Jul 3 2021·
5 min read
Last modified: 3rd July 2021
I know it might not be easy to gather Korean learning resources - especially once you reach the intermediate levels. That's why I created this Korean Learning Resources Master List, which will hopefully provide everyone of all levels with the appropriate learning materials. My aim is to periodically update this list with more and better tools.
Feel free to contribute in the comments section, or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
These are resources that you'll find useful if you're starting out and know only a little amount of vocabulary and grammar.
This dictionary is really helpful, and I still use this quite a fair bit. Other than providing you with a translation, it also gives you a more descriptive explanation, which tries to follow the Korean explanation. On top of that, they also provide you with many example phrases and sentences when you go into each definition page. My only gripe with this tool is that their servers are not very powerful, which can lead to slow load times occasionally.
Have you really searched for "How to learn Korean" without chancing upon this site? 😂 Jokes aside, TTMIK has been helping people learn Korean in a fun way over many years. I find their audio lessons a bit slow, but you may find it useful if it suits your learning style. Some of their more useful resources are now locked behind a paywall, but the free materials can still be pretty helpful in the early stages.
The very aptly named "How to study Korean" aims to be a one-stop portal for all matters Korean from pronunciation and the very basics to pretty advanced grammatical lessons. I used this site extensively earlier on, but I found it to be quite dry after some time. Each lesson here contains a vocabulary list, an explanation of some grammar, and many example sentences together with audio recordings. In my opinion, you can get a pretty solid foundation from this site and recommend it strongly.
These resources will be useful to you once you can at least read 한글 without much difficulty and know at least basic grammar and a good chunk of vocabulary.
Webtoons are essentially web comics and can be really interesting! It might be somewhat tough to understand initially, as slang, curse words, and slurred words appear somewhat frequently. That being said, you're never going to become fluent by reading textbooks so why not enjoy some light-hearted comics while you're learning?
Here are some of my recommendations, although I don't read webtoons that much:
This is the only webtoon that I've read through until the end, and I really enjoyed it. This series is rather easy to follow, and each episode is relatively short.
It got popular enough that it got a web drama adaptation, which got me into this series. This series contains a lot of highschool slang, so if you are trying to sound like a highschool girl you could pick up some useful phrases from here.
A formerly (conventionally) ugly girl becomes a goddess due to the power of makeup. 🤔 It's quite interesting.
Web Drama series tend to be romance-themed, and each episode runs from 5 to 20 minutes usually. Some of them can have pretty bad acting, but you can think of it like very light-hearted content that isn't meant to be analyzed deeply. I prefer watching these over actual K-Dramas because each episode is substantially shorter. Plus, most of them have Korean subtitles by default, which is great for learning. Also, some of them can have pretty... interesting themes. And some of them can just be advertisements. I actually watched a web drama series which was just an advertisement for Subway. 😂
For YouTube channels, there are probably way too many to count. There are some pretty good channels if you look around. Best of all, they're all free!
Some of my favourite channels and web dramas:
This is a web drama channel, but each episode can be viewed independently of each other. However, once you get to know the cast and their relationships well, rewatching episodes can be really fun too. Their videos are so good, and they are really funny! They also have Korean subtitles for all their videos, so that's a plus point.
This channel mostly has vlogs of Claire and her 10 cats. Her fun personality and her adorable 10 cats will keep your eyes glued to the screen. Also, there are Korean subtitles!
I like to play games, and I attribute my Japanese fluency to the abundance of Japanese games out there that I played. However, I feel like there aren't as many games that support Korean and have a good amount of easy-to-understand text. That being said, there are still quite a few games that I can recommend if you prefer interactive ways of learning. I definitely think being able to play a game in Korean tests your comprehension more than anything else, because your clues to advancing in the game lies solely on your ability to comprehend the instructions that the game gives you.
It's a pretty old game, but it's still good. The game revolves around a lawyer in Japan who needs to defend his clients, who are usually charged with heinous crimes like murder. The original game came out in Japan, but it has received a Korean localization, which seems to be pretty good. My only gripe is that it is not voiced 😔
Yet another game that was localized from Japan. It's a pretty good JRPG.
-- To be continued --
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