Who said learning Korean isn’t all fun and games?
They probably never heard that line about all work and no play.
Games are a thrilling way to expand your Korean vocabulary, reinforce your knowledge of Korean grammar and discover unique facets of Korean culture without even trying!
Some games can be played solo, but we recommend you take it a step further and gather friends to make your learning even more engaging.
So what are you waiting for?
Why Learn Korean with Games?
- Games help you retain information better. Some games are just pure fun, but Korean learning games are the perfect combination of Korean studies and excitement. That’s because they incorporate and disseminate key language information in an entertaining format. The concepts are the same, but the method of acquisition is far more engaging.
- Learn Korean in a relaxed atmosphere. This targets a couple of common issues for learners. Some people underperform because the rigid, old-school classroom format causes them to panic. They either want to do too well and get paralyzed or they aren’t receptive and properly engaged. Games do a great job of taking the stress and anxiety out of the language learning process by making learners feel at ease. With games, you’re learning Korean along the way. Games remove the fear of making mistakes and promote natural, spontaneous communication.
- It creates a positive attitude towards the Korean language. Games help you stay motivated and engaged because you’ll see a direct purpose and immediate goals. It’s not just about accumulating word lists for the sake of it, it’s about making it to the finish line and taking your team (or yourself) to victory. Learners tend to do a lot better when they’re properly rewarded and see a direct, immediate result. And what’s better than winning because of your superb Korean skills?
10 Winning Korean Learning Games to Play Your Way to Fluency
Who doesn’t love this thrilling card game? Well, just when you thought this game wouldn’t get any better, there comes the Korean version of Go Fish!
This page goes over the rules of the game in Korean, but you don’t need to be an advanced reader to figure out how the game works! The rules of the game are simple. Each player is handed five cards and should strive to assemble a “family” of cards. Each card features a number of stars. Whoever assembles families with the most stars wins.
This game conveniently lists the Korean words for family members. It’s particularly helpful to reinforce your knowledge of new words and get into the spirit of the game… in Korean! Ask questions in Korean, like, “덜컹덜컹 ‘있나요’?” (do you have ‘dong dong’?). You’ll see that cards feature vocabulary and onomatopoeia, so you’ll learn a lot of those. Don’t forget to tell your competitors “찾아보세요!” (go fish!) when necessary!
끝말잇기 (Last Letter Game)
This fun Korean word game does wonders to activate your vocabulary and challenge your memorization skills.
In this game, players have to quickly say words from which the first syllable is the last syllable of the previous word. For example, if one player says “치마” (skirt), the second player can say “마지막” (last), and the third could say “막걸리” (makkeolli), and so on. Players have three seconds to say a word. If they fail to come up with a word under this timeframe, they score a negative point. Whoever has the most points wins.
This game is a great way to learn new words and test your knowledge of the Korean vocabulary. The pressure factor also tests your ability to think (in Korean!) under pressure.
This game is a fun way to test your pronunciation skills. It’s a rather popular game that Korean native speakers also play. The first half of this game can be seen in this video.
To get started, start with a long word or phrase. You can write it down so it’s easier to say it or challenge yourself and your partners by triggering your memory. Players must say the word or phrase over and over with a different emphasis on each individual syllable, starting with the first syllable, then moving on to the second, then the third, until the last one. For example, if your sentence is: “배가 고프다” (to be hungry), the first player says the sentence by putting the stress on 배, the second player says the sentence by stressing 가 and so on until every player has said the sentence or until you’ve reached the last syllable.
This is a great game to practice Korean pronunciation, and is tremendous for helping you to remember the spelling of the different syllables in a word. To spice things up, add a time limit where players have to finish a sentence correctly in 30 seconds for short words or 1 minute for full sentences. It’s a great way to make sure that you enunciate properly under pressure!
Learning Korean while playing Jenga? It’s totally awesome, and it’s a great way to learn Korean!
In this game, players need to form words from blocks of Korean letters without crashing the Jenga tower. Each wooden Jenga block features Hangul letters written on both endings. As you create stacks and add new wooden blocks, letters align to form words in Korean. The goal is to create as many Korean words as possible to win at Hangul Jenga.
Hangul Jenga requires more than building skills. To win, players need to activate their Korean vocabulary skills to form words that actually exist in the Korean language. You’ll love the creative aspect of it, and you’ll quickly see that coming up with word ideas is harder than it seems when you’re trying to build a tower and beat your opponent at it, too.
This board game is the Korean equivalent of our Scrabble. To adapt to the particular structure of Korean words, each tile features a single letter that can be positioned at will in space to form a syllable and eventually a word. Rectangular tiles feature vowels, and square tiles, consonants.
To play, each player receives 15 consonant tiles and 5 vowel tiles. The objective is to position letters in a way that forms a Korean word using their tiles. Like Rummy, there must be some combination of 3 things (in this case, syllables) to count. After that limit, players can create words that contain any number of syllables. The first player to use all their hand tiles wins the round.
The game will teach you Korean vocabulary and proper spelling. It’s a fun way to test your knowledge of Korean words considering the constraints of the game. Players are often tempted to make up new words, but don’t fall prey to that temptation!
도둑 잡기 is a straightforward cat-and-mouse board game from Korea where thieves are trying to steal jewels while being chased by the police.
The game is inspired by Clue, but features different characters and rooms. The objective is to catch the thief, called the “joker” in this game. To start, divide 53 cards, including the joker, between players. Cards represent rooms, suspects and weapons. If you receive similar cards, discard them on the floor. The game begins when every player has different cards in hand. Take one card from the player next to you until similar cards start dwindling, and only the joker remains.
This game is entirely in Korean. What better way to practice your Korean reading, speaking and listening skills? To get started, read the rules of the game to your partners out loud. This should be a good way to warm up. The box contains a quick guide, and this wiki will provide a quick overview for your convenience.
Then, just play and have fun. No English allowed during the game!
At all bored with your Korean studies?
FluentU is an engaging way to learn a language by immersing yourself in the culture, watching authentic video content and playing games. Available on desktop, iPhone and, in a not-so-distant-future, Android (in beta testing as we speak!), FluentU uses entertaining, natural audios and videos that are also consumed by native speakers.
FluentU’s active learning exercises turn lessons into thrilling language games to make your studies even more effective. The quiz section helps you go a step further by asking you targeted questions about your favorite content in a fun way.
Curious about what all this actually looks like? Here’s a quick glance at the variety of content you’ll find on FluentU:
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.
You can use FluentU’s unique Learn Mode to learn the vocabulary and phrases from the video through fun questions.
FluentU keeps track of what you’re learning, and tells you exactly when it’s time for review, giving you a 100% personalized experience.
Review sessions use video context to help embed the words in your memory.
The best part? You can try FluentU for free with a 15-day trial.
FluentU’s exercises are a well-rounded, very exhaustive strategy to learn Korean vocabulary while testing your listening and pronunciation skills.
Ever wished a friendly bird would whisper you Korean words and sentences until you reached fluency? Enter Bravolol Learn Korean.
With this app, you’ll learn useful Korean words and sentences from a chatty, colorful, Korean-speaking parrot. The parrot works together with you to help you practice your speaking and listening skills, wherever and whenever you are. Words are accompanied by audio recordings and are organized into themes, such as hobbies, romance and eating, to coach your memorization, listening and pronunciation skills.
The app is a helpful way to enrich your Korean vocabulary and practice your Korean listening and speaking skills on the go. The best part? The app works offline, so you can turn on your smartphone and play anywhere you are!
A beginner-only app, this game makes reading Hangul fun and exciting. Combining animations with sounds, PopPopping Korean helps you master Korean pronunciation and promotes visual associations to get you to read faster and faster.
In the app, cute monsters help you learn the Korean writing system and basic vocabulary. There are three games you can play: Hangul Pronunciation, where you view animations to learn the pronunciation of Korean letters, Hangul Rhythm, where each letter is associated with a beat to facilitate memorization, and Secrets of Hangul, where players learn about the history of Hangul and the key principles that govern the system.
A must if you’re looking to consolidate your knowledge of Hangul and learn some useful words along the way!
Need a game to sharpen your focus during your Korean studies? Try KBubbles.
This mentally-challenging KBubbles app is an action game designed to help you learn Korean words and Hangul characters using a game format.
To start, players are in control of a space vessel that targets bubbles containing Korean letters. Your goal is to hit the right bubbles. Players then move on to more difficult levels where they’re presented with a Korean word and various bubbles containing possible translations in English. The goal is to be as accurate as possible while you’re playing against yourself and against other players!
Most helpful isn’t only the fact that the app keeps track of your score, but also makes personal recommendations to help you with your progress. You can go back to difficult words and characters until it finally sinks in!
Now that you have a great list of games to learn Korean, all you need is to gather your friends to make it more fun. Good luck!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Korean with real-world videos.