Printed Korean dictionaries are often a bit out-dated in their language and impractical to take with you.

Do you know any good dictionaries for Korean-English / English-Korean? May be either online or apps.

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    Can I suggest to those answering that if websites are suggested, brief instructions for use can be included in answers? I'm thinking of 'naver dic' - very powerful but possibly not obvious where to start! – topo morto Sep 15 '16 at 12:12
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    @topomorto yes totally. I think Naver is a bit hard to find and use for beginners without instruction. – codingFriend1 Sep 15 '16 at 13:03
  • @Rathony I think having a good dictionary is crucial to get even started with learning Korean. Also, for Korean, dictionaries are much harder to find than for western languages. That's why I opened this. – codingFriend1 Sep 15 '16 at 13:05
  • @Rathony IMHO most often people try to find a dictionary after they decide to learn a language, although often before they actually start, it doesn't stop them from looking up for resources beforehand e.g. such a useful site as SE. – busukxuan Sep 15 '16 at 16:38
  • @busukxuan That's not my point. My point is they can find it on the internet. If you can find it, I can find it. – user7 Sep 15 '16 at 18:14

I suggest Naver. It aggregates at least four other dictionaries: Oxford, Dong-A, YBM, and Kyohak.

The link is endic.naver.com

For phones, if you're serious, you can make a shortcut icon (a bookmark that looks and opens like an app on your home screen) for one-touch access to the dictionary.

Easy instructions for iOS, and Android.

The only problem with this is that you can't use it offline.

  • Naver is tops. The definitions themselves are sometimes lacking, but some of the translations and example sentences are very very useful. – msg45f Oct 3 '16 at 5:49

If you use a Mac, there is a very good digital dictionary included in form of the "Dictionary" app. Korean is just not activated by default.

You easily find "Dictionary" in your Applications folder or using Spotlight. To use the Korean dictionary you need to activate it in the app's preferences:

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As you can see the app includes a Korean-English and a Korean-Korean dictionary plus dictionaries for all major languages. enter image description here

  • This works decently, but is not to the extent that I expect in a dictionary. Most notably, this doesn't catch up a conjugated form... – Blaszard Sep 20 '16 at 4:09

I agree that Naver is one of the most broadly used dictionaries on the internet. But you can consider using Daum Korean dictionary which has more concise explanation and examples.

The link shows all the Korean dictionaries available on Google.

If you are an advanced learner in Korean, you can consider using 국립국어원 표준국어대사전 published by National Institute of Korean Language.

  • The National Institute of Korean Language now has their basic dictionary in both Korean and translated into 10 languages as learners' dictionaries. Definitely easier than jumping into the 표준국어대사전: krdict.korean.go.kr – ryanbrainard May 10 '17 at 22:46

The National Institute of the Korean Language somewhat recently launched the Basic Korean Dictionary, which is a web-dictionary for learning Korean that has been compiled in Korean for Korean learners and teachers and translated it into 10 languages, including the Korean-English Learners' Dictionary.

I used to use the Naver dictionary, but recently switched to primarily using these dictionaries. Naver is great and has more extensive English definitions, but I really like how these dictionaries have better Korean-Korean definitions for learners and can easily be toggled from Korean-Korean to Korean-English. I also like that the Korean-English definitions aren't just translations of the headword, but also of the definition itself. This can really help transitioning from Korean-English to Korean-Korean and really helps to learn synonyms and how to describe the word in Korean. These dictionaries are also made for Korean learners, which is an improvement over sites like Naver that cater to Korean-speaking English learners.

The Basic Korean Dictionary also supports exporting word lists (perhaps the Korean-English one will too in the future), which can be very helpful for making flashcards, etc. If it helps someone else, I made a little utility to help with this. Here is an example of creating Anki flashcards from this dictionary.

Other nice features:

  • Pronunciation guide and audio (even on translated versions)
  • Sentence patterns. For example, show's with which particles to use the word in a sentence: 1이 2를 하다
  • Concise definitions
  • Word book exportability
  • Creative Commons license
  • Advanced search by a bunch of different criteria

Some things it's lacking:

  • No translations of sentences
  • No word books for translated dictionaries

It's still new, and they've been actively working on collecting feedback and adding features, so hopefully these will be addressed in the future.

If you're looking for an offline, iOS dictionary, the YBM 올인올 영한영 플러스 사전 - English Korean English DIC By DaolSoft, Co., Ltd. is really wonderful. It has great definitions, extensive examples, word books, is fast, and doesn't require Internet access. Probably not as good as Naver and other online dictionaries, but the speed and offline access are great on the go.

Side note: This dictionary has a hidden feature that let's you link to words from webpages outside the dictionary. This is handy for making dictionary links from flashcards and such. Just format an HTML link as, YBMEKEDicAllinAll://search?word=$WORD, where $WORD is the word you're searching for, and it'll pop open the dictionary and search for the word.

I recommend LINGOES for j-k or j-e if you want a FAST OFF-LINE dictionary. It also has a pop-up functionality which is limited since Korean is conjugated to high heavens. But when the stars align and it works, it's very convenient. for the naver j-k dictionary it has example sentences too so it's very helpful.

EDIT: http://www.lingoes.net/en/translator/download.htm

  • would it be possible to provide links to the applications? – user17915 Apr 30 at 0:30

Despite the price ($13.99) and hefty space requirements (1.1 GB!), Dong-A's Prime Korean-English dictionary is the one to go for.

IOS : https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/%ED%94%84%EB%9D%BC%EC%9E%84-%EC%98%81%ED%95%9C-%ED%95%9C%EC%98%81%EC%82%AC%EC%A0%84-prime-dictionary-e-k-k-e/id321431432?mt=8

Android : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.doosandonga.app.dictionary.primeengkor&hl=en

They've been making paper-based dictionaries for a very long time and is the defacto choice for many students of both Korean/English language (You can see this mentioned in the product reviews).

If you're using the dictionary on the go and frequently a lot, then you want an App based solution, not a web-based one.

I've been using this app since 2011 and it's the longest-running app on my phone. It's had its ups & downs over the years but I wouldn't hesitate recommending this over other solutions. It's paid for itself many. multiple times where I needed a translation quick from Korean->English or vice versa.

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