Do you just love reading?
Wish you could combine your passion for the written word with your Korean studies?
Well, lucky you. You absolutely can!
Whether you’re just getting started or simply looking for a solution to read in Korean more frequently, your best bet is to turn to Korean short stories.
Not sure how to go about it or where to find them?
Then read on.
We’ve rounded up the best online resources to help you continue your Korean journey with a variety of easy, memorable short stories.
Why Read Easy Korean Short Stories?
- They have simple plots and vocabulary. This makes it easy for you to focus on what matters to you as a Korean learner: the writing. The more you read, the more capable you’ll become at making quick progress in Korean and familiarizing yourself with a variety of Korean words, idioms and structures.
- They stimulate your imagination. What makes easy Korean short stories special is that they take you to a fantasy world created just for you by their authors. They’ll also take your mind away from the process of studying, enabling you to learn more naturally. This makes reading short stories a pleasant experience with positive, long-lasting outcomes for your Korean skills.
- They’re rooted in Korean culture. Storytelling, through the tradition of 판소리 (pansori), or musical storytelling, is part of Korean folklore. In pansori, the narrator usually blends singing with the narrative to give the story more emotional impact. The art of telling stories is intrinsic to the Korean lifestyle. Keep the tradition alive by reading stories in Korean!
How to Learn Korean with Easy Short Stories
- Opt for stories that you already know and read them in Korean. This will make it easier for you to focus on language, grammar and new vocabulary acquisition. A great place to start looking is Korean sites or publishing houses that focus on children’s literature, since they often translate iconic Western stories, myths and fables.
- Write down new words and structures. This may seem tedious at first, and if you wish to not break up the flow of your reading, simply use a pencil or highlighter to mark difficult vocabulary and come back to it when you read the story a second time. Then, note the words in a notepad, search for them in your dictionary and try to memorize them before giving this story a third read. (This article lists some great Korean dictionary apps to complement your studies.) You’ll quickly find that this keeps the process engaging and productive!
- Create a routine. Make reading these stories a habit and don’t be afraid to set a fixed time every day to read them. If you’re a working professional with limited time, try to read at night when your work is completed and when you have plenty of time to relax. Look at dead time in your schedule and turn it into productive time. Start reading while riding the subway, waiting at the dentist’s office or when stuck at home waiting for a delivery.
- Read stories in chunks of two or three. Especially if you’re just getting started with Korean short stories, reading them can be daunting and seem overwhelming. The best way to make this activity more manageable is to split them into sections and read them over multiple sessions. This makes them more digestible and will help you to build excitement about the stories you’re reading. And if you can’t wait for the next session to read the next chunk, by all means, don’t resist!
5 Sites Full of Easy Korean Short Stories You’ll Never Forget
This colorful site gathers lots of fascinating short stories that are incredibly easy to follow and understand, no matter how old or advanced in your Korean studies you are. Finding fun, friendly animated characters, modern graphics and, in the vein of pansori, catchy songs, you’ll discover original stories about animals, life and the past.
The site offers free and premium stories. If you’re not able to use a Korean social security number and create a login, stick to the free materials. There are enough to keep you busy. The site doesn’t allow us to embed links other than to the homepage, so to find easy short stories, simply click on the 동화 (children’s story) icon on the home page header. This is the sixth icon from the left. Short stories are displayed as a gallery.
There are some great choices in there. Don’t miss out on “로미오와 줄리엣” (Romeo and Juliet), Shakespeare’s most famous love story, and “엄지공주” (Thumbelina), that uplifting fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.
FluentU has tons of videos to learn with.
Here's a quick look at the variety of video choices available to you:
Each word in the interactive captions comes with a definition, audio, image, example sentences and more.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and easily review words and phrases from the video under Vocab.
Don't stop there, though. You can use FluentU’s unique quizzes to learn the vocabulary and phrases from the video through fun questions.
FluentU even tracks your progress and remembers all the words you've learned, making for a 100% personalized experience.
Review sessions use video context to help embed the words in your memory. The best part? You can access the full FluentU video library with a free trial!
Start using FluentU Korean on the website or download the app from the iTunes or Google Play store.
Videos last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, and with new ones being added all the time, you’re sure to find plenty on topics you love. For example, beginners might enjoy “Gorilla’s Picnic,” a fun animated story that introduces vocabulary for the Korean consonants, and intermediate learners can check out “College Romance,” a cute college love story.
쥬니어 네이버 (Junior Naver)
This fantastic library of accessible and diverse Korean short stories aggregates the best content from the Korean Internet to facilitate your search and keep you on track with your reading. Highly visual, fun and easy to navigate, the entirely free site lets you access hundreds of original and famous short video stories in Korean, perfect for improving your listening skills.
Find popular stories and modern life stories, or opt for classic and traditional Korean stories. If you wish to focus on the language rather than the storytelling, head on over to the Aesop’s fables section for a taste of these Western classics in Korean! Take it a step further and create your own easy Korean short story with their fun digital tool.
Videos average five minutes per clip, making them easy to fit into even the busiest study schedule. You’ll absolutely love the short stories that are uploaded there. We can’t get enough of “여우와 신 포도” (The Fox and the Grapes), one of Aesop’s stories, and “방귀 며느리” (The Farting Daughter-in-law), an endearing traditional Korean story about a diligent daughter-in-law whose uncontrollable tendency puts her in awkward situations.
채널예스 (Channel Yes)
This is a great site to find some interesting, original, animated and easy short Korean stories. Simply go to 한글 동화 (Korean children’s story) to retrieve the selection and be prepared for some exciting content.
Like Naver, this is a place to find video short stories, but the best part about them is that each video is accompanied by a brief blurb describing the story. In addition to providing an overview of the storyline, this is a great helper to identify key vocabulary and characters before you dive in.
Navigating the site from the above section is incredibly easy, as you have the option to browse stories by theme, such as 명작 (classic) and 생활 (life). Simply click on the buttons from the section header to display a more refined selection. You’ll enjoy this comical animal story about a friendly bear with a pressing natural need, and “우리 가족의 비밀” (Our Family Secret), a story based on the children’s book by Park Ji-yeong, about a curious girl who plays detective to learn more about her family’s history.
한국방정환재단 (Korean Bang Jeong-hwan Foundation)
This website is a goldmine of high-quality educational content in Korean, and it’s entirely free. Anyone looking to practice their Korean reading skills and read Hangul will find this is the right place for some fantastic Korean short stories.
This section includes children’s stories, songs and poems. You’ll particularly like this traditional Korean short story about a prince’s gift to his beloved.
These great resources are terrific for discovering memorable and inspiring Korean short stories!
If you read them regularly and follow our tips, we have no doubt that you’ll become closer and closer to the Korean language and culture.
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