🎧 Listening Resources 📻

This is a thread to collect recommendations for audio media to practice your listening skills.

If you’re interested in audio with transcripts, check out 🎧 Podcasts & Radio Dramas [with scripts].

Audiobook Sites



There are thousands of podcasts available to listen to for free on 팟빵.

Radio Shows

Radio sites often have the option to listen again (다시듣기) to shows with the music removed, which is useful if you can’t listen live or are more interested in the talking portion of the show.


  • Media should be mostly/entirely in Korean
  • This is a wiki; feel free to add your recommendations directly to the list above. If you’re unable to edit wiki posts, leave your recommendation in a comment below and I’ll add them later.

What do you all use for lower level listening? I’ve been trying to improve my listening the past two weeks, about an hour a day of active listening, but my listening isn’t quite ready for podcasts.

Right now, i’ve gone through all the Lingq mini-stories (about 60) and am working through various Talk To Me In Korean listening things:

And eventually I hope to get to these more advanced ones:

I feel like if I can do the sudatime i’ll be able to actively listen to podcasts.

Do you all have any tips? What did you do at the lower listening levels @bibliothecary @bungakushoujo ?


That’s a really good question. :thinking: I’ve never been great at leveling my listening as a beginner or intermediate, so I did it like this:

  • First I focused on grammar and vocabulary instead and didn’t train listening
  • When my knowledge of the language increased I circled back and did as much easy listening as I could stomach now that I could understand it better
  • I filled in the gaps and got my overall listening hours up with dramas where I could understand more and more snippets of conversations
  • I repeated that until upper intermediate when more diverse podcasts became accessible and also added in audiobooks together with text
  • I also began dictation and shadowing to sharpen my auditory processing of Korean

If I had to do it differently, I’d probably start dictation earlier.

As for easier podcasts, I listened to TTMIK’s iyagi series and then later suda time (but they can get boring :cry:). If you have ppodbang there is also one called 혼술포차 which is not very hard and can be funny. :slightly_smiling_face:


Yeah my grammar and reading far outstrips my listening, along with my speaking :smiling_face_with_tear:

It’s so sad to be able to read the iyagi series so easily (nearly 100% comprehension) but when I listen I have very little idea what’s going on.

I know that a lot of people advocate for passive / extensive listening where you don’t understand most of it and just pick out a few things here and there… but I struggle with zoning out for those things. I find active listening to be much more engaging, but it requires a much lower level and I’m just doing a lot of repetition.

With subtitles at realtime? Did you find with subtitles actually improved listening comprehension?

When you say dictation you mean writing down everything you hear and then later comparing it to what was said? Is the benefit of that improving your multitasking (i.e. processing & remembering korean but continuing to listen as the conversation goes?).

TBH, while i’ve never gotten terribly far in any language, listening has always been the biggest issue for me, as I’m sure for many people, so it’s somewhat a unexplored learning process for me.

George from the Japanese From Zero series recommended 두시의 데이트 재재입니다 podcast to me, but that also was too hard. Granted, he’s more of a proponent for more passive listening. I’ll check out 혼술포차 too!


Yeah I totally know what you mean with both here! There’s nothing worse than checking a transcript and realizing that you actually do know all the words used but just didn’t understand it. :smiling_face_with_tear: And I’m also the type of person who has never really done passive or extensive listening because I just find it boring and torturous at the lower levels.

Let me answer all of that in more depth and also provide some other suggestions of things that helped me with listening (using drop-down because this is gonna get long!) :slightly_smiling_face:

Listening to dramas and using subs

My biggest overall goal with listening is to just increase my hours. Ideally all of that would be very active, high density audio such as podcasts or audiobooks, but that isn’t realistic for me because I need a bit of fun and that’s where dramas come in. :slightly_smiling_face:

By filling in the gaps I mean, a lot of audio is too hard to follow along with. If I listen to a drama without subs, it’s the same situation really, but there will still be chunks throughout where I can understand everything if it’s a basic conversation or a situation involving vocab I’m familiar with. The listening to get here + the passive listening from the parts you don’t understand can really add up, and the fact it’s mixed with a fun activity (watching dramas yay!) makes it sustainable as a supportive activity.

About subs vs no subs - I will say right away that I almost never watch anything without subs, even in my native language or advanced ones because it’s hard to hear things sometimes with the way audio is mixed these days. :face_holding_back_tears: I have also never watched without subs in Japanese for example, where I put in a lot of work to improve my listening. I just want to enjoy what I’m watching and understand it well, and I leave listening without training wheels to things like podcasts or audiobooks.

So, I typically like to do KO subs then to increase my context clues about what I’m hearing and be able to follow along. The increased context really improves my comprehension, especially in instances where I may know a written word or recognize what 한자 combo it is but don’t recognize the sounds. With the combo of seeing it written and then hearing it — bam! It’s in my long term memory and I know how it’s pronounced. However, I’m also not shy about switching back to English subs when I didn’t understand something, or am simply not in the mood for heavy learning and just want to relax. :slightly_smiling_face: (I still even watch anime with English subs sometimes despite the fact it wouldn’t be “needed”).

Everyone seems to have a different opinion about subs within their workflow but I think there’s no right or wrong and you just gotta do you! :thinking:

About dictation

That’s right! The idea is you have some audio that you also have a script for, and then you just listen and write down what you hear. In the end, you compare it to the script to see what you missed. That’s already it! You can then figure out the logistics of how to do it on your own depending on what works best for you.

I do it using a special method that I really love now that a Japanese textbook for Korean dictation introduced to me:

  • You get four different color pens (such as black, blue, green, red)
  • You listen to an audio snippet of 4-6 seconds, can be just a fragment of a bigger sentence
  • On the first listen, you write down what you understood in black. On the second, in blue, and so on and so fourth until you’ve listened four times and used all your colors.
  • If you didn’t understand by the fourth time, it’s unlikely you will with further listens so just leave a blank where the missing words are
  • Repeat with 4-6 second snippets until you finish the sentence or paragraph or whatever you’re working with
  • Listen to the full audio while reading the transcript and compare, mark things you got wrong
  • Review errors and understand why you weren’t able to hear them correctly
  • Listen to the complete audio again while reading the script and try to shadow along
  • If you like, you can also try to shadow along without reading the script a few times
  • When you feel confident, try reading the script out loud on your own without audio

Doing dictation consistently allows you to easily identify weak spots and patterns that cause you to trip up (and using colored pens like I described above if you like also allows you to visually identify weak areas). Once you find the patterns, it’s easy to take counter measures:

  • You didn’t understand a word you’re able to read because of sound changes → review sound change rules and make sure you’re able to pronounce that word yourself out loud
  • You heard a long number and couldn’t parse it and got tripped up and missed the rest of the sentence → you can practice numbers and saying them out loud to improve parsing speed
  • You didn’t know a vocabulary word → Learn the word and keep improving vocabulary knowledge
  • You didn’t know a collocation → learn it now and keep an awareness for collocations or chunked, set phrases when listening to other audio

Just knowing what causes you to have listening failure and keeping an awareness of it will surprising help you stay focused when listening to things like podcasts too. :slightly_smiling_face:

Splitting this into a separate post as it’s getting too long. :rofl: Apologies!!!


Continued from my post above!

Dictation resource suggestions
  • TTMIK’s News in Korean textbook - comes with a transcript, English translation, all new vocab is defined, and they have a handy app that makes playing and replaying audio a breeze. If you use a lot of TTMIK audio products, you’ll also be really familiar with their voices and can understand even better.
  • 문화가 있는 한국어 at whatever your level is - listen to the downloadable audio first and write it down, then check with the reading passages
  • Naver news - the articles that come with a video usually have the exact same content in the video and article, so you can use the video as the audio source and transcribe
Further suggestions for targeted improvement of processing skills

I would also really recommend TOPIK listening! Yes, it’s just listening for a test and not the most natural audio, but the way it’s structured and tests you has a few benefits that can affect your overall listening:

  • The questions have a consistent format, so you can train your listening within set, familiar parameters
  • The questions quiz you on things like, what is the speakers attitude? How did they respond? What are they going to do next? which are fabulous things to be able to quickly identify if you speak Korean in your daily life, as you can react and understand the general meaning of things without knowing all the words
  • The question types train both bottom up and top down listening to get you used to using both to succeed at listening
  • They always come with a transcript so you can check what you didn’t understand

Any TOPIK listening textbook should have what you need! :ok_hand:t2:

I think that’s about it :thinking: thank you for coming to my TED talk!


Amazing, thank you!! That’s really helpful. I will listen to your TED talk anytime :laughing:

The dictation sounds interesting, although very intensive. I think i’d only do it if I’m really stretching my listening skills (like reddish-orange, if red is hard and orange is medium). If it’s green-orange, I’d probably want to do more than 4-6 seconds of audio at a time. But it’s something to play around with and definitely in my interest area of ‘active listening’. :thinking:.
I will probably use the computer though because my handwriting is terrible

WRT dramas, I do find that I stop after most subtitle blocks still, so my watching is pretty active… which I think makes it feel like I don’t get a ton of listening practice with that approach. Perhaps once I start to move faster, It’ll feel more like listening practice… but I’m still not sure if i’ll count that in my ‘listening practice’ tracking.

I also appreciate that you validate the active listening approach, I feel there’s more proponents of extensive listening out there! :slightly_smiling_face:


Happy to help!! :saluting_face::grinning:

Dictation is super intense but also 그만큼 it improves your Korean? :joy: Definitely give it a shot one day, handwritten or not!!

One more thought, if you watch dramas on your computer and have Netflix, make sure to check out the Language Reactor/Language Learning with Netflix browser extension! It lets you do things like dual language subs or automatically pause the drama after one line of dialogue so you can reread the subs/replay what was said. It automates the process of stopping after subtitle blocks basically and also has a built in dictionary I believe?! :slightly_smiling_face:


For sure! Although I actually use a different browser extension, subadub, which simply makes the subtitle text selectable. Language Reactor only allows you to click on the word, not copy the sentence… which with it’s poor parsing for korean i’ve found is not that useful. They want you bound into your system at the cost of usefulness :slight_smile:

I mostly use it with papago in another tab. I love the highlight aspect and popup dictionary of papago! Although perhaps i should try out a browser dictionary addon


Oh ok, good to know and share for anyone here!

I’m really amazed by all the language learning tech out there, though! I’ve done all my Korean learning just using my phone and iPad and have never gone off into tools or extensions territory since a lot doesn’t work on mobile. :thinking:


Taking notes on all @bungakushoujo’s excellent ideas! :laughing:

Seconding dictation, I did that with several Iyagi episodes and found it really helped. It can be intense/time-consuming, though, so I wouldn’t advise trying to do a whole episode in one sitting. :sweat_smile:


  • subs2srs (there are other options like absplayer that let you make cards on the fly, but I find s2s more convenient)
  • listening cards - usually I have Korean + audio on the front and English on the back, but I’ve also played around with adding different card types, like audio only on front, or audio + typing the answer (more challenging). s2s cards could include images on front for more context, too.


  • WorkAudioBook - there’s probably other software that does the same thing, but I find this really useful as it segments the audio into phrases / sentences (settings to choose how long/short the segments should be), and you can play each segment individually (and loop - I used this for dictation) or with pauses between each segment (allow your brain to catch up :rofl:).
  • Condensed audio - if you have video + subtitles for a show you’ve already watched (and enjoyed!)
  • Vary playback speed - make easier/familiar audio more challenging by speeding it up


  • Hangugeo con AngDuck for Beginners (inspired by Teppei! :smile:) - This is the easiest podcast without a script I’ve come across, and there’s Hangugeo con AngDuck which is more advanced.
  • KBS 무대 (or any radio drama with script) - A nice challenge after finishing the reguar Iyagi episodes, a step up but still understandable.

Thanks so much!

Oh my goodness, the beginner one is so slow, I finally found something below my level! :laughing:

The normal version seems like a solid easy-medium level for me, can understand on the first pass… great rec! Could be good for background listening.

I’ll have to check out those software recs too, thanks :slight_smile:


Some other podcasts to add:

Choisusu’s podcasts for beginners and for intermediates.

Also the Cozy storytime podcast which is mostly beginner level. She also has some nice small videos which have super cute animations, again, mostly at the beginner level.

They’re available on YouTube and Spotify.


I have found those too! I listen to them so much. The vibes from cozy story time is great and it’s easy enough I just put it on in the background :smiling_face: