Fact-Check & Editorial Responsibility: Kris Broholm
Want to improve your listening skills in Korean, or start from scratch as a new learner? Here's our list of top podcasts to help you achieve your language goals.
There are hundreds of Portuguese Learning Podcasts out there, so we've picked the following list with these guidelines in mind:
- Reviews: Are the iTunes reviews above average?
- Active: Are new episodes being published?
- Library: Is there a significant backlog of content to listen to?
- Professionalism: Does the podcast have a website or other platform with their brand and supporting materials?
Best Korean Podcasts for Beginner Learners
1. Talk to Me in Korean Grammar Podcast
Talk to Me in Korean is one of the leading platforms for helping Korean learners of all levels develop their skills. The Talk to Me in Korean Grammar podcast is an excellent choice for completely new learners.
The first lessons focus on the very basics (Annyeonghaseyo! – Hello!), gradually building up to entire phrases and more complex grammar structures. From level 3 on wards, the content is addressed to a more intermediate audience. Most lessons are around 15-20 minutes and feature two native Korean speakers, presenting in English.
- Clear, helpful explanations
- Perfect for beginners
- Bite-size lessons
- Relies heavily on English
- Useful but not engaging for intermediate learners
2. Real-Life Korean Conversations for Beginners (TTMIK)
If you've been learning Korean for even just a little while, you'll have realised that Talk to Me in Korean (TTMIK) has podcasts and audio resources here, there, and everywhere. We're not complaining though!
Real-Life Korean Conversations for Beginners is a podcast based on the book by the same name. The episodes are 3 minutes long and feature – you guessed it – Korean conversations in a real-life context. The situations range from exchanging numbers, weddings, confessing, and even important cultural aspects like company dinners.
The episodes are an 80/20 split between Korean and English, with the main conversations in Korean and a vocabulary translation in English. Its a fantastic free resource to consolidate your learning and even better, you can purchase the book to read the transcript while you listen.
- Bite-size lessons
- Clear audio
- Helpful, interesting contexts
- Must be used as a supplementary resource – it's not a comprehensive package
3. Let's Learn Korean Podcast
Let's Learn Korean Podcast is a fun resource that offers short audio lessons on many linguistic and cultural topics. The presenter is a native Korean speaker, but the lessons are given mainly in English which is great news for beginners.
The average episode is 13 minutes long (perfect for your coffee break), and focus on short dialogues, grammar points, and cultural need-to-knows. There are even 9 episodes dedicated to antonyms! Although it's for beginners, we don't think it's suitable for complete newbies, rather existing learners who have additional methods of studying.
- Free with many episodes
- In-depth lessons with helpful learning advice
- Clear grammar explanations and vocabulary practice
- Audio quality could be better
- The content is a little dry
4. Kingka Korean Podcast
While it's not exclusively a language-learning podcast, we think Kingka deserves an honorable mention on this list.
Dedicated to Korean media and culture enthusiasts, Kingka's tagline is “celebrating the marriage between K-dramas and language learning.” Each episode dissects and discusses a particular K-drama or an aspect of popular Korean culture. So, if you're a member of the A.R.M.Y or still crying over Squid Game, this is the podcast for you.
Admittedly, you won't learn much Korean from this podcast. However, useful language and cultural pointers are introduced throughout. Kingka sheds light on aspects of Korean life and beliefs that are perhaps confusing for Western learners. If you're wanting to deepen your knowledge of Korean culture, it is definitely worth a listen.
- Suitable for any level
- Interesting content, especially for K-drama and K-pop fans
- Good introduction to aspects of Korean culture
- Not very language focused
- Not applicable if you're not interested in popular Korean culture
5. The Motivate Korean Podcast
Motivate Korean is another podcast that doesn't quite fit the mold. True to its name, this podcast is all about motivation. Instead of focusing on teaching the Korean language, the episodes feature a whole host of helpful language learning advice and analyses of curious aspects of the Korean language.
Learning languages (especially those with a different alphabet) can be frustrating and sometimes we need the support of a community to keep us going. Motivate Korean aims to be your learning community in audio format – a virtual sponsor, if you will.
- Suitable for any level
- Helpful language learning tips
- Doesn't teach you Korean
6. Learn Korean with David
This podcast is a really fun addition to your learning toolkit. The episodes are short and sweet (around 8 minutes each) and teach useful words and phrases, rather than complicated grammar explanations.
The presenter teaches phrases like, “Happy New Year!” and “Is this sold out?”, and shows the listener how to navigate transport and commonly asked questions. The explanations are clear and the pronunciation is broken down into manageable chunks that don't overwhelm the listener.
The creator, David Trettel, has even released a Learn Korean notebook which helps you practice writing Hangul, the Korean alphabet.
- Great for beginners
- Fun, upbeat lessons
- A lot of English
7. Essential Korean
Essential Korean is produced and presented by Kay, a native South Korean and long time Korean teacher. It's often difficult to find podcasts created by experienced teachers but their ‘insider knowledge' can make a world of difference.
In each episode Kay talks you through a hypothetical situation and teaches the language needed to get through it. She breaks the language down in a fresh way and pre-teaches aspects that are likely to trip up learners. This podcast is a must-listen if you want a trustworthy resource with a curriculum developed by professionals.
- Interesting narrative
- Presenter is highly experienced in teaching Korean
- A lot of English
- Potentially boring for intermediate learners
8. Iyagi Korean Listening for Learners
Iyagi, meaning “story” or “talk”, is another conversational podcast from Talk to Me in Korean. What sets this apart, however, is the difficulty. The episodes are aimed at upper beginner to lower intermediate learners who are making the jump from simple phrases to longer conversations.
The topics include Christmas in Korea, street food, commuting to work and many more. The episodes are never longer than 10 minutes and while the pace is steady, learners with a lower level will definitely find it challenging. That being said, it's one of the best free resources out there for beginners to practice their listening comprehension!
- Excellent for practicing listening comprehension
- Good accompaniment to the TTMIK Grammar podcast
- Transcripts available
- Not suitable for new learners
- No vocabulary breakdown during the episodes
Did I miss anything? Let me know.
Let me know if I missed Korean learning podcasts in the list.
Was your favorite podcast not included here? Leave a comment below and I’ll add it ASAP.
Kris is the founder of Actual Fluency, and has spent the last 8 years becoming an expert in language learning software, methods, and techniques.
Originally from Denmark, he now lives in Portugal and speaks 5+ languages at varying levels. His other interests are Wine, Online Marketing, and Travelling.