Korean

Memrise Review – Useful But Don’t Overuse It

Quick Review

Summary

Memrise is a super popular language-learning app available online and on mobile. It functions much like a gamified flashcard app, and it offers a lot of content for free. A lot of the content is user-created, and there is a premium subscription that provides access to additional features. Memrise can be a great tool in your arsenal, but you’ll need more to learn a language seriously.

Quality

The mobile app looks great and is easy to use, but the website is clunky. Works very well for memorization.

Thoroughness

There are quite a few official Memrise courses, and the number of user-created courses is massive, but you’ll benefit from using additional resources.

Value

The free version of the app provides a lot of value, but the paid version doesn’t offer much more.

Languages

There are currently official Memrise courses for 21 languages.

Among others, these include: Spanish, French, Chinese, German, Italian, Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Russian.

If you count the user-generated courses, the list of languages is nearly endless.

Price

For the full version of Memrise, the subscription prices are:

$8.99/monthly
$59.99/annually
$99.99 – lifetime subscription

Signing up for a free account with Memrise automatically gives you access to limited versions of their official courses.

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Fluent Forever App Review – Lots Of Potential But Not There Yet

Quick Review

3.2 

Summary

The Fluent Forever mobile app is a language learning program currently available in eight languages. The approach it takes is based on the methodology described by Gabrial Wyner in his book, Fluent Forever. It uses flashcards and a spaced repetition algorithm to help the learner create meaningful connections with the language and commit language items to long-term memory.

It’s best for people who are able to dedicate ample time and supplementary resources to learning a new language.

Quality

I noticed some spelling errors in the language I was learning. The activities aren’t super intuitive.

Thoroughness

Pronunciation is explained very well, but I was hoping for some grammar explanations as well. Some features are still in development.

Value

The price is reasonable, and the time spent using the app is productive.

Languages: There are currently eight languages available on the Fluent Forever app: Spanish (Latin America), Spanish (Spain), Italian, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Korean. Six more are currently in development.

Price

$9.99/month when paid on a monthly basis.
$53.94 for a 6-month subscription ($8.99/month)
$95.88 for a 12-month subscription ($7.99/month)
$167.76 for a 24-month subscription ($6.99/month)

There’s a free 14-day trial available that gives you full access to all of the languages on the app. You’ll be prompted to select one language if you decided to pay for the app after the trial. If you pay for a subscription instead of per-month, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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KoreanClass101 Review – Good But Not A Standalone Course

Quick Review

Summary

Koreanclass101 has developed thousands of, mostly audio, lessons for Korean language learners. It’s excellent for those who want to improve their listening. The grammar and vocabulary content is also really good, being both clear and detailed. It can, however, be difficult trying to find the right lesson at the right time and the lack of a clear learning path could cause problems. It’s a handy tool to use alongside other resources or lessons but probably shouldn’t be used as a standalone course.

Quality

Mostly good, but some of the older lessons weren’t great.

Thoroughness

A ton of material for beginner and intermediate levels but limited at the advanced level.

Value

The vast library of listening material makes a subscription worthwhile.

Price

There are three subscription plans with lengths available from 1 month to 2 years, with many options in between.

Basic – $8/mo, $4/mo if you sign up for 2 years.
Premium – $25/mo, $10/mo if you sign up for 2 years.
Premium Plus – $47/mo, $23/mo if you sign up for 2 years.

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

KoreanClass101 is quite good, but there are other Korean courses, such as 90 Day Korean worth considering.

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uTalk Review – Learn Set Phrases But Not A Language

Quick Review

3.2 

Summary

uTalk is a software program and mobile app offering learning material in over 140 languages. Its approach is based on learning set keywords and phrases through gameplay. It covers a wide range of set phrases and offers pronunciation practice. It does not offer any in-depth language instruction or grammar.
uTalk is most useful for people who want to learn key phrases in a new language and aren’t interested in a more comprehensive understanding.

Quality

The app is very user-friendly, and the content is mostly useful, but the features are limited.

Thoroughness

The opportunities for focused practice are somewhat lacking.

Value

The price is very low, and there’s a decent amount of content, but there are more time-efficient ways to learn.

Price

$2.99/month on a monthly basis and can be canceled at any time
$1.67/month for a year-long subscription
$1.00/month for a two-year subscription

*This is the price for the more popular languages like Spanish, German, Arabic, etc. Less common languages such as Afrikaans and Tibetan cost slightly more.

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There’s No Babbel (or Busuu) Korean Course – Try These Alternatives Instead

There's no Babbel Korean course

Have you decided that you want to learn Korean?.

Have you gone online in search of the best language course, discovered either Babbel or Busuu, and then been disappointed to learn that they don’t have a course for Korean learners?

Both Babbel and Busuu are popular choices for language learners but aren’t necessarily always the best choice. The following courses are just as capable of helping you accomplish your Korean language goals..

They all have different pros and cons but this quick review of six Babbel and Busuu Korean alternatives will give you an idea of where to start your search for a great Korean language course.

90 Day Korean .

First off, let’s make it clear that unfortunately, you are not going to be fluent in Korean after 90 days. But, 90 Day Korean doesn’t claim to do so. Instead, they break up their content into short 90 day modules. .

It’s very cleverly laid out because they only provide you with a week’s worth of lessons at a time. If you’re feeling keen you can jump ahead to the next week, but presenting the course content in small increments makes learning a whole new language feel way less daunting.

Another awesome feature of 90 Day Korean is that if you pay a little bit more you can get access to a personal coach. The coach will be there to answer your questions and help you to work your way through the course material..

If you don’t want to pay any extra money, don’t worry, this course definitely does not skimp on the fundamentals and you will do just fine on your own. It’s a great all-around Korean language course and a good choice for someone who really wants to commit to learning and understanding how the language works in the long term.

A 90 Day Korean subscription is reasonably priced at between $30-$47 a month or $150-$247 a year.

Read our in-depth review of 90 Day Korean here. 

Visit 90 Day Korean

Pimsleur .

All of these courses have pros and cons, it just depends on what kind of learning experience you are looking for. If you want to focus mainly on oral language then Pimsleur is the right choice for you..

You will get tons of speaking and listening practice with less emphasis on grammar rules. A great feature of Pimsleur is that the speakers in the app are both male and female which helps you get used to understanding different speakers when listening to the language.

The course progresses logically and builds upon each lesson in a gradual way. It also includes some nice imagery and helpful cultural references. If you’re someone who wants to learn the rules of Korean grammar inside and out then this isn’t the course for you, but it has a lot of other great content to offer and it’s available at a reasonable price..

Read the full review of Pimsleur in order to get the lowdown on what you’ll actually get with a Pimsleur subscription, but essentially a basic subscription costs $14.95 a month and a premium subscription costs $19.95 a month.

Visit Pimsleur

KoreanClass101.

If you want to improve your listening comprehension, then KoreanClass101 would be a great resource for you due to its impressive library of audio lessons. It will also cover much more grammar and vocabulary than something like Pimsleur..

However, the listening material is geared more heavily towards the beginner and intermediate levels. An advanced learner might not gain as much from the course but could definitely still consider using it as a supplemental resource...

A basic subscription will cost $8 a month or $4 a month if you sign up for two years. Premium jumps in price to $25 a month or $10 a month if you sign up for two years. Premium Plus is $47 a month or $23 a month with the 2-year deal..

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

Read the full review of KoreanClass101 here. 

Visit KoreanClass101

Teuida

This app could make a good option for learners that want the next best thing to speaking practice with a real human being. The biggest draw for the app is probably its simulated, POV-style conversation practice.

Teuida provides video lessons that teach learners how to speak a bunch of practical phrases in Korean through basic explanations and pronunciation practice with a voice-recognition system. These phrases can then be used in the simulated conversation practice.

There isn’t a ton of grammar explanation, there’s no explicit writing or reading practice, and it’s probably best for learners who are past the absolute beginner level, but it’s hard to ignore a resource with such a nice design and unique approach.

Read the full Teuida review here.

Use the coupon code ‘ALR003‘ to get the 3-month plan for $18.99.

Visit Teuida

Lingodeer

If you really want to learn Korean using something similar to Babbel then Lingodeer is your best bet.

But, Lingodeer has an advantage as it was designed specifically with Asian languages in mind (which is something that not all language apps take into account). It’s a lot better than an app like Duolingo in this aspect..

This course is a great starting point if you are completely new to Korean because it covers the absolute basics like the alphabet and pronunciation before moving on to lessons that are divided into various topics..

The app is well designed, easy to navigate and also includes some creative features that will keep your learning experience interesting. Lingodeer Korean has an awesome feature called “stories” which involves watching a captioned video, answering questions about the story, and then getting the chance to tell the story yourself to practice your speaking..

Although this feature is excellent, you won’t become a great conversationalist by relying on Lingodeer exclusively.

It also comes with a price tag that’s comparable to similar language apps. You can get a lifetime subscription for $119.99 or pay $11.99 for one month, $29.99 for 3 months, or $55.99 for a year.

Read our in-depth review of Lingodeer here. Read our in-depth review of Lingodeer here. Read our in-depth review of Lingodeer here. .

Visit Lingodeer

Duolingo.

While Duolingo does a great job with some languages it sadly falls a bit short when it comes to Korean. .

On the positive side, learning with Duolingo feels a bit like playing a game and the format of the app will motivate you to play/study every day. You get rewards for completing a certain number of exercises per day and you unlock new levels as you get more experienced..

However, you might find yourself feeling a bit lost as the content seems scattered and you won’t get an introduction to the Korean alphabet like you will in other courses on this list. If you want an app that will help you to practice (rather than foster) your Korean language skills then Duolingo is a good choice..

The best part about Duolingo is that you can get it for free. There is the option to upgrade your free subscription to a premium subscription for $9.99 a month but all that does is remove ads and give you the chance to download offline lessons.

Read our review of Duolingo here. .

Visit Duolingo

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Living Language Online Course Review – Not Very Good

Quick Review

2.7 

Summary:

Living Language provides numerous learning materials for multiple languages, including complete and essential courses that come with textbooks and CDs. They also have specialty courses covering business, travel, and several jobs. However, their standard online version isn’t very practical, and it’s difficult to tell if you’re actually learning or simply going through the motions. While the resource might be useful for those who want access to a large vocab list with grammar reading materials, there are better, cheaper options.

Quality

Though the information itself is useful, Living Language’s presentation reads more like a database than an educational/interactive tool.

Thoroughness

Again, a lot of the information is there, but it’s scattered. Additionally, some of that information appears incorrect.

Value

Cheaper options offer the same amount of content with more interactive features.

Price

An annual plan costs $150, and half a year costs $75. Three months is $50 and 1 month is $39.

Languages: American Sign Language, Arabic, Dothraki, Dutch, English, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, and Vietnamese

An Overview of Living Language

Living Language offers you the opportunity to choose between over 20 languages. Once you pick your language, you’re taken to the home screen which has options for Essential, Intermediate, and Advanced categories. You can start with any of these options and jump back and forth between them.

 

After making your choice, you’ll start with Lesson 1.

Each lesson will include flashcards all related to a specific topic, such as food or clothing. The flashcards will feature the word in your chosen language beside a picture, and if you click on it, you can hear that word spoken. Once you complete the flashcards, you’ll move onto a grammar/vocab summary, followed by more flashcards.

Then, you’ll end the level by listening to a conversation and playing some games.

In truth, you can hop around these lessons as well, starting with the games and ending with Vocabulary 1 or 2. You can also hop in, listen to Vocabulary 2, and then switch to a different category entirely. Though the site provides a suggested order, it has no qualms with you following your own plan.

The number of lessons per category varies, as does the amount of words per level. Additionally, the games are worth certain percentage points, and your completion rate will go up as you work your way through them. You’ll also earn badges, medals, and stickers each time you beat a game.

However, as previously stated, simply beating a game doesn’t mean that you’re learning.

Getting Started with the Online Course

It’s fairly simple to get started with Living Language. Rather than sign up, you can opt for the free week option. I’d certainly suggest this option, as it will give you an idea of whether or not the site is right for you. However, it’s worth noting that the free version is limited to a few lessons from the Essential category.

After signing up, you can dive right into the learning materials. As previously stated, you can start with any category or level. You can even jump directly into the games. Of course, going in order makes the most sense for a beginner, and it might also be useful for someone more advanced; it can be hard to predict which lessons cover which words, and if you skip around, you might miss something important.

 

Lessons and Games

Assuming you attempt the lessons in order, the first lesson includes vocabulary flashcards on the topic of Greetings.

You can mark these cards as “Send to Mastered,” signifying that you know them fully. However, mastering a material doesn’t appear to change anything; it simply results in the word being removed from rotation. Once all the cards in a lesson are marked as Mastered, you have the chance to put them back in the rotation by choosing “Send to Study.”

After completing this vocab section, you’ll move onto reading material about the vocabulary and/or grammar you’ve learned. From there, you’ll listen to a conversation, which might bring in words you haven’t learned before. Oddly, the speaker’s gender doesn’t always match the speaker’s honorific (ex. a male speaker would sometimes speak for someone with the honorific Mademoiselle).

The games are definitely the most entertaining part of the site in my opinion.

There’s a large variety, including word searches, sentence builders, and fill in the blanks. You can also pop bubbles or answer multiple-choice questions in order to defeat a dragon.

At first, I enjoyed the games and felt like I was doing well with the material. However, after several rounds, the novelty of these games wore off. Additionally, it’s easy to guess the correct answers to several of the games, meaning you might win without really covering the material. I wasn’t trying to outsmart the games — I was simply trying to win them. In this case, winning has nothing to do with comprehension or retention; it simply meant I’d figured out the patterns.

My French knowledge is fairly basic, but I was able to complete several games in the Advanced category without reading any of the lessons beforehand.

If you complete a game with minimal errors, you’ll earn a gold badge. If you win with several errors, you’ll earn a silver or bronze badge. You’ll also earn a certain amount of percentage points, which appear on the home page under each category. And after multiple wins of the same game-type, you’ll start collecting badges.

Admittedly, I was curious to see what badges were available, and I think they work as a fun incentive. In this way, Living Language is kind of like a video game where you want to achieve 100% completion–but again, this isn’t necessarily helpful when trying to gauge your knowledge of the materials.

Once you finish your first grouping of lessons, you’ll move onto the next level, which will be based on a different subject. From there on, there’s not much variation in lesson set-up: it’s flashcards, a summary, a conversation, and games. It should also be noted that you have to click on the games yourself, or the lesson will simply skip them and move onto the next set of flashcards.

Oddly, some of the images don’t seem to align with the vocab. While I didn’t notice a ton of errors, it was enough to make me worry about the correctness of other translations, especially because of errors other users spotted.

 

Plans and Prices

Along with the monthly version, you can also purchase annual plans, 6-month plans, and 3-month plans. Value-wise, the 6-month plan and annual plan cost the same when looking at the price per month, whereas the 1-month plan is the most expensive and the 3-month plan falls somewhere between them.

A one month subscription costs $39, 3 months costs $50, 6 months costs $75, and 1 year costs $150.

Some languages don’t offer monthly versions, while others offer specialty courses for travel or specific occupations. For instance, Spanish lessons are available in Business for three-month increments at $60.

Furthermore, traditional book and CD sets are available at various price points. As I didn’t use these options, I can’t speak to their value, though reviews on Amazon are mixed.

Final Thoughts

Living Language provides several resources for language learning, including online courses, specialty courses, and CD/textbook options. While I can’t speak to all of these resources, the French Comprehensive course wasn’t very useful for me. The flashcards and grammar lessons are fairly basic, and the games, although fun at first, ultimately don’t reveal much about what you’ve learned.

Living Language could do more to take advantage of its online platform. The games and audio are a good start, but the site’s actual test value is missing. Additionally, while these resources could potentially be useful, there are cheaper options out there that offer more interactive features and in-depth explanations.

While I don’t think it will hurt your language learning efforts, I’d recommend looking at other resources first. As each language has different resources available, our top recommendations would depend on the language you’re studying. To find the ones we recommend, click on the language you’re learning below.

MOST RECOMMEND RESOURCES BY LANGUAGE

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Drops App Review – Decent As A Supplementary Resource

Quick Review

3

Summary:

Drops is a phone app for iPhone and Android that covers 33 languages. Daily games test the user on thousands of vocabulary words, and many of these words are ideal for everyday use. Drops has an entertaining, user-friendly interface, but it also lacks grammar lessons, and it works better for some languages than others. For anyone looking to supplement their vocab lessons, this app is worth considering; however, the free version might be more worthwhile than the paid version.

Quality

Though cute and easy to use, several visuals are hard to distinguish, and some games aren’t too useful for retention.

Thoroughnes

This app won’t help with grammar or verb conjugation. However, it does offer hundreds of unique vocab words.

Value

The free app is a great supplementary tool to help round out your vocabulary, but the paid app doesn’t offer many useful extras.

Price

A monthly subscription costs $9.99, a yearly subscription is $69.99, and a lifetime subscription is $159.99. You can use the app up to five minutes every ten hours for free.

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22 Online Korean Courses Ranked From Best To Worst In 2020

Korea is rich with heritage, delicious food, and stunning views, so we don’t blame you for wanting to learn the language.

Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. While there are endless resources out there that claim to help you become fluent, not every course lives up to its name.

Whether you’re obsessed with understanding your favorite K-drama or you simply wish to visit this beautiful country, we’ve compiled a list of the best and worst Korean courses for you to learn from.

We’ve grouped them into four tiers with our favorites first and the ones you’d be better off avoiding in the final tier.

We rated them on factors such as quality of the lessons, comprehensiveness of the course, and value for the cost. 

While our favorite courses are in the first tier, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should disregard the courses in lower tiers. Everybody is unique and will have different preferences when it comes to what they look for in a Korean course.

Having said that, these rankings come from countless hours spent testing the courses. 

This also isn’t an exhaustive list of useful resources for learning Korean. To prevent it from becoming even more ridiculously long, we’ve limited this list to strictly courses. So, some excellent resources such as italki, where you can find affordable tutors, wasn’t included as it’s not exactly a course.

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Mondly Review – Far From My First Choice For Learning A Language

Quick Review

2.7 

Summary:

Mondly is a below average online language learning resource in my opinion. It does some things right and other things poorly. It’s pretty cheap, and a decent enough crash course that could help you before a trip abroad. Still, it wouldn’t be my first choice.

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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Talk To Me In Korean Review – Good But Not Enough By Itself

Quick Review

4

Summary:

Talk To Me In Korean (TTMIK) offers audio, video and text materials for Korean learners of all abilities. They have a variety of free and paid courses available. The main course is well laid out and the supplementary lessons are all great quality offering some really fun and interesting ways to learn. However, there aren’t many ways to practice what you’ve learned, as such, it’d be best used alongside other resources and not as a standalone course.

Quality

The video lessons have high production value and can be fun to watch.

Thoroughness

Not enough material or opportunities to practice to only rely on TTMIK.

Value

A ton of free content!

Price

Most of the content is free to access. They also have a variety of paid books, audio and video courses with a range of prices.

Books: From $12 – $38 (packages also available)
eBooks: $10 each
Audio lessons: From $7 – $13
Video lessons: From $5 – $25 (some need books)

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