There are times it seems that Korean learners are at a disadvantage compared to students of other languages. Most of the Korean learning platforms are in Korean and there are not a lot of great resources out there to learn Korean. However, for those looking to travel to Korea and who would like to learn the language, there are some innovative apps for learning Korean in 2021. Smartphones are almost a necessity in modern life these days. People carry them everywhere which means it has the potential to carry a digital tutor anywhere you go. This is why using apps to learn Korean is the best approach. There are hundreds of language apps and knowing which ones are going to help you the most for the Korean language will save you a lot of time and money. Here are the 10 best apps for learning Korean in 2021. Enjoy!
Memrise is our choice as the best app for learning Korean. It was close between Memrise, Rosetta Stone, and Mango Languages but Memrise takes it. Those that like learning via flashcards will absolutely love this learning app. The mobile version is very easy to use. Best of all it has a lot of free content that is generated from Memrise users. They do offer a premium subscription that offers access to additional features but honestly, you can learn the basics of Korean and Korean phrases just using the free version. Now it will not take you to the advanced level. For that, you will need some of the other apps mentioned below. However, for those that can’t speak a single word of Korean, this is the app to take you to the next tier.
Rosetta Stone is one of the most famous learning programs in the world. The good news is that it is available on an app! In about 3-4 months you will be able to speak, read, write, and understand basic words and phrases in Korean. It will help you build a solid foundation so you can have basic conversations with native Korean speakers. The only main issue with Rosetta Stone is the price. For a 3 month subscription, it will cost you around $35. However, you can’t get access to all their programs without a 1-year subscription which will cost $170 per year. They offer different programs based on the reason why you are looking to learn Korean. Is it for travel, work, or friendly conversation? Rosetta Stone has programs for all. It can get repetitive at times as you will need to hear it, say it, write it, and then finally choose it from a list of multiple-choice questions. This formula by Rosetta Stone has made them one of the top language learning platforms in the world.
Mango Languages is best for improving your Korean basic conversational skills. The program is well broken down into sections that cover vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and even Korean culture. The app is free to use for 14 days. Then it will cost you around $8 a month or you can get 2 months free by subscribing to the 1-year subscription which will cost you around $80. Mango Languages constantly adds new content and will keep track of your progress as you develop your Korean language skills. The app is designed as a type of school where you are the student. Therefore it has a built-in function that will keep track of your learning behaviors in order to create the best possible review sequence. Some of the more popular exercises on Mango Languages for learning Korean are their memory-building exercises and their critical-thinking exercises. While not as fun as some of the other apps on this list, those that are serious about learning Korean should give this app a try.
Drops: Learn Korean language and Hangul alphabet
While Drops offers language apps for other languages, their Korean Drops app to learn Korean is one of their best. Those that are visual learners will love the Drops app. It is very vocabulary based where each vocabulary word will be accompanied by an image of the word. As you learn the word you will need to do small tasks such as matching the image with the phrase which will be written or spoken. You can choose which module you want to do at any time. In addition, Drops lets the user draw out the Korean word which helps you learn the Korean alphabet (Hangul). This app is great for learning vocabulary but that is pretty much it. You can keep a collection of all the Korean words you have learned but it will be up to you to learn Korean on your own. While the app is free to use you will only be able to learn for 5 minutes of any module every 10 hours. With their monthly subscription, you will get unlimited access to all the learning modules and materials. Their monthly subscription costs around $10 a month.
What LingoDeer does than most other language learning apps is its ability to clearly explain grammar. It has a massive collection of audio recordings and exercises. You will first start off by learning the Korean alphabet in regards to pronunciation and clear explanations on how to create the sound. Most of the words can be clicked out to hear it’s proper pronunciation. This app is not for children and more focused on older language learners. They have exercises that progress in difficulty as you go. The exercises range from multiple-choice, listening, matching pictures to words, fill in the blank, and ordering sentences, just to name a few. The app is not free, for the monthly subscription it will cost $12 a month and $60 for the year.
Teuida: Learn Korean & Speak
What better way to learn Korean than through Kpop! The Teuida app simulates conversations and even has female Kpop star Nancy from Momoland as a part of the simulation. Nancy herself speaks to the users and teaches them basic Korean through a POV-style conversation simulation. There are lots of speaking exercises and the app offers feedback on your pronunciation through its voice recognition technology. It is one of the most engaging Korean learning apps out there. The first lesson is free but from that point on you will need to pay a monthly subscription fee of around $10 a month. The app is designed to help you with pronunciation through listening and repeat exercises. The app will give feedback on your pronunciation as well as a grade. Therefore, users simply have to speak on the phone and get their evaluation (grade). The reason it is not higher on the list is that there is just not enough material on the app. While the interactions are fun and engaging, those that are serious about learning Korean will need to look at other apps to get to that level. However, it is easily the most fun app for learning Korean.
One of the most underrated apps for learning Korean is Infinite Korean. Not only is the app free but it offers great strategies for memorization as it uses games to help you learn Korean vocabulary. You can redo games and lessons as many times as you want. It is a fun and helpful app for learning simple vocabulary words. They do offer a premium membership (only $5) but the free version is still great and offers features such as saving the vocabulary words you’ve learned and an audio feature that says the words back to you.
Speechling: Learn Any Language
Speechling is one of the best language learning apps for improving your accent. Therefore, those interested in not just learning Korean but speaking like a native Korean should download this app. It has tons of free features but if you want full access, you will need to pay $20 a month for their premium membership. You will be able to hear phrases spoken by real native Koreans. You can upload your recordings which will be listened to by a real Speechling coach who will then send back feedback on your pronunciation within 24 hours. While the app is not great for teaching grammar or structure, it is great for those that already know some level of Korean but do not sound like native Koreans.
The Duolingo app is very easy to use. You set up a profile and set your target language to Korean. There are multiple modules for you to complete and once you complete them, new modules will appear. You can take an entry test which will allow the app to determine your Korean level. Vocabulary is taught with images and grammar points are explained after each question. The best feature of Duolingo is that at the end of each lesson you will get a progress report which offers great motivation to keep going. Setting goals is a big deal on the app. While it will not get you to a fluent Korean level it is a great complimentary app you can use on the go.
HelloTalk – Language Exchange
Those that want to speak with a native Korean speaker can do so on HelloTalk. It is not for shy learners and will require you to make a profile and video introduction. There is a search function that will find matches for your target language which in this case would be Korean. When you find a Korean native speaker you can send them a message and even do a video call. The app counts the number of characters or time spent in one language and once it hits the limit, it suggests that you switch languages. Therefore, it works as a language exchange and is free! However, it offers translation options from within the app which you will need to pay for. It has a social searches feature where you can find language partners who live near you. This is an excellent opportunity to have offline lessons.