Podcasts can make a great resource for learning Korean and practicing your listening no matter what level you are at! Using podcasts to learn Korean is a great option because you can do it while doing chores, menial tasks, on the bus or train, or in many other situations. If you are alone you can also have the added benefit of repeating what you hear back for extra speaking practice, not so fun to do on a full bus though haha.


Podcasts to Learn Korean for Beginners

Podcasts to Learn Korean for Beginners

First up for beginners, you’ll probably want simpler grammar and sentence structure or podcasts that are a mix of English and Korean. Some great options for beginner podcasts to learn Korean are:


최수수 ChoiSusu focuses on making beginner-friendly podcasts in Korean, with beginner vocab and grammar structures. On her YouTube channel she has the transcript and the translation available to follow along.


Talk To Me In Korean is the most popular resource and probably most well-known for their books and lessons but they also offer podcast episodes as well. They provide a variety of levels and focuses for listening to. The team has a lot of podcast episodes that are conversations with a mix of  Korean and English, too.


Korean Podcasts for Intermediate/Advanced Learners

A favourite I have for intermediate learning is SpongeMind! They focus on having conversations about various topics and their opinions in both Korean and English. Now I put this into intermediate and not beginner even though they use English because sometimes the conversations and vocabulary exceed beginner level. Also, they record a topic in Korean and English separately; so the conversations aren’t always 1-to-1.

With SpongeMind I’ve listened to just the Korean version and tried transcribing it myself and translating it, going back and re-listening to make sure I get everything. There are a lot of options for how you can use a podcast to help you learn Korean.


Now for advanced podcasts, I like just listening to real Korean podcasts! As in; made for a Korean audience without the focus of studying or teaching someone Korean. I use podbbang which hosts a ton of various Korean podcasts. This is where you can really get into it! You can pick certain podcasts that focus on your interests, or potentially in areas you would like to improve or learn more Korean vocab.

My favourite is 책읽아웃 which focuses on interviewing different writers and getting them to talk about their books and life. I thought it was a perfect fit when I found it for the variety of topics and new insights and perspectives which I love to hear and think about. Also a cute name, 책 읽 아웃,  책 (book) – you get it right?


How to Use Podcasts to Learn Korean

How to Use Podcasts to Learn Korean

Of course, podcasts are for listening but there are options to how you can use one to study instead of only passively listening. Above I mentioned that listening to a podcast I tried real-time translating it and going along with the audio but here are some ideas to make the most out of podcasts:

  • Transcribing! Try to write out what you hear in Korean and check back for any spelling errors
  • Translating into English; real-time or slowed down whichever helps you
  • Repeating back certain phrases or words
  • Replying to the conversation, this can be useful to develop your conversational skills and start saying ‘어’ ‘아’ ‘정말?’ ‘그런가?’ etc. like Koreans naturally do
  • Make notes or phrases or words you want to review


One thing I want to say about translating or transcribing is just go with the flow. If you don’t know a certain word or phrase just put down a question mark and try not to dwell on it. Focusing on being 100% right can pull you out and make it more frustrating. Try a section and you can be proud you understood 40%, then later 70%, and up to 100%!


Bonus! Using Korean Radio

In the same sort of area of podcasts is classic radio. You can listen live to music, conversations, and interviews depending on the station you select. Luckily you don’t actually have to be in Korea to listen to Korean radio, a while ago I found radio.garden which lets you play radio stations from all around the world- including South Korea! They even have North Korean Pyongyang radio if you are interested; though remember North and South Korean accents and vocabulary are a bit different so depending on your level it might be hard to understand.

Listening to the radio can also give you a bit of cultural information; obviously, some stations will include the news or current events, but ads are great! Radio ads are repetitive and have catchy jingles to help you remember them (thus nicer for a learner). Also, many ads can be very well-known in a city, I know people from my city all know a couple of radio jingles and I imagine it’s the same with Korean ad jingles.




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