Best Resources In Learning Korean For Free

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best resources in learning Korean

 

Before moving here in South Korea, all I knew was saranghae, kamsahamnida, and the Korean alphabet. I was not into Korean drama as well because I am not fond of romance and I thought Korean dramas are just about love stories. I was so confident in my ability to learn a new language because after all, I speak four languages. When I arrived here, I realized that I was totally wrong.

Most people do not speak English. Everything was strange. Street signs are in Korean, at least where I used to live it was in Korean. I was so overwhelmed by the language barrier that even throwing the trash was a struggle. Here in Korea, they segregate the trash really well and you will be scolded by halmonis (grandmother) if they see you dumping it without segregating. Worst that can happen is you will get a penalty. My solution? Staying at home – a totally wrong one.

If you are planning to move to South Korea, I highly suggest that you study the language first. If you are just coming here for a holiday, it’s fine. Even in the corporate world, most people do not speak in English unless your job is related to teaching English or your company is a multinational one. I am still not good at speaking Korean right now but I have significantly improved.

 

Below is a list of the best resources in learning Korean that I used.

 

Talk To Me In Korean 

This website is extremely useful and I wish I have known this website before. They have a really organized curriculum. They do have paid courses but the free ones are enough for you to learn. Even if you already know Korean, I suggest that you start at level 1 to get the feel of the website.They have Korean native teachers who speak English so you are sure that they are teaching it right.

Each person has different learning style and for me, listening works best. If you are also an auditory learner, I suggest that you download SoundCloud and look up Talk To Me In Korean there. Once you select a level, it will automatically play the next lesson so you don’t have to bother selecting another track. This is good if you want to study while doing some household chores or while commuting. The best part of this website is that you don’t need to register to be able to study. You will feel that they are more focused on engagement than just earning money.

If you are a visual learner, they do have a youtube channel for you to check.

 

Let’s Learn Korean with Teacher Darna

Teacher Darna is doing her classes live on Facebook every Monday and Friday. She’s Filipino so there are a few Filipino words here and there but she mostly speaks English to explain things. I like her lessons because you can ask real time if you don’t understand something.

 

Damunhwa Center  Free Language Classes 

If you are already in South Korea, you can go to the multi-cultural center or Damunhwa center. They will assess your level through an examination. They also have other classes to make a multicultural family relationship better. Some of the classes are cooking, family relationship and business Korean class. The types of classes depend on your location. Look for the nearest center through naver maps or through the website by clicking the title above.

One problem that I had when I started going to the multicultural center was that I was really a beginner and the teacher does not speak English. It was a disaster because the teacher tries to explain a Korean word using the Korean language. I ended up always using google translate for me to understand. I think it would be better for learners to know a little Korean for them to appreciate the Damuhwa classes.

 

Korean Shows For Kids Or Shows With Kids As The Characters

Watching Korean drama is good because you will pick up words here and there and will also train your ears to their accent but what helped me the most are those shows that have no subtitles and are starring kids. The reason behind that is that kids tend to speak slowly in shorter sentences than adults. Again, it is different for every person but this really helped me a lot.

The first one that really caught my attention is the show called The return of Superman or 슈퍼맨이 돌왔다.  Cute kids in the show is another bonus. I also watched Korean animations for kids.

 

Doulingo

 

For complete beginners, this is a good resource that you can use. It starts with the alphabet to advance lessons. It is interactive. You have to click some characters to match it with English pronunciation. If you have zero knowledge about Korean, you can start here.

 

If you are living in Korea, I highly suggest that you go out a lot and talk to people. Even if my Korean language skill is not good, I try to communicate with natives with mixed Korean, English, and hand signals. There are a lot of English words turned into Korean so if you pronounce it in Korean, they will understand you most of the time.

Let me know your favorite resources in studying Korean in the comments!

 

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4 Responses

  1. Terence says:

    Hi Kahlan, I studied Korean for free at Yeoksam Global Village Centre. You need to apply and do regular homework assignments and tests, but this helps to keep you diligent. I also attended the weekly class at Sukmyeong University. It is not free but at 1000 won, it is virtually nothing. Agree that TTMiK is awesome.

    • kahlan says:

      Hello there, Terence. How was your Korean after studying at Yeoksam Village? I live near Incheon International Airport and it’s around an hour and a half to go there. Right now I have Korean classes twice a week in the multicultural center and it’s laid back but I am improving. Right now I can talk with natives but still having a hard time due to lack of vocabs and confusion with grammar.

  2. JOHN says:

    Thank you, Kahlan, for all the good information. I’ve begun learning Korean, so I will explore the sites you list.

    • kahlan says:

      Hi John! Good luck with your studies. I’m still studying as well and I’m lucky to be able to study in the Damunhwa center.

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