Learning Korean with mobile devices

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jan 14, 2014 - 19:52
  • Updated : Jan 14, 2014 - 19:52
The logos for “Talk To Me In Korean,” WordUP Korea and LextTalk
As the number of people learning Korean rises, the number of schools and books is also increasing, but so too are the number of online resources for Korean learners.

There are several websites that provide free content and material, such as “Talk to me in Korean,” which offers regular audio classes and has about 135,000 Facebook likes and more than 33,000 followers on Twitter.

Another popular option is “Korean Class 101” which provides structured and very detailed Korean-teaching podcasts. The website also offers tools with which students can evaluate and document their progress.

For people without much time to listen to podcasts or to work through a book, apps for smart devices offer an alternative.

WordPower Korean provides 11 different levels, from basic vocabulary to intermediate, and covers 82-100 words at a time. The vocabulary lists are also available in specific categories.

The app has a clear system to organize vocabulary. Every Korean word is shown in Hangeul (the Korean alphabet) and has an audio file and a Romanized version to help with pronunciation. The translations are given with an associated image, and it provides illustrated sentences for every word.

It has a flexible system for listing words and grouping them for learning. Although it is useful for tourists and early beginners, the app also has a lot to offer intermediate learners.

LextTalk is an app that helps learners find language exchange partners for real-life practice. The registration is simple and quick, and the interface is intuitive, allowing users to find exchange partners by language or to find those nearby.

Users are able to browse specific profiles or search for friends. The chat rooms are usually not busy enough to be effective for language practice.

WordUp Korean is another vocabulary app, which also covers a wide range of sentences with day-to-day uses.

The app offers various study modes. Users can record their voices to compare with the provided recordings to improve pronunciation, learn through games or evaluate their current language skills.

The sentences are complex and all spoken at conversational speed. They can be hard for beginners to follow, so it may take repeated listening to effectively memorize the sentences.

WordUp Korean is more appropriate for intermediate learners who want to learn more complex and practical sentences.

Another Korean-learning app, KBubbles, helps beginners learn the Korean alphabet with help of a game similar to “Space Invaders,” in which the spaceship has to shoot the right letters or words.

The LextTalk app is free, while the other three apps all have free “lite” versions that can be upgraded. The WordPower Korean app costs $9.99 (10,500 won), WordUp Korean is $2.99 and KBubbles costs $0.99 for the full set of vocabulary.

By Bileg Tsedensodnom (