October 2014

Think Like a Programmer: Now in Korean!

My book, Think Like a Programmer, "a book every programmer should read at least once," according to a friendly Amazon reviewer, can now be read by more programmers. It's available for the first time in Korean.

TLAP Korean

The Korean title, 프로그래머처럼 생각하기, apparently translates as "To Think Like a Programmer." For the first time, my name doesn't appear in English on the cover, but is instead Hangulized to 안톤 스프라울. Hangulization, if I understand it correctly, is a method of rendering foreign words into their closest phonetic approximations in Korean. The Google Translate pronunciation of 안톤 스프라울 sounds something like "Andon Spedoweh" to me. Pretty close? I don't think Korean has a consonant sound like "V" so that's probably why my literary-affectation initial disappeared in transit.

On a side note, getting these symbols into Google Translate required a tiny education regarding the Korean language. At first glance, written Korean looks similar to written Chinese. But the Chinese language has a huge number of symbols, where the individual symbols are morphemes--either words, or meaningful grammatical components of words, like how "meaningful" is composed of "to mean" with the -ing and -ful suffixes altering the word. The small number of Korean symbols, in contrast, essentially form an alphabet, except that in writing them, certain combinations of symbols are combined into one. So the 안 symbol is a combination of the ㅇ, ㅏ, and ㄴsymbols. And just as in English, these combined forms are often pronounced a little differently than the individual components would suggest.

And...that's about all I learned about Korean. It looks possible that one could learn to read it fairly easily (because of the small number of symbols, and unlike English, the word forms are very regular). Learning to speak it, though, would be quite an achievement for an English native.

Anyway, this translated edition can be had for the nice round figure of 25,000 KRW (South Korean won), which is $23.67 US at today's exchange rates. Given how many gamers and game companies are based in South Korea, I imagine the country must have more than its share of world-be programmers. I'd love to think some of them could be helped along their way with my book, so if you pick up a copy, please e-mail me and let me know what you think.

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