You may not be able to take off to Seoul to perfect (or start learning) your Korean language skills.
And you may wonder how long it will take for you to learn Korean if you’re not, well, in Korea.
Not to worry.
In today’s high-tech era, recreating an authentic immersive experience using online tools is absolutely within reach—if you know where to look.
Depending on your language level and the type of experience that you’re looking for, online programs can make a real difference on your journey to learning the Korean language.
So, without further delay, here are the best online Korean courses to get you speaking like a native!
The 7 Best Online Korean Courses for Any Budget, Skill Level or Learning Style
Who knew the Internet had so much to offer for Korean language learners? Here are some fantastic online courses to help you get started, move you along through the middle stages or perfect your command of the Korean language.
Udemy offers several Korean courses that you can find by searching for “Korean,” and there’s one you should look at in particular: The Korean Foundations course (“Learn Korean! Start Speaking Korean Now!”) has one ambitious goal: to help you learn Korean without you actually studying it.
Ideal if you’re not one to study with a book and prefer (virtual) human interaction, this online course covers the basics of Korean communication to get you conversant without much effort and in no time. Entirely video-based, this clever series guides you through the Korean language step by step using mnemonic images and useful tips.
Comprised of 63 mini-lectures spread out over five hours of video content, this solid introduction to Korean for beginners explains the structure of a Korean sentence, goes over basic pronunciation, essential words and expressions as well as some cultural insights to build familiarity and comfort with the Korean language.
Don’t forget to check out Udemy’s other Korean learning options, too!
Immersion is the key to learning Korean. FluentU uses a variety of authentic multimedia content to make real-world language easy (and fun!) to learn. More specifically, FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
FluentU has developed a stellar program for learning Korean.
Backed by a vast library of high-quality and popular videos and audio, the site speeds up the learning process by letting you see the vocabulary, grammar, conjugation and idioms used at a glance, in real time, without you having to do any additional research. Just hover over any word in the interactive video and audio captions, and you’ll see all this great information right on your screen!
Available for learners across every level of fluency from newbie to native, FluentU lets you customize your lesson plan by letting you study what you’re most interested in and saving your favorite lessons in your learner’s profile.
Designed as mini-lessons, each video and audio is accompanied by its matching flashcards, grammar explanations and tips—perfect for developing solid listening skills and gaining exposure with Korean culture.
Have a quick look at the variety of content available 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.
Use it to learn completely on your own, or to complement sessions with your Korean tutor. FluentU is accessible on-the-go on all devices, so you can start or resume any Korean lesson whenever you want.
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.
Perfect if you’re preparing a trip or are just looking to cover the basics in no time, Locsen offers a good introduction to the Korean language and helps you learn all the essential words and sentences right away.
What’s not to love about a free site that uses Korean multimedia tools to facilitate memorization? Using effective word association techniques, Locsen helps you quickly learn new words (and how to pronounce them correctly!) by matching words with their Korean writing, drawings and audio.
There are 15 lesson themes ranging from everyday expressions, feelings, bar orders and directions for taxi drivers to things like medical terms and getting in trouble. The site conveniently lists and explains useful words and daily Korean expressions using English, Hangul and Romanization of Korean characters. The site also lets you quiz yourself, so make sure to follow up your initial session on the site by printing out the list of words, reviewing them in your free time and going back on the site to test yourself!
Sogang’s online portal is an amazing resource to help you prepare an intense full-time university course and acquire the basics very quickly—all while having fun.
Covering several levels of fluency, from absolute beginner to advanced intermediate, it provides a vast database of very effective study plans usable on demand and with no registration needed. Entirely free to use and highly interactive, it’s based on the principles of Sogang University’s Korean language method, which places a heavy focus on conversational skills and speaking. While being very comprehensive, the method manages to stimulate all four skills (writing, reading, listening, speaking).
Very challenging and rich in content, lessons use a variety of content, including audio, animation, reading texts and dialogues. Make no mistake: You won’t be bored taking this course! You will, however, learn a lot, fast—each mini-chapter features simple practice exercises, transcripts, vocabulary lists and comprehension exercises to make sure you’ve fully assimilated the new content before moving on to the next lesson.
Considering how intensive these courses are, we particularly recommend that you keep notes of any new structures, vocabulary, grammar rules and idioms you’ll learn so you can review them regularly.
This site boasts a strong curriculum using a variety of multimedia content for purchase to facilitate your Korean learning experience.
Structured into 9 levels of 30 lessons each, the site expertly covers all the essentials, from must-know words and idioms to simple grammar structures as well as essential phrases you’d hear (and use!) every day. Ranked by topic and using a step-by-step approach, each lesson consists of an mp3 file or downloadable podcasts with free supporting PDFs and practice exercises, if you want to purchase their textbooks.
Learn Korean using the expert method from one of Korea’s most prestigious universities, Seoul National University. That will guarantee you some serious bragging rights!
If you’re looking for a good way to to develop a solid base in Korean or an online method to complement your language exchange sessions, this is what you need.
The Education Center offers a series of 20 free interactive online courses to acquire fundamental language skills. Here, you’ll learn useful Korean vocabulary, sentences and idioms, and acquire conversational skills. Each lesson begins with a list of objectives and a list of key words and expressions.
You’ll then move on to the pièce de résistance (that’s French for “main thing”)—a rich dialogue using audio and animation, a follow-up with check-up questions, role play, matching grammar exercises and a culture point.
Make sure to download the audio files and transcripts to review and learn on the go!
Funded by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the online language courses by King Sejong Institute offer a wide array of fun and interactive courses to learn the Korean language and culture.
A reflection of Korea’s growing place in the world and cultural diversity, the site caters to a diverse range of learners, from curious foreigners to business expats and even immigrant spouses.
To get started, simply create a free learner’s account by clicking 회원가입 (Sign up / Create an account) on the site header and following the instructions. Be sure to select 학습자 (learner) when asked what type of account you wish to create. You can change the site language to English if you’re not able to navigate it in Korean quite yet. Then select your language level and start browsing the site’s extensive course library.
On the site, users can learn Korean using videos, audio, digital and downloadable textbooks, and even games and quizzes. Each lesson is organized by category, including life, traditions, K-pop, travel, webtoons and news, and all this is searchable by file type, everything from song, fairy tale and textbook to special lecture, Korean classic and more.
In addition, the site provides information on the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK), if you’re interested in taking the test.
Oh! Did we mention that the site also provides a forum to exchange with other Korean learners and Korean natives, too? That could really come in handy when you need a little support.
We hope you have a lot of fun with these fantastic online resources.
This is a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips—so be sure to make good use of it!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Korean with real-world videos.