Translation and Language Industry Observations

South Korea has now become a top country many people want to visit. It’s the land of the exciting K-Pop, K-dramas, world-famous kimchi, 12-step skincare routine, tech giants Samsung – you name it. And if you plan to visit the country or simply just to feel even more connected with the culture, the Korean language would come in handy.

Learning the Korean language is undoubtedly a good hedge. Not only will it gives you more opportunities in your career in the future, but it will also help you to watch any Korean TV shows without any subtitles and sing along your favorite Korean songs perfectly – not just sort of mumble the lyrics. Just imagine how convenient is that?

Thanks to the internet. In this digital era, you can learn the Korean language anywhere, anytime, without breaking a bank through YouTube. So, here are some of the best Korean YouTube channels to help you master the Korean language!

#1. JOLLY

This channel is run by two English best friends, Josh and Ollie. Josh has been living in South Korea for years and can speak Korean perfectly. Ollie, on the other hand, has a fairly limited Korean language knowledge since he has never lived in the country.

So, this channel is basically all about Josh teaches Ollie the Korean language. You can watch it to pick up some Korean words and grammar here and there. The ‘lesson’ is super fun and entertaining. It gives you a learning-with-friends vibe.

You might see Ollie’s struggle in pronouncing some Korean words or write the Korean alphabet (Hangul) at some points. And as a learner yourself, it’s really reassuring that it’s not just you finding this thing difficult.

#2. Korean Unnie

Korean Unnie channel gives you easy Korean lessons you might need on day to day basis while visiting South Korea. From how to sigh in Korean to what to say in an awkward situation while you’re in Korea, the lessons are not focused too much on grammar or any other textbooks-based lessons. She aims to teach her viewers and subscribers to speak Korean naturally, just like a native.

Her channel is not only all about teaching the Korean language, though. You can also see some entertaining yet informative videos about Korean culture and her daily life or routine as a Korean herself.

To make the learning process even more enjoyable, this channel also allows you to learn the Korean language using popular songs from popular singers.

So, just like her channel name, you would be feeling like having an older sister that helps you master the Korean language in an easy, casual way. No pressure, just fun.

#3. Talk To Me In Korean (TTMIK)

This channel has a motto, ‘We connect people through Korean lessons and cultural videos.’ And as you might already guess, the channel is all about mastering Korean vocabulary, grammar, phrases, even idioms.

Most of the lessons are no longer than ten minutes for a single topic, so you would not get overwhelmed and still having fun while learning. They also do hour-long live-streaming lessons that allow you to get a more interactive learning experience.

On some videos, they also feature some foreign guests to share their experience learning the Korean language and their whole experience while living in South Korea. This will help you to understand more about the Korean culture from a foreign perspective, so you will not be having an extreme culture shock when you visit the country for the first time.

#4. KoreanClass101

If you prefer to have the Korean language lessons just like what they would teach you in a course, you will love this channel. And if you want to focus on learning Korean grammar, you will love this channel even more.

KoreanClass101 teaches you lessons from the basic to the advanced level. In other words, this channel posts really helpful videos for any level of learners. Most of their videos are talking about Korean grammar. Besides grammar lessons, the channel also has videos that break down some phrases and language learning tips.

The KoreanClass101 also offers you videos of different lengths, from the short ones (around 5 minutes) to the longer ones (from 40 minutes to an hour-long) to break down specific topics. It also has a 24/7 live-streaming video you can watch if you’re not yet sure which video you want to begin with.

#5. GoBillyKorean

This channel is owned by Billy, an American who has been studying Korean for almost twenty years and currently lives in South Korea. He also has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Korean Language and Literature so even if he is not a native speaker, that would make him a reliable teacher.

GoBillyKorean provides you with videos that are suitable for both beginners and advanced learners. The learning method is simple and straightforward. He will break down and explaining a lesson using a whiteboard, just like a talking head in explainer videos – but more casual and entertaining, of course.

If you’re a complete beginner, you can find videos where he talks about all the basics, such as Hangul, basic grammar lessons, phrases, and more. Since he’s foreign and has spent years and years mastering the Korean language, he knows which lessons might a bit challenging for foreigners and he offers you solutions and tips to overcome them.

#6. Minji Teaches Korean

Minji teaches you the Korean language in a way that your Korean textbooks can not do. She will give you a shortcut in distinguishing Hangul that might look and sound exactly the same, learning descriptive verbs, mastering expressions, and more.

She also teaches the Korean language through popular video clips, like Parasite Oscar speech, famous actors and artists’ variety shows, even music award-winning speech from your favorite artists. Minji will break down some phrases or words from all of that resources that you might find useful in improving your Korean language.

Since the Korean language is relatively homogeneous and the dialects from different areas can have different intonation or meaning, Minji also features some guests from different areas to understand more about their dialects, such as Busan dialect, Jeolla dialect, Jeju dialect, and more.

Final Thoughts

It’s common knowledge that learning another language is always hard. Some people need two years to be fluent in a new language. Others need six or even ten years.  After all, no one can speak a new language overnight. That’s a myth. The key here is to be consistent, patient, and confident with every lesson you learn.

With those six YouTube channels mentioned above, you can now learn the Korean language anytime, anywhere, at your own pace and convenience. Every channel has its own way of delivering lessons, you can choose to subscribe and watch ones that you think match your learning style.

About the Author

Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).

Twitter: @breadnbeyond
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn: Andre Oentoro

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