It’s been a while since I bought 어린 왕자 from HeyEonni and I figured it’s about time I write a review. Having never read the original in French (insert gasp here) or even the English translation (insert even more audible gasp here), I figured reading the Korean translation was just as good a place to start as any. It looks very much like an illustrated children’s book and you’d be forgiven for thinking that it may not contain any useful vocabulary, but you couldn’t be farther off the mark if you’re an intermediate learner.
In fact, the book contains a whole lot of vocabulary that you’ll probably not come across if you’re learning through grammar books and by watching TV shows. I had to sit with online dictionary in one hand and book in the other so it did take longer than I expected to finish reading, but it was well worth the effort.
The illustrations are just beautiful and the fact that the text isn’t all crammed onto one page makes it easier on the eye and fools you into thinking your vocabulary isn’t all that bad when you look at all the underlined words on the page :P
If you’ve read the book before in another language, then this is great practice and if you haven’t, like me, then it’s a classic that shouldn’t be missed, whatever the language. There are great nuggets of wisdom to take away…
“언제나 같은 시간에 오는 게 더 좋아.” 여우가 말했다.
“가령 네가 오후 네 시에 온다면, 나는 세 시부터 행복해질 거야.
네 시가 가까워 올수록 나는 점점 더 행복해지겠지.
네 시에는 흥부해서 안절부절 못할 거야.
그래서 행복이 얼마나 값진 일인가 알게 되겠지!
하지만 네가 아무 때나 오면
몇 시에 마음의 준비를 해야 하는지 모르잖아.
And here’s one of my favourite lines of the book…
“어른들은 혼자서는 아무것도 이해하지 못한다. 그렇다고 늘 어른들에게 설명을 하자니 어린이로서는 여간 귀찮은 게 아니다.”
… 내 말이…