When I started learning Korean maaaany many years ago, there were almost no resources readily available. I remember going into Borders (RIP) and finding maybe two books on learning Korean. There was nowhere near the number of online resources that are available today. And, smartphones weren’t really a thing then so there were definitely no apps. Eggbun is one of those apps that definitely would have benefited me in the beginning. From starting with hangeul to learning more complicated conversational phrases, Eggbun walks you through the basic steps of learning Korean.
Eggbun (Korean Tutor in Your Pocket!) is a Korean language app from Egggbun Education that teaches you vocabulary and phrases in a chat-like format. It’s split up into different “courses” and every course has a number of lessons. After going through the lessons there’s also a review session at the end.There are “Notes” of the vocabulary along with the native recordings. You can take quizzes on the vocab words and even favorite ones that you find important. And as a bonus, there are Culture Notes: fun little anecdotes about Korean culture that add to the experience of learning!
*Courses– Topics are separated into “Courses,” which are then broken down even further into different lessons (some lessons are locked for free users). Before moving onto the next lesson, Lenny (the cute lil bun) will quiz you on what you’ve learned!
*Vocabulary Lists – Every lesson comes with a vocabulary list that you can look at any time. In addition to the words and definition, there’s an accompanying native speaker recording.
*Culture Notes – These are fun (and sometimes super hilarious), informative bit-sized notes on Korean culture.
*Visually Appealing – The simple, clean design is thankfully not distracting. Super cute actually!
Using the Korean keyboard is something I’m still struggling with. It’s not as familiar as you’re dealing with a completely new set of letters. What I like about Eggbun is that, either using your phone’s keyboard or the Eggbun keyboard, you’re typing out answers constantly. The chat feature helps with this immensely, because it doesn’t feel like a chore. It’s also an easy way to learn the placement of the Korean letters. Finally, there’s a timed quiz where you try to type as many words as possible. I’m a sucker for timed games even though they give me anxiety. I always want to beat my last score!
The chat format makes the content easily digestible. You don’t have to worry about trying to struggle through large paragraphs or confusing grammar explanations. It feels like you’re having a conversation with a friend more than anything else. Bonus: You can totally change the text speed. It might seem insignificant to some people but years of playing video games have conditioned me to hate super slow text.
Resources for listening are limited. On the vocabulary list (and within lessons) it plays sound with every new vocabulary you learn. And it’s recorded by native speakers, which is a plus.
There’s really no activities to cover speaking. This is definitely something that they should think about including in the future.
What I Want to SeE
I fully believe the Eggbun has the capability of offering more robust exercises beyond the basic vocabulary quiz, although I do find the typing quiz to be super useful. For instance, I know I always find it beneficial to listen to a native speaker talk, and then try to write down what they’re saying. Or, I will listen to a recording of a native speaker, and try to emulate things like tone and inflection. It would be nice to have the ability to record yourself saying a word or phrase, and then being able to immediately compare it to that of the native speaker.
Cost: Free; option to upgrade from $5.99 to $45.99
Languages Offered: Korean, Japanese, Chinese