15 Excellent Korean Dramas to Binge Watch and Learn Korean

korean dramas

If you’re looking for a fun way to learn Korean, then this article may just be for you. Like most Korean language learners, you have probably already heard of, or watched Korean dramas before. Watching K-drama is surely a great way to dip your toes into the Korean language and culture while enjoying something fun. 

In this article, we will teach you how you can actually use this fun form of entertainment to learn Korean. In the end, we’ll present to you 15 great K-Dramas to binge-watch this summer!

Now get ready and let’s start!

Can You Learn Korean from K-Drama?

You may be thinking, how can Korean dramas help me to actually learn something? Well, there’s a lot to learn from them, culture, for example. Some of the things people have said that they had the most difficulty with when learning another language and visiting another country was the cultural differences. These dramas can give you better insight into the culture, traditions, and habits of this country, so the culture shock won’t be as intense for you.

Another thing you will learn from K-drama is pronunciation. It’s a really easy way to learn pronunciation from native speakers. Of course, conversations are a two-way street thing, so not only do you need to be able to convey your thoughts, but you also need to understand what the other person is talking about. Watching dramas is a great way to practice your listening skills

Just like in every other country, not everyone in South Korea has the same accent and there are different dialects depending on the region you’re in. You can get familiar with this by watching dramas. The language that’s used in textbooks often differs from the Korean language used in real life. K-dramas can help you to understand what language should be used in different situations.

k-drama posters

How to Learn Korean when Watching K-drama

Enable Websites’ Learning Mode

There are various platforms you can use to watch Kdrama. You may already be familiar with some of them, such as Viki Rakuten, YouTube, Netflix, Dailymotion, iQIYI, Hulu, and AsianCrush… But did you know that you can actually enable a learning function on some of these websites? 

Viki Rakuten is one such website. You can enable learn mode (only available on web browser and IOS app) by clicking on the icon for subtitles and switching on learn mode. The subtitles of the original language and your language will appear on the screen side-by-side. You can move to previous and next segments by using arrows, and you can also replay them. If you want to know a bit more about a certain word, you just click on it to get the definition and pronunciation in your language.

Choose the Right K-Dramas

There are various kinds of drama, which can make it difficult to choose. Remember, always choose those that interest you. That way you’ll like watching them, and that’s what will keep you hooked on your language learning in the long run. 

There are some websites that can make the choice easier. For example, you can search reviews on YouTube, or you can go to MyDramaList and pick a drama by selecting a certain genre or choosing by actors.

Watch dramas with both English and Korean subtitles if you can. It helps you to better understand what the characters are saying in Korean. However, this is not a must as long as you enjoy the dramas! 🙂

Tips to Learn Korean

Korean dramas can be very interesting to watch, but remember that you are also watching them to learn Korean. Sometimes you can be so into the story that you forget to listen to what’s being said. In order to avoid this, you can:

  •  Use Korean subtitles and try to read what’s written, then play the audio to check if it’s correct (if you already have some knowledge of the Korean alphabet).
  • Repeat what’s being said to practice your pronunciation. 
  • Replay certain parts to get a good grasp of what’s being said. 

15 Korean Dramas to Binge Watch this Summer

Last but not least, here is a list of must-watch K-dramas in summer 2022. Some of them are just released this summer and some are the best of all time. You can also comment below and let us know your favorite k-dramas!

1. Our Blues 

our blues poster

This drama takes place on Jeju Island and depicts the ups and downs that the villagers face in their daily lives. Well-known talents like Lee Byun Hun, Shin Min Ah and Kim Woo Bin star in this drama, so it’s definitely worth checking out. If you want to know what life outside Seoul is like and are curious about learning different accents and dialects, this drama is for you. 

Where to watch it: Netflix 

trailer: https://youtu.be/HOkMU1ULnUY

2. Why Her

Oh Soo Jae works for one of the country’s most prestigious law firms as one of the nation’s best lawyers. However, because of an unexpected turn of events in one of her cases, she gets demoted and is assigned to the position of adjunct professor at a law school. There she meets Gong Chan, a university student who has taken a liking to her, and he will support her while she tries to make her way back into the firm. 

Where to watch it: Viki Rakuten 

trailer: https://youtu.be/pD99INMe4aI

3. It’s Beautiful Now 

It’s Beautiful Now is a weekend drama that tells the story of three brothers who don’t want to date or get married. Their family is concerned about this and decides to make a deal with them. The first brother who gets married will receive an apartment from them. From that moment on, the brothers’ search for their respective partners begins. 

Where to watch it: KBS World channel on YouTube 

4. Adamas

Two twin brothers discover the shocking twist that the person who murdered their stepfather was their biological father. However, after learning that their biological father was falsely accused, they are determined to find the real culprit.   

Release date: July 20

Where to watch it: tvN (more information on other networks will be released later)

trailer: https://youtu.be/OSniFaB6DIM

5. Bloody Heart

This is a fictional historical drama about Lee Tae, the son of the man who deposed the king and ascended the throne himself. Lee Tae reigns after his father, but this is not the end of the power struggle in the royal court. Throw in some romance, and you’ve got the complete k-drama package deal.

Where to watch it: Disney+

trailer: https://youtu.be/RBcaKOFyIBY

6. Strange Lawyer Woo Young Woo

This tells the story of a lawyer with Asperger’s syndrome. Thanks to her high IQ and spectacular memory, she graduated at the top of her class from law school. The only thing that gets in the way of her success are social interactions.

Release date: June 29

Where to watch it: Netflix 

7. Mental Coach Je Gal Gil

Je Gal Gil used to be a national Taekwondo athlete, but had to quit after a scandal. This caused some mental health issues for him, but after recovering from those, he decided to become a mental coach for athletes who need help.

Release date: June 20

Where to watch it: tvN (more information on other networks will be released later)

trailer: https://youtu.be/p20klLnMSwQ

8. Woori The Virgin 

Woori The Virgin poster

This is a remake of the American TV show Jane The Virgin (and the Venezuelan show Juana La Virgen). It can be interesting to compare the two versions of this series and see if there are noticeable differences between the cultures of these two countries.

Where to watch it: Viki Rakuten 

9. Big Mouth

Park Chang Ho is a lawyer with a win percentage of only 10 percent. He can’t afford the rent for his office or pay a salary to his father-in-law, who works with him.

Strange things suddenly start to happen when he decides to take on a murder case.

Release date: July 29, 2022

Where to watch it: MBC (more information on other networks will be released later)

trailer: https://youtu.be/Nn43g7pae2g

10. Shooting Stars

Shooting Stars poster

This tells the story of a woman who leads the PR team for an entertainment agency. One of the biggest clients is the top star Gong Tae Sung, whom the PR lead knows from high school and college, where he became her enemy. Despite their bickering, they soon fall for each other.

Where to watch it: WeTV, Viki Rakuten 

11. Descendants of The Sun

“Descendants of the Sun” is a blockbuster romance that shows the meaning of life through the story of a young soldier and a doctor who yearn for love and success in a strange and extremely harsh environment. Their tale unfolds against the backdrop of the beautiful southern landscape.

First released in 2016, Descendants of The Sun had the highest rating of 38.8% nationwide in Korea and was a hit throughout Asia. The drama is also notable for leading to a romance between actors Song Joong-ki and Song Hye Kyo.

Where to watch it: Netflix, Viki Rakuten

12. The Heirs

The Heirs poster

The Heirs is a South Korean youth comedy drama that was broadcast on SBS starting on October 9, 2013. It co-stars famous Korean actors such as Lee Min Ho and Park Shin Hye.

The drama is about a sweet and heartwarming but conflict-filled romance between a Korean high society heir and an extremely ordinary and realistic lower class girl. In May 2014, the drama won the second DramaFever Awards for Best Drama Series in the United States. In addition to Asia, the show has also been a hit in the United States. 

Where to watch it: Netflix , Viki Rakuten

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_VmkFn19bg

13. IRIS

IRIS is a story about the special agents of the Korean National Security Agency in a rapidly changing world, specifically about breathtaking fights, betrayals and romances between  spies. The premiere of the show recorded a high rating of 39.9% in Korea.

Where to watch it: Netflix 

14. Coffee Prince

Coffee Prince is a Korean TV series that premiered on July 2, 2007, starring Yoon Eun Hye, Kong Yoo and other popular actors in Korea. It became the top-rated drama at the time. The plot is set in a coffee shop and tells the story of four very different men and women who meet, get to know each other and fall in love.

Where to watch it: Netflix , Viki Rakuten

trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liJEk4gkKQ4

15. Secret Garden

Secret Garden poster

Secret Garden is a weekend special drama produced by SBS in 2010. It stars Hyun Bin, Ha Ji Won, Yoon Sang Hyun, and Kim Sa Rang.

The drama is about a couple who first met on set due to a misunderstanding and then accidentally swapped souls and started a beautiful love story. The highest rating since its original broadcast was 31.4%.

Where to watch it: Netflix 

trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic05V2NvIoQ&list=PLShqORWiDquPUuwMk_c1m_IZSvCuKKaFs

Are there any other Korean dramas you’d like to recommend? Share with us in the comments!

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Rachel
Rachel
2 months ago

I really recommend The Uncanny Counter on Netflix! Very good acting, supernatural twists, mystery, and action! There is one season currently with a second planned.

Anonymous
Anonymous
2 months ago

Something I personally do is specifically start with shorter web dramas, that way translating lines is easier and the incorporation of slang is used more often. Because they normally follow a shorter format it’s easier for me to deep dive into every scene/line if I don’t understand something, and learn new things.

lingodeerblog
Admin
lingodeerblog
2 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

That’s useful information. Thank you! Also maybe start with animation designed for children as the lines are easier to understand.