Korean Resources

Learning resources I have collected over the years. Categorized, and with comments or mini-reviews.

I’ve used almost all of these at least a little throughout my studies. Share the link to this content to anyone who may find this useful!

DISCLAIMER: I won’t claim these are definitive, top resources. I may praise some of them but there could be better sites out there. These are simply what I’ve come across and have indeed found useful and worth keeping.

PLEASE REPORT BROKEN LINKS!
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Top Resources

My YouTube Playlist – Mostly random videos I’ve encountered that teach Korean, but put into order from basic to advanced. First, learning Hangul – the alphabet.

  • The girl doing the first 3 videos doesn’t explain things too well (“it’s not like k, but like double k” doesn’t explain the concept of tense vowels at all), but she gives a good overview of the pronunciation, one by one.
  • The next 3 videos get more involved, cover the complete alphabet, its writing with some example words, and better explains pronunciation, especially if you know some linguistics.
  • The “Korean hangeul vowels” video is to show that while Professor Oh said there are 3 diphthongs all pronounced as “wae,” this guy says 1 of them may actually be a bit different.
  • The final Hangul video goes over some random basic vocabulary as examples of how letters come together to form words.

Talk to Me in Korean – This is the best Korean podcast I’ve found, and in fact, it may be the best language podcast, challenging my favorite series of JapanesePod101. Although the usage of some plans and script is obvious and necessary, it’s relaxed and has an unscripted feel. Words and grammar structures taught are repeated multiple times, usually at least 3 times in a row, sometimes over 5 times, not including repetition throughout the lesson. There is also a tendency for many of those repetitions – as well as full phrases and sentences – to be said at a natural speed, which is great for your listening practice. PDFs are also included as notes – only notes. You can’t really learn well from them, but there are a few cases were the PDFs say something or clarify something not covered in the audio lesson. Having said this, Talk to Me in Korean is grammar-focused so it can be light on useful vocabulary to plug into your grammar structures and can be slow to teach you phrases for a good conversation (As of the end of 2013, I’m on Level 5, over 100 lessons in, and they have not taught “How are you?” even though they say it to each other a few times). This may be because the English stays relatively heavy; if they would slowly replace the English with Korean in accordance to the lesson completed, I think you would notice and thus teach some of these glaring oversights. In fact, TTMiK is not dialogue-based at all – lessons are usually based on grammar structures but there are are few lessons on vocabulary based on a certain root – usually from a Chinese character. You should never use a single source anyway, so TTMiK may not be the Podcast to cover all your learning needs – but it’s more than good enough to be your primary resource and/or serve as structure for your learning.

My Korean Music playlist on YouTube (heavy K-pop not included)

My East Asian Pop playlist on YouTube (K-pop included)

General Resources

Which are the “7” levels of speaking Korean? – Little breakdown on the different levels of Korean – the most expanded look at least.

Korean Grammar Dictionary – The lists may seem overwhelming, but I guess that’s why it’s called a dictionary. Very simple layout; you click the beginning letter of whatever you’re looking for. There is also a search, though I’m not sure how useable it is.

Hangul and Pronunciation


Beginners Lesson One – Learn Hangul
– A decent article to get you to read hangul from scratch, beginning with a quick look at the structure of Hangul, and continuing letter by letter with guides for pronunciation.
Beginners Lesson Two – Hangul Irregularities – A good look at how the pronunciation of some letters in certain placements can seem irregular and thus require the extra attention in studying. However, I want to point out that I would not call them irregularities – they represent things that do happen in speech, so it’s a feature that Hangul can show it.
Linguistic and Philosophical Origins of the Korean Alphabet (Hangul) – Most important thing here is that it shows the visual aspect of the consonants.
KoreanWikiProject.com: Hangeul Step 1 – By the same people of Talk to Me in Korean. Looks decent, haven’t checked it out much yet.
Korean Alphabet at Indiana University – May not be the best design (inconsistent art quality, sound playbacks overlap, some unclear pictures, etc.) but it’s useable. Has vocabulary as samples. Some are useful.
www.aeriagloris.com/LearnKorean – Simple quiz to test your knowledge of the alphabet. No sound, but I recommend it because you can choose to test on partial sets or the FULL set of letters – including compound vowels, double consonants, and compound consonants!
KBS World: Let’s Learn Korean: KBS’s web-based lessons to starting Korean, with audio samples. Hangul audio is only for letter names, but there is a “pronunciation practice” section that seems pretty good; they seem to be real words, although they are not translated. Also has annoying sound-overlap; especially bad here because there are some parts where all the letters are close together and audio is heard on mouse-over.
Zkorean.com: Appearance and Sound of Hangul – Note that the descriptions says “You can then hear its name and pronunciation.” That’s why in their first example, the audio sounds like “giyeokeu,” but they’re actually saying “giyeok,” and then “geu.” They should have spaced it out better.
KoreanWikiProject.com: Consonant Assimilation – Lists and provides examples of cases when “the bottom consonant of one [block] and the top letter of the next [block] interact so that one or both of them changes.”

Dictionaries

Daum Language Dictionary – Daum Dictionary is more than just the Korean – English dictionary you may use it as. It is for English, Korean, Japanese, and Mandarin Chinese, as part of the many services offered by the Korean internet portal, Daum.net. However, it’s descriptive verbs tend to be shown in their adjective form, so it’s pretty hard to find the verb form, which you may need if you’re not yet good at changing the forms. This issue does make sense when you remember this is a Korean site; “cold” is an adjective, so 추운 is the appropriate answer.
Zkorean English/Korean Dictionary – Although it’s a simple dictionary, unlike Daum, it pulls up descriptive verbs in the verb form. You are able to search “be cold” or “to be cold,” and you will see 춥다.

Vocabulary, Verbs, and Conjugations

How to Conjugate Korean Verbs Not really a walk-through on how to conjugate, but rather a set of charts that show the appropriate changes to the verb stem so as to add the appropriate verb ending for the tense. Use this as a reference – I would NOT use this as a way to learn conjugations as it seems much more complicated than it really is.
dongsa.net – Online conjugator; purely mechanical conjugation!! It will conjugate whatever you give it, so you need to make sure you did not enter your word incorrectly. All shown conjugations are expandable to show construction. I pretty much only use this for my conjugating needs.
Learn Korean No Sweat: Family: Some Basic Vocabularies – Family words such as brother, grandmother, ancestor, etc.
Learn Korean No Sweat: Time (part2) – A few important time words such as today, day before yesterday, next month, last year, and the seasons.
Koong koong kwang!– Korean onomatopoeia – Korean onomatopoeia suck as knock, ding dong, splash, etc.

Structured Lessons / Courses

Talk to Me in Korean – Listed above under “Top Resources.”
우리 둘이– Some basic intro Korean lessons; greetings, I am / this is, yes no, etc.
Monash University: Korean Language Education Clearinghouse – Principle things to note are 2 free textbooks with audio, and sets of exercises.

Random, Unstructured Lessons

MyLanguages.org: Korean Pronouns – I would actually call this a list of ENGLISH pronouns, with their Korean translations. Although the particles are not explained, I think this table works pretty well.Good for a quick reference when you’re just starting out, as well as something to get back to and study after you’ve learned some basic grammar. The site as other articles I haven’t looked at yet, but may be useful.

Yahoo Answers: How to say “I have a question” – As the title says.

italki.com: Different ways to say “anyway” – A Question and Answer on the topic.

 

italki.com: 줄게, 줄래, & 줄 – Short explanation of their meanings.
WikiTravel.org: Korean Phrasebook – For some basic words and phrases, WikiTravel is always another place to check.
Wordreference forums: Adding 나 after a verb root – Question and answer on adding 나 and 니 after a verb stem.
나 at Koream Grammar Dictionary – probably what the above post refers to.
HowToStudyKorean.com: Lesson 32: ~려고/러 and 아/어 보다 (with 적) – The usage of this conjunction to mean “with the intention of /in order to.”
Explaining the reason for movement – Usage of (으)러, a similar concept; more specific than 려.
A lesson on “-도 되다/괜찮다/좋다,” “-(으)ㄹ 때,” and “-기 때문에” – “(someone) may do (something),” “when/while,” and “so, therefore, because.”
HowToStudyKorean.com – Slang and Abbreviations – Nice little lesson on some common slang and important abbreviations to know to better understand casually written Korean.

Practice Listening, Reading, etc.

http://ithetimes.wordpress.com/ – [DEAD LINK, kept in case of future replacement] – Korean variety shows; including Wonderful Outing, Star King, Adam Couple, Flower Bouquet

133133.com – [Korean site] – Superstar K4 episodes (may have previous seasons too)

global.mnet.com: [Full ver.] `Superstar K4` – Superstar K4 full episodes at MNET TV

EastAsiaStudent: Putting WordPress into Chinese, Japanese, or Korean – If you use WordPress for your personal website, here’s how to change the language.

HangukDrama.com: Documentary on Korean Dialects – A blog post sharing a documentary on various dialects in Korea. Links to a YouTube video. The video is nearly completely subbed in Korean, no English, but may definitely still be a good choice for listening and/or reading practice. NOTE: That site also has two small lists for Korean and Japanese language learning resources, and a few drama and movie recommendations – things much like what I’m doing with this site!

Korean Vitamin – Seems to make at least a few posts of short videos and provides the Korean.

Korean IME (Input) Setup

MyLinguistics” Blog: Installing MS Korean IME – How to set up Korean typing in Windows Vista / Windows 7.

Flashcard Collections

To make your own Flashcards, there are many options, but I use and am happy with Repetitions Free on iOS, by the same creator of Mnemosyne (in fact, it can pair up and sync using Mnemosyne). I’ll have a full review on a different page covering language software. The only thing bad is that most or all buttons are icons that aren’t easy to figure out intuitively, so you’ll have to learn.
I am NOT a fan of pre-made flashcards, UNLESS they are small sets like numbers, the seasons, or if you really want to learn vocabulary of a certain subject. Otherwise, I stay away from them because I believe you learn and progress better and faster if you study what is most useful, so I prefer creating your own flashcards out of words you’ve found you need to learn. Still, here are a few links if you DO want to look for pre-made sets.
Anki: Evita’s Korean Grammar Sentences – Sentences from Talk To Me in Korean!

Un-reviewed Resources and Other links


The sounds of Korean, A Pronunciation Guide by Miho Choo & William O’Grady (Book, with audio)
Infocobuild – Learning Korean – Various Korean resources, some which I already listed myself on this page.

Software and Other Learning Programs

Daum Dictionary (listed above), has apps for Android and iOS. Highly recommended.

In Other Languages

Japanese

AllAbout.co.jp: [韓国語] All About|ハングルの書き方から日常会話まで – Main Page of Korean info, “From Hangul to everyday conversation.”

AllAbout.co.jp: 韓国語の挨拶・自己紹介 – Some sample sentences of self-introductions. I really like it because it includes a few (even relatively silly, to me) phrases you may want to say, such as I’m studying Korean, I come from __, I am __ years old, I arrived in Seoul yesterday, Korean people are nice, etc.

Ken’s Room – 韓国語, あいさつ表現 – Some very common, set, and/or polite expressions, such as goodnight, I’m going, welcome back, nice to meet you, thank you, you’re welcome, it was fun, and more.

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