Korean dictionary & Seoul bookstores recommendations

Dear all,

What English-Korean-English dictionary would recommend for me to buy while in Seoul? I’m flying there tomorrow.

The Korean dictionaries I’ve seen here in Canada are either too small or simply awful. I’m looking for fairly large, bilingual, 1-tome dictionary (say something like the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary in size), geared towards foreigners learning Korean, with thorough explanations and preferably also with Hanja. If it came with an electronic version it would be great.

I have never been to Seoul, do you know of a good bookstore with a decent Korean language learning section? Are there giant bookstores in Korea? I like those too.



Do you have an iOS device? If so, I can recommend a dictionary: ‎YBM English Korean English DIC on the App Store

Otherwise your best bet is to just head to a bookstore and find one that you like. Here’s one bookstore that you might enjoy: Google Maps

Thanks Alex,

Unfortunately I don’t have an iOS device. I want to get one when I grow up :wink:

I’ll definitely go to that bookstore and take a look. I might get a lot of Korean books as well, even if I don’t understand them; it’s seems that that’s my normal behaviour when visiting bookstores abroad.



Hi Rafael,

I’m Miyoung from Korea.

Yes, YoungPoong bookstore (영풍문고) which Alex recommends is one of the largest bookstore chaines in Korea. In consideration of your stay, I narrowed the space of the map linked above into Seoul only: Google Maps

And, here is one more bookstore, Kyobo bookstore (교보문고) Google Maps

Please choose one of them nearest and take a look. If not good, just go to anothers.
Wish you find a great one and enjoy your first trip to Korea as well.

Bon Voyage & Take care


I’m finally in Korea!!

Thanks for the links Miyoung; I’ll definitely visit one of those bookstores soon.



I’m back from Korea.

In case this information is useful to others, I bought the New-Ace Korean-English and English-Korean dictionaries at YP Books. ISBNs 89-07-03181-9 and 89-07-03163-0.

At 2500+ pages each volume, they seem to be very comprehensive. I got them for 33000 won each. The only other similar set of dictionaries were the Essence ones, which are basically the same as the New-Ace but 10000 more expensive each.

I also got the Essence “Little Giant” English-Korean/Korean-English Dictionary, which is small enough to fit in the front compartment of my camera bag and which was really useful when walking around Seoul trying to read streets signs and stuff.



All very useful information. Thanks, Rafael!
Did you notice how much cheaper these types of books were in Korea?

반디앤루니스 - I only found this one in the Coex mall (though I’m sure they have many branches around), but it’s an awesome bookstore: 반디앤루니스 인터넷서점
교보문고 is great too, but the other store seemed to have even a little bit more selection.

@Alex: Do you mean cheaper compared to getting them in Canada? The problem is that as far as I know the dictionaries I got are not available here. There are others, but I don’t like them because they are really basic.

@17mathieu: I went to Bandinlunis also, but after I had bought the dictionaries.

What impressed me the most of Korean bookstores is how many books there are for Koreans to study for standardized English tests. Passing the TOEIC and the TOEFL seems to be a Korean obsession.