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I am looking for resources to learn Korean. There is no big reason as to why I want to learn Korean. I read some manhwas and did a bit of tae kwon do for a while. The culture seemed interesting and modern, compared to other Asian cultures. I also read that Korean is easy to learn and that there are many resources to teach you.

I am a total beginner and don't know where to start. Googling for resources is a bit overwhelming, to be honest. There are so many websites and apps etc. But most resources seem a bit lightweight or miss stuff for beginners. What I learned is, that the first step would be to learn the alphabet.

I really need some recommendations. Any resources you can vouch for? It would be nice to find an interactive app to learn the language. The apps I found in the Google Play Store only got some quick phrases to use as a tourist. Most of them expect you to know the alphabet and how to put the characters together to form a word. I need something that starts with the basics.

My first objective would be to learn the alphabet, to read and write and correctly pronounce words. After that, I would need to learn some vocabulary + grammar. I would like to read manhwas and watch movies in Korean (source needed).

Are there western movies with Korean voice over and Korean subs?

I hope you have some great resources for me and personal recommendations.

PS: I am German, but I guess there won't be many resources in German, right?

  • I'm sorry but really I can't find any resources helpful or detailed in English – 짱멋진만찢남 Mar 27 '17 at 7:39
  • Just to set your expectations correctly, Hangul is very easy, but the language itself is quite challenging. It's a wonderful language and I don't want to discourage you from learning it at all, but just don't expect to be fluent as quick as you might be in European languages. – ryanbrainard Aug 18 '17 at 0:40
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It would be worth looking at Reddit Korean's Ultimate Beginner's Resource Thread, if you've not seen it already. I hope we'll have something similar on this site eventually.

One site that seems to have mixed reviews on Reddit Korean is https://www.howtostudykorean.com. However, the Unit 0 lessons on reading are available in German, so it might be worth a look.

The apps I found in the play store only got some quick phrases to use as a tourist.

The Korean alphabet is called Hangul - if you search for 'Hangul' in the app store there are a number of apps claiming to help you learn the alphabet.

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  • The resource thread is awesome! I downloaded the recommended anki app for vocabulary training and hangul training. I looked at howtostudykorean.com and it's wonderful webiste! I agree we should have some kind of resource thread. I might compile my own answer one day with all the resources I used. :) Thank you for the link to reddit! – Redbeard Mar 29 '17 at 8:17
  • @Redbeard if you do feel like making a list, it would be great to make it in our 'meta' section as suggested in korean.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/156/…. I know it's not quite talking about the same thing but I think there would be some overlap. – topo Reinstate Monica Mar 29 '17 at 20:55
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To learn hangul, the best android app is probably "Write it! Korean" by Jernung:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jernung.writeit.kor

A funny, useful and addictive app to learn the basic language is "Chat to Learn Korean" by Eggbun:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=kr.eggbun.eggconvo

There are also a lot of interactive courses, like "Learn Korean. Speak Korean" (aka "Mondly") by ATi Studios:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.atistudios.mondly.ko

And, of course, there are a lot of video course on YouTube. Start with:

  • Talk To Me in Korean (TTMIK)

  • Korean from Zero by George Trombley

  • Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean

  • Sweet and Tasty TV (do not allow its name to mislead you)

  • Korean Unnie

and so on.

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Old-fashioned: you might check Ruhr-Universität Bochum's website for links to resources. Bochum has a Korean Studies program with a good reputation.

(edited to add) For Android:

  • I've heard good things about Ajeic's Learn Korean Numbers, Fast! app, which gives romanized renderings alongside hangul. The romanization doesn't follow the usual standards (Revised or McCune-Reischauer), but there is audio.
  • For hangul, try UBIK's Hangeul 101 - Korean Alphabet app (though "alphabet" is wrong--it's a writing system but has nothing to do with alpha, beta, gamma...).
  • I've used Dongsa app to check verb conjugations.
  • When you can read hangul, you might check the TOPIK ONE app and 한자변한 (hanja byeonhan) app.
  • viki.com streams fan-subtitled shows and should be accessible in Europe. (You said you're German but not where you are. I usually watch shows on dramafever.com, but DF limits access to US.) The quality of subtitles varies. Some Korean shows on Viki have German subs; most have Korean and English first.

I don't know where to find Western films with k-subs. Interesting idea.

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    I don't see any useful resources on that website. There wasn't anything linked that could be used. :/ – Redbeard Mar 27 '17 at 3:30
  • dic.naver.com (which is linked, though I agree--after looking, I see that there isn't much) translates words and short phrases from Korean to a variety of languages, including German. There's also an app. – skg Mar 28 '17 at 4:01
  • My updated answer doesn't say anything about grammar. Pondering that. I would get a textbook and audio files, honestly--if you write to RUB staff, they may tell you which materials are used for Korean language classes there. The ones I know are in English and Korean; the most straightforward (for people who aren't training to become professional linguists) is kleartextbook.com – skg Mar 28 '17 at 4:16
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You could try flashcard vocabulary builder apps like Beginner Korean app or StartFromZero Korean app to learn the the commonly used Korean words and phrases from scratch. Both apps are free, works offline and you learn the words and build your orean vocabulary at your own pace.

There are also free introductory vocabulary apps like Beginner Korean and StartFromZero_Korean that introduces common Korean words and phrases to the user and build their Korean vocabulary from scratch.

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I suggest that you first learn the Korean alphabet (Hangul) as it is not possible to move forward without them. The hangul is not complicated and is logically constructed, so it won't take you much to learn all of the characters.

Then, I suggest using Rosetta Stone; it is a good app that lets you get used to the feel of the language (sounds, basic grammar, basic words, and pronunciation, etc...). The downside is you must pay in order to unlock all the courses. Offline learning is available.

And as to the vocaburary Memrise is a good app that lets you memorize Korean vocaburaries depending on your skill of the language. It is free of use. Offline learning is available. I prefer Memrise to Anki (another famous vocaburary constructino app).

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DuoLingo announced their Korean course will be released Sept 7 (2017).

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