Breakups can be hard.
Hulu and DramaFever used to be one of the hottest couples out there, with DramaFever hooking Hulu up with topnotch Korean dramas through their licensing deal.
But when DramaFever closed, Hulu was left alone.
Luckily, Hulu has gotten that post-breakup revenge body that everyone wants, and it comes in the form of some great Korean dramas.
Sure, there may not be as many Korean dramas as there used to be, but the options that Hulu still offers are high quality. Hulu, you still got it with or without DramaFever in your life.
Here’s all you need to know about learning Korean with dramas on Hulu.
Why Learn Korean with Dramas on Hulu?
Firstly, K-dramas do two things for Korean language learners. K-dramas are rich in drama and comedy, and they can even offer insightful commentary on modern life and society within Korea.
In that way, they can be much more than entertainment: Kdramas become fruitful lessons not only on the Korean language, but also on Korean culture. With so many Kdramas to choose from, you’re bound to find one that improves your competence in Korean—and entertains you along the way.
Don’t know which K-drama to watch? Then we recommend you check out the following video about how to study Korean the right way with K-dramas on FluentU’s YouTube channel.
Hulu specifically offers flexible subtitling. Because you can choose whether or not to have English subtitles, you can make your settings whatever works best for your current learning needs, allowing you to learn Korean with subtitles or see how you fare without the added support.
With Hulu, you can watch Korean dramas on all your devices. Whether you want watch Korean dramas online or from your Android device, Apple device or smart TV, Hulu has plenty of convenient viewing options. And because it’s so convenient, you may be more inclined to watch your favorite Korean dramas more often, thereby improving your language skills.
Hulu also offers plenty of great dramas. There’s no denying that Hulu doesn’t have as huge a selection of Korean dramas as it used to have. However, it still has plenty of great, high-quality Korean dramas. And if you run out of new K-drama options on Hulu, don’t worry! You can always go back and rewatch your favorites—they’re that good.
Plus, watching Korean dramas on Hulu is fun. The shows are enjoyable and addictive, and because they’re fun to watch, you’ll actually want to do it, giving you the valuable Korean listening practice you need and the fun you deserve. Studying Korean can be challenging, so having a fun activity that still improves your skills is invaluable.
Finally, staying up to date on hot Korean dramas will give you something to talk about with Koreans. The Korean shows on Hulu are quite popular, so if you have a Korean friend or language exchange partner, there’s a strong chance they’ll be familiar with at least one of these shows, giving you another topic to discuss together.
If you’re looking for even more fun, authentic video content, look no further than FluentU!
It’s an entertaining method to immerse yourself in Korean the way native speakers really use it, while actively building your vocabulary. Videos even come with annotated subtitles, interactive flashcards, exercises and personalized quizzes that evolve as you learn.
You can access the FluentU video library on your web browser or, better yet, take it on the go when you download the app at the iTunes or Google Play store!
How to Get the Most out of Learning Korean with Dramas on Hulu
Select shows to target your learning goals.
Shows often feature thematic vocabulary, so you can predict what sort of vocabulary a show will expose you to based on its plot and setting. By reading show descriptions, you can determine which shows are most likely to help you reach your learning goals and choose your viewing options accordingly.
Change the subtitling options to fit your needs.
While Hulu shows may not offer Korean subtitles, you can decide whether or not to include English subtitles as you watch.
The first time you watch, it’s often helpful to use subtitles to make it easier to follow the plot. However, once you’re familiar with the show or have built up your skills sufficiently, try to turn those subtitles off. This way, you can focus exclusively on understanding the spoken Korean without using English subtitles as a crutch.
You could also try watching an individual scene with and then without subtitles to allow you to understand the scene fully before engaging more completely with the Korean dialogue.
Replay key scenes.
Whether or not you’re changing your subtitling options for each viewing, replaying key scenes is valuable. The more often you replay a scene, the more chances you have to completely understand the Korean before moving on.
Plus, if you replay a scene enough, you might be able to memorize some lines, which you can use as models to remember Korean grammar and vocabulary.
Don’t be afraid to watch slowly.
When you watch a show in your native language, you probably just sit through it in one viewing. If you’re feeling ambitious and have enough caffeine, you may even watch an entire series at once.
However, as you watch Korean series, don’t be afraid to move more slowly. Going slowly can help you linger on the words until you understand everything. Plus, if you’re watching fully in Korean, watching quickly can get overwhelming, and there’s no reason to turn watching TV into a stressful task.
Study drama scripts.
You can access many Korean drama scripts online, which can be a great resource to maximize your Hulu learning. You can study these drama scripts before or after watching to better understand the plot, memorize vocabulary or make a note of key scenes you want to pay special attention to.
You might even keep drama scripts nearby as an extra reference while you watch, allowing you to read along, which can make it easier to understand individual words.
Have a dictionary or a translator handy.
As you watch, you’re bound to encounter some words you don’t know. Even if you can figure out their meanings thanks to the context of the show, you might want to look them up in a dictionary or translator to get a better understanding of their exact meaning.
Knowing an unfamiliar word’s precise meaning can make it easier to remember and help you use it correctly should you need to.
Watch the same dramas as your Korean-speaking friends.
While watching Korean dramas on Hulu can give you unbeatable listening practice, they aren’t as good for speaking practice. But that doesn’t mean that innovative Korean students can’t use K-dramas for speaking practice!
If you watch the same dramas as your Korean-speaking friends, you can chat about the dramas together in Korean, adding speaking practice to your learning binge. And because some of these dramas are pretty intense, you’ll probably need someone to talk with about them, anyway.
When you spot a show you want to watch, watch it!
Korean programs come and go from Hulu, so if you find a show you want to watch, go ahead and watch it. It may not be there forever, and you don’t want to miss your chance to improve your Korean skills with a compelling drama.
Keep checking Hulu for more dramas.
Korean drama offerings on Hulu change pretty often, so don’t just assume that the shows that are there now are all the shows there will ever be. Hulu could very well add a K-drama you’ve been waiting to see.
Need more evidence? Hulu used to have several shows that are no longer available, including “Shopping King Louie,” “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon,” “Heirs” and more. Because Hulu used to offer these shows, you never know if they could offer them again. Keep an eye out for more Korean dramas and cross your fingers for pleasant surprises!
7 Korean Dramas on Hulu You’ll Want to Binge-watch to Fluency
“Boys Before Flowers”
Also known as “Boys over Flowers,” this popular South Korean series originally aired in 2009. It’s based on a Japanese manga series, which is also called “Boys over Flowers.”
The show follows a normal teenage girl from a middle-income family who receives a scholarship to attend a prestigious high school. However, the school is also home to F4, a group of arrogant bullies. With a high school drama like this, it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of love triangles, unexpected twists and moving moments.
“Boys Before Flowers” is set largely in a high school, so Korean students can expect plenty of school-related vocabulary. However, the show leans heavily on romantic storylines and bullying plots, so you’ll also be exposed to vocabulary related to these themes.
Hulu offers all 25 episodes of the series, including the satisfying conclusion, so you’ll have hours of great learning material at the tips of your fingers.
And if you just can’t get enough “Boys Before Flowers,” you can also enjoy the feel of the show whenever you have a minute to pop in your earbuds. You can download the “Boys Over Flowers (Original TV Series Soundtrack), Pt. 1” and/or the “Boys Over Flowers (Original TV Series Soundtrack), Pt. 2,” both of which are full of great K-pop tracks.
Want to learn more about the show and get in a little reading practice? Check out the Korean Wikipedia entry for the show.
“Oh My Venus”
“Oh My Venus” is a 16-episode South Korean series that originally aired from late 2015 to early 2016.
This romantic comedy/drama begins when a Hollywood personal trainer helps a lawyer who passes out on his flight home to South Korea. The personal trainer recently suffered an embarrassing scandal with a Hollywood actress. The lawyer used to be well-regarded for her looks but has recently gained weight and been dumped by her long-time boyfriend.
After the incident on the flight, the pair bumps into each other several more times. When the lawyer learns a secret about the personal trainer, she leverages it to convince him to help her get in shape. Needless to say, romance blossoms.
Given the show’s focus, you can expect the hear some vocabulary related to fitness and health. Also, expect to see body padding and fat makeup.
To get a little reading practice, also check out the Korean Wikipedia entry for “Oh My Venus.”
“Descendants of the Sun”
This 16-episode series aired in 2016. It follows the captain of a Special Forces unit and his budding romance with a trauma surgeon.
But the course of true love never did run smooth. Whenever they try to go on a date, the captain keeps getting called away. The constant interruptions combined with the fact that the captain takes lives while the surgeon saves them seems to doom the relationship. However, when the two find themselves stationed together, the romance rekindles.
The show will help expose viewers to some military and medical terms, in addition to the standard romantic vocabulary so common in K-dramas.
And, of course, “Descendants of the Sun” also has a Korean-language Wikipedia entry to give you all the tea on the show.
“While You Were Sleeping”
The title may sound a little familiar, but don’t expect to spot Sandra Bullock in this 2017 South Korean series.
The episode scheme might be a little confusing. Technically, there are 16 chapters with 32 total episodes. However, Hulu just lists the chapters as episodes. And if the episode scheme is confusing, the plot is downright baffling.
That’s because “While You Were Sleeping” follows three people who can see the future in their dreams. The three characters work together to try to stop bad things from happening. The show is an innovative legal drama with fantasy elements, making it pretty unique.
Because the show frequently follows crimes and court cases, expect some police and legal vocabulary.
And if you love the show’s soundtrack, don’t worry! You can download it for easy listening.
To read more about the show in Korean, check out its Wikipedia entry.
“Chief Kim,” also called “Good Manager,” is a 2017 South Korean TV series that aired for 20 episodes. While it’s technically a Korean drama, it’s definitely more comedic than the other shows on this list.
“Chief Kim” offers an unexpected bad-guy-turns-good plot. An accountant (who happens to also work for gangsters) takes a position with a company in order to embezzle from it, planning to eventually enjoy a dream retirement in Denmark. However, as he assumes his new position, he instead ends up fighting for the rights of the company’s employees, who are being mistreated by the corrupt company.
Given the focus, expect vocabulary related to accounting, business and employment practices. And if you pick up a few gangster terms along the way, so be it.
A soundtrack album for “Chief Kim” exists; however, it’s tricky to find. Luckily, you can listen to it on YouTube. You can also read more about the show on the Korean Wikipedia page.
Although “Chief Kim” is no longer available on Hulu, you can now find it on Viki.
“Just Between Lovers”
Also known as “Rain or Shine,” “Just Between Lovers” is a 16-episode South Korean series that aired in late 2017 and early 2018.
If you’re not up for a tearjerker, you may want to choose a different K-drama. This series follows three people who lost loved ones in a tragic building collapse. Ten years later, the three work together on a project to replace the building that fell. Simultaneously depressing and inspiring, this show focuses on grief, love and hope.
Because the plot revolves around personal loss and a construction project, Korean students can expect to learn some vocabulary related to these subjects. If you’re an architect or in anyway involved in construction or construction materials, “Just Between Lovers” could be a great tool to expand your industry-related Korean vocabulary.
To listen to the “Just Between Lovers” soundtrack when you just don’t have the time to look at a screen, you can download “Rain Or Shine (Original Television Soundtrack)” and keep your Korean learning momentum. You can also read more about the show on its Korean Wikipedia page.
“The Legend of the Blue Sea”
If you love mythical creatures and fantastical stories, look no further than “The Legend of the Blue Sea” to satisfy your Korean learning craving.
“The Legend of the Blue Sea” is a 20-episode series that aired from late 2016 to early 2017. While the story is based on an old mermaid legend, it’s set primarily in the modern era, though there are some flashbacks to 1598. The primary plot of the show follows a con man and mermaid who fall in love. Obviously, life on land isn’t entirely sunshine and butterflies for the mermaid, nor is the life of a con artist simple, so interesting problems arise throughout the series.
With plenty of thievery and scamming, Korean students can pick up some criminal vocabulary alongside terms related to myths and the sea. Plus, as the story is based on a historic legend, you might find yourself inspired to delve more deeply into Korean history and literature after you watch the show.
To read about the show in Korean, check out the Korean Wikipedia entry. And don’t worry! You can download “The Legend of the Blue Sea (Original Television Soundtrack)” to listen to the show’s great music whenever watching the show on Hulu seems too invasive.
Even without DramaFever in its life, Hulu is still a strong option for anyone looking for Korean dramas. Check out these great options to binge your way towards fluency!
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