Sunday, May 2, 2010

My New Favorite iPhone Korean Learning App - LingoPal

Yup, I'm doing it's time for the "My New Favorite iPhone App" segment! Last week it was a game, this time, it's something educational (yet fun at the same time).

If you've been reading my blog or just know me personally, you know that I'm learning Korean. I watch my K-novellas (검사 프린세스), I have language apps on my iPhone, learning websites I use and I've run through a number of tutors (one of which is coming back this month - yay!). But I came across an app that is actually intended for you to use when you're actually in a situation where conversing in a foreign language would be extremely useful. It's LingoPal's Korean app on iTunes. They're a language company that produces apps and products for all different types of languages, but obviously, I was only really interested in their Korean content.

They have phrases that can be used in any situation from getting around the city, ordering food and flirting - and better yet - learning how to properly reject someone in Korean. ^_^ My favorite rejection lines are the following (things I wouldn't mind telling some obnoxious dude on the subway):

Leave me alone: 저를 혼자 두세요 (jeo-reul-hon-ja-doo-se-yo)
I don't like you: 난 너가싫어 (nan-neo-ga-sil-heo)
Fuck off: 꺼져 (keo-jyeo)
(Because seriously, after I say I have a bf, I'm not interested in you telling me "well why can't we be friends" - I don't want to be your friend. I have plenty of friends & they don't look at me like I'm the last rib on the plate)

Anyway, the app is free (a huge bonus when dealing with learning apps) for those with iPhones/iPod Touches. If you're wondering why I said it's a huge bonus when trying to learn or make an application part of your daily life, the reason is nothing is worse than paying for an application with limited functionality - especially when trying to learn a language. I usually don't "buy" language apps just because I hate to be disappointed, but the most I've ever spent on a language app is $1.99.

The other useful thing is, it has a pronunciation guide that you can play for each phrase as well as showing you what the phrase is supposed to look like (extremely useful for languages like Korean where the writing system is entirely different from Romance languages). A word of warning, you need to have at least a basic knowledge of the Hangul (Korean) writing system and pronunciation for this to be an extremely useful app because there is no romanization available. If you don't know what "romanization" is, go back to the list of Korean phrases I wrote above (the pronunciations I made for each one is considered "romanizing" the phrase to make it easier for non-Korean speaking people to understand how to pronounce the word).


Richard said...

Hi Dorian,

Thanks for the blog. Yep - the romanization (or phonetics) is on the drawing board; it's somethingwe're anxious to get into the app as soon as we can. In the meantime we've got a couple of handy new features coming out very soon.

Thanks again,


Dorian @ Big Apple Style said...

Hi Richard,

Thanks for checking out my blog! Yeah I'm very familiar with hangul now but I could see how it would be a problem for others. ^_^ I love the app, very happy I came across it.

All the best