The Korean-English Learners' Dictionary

Gabriel Tan

Gabriel Tan

Jul 7 2021


3 min read

This post is a part of the How to Learn Korean series:

1. How To Learn Korean Part 1: The Basics
2. The Korean-English Learners' Dictionary
3. italki - Online Language Lessons Without Commitment

When you're learning a language, dictionaries help you out a lot by showing you a word's definitions, example sentences, and other useful information. If you're just starting out in Korean, you might not have a go-to dictionary yet. I'd like to introduce you to my favourite dictionary for Korean learners, and show you some of its key features. Let's get started!

The Korean-English Learners' Dictionary

The Korean-English Learners' Dictionary Homepage

This dictionary is possibly the best learning tool that you will have in the early stages of learning Korean. Other than providing you with definitions of words, it also provides you with the correct pronunciation for word compounds and plenty of example sentences and phrases. I found those to be really helpful, especially since Korean pronunciation can be so unintuitive at times. For example, 깻잎 is pronounced as 깬닙. I definitely didn't get that right the first time round 😂

Searching for a word

Search page

You can search for either a Korean word or an English word, which will result in a page of words that start with your search query.

The search result page is full of information! Let's try to break it down.

Search Explanation

As you can see, just by searching for a term, we can glean lots of information immediately just from reading the search entry.

In each search entry, you'll also see a very succinct English translation, followed by its Korean definition, and then further followed by a more lengthy English explanation. If you only see the English translations, it's most likely the case that your "View Mode" (set on the right side of the page) is set to only English.

The first English translation is the canonical translation of the term, but many times, this is not sufficient. There are many nuances in Korean that are different from those in English, and the most succinct translation usually fails to capture that.

For an example, if you take a look at this definition, you can see that the English translations are more or less the same, but the contexts in which they should be used are different.

Search multiple definitions

As such, the more lengthy explanations are very useful, and should be what you look at when searching this dictionary.

Word Details

Word Details

Once you enter into the details page for a word, you'll see a bit more information.

You'll see example phrases and sentences, as well as any images or videos that help to explain the term better. These example phrases and sentences are very helpful in helping you understand what contexts in which the word should be used in. The example sentences are much simpler than example sentences in other dictionaries (e.g. Naver Dictionary, Daum Dictionary), which make it less daunting for you to read them. Furthermore, if a word has multiple meanings, each meaning will have its own set of examples, which can help you to learn the differences better. 😎

Moving On

Now, you're a pro at navigating the Korean-English learner's dictionary! 🎉

This tool should be a staple in your learning journey. The only downside that it has is that it is quite a bit slower in terms of loading speed as compared to the larger dictionaries. However, due to how much value it provides, I find myself returning to this dictionary all the time.

When you feel more confident, feel free to use the K-K dictionary instead! Eventually, I'd like to make a post about transitioning to using K-K dictionaries, and whether it has been helpful or not.

That's all for now, and enjoy your Korean learning journey!


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