Looking to learn some more Korean, but not happy with hitting the books? No problem. There are plenty of functional and FREE Korean learning apps available for every major operating system.
To save users the time of sifting through them, we here at 10 Magazine have singled out 10 of the best free Korean learning apps for Android and Apple. Enjoy!
Korean Learning Apps For Beginners
Duolingo is a simple, but useful app to learn over 20 languages; now including Korean! This app mainly focuses on fun games that are tailored to improve your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.
Users will start off by learning basic phrases, verbs, and sentences from a daily selection. Also, you may improve your vocabulary and grammar abilities by completing lessons and quizzes. With each lesson that is completed, you will be promoted to higher levels of learning.
The app is free, but it also features a “Plus” option that eliminates ads and allows users to access lessons without an Internet connection. Duolingo Plus costs 9.99 USD per month and subscriptions can be canceled at any time.
A beginners-only app, Popping Korean mainly illustrates the pronunciation of the Korean alphabet through audio and animated demonstrations of mouth and tongue position.
Though the content of the app is rather limited, the animations are clever and clear with the added bonus of having a cute monster theme!
A second section of the app titled “Rhythm Hangul” is unlikely to benefit most users; however, the “Secrets of Hangeul” section, though presented as a seeming afterthought, provides valuable information on the basis for the creation of Hangul and might help learners to solidify some of the concepts.
Korean Learning Apps For Novices
This app offers practical words and phrases neatly organized into categories such as Romance (“Can I have your number?”) and Shopping (“What kind of colors do you have?”).
For each piece of vocabulary, you’re given the usual Hangul/Romanized spellings and audio clip in addition to the option to listen to the audio at a slower speed or to record your own voice for comparison.
The app has both a free and paid version, but you can access the paid sections by viewing a five-second add. This one also is expanding steadily and offers the option to follow on Facebook and Twitter for updated categories.
The sweet and simple language learning app, this app is geared towards teaching you practical phrases and having you use them in everyday life. The content is very auditory-heavy,
with clear voice recordings of every phrase and prompts to repeat and record yourself.
Vocabulary and grammar lessons are combined together in units called “getting around”, “asking opinions”, and similar phrases. We loved the timer feature on the lesson quizzes, which added a competitive edge, as well as the option to download lessons offline.
Unfortunately, you need a group subscription to sign up with Mango Languages as they sell their service to larger educational institutions like universities, public libraries, and community centers. Check in with your local library or public school system to see if they are subscribed; if so, you now have access to 70+ languages on top of Korean.
If you’ve been studying Korean for any length of time, you’ve likely heard of the website Talk to Me in Korean (TTMIK) and the accompanying podcasts and pdfs.
The app is a must-have as well, bridging access to lessons from that site and allowing users to easily access grammar listening lessons and YouTube videos.
If you prefer to learn your Korean with a fair bit of English explanation, ample examples, and witty banter between presenters, TTMIK is a good option for you.
Korean Learning Apps For All Levels
Hello Talk is an app that matches you directly with people who are fluent in the language you want to learn and want to learn the language that you’re fluent in. For example if you were a fluent English speaker but wanted to learn Korean, you’d be matched with someone fluent in Korean and was looking to learn English. A German looking to learn Japanese would be linked to a Japanese person looking to hone their German, etc. etc.
It’s a simple enough concept to grasp and is much like the modernized version of old school pen pal programs.
It’s easy and convenient – since most of us have our phones on us throughout our day anyway. What’s more, it’s safe and non-committal – two components that millennials love.
Similar to the ($24.99) Anki, Memrise is a powerful and intelligent flash card system that allows users to submit their own vocabulary decks. This means, you can download hundreds of vocab lessons for free from TOPIK prep books, native-speaker slang indexes, or Sogang and Yonsei University compatible curriculum for FREE.
The app goes through vocabulary units using mix-and-match games, auditory quizzes, spelling challenges, and definition prompts so that the word is implanted in every part of you brain.
In addition to the content, cute, little seedling emoticon pops up in the corner during review sessions, and blooms into a purple daisy when you have finally mastered a word.
For those interested in taking the actual TOPIK exam, this app presents you with a real previous version of the test split into the former beginner, intermediate, and advanced test levels.
Within each, you can practice the four sections of Vocabulary and Grammar, Writing, Listening (requires downloading extra files), and Reading by clicking on the appropriate answers. For some, seeing and trying just this one version of the test might be useful enough.
If you want continued practice, the app’s designer also offers a cheaply priced TOPIK test app for each of the three ability levels, allowing the user to access 15 more previous version of the test.
“Dongsa” means “verb” in Korean, and that is exactly what this app focuses on. This tool is all about conjugation: put in the verb stem and you’re given every imaginable form, from high to low, for regular, irregular, common and obscure.
If you do a fair bit of writing practice or are studying for a test that demands proper form for each occasion, this is sure to be a simple and handy app.
10. Korean Grammar Haja (Android Only)
Throw out that 10lb brick of a grammar book, this application is as information dense and comprehensive in their explanations as a Grammar In Use, but splits the units into bite-size, smart phone-friendly units.
Each units introduces itself with what the new particle/phrase will help you accomplish; for example, “express regret”, and then moves into explanations, exceptions, and practical sentence examples.
Cherry-pick specific verb-endings you’d like to learn or progress in order through the lessons, the app lets you decide your study plan and organization.
There are many other applications out there, these ones we chose as they are reliable, easy to use, and give a good “bang for the buck” (offering many lessons before in-app purchase or being totally free!) These are all study apps meant to compliment Korean languages studies in the classroom and everyday setting.
In any case, there are more Korean learning apps and Hangul-based offerings in the mobile world now than ever before, and many of them require minimal time commitment for each use. If you’ve been making excuses not to learn Korean, now is the perfect time to download and start learning.