Learning Korean

I have been working on learning Korean since September of 2017.  The most important reason believe it or not is to understand KDrama without having to read!  I think it’s so bad for my eyes to be reading all those subtitles…  Another secondary reason is because I want to be able to travel in Korea and not need a tour guide. I think it makes such a difference in the quality of one’s trip.  You can understand more what you are seeing, and communicate with the people.  (Good to get bargains too!)

I have been working with two free sites.  They are fantastic:

Korean from zero

I started out with this program, it is very well done.  Chapter by chapter you learn new grammatical skills.  But it gets really hard starting chapter 14.  I think it’s because of the volume of verbs and vocabulary words one is supposed to remember.  It’s so much!  So, I slowed down a lot, just because it takes me longer to digest the information.

Talk to me in Korean

As I was chewing and gulping on “Korean form Zero” I discovered this site.  It has more conversations…so you can get the language by listening to it more than by reading it.  This helped me hear the language in context and sometimes I hear the same expressions in KDrama so it’s great!  They have PDF’s of every lesson so you can review the written aspect too.   I now do both programs… I learn the grammatical stuff in Korean from Zero and listen to the conversations that touch on the same topics on “Talk to me in Korean.”

I also use many apps:

Korean Alphabet Pronunciation -K     

This app is great to check letter sound combinations on.  It is so helpful!

Master Korean Game Hangul Punch

This app is hilarious, but it helped me a lot in mastering the letters and sounds of Hangul.

Nemo Korean

In this app you can program a certain amount of phrases to practice everyday.

Word Fireworks Korean

This app is great for learning hangul letters and sounds.  It’s a bit busy for my head at times, but sometimes it’s really challenging and fun.

As I discover more, I will post it here.   I’m looking for an app that will teach me to read faster.  If you know of one let me know!  I am so slow!  I’m afraid that if I was to rely on my reading right now I’d get run over in a subway station… it would take me so long to read the signs!  🙂

I understand more and more with every passing week! I really love Korean and it’s such a great workout for my brain!


Update June 24, 2017

My Language Exchange

I found another great resource for practicing with native speakers.  It’s called “My Language Exchange.”  It allows you to exchange your language skills with someone else!  So I signed up…and I met a Korean student who just arrived to Boston.  4 days ago!  He is learning English. It’s a great, cheap way to practice…and so hilarious!  We text and chat in both languages and we somehow understand each other and learn using both languages. This is the website: https://www.mylanguageexchange.com


Update November 25, 2017


Through “My Language Exchange” I have made two Korean friends.  One in Boston and one in Seoul.  But I decided to continue with a tutor.  Someone recommended “Verbling.”  It’s really good because they have a platform in place where you can write on “pads” that can become flash cards.  I’m still exploring the teachers.  This is their website:  https://www.verbling.com


Update December 22, 2017


I found something fantastic for learning Korean!  My tutor gave me this page with all the weather patterns in it.  I was amazed at how much faster I learned by looking at pictures along with the words.  I should have done this before as I teach my students vocabulary with flashcards!  Now these sheets hang in my kitchen so when I am cooking I can glance over and practice vocabulary!  This is the website where it came from.  These graphic learning sheets are made by a couple called Dom and Hyo and they based in Korea.  Here is their website: http://domandhyo.com/


Update March 4, 2017

fluentu.com/korean  and its App: ufluentu

This is such a great idea!  This website teaches languages using videos!  What appealed to me was that I have a hard time understanding spoken language…so I need a way to listen and then go back and go over what they say…and this site does exactly that.  For example it takes a video like this one:

Then it goes step by step over the language…and what is best, it quizzes you about it until you understanding fully!  It also makes you write in Korean.  For example this is the dialogue of this commercial broken down… the sound symbol allows you to listen to that phrase on its own.

Baskin Robbins Icecream Commercial Dialogue in Korean.png

How cool is that!  Sadly it is not free and you have to pay $30 a month.  If you pay $15, you have the videos and the dialogues but no quizzes…but the quizzes is what truly seals the deal.  Oh…and if you are wondering how I manage the typing part (knowing what the  Korean characters are), I first added Korean as a keyboard language, then I bought these Korean stickers and placed them on the keys.  I am slowly starting to remember which key is what.

Korean Keyboard Stickers

And the other cool thing is that it has an App, so you can use it in your mobile device anywhere you are!  And typing there is a lot easier!