But did you know that BTS can help you learn Korean?
If you’ve been living under a K-pop rock, BTS, or 방탄소년단, also called the Bangtan Boys, is a popular seven-member boy band from South Korea.
The group has smashed records and won awards, making a name for themselves around the world.
And yes, they can help you teach yourself Korean, too! They’re nothing if not generous.
There’s a treasure trove of potential learning material for BTS-loving Korean students out there.
Here’s all you need to know to find Korean learning euphoria with BTS.
Why Learn Korean with BTS?
BTS songs are catchy. You don’t climb to the top of the charts with boring, forgettable songs. And for Korean students, the catchiness can make learning addictive. Not only will you actually want to study, but you may even find yourself inadvertently singing (and therefore reinforcing what you learn) constantly.
With BTS, it’s easy to get useful, repetitive practice. Listening practice is key to learning vocabulary, perfecting pronunciation and being able to understand spoken Korean, and repetition can aid retention. Luckily, it’s easy to listen to BTS songs on repeat and get the practice you need.
Plus, songs are brief enough that it’s easy to fit in a little practice whenever you have time. You don’t have to set aside hours on end or drag around Korean textbooks to improve your skills. All you have to do is pop on your headphones when you have a couple minutes.
Learning through BTS is also a cool way to connect with pop culture while learning the Korean language. Not only is it important to learn about Korean culture while you’re learning Korean, it’s also tremendously motivating. After all, if you love the people, the music, the food and the film scene, you’ll genuinely want to learn the language in more depth so that you can fully enjoy all of that.
Finally, learning Korean with BTS will give you something to talk about with a Korean language exchange partner or penpal. Language exchange can be one of the best ways to improve your Korean skills, since you get genuine conversation practice. However, it can be challenging to come up with topics to talk about. If you and your partner are both BTS fans, though, you’ll never run out of things to discuss.
Learn Korean with BTS: 19 Resources for Fans to Get Fluent
Learning resources are already designed to help you learn, so they’re perfect if you don’t want to put any thought into how to use them for your Korean study. However, for more well-rounded learning, you might consider using several of these resources or pairing them with other BTS-related resources.
Like the fun of BTS, but prefer the structure of a more traditional Korean course? Well, do we have news for you! There’s an Udemy course specially designed to help you learn Korean with BTS.
The course focuses on breaking down the popular song “Not Today” line by line. Lessons cover in-context meanings, pronunciation and grammar. With over 30 expressions and around 70 words featured, this song has a lot to offer.
While the course is aimed at beginning students, it does assume knowledge of Hangul. However, if you know the basics, you can dive in and enjoy this course’s 17 video lessons taught by a native Korean speaker.
If you’re new to learning Korean but already know you love BTS, “Learn Korean with BTS” is a terrific book to help you get down the basics of the language through the works of your favorite band.
The book starts by teaching the Korean alphabet and basic pronunciation and grammar rules. But then, things get exciting. Popular BTS song lyrics are broken down line by line, highlighting key vocabulary and grammar rules. The book covers popular songs, including “Danger,” “Not Today,” “Spring Day” and more.
And if one book just isn’t enough for you, go ahead and check out the second book in the series, “Learn Korean with BTS 2,” to keep your learning on a roll with more hit songs, like “DNA,” “Pied Piper” and “21st Century Girls.” There’s some overlap in the songs covered in the two books. However, the format is slightly different, so you might want to look at the previews of the books to see which one best suits your needs and interests.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like BTS music videos, videos starring BTS, other K-pop videos, you get the idea—and turns them into personalized language lessons.
FluentU goes far beyond BTS, or even K-pop for that matter, but you can currently learn from songs like “DNA,” “Fire,” “Blood, Sweat & Tears,” “Spring Day,” “Fake Love” and several other BTS-related videos using our interactive captions and quizzes. Plus, we’re adding new videos all the time.
Just a quick look will give you an idea of the variety of FluentU videos on offer:
FluentU really takes the grunt work out of learning languages, leaving you with nothing but engaging, effective and efficient learning. It’s already hand-picked the best videos for you and organized them by level and topic. All you have to do is choose any video that strikes your fancy to get started!
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 adaptive quizzes to learn the vocabulary and phrases from the video through fun questions.
The program even keeps track of what you’re learning and tells you exactly when it’s time for review, giving you a 100% personalized experience.
The best part? You can try FluentU for free!
Start using FluentU today on the website or download the app for iOS and Android devices to take your learning on the go.
Okay, so it’s only a little over a minute long. Okay, so it doesn’t cover all that much. But if you’ve ever dreamed of having the members of BTS as your personal Korean tutors, this YouTube video from Billboard is hard to beat.
In this video, the members of BTS introduce and explain a few key Korean phrases. The phrases appear on the screen as they speak for easy studying.
You won’t get fluent from it, but if you love BTS and want a little extra boost for your Korean skills, this video will be right up your alley.
Korean Unnie is a YouTube channel that aims to make learning Korean fun and easy, and you’ll find some terrific BTS-related content here.
Some of the best BTS content on Korean Unnie is detailed song breakdowns. In “Learn Korean with K-POP [BTS-Spring Day],” the host breaks down the lyrics to “Spring Day” and explains individual words and overall meaning. And since each word appears on screen, it’s easy to study as the video plays.
Another great BTS-themed video features an interview with the band. The host explains band members’ responses and uses them to teach vocabulary and grammar rules.
If you need a learning resource to help you learn a little Korean as you study up on your favorite group, Memrise can help.
This BTS resource can help you learn both the real names and stage names of the band members, in English and Korean. What better way to learn Hangul than by learning the names of your favorite performers?
And just in case you’re already putting together scrapbooks to send the members as birthday gifts, Memrise lists their birthdays, too.
Listening to BTS’s music as part of your own free-form study plan provides more flexibility than only using BTS-related learning resources. After all, you can listen whenever you have a minute.
To get more out of your studies, dissect songs and learn them bit by bit until you have them memorized and know all the words. Pay particular attention to songs with vocabulary or grammar rules you struggle to remember. This way, once you’ve memorized a song, you can just replay it in your head whenever you need a little refresher.
Spotify has plenty of great BTS songs and remixes. And, if you’re okay with the occasional ad, you can listen to BTS songs for free. You can choose to listen to one song at a time, play through their songs or add BTS to your library.
And if you think you’ve milked BTS for all the Korean learning they’re worth, you can also use Spotify to find your next favorite K-pop group. Just click “related artists” for a list of performers that are similar to BTS.
If you prefer to purchase your music one song or album at a time, iTunes has all the great BTS songs you’re desperate to listen to. With dozens of song to choose from, you’ll be spoiled for options.
Want to download BTS music to your Android device? Fear not! Google Play also has all the hit BTS songs you need to improve your Korean skills.
Music videos are some of the most engaging resources out there since they’re multimedia, reaching you with both audio and visuals.
Plus, they offer a unique learning opportunity unmatched by other BTS resources: Just learn the dance moves from a video so you can sing and dance along. Moving while you study can help reinvigorate you and break up long sessions, so learning the choreography will give you so much more than just cool moves to whip out at your next party.
Big Hit is a South Korean entertainment company that manages BTS, so needless to say, the Big Hit YouTube channel has all the BTS music videos fans are craving.
In fact, the YouTube channel features over 120 BTS videos, so get out your dancing shoes and prepare for a good time.
KBS World TV is a Korean TV channel that provides Korean content for international audiences, and its YouTube channel is on point.
Mnet is a South Korean music television network. Luckily, Mnet K-POP, Mnet’s YouTube channel, also includes plenty of the great content you’d expect to find on the TV network itself.
And it isn’t hard to find BTS content on Mnet K-POP. In fact, one playlist contains over a dozen high-quality videos of live performances.
Printed lyrics are a useful resource that can help you make out any tricky words. However, you can also use them to study lyrics in more depth, which is perfect for memorizing words and/or paying more attention to grammar rules.
To get more out of printed lyrics, read them ahead of time or study them without the music to get the words down. When you start listening to the song, read along if you have trouble making out individual words. As you get to know the song better, try to stop using the printed lyrics and focus on understanding what you’re hearing.
AZlyrics.com provides printed lyrics for dozens of BTS songs. Most of these lyrics are offered in both Romanized text and Hangul, so they’re perfect for both beginning and more advanced students. There are also English translations for some songs.
Genius is another lyrics site with plenty of BTS lyrics to offer Korean learners. While the lyrics on this site are primarily in Hangul, Genius has one huge advantage over other lyrics sites: Users can contribute information, meaning many songs are accompanied by insights, observations and theories by other fans.
Lyrics Translate is a lyrics site with a twist. Rather than just listing lyrics, it also provides translations. This means that you can find BTS lyrics translated into a huge array of languages, including English, Arabic, German, Spanish and more.
And best of all for Korean students, you can view the translations side by side with the original lyrics, making it easier to study key words and phrases.
Who doesn’t love a little karaoke? Not only will singing BTS karaoke break up your usual study routine, it’s also an awesome opportunity to practice speaking (well, singing, but still).
To get even more out of the experience, do BTS karaoke with friends who are learning Korean! You can critique each other’s pronunciation and challenge each other on tricky numbers. Plus, having someone learning Korean with you can help keep you on track.
The Kpop Louid YouTube channel has all sorts of K-pop related games, but everything else pales in comparison to its karaoke challenges. And don’t worry: There are some great BTS karaoke challenges for you to take a stab at. Fans of BTS who are learning the Korean language can give their vocal cords a workout with “BTS Random Karaoke with Lyric,” which cycles through clips of several songs, providing you with Hangul and Romanized lyrics to help you along.
Sing2Piano is a YouTube karaoke channel that offers piano backing tracks for popular songs, giving you the perfect support for your karaoke. Korean learners can enjoy an entire BTS playlist featuring 12 hits. However, the lyrics are in Hangul, so you’ll have to know the alphabet to start singing.
If you like to stay up to date on the latest BTS news, there’s no better learning tool than social media. You can even get in both reading and writing practice this way.
To use BTS social media for all its interactive Korean learning potential, simply follow the group on the sites you use. You’ll see their posts and get in some reading practice. To take things to the next level, consider commenting and interacting with others for some terrific writing practice. You might even be able to find your next Korean language exchange partner among the other adoring fans!
BTS’s Twitter account is chock-full of awesome Korean-language content that BTS fans can use to improve their language skills.
The group posts written tweets, photos and videos regularly, and some videos contain spoken Korean that you can use for listening practice.
Not only that, you can delve into each tweet’s extensive comments section for even more reading practice. Though be warned: Comments may feature as many languages as the UN, so you may have to look around to find the Korean. Once you do, though, you might consider following the poster for even more reading practice from a like-minded BTS fan. And with over 18 million followers, you should have no trouble finding Korean speakers who share your love of the band.
If you prefer photos to text, BTS’s Instagram is hard to beat. But just because Instagram isn’t text-intensive doesn’t mean a little Korean learning won’t slip in!
While photo descriptions are usually brief (and often in English), you can probably find some Korean-language comments in the comments section.
Plus, BTS’s Instagram account features a number of promotional images and posters that contain Korean text. You can use them to casually practice your Korean reading as you peruse Instagram. However, the study potential of the images also gives you a valid excuse to print them off and tape them all over your walls. After all, it’s for educational reasons!
No need to put blood, sweat and tears into learning Korean with boring resources.
Learn Korean with BTS to set your Korean studies on fire!
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