Slang, speech habits, and styles of speech are never adequately covered.
So, my final recommendation is to use a wide a variety of learning tools, and as much interactive media as possible, in conjunction with your encounters with native speakers. Beware of books or CD packages that claim to be "easy" or "fun" or "dynamic" and that you will "master Korean in 48 hours;" usually the exact opposite is true.
I think "Yonsei Korean" is one of the most comprehensive Korean language series on the market, but certainly not the most fun to study. http://book.interpark.com/display/colle ... esNo=37719
I also liked 배우기 쉬운 한국어 - Easy to Learn Korean 시리즈 (성균관대학교출판부)
very much. A local Korean bookstore could easily order them for you but I think you might have a difficult time obtaining them yourself. http://book.interpark.com/display/colle ... iesNo=9316
book 1: 9788979865691 (8979865694)
book 2: 9788979865707 (8979865708)
book 3: 9788979865714 (8979865716)
book 4: 9788979865721 (8979865724)
book 5: 9788979865738 (8979865732)
book 6: 9788979865745 (8979865740)
These books are quite meaty and come with CDs
Better yet, take a trip to Korea and stop by Kyobo bookstore in Seoul's Gwang Hwa Moon and examine the books first hand --if you ask anyone in Seoul or any taxi drive to take you to Kyobo bookstore in Gwang-hwa-moon you will end up in the right place.
Good luck with your studies there in South TX
George aka Younghoon -- fellow student of Korean