Can I Learn Korean with Webtoons?
Learning a language through fun methods is very important. It emphasizes your language learning success. And if you’re learning Korean, you have plenty of options to make your lessons enjoyable. Webtoons are an excellent example of that. Discover what webtoons are, and how you can learn the language with them. And if you need recommendations, we’ll show you the best Korean webtoons too.
What Are Korean Webtoons?
Webtoons are a type of cartoon native to South Korea. They’re not just a great language-learning resource, they’re also a great insight into Korean culture.
Korean webtoons are very similar to manga (manhwa). But instead of print, they’re always digital. This makes them ideal to read on your phone. You never have to turn a page when you’re reading Korean webtoons either. Instead, they’re continuous, long strips of comics, so scrolling through them is very easy. And that’s important if you’re trying to learn Korean using them. You want the process to be as easy as possible.
Unlike manga, Korean webtoons are very colorful. They feature exciting stories in all genres. They combine rich story, with unique characters, humor, suspense, and art into an incredibly enjoyable reading experience. But it’s not just fun. You can easily use webtoons as an easy way to reach fluency in Korean.
The Best Webtoons to Learn Korean Online
1. Tales of the Unusual
Although this webtoon is classified as a thriller, it’s not that scary. It’s a collection of short stories. Each one is around 5 chapters long. Supernatural and horror elements make them very exciting. And even though the plots are often disturbing, they can have heartwarming elements too.
2. Dr. Frost
Dr. Frost is a stoically genius psychologist, whose South Korean practice is at the center of this webtoon. His helper, Seong Ahyoon is an aspiring psychology student. They diagnose and treat mental health patients in this popular webtoon.
The art in Dr. Frost is very simplistic and yet beautiful. Besides the interesting plot, the premise attempts to destigmatize mental health. This webtoon was also adapted as a TV show.
3. My Dear Cold-Blooded King
Set in feudal Japan, this webtoon offers an exciting rags-to-riches story. Secrecy, deceit, and desire are the everyday struggles of Kihara Mei. The former peasant’s peaceful life was disturbed by the infamous Blood King. Since her arrival at court, every day is an adventure to uncover the royal secrets that surround her.
“Lookism” is a common phenomenon. It means judging someone based on how attractive or unattractive they are. This story follows a bullied boy, whose self-pity carries him through high-school. But one day, he wakes up in the body of an attractive young man. How this change affects his life is an important critique of modern society.
Rai is no ordinary teenager. He is, in fact, a nobleman born 820 years ago. After he awakens from his long sleep, he joins high school to fit in modern society. With the help of his friends, he lives through exciting adventures, fights an underground organization, and uncovers the secrets of his past.
The Benefit of Reading Korean Webtoons Online
The best Korean webtoons are great for discovering everyday Korean expressions. Speech bubbles indicate a character speaking in these comics. Following these bubbles, you can gain valuable insight into natural Korean speech. And since webtoons are created by younger artists, you can also discover a lot of slang and current Korean trends. It’s an easy way to learn how to speak like a local.
How to Use Webtoons Online to Learn Korean
As tempting as it is to just dive into the world of webtoons, if you want to learn Korean successfully, you need to follow a few steps.
For Beginner Korean Speakers:
- Learn Hangul. Korean webtoons are written in Hangul. Mastering these characters first is not only beneficial for reading webtoons, but also helpful in your overall goal of learning Korean.
- Read every sentence and speech bubble on one slide.
- Pick out the unfamiliar words, and look up their meaning.
- Make sure you write them down to review later.
- Re-read the slide.
- Never translate the whole sentence. It will ruin the exercise.
For Intermediate/Advanced Korean Speakers:
- Read every sentence and speech bubble on the slide, out loud.
- If you understand the context, guess the meaning of unfamiliar words.
- If you can’t, look them up.
- Re-read the slide.
- Never translate the whole sentence.
Why You Should Avoid Translating Korean Webtoons
You can learn Korean fast from webtoons. But only if you get used to thinking and speaking as a native would. If you translate to English, your mindset isn’t right. You’ll read the words, and think “This would mean this in English”. When in fact, Korean is a completely separate experience. Giving your full attention to that can help you learn the language much faster.
Of course, you can look up unfamiliar words. Adding those to your vocabulary is very beneficial. But translating whole sentences ruins the reading experience.
Where to Find the Best Korean Webtoons Online
You can read and purchase webtoons online. For offline access, you can easily download them to your phone or tablet. While there are many websites that feature popular webtoons in different genres, the two main sources for South Korean webtoons are Naver and Daum.
This website is dedicated to everything webtoon. Featuring content from artists directly, there’s a vast amount of choice for you. You can find any genre and any style easily. Naver is undoubtedly one of the most popular sites for webtoons.
This website was created by the same company that did KakaoTalk. Daum features more complex storylines, making it a great resource for intermediate learners.
How Much Do Webtoons Cost?
Webtoons come out periodically, much like Korean dramas or TV shows. And you can purchase the newest episodes of popular webtoon series if you want. These can start as low as $1, depending on the artist and platform you use.
But there are TONS of free materials online. If you’re reading webtoons to learn Korean, you don’t have to pay anything for valuable resources.
If you’re using websites like Naver, it’s easy to download the best Korean webtoons for free. You just need to click on the “download icon” on the top right-hand corner of a specific series.
When you want to download a specific Webtoon, you can click on 임시저장 at the bottom of the screen to save for later. You can also view your library for all of your saved items.
Get More Out of The Best Korean Webtoons
Reading the best Korean webtoons is a great way to enhance your Korean knowledge. They are fascinating reading materials, that give you an insight into the culture, as well as the language. But in order to understand what you’re reading, you need a basic level of Korean knowledge first. To learn Korean the most effective way, try OptiLingo!
OptiLingo combines the best language learning theories into one app. These scientifically-proven methods can fast track your proficiency. By learning high-frequency phrases, you won’t just become fluent. You will also speak like a local. And you will also read Korean webtoons easily. Try OptiLingo today to discover how effective your language learning can be.