Hangul is a brilliant language that is intriguingly constructed. Unlike Japanese or Chinese, it’s made up of syllable blocks and you’ll want to start by learning these first. From there it’s much like any other language where vocabulary, grammar and conversation practice are important. Studying at a language school in Korea would be the perfect solution, but a great way to get started or simply to supplement your learning is through the use of apps.
Once you’re a bit more into things a good flashcard app can be ideal for remembering what you’ve already learned, making sure it sticks.
As we said, you’ve got to start with the alphabet and syllable blocks. TenguGo is the best for this. It’s got a pretty basic layout and graphics but it does the job. It also gives you the history of Hangul so you have a bit more context (although you can check out our article for that too). You read through the lessons to understand how it’s constructed and then it tests you with quizzes every so often. It’s also got charts so even once you’ve mastered the alphabet it’s worth keeping it on your phone so you have a reference if you get stuck.
There’s not much to say about this as it’s pretty straightforward. It’s a flashcard app for helping build your vocabulary up quickly. As with most flashcard apps it’s categorised into useful sets and the user interface is pretty cute so keeps your interest as you’re blitzing through your words.
The series of Infinite language apps are great for helping you engage with your learning a bit more. They’re gamified so you’ve got to think fast and that forces you to remember things much quicker. The space-themed game is more about building up your vocabulary than anything else but it’s very good for this. Make sure to set it into the Hangul character set too as this will help you learn to read it fast as well.
A free app that is great for learning a lot of different languages but in particular Korean. It’s a very good all-round app that covers grammar, vocabulary and character sets. Not only that it gives you a chance to practice your listening too with recordings produced by native Korean speakers.
There’s no point in learning a language unless you’re going to practice it. Until you make it to the country it can be really difficult to do this though and that’s where HelloTalk comes in. It’s an app that lets you do a couple of things; you can post sentences to a forum and native speakers will correct you and advise on where you might’ve gone wrong. Secondly, you can start conversations with individuals as either a language exchange, they correct your language and you correct theirs, or with someone who is a native Korean speaker but also speaks English, this way you can switch in and out and build your confidence with your conversational skills. Ultimately it’s a great way to get used to conversational language so that you don’t sound like a robot when you actually make it to Korea.
There are plenty of apps out there and it can be worth exploring yourself to find what works for you but these are a good set to start with. If you’d like to learn more about Korean and maybe take a look back at its history, why not check out the rest of our blog.