Watch These 7 Korean Vloggers for the Most Authentic (and Entertaining) Listening Practice Ever!
Want to watch fun videos and learn Korean at the same time? Try a vlogging channel!
Some are made by native speakers and others are made by fellow Korean learners who have achieved fluency.
Both have insights that’ll have you improving your language skills and having a great time, all at once!
Below are seven amazing vloggers who’ll take your Korean to the next level.
- 1. Michael 마익흘 Aronson
- 2. 영국남자 Korean Englishman
- 3. 국가비 Gabiekook
- 4. 스팀보이 StimBoy
- 5. 허팝 Heopop
- 6. Dayeong’s Beauty Drawing
- 7. 밤비걸 Bambigirl
- Top Reasons to Trust Vloggers with Your Korean Learning
Michael Aronson is a popular vlogger and a New York exile living the good life in Seoul, South Korea. Michael learned his Korean at Yonsei University and regularly broadcasts his explorations in the Land of the Morning Calm, but most of his videos are in English.
Expect an eclectic collection of videos, from Korean language learning tips to interesting facts about Korean culture and people, or even advice on how to best navigate the Korean society.
You’ll particularly enjoy “Korean Visa Guide” (part 1 and part 2), which features lots of detailed information on Korean visa options and procedures, or “Eating Healthy in Korea,” where Michael explains how he’s transitioned from compulsive snacking to a healthier diet while living in Korea.
Josh and his Korean friend Ollie are the friendly hosts behind 영국남자 (English boy), one of the most popular YouTube channels today. Before you cry out that you really prefer Korean natives only, head over to his page. Josh’s flawless Korean should give you the motivation and inspiration to keep studying. Yes, Westerners too can master Korean!
His vlogs are incredibly diverse and are uploaded roughly every other day. Here, you’ll find funny videos where Josh introduces Korean culture, food or music to his English friends; musings about living in Korea; or collaborations with other Korean vloggers.
These videos are all hilarious and entertaining, but you shouldn’t skip Josh’s Collaboration with Two Young, where the two friends find themselves in a park in London, or “Englishman Healed by Korean Chicken-Ginseng Soup.” The latter alternates between Korean and English subtitles while the host introduces a friend to 삼계탕, a highly nutritious, nourishing soup that is traditionally consumed on the hottest day of the year.
Gabie Kook is a Korean lifestyle blogger and native Korean speaker. Soft-spoken and a foodie, she makes videos entirely in Korean but includes Korean subtitles and occasionally quotes written out in Korean and English.
Gabie does a great job keeping her vlog buzzing with high-quality content. Primarily focused on Korean food, expect to find easy Korean recipes or videos of her, well, eating. Better known as 먹방 (eating room), the trend of recording yourself eating has been catching Korea by storm, so if you’ve wondered what the fuss is about, head over to her YouTube channel now!
You’ll love “Hot Spicy Cold Noodles Mukbang,” where Gabi and her friend enjoy and compare two Korean 냉면 (cold noodles) restaurants, or “One Pan Steak Dinner,” where you’ll learn how to make a simple meal by following instructions in Korean. What better way to learn the vocabulary of food and cooking in Korean?
4. 스팀보이 StimBoy
Stimboy is a Korean beatbox artist who also happens to broadcast with fellow vlogger Lil Marvel under the name StimMarvel. Their videos are primarily geared towards a Korean audience, but most are accessible for even intermediate learners. That’s mainly because they include plenty of casual expressions and vocabulary, and are kept concise—making it easy for you to use that rewind button.
This vlogger is funny, friendly and approachable. He’s also extremely honest in his comments without being mean or rude. In short, he’s the Korean friend we all wish we had!
Stimboy has been sharing his videos on YouTube since 2014 so there’s plenty of great content, but highlights include “대박사건! 집에서 포켓몬 대량발견!” (Amazing situation! Found plenty of Pokemon at home!), where Stimboy plays PokemonGo at home for the first time, and “미니 회전초밥 기계로 초밥 만들어먹기” (Making and eating sushi from a mini electric conveyor belt sushi), where he plays with the ultimate Asian foodie toy: a self-made sushi-go-round!
5. 허팝 Heopop
Heopop is a Korean blogger and vlogger who broadcasts himself exclusively in Korean. He’s become popular for his fearless, crazy stunts that you won’t find anywhere else.
His videos are inspired by a variety of subjects from his personal life. They all include English subtitles and interactive, colorful Korean writings to pack a punch in his shows.
Expect nothing ordinary here: Heopop makes it a challenge to try everything, from sleeping in an ice pool to jumping on a trampoline with hundreds of water balloons.
You may have heard that Korean beauty vloggers know what they’re talking about, and Dayeong’s YouTube channel will confirm just that. Passionate about skin and makeup, Kim Dayeong has been sharing her tips with the world since 2011.
A Korean native, Dayeong discusses everything a girl needs to know, from tutorials to trends and even product reviews. If you’re interested in learning the authentic Korean skincare routine from a real Korean (and in Korean!), look no further.
Videos are always diverse and inspiring, but we absolutely recommend “요즘 뭔가 사고싶다!” (What I want to buy these days!), where she shares her make-up bucket list, describing a variety of beauty products in great detail with technical vocabulary, and “뽀숑뽀숑 복숭아 데일리메이크” (Daily peach makeup).
Bambigirl is a fantastic Korean vlogger to follow for fashion, makeup and travel tips. You’ll love her spontaneous, positive attitude and her ability to discuss a variety of subjects.
Videos are on the longer side but incorporate English subtitles, making them incredibly easy to follow if you can’t quite understand conversational Korean yet.
Among her best videos, we love “Crazy pants,” where Bambigirl introduces her latest purchase (a pair of jeans) and discusses why they’re so special, and this video, which shows how to apply blush according to the shape of your face.
Top Reasons to Trust Vloggers with Your Korean Learning
Vloggers only broadcast about the subjects that they’re most knowledgeable and passionate about. They naturally tend to gravitate towards a handful of areas of specialty, making them experts in their fields. However, don’t expect to be lectured on a given theme; videos are spontaneous and full of personality, which make them all the more likable and believable.
Unlike scripted TV videos, YouTube vloggers go with the flow. By tuning in to their channels, you’ll have access to real opinions and anecdotes from Korean natives or expats observing the Korean society or language.
Vlogs are unique because they let you tap into the minds and experiences of actual people. Vloggers tend to find inspiration from things that actually happened to them and tell the stories the way they perceive it. In their videos, they share what they like, what they find amusing or what they find helpful without bias.
They’re entirely independent and are in full control of their channel’s editorial direction. This makes it incredibly more interesting to watch because vloggers are free to broadcast whatever they want to discuss and aren’t bound by budget or content guidelines.
Accelerate your learning.
Watching YouTube vloggers is a well-rounded way to stimulate multiple Korean language skills, including listening and pronunciation. Especially if your favorite vlogger is a Korean native, watching their videos on a regular basis will increase your exposure to the cadence, accent, intonation and mannerisms of Korean speakers.
Audiobooks and movies are terrific, but they lack that natural, unplanned flavor that you’ll encounter in real life. Korean vlogs achieve this, which is why we recommend including them in your learning plan.
Variety of subjects.
There are numerous interesting Korean vloggers to follow, and they discuss an infinite variety of topics, from language learning to travel, beauty to fashion, video games to food. This richness of content helps keep your viewing sessions interesting and engaging.
It’s also particularly helpful for you to follow vloggers who share your passions. Head over to their “About” section and read their bio, or simply browse their uploaded videos and playlists. This will give you a good indication of what each vlogger broadcasts about before you hit the “Subscribe” button.
If you’re struggling to understand what some vloggers are saying, try turning on the subtitles. Many vloggers (including several on this list) go the extra mile and upload their own captioning, so you won’t have to rely on the dubious auto-generated stuff. I recommend trying to keep them in Korean whenever possible—trust me on this!
For subtitle aficionados, consider watching material from a virtual immersion program, which often will have boosted features to help you get the most bang for your buck. One example that contains many popular Korean YouTube videos is FluentU.
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 the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)
Aren’t these vloggers amazing?
We have no doubt that you’ll learn a lot from them, and turn your YouTube sessions into productive, fun Korean studies. Enjoy!