Annyeonghaseyo (안녕하세요)! It's no secret that the Korean language can be a challenging language to learn, and it's only natural that you'll need to have the right resource material to help you progress.
You probably know by now that watching K-Dramas is a great way to help you improve your listening skills and learning vocabulary. If you need some tips on what to watch, check out our awesome Korean Dramas 101 post.
But what about your reading and writing skills? Many Korean learners struggle to find written content online to assist them with learning Korean. Fortunately, Korean webtoons are a great way to access content in writing. They can be used as an effective tool for learning Korean in a way that is not only fun but also engaging.
In this post, you'll find some of the best Korean webtoons online.
What are Korean Webtoons?
Korean webtoons are a form of manga (manhwa) that is native to South Korea and that is only available online. Webtoons are essentially South Korean comics that come in digital form only.
Korean webtoons differ from Japanese comics in that they're more colorful and more visually intense.
Webtoons come in a very convenient form, which is ideal for language learning. You can read webtoons online on your phone, just by scrolling down, so there's no need to turn any pages.
Where to find Korean Webtoons
Naver's webtoons are more appropriate for beginners too, whilst Daum is more suitable for intermediate learners.
An interesting fact is that Daum is also owned by the same company that owns KakaoTalk, a messaging app that's popular in South Korea.
Benefits of Learning the Korean Language with Webtoons
You can learn about language and Korean culture by studying how webtoon characters react in a range of situations. In addition, you'll get a sense of how native Korean speakers actually speak in daily life.
Apart from their practicality, Korean webtoons are an effective form of language learning content, since the text is accompanied by images.
You can follow the story visually, whilst you decipher the meaning of the words. This way, you'll learn how to read Hangul.
You can also find different genres and material for different levels and vocabulary.
Ultimately, it's an entertaining way to become familiar with the Korean alphabet even if you're not a fan of anime and manga.
How to Learn Korean with Webtoons
Actively or passively
If you choose to just sit back and read the stories for fun as a form of light reading, you'll be learning passively, which means that your brain will absorb the vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structures subconsciously.
If you'd like to turn your reading session into an active learning experience, you'll write down new words, or even a whole sentence that may be useful, and you'll consciously work on it by looking it up.
Check out the English version if you're at a beginner level
If you're just starting on your path to learning Korean, then you might want to check out the English translation of the webtoon stories you decide to read.
However, don't rely too much on the English version as you progress so that you don't stunt your growth.
Don't just pick the first webtoon you see
Once you improve, you can start to search for more complex storylines. As a Korean learner, being strategic about which webtoons to read can take you a long way.
Be sure to start by reading webtoons that are easier to follow and that employ simple daily conversations that will help you to understand the story.
Look up the meaning of new Korean words and phrases
If you've decided to make the most out of your language learning experience and make your study session an active one, you can look up the meaning of what you've written down so far, so you can consolidate your new vocabulary.
Moreover, you can also study and adopt certain sentences, expressions, and phrases so as to incorporate them into your own speech. This will help you to communicate like native Korean speakers.
Take your time with each episode
How long you spend on each chapter will determine how much you can get out of the webtoon linguistically. So, be sure to go in-depth with each story.
Choosing webtoons that are collections of short stories will be helpful to do this.
The Best Webtoons to Learn Korean
Now let's check out the list of Korean webtoons we've put together as a resource to help you organize and plan your Korean studies.
1. Noblesse "노블레스"
Available on Naver Webtoons, "Noblesse" is one of the most popular webtoons you'll find online. Noblesse Rai, the main character in this story is a boy who joins a high school.
However, he's not just a high school student, he's actually a nobleman who was born 820 years ago and re-enters contemporary society upon waking.
How did he get here? Read through as you find out the secrets of his life and how he's traveled in time!
2. Lookism "외모지상주의"
"Lookism" is a critique of modern society and its obsession with appearance and looks. The word itself represents the act of judging someone based on what they look like.
This webtoon is about a Korean boy who has been bullied for most of his life due to being considered unattractive and uncool. Suddenly, he wakes up in the body of an attractive man.
He can now set out to achieve what he had always wanted, but at what cost? And what does that mean about the society we live in?
3. Tower of God "신의 탑"
Another Naver webtoon, "Tower God" is about a boy named Twenty-Fifth Bam who follows his only friend, a girl named Rachel, into a mystical structure called the Tower.
Distraught due to her departure, he must go after her no matter what! Inside the Tower, there are doors to different environments and floors that house other species.
The higher up they go, the better the living conditions they'll find. However, in order to ascend, they must overcome increasingly difficult challenges...
4. Will You Marry Me? "윌유메리미"
The next webtoon is a beginner-level Korean webtoon that tells a realistic story. It is a great resource for studying Korean and it will expose you to the Busan dialect.
This webtoon is in a diary format and tells the story of a couple named Mary and Will who have a 12-year age gap. The pair are in a long-distance relationship since one lives in Busan and the other one lives in Seoul.
By reading this webtoon, you'll read about their story, from when they met to when they get married.
5. Swimming Class for Mermaids "인어를 위한 수영교실"
Also found on Naver Webtoons, this romantic comedy follows two main characters: a mermaid and her high school friend, and a swimming athlete.
This webtoon is easy to read and suitable for beginners.
6. JoJo Comics "조조코믹스"
"JoJo Comics" is also found on Naver Webtoons. It's fairly easy to understand and very funny! It's recent and has become quite popular.
This webtoon is about a couple of office workers who are complete polar opposites in many aspects, but that share a common inner conflict with the other. They both struggle with their past and future selves.
7. Yumi’s Cells "유미의 세포들"
This Korean webtoon employs biology-related vocabulary which may be more challenging to understand at first.
However, if you stick with it, you won't regret it! The story follows Yumi and her cells. Yes, you read that correctly!
In this webtoon, you see how the outside world affects Yumi's body and how her cells react to their environment. This webtoon has many great Korean words to add to your vocabulary.
Summing up: Learning Korean with Webtoons
Since it can be challenging to find written content in the Korean language, we've summed up the best Korean webtoons available for you to work on your reading and writing skills in a fun and exciting way!
You can find Korean webtoons online really easily. The two main platforms are Naver Webtoons and Daum, yet you can also find other options online.
Studying Korean has never been this accessible and practical.
Oh, and don't forget to sign up for a free trial on Lingopie, where you'll find the best movies and series to study Korean or another new language of your choice.