Featuring the You Speak Korean! series

About Us

ParadigmBusters publishing was begun in 2002 by one of the authors to self-publish the ''You Speak Korean!'' books. We are a woman-owned small business, operated in beautiful Seattle, Washington, USA. Here at ParadigmBusters, we are dedicated to creating high-quality learning materials. We are also working to build mutually-supportive ties in the Korean-American and Korea-interested community here and around the world to encourage interest in Korean language and culture and to support deep, thorough learning of the language. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to see what we are up to, or drop us an email with your comments and ideas.

Why ''ParadigmBusters''?

ParadigmBusters was created to produce the ''You Speak Korean!'' books the right way - bucking the current paradigm of Korean textbook publishing in three main ways:

1) That paradigm said that Korean was a Less-Commonly Taught Language (LCTL) or a language that only scholars studied.

ParadigmBusters said: Korean is a living and lively language, spoken by millions of interesting people worldwide. There are people who want to learn to converse with those interesting Korean speakers. The recent Korean Wave proves we were right!

2) That paradigm said that as a LCTL, Korean textbooks didn't need to be interesting, relevant, fun or colorful.

ParadigmBusters said: Korean culture incudes all kinds of people, food, technology, philosophy, music, art, traditional and modern, that are relevant to new language students, and textbooks should teach people how to talk about things that are relevant to them - they should also be color-coded and have fun pictures and icons to keep students encouraged and engaged. These books will be fun and full-color. Nowadays we can see that other Asian-language and LCTL textbooks have followed suit!

3) That paradigm said that the standard payback for authors may be less than a dollar per book sold. The rest should go to the publisher to pay for warehousing, packaging, office work and advertising - and lots of overhead and other people's salaries.

ParadigmBusters said: While there are many costs involved in publishing a full-color textbook series and communicating with our customers, a much bigger portion of the sales should go to the creators of the books, the authors (although, by a recent Washington state law, authors cannot receive royalties for books sold to students at the same school where they teach)!

You can be ParadigmBuster, too!

ParadigmBusters was also chosen as our company name for its other meaning; one who is pretty good at a second language. Here's how it works:
A paradigm, in linguistics, is a list or chart of word-forms, such as verb conjugations. In Korean, you might have the following verb paradigm:


Dictionary form

Polite present

Formal present

Polite completed

Formal completed

Causative Dictionary form

Passive Dictionary form

to eat








If you can bust a paradigm, like some people can bust a rhyme, you are getting good at a language.

See if you can be a ParadigmBuster with the You Speak Korean! books!

About the Authors

SOOHEE KIM has been teaching heritage and non-heritage Korean courses since 1999 at University of Washington and has built one of the nation's largest Korean language programs. She has a Ph.D. in theoretical linguistics and taught English as a Foreign Language in Korea. She has also taught General, Korean and Asian Linguistics courses in the U.S. She has studied English, Spanish, Chinese, French, Japanese, Quechua and Tagalog. She continues to enjoy studying English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Japanese, Sanskrit, Urdu and other languages.

EMILY CURTIS has a Ph .D. in theoretical linguistics and has studied French, Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, and Spanish. She has taught French and Linguistics in the U.S. and Canada and spent two years teaching English in Japan.

HAEWON CHO has MA degrees in theoretical Linguistics, TESL and Advertising, She has taught Korean language courses of various levels, from the beginning level to fifth-year advanced level at the University of Washington, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania. Her teaching and research interests include second and foreign language learning and teaching as well as teaching with technology.