Textbooks can give you paper cuts.
Apps can aggravate your carpal tunnel.
Courses can be grueling.
Even the best Korean learning tools can have their drawbacks, but there’s a simple solution for the risk averse: learn Korean with videos.
Whether you’re watching Korean learning videos on YouTube or through Korean learning websites, learning Korean through videos is one of the easiest ways to improve your skills without lifting a finger.
With Korean learning videos, you can kick back and study Korean at the end of a long, hard day without working yourself into the ground.
Here’s everything you need to know to start learning Korean with videos ASAP!
Why Use Videos to Learn Korean?
First, videos engage multiple senses. Because they incorporate both sight and sound, you may feel more deeply engaged, which can improve your focus and make studying seem less like work.
Additionally, Korean learning videos cover a wonderful array of topics. Whether you’re struggling with specific vocabulary, a grammar rule or pronunciation, there may very well be a video that directly addresses your concern, making it easy to find support for the unique challenges you face when learning Korean.
Finally, Korean learning videos can help you practice multiple skills. Video creators know you need a balanced skill set, so videos may cover reading, writing, speaking and listening, giving you the opportunity to target your weakest skills.
How to Select the Right Video to Improve Your Korean Skills
Focus on developing well-rounded skills.
When learning Korean with videos, it can be easy to fall into the habit of focusing primarily on listening skills. However, videos offer plenty of opportunities to develop well-rounded skills, so capitalize on those opportunities! Not only can you find videos that focus on reading, writing and speaking skills, you can also make your own opportunities.
For instance, to get in some speaking practice, you can pause any video you watch and try to recount what it said using your Korean skills. For writing practice, write your own summaries of videos. If you watch videos on YouTube, you can even engage with other users in the comments section.
Target specific weaknesses.
Because videos cover a wide array of topics, you can target your weaknesses. Just think about what you’re least confident or comfortable with. Then, search for videos that cover these topics. Not only can this help you learn the material, it can also build your confidence.
Repetition is key to learning, so watching Korean videos often will help reinforce what you learn and prevent backsliding that can occur when there are long gaps between study sessions. Plus, once you get in the habit of watching often, you’re less likely to forget a viewing session.
Mix and match resources.
One of the wonderful things about video resources is that you don’t have to use just one. In fact, they pair nicely to provide unique perspectives and approaches that can help you see the Korean language in different context. And if you use multiple resources, you can switch between them whenever you get bored or need a change of pace.
Learn Korean with Videos: 14 Bingeable Resources for Addictive Learning
Watching authentic videos to learn Korean can be appealing. After all, you hear native speakers as they really talk, which can improve your listening and pronunciation skills.
However, watching authentic videos can also be challenging. You might miss words, hear words you don’t understand or encounter words you don’t know how to use in other contexts.
That’s because FluentU turns each video into a language lesson. Each video includes annotated subtitles, giving you quick, easy access to any word’s definition, example sentences and a related image.
If you want to reinvigorate your next viewing session, try Quiz Mode. Quiz Mode fuses videos, images and example sentences into engaging activities and flashcards.
Regardless of your current Korean skills, FluentU offers level-appropriate materials that can grow with you. You choose what you watch and how quickly. Meanwhile, FluentU tracks your learning to present you with level-appropriate questions that build on what you already know.
Memrise is a conventional language learning app with a unique twist—rather than relying on artificial scenarios and unrealistic examples, Memrise makes extensive use of video clips featuring native speakers. These videos can help you learn authentic Korean from real people, putting a more personal touch on learning.
After you watch brief videos, you’ll engage in activities that incorporate the videos and have you identify what you heard, which engages you on a deeper level.
And if you’re afraid that watching too many videos will put you in a trance-like state, fear not! Memrise intersperses video activities with other activities to keep you on your toes.
If you can’t resist the structure of traditional classroom courses, First Step Korean is a video-based course that could be your ticket to starting your education off right.
This beginning-level course is offered on Coursera by Yonsei University, a private research university in Seoul. The course has five lessons that teach reading, writing, speaking and listening. You’ll get all the basics you need to start strong, including pronunciation, common vocabulary and basic grammar.
First Step Korean features more than 20 videos that provide several hours of instruction. For example, this lecture provides instruction on Korean vowels.
Hanyang University, another private research university in Seoul, offers this course through Future Learn. Introduction to Korean provides beginning Korean students with the skills they need to speak basic Korean and understand Korean culture.
Introduction to Korean is a traditional course offered in a video format, meaning you can access lessons easily from wherever you are and rewatch content to reinforce what you’ve learned.
Videos include dialogues, expressions and practice. For instance, this video offers practice that can make it feel like you’re engaging with fellow students in a real classroom.
Learn Korean for Beginners is a course offered through Udemy by Innovative Language, and it has a whopping 100 video lessons for over five total hours of video content.
The course is designed to teach beginning students skills, such as memorizing the alphabet, pronouncing words and mastering basic Korean conversation skills. Listening comprehension activities further reinforce what you’ve learned. Reviewing questions that follow each video can help you reflect on what you learned and test your knowledge.
There’s one type of video lesson you may want to watch and rewatch time and time again: the Learn Korean for Beginners “Learn Korean in Three Minutes” videos. The series features 25 videos that cover thematic vocabulary, like greetings, apologies, going to a restaurant, riding the bus and more.
Each video is around three minutes, so they’re easy to fit into busy schedules. The speaker introduces vocabulary slowly and clearly so you can practice saying each word yourself. Plus, words and phrases appear on screen in Korean, romanized Korean and English for easy studying. Because videos in this series cover vocabulary you’re likely to need if you ever travel to South Korea, these videos are valuable tools to prepare yourself.
Prefer to build on the foundations of your Korean through grammar study? Core Korean 1, a beginning-level video course offered on Udemy, focuses extensively on grammar and structure to give you a strong foundation in the Korean language.
While Core Korean 1 also teaches select words, it tries to not overwhelm learners with too much vocabulary. Lectures focus on grammar, and practice activities focus on reinforcing what you’ve learned. The course offers dozens of video lessons and practice activities for over 11 hours of video content.
While plenty of video lessons focus on vocabulary, this is one of the few video courses you’ll find that keeps the focus squarely on grammar and structure, so it would supplement other video learning options quite nicely.
Beeline aims to teach you Korean in just 10 minutes a day, so this is another video program that can fit nicely into busy schedules.
This online learning program takes the form of 108 targeted video lessons. Lessons focus on conversational Korean used in everyday contexts, like ordering food and asking for directions. The program tries to get you speaking right away, which can be a satisfying motivator.
Lessons will teach you about grammar, vocabulary, expressions and culture. However, don’t expect tons of unnecessary vocabulary you’ll never use. Beeline focuses on functional Korean learning that you can use in everyday life.
If you want to test out the sort of material Beeline offers without committing to a subscription, Beeline also has a YouTube channel, which offers over 80 brief videos that cover letters, vocabulary and more. For instance, if you’re going to go to a concert of your favorite K-pop group and you know you can’t handle the excitement, you might watch “How to say you are having an emotional meltdown in Korean” so that you have the vocabulary to explain what you’re going through.
If you can’t get enough video lessons, KoreanClass101 should be able to scratch that itch. That’s because KoreanClass101 offers thousands of audio and video lessons ranging from beginning to advanced levels.
This online program aims to expose students to a range of accents and speaking styles. Lessons cover a huge range of skills, including conversation, reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar and culture.
The program focuses largely on pronunciation and listening to allow students to practice their skills right away. For instance, “Introduction to Perfect Korean Pronunciation” can help students master their pronunciation.
Talk To Me In Korean offers an awesome YouTube channel with hundreds of fun videos that Korean language students can enjoy for free.
These videos are appropriate for beginning through advanced students and cover tons of different topics. You can find Q&A videos, sentence-building practice, pronunciation guides, vocabulary videos, quizzes, challenges and so much more. The channel offers pretty much anything you could think of along with some topics you’d never dream of but will be happy to learn more about.
For example, “Korean phrases native speakers shorten all the time” is a useful way to learn more colloquial Korean.
Meanwhile, “100 Korean Words You Already Know” is an easy way to expand your Korean vocabulary by focusing on loanwords from English.
If you’re looking for another great YouTube channel to add to your Korean learning arsenal, the SEEMILE Korean channel is a strong contender.
Run by a Korean language school, SEEMILE Korean offers hundreds of educational Korean videos that teach grammar, vocabulary and culture for beginning through advanced Korean students.
SEEMILE Korean also offers convenient listening activities. For instance, in “Lia’s diary #1 – It Doesn’t Fit!” the speaker describes upcoming events, such as getting her braces off and going to her friend’s wedding. Meanwhile, the Korean text and its English translation appears online. After the initial reading, the video reviews key vocabulary.
Many videos provide instruction in English, and there are even some videos that teach Korean using Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese, providing convenient options for speakers of these languages.
Provided by a Korean tutor and dialogue coach, TheKoreanTutor YouTube channel offers over 40 beginning- through intermediate-level learning videos.
These videos focus primarily on vocabulary, though you’ll also find some grammar thrown in.
One of the coolest things about TheKoreanTutor’s videos is that they often lean heavily on context. For instance, “Korean Language Lesson Today’s Story 오늘의 이야기: 비 오는 날 산책” (“Today’s Story: A Rainy Day Walk”) starts by sharing relevant vocabulary before showing video clips to reinforce and/or show the meaning.
Some videos also use Korean popular media, like clips from K-pop songs or Korean dramas, to illustrate vocabulary. For example, “How to Say ‘Curiosity’ in Korean: 호기심” uses a clip from the popular series “While You Were Sleeping” to illustrate and reinforce the word.
While korean learning freak only offers around 20 videos, the videos offer useful information for beginning through advanced Korean learners.
Videos cover topics such as the alphabet, verb tenses, vocabulary and preparation for TOPIK (a Korean proficiency test).
Each video is clearly labeled to reflect its focus. For instance, “Start talking in Korean: Making Korean sentences using IS/AM/ARE” provides instruction on forming this simple, common type of sentence.
For more advanced students, “TOPIK Exam pattern [TOPIK I [reading읽기]” provides information on the reading section of the exam.
The audio of each video provides examples and explanations. Meanwhile, key points and examples also appear on screen to make it easy to read along.
If native speakers still intimidate you, Natalia Garza’s YouTube channel might be the tool you need to improve your skills without the intimidation factor of learning from a native speaker.
That’s right—Natalia Garza has studied Korean, too, so she knows the challenges other learners face! As such, her videos often have a different perspective than videos made by native speakers. However, they still pack a strong learning punch for beginning- through intermediate-level students.
Natalia Garza’s videos include vlogs about traveling in South Korea, learning tips, updates on her progress, study challenges and learning resources.
K-pop fans can improve their vocabulary with the Learn Korean with K-Pop series, like this video on BTOB’s “Beautiful Pain,” which highlights key vocabulary words.
More experienced students can benefit from educational videos such as “Using 기는 하지만 || Intermediate Korean Grammar” (Using “But” Intermediate Korean Grammar), in which Natalia Garza carefully explains how to use this word while providing plenty of examples. The examples also appear on screen to make it easy to read along.
Do note that some videos don’t focus on Korean education. For instance, she also shares videos of her travels in Germany and efforts to learn German. However, you can easily tell from a video’s title whether or not it covers relevant Korean-learning topics.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you were close friends with a native speaker who could give you helpful, friendly tips? Well, you’ll probably never go to a noraebang (Korean karaoke bar) together, but Kbro’s YouTube channel can give you the friendly help you crave.
Kbro offers a wide variety of videos, but they all have one thing in common: they’re fun and unique. The channel offers vlogs, vocabulary videos, language lessons, and more. One tremendously useful video is “3 Things Native Korean Speakers Never Say,” which shares a few phrases that could be a dead giveaway that you’re not a native speaker.
Plus, Kbro videos usually show key words and phrases on the screen for easier studying.
With these 14 bingeable resources, you can learn Korean with videos for hours on end. And if you get overwhelmed, just hop on over to one of the other websites for even more content!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Korean with real-world videos.