Best Apps to Learn Korean at Your Pace

NAVER Korean Dictionary

The first app you should get is the Naver dictionary. This is the Korean dictionary for Korean learners. If you already use the Naver dictionary on the desktop, it’s mostly the same experience but you can take it wherever you go. It has definitions for words in English and Korean. It has word origins, pronunciations, examples, sentences, etc.

This is especially useful for things like slang words. A lot of times slang words that haven’t been added to the actual dictionary yet will be in this open dictionary because people will put their own definitions to it. Once you properly understand the Korean language and know how it’s used, then you can start to understand the underlying nuances of words, and why they’re translated the way they are.

Overall though I think this is a really wonderful way to study Korean. You can also use this app while watching TV shows in the Korean language while writing a whole list of words that you don’t know or found difficult. You can use this dictionary application to study all of those and to save them in word cards and to study them again.

Tandem and HelloTalk

These apps are great for practicing real Korean with real native speakers. You can make as few or as many friends as you want and talk to them whenever and however often you want to. If you’re planning to ever go to Korea, these apps are especially useful because you can make friends who you can meet when you go there. 

Some people do use those apps for dating as well but just keep that in mind you can still definitely use them for language exchange. Once you’ve actually made some friends on that app ask them to move over to KakaoTalk because the app works a lot faster and there are no ads. Now, there are more language exchange apps too like Lingbe which allows you to call other people as well as many other apps and they all serve overall the same purpose.

Write It! Korean

Write Korean, it is exactly that we are going to be writing in Korean. With this writing recognition app, you can practice writing the Korean language. The letters are divided into lessons and it gets harder as you move on. You can practice as many times as you want and then you can test your skills as you progress. It also teaches you the proper writing stroke, so you know that you are writing it correctly.

Infinite Korean

This one is more game-like. It’s really fun to do in your free time. It is divided into different lessons and different levels so what you do is listen to what it says and then pick the correct answer or read the Korean writing and pick the correct answer. It gets faster the harder it gets. As you go, you are able to unlock different topics like numbers, animals. This app is just fun to do maybe on your commute.

90 Day Korean

90 day Korean has a paid program, but this is a free app that’s more supplemental, and it has a bunch of answers to the questions you may have. Thus, for example, you can learn, “How to say Goodbye” in Korean by watching a short video explaining to you in-depth, “How to say Goodbye” and it’ll give you proper pronunciation as well. And then after the video, if you want, you will be able to read an article that goes thoroughly and it’ll just reassure what you just learned.

Teuida

The main focus of this app is actually to get you speaking straight away. It has a built-in AI that can analyze your pronunciation and rate It so that you can then improve in practically no time.

You can download and trial out the app for free but with a monthly subscription fee, you can actually unlock all the lessons. The app is priced reasonably well for everything that it offers considering how you get to practice your Korean this many times a month and also the lessons get updated regularly.

Essentially, you have all the material broken down into levels and each of the levels is then broken down into certain topics and within those little topics, you get to have a simulation of a real-life conversation. You can have a sort of conversation with famous Korean actors and singers.

It’ll teach you what to say in particular situations and work on your pronunciation. And if there was anything you were confused about while talking, the app has little mini-lessons at the end that goes much more in-depth and give you explanations on what you just talked about. 

The app generally is catered to more of like a Beginner/intermediate learner. This will be a very good stepping stone for you to gain more confidence, to just be able to go out there, have a simple conversation, and not worry about making mistakes or sounding natural or just any of that unimportant stuff.

KORLINK by Talk To Me In Korean

Talk to me in Korean is already a famous Korean learning tool. It was initially a website. it is still a website but they have made an app that can be very helpful to access all their TTMIK pdfs, videos, and audio files. There are simply so many resources out of any Korean learning apps that are out there. The app will teach you the Korean typing mode which is very helpful for anybody who is having trouble learning how to type in Korean. 

There’s also a lot of good helpful English explanations. It is helpful for pronunciations because the app breaks down each pronunciation and it’s good for people who want a lot of English explanations while they’re learning Korean.

The only downside is that sometimes people who use the app say that the hosts in the video may be too upbeat which could be good for people who like upbeat kinds of videos but sometimes they want just a chill moody vibe to study.

PODBBANG (팟빵)

This is a podcast app for learning Korean. Now, you might be wondering why you should need a podcast app because that’s not really for studying Korean, it’s for practicing Korean. It gives you lots of exposure to the Korean language and it’s all completely natural Korean. 

Podcasts can even be just as good if not better than even watching a variety show because their speaking will be very clear and easy to understand compared to watching a drama. The other nice thing about listening to podcasts is something that you can do while you’re busy doing other things. So, while you’re exercising or even driving to work, you can listen to it.

Is Duolingo good for Korean?

The total review for Duolingo from the users are not as satisfied with this app compared to other Korean learning apps.  It is said that Duolingo just throws a bunch of vocabulary to memorize and there is not a good build-up of basic Korean foundation which could be disappointing for a lot of beginners. Moreover, the pace for the words when you go through them in the app can go really fast which means that they don’t give you enough time to compute the words into your brain.

Duolingo is not a good place to be if you want to improve your pronunciation but it’s a great resource to learn the basic alphabets as well as basic words.

Overall, Duolingo is a great app but it originally meant for languages such as Spanish and French. For languages such as Korean, I’m not sure if this is the app that you should use to really improve your Korean.

Is LingoDeer or Drops good for Korean?

LingoDeer and Drops both are great apps for learning languages. The lessons are fun and of decent quality. They also come with audio recordings, practice quizzes, and you can even review vocabulary within the apps. On the other side, they can be very expensive. LingoDeer, for example, is $99 for a lifetime membership currently, and with that amount of money you could just buy a whole textbook series. Now I’m not going to go into the details of all of these apps but I think that they have similar pros and cons.

For example, their grammar lessons are usually quite lacking. You also can’t able to try a lot of the things that you want to check out because so many features are locked by a paid membership. I don’t mean to trash these apps, if you’re enjoying them please keep using them, they’re not hurting you. I just don’t think that they’re worth the price.