It can be hard to find time to fit language learning into a busy schedule, and looking at prices of language classes at your local college or university may make you want to cry. Fortunately, social media has made it a breeze to access quick information to aid you in language learning, and there are also some tried and true strategies for fitting in learning for any lifestyle. Whether you choose to set aside an hour a day for study time or fit it in where you can, we are sure these resources will help you progress and will have you speaking like a pro in no time!
- Apps: Eggbun, Duolingo, and Instagram
Eggbun is a fun and interactive app that takes no more effort than a text conversation with a friend! The app’s interface makes it perfectly convenient for use in line at the grocery store or in between classes. We really enjoy how it includes various features for different language learning needs, such as a chatbot to guide you through the language, lists of expressions, role play exercises, and cultural tidbits. The app is divided into different courses, which you can pick from at will to learn at your specific level.
Duolingo makes learning Korean easy and provides motivation in the form of daily notifications. Each Duolingo lesson takes only minutes to complete, making it the perfect resource for language learning in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. The app is super fun and gives plenty of reward for the work you put in, so it is hard to put down once you pick it up (so much better than homework!). We love this app for keeping track of our progress and keeping on a steady path of growth, but it is also great for just picking up and practicing whenever you feel up to it.
Believe it or not, Instagram is home to enough Korean learning resources to get you picking up the language in a heartbeat! Our favorite is the Eggbun Instagram account, which posts several times a day with vocabulary and grammar tips, as well as everyday scenarios in which you would use popular Korean phrases. Learn Korean phrase is also a must-have, as they post daily phrases including their English translation, Korean spelling, and pronunciation. They also take requests, so if you ever have a question about how to say something in Korean this is a great place to look!
- Podcasts: Talk to Me in Korean and Korean with David
Talk to Me in Korean made a name for themselves with their easy-to-follow and totally comprehensive Korean language program. Since releasing their textbook, online courses, and YouTube videos, they have expanded into the podcast world! Their bite-sized Korean language podcasts are perfect for the car ride to work, and feature plenty of example conversations and review lessons to keep you going on your language learning journey. One of our favorite aspects of the podcast is the diversity of guests—native English speakers, native Korean speakers, people just learning either language—there is definitely something for everyone with this podcast!
Korean with David is a short podcast series perfect for a 5-10 minute walk to the train station, a passing period, or a quick break from work. Each episode covers a different phrase or aspect of Korean language such as slang, sound effects, or phone call etiquette. He also includes intermittent review episodes to keep you up to date and progressing. David repeats each phrase many times, so it is nearly impossible to miss a pronunciation or meaning. We love this podcast for little bites of Korean throughout the day, but it is also great to binge!
- Daily Life: Surround Yourself with Korean
Our last tip is to integrate Korean into your surroundings. In many kindergarten classrooms, you’ll find labels on nearly everything. The door, cabinets, sink, chalkboard. Looking back, these small pieces of paper made a huge impact in our learning, allowing us to associate combinations of letters with the objects they name. Try labeling items around your house with their Korean names and sounding out the word every time you use this item. It won’t be long before you have that vocabulary down for life!
Once you have a bit of vocabulary and grammar under your belt, try changing your phone’s language to Korean (remember how to switch it back in case something goes wrong!). One of the built-in benefits of this system is Siri, a great resource for practicing pronunciation and listening skills. It is also a good idea to download a Korean keyboard for use with Eggbun and other online Korean learning resources.
If you’re a K-pop or K-drama fan, you’re in luck! This is actually a great way to get some first-hand listening experience from real Korean speakers, and doesn’t feel like studying one bit. We recommend looking at lyrics while listening to some of your favorite songs and trying to work up to singing along. This is a great way to practice pronunciation and reading Hangul and will impress all of your friends at the local noraebang (노래방: karaoke room). Eventually, you’ll be able to pick up words in your favorite dramas and songs and know exactly what they mean!
We hope these tips and tricks ease some stress and show you that it is totally possible to fit learning Korean into the tightest of schedules. If you have any ideas for slipping language learning into your daily life, leave them down in the comments. We’d love to hear your suggestions!
Written by Abby Kotar