Talk To Me In Korean Review: Offers something for everyone

Updated: August 12, 2022
Fact-Check & Editorial Responsibility: Kris Broholm

So you’ve decided to learn Korean, despite it being notoriously difficult for Westerners to learn. In this Talk to Me In Korean review, we’ll take a look at the features that this language software offers, its pricing options, and some possible alternatives to help you along in your learning journey.

Our Verdict

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No matter what learning style you prefer or what level you're at, Talk To Me In Korean has you covered. You'll be hard-pressed to find a programme that offers as much quality Korean instruction. A few nitpicky drawbacks are what keep us from giving it a perfect score.

TL;DR Talk To Me In Korean Review

Here are some quick pros and cons that I discovered during my Talk To Me In Korean review: 

Pros

  • Lessons cover from beginner to advanced
  • Free content is incredibly thorough
  • MP3 and PDF downloads to take learning offline
  • Publishes their own line of textbooks and workbooks

Cons

  • No progress tracking makes for highly self-motivated learning
  • Lots of content locked behind premium membership
  • No official mobile app or free trial

What is Talk To Me In Korean?

Talk To Me In Korean is an online language programme that caters specifically to Korean learners. With humble beginnings as a YouTube channel, Talk To Me In Korean now has seven instructors that teach through a variety of video and audio lessons. 

The company is also an independent publisher. They have developed textbooks and workbooks to accompany the online lessons, as well as an array of other supplementary texts and materials.

What can you do on Talk To Me In Korean?

Level Test

To begin, you’ll want to start with Talk To Me In Korean’s level test. This will determine how well you already know Korean, and pair you up with the right course level. It’s a short quiz that gets progressively more difficult the more correct answers you give. Eventually, it will stop giving you questions in English entirely and only give you Korean text.

See the difference in difficulty between the first and last question on the level test!

Essential Korean Courses

Once you have been allocated a skill level, you will be able to select the lesson that you wish to start with. The Essential Korean Courses are taught in a podcast format, with a lecture explaining the grammatical points of that lesson. 

These podcast lectures run between 10 to 15 minutes on average. Below the podcast file in each lesson, you’ll find extensive notes for that grammar point, including example sentences. 

The nice thing about these lessons is that they don’t require an internet connection. Each lesson is available to download in MP3 format (for the lecture) and PDF format (for the notes). Simply load them onto whatever mobile device you carry and take them on the go!

Premium Courses

Unfortunately, Talk To Me In Korean does not offer a free trial to allow you access to some premium features for a short period. However, most of their premium courses are available for preview on their Courses page. 

Most of these premium courses offer an overview page and accompanying video. These overviews give a table of contents so that you get a complete idea of what any given course offers before you buy it. The topics covered range widely, from hanja to study tips and four-character idioms to comprehension quizzes.

The Bookstore

If traditional textbook learning is more your speed, Talk To Me In Korean has you covered. They are an independent publisher and have their own textbooks to accompany their courses. At the time of writing, they offer textbooks and workbooks for the Essential Korean Courses up to Level 9. 

The bookstore also offers a variety of other supplemental books, too. Some of their works include bilingual novels, books on how to master hangul, and culture-related nonfiction. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, and you’d do well to give their full selection a browse.

What does Talk To Me In Korean look like?

The Talk To Me In Korean website has a very minimalist design. Everything on the free membership can be accessed from the “My Learning Center” tab, and everything else can be accessed from “Courses.” 

For the Essential Korean Courses, you’ll simply select the level you wish to start with, pick the lesson, and press play! And for those who prefer to learn offline or on their mobile devices, simply scroll to the bottom and download those MP3 and PDF files.

The basic lesson format in any of the Essential Korean Courses.

Previewing the exclusive content was just as simple. Just click on “Courses” and you can browse as you please.  Each thumbnail and title gives a pretty clear indication of what the course covers. However, there is no search filter, so you’ll have to browse one by one through the premium courses to get to the overview you want.

Who is Talk To Me In Korean best for?

It is best for anyone who wants to learn Korean! Talk To Me In Korean offers a breadth of coverage, from complete beginners’ courses to more advanced content. Whether you’re a brand new learner or an advanced student preparing for the TOPIK II exam, Talk To Me In Korean has a curriculum for you.

What languages does Talk To Me In Korean offer?

It’s in the name—Talk To Me In Korean offers only Korean. Like other speciality language learning programmes, it focuses on doing one language well rather than multiple languages moderately well. And Talk To Me In Korean does this very well.

How much does Talk To Me In Korean cost?

Talk To Me In Korean offers two membership options; Basic and Premium.

Basic Membership

This membership option is completely free. With it, you’ll have access to the Essential Korean Courses, PDF lesson notes, and certificates for courses available to you.

Premium Membership

The premium membership includes everything in the basic membership. You’ll also get sample dialogue videos, comprehension quizzes, hundreds of premium lessons, and lesson recommendation. 

This membership is only available by subscription; there is no one-time payment for lifetime access. You can pay in monthly instalments of $12.99, or pay $93 annually to save yourself some money in the long run. 

What are the pros and cons of Talk To Me In Korean?

Pros

  • Lessons cover from beginner to advanced
  • Free content is incredibly thorough
  • MP3 and PDF downloads to take learning offline
  • Publishes their own line of textbooks and workbooks
  • Reasonably priced for the amount of content it offers

Cons

  • No progress tracking makes for highly self-motivated learning
  • Lots of content locked behind premium membership
  • No official mobile app or free trial

Are there any alternatives to Talk To Me In Korean?

Talk To Me In Korean vs. LingoDeer

Though LingoDeer doesn’t have the same level of specialisation in Korean, it is well-versed in East Asian Language instruction. For us, it’s one of the best online programmes to learn Korean on the market. Its subscription prices are affordable and its courses are well planned and fun to boot. 

Read our review to find out why we rated it four out of five stars.

Talk To Me In Korean vs. Mango Languages

For the price, Mango Languages may be a viable alternative. Its real-world approach to its curriculum and inclusion of both formal and informal speech makes it a great foundational tool for beginning learners. However, intermediate and advanced learners may find there simply isn’t enough content for them. 

Take a look at our review to find out more.

A Round-Up of Our Talk To Me In Korean Review

Talk To Me In Korean has pretty much all their bases covered. They offer courses for all learning types at just about all levels of fluency in Korean learning. From visual and audio learning to traditional textbooks, their curriculum runs the gamut to help you learn Korean the best way possible. There’s a reason they’ve been around for over ten years, after all! 

If we had any negatives to nitpick, it would be the lack of real progression measurement, especially in the Essential Korean Courses. There are some quizzes available to premium members, but otherwise, people using this programme have to motivate themselves to track their progress. 

There also isn’t a free trial to test out what premium content is like before you sink money into a subscription. The overview pages are a good start, but it’s not quite the same as trying it out for yourself. 

Mobile learners will have to download MP3s and PDFs to learn on the go, as well, as there’s no dedicated mobile app. 

All in all, Talk To Me In Korean is a solid entry among online language education programmes. We highly recommend it!

Ori Starling

Ori Starling is a writer, editor, and translator based out of the United States. Their interest in languages began over 25 years ago, teaching themselves Spanish at a young age from tapes so that they could speak with family. Since then, they've studied Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese, with plans to continue their lifelong language learning journey.