The Hangul Games!

By Stephanie Lemus

Learning Korean isn’t easy—there’s Hangul, sentence structure, and grammar. On app stores, there are hundreds of Korean language learning programs. Based on my own experience with these apps, it’s time to rate them and find out which of the most well-known apps come up on top!

These apps will be rated out of five based on their interface (how user-friendly it is), the content (if it gives Hangul romanization, whether it explains the grammar behind certain words, etc.), and how much content you can get without having to pay.

DUOLINGO

Duolingo is the classic app for learning any language. Accessing lessons is simple but if you want to go back to a specific lesson, you have to redo that portion all over again. It’s easy, accessible, and clean. The interface gets a 5 out of 5.

This app is convenient if you already know Hangul. You can test out the beginning Hangul section easily. The lessons teach you new vocabulary, but it can seem sporadic at times. On the third lesson of the first chapter, it randomly goes to brand names. Topic markets and sentence structures are not  thoroughly explained, and you have to figure it out by yourself; though, it has a solid amount of good content so it gets a 3.5 out of 5.

Duolingo gets a 5 out of 5 for their free content. The app doesn’t have a price wall blocking you from any content. The premium version gets rid of ads and lets you learn offline. Though, you can still learn without having to pay for anything.

  • Average score: 4.6 out of 5

EGGBUN

Eggbun and their mascot Lanny have your back when it comes to language learning! The app’s interface is very clean and cute. You can access any lessons with ease, as long as you have unlocked them. Eggbun takes a different approach with their teaching method. It's placed in the form of text message chats. This is quite friendly and entertaining, but if you just want to get through to the next point, you can’t speed it up without it freaking out for a bit. Quizzing out on levels can be frustrating. If you want to skip ahead because you have Hangul down, you can’t because you will have to know a bunch of vocabulary. The interface gets 4.5 out of 5.

When it comes to the quality of available content in the free version, Eggbun gets 5 out of 5. Besides the basic lessons, there are also culture notes. They explain idioms, slang, and Korean holidays!

All of the notes are free but the downside is that you can only access a portion of the Hangul chapter for free. A monthly subscription is $9.99, but if you’re committed, it’s worth it for all the material. For free content, Eggbun gets a 2.5 out of 5 because it’s just a taste of what they offer.

  • Average score: 4 out of 5

MEMRISE

Get ready to memorize with Memrise! With this app, you can either choose to start at a beginning or advanced level. The interface is a little confusing; in order to access the lesson you’re on, you have to click on the bar on top. It's a little clunky on the design when it comes to the lesson. Overall, its interface gets a 3.5 out of 5. A little confusing, but far from being terrible.

The content accessible for this app is pretty good. There’s flashcards, videos, and voice lessons. The videos, which include native speakers, are a huge help. Though, when it comes to the Hangul, the first available lesson only has romanization. This is okay, but you don’t want to depend on the romanization. Learning Hangul makes it easier later on, and later lessons do include Hangul. For a beginner, it seems like the transition might be confusing. For content, it gets a 3.5 of 5.

As with most apps, you need to pay to access the majority of its content. Annually, it would be $29.99 or $8.99 monthly. The free version doesn’t have a lot of material to work with, which gives it a solid 2.5 out of 5 for the available content, though this app would definitely help out with hearing Korean.

  • Average score: 3 out of 5

LINGODEER

This user interface is very simple, lessons are labelled. The grammar explanation and charts aren’t messy. If you want to, you can skip over the Hangul section if you already have a grasp of it. It does take a little bit of exploring to find out where the extras are. The interface gets the job done so it gets a 4 out of 5.

If you need a refresher on writing, this app shows how to write the characters as well. Videos with stories are also included. The speech part can get a little tedious. They explain the grammar thoroughly, though you might have to read it over a couple of times. They also have a story mode where you can learn conversations with little stories. For content, it definitely gets a 5 out of 5.

The plus/premium version does include separate materials like dark mode and different voices. The regular version is good enough to get you through the basics of beginning Korean.  For overall free content, it gets a 4 out of 5.

  • Average score: 4.3 out of 5

Of course, these are just a few of the apps out there. Are there any apps we missed? Tell us what your favorite app is down below!

Written by Stephanie Lemus

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