Interested in learning Korean, but not sure if the textbooks are worth it? Are workbooks not really compatible with your learning style?
Well, in a world full of smartphones it seems like there is an app for everything! There are even apps for learning Korean.
In this blog we hope to suggest some apps you can download onto your smartphone or tablet to learn Korean on the go.
All the following apps in this blog should be compatible with both iOS and Android users.
Teuida is a Korean learning app that is speaking based. The creators believe that the best way to learn Korean is to actually get practice speaking.
Each lesson is a video of a real-life conversation. In each video there a series of phrases to learn! There are also a wide array of topics to pick from.
On the screen you can see the responses in Hangul, English translations and the romanized wording.
There are even videos where it feels like you are having a conversation with Kpop idol Nancy from Momoland!
There are a subset of lessons in the free version but you will need to upgrade to unlock all of the lessons. To upgrade to the premium plan the rate is ~$10.00 USD/month.
In terms of learning languages, Duolingo seems to be a big name.
There are 35+ languages part of this platform so if you are interested in learning Korean along with another language, you are able to! Familiar users may know that Duolingo is accessible online and via app as long as you set up a profile.
When you first log into the app there are a series of introductory questions like why are you interested in learning Korean, and your comfort level (Beginner or Intermediate).
If you are coming in with previous knowledge, the program will take you into an “assessment” to determine how to set up your lessons.
The game-like lessons are short and make learning Korean fun.
The types of activities in each lesson are matching vowels/consonants to the romanized pronunciation, translating words, building sentences, and more.
There are some questions where you listen to an audio clip and match to a word, but if you are unable to listen to sound you can delay these problems until you find a pair of headphones or re-situated to an area where you can freely listen to sound .
The free version does have ads, but they are not very long and do not hinder with learning.
The main downside of the free version is that you are limited to five hearts and hearts take five hours to refill.
You have the option to upgrade to Duolingo plus (~$10 USD/month), where there are unlimited hearts. However short snippets of Korean learning, the free version is great!
HelloTalk is also a platform with multiple language (150+) options.
Something different about the app HelloTalk is that it feels more like social media than a language learning app.
Not only can the focus of learning be on language, but culture as well.
You can practice speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills by chatting with other native speakers.
You can practice writing and reading by messaging with a native speaker, or if you prefer to hone your speaking skills you can use voice messages or calls.
One downside could be that your learning is only as good as the people you chat with.
But not to worry, there are plenty of people using this platform so it is likely that you’ll meet some helpful people.
There is also a game-based learning option available but the format is similar to Learn Korean language by Drops (more details later in this post).
There is also a premium version, but the free version is sufficient and definitely provides enough content to learn Korean through communication.
Memrise is another general language learning platform with Korean as an option.
There is also a browser version that seems to have more features than the app itself.
This app, as opposed to the others, is best if you’re interested in learning words and shorter phrases.
The premise of Memrise is based on learning by repetition so if you like flashcards, this app is the one for you!
You can learn off existing flashcards on Memrise's database, or create your own with pictures.
A handy feature of the app is the “Explore” feature that lets you point at an object and the translation of that object will appear!
You can even capture the object and save it so you can refer back to it.
What also I like about Memrise is that you can set goals for how many terms you would like to learn per day.
There is a combination of text, audio, and sometimes video that cater to different learning styles.
There is a premium version of this app (~$9 USD/month), but there is plenty of content in the free version to keep you busy.
EGGBUN: LEARN KOREAN FUN
Eggbun: Learn Korean Fun is a fun and cute app to learn Korean!
The whole app is dedicated to learning Korean. You learn alongside a character named Lanny via chat! Lanny is considered to be your “chatbox tutor.”
You can practice speaking, reading, listening, and writing in this app.
This app interface is one of my favorites since it feels more like a picture book than a language learning app.
Each lesson is held over “chat” so the lessons are not very long and utilize various styles like typing out letters and phrases. Because the lesson are chat based, the learning focus is conversation
Eggbun also has a culture section that is very fun.
There are short articles on commenting on different parts of Korean culture in a similar style to our blog posts.
Unfortunately with the free version you only have access to one lesson per chapter so you really would only be skimming the surface of the Korean language.
The subscription is ~$6 USD/month. Or if you are not interested in upgrading, this free version could be a fun supplement to other more accessible apps like Duolingo.
LEARN KOREAN LANGUAGE BY DROPS
Drops is another online platform with 32+ language options.
But there is a separate app for each language course, including Korean!
This app interface has a very sleek design, with simple graphics alongside the Korean text. If you are a visual learner, this app may be your best fit.
There are five minute game-like lessons where you learn a phrase in the Hangul and romanized version.
You can match words to pictures, and create words by combining syllables. You are able to select the topic you are interested in like food, K-pop, fashion, sports, etc.
Since the sessions in the free version refresh every ten hours it is more conducive to a slow-paced learning schedule, but hard-core learners can upgrade to the premium version, which gives you unlimited time and access (~$10 USD/month).
LEARN KOREAN! -HANGUL
This is a very simple app for learning Hangul.
No account is needed, once you open the app, you are taken straight to the homepage with the three levels.
Level 1 starts with vowels and Consonants, Level 2 is Compound Characters, and Level 3 is Final Consonants.
If you are interested in the composition of letters, this app is for you. It takes you through each stroke of writing Korean letters with the sounds.
However the free version is limited, so unfortunately for the full version you will have to pay (~$2.00 USD).
LingoDeer is another language learning app for reading, and writing.
Upon downloading the app you will need to specify the language of interest (Korean), and your comfort level (Beginner, or Intermediate).
This app is best for learning the foundations of Korean grammar and vocabulary.
There are a series of activities as lessons.
Examples of activities include, fill in the blank, listening, word-typing, and creating a sentence with given syllables. The activities have plenty of repetition so what you learn is sure to stick!
In the app there is also a section called “Stories” where you can reinforce the lessons you’ve learned via reading or speaking.
You listen to an audio clip and fill out comprehension questions like fill in the blank, true/false, and selecting the proper response.
What is nice about this app is that it allows you to “test out” of certain lessons.
If you are familiar with a concept and find some of the lessons boring, you can opt to test out.
Like the others, the free version has limitations, but you can upgrade with a subscription (~$12 USD/month).
Pimseur is a language learning app aimed to hone your speaking skills.
Whereas the other apps focus on writing, grammar, and vocabulary. There are not many apps like this one that are focused on speaking.
The lessons are 30 minute audio clips, you can listen to even while you are occupied with other things like driving.
On top of the lessons, there are supplemental materials like flashcards, quizzes, games, and reading material that goes more in-depth into the concepts.
There are series of phrases in Korean, with the translation and romanized text.
This option is the most expensive (~$20 USD/month), but reviews mention that this app is worthwhile since this app provides what most others lack!
NAVER KOREAN DICTIONARY
Naver is one of the primary search engines used by Koreans.
It is basically the Korean Google!
The Naver Korean Dictionary app is helpful if you need to translate words or phrases when needed.
This app is not lesson based, but there are sections geared to teach Korean.
Including a really cool feature called V Korean where you can get brief (~5 minutes) Korean lessons where the hosts use segments from Kdrama as examples.
We hope these apps will help you to speak Korean like a native!
Let us know if you have any other favorite apps to learn Korean.