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Korean TV Shows for Language Learners: Beyond K-Dramas

The Best Ways to Learn Korean: A Comprehensive Guide to Korean TV Shows for Language Enthusiasts

Korean TV Shows Recommendation for Language Learners
The Best ways to Learn Korean

The best ways to learn Korean: TV Shows Edition

Learn Korean through TV Shows

Are you passionate about learning the Korean language and eager to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Korean culture? While K-Dramas have become a global phenomenon, there exists a treasure trove of Korean television beyond the realm of romantic dramas that can significantly contribute to your language-learning journey.

In this in-depth exploration, we will delve into a diverse array of Korean TV shows, each catering to specific interests and providing a unique avenue for enhancing your proficiency in the Korean language.

Variety Shows: The Best Way to Learn Korean Slang

Running Man

Positioned as an undisputed icon in the realm of variety shows, “Running Man” stands out for its seamless fusion of entertainment and language learning. This popular show intricately weaves together humor, physical challenges, and a rotating ensemble of celebrity guests, creating a dynamic platform that transcends mere amusement. By immersing viewers in the spontaneous interactions of the cast, “Running Man” goes beyond conventional entertainment, becoming an invaluable resource for language learners.

The unique appeal of “Running Man” lies in its ability to showcase colloquial expressions, regional accents, and a diverse vocabulary. As contestants engage in lively banter and navigate challenging tasks, viewers are not only entertained but also exposed to the nuances of everyday Korean speech. The show’s format, characterized by its unpredictability and genuine camaraderie, provides an authentic and playful context for language acquisition.

Knowing Bros (Ask Us Anything)

Knowing Bros Korean TV Show
Image source: JTBC (https://jtbc.co.kr/)

Renowned for its unparalleled wit and humor, “Knowing Bros” stands as a beacon among variety shows. With a distinctive format that involves celebrity guests in witty banter and casual conversations with the cast, the show becomes a dynamic platform for viewers to delve into the intricacies of everyday Korean speech.

The show’s brilliance lies in its ability to offer insights into contemporary slang and expressions, providing a cultural and linguistic snapshot of modern Korea. As guests share anecdotes and engage in unscripted dialogues, viewers are exposed to the nuances of conversational Korean, enhancing their understanding of colloquial language use.

A particularly unique aspect of “Knowing Bros” is its format, where guests seamlessly integrate into a fictional high school class setting. This imaginative twist not only adds an element of whimsy to the show but also serves as a catalyst for an enjoyable and immersive language-learning experience. By adopting the playful premise of a high school environment, the show breaks down the barriers between entertainment and education, making language learning an organic and entertaining process.

Idol Room

For K-pop enthusiasts looking to combine their love for music with language learning, Idol Room is an excellent choice. The show features interviews and challenges with K-pop idols, exposing viewers to the language used in the entertainment industry. The casual and entertaining format provides an opportunity to learn language nuances in a lively setting.

Historical Dramas (Sageuk): A Linguistic Journey through Time

Moon Embracing the Sun

For language learners intrigued by historical settings, Moon Embracing the Sun is a captivating sageuk drama that not only provides a gripping storyline but also offers a linguistic journey through different periods of Korean history. The language used in sageuk dramas often reflects traditional vocabulary and historical nuances, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in a rich linguistic and cultural experience.

Six Flying Dragons

Delving into political intrigue and historical events, Six Flying Dragons is another sageuk drama that offers a compelling narrative along with linguistic depth. The dialogue in such dramas is often more formal and traditional, exposing viewers to a different aspect of the Korean language that goes beyond everyday conversation.

The Crowned Clown

The Crowned Clown Korean Historical Drama
Image source: The Movie Database (https://www.themoviedb.org/tv/85405/images/posters)

Exploring historical dramas further, The Crowned Clown presents a unique twist as it delves into the world of political intrigue and identity. The show offers an opportunity for language learners to engage with historical language while following a storyline filled with suspense and drama.

Reality Shows: Authentic Conversations in Real-Life Situations

Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast

Hyori's Bed and Breakfast Korean Reality Show
Image source: The Movie Database (https://www.themoviedb.org/tv/72763/images/posters)

Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast presents an authentic look into the daily lives of pop icon Lee Hyori and her husband as they run a guesthouse. The show captures genuine interactions with guests and locals, providing viewers with a unique opportunity to observe and understand real-life Korean conversations. This reality show showcases language usage in various contexts, from hospitality to spontaneous conversations.

Youn’s Kitchen

In Youn’s Kitchen, celebrities are taken abroad to run a pop-up Korean restaurant. This reality show not only explores language in unfamiliar environments but also adds an element of cultural exchange. As the cast navigates the challenges of running a restaurant in a foreign setting, viewers gain insights into how language is used in practical and sometimes stressful situations.

2 Days & 1 Night

For those who enjoy exploring different regions of Korea, 2 Days & 1 Night is a travel-reality show that features various challenges and adventures. The interactions between the cast and locals provide an authentic representation of colloquial language and regional dialects. As the cast embarks on their journeys, viewers are treated to a linguistic exploration of different areas within Korea.

Educational Programs: Learn While You Watch

Educational Programs to Learn Korean

Let’s Speak Korean

Designed specifically for language learners, Let’s Speak Korean is an educational program that offers structured lessons on grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. The show caters to learners at different levels, making it accessible for both beginners and those seeking to enhance their existing language skills. With a focus on practical language use, it serves as an engaging supplement to formal language study.

Talk To Me In Korean

Talk To Me In Korean is another educational program that has gained popularity among language learners. Providing lessons in an accessible and interactive format, the show covers a wide range of language topics. By incorporating real-life examples and practical scenarios, the program ensures that learners not only grasp the fundamentals but also understand how to apply them in everyday conversations.

Study With Chapter Korean

Introducing the “Study with Chapter Korean” YouTube Channel, brought to you by the Chapter Korean team of experienced Korean language educators. Dive into a treasure trove of advanced-level Korean language resources, including engaging Korean Podcasts for honing your listening skills, diverse content on Korean language essentials, and expert TOPIK test preparation materials. Whether you’re striving for fluency, need help with language nuances, or preparing for the TOPIK exam, this channel has you covered.


For those who prefer online learning, KoreanClass101 offers a comprehensive platform with lessons ranging from beginner to advanced levels. With a variety of topics and interactive exercises, learners can tailor their language study to their specific interests. The platform includes lessons on grammar, vocabulary, and cultural insights, making it a versatile resource for language learners.

K-Reality: Blend of Drama and Reality

Love Revolution

Love Revolution is a unique blend of drama and reality, exploring modern relationships in a high school setting. The show not only offers entertainment value but also exposes viewers to contemporary language and slang used by young adults. Through the interactions of the characters, language learners can pick up on expressions commonly used in the context of relationships and daily life.

Heart Signal

Heart Signal, a captivating dating reality show, unfolds as a poignant narrative capturing the raw emotions and authentic conversations that characterize the realm of young adults seeking love. This program not only entertains but offers a fresh perspective on modern Korean relationships, shedding light on the intricacies of communication within the context of dating.

Heart Signal becomes a mirror reflecting the multifaceted nature of communication in the realm of dating. From the initial sparks of attraction to the complexities of navigating emotions, the program provides a genuine portrayal of how language is wielded in the pursuit of connections that transcend the surface. The unscripted dialogues and unrehearsed expressions become a linguistic canvas, allowing viewers to decipher the subtleties of Korean communication in the context of relationships.

Produce 101 Series

Produce 101 Korean Reality Show
Image source: Namu Wiki

For those interested in the world of K-pop and the formation of idol groups, the Produce 101 series offers a captivating blend of drama and reality. As trainees compete for a spot in a debut group, viewers are exposed to the language used in the entertainment industry. The show provides a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges faced by aspiring idols and the language dynamics within the competitive environment.

Travel Shows: Explore Korea While Learning the Language

Three Meals a Day

Three Meals a Day Korean Travel Show
Image source: Namu Wiki (https://namu.wiki/w/삼시세끼)

For those with a passion for travel and culinary exploration, Three Meals a Day is a travel show that takes celebrities to rural locations. As they cook and share meals, viewers are exposed to regional accents and dialects, enriching their understanding of the diverse linguistic landscape within Korea. The show provides a unique opportunity to explore the language through the lens of food and cultural exploration.

New Journey to the West

Combining travel with comedic elements, New Journey to the West follows a cast of characters as they embark on adventures in different countries. As they navigate various challenges, the show captures spontaneous and unscripted language use in diverse linguistic situations. Viewers not only witness the cast’s interactions with locals but also gain exposure to language barriers and cultural exchanges.

One Night Food Trip

If you’re a food enthusiast keen on exploring Korean cuisine, One Night Food Trip combines travel with culinary delights. The show features celebrities embarking on a food-centric journey, exploring local delicacies and engaging with the community. As they interact with locals and indulge in diverse dishes, viewers are treated to a linguistic and cultural feast.

These Korean TV shows extend beyond the popular realm of K-Dramas, offering a diverse range of content that caters to various interests and language-learning goals. Whether you are drawn to historical dramas, reality shows, educational programs, or travel shows, each category provides a unique lens through which to explore the Korean language. So, grab some popcorn, settle in, and embark on a linguistic adventure with these beyond-K-Drama TV shows!

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