Some superpowers are overrated.
A fear of heights might keep you from using your flying abilities.
Your power of invisibility could get super annoying when you’re trying to get the barista’s attention to order your venti mocha.
But there’s one superpower that you’ll never tire of: The ability to learn Korean with a fun, versatile resource like YouTube.
YouTube channels provide varied content for learning Korean, cover a huge array of subjects and are appropriate for multiple levels. You can learn grammar, pronunciation and basic Korean phrases on YouTube, or you can even take your skills from complete beginner to advanced proficiency.
Ready to try out your superpowers? Start with these unbeatable resources to learn Korean with YouTube!
How to Maximize Learning Korean with YouTube
Keep paper and pencil handy.
As you’re watching, jot down notes like vocabulary words or grammar rules. With your new handy notes, you can go over what you’ve learned without having to rewatch the whole video.
You can also practice writing in Korean as you watch. YouTube videos can help you memorize characters and even show you stroke order, but the key to good learning is to actually practice!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
One of the big things that sets YouTube apart from other Korean learning websites is that it’s interactive, giving you the opportunity to ask any nagging questions you have.
If you’re watching a video and don’t understand something, just scroll down to the comments section. Someone else may have already had the same question, so the answer may be waiting for you.
If not, don’t hesitate to post. YouTubers love audience engagement, so you might get a reply from the video’s producer or from another viewer. If your question is compelling enough, the channel may even post a video specifically addressing the question.
Bonus points if you write in Hangul!
One of the best ways to learn a language is through repetition. Luckily, YouTube naturally invites repetitive viewing because it offers so many viewing options.
Regardless of how you do it, watching Korean YouTube videos frequently will help reinforce what you’ve learned.
Rewatch the same video multiple times.
You don’t have to watch a video just once! In fact, watching it multiple times can help you learn the material even better.
Repetition can help you memorize words, perfect pronunciation or even just remember key grammar rules. So if you find a useful video, don’t hesitate to rewatch it!
Find content that you genuinely like.
If you’re used to old-school studying, you probably think you need to suffer through class for results to show. Well, you’re wrong! Studying a language is considerably more effective if you’re actually activating it and enjoying yourself.
How to do this? By treating yourself to videos that you actually like.
Opt for content that discusses your passions and satisfies your curiosity for certain themes about the Korean culture. Look for videos about Korean food, customs and history if you’re interested in the Korean culture. If you love politics and diplomacy, try news clips about the Korean peninsula. Nothing’s worse than watching boring YouTube videos.
Mix it up.
The advantage of YouTube videos is that they’re short and varied. This will maximize your exposure to a variety of situations and vocabulary, so don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and experiment with videos you wouldn’t traditionally go for.
It’s important to watch videos covering a diverse range of subjects and from different sources. This will help you challenge yourself and accumulate new vocabulary and expressions.
In addition, this is a good strategy to familiarize yourself with the honorifics systems of the Korean language. News clips, for example, are more formal than vlogs and use the most polite level of speech. Don’t neglect it, especially if your goal is to do business with Korean partners.
Customize the closed captioning.
Admittedly, YouTube’s “auto-translate” feature is still on a level that makes native speakers laugh their tails off. But the really good language learning channels provide their own subtitles for their videos.
Did you know that you can customize how these subtitles look? That way, you’re not only able to follow your Korean lessons, you’ll also actually be able to read those subtitles.
You can change fonts. If you want cursive transcriptions, you can have that. Want to make the subtitles so big that they almost fill the screen? That’s possible. You can also change font colors and even background colors.
To make these changes, click on the “Settings” (the rotating gear icon) and choose “Subtitles.” Next, click “Options” and customize those transcriptions to your heart’s content.
Tinker with the video speed.
Is the person in the video talking so fast it makes her Korean sound like Japanese? You can slow down the video a little so you can follow along easier. (Though, keep in mind that slowing videos down does change the sound of the audio a bit.)
Better yet, listen to the pronunciations at different speeds. Start from the .25x, then move up to .5x, and finally, return to the “normal” video speed. This way, you have a better idea of how the Korean words are actually pronounced. (Sometimes starting from slower speeds will be eye-opening… to your ears.)
Video speed can be adjusted in the “Settings” section of the videos.
Know your limits.
Watching hours of content on end may feel productive, but you might not retain as much as if you spread out your viewing.
When using YouTube to learn Korean, be aware of your limits. For instance, if you know you can only learn a few vocabulary words at a time, watch a video that presents a limited vocabulary set. If you know you tune out after 30 minutes of viewing, just stop and try again another time.
Knowing and respecting your limitations can help ensure you don’t waste time by pushing yourself too hard.
Don’t get distracted.
There’s a great method for preventing distractions by non-language-learning videos as you’re studying Korean on YouTube.
This might sound weird but roll with me here.
When you find the urge to click on any video because of its title or the awesome thumbnail… click on it.
Yep, you read that right: Click on it! The trick is to open it in another window.
Then click on another. Then another. Then another. Until you have about 10 windows and you’ve overwhelmed your download speed.
Then, as you patiently wait for those videos to download, take a deep breath (seriously, do it)… and slowly close the windows one by one. Pound that “x” mark and close those YouTube windows.
Sometimes, you just need a few moments to get over the compulsion of clicking on clickbait. Open them all up, just to satisfy that urge, then close them one by one without watching. Don’t even scan the windows as you close them. (This is how you get into trouble in the first place.)
Once you get the basics down, consider starting your own channel.
Sure, you might not be an expert yet, but teaching what you’ve learned can help reinforce it. It’s using a skill you’ve learned in a new context, which is always helpful.
Plus, once you’ve gathered viewers, they’re likely to correct you in the comments section if you get anything wrong, leading to even more learning!
Learn Korean with YouTube: 20 Channels to Go from the Basics to Fluency
Korean for All Levels
FluentU is a handy way to streamline your YouTube learning experience. Whether you’re just starting out or have been studying Korean for much of your life, FluentU is a flexible resource for learning Korean through awesome videos.
FluentU takes real-world videos from YouTube—like movie trailers, music videos, news and more—and turns them into personalized language lessons.
The videos are captioned and the captions are interactive, giving you quick access to any word’s definition, example sentences and an associated image.
If you want a new twist on learning, you can also try FlunetU’s quizzes, which fuse videos, images and example sentences into activities and flashcards for an engaging, interactive and authentic learning experience.
FluentU is also highly flexible and personalized. You choose what you watch and when. While you’re watching, though, FluentU’s algorithm tracks your learning. Then, it presents you with questions based on what you already know, building on your unique skills.
Plus, any FluentU plan includes access to the iOS and Android app, and your progress will be synced across devices. Try it out with a free trial now!
FluentU offers a variety of videos for learners of all levels, but if you’re just starting out, you might want to try some of the fun, authentic kids’ videos. With options like “Animals and Their Sounds” and “Learn Korean Consonants” you can learn Korean using culturally relevant, native-language material intended for Korean children and supportive features that take you through it.
Beginners: Learn the Basics of Korean with YouTube
If you’re new to learning the Korean language, Study Korean Together is a great place to start. Most of this channel’s videos focus on basic vocabulary, grammar rules and pronunciation to give you the foundations you need starting out.
The channel is run by a native English speaker who’s learning Korean, so the videos are catered directly to the needs and challenges of beginning learners from the perspective of someone who understands that the struggle is real.
And if you get distracted by too many visuals, this channel is definitely for you. The host rarely appears (with the exception of celebrating her 1,000th subscriber milestone), so you can focus completely on the vocabulary and grammar rules, which are shown on screen as she speaks. Her style is calm and soothing, so she can help you learn Korean while squelching some of your language learning anxiety.
“Basics of the Korean Alphabet” is a terrific jumping-off point for anyone thinking of learning Korean. This video breaks down the Korean writing system and introduces letters. It even provides images to help you remember which letters make which sounds and explains how to produce some of the trickier sounds the language uses.
Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean is run by an American who has studied the language extensively. Between getting a degree in Korean, living in Korea and having studied the language for over a decade, suffice it to say, he knows his stuff. However, as an American who himself learned the language from scratch, the perspective he brings to the channel might be inspiring for beginning learners.
Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean features an array of different videos that are perfect for beginning learners. They cover grammar, vocabulary, culture and food. If you prefer more traditional classroom learning, this channel even features videos of classroom-style instruction.
Once you’ve gotten down Hangul and learned some basic vocabulary, you might try moving on to “Korean Sentence Structure,” a two-hour lesson on how to form Korean sentences.
If you’re looking to embrace Korean culture while learning the language, look no further! Margarita covers an array of topics, including Korean travel, K-pop, K-beauty, K-drama, K-nail art and, of course, Korean language lessons.
Most of Margarita’s videos are fun and chill. They often feature the host chatting with friends or speaking directly to the camera like you’re her BFF. All in all, it’s a fun, lively channel that might give you the energy boost you need to keep studying a little longer.
While many of these videos are in English, they’re often speckled with useful Korean vocabulary. However, if you want to focus more squarely on the Korean language, Margarita’s “Weekly Korean” series is fantastic. Each video in the series focuses on a theme, and these themes tend to be appropriate for beginning learners.
There’s no better place to start than the beginning! In the first episode of “Weekly Korean,” Margarita gives some pronunciation tips so you can start actually speaking Korean out loud.
Conversational Korean offers all the great material beginning learners need when starting out.
Videos cover grammar rules, sentence structure, conversation, thematic vocabulary and more. And perhaps best of all, the videos range from complete beginner to nearly intermediate level.
The videos feature the host sharing information and vocabulary in a slow, soothing manner. And if you appreciate the sort of light jazz you hear on elevators, this channel is definitely for you. Rather than physically moving upwards, you can watch your Korean skills gradually ascend as you enjoy the smooth tunes!
One irresistible video for beginning students is “Basic Korean Classic 03—Adjectives.” This video provides a lesson on the usage of adjectives, gives common Korean adjectives along with example sentences and features a dialogue showcasing rules and vocabulary you’ve learned.
Motivate Korean aims to provide clear explanations of complex Korean learning concepts. You can’t go wrong with that!
The channel offers an array of beginner-friendly material, including vocabulary and learning tips. And since it features hundreds of videos, you’re unlikely to run out of material any time soon.
Motivate Korean lets you learn the language from someone who has been in your shoes, struggling to master the language. The videos are intended for serious learners and feel a lot like traditional classroom Korean lessons.
One of Motivate Korean’s most useful features is the pronunciation videos. Beginning students might try watching “#KoreanPronunciation Quick Tip—Drop your jaw” for a quick trick to help you improve your pronunciation.
Dino Lingo may be designed for kids, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be an adult learner’s favorite tool.
This language learning program features cute, animated videos intended to teach kids languages. However, if you’ve already learned a little Korean and are looking for easy listening practice, Dino Lingo is an ideal option. The Korean used in the videos uses basic vocabulary and is spoken slowly. Plus, the animations provide contextual clues to help you figure out things you don’t understand. The videos are also captioned in Hangul to allow you to read along.
Beginning Korean students can reinforce some basic vocabulary and practice listening with “Korean learning stories for kids—Korean Numbers storybook.” Check out Dino Lingo’s Korean playlist for even more video options.
Minji Kim is one of those warm and friendly native speakers making waves on YouTube. She calls Seoul her home but has subscribers and fans all over the world closely following what this young teacher has to offer.
Which is a lot. For example, Minji can teach you “How to Conjugate Korean Verbs in Present Tense.”
Or, if you’re the touristy type excited about your Korean trip, she can give you “30 Useful Korean Words for Tourists.”
She uploads videos 11 pm on Mondays (“Korean Like a Native”), Wednesdays (“Korean Words Master”), Fridays (“Easy Korean Patterns”) and Sundays (“Explore Korean Culture”). Or at least, that’s the original plan. But if she does miss on some days, give her some slack, will you? Girl’s gotta eat.
Tune in for live streaming lessons to feel like you’re in a classroom with students from all over the world! Or check out the past lessons that have already finished streaming for excellent learning. In “Must Know Korean Phrases,” Minji shares some basic Korean phrases that every learner should know.
From the people who brought you the book series, “Korean From Zero!” comes this YouTube channel of the same name.
George and JiYoon banter, and out come some of the most insightful lessons in Korean.
George (Trombley) is a humble soul who never pretends to know everything Korean. As far as he’s concerned, he’s still learning the language. He’s written three books but he’s still learning, unafraid to ask questions of his co-host.
JiYoon is warm and friendly, and ever so ready to help George (and you!) untie linguistic knots.
And hey, if you or anybody you know is interested in learning Japanese, you’ll be glad to know that there’s also a “Japanese From Zero” YouTube channel that brings you that same flavor, in a different language.
Learn some all-important Korean particles with “Learn Korean in 5! Korean Particles! (part 1)” and start stringing sentences together.
The Kebikids YouTube channel and site is developed by Familyschool, one of the leading Korean cyber-education sites for children. Fun and highly interactive, you’ll find animated videos about songs, stories, science and lifestyles that are suitable for beginner to intermediate students.
You might particularly enjoy practical lessons like “Cross the crosswalk,” where Toto learns to safely cross the streets, and “맛있는 식당” (Good restaurant), where Toto and his dad go out to eat. Watch these to practice your listening skills, as well as pick up on new thematic vocabulary words!
Intermediate: Get Over the Korean Learning Hump with YouTube
Seemile’s videos vary from classroom-style instruction to on-location adventures. The channel also features a number of different hosts. But regardless of the material, the videos tend to come across as personal and really informative without being uptight.
Not only does the channel offer useful learning videos on topics like pronunciation, reading, listening and conversation, it also offers some videos on location that teach intermediate-level vocabulary and show you authentic interactions.
Hone your reading and listening skills at the same time with “동화 같이 읽어요. Let’s read Little Red Riding Hood in Korean together,” which features very slow reading accompanied by the written Korean and English translation. It’s a great way to segue into listening in Korean without getting lost!
The YouTube channel of Korean learning site Pinkfong features hundreds of colorful video animations, including songs and stories focused on language learning for beginner to intermediate learners. New videos are uploaded every week and include Korean subtitles, allowing you to practice reading in Hangul and verify new vocabulary.
Whether you’re a child or a kid at heart, you’ll be charmed by Pinkfong’s happy, imaginative videos. Backed by a simple storyline and superb graphics, it won’t be too long before you’ll find yourself humming to some of their songs.
Check out “여행갈 때 차에서 들려주는 동요” (They’re [songs that] shake your car when you take trips) for a collection of popular children’s songs, karaoke-style. This’ll get you actually using the reading, speaking and using the vocab you’ve already learned!
Ready to listen at full speed? Easy Languages offers a fun, authentic approach to language education with on-the-street interviews. And lucky for you, they have a Korean playlist with over 20 great videos shot on location.
Not only do these videos feature authentic Korean in use, but they also cover cultural topics that will help intermediate Korean students understand the culture in more depth.
While the videos are in Korean, don’t be too worried if your skills aren’t quite advanced enough yet. Each video is captioned in both Korean and English to allow you to read along.
For a taste of what to expect, “Korean Culture Festival | Easy Korean 19” takes viewers to a fun festival.
Talk To Me In Korean is a Korean lesson service that offers books, e-books, audio courses and video courses for purchase, but also has a YouTube channel.
The video presentation style is generally calm and friendly, so you might find yourself reminiscing about your favorite elementary school librarian or kindergarten teacher when you watch (even though the material is definitely more advanced than you could have handled in your paste-eating years).
Talk To Me In Korean’s videos cover vocabulary, reading, learning techniques, common mistakes and more. For intermediate students, there are even special video lessons.
For instance, “Intermediate Korean Lesson—귀신이 곡할 노릇이다” ( covers a tricky Korean phrase. And as a big bonus, the whole video is in Korean, but Korean subtitles allow you to read along, giving you some extra reading and listening practice.
MasterTOPIK is an online service that helps prepare students for the TOPIK exam. MasterTOPIK also has an awesome YouTube channel with free learning material.
To give you some background, TOPIK is a Korean proficiency test for non-native speakers. Once you’ve gotten really good at Korean, you might consider taking this exam to show your proficiency. However, even if you have no intention of taking the test, using test prep materials can help you improve your Korean skills.
MasterTOPIK’s YouTube channel offers practice tests, vocabulary, grammar and more. While most of the videos are in Korean, some are in Vietnamese, but you’ll likely be able to tell the difference pretty quickly since some titles and written explanations are in Vietnamese.
One great learning video for more advanced intermediate Korean students is “[중급 I] 한국어 재미있어요!—1강 (Korean for Intermediate Learners I ).” While it’s described as “intermediate,” the video is entirely in Korean and spoken at a fairly fast clip, so it’s likely to make for some good listening practice for intermediate and advanced learners alike.
Advanced: To Fluency and Beyond!
Heechulism is a YouTube channel that follows the adventures of Heechul Yoon, an avid traveler. This channel is a great opportunity for advanced students to put all they’ve learned to the test!
Some videos are in English, others are in Korean and still others feature a mixture of the two. Videos cover Yoon’s travels along with relevant Korean topics.
And don’t worry about being in over your head—many videos are captioned in English, Korean or both.
For instance, “North Korean Defectors in Korea” features on-the-street interviews that will give you insight into the differences between North and South Korea as well as listening practice.
The World of Dave is the YouTube channel of an American living in Korea. However, most of the videos are entirely in Korean and feature many of his friends from around the world, giving you an idea of how accents can vary.
The YouTube channel features chats, vlogs, cultural and pronunciation comparisons, comedy videos and more. However, what makes this channel particularly great for Korean students is that videos are captioned in both Korean and English, allowing you to read along as you see fit.
Even if you’re not quite advanced yet, you might try watching a few videos to see how much you can understand.
Advanced Korean students might enjoy the authentic vlog-style videos, like “서울랜드 루나파크 다녀왔어요 Feat.에리나, 존 [VLOG] Spent a day in a Korean Amusement Park (Seoul Land),” in which Dave and his friends visit a Korean amusement park and have some silly adventures.
The Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) YouTube channel is a goldmine for fresh, culturally enriching videos about Korea today.
Intermediate learners will particularly like that these are authentic extracts from videos that were actually broadcasted on SBS, offering you a glimpse into Korean culture while saving you considerable viewing time.
Videos are uploaded every day, but to get a sense of the style, check out “다이어트-건강을 한 번에! ‘햄프시드’의 효능” (“For both diet and health! The effectiveness of hemp seeds”), a video that explores the benefits of incorporating hemp seeds into your diet.
On their highly popular YouTube channel, Korea’s Educational Broadcasting System (EBS) publishes high-quality videos that are perfect for high-intermediate to advanced learners.
Entirely in Korean, videos are often accompanied by Korean text and subtitles as is customary on Korean TV, which makes them more interactive and easy to follow.
From customs to food, lifestyle to entertainment, science to politics, the list of themes featured in these videos is endless and will more than satisfy your thirst for knowledge! Videos are on the longer side and they often post entire documentaries, perfect if you’re looking for in-depth content.
Be sure to keep an eye out for new videos, as they post quite frequently. One interesting video you can watch to get your toes wet (so to speak) is “극한직업—통발 장어잡이” (Extreme Job—Catching eel with bamboo traps), which showcases the difficult job of eel fishermen and their lives at large.
If you’re looking for high-intermediate to advanced authentic Korean content, the Yes! Top News (YTN) YouTube channel will not disappoint.
Featuring topical short videos on subjects including politics, economics, global news and Korean society, this is your go-to YouTube page to stay in touch with Korea today.
New clips are added daily, but for a taste, watch “도시, 첨단 콘크리트를 입다” (“City put on cutting-edge concrete”), a longer video about how advances in concretes support the development of modern cities.
If you want to learn Korean, never fear, YouTube is here!
With these 20 resources to learn Korean with YouTube, your newest and most exciting superpower might just be speaking the language.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Korean with real-world videos.