The Best K-Dramas for Korean Learners
Why opt for K-dramas when learning Korean?
Learning a new language can be challenging, but immersing yourself in the culture through TV shows and movies makes the process more enjoyable. Korean dramas, known as K-dramas, are an excellent way for beginners to pick up new vocabulary and phrases in context. The shows often focus on everyday situations and feature natural conversations. Here are some of the best K-dramas to boost your Korean listening and reading comprehension skills.
Crash Landing on You
This hugely popular romantic comedy follows a South Korean heiress who accidentally paraglides into North Korea and falls in love with a North Korean army officer. Their forbidden relationship highlights the cultural differences between the two Koreas. The conversations cover a range of emotions and relationships, making it ideal for building vocabulary. Being set in both South and North Korea also exposes learners to different dialects and accents.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo
A lighthearted coming-of-age drama set at a sports university, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo revolves around a group of college athletes. An uplifting story of friendship, growth, and young romance, this drama gives learners a look into the everyday lives and relationships of Korean students. The conversational dialogue is easy to follow for beginners. Sports training scenes also expose viewers to specialized terminology.
Hello, My Twenties!
Also known as Age of Youth, this drama follows a group of five female college students living together in a houseshare. Their humorous and heartfelt conversations about friendships, careers, and relationships provide learners with exposure to informal speech used by young Koreans. The tight-knit friendship between the women also provides plenty of emotional vocabulary related to giving advice and supporting one another.
Fight For My Way
A feel-good story about achieving dreams and finding love, this drama revolves around two best friends who pursue their passions in taekwondo and broadcasting. The long-time friendship between the leads provides many natural conversations in casual speech that demonstrate how close friends interact in Korea. The emotional range of conversations helps learners gain vocabulary for expressing encouragement, disappointment, excitement, and doubt.
Touch Your Heart
A funny workplace romance between a top actress and a perfectionist lawyer, Touch Your Heart offers learners a peek into a Korean law firm. The natural conversations between colleagues expose viewers to vocabulary related to careers, hierarchy, and office dynamics. As a romantic comedy, it also features lighthearted conversations around dating that learners can absorb vocabulary from.
Strong Girl Bong-soon
A quirky romantic comedy infused with an element of fantasy, Strong Girl Bong-soon tells the story of a girl born with superhuman strength who becomes a bodyguard. Set against the backdrop of a video game company, conversations cover topics ranging from workplace interactions, relationships, and family. The playful dynamic between the lead couple provides exposure to casual romantic language, while scenes with family members feature more formal speech.
What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?
A popular office romance, What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim? provides an abundance of business vocabulary related to executives, secretaries, and office culture. The evolving relationship between a narcissistic vice president and his loyal secretary also exposes viewers to natural conversations that transition from professional to personal. The range of workplace and romantic dialogues make it great for boosting Korean listening.
Revolving around five friends who all work as doctors at the same hospital, Hospital Playlist offers an in-depth look into Korean medical vocabulary and doctor-patient conversations. The heartwarming story of long-time friends also exposes viewers to casual conversations between colleagues and friends. Its focus on music and relationships provides vocabulary for expressing emotions, encouragement, and affection.
A relaxing slice-of-life drama set in a seaside village, Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha revolves around the romance between a big-city dentist and a jack-of-all-trades handyman. The laidback setting provides conversational Korean vocabulary in an everyday small-town context. Scenes set in the dental clinic also expose learners to medical terms and doctor-patient dialogues. An excellent drama for beginners to absorb vocabulary related to jobs, relationships, and daily life.
Along with these K-dramas, Korean variety shows like Running Man and 2 Days & 1 Night can also help boost listening comprehension through entertaining conversations between celebrities. Immersing yourself in the Korean language through dramas and shows you enjoy makes learning a fun and natural process. So explore the range of genres to find a show that suits your interests, and let the exposure to spoken Korean in context take your skills to the next level.
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