Best App to Learn Korean

This year everyone has suddenly found they’re spending a lot more time at home. Why not take advantage of this and start learning Korean with language learning apps? When the dust settles on these uncertain times, you can travel, and book a trip to Seoul and show off your new language skills. 

Language apps are a fun and engaging way to learn Korean, and they’re especially helpful if you’re not a fan of the traditional textbook approach of learning languages often found in courses and other Korean learning programs.

In this post we list the best apps to learn Korean. Some apps teach many languages, while others are specifically designed for those learning Korean. Most apps on this list are free with optional or bonus paid features.

Enjoy! 

Koreanclass101

Koreanclass101 is a language learning app that teaches you Korean through lessons in the form of a podcast. It's one of the best Korean learning apps available. Each lesson features a Korean conversation between two native speakers, and two English speaking hosts who help teach  you the important grammar and vocabulary behind each conversation. 

The conversations are centered around real life situations, so you’ll learn Korean that you can use on a daily basis. The hosts also do a great job of sharing interesting cultural insights, and keeping the learning fun and engaging.

In addition to the podcast episodes, Koreanclass101 also features other resources such as a Korean-English dictionary, phrase lists, pronunciation training, video lessons, listening comprehension exercises, guides on how to write & read Korean, and more!

To access all of the podcast lessons you will need a paid premium account (which starts at $4 per month). However Koreanclass101 also offers a free lifetime account, which gives you access to some podcast episodes, many of the bonus resources, and a free monthly prize pack of downloadable pdfs, video lessons, and more. Koreanclass101 is one of the most effective and comprehensive Korean learning apps.

Whether you want to learn vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, or improve your listening skills, the app will have a lesson for you.

Pimsleur Korean

Pimsleur Korean is an audio based Korean course that teaches you how to speak conversationally. Every lesson on the app is geared toward training your brain to think and respond in Korean. Pimsleur uses a unique question-recall-response technique, to teach you the language. Each lesson teaches you a series of Korean phrases. You're then prompted to answer and ask questions in Korean. There is a time limit for you to reply, before the correct answer is given. This method gives you the same learning experience you would have while talking with a native Korean speaker.

The Pimsleur app contains five course levels which range from beginner to intermediate. When you finish all five levels on the app, you will be able to hold basic conversations in the Korean language. In fact Pimsleur is one of the few Korean learning apps that gets users speaking Korean from day one.

The app also features a reading portion, where you will learn how to read the Korean alphabet. Pimsleur first teaches users how to read Korean phonetically, and then gradually begins incorporating words and phrases from previous audio lessons into the reading lessons. Pimsleur offers one week of full access to all of their Korean courses for new users. 

FluentU

FluentU uses native Korean videos and interactive subtitles to teach you Korean through digital immersion. The videos come from across the web and feature snippets from K-dramas, Korean news, commercials, music, and the good ol’ random internet video. Videos are sorted according to difficulty levels, so you should easily find something that's appropriate for you.

The interactive subtitles allow you to look up words in real time. You simply click a word from the subtitles to pause the video and look at the word’s definition as well as example sentences. You can also add new words to a personalized flashcard to review later. There’s even a quiz section to reinforce what you’ve learned. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in native Korean, then look no further than FluentU. 

Italki

Italki is one of my favorite apps to learn Korean because it gives you access to private lessons with a real Korean teacher. Italki is essentially an online marketplace where language learners can browse the profiles of language teachers from around the world. When you find a teacher you like you can send them a message, and book a paid one on one lesson with them. 

The lessons happen on a video chat, and teachers can share learning materials such as video, audio, pdf textbooks, and more. 

Italki also has a lot of free community resources including a language learning blog written by teachers, a student forum where language learners can help each other, and a public journal -where you can write entries in Korean and get them corrected by a native speaker. You can also search through the profiels of Italki's other users for a Korean speaker learning English and set up a language exchange.

Learning one on one with a teacher is probably the best way to learn the language you want, Making Italki one of the best options for learning the Korean language.

*After a purchase of $20 or more, 10 Free Italki credits will be added to your account after you complete your first lesson.

Duolingo 

Duolingo is perhaps the most popular language learning app. While Duolingo has been shown to be an effective way to learn languages such as Spanish, French, and other languages closely related to English; the app struggles a little when teaching Korean. 

Korean grammar differs greatly from English, and this isn’t well represented in Duolingo. Foundational phrases and grammar are taught well enough. But once you move past the basics, things get more difficult. The nuances of Korean grammar aren’t really covered in Duolingo, and more advanced students sometimes complain that they feel like they’re guessing what a particular phrase means. Duolingo courses use a building block approach to teach languages, but with Korean the method doesn't quite hit the mark. Reviews for the app among users who are learning Korean are mixed.

If you’re a beginner Duolingo is still a valuable app to get your feet wet in Korean (it's also very easy to use). Duolingo is available for Android in the Google Play store, as well as the Apple store. There is a free version (with ads), as well as a paid premium version.

TenguGo Hangul

TenguGo Hangul is a one stop shop for learning the Korean alphabet. This free Korean app doesn’t teach you how to speak the language, but it is great at teaching how to read and pronounce Korean letters (which is a huge asset to anyone learning Korean)

The app features audio and even animations to help you the learner find the correct tongue position for Korean pronunciation. TenguGo Hangul also has a section in the app called rhythm hangul.

KORLINK by Talk to Me in Korean

This app features content from the popular Korean learning site Talk to Me in Korean. The app features grammar lessons and video content from the site so you can easily study Korean on the go. Even if you don't check out the Korlink app, Talk to Me in Korean is a valuable language learning site, worth looking at it.

Anki

Anki is a free open sourced spaced repetition flashcard app available for both iOS and Android. Anki allows you to build your own flashcard decks using video, an audio clip, text, your own recordings, and pretty much any other type of media you can think of. While Anki is not always easy to use (customizing your card can get technical) , it is probably the most powerful flashcard app you will find anywhere. 


Some people use Anki to import screenshots and subtitles from their favorite K-dramas to learn Korean words. In terms of reviewing the vocabulary and grammar you've already learned, Anki is one of the most powerful apps on this list.

HelloTalk

HelloTalk is a bonafide language exchange in mobile app form. On HelloTalk you can connect with Native Korean speakers who are learning English, so that you can practice each other’s languages together. You can practice with your language partners through video, audio, or text chat. HelloTalk also provides in-app resources to aid the learning process. These include a built in sentence corrector, translator, and a transliteration feature. 

Dongsa

Dongsa is unique compared to Korean learning apps. The name Dongsa is an English transliteration of the Korean word for “verb”. As the name suggests, Dongsa is an entire app dedicated to Korean verbs. If you studied Korean at all, you’re aware that Korean verbs are conjugated (meaning they change form based on who or what is performing the action). Conjugation is a difficult concept for most native English speakers, but Dongsa makes it easy to practice, review, and master Korean verb conjugations. The app teaches a huge selection of verbs, ranging from the most common verbs to others that are rarely used. 

Lingodeer

Lingodeer is on of the few language apps that goes the extra mile to teach grammar. The app has multiple levels. The first level focuses on the Korean alphabet and pronunciation. After that the app transitions into teaching vocabulary words alongside grammar explanations. Lingodeer also gives users the chance to review what they've learn with quizzes. Lingodeer is available as a free app with optional paid features. Users learning Korean, say that Lingodeer is more effective than many other popular apps.

Drops

Drops is a new member of the ever growing family of learning apps. The goal of Drops is to make learning languages feel so much like a game, that you don't realize you're learning while using the app. Drops exclusively teaches vocabulary, focusing on essential words and phrases. The app is designed around quick five minute sessions. Each session teaches words and phrases related to travel.

Drops is one of the most beautifully designed Korean learning apps on this list. The team behind the app have put a lot of effort into providing the best visual learning experience possible. If you complete Drops you won't be fluent in Korean, but you will a foundational knowledge of travel related vocabulary.

Learn Korean by Bravo Language

Learn Korean is a vocabulary app that teaches basic Korean phrases. The app matches pictures with audio recordings and text written in Hangul as was as Romanized spellings. Like most learning apps, Learn Korean is free to use and offers premium contend and feature you must pay to unlock.

Korean Grammar Haja

While most Korean apps skimp on grammar and mostly teach vocabulary, this is the tool to help answer all of your Korean grammar related questions. Korean Grammar Haja is essentially a free Korean grammar course in the form an app. Korean Grammar Haja is broken up into units, each of which focuses on a specific aspect of Korea grammar.

Google Translate


If you want to learn Korean, sooner or later you will need to translate something. That's where Google Translate comes in. this app offers a quick and convenient way to translate the Korean language into English or vice versa. The app works much better when translating single words, or short phrases. The longer the text you translate, the more prone it will be to making mistakes. While it's not a Korean learning app per se, this app is a valuable tool whether you want to read and write, or simply speak Korean


Rosetta Stone

If you want to learn Korean, odds are you've already thought of this popular language learning course. Once only available on CD-ROM, you can now download it as an app to improve your Korean. Rosetta Stone's immersion based method was designed to teach Spanish, and other languages closely related to English. As with other general language learning apps on this list, it struggles with the Korean language. There's not a lot of grammar explanations or definitions given here, but you will learn basic Korean vocabulary. This app is beginner friendly and is very easy to use.

There are a lot of Korean learning apps out there. While some apps are better than others, ultimately the best app is the one you use. The only way you'll learn Korean is by buckling down and practicing it (preferably everyday). Try a few of the apps on this list. In the end the best app to learn Korean is the one that best meets your learning needs. With a bit of patience and determination you can become fluent in Korean. Don't forget to have fun and enjoy learning a new language. 

About the Author Anthony

Coffee drinker, language learner, habitual traveler, taking life one beautiful day at a time.

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