Korean

Improve Your Korean with 16 Fabulous Podcasts

Now that K-Pop has made its way to the top-40 charts in North America, you may be keen to start learning Korean. Or, you may have already decided to improve your language skills after finishing season 5 of your favorite K-drama.

Wherever you are in your Korean studies, podcasts are an excellent medium to listen to authentic conversations with Korean speakers and improve your listening comprehension.

We have searched the internet for these 16 podcasts to support your learning endeavors. We hope you find something educational, or at least entertaining, to take with you wherever you go with your digital device.

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14 Best Korean Courses: We’ve Tested Them

For many, there’s just something irresistible about Korean culture. K-Pop and its die-hard fans span the globe, Korean food classics like kimchi and bulgogi tempt millions each year, and Korean cinema attained broader global recognition with Academy Award-winning film, Parasite.

There are plenty of reasons to learn Korean, and there are just about as many ways to learn it. if you’re interested in online courses, you’re anything but starved for choice. This is mostly a great thing — a course that fits your budget, learning style, and specific needs is almost definitely out there.

On the other hand, it can be difficult to sort the good from the bad; many online reviews are clearly biased or simply don’t consider the fact that what works for one may not work for another. 

We’ve gone through our extensive list of online Korean courses, selecting only those that we’ve rated 3.5 stars or higher, and compiled them into this collection of high-quality resources. It’s our hope that this guide points you in the right direction and gets you closer to your ideal course.

Sort By:

4.7/5
Price: From $30/month or $150/year
A Quality Course With Straightforward Instructions

At first glance, this may seem too good to be true. After all, no one’s going to become fluent in 90 days, right? Luckily, this course isn’t promising the impossible. Instead, it breaks the overwhelming goal of learning Korean into four 90-day modules. This more manageable timeline makes for a less intimidating study plan and can do great things for daily motivation. 

The modules in this course do an excellent job of providing in-depth coverage of grammar and vocabulary concepts. The lessons are presented one week at a time, though you can proceed to the next week’s material whenever you feel comfortable doing so.

The course benefits from straightforward explanations and challenges that push you to apply what you’ve learned in practical situations. For a higher subscription price, there’s the option to have access to coaching, which means you’ll get feedback from a Korean tutor as you progress through the course.

Pros

  • Explanations are clear and easy to understand
  • Challenges give you the opportunity to use what you’ve learned 
  • Great course structure

Cons

  • There are less expensive options
4/5
Price: $9.99/month, Less for Longer Subscriptions
POV-Style Conversation Practice

Teuida isn’t your standard language resource. It’s full of super engaging conversation practice where you take part in POV-style videos, responding when prompted. You’ll find yourself in a variety of situations and will be tasked with responding in real-time to your video conversation partner.

Lessons in Teuida build on each other nicely, and each culminates with a video conversation that tests what you’ve learned in the corresponding unit. This type of practice is highly interactive and is great for building speaking confidence. It could be especially useful for learners that are intimidated by the prospect of speaking to real people at their current level.

While Teuida is fun to use and provides good listening and speaking practice, it won’t teach you much grammar or how to read and write. It’s also not a very good option for learners that are beyond the beginner stage.

You can use the coupon code ‘ALR003‘ to get the 3-month subscription for $18.99.

Note that iOS users will need to enter this code as the “Referrer ID,” either when signing up or under Settings > Account > Referrer ID.

Pros

  • Video conversation practice is highly engaging
  • You’ll get practice with realistic, practical language
  • It provides lots of speaking practice

Cons

  • There isn’t material for intermediate and advanced learners
  • You won’t get in-depth grammar practice or learn to read and write
  • Review opportunities are limited
4/5
Price: $14.95-$19.95 per month
Tried-And-True Audio Lessons

Pimsleur isn’t exactly a new arrival on the language-learning scene. Using a method developed by linguist Dr. Pimsleur in 1963, this course is packed full of high-quality audio lessons that are well structured and provide ample opportunity for participation.

Although the claim on the Pimsleur website that you’ll reach an intermediate speaking level within 30 days of using the course may be a stretch, the audio lessons are packed full of useful information and build on each other nicely. You’ll spend just enough time in each new lesson reviewing what you’ve already learned in order to take on new concepts with confidence.

The Pimsleur audio lessons aren’t meant for passive listening. Instead, the Pimsleur Method encourages learners to frequently speak aloud during lessons. You’ll be frequently prompted to speak and will have to do more than listen and repeat to keep up.

Visual learners may struggle with the mostly-audio content, and this may not be the best resource for learning to read and write Hangul.

Pros

  • The course is well structured
  • Audio from a variety of native speakers
  • The app and desktop platform are well designed

Cons

  • This isn’t the best resource for visual learners
  • It isn’t the best place to find reading and writing practice
4/5
Price: $8 – $47 a month
Tons of Listening Practice

It wouldn’t be easy to find another resource with as much listening material as you’ll find with KoreanClass101. There are thousands of listening lessons here, and they’re accompanied by transcripts, quizzes, extra notes, and some videos. 

While the amount of content is certainly a good thing, there is a lack of clear structure to the course. This might be nice if you’re the type of learner that likes to skip around as you please, but some might end up feeling lost and without enough guidance.

The bulk of the huge lesson library is most-suitable for learners at the beginner to pre-intermediate levels — advanced learners won’t find as much relevant practice material. This is also probably not the best resource if you’re looking for a course to really strengthen your speaking or writing skills.

Pros

  • There is a great deal of listening content for learners at the beginner and intermediate levels
  • Accompanying lesson notes are useful

Cons

  • There isn’t as much content for advanced learners
  • There isn’t a clear course structure
  • It isn’t the right place to get speaking, writing, or advanced practice

Use the promo code “ALLLANGUAGERESOURCES” to save 25% on a subscription to KoreanClass101.

4.3/5
Price: $11.99 a month, $29.99 a quarter, $55.99 a year, or $119.99 for a lifetime subscription
Thorough and Gamified Introductory Course

There’s certainly no shortage of language-learning apps out there, but Lingodeer stands out in terms of quality. This is especially true for Asian languages like Korean, which are often neglected by other popular apps.

Lingodeer combines gamification and app-friendly, convenient practice with a well-structured course to provide something truly valuable. Lessons build on each other nicely, and it’s a great place to get a solid foundation in Korean. Interactive practice activities test how much you’ve retained from the lessons and keep things interesting.

Keep in mind when considering Lingodeer that there isn’t as much material available for advanced learners. It’s also probably not the best place to improve your conversational skills.

Pros

  • Great for engaging, convenient practice
  • Well-structured lessons

Cons

  • Not much practice for learners past the intermediate level
  • You’ll need to look elsewhere to fully develop conversational skills
4.3/5
Price: Free
Comprehensive Video Lessons

The Cyber University of Korea (CUK) offers an impressive amount of thorough content for free. Material is presented in the form of free video lessons that are accessible through a number of video platforms, including YouTube.

There are four levels of lessons in the CUK library. The first two levels deal largely with basic communication skills related to everyday activities, and levels three and four teach casual conversation skills. By completing level four, CUK hopes students will be able to achieve a 3.5 score on the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK).

Many of the lessons include teachers, slides, animations, and dialogues, and you’ll get pronunciation practice by responding to speaking prompts. The material in the third and fourth levels of the CUK course are slightly less engaging, as they don’t include animations or images, but there’s a lot of learning to be had here for free.

Pros

  • Lots of free content
  • Video lessons are especially engaging at lower levels
  • Instruction is clear and well thought out
  • It’s especially good for beginners

Cons

  • Lessons at higher levels aren’t quite as engaging

FSI and DLI

4.3/5
Price: Free
Dated, But Free and Thorough Courses

The Foreign Services Institute (FSI) has developed a number of language courses, including for Korean. These courses were originally developed several decades ago and were designed to help get diplomats to a professional working proficiency in a language as quickly as possible.

Given their origin, the FSI language courses definitely err on the dry side of things and are far from the most engaging options out there. They consist of PDF scans of typewritten pages and come with accompanying audio. If you can get past the lack of color, pictures, and games, however, you’ll find yourself with an extremely thorough course. It’s worth noting that you won’t get exposure to the most modern Korean usage, but it should still provide you with a fully usable foundation.

Courses created by the Defense Language Institute (DLI) are similar in that they’re exceptionally thorough but also dated. One difference between the two is that the DLI courses have a slight emphasis on military terms at higher levels.

Pros

  • Well-structured, comprehensive courses
  • They’re free

Cons

  • Courses aren’t very engaging
  • The material is dated
4/5
Price: Freemium, lessons from $7
Entertaining, Free Practice

Since 2009, Talk To Me In Korean (TTMIK) has offered both free and paid content to Korean learners that is often engaging, fun, and entertaining. The main educational content revolves around grammar concepts presented in audio lessons, but there are also some video lessons. Additional practice involves sentence-building and learning various idiomatic expressions.

TTMIK usually does a great job of striking a balance between educational and entertaining, and the assortment of interviews and drama breakdowns are great for learners looking for learning material that’s more lighthearted. 

It’s worth noting that their content occasionally strays too far into entertainment, providing less educational value as a result. You also might not find as many opportunities to put what you’ve learned into practice with this resource. That said, it’s hard to beat the amount of material that’s available for free here.

Pros

  • There’s a ton of free content
  • Lessons are more entertaining than many alternatives

Cons

  • Some lessons focus more on entertainment than educational value
  • There aren’t many opportunities to practice what you’ve learned
4/5
Price: Free, Add-Ons Start at $5
A Thorough Guide for Beginner and Intermediate Learners

With 175 in-depth Korean lessons, each accompanied by audio recordings, grammar explanations, and quizzes, How To Study Korean is a resource with enough material to keep you busy for quite some time. Its fairly academic approach may not appeal to those that prefer gamified, interactive practice, but the price tag isn’t likely to turn anyone away.

At the beginner level, lessons come with YouTube videos that provide extra sentence practice as well as dictations and reading practice. There are also additional materials available for purchase at each level. These include workbooks, vocabulary lists, short stories, and more. Each lesson includes 20 or 30 vocabulary words that have all been placed into Memrise decks, making for super-efficient practice. Another benefit of this course is that the materials at lower levels offer instruction in a number of different languages.

Pros

  • Lots of free content
  • Thorough grammar explanations
  • Vocabulary is available for practice in Memrise
  • Instruction is available in multiple languages

Cons

  • It isn’t the best option for those looking for interactive, gamified practice
  • The grammar explanations may be too in-depth for some
4/5
Price: Freemium, Premium Subscriptions Start at $17.99/month
Learn Korean With a Chatbot

If you’re looking for a unique, casual way to learn Korean, Eggbun certainly fits the bill. Practice takes place in short lessons where you chat with Lanny, an enthusiastic, animated egg bun. It’s cheeky, fun, unintimidating, and contains a surprising amount of content. 

The format may be bizarre, but the content is of pretty high quality and covers multiple aspects of the language. Absolute beginners will be able to start with learning Hangul and will be typing it by the end of the first lesson. The course also includes cultural notes, dialogues, and interactive exercises like multiple-choice questions, role plays, and fill-in-the-blank activities

This app is mostly useful for beginners, but lesson topics are varied and provide a wide range of quality information. You’ll get to experience both formal and casual Korean while learning about pronunciation, verb conjugations, and more.

Pros

  • It’s got a great design and is fun to use
  • It’s a good option for those that prefer more casual study
  • There’s a variety of practice activities

Cons

  • It doesn’t have as much useful material for more advanced learners
  • Some learners may not enjoy the chat-based learning format
  • The premium subscription is more expensive than alternatives
4/5
Price: Free or $8.99 a month
Free Flashcard Platform and Official Korean Courses

This incredibly popular resource helps users learn languages largely through its Spaced Repetition System (SRS) and flashcards. Part of the reason it’s so popular is that much of the material is free to use. Anyone can create their own flashcard decks on Memrise, and these user-created courses are totally free to use. 

The quality of the courses varies, but you’ll be able to find tons of different topics to study, such as Korean slang, the 1000 most common Korean words, grammar concepts, and more. While all of these courses benefit from SRS, some will have audio, pictures, words, and example sentences, while others will only have some of these.

If you’re looking for material that will reliably be of higher quality, you’ll want to check out the official Memrise courses. These include quality audio, pictures, and even some videos, but you’ll have to pay a subscription fee to get full access.

Pros

  • SRS is great for efficient practice
  • Practice is enjoyable
  • There’s a great deal of available content

Cons

  • You’ll need more than Memrise to learn to communicate effectively in Korean
  • The quality of user-created courses may vary
  • The premium version doesn’t offer much more than the free version
3.8/5
Price: From $24.99/hour for Private Classes
Live Lingua Logo
Personalized Live Lessons

Live Lingua is an online language school that connects learners of 11 different languages with teachers for one-on-one or group classes. It stands out from similar resources like italki or Verbling by taking more of a personalized approach: by registering with the platform, you’ll be assigned your very own class coordinator who will pair you with a teacher that best fits your needs. This teacher will develop a curriculum to help you achieve your personal language goals.

The three types of lessons currently available are standard Korean, exam prep, and group lessons. The exam prep lessons are the most expensive, and you’ll have to get in touch with Live Lingua to get the group lesson price.

While there are cheaper ways to take live lessons online, Live Lingua could be worth the price if you want a dedicated teacher that understands your goals, past experiences, and learning style. Some potential downsides are that you’ll have to use a third-party video call platform for lessons and that scheduling happens via email.

Pros

  • You should be able to find a teacher to help you with your specific goals

Cons

  • Limited flexibility in choosing a teacher compared to other options
  • Scheduling lessons via email can be inconvenient
3.5/5
Price: $7.99/month for one language, $17.99/month for all languages
Phrase-based Practice for Beginners

If you aren’t afraid of a little language drilling — okay, a lot of drilling — Mango Languages could be worth checking out. It won’t be very useful to learners beyond the intermediate level, however, as there’s just not much in the way of advanced content.

The design of the Mango Languages app is appealing and makes for more enjoyable practice, and you’ll be exposed to lots of Korean phrases. Learning new words this way is helpful in getting used to the way the language works in context and how to use it yourself.

Lessons build on each other nicely and will provide you with loads of speaking practice by prompting you to repeat what you hear. This is something that could become overly repetitive for some. You also won’t get in-depth grammar practice or explanations here.

If you’re interested in Mango Languages, be sure to check whether it’s available for free in a public library near you.

Pros

  • The design is appealing and easy to use
  • There are useful cultural notes
  • Learning full phrases will help you understand common language structures

Cons

  • There isn’t much in-depth grammar practice
  • Phrase drilling can become overly repetitive
  • Learners at higher levels will have to look elsewhere
4.7/5
Price: From $30/month or $150/year
A Quality Course With Straightforward Instructions

At first glance, this may seem too good to be true. After all, no one’s going to become fluent in 90 days, right? Luckily, this course isn’t promising the impossible. Instead, it breaks the overwhelming goal of learning Korean into four 90-day modules. This more manageable timeline makes for a less intimidating study plan and can do great things for daily motivation. 

The modules in this course do an excellent job of providing in-depth coverage of grammar and vocabulary concepts. The lessons are presented one week at a time, though you can proceed to the next week’s material whenever you feel comfortable doing so.

The course benefits from straightforward explanations and challenges that push you to apply what you’ve learned in practical situations. For a higher subscription price, there’s the option to have access to coaching, which means you’ll get feedback from a Korean tutor as you progress through the course.

Pros

  • Explanations are clear and easy to understand
  • Challenges give you the opportunity to use what you’ve learned 
  • Great course structure

Cons

  • There are less expensive options

FSI and DLI

4.3/5
Price: Free
Dated, But Free and Thorough Courses

The Foreign Services Institute (FSI) has developed a number of language courses, including for Korean. These courses were originally developed several decades ago and were designed to help get diplomats to a professional working proficiency in a language as quickly as possible.

Given their origin, the FSI language courses definitely err on the dry side of things and are far from the most engaging options out there. They consist of PDF scans of typewritten pages and come with accompanying audio. If you can get past the lack of color, pictures, and games, however, you’ll find yourself with an extremely thorough course. It’s worth noting that you won’t get exposure to the most modern Korean usage, but it should still provide you with a fully usable foundation.

Courses created by the Defense Language Institute (DLI) are similar in that they’re exceptionally thorough but also dated. One difference between the two is that the DLI courses have a slight emphasis on military terms at higher levels.

Pros

  • Well-structured, comprehensive courses
  • They’re free

Cons

  • Courses aren’t very engaging
  • The material is dated
4.3/5
Price: Free
Comprehensive Video Lessons

The Cyber University of Korea (CUK) offers an impressive amount of thorough content for free. Material is presented in the form of free video lessons that are accessible through a number of video platforms, including YouTube.

There are four levels of lessons in the CUK library. The first two levels deal largely with basic communication skills related to everyday activities, and levels three and four teach casual conversation skills. By completing level four, CUK hopes students will be able to achieve a 3.5 score on the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK).

Many of the lessons include teachers, slides, animations, and dialogues, and you’ll get pronunciation practice by responding to speaking prompts. The material in the third and fourth levels of the CUK course are slightly less engaging, as they don’t include animations or images, but there’s a lot of learning to be had here for free.

Pros

  • Lots of free content
  • Video lessons are especially engaging at lower levels
  • Instruction is clear and well thought out
  • It’s especially good for beginners

Cons

  • Lessons at higher levels aren’t quite as engaging
4.3/5
Price: $11.99 a month, $29.99 a quarter, $55.99 a year, or $119.99 for a lifetime subscription
Thorough and Gamified Introductory Course

There’s certainly no shortage of language-learning apps out there, but Lingodeer stands out in terms of quality. This is especially true for Asian languages like Korean, which are often neglected by other popular apps.

Lingodeer combines gamification and app-friendly, convenient practice with a well-structured course to provide something truly valuable. Lessons build on each other nicely, and it’s a great place to get a solid foundation in Korean. Interactive practice activities test how much you’ve retained from the lessons and keep things interesting.

Keep in mind when considering Lingodeer that there isn’t as much material available for advanced learners. It’s also probably not the best place to improve your conversational skills.

Pros

  • Great for engaging, convenient practice
  • Well-structured lessons

Cons

  • Not much practice for learners past the intermediate level
  • You’ll need to look elsewhere to fully develop conversational skills
4/5
Price: $14.95-$19.95 per month
Tried-And-True Audio Lessons

Pimsleur isn’t exactly a new arrival on the language-learning scene. Using a method developed by linguist Dr. Pimsleur in 1963, this course is packed full of high-quality audio lessons that are well structured and provide ample opportunity for participation.

Although the claim on the Pimsleur website that you’ll reach an intermediate speaking level within 30 days of using the course may be a stretch, the audio lessons are packed full of useful information and build on each other nicely. You’ll spend just enough time in each new lesson reviewing what you’ve already learned in order to take on new concepts with confidence.

The Pimsleur audio lessons aren’t meant for passive listening. Instead, the Pimsleur Method encourages learners to frequently speak aloud during lessons. You’ll be frequently prompted to speak and will have to do more than listen and repeat to keep up.

Visual learners may struggle with the mostly-audio content, and this may not be the best resource for learning to read and write Hangul.

Pros

  • The course is well structured
  • Audio from a variety of native speakers
  • The app and desktop platform are well designed

Cons

  • This isn’t the best resource for visual learners
  • It isn’t the best place to find reading and writing practice
4/5
Price: $8 – $47 a month
Tons of Listening Practice

It wouldn’t be easy to find another resource with as much listening material as you’ll find with KoreanClass101. There are thousands of listening lessons here, and they’re accompanied by transcripts, quizzes, extra notes, and some videos. 

While the amount of content is certainly a good thing, there is a lack of clear structure to the course. This might be nice if you’re the type of learner that likes to skip around as you please, but some might end up feeling lost and without enough guidance.

The bulk of the huge lesson library is most-suitable for learners at the beginner to pre-intermediate levels — advanced learners won’t find as much relevant practice material. This is also probably not the best resource if you’re looking for a course to really strengthen your speaking or writing skills.

Pros

  • There is a great deal of listening content for learners at the beginner and intermediate levels
  • Accompanying lesson notes are useful

Cons

  • There isn’t as much content for advanced learners
  • There isn’t a clear course structure
  • It isn’t the right place to get speaking, writing, or advanced practice

Use the promo code “ALLLANGUAGERESOURCES” to save 25% on a subscription to KoreanClass101.

4/5
Price: Freemium, lessons from $7
Entertaining, Free Practice

Since 2009, Talk To Me In Korean (TTMIK) has offered both free and paid content to Korean learners that is often engaging, fun, and entertaining. The main educational content revolves around grammar concepts presented in audio lessons, but there are also some video lessons. Additional practice involves sentence-building and learning various idiomatic expressions.

TTMIK usually does a great job of striking a balance between educational and entertaining, and the assortment of interviews and drama breakdowns are great for learners looking for learning material that’s more lighthearted. 

It’s worth noting that their content occasionally strays too far into entertainment, providing less educational value as a result. You also might not find as many opportunities to put what you’ve learned into practice with this resource. That said, it’s hard to beat the amount of material that’s available for free here.

Pros

  • There’s a ton of free content
  • Lessons are more entertaining than many alternatives

Cons

  • Some lessons focus more on entertainment than educational value
  • There aren’t many opportunities to practice what you’ve learned
4/5
Price: Free or $8.99 a month
Free Flashcard Platform and Official Korean Courses

This incredibly popular resource helps users learn languages largely through its Spaced Repetition System (SRS) and flashcards. Part of the reason it’s so popular is that much of the material is free to use. Anyone can create their own flashcard decks on Memrise, and these user-created courses are totally free to use. 

The quality of the courses varies, but you’ll be able to find tons of different topics to study, such as Korean slang, the 1000 most common Korean words, grammar concepts, and more. While all of these courses benefit from SRS, some will have audio, pictures, words, and example sentences, while others will only have some of these.

If you’re looking for material that will reliably be of higher quality, you’ll want to check out the official Memrise courses. These include quality audio, pictures, and even some videos, but you’ll have to pay a subscription fee to get full access.

Pros

  • SRS is great for efficient practice
  • Practice is enjoyable
  • There’s a great deal of available content

Cons

  • You’ll need more than Memrise to learn to communicate effectively in Korean
  • The quality of user-created courses may vary
  • The premium version doesn’t offer much more than the free version
4/5
Price: $9.99/month, Less for Longer Subscriptions
POV-Style Conversation Practice

Teuida isn’t your standard language resource. It’s full of super engaging conversation practice where you take part in POV-style videos, responding when prompted. You’ll find yourself in a variety of situations and will be tasked with responding in real-time to your video conversation partner.

Lessons in Teuida build on each other nicely, and each culminates with a video conversation that tests what you’ve learned in the corresponding unit. This type of practice is highly interactive and is great for building speaking confidence. It could be especially useful for learners that are intimidated by the prospect of speaking to real people at their current level.

While Teuida is fun to use and provides good listening and speaking practice, it won’t teach you much grammar or how to read and write. It’s also not a very good option for learners that are beyond the beginner stage.

You can use the coupon code ‘ALR003‘ to get the 3-month subscription for $18.99.

Note that iOS users will need to enter this code as the “Referrer ID,” either when signing up or under Settings > Account > Referrer ID.

Pros

  • Video conversation practice is highly engaging
  • You’ll get practice with realistic, practical language
  • It provides lots of speaking practice

Cons

  • There isn’t material for intermediate and advanced learners
  • You won’t get in-depth grammar practice or learn to read and write
  • Review opportunities are limited
4/5
Price: Free, Add-Ons Start at $5
A Thorough Guide for Beginner and Intermediate Learners

With 175 in-depth Korean lessons, each accompanied by audio recordings, grammar explanations, and quizzes, How To Study Korean is a resource with enough material to keep you busy for quite some time. Its fairly academic approach may not appeal to those that prefer gamified, interactive practice, but the price tag isn’t likely to turn anyone away.

At the beginner level, lessons come with YouTube videos that provide extra sentence practice as well as dictations and reading practice. There are also additional materials available for purchase at each level. These include workbooks, vocabulary lists, short stories, and more. Each lesson includes 20 or 30 vocabulary words that have all been placed into Memrise decks, making for super-efficient practice. Another benefit of this course is that the materials at lower levels offer instruction in a number of different languages.

Pros

  • Lots of free content
  • Thorough grammar explanations
  • Vocabulary is available for practice in Memrise
  • Instruction is available in multiple languages

Cons

  • It isn’t the best option for those looking for interactive, gamified practice
  • The grammar explanations may be too in-depth for some
4/5
Price: Freemium, Premium Subscriptions Start at $17.99/month
Learn Korean With a Chatbot

If you’re looking for a unique, casual way to learn Korean, Eggbun certainly fits the bill. Practice takes place in short lessons where you chat with Lanny, an enthusiastic, animated egg bun. It’s cheeky, fun, unintimidating, and contains a surprising amount of content. 

The format may be bizarre, but the content is of pretty high quality and covers multiple aspects of the language. Absolute beginners will be able to start with learning Hangul and will be typing it by the end of the first lesson. The course also includes cultural notes, dialogues, and interactive exercises like multiple-choice questions, role plays, and fill-in-the-blank activities

This app is mostly useful for beginners, but lesson topics are varied and provide a wide range of quality information. You’ll get to experience both formal and casual Korean while learning about pronunciation, verb conjugations, and more.

Pros

  • It’s got a great design and is fun to use
  • It’s a good option for those that prefer more casual study
  • There’s a variety of practice activities

Cons

  • It doesn’t have as much useful material for more advanced learners
  • Some learners may not enjoy the chat-based learning format
  • The premium subscription is more expensive than alternatives
3.8/5
Price: From $24.99/hour for Private Classes
Live Lingua Logo
Personalized Live Lessons

Live Lingua is an online language school that connects learners of 11 different languages with teachers for one-on-one or group classes. It stands out from similar resources like italki or Verbling by taking more of a personalized approach: by registering with the platform, you’ll be assigned your very own class coordinator who will pair you with a teacher that best fits your needs. This teacher will develop a curriculum to help you achieve your personal language goals.

The three types of lessons currently available are standard Korean, exam prep, and group lessons. The exam prep lessons are the most expensive, and you’ll have to get in touch with Live Lingua to get the group lesson price.

While there are cheaper ways to take live lessons online, Live Lingua could be worth the price if you want a dedicated teacher that understands your goals, past experiences, and learning style. Some potential downsides are that you’ll have to use a third-party video call platform for lessons and that scheduling happens via email.

Pros

  • You should be able to find a teacher to help you with your specific goals

Cons

  • Limited flexibility in choosing a teacher compared to other options
  • Scheduling lessons via email can be inconvenient
3.5/5
Price: $7.99/month for one language, $17.99/month for all languages
Phrase-based Practice for Beginners

If you aren’t afraid of a little language drilling — okay, a lot of drilling — Mango Languages could be worth checking out. It won’t be very useful to learners beyond the intermediate level, however, as there’s just not much in the way of advanced content.

The design of the Mango Languages app is appealing and makes for more enjoyable practice, and you’ll be exposed to lots of Korean phrases. Learning new words this way is helpful in getting used to the way the language works in context and how to use it yourself.

Lessons build on each other nicely and will provide you with loads of speaking practice by prompting you to repeat what you hear. This is something that could become overly repetitive for some. You also won’t get in-depth grammar practice or explanations here.

If you’re interested in Mango Languages, be sure to check whether it’s available for free in a public library near you.

Pros

  • The design is appealing and easy to use
  • There are useful cultural notes
  • Learning full phrases will help you understand common language structures

Cons

  • There isn’t much in-depth grammar practice
  • Phrase drilling can become overly repetitive
  • Learners at higher levels will have to look elsewhere

The 20+ Best Apps To Learn Korean In 2021

K-pop, bulgogi, Korean cinema, soju… There are plenty of reasons to learn Korean, and there are plenty of ways to learn.

Although this list of Korean apps is quite large, it still doesn’t cover all the options out there. The fact is, most learners will need to combine a number of resources together in order to learn Korean.

We’ve tried out a ton of them ourselves.  Hopefully, this helps you figure out which ones really stand out and which ones may not be so worthwhile.

There are some great resources that didn’t make this list simply because they don’t fall into the app category, and there are surely more apps that didn’t make this list, but here are some of our favorites.

Best Korean Courses as Apps

Best All-Around Course: 90 Day Korean

Best Course for Oral Communication: Pimsleur

Best Interactive Course: Lingodeer

Best Grammar-Focused Course: Talk To Me In Korean

Best TOPIK Test Prep App: TOPIK ONE

Vocabulary Acquisition Apps

Best for Learning Hangul: TenguGO (Apple) / Hangul (Android)

Best for Learning Vocabulary Easily: Memrise

Best Customizable Tool for Studying Vocabulary: Anki

Best for Learning Vocabulary from Context: Clozemaster

Best Dictionary Apps: Naver Korean Dictionary and Naver Papago

Apps for Practicing Reading and Listening

Best for Podcast-Style Lessons: KoreanClass101

Best for Interesting Content at Various Levels: LingQ

Best for Free Reading Content: Manga Method

Best for Side-by-Side Reading and Listening: Beelinguapp

Best for Watching K-Dramas: Viki

Apps for Practicing Speaking and writing

Best for Improving Pronunciation: Speechling

Best for Simulated Speaking Practice: Teuida

Best for Learning to Write Hangul: Write it! Korean

Best for Getting Feedback on Writing: italki

Best Chatbot: Eggbun

Best Q&A App: HiNative

Apps for Tutors and Language Exchanges

Best for Finding a Tutor: italki

Best Language Exchange Apps: Tandem and HelloTalk

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Mondly

Quick Review

2.7 

Summary:

Mondly is a language-learning app that teaches basic vocabulary and grammar structures. It seems most appropriate for learners with little to no exposure to their target language.

The activities mostly rely on passive recognition of vocabulary and phrases, and therefore are not very challenging. However, they are varied enough that you probably wouldn’t get bored with short, daily practice sessions.

Although I wouldn’t recommend Mondly to anyone looking to seriously learn a language, it may be appropriate for individuals studying languages with less available resources, or for individuals who are preparing to travel abroad.

Quality

Both the interface and the course itself could be designed better.

Thoroughness

It’s decent for learning vocabulary, but I thought a lot of the material wasn’t explained very well.

Value

It’s fairly inexpensive.

Price

There are three plans…
$9.99 per month for one language
$47.99 per year ($4/mo) for one language
$47.99 per year ($4/mo) for all languages

Strangely, I was able to access multiple languages even though I only signed up for one month at $9.99.

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Lang Workbooks

Price: $5.99

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For learners of languages that use unfamiliar writing systems, the Lang Workbooks series can be a helpful and practical way to master the intricacies of writing in their target languages. Among numerous other writing systems, the series includes the Korean, Russian Cyrillic, and Armenian alphabets; Persian and Thai script; the Hindi Devanāgarī abugida; Chinese characters; and Japanese Hiragana and Katakana. The series also covers languages that use the Latin alphabet with diacritical (accent) marks, such as French, German, and Portuguese.

Many books in the series have been translated into other languages, such as Italian, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. The series also covers writing systems that may have fewer available resources for learners, such as Lao script and the Cherokee syllabary.

Each book in the series presents its featured writing system with suggested pronunciations. The practice pages in each workbook have useful features for each letter, symbol, or character, such as a recommended stroke order, font variations, example words, and a “Trace and Learn” section.

Each workbook is relatively inexpensive. In addition, the publishers of the series have granted teachers and students a license to make photocopies of the workbook pages for personal use, so you can get unlimited chances to practice. Considering the depth of information in each language’s workbook, the books in this series can provide great value for learners.

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LingQ

Quick Review

Summary:

LingQ is a language learning platform that makes it easy to read and listen to interesting content at varying difficulty levels. As you read, words will be marked as known and LingQ tracks the total number of words you “know”. The content comes from lots of different places with very little of it being original. They also make it very easy to upload your own content.

Quality

The LingQ reading app is enjoyable in most languages, easy to use, and can expand your vocabulary. However, I found the user content frustrating to navigate.

Thoroughness

With the import function, users can choose to study almost anything they want.

Value

Now that other apps provide similar functions, the monthly subscription may be a bit overpriced. However, the yearly subscription seems fair.

Languages

Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, English, Korean, French, Russian, German, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Dutch, Greek, Polish, Esperanto, Belarusian, Latin, Ukrainian. There are also 20 additional languages in Beta.

Price

Premium membership costs $12.99/mo, $71.94/half-year, $107.88/year, $191.76/2-years; single-language lifetime membership costs $199

When I first signed up for LingQ, I wasn’t very impressed. Its seemingly random lesson library, filled with custom cover photos and inconsistent title formats, made me want to click on just about anything to get away from that page.

However, after exploring every function I could find, I realized that the reading tool has several useful functions for anyone trying to learn a language through extensive reading. Most importantly, it makes reading in other languages feel manageable.

The site has three main pages: Lessons, Tutors, and Community. Within them, you can find free and purchasable lessons, coins, an avatar, writing exchanges, a community forum, audio playlists, and challenges.

I mostly used LingQ for reading in Spanish and dabbled in French, Chinese, Japanese, Swedish, and Korean.

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OPLingo

3.5 
Price: Freemium, Premium Subscriptions cost $6.99/mo, $60/Year

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OPLingo is a community-oriented, non-profit language learning site. It essentially combines the functions of LingQ, LangCorrect, Readlang, iTalki, and HelloTalk.

The free version gives you limited access to some functions, but by paying for a membership you support ethical causes — such as building a primary school in Tanzania.

You can browse user-contributed texts or easily import your own YouTube videos, articles, or ebooks into the Reading Tool. OPLingo has also developed hundreds of audio conversations in several languages, including Tagalog, Cebuano, Thai, Swahili, and Russian.

Within each page, you can read a transcript and get definitions and pronunciations of unknown words. By identifying which words you don’t know, the next passages you read will highlight the number of known or unknown vocabulary words.

In their Write & Correct section, you can write in over 100 languages and exchange corrections with other users, although Spanish, French, and English learners have a better chance of receiving corrections than other languages at the moment.

You can also practice a language by texting with fellow community members, or by hiring a teacher in your target language.

OPLingo has a lot of potential and is a good alternative to LingQ, but it needs a community of learners to help it grow — so check it out!

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AmazingTalker

2.5 
Price: From around $10 per 50-minute class

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AmazingTalker is an italki and Verbling competitor that lets you book classes with language teachers and academic tutors of your choice. It has a lot of attractive features for students, but teachers complain about high commission rates and lack of support.

It boasts a 3% acceptance rate for teachers and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy with your class, they’ll rebook you another one for free. There are lots of teachers to choose from, or you can also use their AI Matching Service to find a tutor. The teachers’ profiles include videos, reviews, and their résumé.

However, AmazingTalker doesn’t seem a great choice for teachers. It charges English and Japanese teachers astonishingly high commission rates of up to 30%. While these rates fall as teachers earn more through the site, they have to make $1,500 a month before the commission reaches levels comparable to italki and Verbling. Making it worse, there’s an additional 8% fee for payment processing and tax that all teachers have to pay, no matter what language they teach. 

There have also been complaints on Reddit from teachers claiming to have been harassed by students and fellow teachers. However, we cannot corroborate these.

Given all this, we’d recommend trying italki (review) or Verbling (review) first. Alternatively, check out our guide to the best platforms for online language classes.

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Verbling

Quick Review

4.6 

Summary:

Verbling is an online language-class marketplace where you can take lessons with teachers of your choice. It has some student-friendly extra features, including a built-in online classroom, flashcards, homework calendar, and a filing system for lesson materials. There are also useful but disorganized forums where you can discuss languages, share writing for critique, and do free language drills and exercises.

The lessons are generally high quality and well structured, plus the filters make it easy to find teachers who specialize in everything from accent reduction to interview preparation. 

However, it can be slightly pricier than alternatives, so if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to look elsewhere. It also has fewer languages than some of the bigger competitors, so it might not be a good choice if you want to study Azerbaijani, Khmer, or Yoruba.

Teacher Quality 

There are some less experienced teachers, but I found the lessons to be more consistently high quality than on italki.

Platform 

The classroom technology, flashcards, and filing system are fantastic for learners and easy to use.

Value

Some teachers charge more than on italki, but you get better classroom technology, more privacy, and fewer disorganized teachers.

Languages

Verbling lists 65 different languages on their platform, from Spanish and Mandarin Chinese through to Twi and Berber. Not all of them have available teachers, however.

Price

Prices are set by the teacher and range from $5 to $75 for an hour-long lesson. You can get discounts for buying packs of 5, 10, or 20 lessons with a teacher. Every student gets one free trial lesson, after which they’re $6 each.

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The Cyber University of Korea

4.3 
Price: Free

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The Cyber University of Korea provides four levels of video courses that can be accessed for free on several platforms, including YouTube.

Levels 1 and 2 cover basic communication about everyday activities and how to carry simple conversations around the city. Levels 3 and 4 cover casual conversation. At the end of level 4, the university hopes that students can achieve a 3.5 score on the Korean language proficiency exam (TOPIK).

The videos have live teachers with slide presentations, dialogues, animations, and flashcards. They will quiz you on new concepts, get you to participate in the dialogues, and encourage you to practice pronunciation. New words are provided in different contexts so you know how to use them.

Beginners should start with the Level 1 of “Quick Korean” playlist on YouTube. There are other Level 1 playlists in Japanese, Spanish, and Chinese, but levels 2, 3, and 4 are in Korean with English subtitles.

For some reason, the third and fourth levels don’t contain any animations or images, and they seem slightly less engaging. Nevertheless, these video courses are an excellent substitute for the hundreds of dollars you might pay for a university class with the same content.

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