Have you noticed how popular Korean music has become? Other Korean-made media is also in right now. As you would imagine, this has made learning Korean very popular too, with people wanting to learn the lyrics to their favorite songs, understand what is happening in the dramas, and just know more about Korean culture as a whole. While there are a number of options available for learning Korean, there is one notable exception: Babbel. That’s right - it seems that there is no Korean on Babbel as of right now. How can that be?
With Korean media being so popular, it would seem like a no brainer to have Korean lessons available to help those wanting to learn the language. So why does Babbel not offer Korean? Let’s try to work this out.
Ok, hear me out on this. A quick glance at the Babbel website shows that the number of courses they offer is actually quite limited. In fact, only (arguably) one language from Asia in that list: Indonesian. This leads me to believe that Babbel either is not particularly focused on Asian languages or otherwise it has not yet expanded its library to cover it.
Essentially, their focus is not on Korean or other Asian languages, but elsewhere instead. Are they continuing to build up their portfolio of available European languages first before moving onto the Asian region? Only time can tell. For the time being, perspective Korean learners will need to look elsewhere to get their fix.
Another interesting thing to point out is that Russian is the only language offered by Babbel that uses an alphabet other than the Latin one (Cyrillic in this case). As you may know, Bahasa Indonesia uses an adapted version of the Latin alphabet. This means that, in terms of teaching, there can be a lot less focus on this aspect of the language. This may play a part in things.
The use of a unique alphabet in the Korean alphabet, however intuitive it has been designed, maybe another consideration that is preventing them from creating lessons for Korean. The process of teaching how to identify, recognize, and pronounce this aspect of the language may be time-consuming beyond everything else that must be taught.
I am glad you asked. There is one very obvious recommendation that can be made here, and that is the Ling Korean app. Ling uses native Korean speakers to help you learn Korean, just like it will sound in the country.
Through the gamification of learning, it also makes the whole process much more engaging. You can see yourself progress as you make your way through the different topics and tests that come along with it.
Then there is the chatbot feature that simulates conversations and makes for great practicing your Korean language skills. For an introvert like me, it helps to build up my courage to eventually feel confident enough to use it when out and about.
While these mobile apps do share a common goal of making language learning fun and accessible, what sets Ling apart is the focus on practical vocabulary, sentences, and phrases that you will use in everyday speech.
This one is actually a part of the same family as Ling. Simply Learn Korean is a phrasebook in app form, giving you all the benefits that come with that. You can listen to the words and phrases being spoken by native Korean speakers, along with the Korean and phonetic spellings of the words.
It makes for a great companion both when practicing and when you are in Korea. It makes use of flashcards and the spaced repetition learning technique that is said to really improve language learning.
It may not be the top choice if you want a deep understanding of the language but helps you start out with pronunciation and basic grammar like word order.
There are quite a few different apps and websites that work great with helping you to learn Korean. Each one goes about its own way to replace the hole made by the lack of Korean on Babbel. Ultimately, it is a case of finding which option works best for your case.
Like we said before, it is good to make a language learning plan and mix things up if you are serious about learning Korean. If you are just looking for a more casual experience to learn a few phrases before traveling, then apps might be the best option for you.
It is a bummer that Babbel does not offer Korean language courses. However, that is no reason not to start learning. There are many different alternatives to Babbel available to you which may offer the same or even better experiences for learning a new language. We highly recommend for you try the Ling Korean app as a start to get a state of what is available. Whatever you decide to use, I wish you the best of luck and hope you can become a Korean speaking master and enjoy every step of the journey.