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Korean Language And Culture Learning With Podcasts

If You Are Interested In Learning Korean With Podcasts, Here Is A Guide Of Where To Start!

Hyejoo Ro
4 years ago

Do you have a long commute to work or school? Going on a road trip to some far off place? Podcasts can really help the time pass when working on mundane tasks. 

Unfamiliar with podcasts? Podcasts are a series of audio episodes on any topic.

There are many ways to stream podcast episodes, you can use apps like Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, etc.

For this blog post we will be focusing on podcasts that can help you learn Korean! Something to note, most of these podcasts are geared toward English-speaking learners. 


TALK TO ME IN KOREAN SERIES


talk to me in korean icon

Talk To Me In Korean (TTMIK) was founded in 2009 and their goal is to make Korean learning accessible and practical.

This group has produced and released a series of four podcasts each catering to various Korean skill levels. Here we will outline each one. These podcasts are available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.

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Korean Grammar With TTMIK


Korean grammar podcast by talk to me in korean (TTMIK)

Korean grammar with TTMIK has the most episodes of the four released by the TTMIK team.

There were 278 episodes as of 30 November 2020, and new episodes are released Monday to Friday.

This podcast launched its first episode back in 2017, and has continued for three years, thanks to dedicated listeners!

Kyeong-eun Choi, one of the Hosts of Korean Grammar With TTMIK 

Each lesson is short at around 10 to 20 minutes, digestible, and meant to improve your Korean grammatical structure.

The series is sequential according to skill level, so the first episode is starting at the very beginning (best for those completely new to Korean). 

If you are familiar with Korean grammar, you can scroll through the episodes and begin listening at some of their later episodes.

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Real-life Korean Conversations For Beginners


real-life korean conversations for beginners podacast icon by TTMIK

This podcast as noted in the title, is meant to help beginners learn Korean through conversation. Since these are examples of conversation you can have in reality, it is a really practical podcast with phrasing and vocabulary.

The episodes are really short (~ 2 minutes) but include conversation topics about transportation, food, work/school, etc.

Along with a snippet of the Korean conversation, the narrator also tells you the English translation.

So if there is a particular topic you would like to have a conversation about, you can scroll through the titles and listen to ones you like! 

There are 40 episodes as of 30 November 2020, and the most recent episode was released a while ago (21 April 2019). This podcast does not seem to be active anymore, but there is still plenty of material on backlog. 

This podcast specifically is also available on Naver Audioclip

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IYAGI Korean Listening For Learners


IYAGI podcast icon from TTMIK

This podcast has the second most number of episodes (145 as of 30 Nov 2020). It seems like another older, and no longer active podcast because the most recent episode was released in 2018.

But like the Real-life Korean Conversations for Beginners podcast, there are plenty of episodes that you can listen to.

IYAGI (이야기) is Korean for narrative or conversation. Therefore it makes sense that this podcast features conversations in Korean.

It feels more like a higher level version of the Real-life Korean Conversations for Beginners, since the conversations are slightly longer (~10 minutes).

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Talk To Me In 100% Korean
수다 타임


korean learning podcast talk to me 100% in korean icon

The final podcast in the TTMIK series is Talk To me in 100% Korean (수다 타임). Suda (수다) mean chatter and 타임 (ta-ime) means time.

Like the title implies, the conversations are 100% in Korean so the skill level is a bit more advanced. 

This podcast has the least number of episodes, with only 25 available. But each episode is about 10 minutes long.

It also seems like this podcast is not active anymore since the most recent episode was released on 17 August 2020.

But since there are three other series of podcasts, so there are more than enough podcasts to listen to! 

This podcast specifically is also available on Soundcloud. 

If auditory learning isn’t your strongest skill, no worries! All the transcripts of the podcasts are available on the Talk To Me In Korean website.

You can be a real study buff by reading along the transcript with the podcast. 

On top of the podcasts, this group produced many workbooks and has an online platform. 

You can create an account, determine your Korean skill level (with a level test), and build your learning plan.

A lot of TTMIK’s content is free, and there are many mediums (audio/video) to cater to people with various learning styles! 


LEARN KOREAN WITH DAVID


Korean with David podcast icon

This podcast is run by an individual named David Trettel who focuses solely on podcasts. Each episode is a lesson with a different focus/topic with real-life applications. 

As of 30 November 2020 there were 106 episodes on this platform, so if there is a specific topic you are interested in, there is likely a podcast episode. 

The length of the episodes vary from 5-10 minutes, so the lessons are nice and short snippets. The lessons consist of grammar, vocabulary, and phrases used in practical settings. 

This seems to be an active podcast, with new episodes uploaded weekly. This podcast is available on Stitcher and Spotify! 

You can also reach out to David on social media via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or reach out over email (learnkoreanwithdavid@gmail.com).


ESSENTIAL KOREAN


essential korean podcast icon

Essential Korean was founded by a Korean Language teacher (Kay). She released a series of podcasts that are 10 to 30 minutes long.

Since Kay authored Korean language books, the lessons of each episode tend to focus more towards the technical side of Korean (proper grammar, syntax, etc). 

This seems to be a relatively newer podcast with the first episode launched on 6 February 2020.

As of 30 November 2020 there were 20 episodes, with new episodes seeming to be uploaded bi-weekly.

Podcast episodes are available on Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and her website


LEARN KOREAN
KoreanClass101.com


Learn korean podcast by korean class 101.com icon

KoreanClass101.com is an online platform for learning the Korean language, but they also release podcasts entitled Learn Korean. These podcasts are available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Stitcher.

Learn Korean consists of 69 episodes as of 30 November 2020, and each podcast episode varies from 5-10 minutes.

This podcast covers a wide range of topics and some episodes even suggest study tips! What is different about this podcast is that there are also videos, which is not too common among podcasts. 

Learn Korean seems to upload new podcasts daily. 

There is a slight variant released on Spotify called Learn Korean: Korean Survival Phrases. The episodes in this podcast are lessons (no longer than 10 minutes) geared to help you know the fundamental conversations in Korean. 

This Spotify podcast does not seem to be active anymore since the most recent episode was released in 2019, but there are 59 episodes on backlog.


THE LEGIT KOREAN


the legit korean podcast icon

The Legit Korean is a podcast run by Ari Lee, who is a native Korean speaker. Something I like about this podcast is that it combines “fundamental” Korean phrases, with commentary on Korean culture.

Episodes are of decent length at about 10 to 20 minutes and are very entertaining! 

This podcast has 108 episodes as of 30 November 2020, but is also releasing new episodes on Fridays every week.

The Legit Korean is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.


PODBBANG


screen capture of podbbang homepage

If you are feeling super confident in your Korean or if you have exhausted all Korean language learning podcasts, you can test your knowledge of Korean with podcasts fully in Korean! PodBbang (팟빵) is a website of podcast of native Korean conversations. 

There are a range of categories such as art, politics, sports, KPop, etc. Note, since the website is in Korean, your verbal and listening skills should be comparable to your reading skills. 


KBS WORLD RADIO

KBS world radio icon

If you are interested in Korean current events, KBS is a popular news platform in Korea that also releases podcasts! 

Their website offers podcasts in 11 different languages. Although some of the podcasts may be in your native language, we challenge you to take a listen to the podcast KBS offers fully in Korean!

screen capture of learning korean feature of KBS word radio

BONUS: KBS World Radio offers lessons for learning Korean on this website.

This feature includes other languages like Chinese, Arabic, French, Spanish, etc! 


KPOP DAEBAK
w/ Eric Nam by Dive Studios


Kpop daebak show w/ Eric Nam podcast logo

Fans of Kpop may already follow Eric Nam, but did you know he has a podcast on Kpop? Since Eric Nam was born and raised in the U.S, his podcast is also primary in English. 

So why is this podcast recommended on this list if it is not directly related to the Korean language? 

Well, Eric Nam folds in Korean phrases related to Kpop in his podcast episodes, and there is an episode dedicated to learning Korean (BONUS EP. #4).

Eric Nam also has Kpop idol guests on this show where their language preference is Korean. 

So, if you are a fan of Kpop and want to know terms related to Kpop, you may want to check out this podcast. 

There are 101 episodes (as of 30 November 2020), and new releases every Monday. This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.   


SPONGEMIND PODCAST


sponge mind podcast for learning korean

SpongeMind is a bilingual podcast run by Jonson and Jeremy. This podcast is unique because they release two versions of one episode, an English version, and a Korean version.  

The content is relatable to language learners since Jonson (learning English), and Jeremy (learning Korean) speak about their perspective on learning rather than giving formal lessons. 

Each podcast has three takeaway points which makes learning Korean or English much more digestible. On average, episodes are ~30 minutes long. 

the hosts of sponge mind, a korean learning podcast

For more accessibility, you can request transcripts and translations of their episodes over email (grow@spongemind.org). 

There does not seem to be a consistant release schedule. However, it seems like there is a new episode every month. 

There are a total of 154 episodes (as of December 24, 2020). This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and SoundCloud! 


Hope these podcast recommendations help the time pass in a productive manner! Happy Korean learning! Let us know if you follow any other podcasts that are not mentioned on this list.


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