What I have in mind is something that highlights Hangul characters, and reads the highlighted characters aloud (possibly at a user-chosen speed, or possibly only when the user clicks on the syllable or word). Romanization is not necessary. To me, it seems like this would be a good way to get up to speed on reading Hangul text with some added help when necessary. If anyone is familiar with a Kindle reader, the idea is likely similar to this.

I don't really mind if the source text to be used is chosen by the user (more flexible) or chosen by the software and content creator (likely higher quality audio and overall user experience). Both would be great!

Exact matches to the above are not required, but I think anything that comes close to meeting most of the requirements would qualify as an answer, as it could help in learning Hangul by "reading".

I looked over What is a good online resource or app (Android,PC) to start learning Korean from the very beginning? but nothing jumped out at me (maybe I missed something), and the answers in Websites or software showing pronunciation guide of a phrase or sentence were not very friendly towards reading longer documents or did not have text-to-speech capabilities built in.

  • Google translate's text to speech pronunciation seems pretty accurate. But it only works online and only has 2 speeds and 1 voice.
    – user17915
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 0:28

1 Answer 1


The pronunciation of one character often shifts before or after another character, homographs may have different pronunciations, and homophones may have different spellings. Thus, I would recommend learning how to pronounce words from the beginning.

On Windows, Chromium-based Microsoft Edge can read and highlight text word by word (As of now, "Microsoft SunHi Online (Natural) - Korean (Korea)" mispronounces a number of words containing the vowel ㅢ, so just use "Microsoft Heami - Korean (Korean)" after installing the voice). You should keep in mind that it will sometimes give you the incorrect pronunciation and that it will read text in an unnatural tone (Although there are web services using their own text-to-speech engines with better tones, I have found no trustworthy one and they do not provide word-by-word highlights). With the same voice that I have mentioned, you can try using Balabolka, Word for Microsoft 365, etc. instead.

I do not have a Mac, but this page says that Read Aloud of Word for Microsoft 365 for Mac lets you hear your document as each word is highlighted. Still, I am not sure whether Mac can use the same voice.

Auto-generated captions for YouTube videos might help, but they are usually unreliable when it comes to the Korean language. The current algorithm does not interpret dialects properly, and it mistranscribes speeches especially when there is music playing in the background. You may try it if one provides the full transcription with such a caption for a video. Of course, the transcription may have misspellings.

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