Byki Korean review
By Gerrit du Plessis
Byki Korean Deluxe 4.0 by Transparent Languages – $69.95 (available in a Mac/Windows CD pack or as a download for the same price) The developers of Byki Korean Deluxe believe that listening to someone speaking Korean will gradually accustom the learner’s ear to the sound and lock those sounds into permanent memory. And then “Before You Know It” – BYKI, get it? – you’ll have absorbed the language through osmosis. Until this has occurred, Byki’s developers argue, you shouldn’t have to worry about Korean’s daunting grammar or baffling levels of civility. Those things will also come, they apparently feel, in their own time.
But will they? I personally found Byki incredibly repetitive, and I became very annoyed as the same words and phrases were pounded into my obviously resistant brain. I did not learn Korean online using Byki, probably because I was impatient and wanted to go further much sooner than Byki was willing to let me.
That being said, Byki is not all bad – not at all. It does a good job of combining text, audio, and images, a triple punch which works well for both auditory and visual learners. Byki’s SlowSound technology, which slows the speaker’s voice down to help you understand and repeat each syllable, is a wonderful pronunciation aid. And it’s very handy to be able to download your lessons to your iPod or Mp3 player.
Nevertheless, this program feels more lightweight than Rocket Korean. If you just need to learn Korean online for a quick trip or to have a nodding familiarity with the language, it’s probably worth the money – but if you’re not sure, why not get a really comprehensive program like Rocket Korean Premium?