It’s pretty important to recognize that when you are learning a language like Korean, Japanese, or Chinese that you are not only learning a new way of speaking – but also of writing.
A lot of the online sites and curriculum that we tried for Korean expected us to already be able to read in Hangul. That is frustrating, which is one of the reasons I highly recommend the italki community as well as Talk to me in Korean for getting started.
But at some point, you have to break down and learn the alphabet.
The good news is that there are some great apps for Ipad/Iphone and Android devices that help you and your kids learn Hangul!
Here are 10 apps that we have downloaded, tested, and can recommend to you.
I’ve provided the links to the apps on Itunes but please note that we haven’t tested them on apple products, only on Android.
Jump Baby Korean Alphabet
This one is more for younger children. Gaius likes it a lot. You simply click on the monkey and he jumps – while giving a simple consonant/vowel combination. Click him again and he jumps, giving you a word in Korean. Very simple, and it only goes over consonants, but a good introduction to Hangul structure.
- This app is no longer available – try Pororo Korean instead
Gaon Hangul Step 1
Good for older students who want a deeper understanding of the structure of Hangul. This has a nice “wheel” showing how all consonants and vowels can be formed by the same basic lines and dashes.
This app also has a nice 7-day study chart if you are in a hurry to learn Hangul! Also – on the vowel introductions be sure to click the mouth icon to see an animation of how to mouth the sound.
- App on Google Play
Korean Handwriting Plus
This app is our favorite. I had the lite version but decided to upgrade it to the full version for $2.99.
Starting with consonants, then vowels, you move through the basic steps of forming sounds and words. At the end, you should know quite a few words and phrases along with the alphabet!
Play With Korean
Another fun app for kids – this one has little animations and cute pictures. Younger kids will find these letters easier to trace.
Korean 123 Read Write Practice
Fantastic app that not only has Hangul but introduces numbers in Korean also – in both systems! Koreans use two counting systems (native Korean and sino Korean) and when you trace a number it will pronounce both versions.
I also love that the app is responsive – letting you know if you are tracing right or wrong with a pop-up sticker. (see video above for demonstration)
POPOYA Fruits Vegetables
Another fun app – this one doesn’t teach the Korean alphabet. Use this one to practice reading and writing in Hangul and learn the names of common fruits and veggies in Korean!
Exactly like POPOYA fruits & veggies only this one teaches lots of animals. These two apps are fun – and free!
Korean Study Step 1
I was bummed that this wasn’t available for my tablet, but I was able to get it on my smartphone.
A simple app – very similar to Korean 123 Read Write Practice. Everything is in Korean though, but it doesn’t take a lot to click around and figure out how to move through the steps.
For older kids and adults – this in-depth study of Hangul will take you through the history of the written language, the proper mouth positions, and a whole lot more. Not a very fancy app, but a thorough one.
Now you have no excuse to not being able to read in Hangul!
I plan to share some apps that Denna uses for Japanese also – as soon as I get some pictures and time to jot down review notes.
Do you have a favorite app for learning a foreign language? Please share!