Education

10 Best Korean Learning Apps for Beginners

Learning a new language can be overwhelming and time-consuming. It is overwhelming because there is so much to learn and so many possible resources to learn from. It can be time-consuming because, once again, there is so much to learn and it takes lots of time to go through resources and figure out which ones are right for you.

If you found this page it is probably because you are interested in learning Korean from an app. Apps can be great resources for language learning because they are mobile, interactive, and fun. But, not every app is a quality app, and that is where this blog comes in. I have been learning Korean for over 5 years now and have tried dozens of apps. I found these 10 apps to be the highest quality, most informative, and most enjoyable apps available on the App Store or Play Store.

1. Best App for Mastering Verb & Adjective Conjugations – Konju

If you struggle with verb endings and politeness levels, this is the app for you.

One of the things you will discover when learning Korean is that Korean grammar is very different from English grammar. This makes grammar one of the most challenging parts of learning Korean for some people. While there are many websites and textbooks available for learning Korean grammar, there are very few apps that focus on it. That is where Konju comes in.

Konju’s founder, a student of Korean himself, actually built a verb conjugation app for his own personal use because he couldn’t find any tools available. After learning that many Korean learners would also be interested, Konju was born. The app is new, and it does what no other Korean app does – focus purely on verbs, adjectives and their conjugations which is the single most important part of learning Korean.

Konju offers fun conjugation practice quizzes where you can choose to study any combination of tense, formality level and meaning you want! If you struggle with Korean grammar or just need to learn it, try this app out.

Features:

  • Fun to use with great asthetics
  • Learn new verb vocabulary
  • Practice mode for review of what you learned

Korean Level: beginner, intermediate
Price – free, $4.99/month
App Design: Great

Possible Cons:

  • Sole focus on Korean conjugations

2. Best Korean Dictionary – Naver Dictionary

First up on our list is an app that I use daily. It is my go-to app to look up a Korean word or learn some fun new vocabulary. This app offers a plethora of features that are constantly being added onto. Naver Dictionary is primarily a dictionary app, but it also has features such as translation (Papago), vocab of the day, idiom of the day, wordbook (a place where you can save vocab for later review), Accetia (listen to Koreans pronounce Korean words), TOPIK vocabulary, Korean food explanations and much more.

I consider this app a must for all Korean learners. It is helpful in so many situations and the translations are as accurate as it gets.

Features:

  • TOPIK Wordbook
  • Daily Korean-English Conversation
  • Accentia
  • Papago
  • Learn Korean with drama clips
  • Today’s word
  • Audio clips
  • Today’s Korean clip
  • Dictionary
  • Wordbook
  • Hanja Dictionary

Korean Level: For all levels
Price: Completely free
App Design: Great

Possible Cons:

  • Have to log in with Naver
  • Some features can be hard to find
  • Quantity of features can be overwhelming

3. Best App to Practice Korean with Native Speakers – HelloTalk

HelloTalk is a well-known app among all language learners. Its primary goal is to connect language learners all around the world. It is set up as a social media platform where people post pictures, comment on others’ posts, and friend each other. People usually post in the target language they are learning and those who are native in that language will comment and fix any mistakes they might have made.

This app is a great way to make language exchange friends. It is also a great way to get instant feedback on your language skills and ask any questions you might have about the language. If you are a social person who gets energy from and motivation from others, try this app out.

Features:

  • Chat with fellow learners
  • Language exchange
  • Post questions and have them answered quickly
  • Make friends from around the world
  • Enter live chats to practice Korean

Korean Level: For all levels
Price: Basic features are free, subscribe for $12.99/month
App Design: Great

Possible Cons:

  • Often used for dating
  • Can be a waste of time if not careful

4. Best App for K-pop & K-drama Fans – FluentU

This is the app for all of my K-pop and K-drama fans out there. FluentU takes K-pop music videos, K-drama clips, youtube videos, and Korean TV clips and adds Korean subtitles to them. This method allows users to connect words with the sounds they are hearing. The user can then click on words they don’t know to get definitions and save them for future review.

Videos can also be saved for later and reviewed until the user can understand the whole video without the help of subtitles. Saved words can be reviewed and memorized later with the help of a vocab test. If you are someone who is a visual learner and needs to see words written out to memorize them, this is a great app for you.

Features:

  • Watch videos to learn Korean
  • Kpop music videos, kdrama clips, etc.
  • Easy lookup of unfamiliar words
  • Add words to wordbook to practice later
  • Vocab test

Korean Level: Upper beginner, intermediate, advanced
Price: $29.99/month
App Design: Decent

Possible Cons:

  • Can’t do anything without a subscription

5. Best App for Improving Reading & Listening – LingQ

The LingQ app focuses on improving users’ reading and listening skills. Like Fluent U, LingQ provides subtitles for the audio. You can then click on words you don’t know and save them to a Wordbook to be reviewed later. The app provides a selection of books, podcasts, audio stories, and news to learn from. LingQ is for anyone looking to improve their reading, listening, and vocabulary skills.

Features:

  • Listen to audio and read Korean subtitles
  • Mark words to save for future review
  • See definitions of words you don’t know
  • Audio clips, podcasts, books, news
  • Challenges
  • Grammar guide
  • Review game

Korean Level: Upper beginner, intermediate, advanced
Price: $12.99/month
App Design: Decent

Possible Cons:

  • Limit on saved vocabulary without a subscription

6. Best App to Chat with Locals – Hilokal

Hilokal is 100% focused on speaking and helps you connect with native Koreans through language lessons or group chats. Every day there are hundreds of chat rooms on a variety of topics. The chatrooms are organized by language and skill level. You can either choose to join one of these chat rooms and talk about a determined topic, or you can create your own chat room. Some chatrooms are led by Korean teachers and others by regular users.

If you are looking for a formal Korean lesson, this app is for you and if you are looking for a casual talk in Korean, this app is also for you. Hilokal is a great way to make Korean friends and practice your speaking skills. Speaking can often be one of the most difficult things for people learning Korean who live outside of Korea to practice. This app does a great job of providing learners outside of Korea with real-world Korean-speaking opportunities.

Features:

  • Befriend people
  • Join chat rooms
  • Create your own chat room
  • Free Korean lessons with Korean teachers
  • Teach your native language
  • Written Korean lessons

Korean Level: All levels
Price: Mostly free, $2.99/month
App Design: Great

Possible Cons:

  • Ads without subscription
  • The platform is still new so there may be times when chat rooms are scarce

7. Best App for Bite Size Vocabulary Practice – Drops

Drops focuses solely on vocabulary. On the app, you can find hundreds of sets of vocabulary words all centered around a different topic. Topics include anything from food to travel to politics. After choosing a set, the app starts a practice segment that lasts 5 minutes. The practice segment is fun, engaging, and effective in encouraging vocabulary memorization.

At the end of a segment, you can save the set you chose for future review, or move on to another set. This app is great for building vocabulary on almost any topic. If you need to boost your vocabulary or are looking to learn vocabulary based on your interests then this is the app for you.

Features:

  • Vocabulary practice
  • Hundreds of sets of vocabulary words
  • Challenges

Korean Level: All levels
Price – 59.99/year
App Design: Great

Possible Cons:

  • Limited access to most vocab sets without a subscription
  • Focuses only on vocabulary

8. Best Unique Teaching Style – Eggbun

While you may start to use Eggbun to learn Korean, you will definitely continue to use it for the cuteness of its mascot, Lanny. This app is different from other apps teaching methods in that it uses text-like conversations with its mascot, Lanny, to teach Korean. To begin learning, you pick a lesson you want to learn and then you are entered into a chatroom with you and Lanny. While chatting, Lanny teaches you the lesson you selected.

While I like Eggbun for the cuteness factor, I also like it because it has unique lessons that aren’t commonly found in other apps like Korean onomatopoeia, Hanja, and Korean idioms. If you like cute characters, are looking to learn material not commonly found in other apps, or love texting, try Eggbun out!

Features:

  • Korean lessons
  • Lesson quizzes
  • Culture lessons
  • Less common topics
  • Join classes to learn in a group
  • Chat online with fellow learners

Korean Level: All levels
Price: $14.99/month
App Design: Great

Possible Cons:

  • Limited access without a subscription
  • Heavy on reading
  • Mostly used by beginner learners

9. Best App for Speaking Practice – Teuida

Teuida takes a unique approach to teaching Korean that you can’t find in other apps. Teuida teaches Korean by putting learners in real-life conversations where they are required to speak to progress through each lesson. Each lesson is a video story that the learner is an active participant in.

After the lesson, the user can take a quiz to review what they have learned. This app is engaging and creative in the way it teaches Korean. If you are looking for an app that will give you speaking practice and focus on real-life conversation, then try Teuida out.

Features:

  • Learn with interactive videos
  • Pronunciation analysis
  • Speaking practice
  • Learn phrases for specific situations
  • Online chat with fellow users

Korean Level: Beginner, intermediate
Price: 14.99/month
App Design: Great

Possible Cons:

  • Ads without subscription
  • Limited access to lessons without a subscription
  • Cannot save vocabulary for later
  • Videos can be a little cheesy

10. Best App to Memorize Phrases – Memrise

Memrise is another Korean vocabulary and phrases app. It has 7 Korean levels with about 400 vocab words in each level. The levels range from beginner to advanced. When a level is selected, the app takes you through a vocab learning exercise that includes reading, writing, and listening practice. Each level takes about 5 minutes to complete.

As the user answers questions correctly in the level, words are marked as learned. After the user has learned all of the vocab in a level they move on to the next. If your goal is to become more acquainted with vocabulary and common expressions, then this is the app for you.

Features:

  • Over 2,800 vocabulary words
  • Learn vocabulary and phrases
  • Leaderboard
  • Course dictionary
  • Set goals
  • Watch videos of native speakers saying common expressions
  • Download courses to learn offline with a subscription

Korean Level: All levels
Price: $8.49/month
Design: Great
Who made it?: Memrise

Possible Cons:

  • Ads with subscription
  • Sole focus on vocabulary, no grammar explanations
  • The large vocabulary sets can get overwhelming

Related reading: Why On-Demand App Development Is Essential For The Education Industry

And that completes my list of the 10 best apps to learn Korean! Remember Korean consists of reading, writing, speaking, pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. You might have to download a few of the apps above to make sure you are learning all the aspects of Korean. After finding the apps that work for you, make sure to learn a little Korean every day to keep on progressing. Thank you for reading this blog to the end! Good luck!

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