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Learn Korean: How to Start Learning Korean With These K-Dramas

Learn Korean with K-dramas! This blog reveals how to turn your binge-watching into productive study time.

If you are like me, being sucked into a k-drama and spending hours binge-watching it is not an uncommon event for you. You might also be like me if you finish the drama and wonder why you are not fluent in Korean yet with the amount of time you spend listening to it. This blog is here to tell you that it is possible to learn Korean with K-dramas if you change the way you watch and interact with them. 

In this blog, I will teach you how to interact with K-dramas in a way that will strengthen your Korean skills. Your guilt for spending hours watching TV will disappear as watching K-dramas turns into productive study time. I will also recommend some of the best dramas to watch to learn Korean and Korean culture. Read the rest of this blog to start turning K-drama time into productive Korean study time. 

How K-dramas Can Help You Learn Korean

K-dramas can be helpful to Korean learners in many ways. 

First, watching K-dramas exposes you to natural Korean. As you watch K-dramas you will become familiar with the way Korean people speak, their diction, the way they phrase things, popular words or expressions. Listening to K-dramas will make speaking Korean easier and also help your comprehension skills. 

Second, K-dramas will help you learn new vocabulary, phrases and expressions. As you watch Korean dramas you will pick-up speech that is commonly used in Korea along with slang words and pop culture related expressions. 

Third, K-dramas can help you improve your grammar. As you watch K-dramas, you will pick up on the way Koreans speak and develop an ear for what is commonly said in Korean and what is awkward. Developing this ear will help you tremendously in speaking Korean.

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Where to Watch Korean Dramas?

There are many platforms on which you can watch Korean dramas. All of the popular streaming services in the US now have a plethora of K-dramas. Netflix and Hulu have a variety of K-dramas. Amazon prime also has a few dramas, but their strength lies in their selection of Korean movies. Viki is a popular streaming site for K-dramas. They have hundreds of Korean dramas across all genres. Check out any one of these streaming services to find a K-drama you will fall in love with.

Learning a Language Through Television: The Active Approach

In order to learn Korean through K-drama a more active approach needs to be taken than just watching the drama with subtitles while ignoring the actual Korean being spoken. With the following approach you will be able to get a lot more out of a K-drama than you would have otherwise.


The most important thing to do when watching a k-drama is to focus, not just on the plot, but on the Korean words being said. I often find myself paying too much attention to the subtitles of the drama and end up drowning out all of the Korean. As you read the subtitles, pay attention to the Korean words that go along with the English translation. You will find that you pick up a lot more. 


It is a good idea to break the drama into parts. You might break it up into conversations, or phrases. Breaking it up will make the Korean easier to digest. It will also give you the opportunity to repeat what you heard and look up words you don't know. What I like to do is watch a conversation, then pause the show and go back to the beginning of the conversation where I then break the conversation up phrase by phrase. 

While I do that, I can look up any words I don’t know. Then, I watch the conversation again to see how much more of the Korean I can understand. After doing all of this, I move onto the next conversation. This will certainly take more time, but it will also significantly increase the amount of Korean you take in. 


As you watch your drama, try repeating the words the characters say. This will help you process more of the Korean and also improve your pronunciation and diction. If you do this continuously, you will start sounding like a native Korean. 


Try using some of the words and phrases you pick up from K-dramas with friends and family. This will help you remember what you learn. You will also be able to measure your practice by how much Korean you are able to speak. 

Subtitles can be Helpful

Don’t ditch the subtitles just yet! If you can't understand most of what is said without subtitles, don’t turn off the subtitles. Instead use them as a tool to learn. Listen to the Korean being spoken and then read the English translations. If you are feeling pretty good with your Korean skill level, try turning on Korean subtitles instead. Read along with the characters’ lines. Korean subtitles can make Korean more digestible and teach you new Korean words and phrases. 

a chalkboard with Korean writing next to a korean flag

Tips for Learning Korean with K-Dramas

  • Start with Easy K-dramas: If you are a beginner, start with K-dramas that are easy to understand. These dramas will typically have slower dialogue and simpler storylines.
  • Watch K-dramas with subtitles: Subtitles can be a great way to help you understand what is being said in a K-drama. If you are a beginner, you may want to start by watching K-dramas with English subtitles. As you become more comfortable with the Korean language, you can switch to Korean subtitles.
  • Repeat what you hear: As you watch K-dramas, repeat the words and phrases that you hear. This can help you improve your pronunciation and memorization.
  • Look up new words: As you watch K-dramas, you will come across new Korean words and phrases. You can look these words up in a dictionary or online to learn their meaning.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help: If you have any questions about Korean grammar or vocabulary, don't be afraid to ask for help from a native speaker or online forum.

Here are some additional tips for using K-dramas to learn Korean:

  • Watch a K-drama with subtitles in your native language.
  • Choose dramas that are set in modern times. This will help you learn more current vocabulary and slang.
  • Pause the K-drama frequently to repeat words and phrases that you don't understand.
  • Look up new words and phrases in a Korean dictionary.
  • Watch the K-drama multiple times.
  • Write down any new words or phrases that you learn.
  • Practice speaking Korean with a native speaker.
  • Join a K-drama study group. This is a great way to learn with other people and get support.
  • Have fun! Learning a new language should be enjoyable. If you're not having fun, you're less likely to stick with it.

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Select Best Korean Dramas to Watch

Crash Landing on You 

This is a romantic comedy about a South Korean businesswoman who falls into North Korea and is rescued by a North Korean captain. It is a great drama for learning Korean because it is well-written and has a lot of dialogue.

Itaewon Class

This is a drama about a young man who opens a restaurant in Itaewon, Seoul. It is a great drama for learning Korean because it has a lot of slang and colloquialisms.

Hospital Playlist 

It is a medical drama about five doctors who are friends. It is a great drama for learning Korean because it has a lot of medical terminology.

Reply 1988

It is a coming-of-age drama about five friends who grew up in Seoul in the 1980s. It is a great drama for learning Korean because it has a lot of everyday language.

My Mister 

Is a drama about a young woman who is struggling to make ends meet and a mysterious older man who helps her. It is a great drama for learning Korean because it is well-written and has a lot of dialogue.


  • K-dramas can be a great way to learn Korean.
  • By following the tips in this blog post, you can get the most out of your language-learning experience.
  • With a little effort, you can use K-dramas to improve your listening comprehension, vocabulary, pronunciation, and cultural understanding.
  • Encouragement to continue learning and practicing the language

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