If you’ve ever dreamed you’d be able to Learn Korean with BTS then we have good news for you.
Your dream is about to come true.
Starting in March 2020, the hit South Korean boyband are bringing their very own Korean lessons direct to your smartphone.
Who Are BTS?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ll already be familiar with the global phenomenon that is BTS.
But let’s say for a minute you have no idea who they are.
Hard to believe, right?
Anyway, BTS or Bangtan Sonyeondan (방탄소년단) are an uber-cool seven-piece boyband from South Korea,
Since their debut in 2013, they have sat at the top of the iTunes chart in 91 countries, reached over 35 million subscribers on their YouTube channel and are the first K-Pop band in history to reach the top of the US Charts.
This album earned them a congratulatory tweet from the South Korean President.
Congratulations to the Seven Music-loving Boys and Their Wings, ‘ARMY’!
The songs, dance, dreams and enthusiasm of BTS energized and gave strength to young people around the world. https://t.co/6ZL4XdrZVv
— 문재인 (@moonriver365) May 28, 2018
Pretty impressive right?
Now BTS has gained notoriety for pushing the boundaries when it comes to their music.
Instead of singing about safe subjects such as love and relationships, BTS tackle controversial topics, including bullying and mental health.
On stage, watching a live BTS concert is a complete theatrical experience. The boys are known for their smooth dance moves and fashionable dress-sense.
All this success has translated into substantial financial benefits for the boys, and they are now the worlds highest paid boy band.
Despite their success, the boys have not let their fame go to their head. They are always looking for ways to give back to their fans (also known as the ARMY), as they acknowledge they couldn’t have reached this level without them.
Most recently, the seven members, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V and Jungkook, have joined forces with app Weverse to deliver a series of FREE Korean lessons.
The best part? The lessons are taught by the boys themselves.
How to Learn Korean With BTS
Earlier this year, BTS broke the internet by announcing they would be taking to the app, Weverse, to deliver completely free Korean language lessons.
In a press release, BTS’s management company stated the boy band were on a mission to make learning Korean easy and fun for their global fan base.
In their new video series, Learn Korean with BTS, they would help their fans enjoy their music, despite the language barrier.
The lessons will eventually consist of a whopping 30 videos, with each session lasting only 3 minutes.
Perfectly digestible chunks of BTS goodness.
Much like a Korean drama, new episodes would be released weekly, via the Weverse app.
What Is Weverse?
If you’re outside of Korea, chances are you won’t be familiar with Weverse.
But if you’re part of the BTS Army, you can probably skip this part.
Weverse is a Korean mobile app created by the management company behind BTS, Big Hit Entertainment.
The app was built entirely as a social network for K-Pop fans. If you’re looking for updates from other huge K-Pop stars, including Seventeen or GFRIEND, this is a wise installation choice for your smartphone.
Using the app, fans can share posts and photos of their favourite artists with other fans around the world, as well as interacting with other members of the community.
How to Download the App
You’ll need to download and install the app before you can watch the Learn Korean with BTS series, so follow the quick links above to install.
Alternatively, scan the QR code to be taken directly to your app store.
Registering On Weverse
Ok, we are nearly there. Don’t worry, the Learn Korean with BTS series is not too far now!
Before you can watch the videos, you’ll need to register by following the instructions on the screen.
Once you’re registered, make sure you confirm your e-mail address, the last thing you want is to be locked out of your account!
You can navigate to the content by clicking the BTS icon at the top of the screen, or by scrolling through the homepage feed.
Learn Korean with BTS – Content
Now for the good stuff!
The lessons themselves are put together by two language professionals, Heo Yong of Hankuk University and researchers at the Korea Language Contents Institute. Safe to say you can expect some really high-quality content.
Better still, it’s completely free.
The content will feature moments from the BTS reality show, Run BTS!, their Youtube series Bangtan Bombs, as well as other exclusive material from the band.
You can expect to learn simple phrases, grammar and expressions in Korean, including many of the boys’ favourite sayings.
Now they claim their target audience is beginner Korean language learners with little to no prior experience of the language.
Regardless, if you’re part of the BTS Army, watching the videos will be a no brainer, whether you’re learning Korean or not!
Learn Korean with BTS – Our Review
Now you’re registered, let’s dive in and check out the content to see if it is likely to help with your Korean language journey.
Each 3-minute lesson revolves around several video clips of the band members speaking, in various situations.
At the end of each snippet, the clip is rewound and replayed from the beginning. Here, you are supposed to read along and repeat what you have just heard.
The first 3 lessons cover the following topics:
- Lesson One: Korean Consonants
- Lesson Two: Learn to introduce yourself with the phrase “Hello, I am ___.”
- Lesson Three: Learn how to say “hello”, “goodbye” and ask how someone has been.
If you’re already a fan of the band, chances are you will recognize many of these clips already. You may even be familiar with some of the phrases the boys use.
One thing for sure, this series is not for the complete beginner.
From the first lesson, all subtitles are in Hangul (the Korean Alphabet) and the clips are not structured in the style of a typical lesson.
No-one is teaching you what to say, or even providing an English translation of what the boys themselves are saying.
You can turn on English subtitles, but those then completely cover up the Hangul, and it all turns into a bit of a mess.
If you have absolutely no Korean knowledge, you are definitely going to struggle.
Before watching the series, you should definitely learn Hangul, and at least be familiar with the way Korean words sound.
You may be able to pick up a few phrases just by repetition, but you are going to struggle actually understanding what you are saying, or how to put sentences together yourself.
Our Final Verdict
So what’s our verdict on Learning Korean with BTS?
It’s hard to complain about something completely free.
Plus, we have a soft spot for the boys.
When learning a new language, it’s incredibly important to make the process as fun as possible.
If it becomes tedious and painful too quickly, chances are you will just quietly put your textbooks under your bed and never look at them again.
Learn Korean with BTS makes the process fun and engaging.
Plus, it’s really helpful to learn from a wide variety of resources, to keep things fresh and preventing you from burning out.
It’s hard to get bored in 3 short minutes, and given each video revolves around one theme, you’re not going to be overloading yourself with information.
The downside is that 3 minutes really isn’t long enough to learn anything meaningful.
As with anything the boys do, the series has developed a substantial social media following. Fans can motivate and chat with each other on twitter by using #LearnKoreanWithBTS, which is a fantastic way to meet fellow learners.
The community are super helpful, and we have seen those more experienced with the language helping beginners out, which is fantastic.
Now it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.
As the clips are taken from other series’, they are not designed for teaching.
The speech is often fast and sometimes mumbled, making it hard for beginners to keep up.
There is also no romanization of Hangul offered, so unless you know how to read, you’ll be left just trying to repeat what you have heard, which is not the best way to learn.
The clips do not contain any explanation of anything that is happening in the clip. We found that sometimes variations of the same phrase were spoken, but no reason was given as to why.
In that respect, the beginner learner will struggle to pick up on tricky grammar issues.
Despite its shortcomings, Learn Korean with BTS is a fun and engaging way to mix up your language learning.
If you’re a beginner Korean language learner and a fan of the boys, then you’ll definitely enjoy this series, just don’t rely on it to have you speaking like a native.
*Featured image credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com