I started learning Korean in 2019. At that time, I was afraid to approach a foreigner and say something in Korean, although I was eager to practice, and my eyes had sparkled from the excitement.
One fine evening, my good friend and I came to a Korean restaurant, Hangang. There was everything you associate a Korean culture with K-pop music, ramen, and karaoke (ed. There are separate karaoke booths for singing as in Asia). A noble Korean man, who turned out to be the owner, approached our table and began to ask us in Korean: where were we from, how tasty the food was, and whether we liked the atmosphere. At that moment, I was petrified of misunderstanding and responded to everything nicely and confidently – it was an incredible experience that I recall with a smile and embarrassment.
1. 탄뎀 언어 교확 어플 (Tandem)
It is effortless to find an interlocutor in this application. If you have a basic level of Korean, you can use the built-in translator in correspondence. But don’t overuse it as you need to get used to communicating without it. Also, there are other functions such as a call and review.
You can master any language you like because you communicate, helping each other get results in English, French, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, etc.
Some users use real photos and share information about them. If you get on well with a person, you can switch to a more convenient platform like 카카오톡 (KakaoTalk – Korean messenger). However, keep in mind that if a person says that he doesn’t have this app, he rather lies or has a photo with his girlfriend in his profile photo.
2. 미프 (Meeff)
From schoolchildren to men over 50: many Asians use this network for dating, but some are real perverts. Be careful when opening a dialogue with a dubious young man; not many write about their dirty intentions in the profile.
It is possible to meet a good person there, but it is difficult. However, I hasten to make you feel better as some happy international couples met because of this app.
3. 헬로우톡 (HelloTalk)
HelloTalk is an interesting app for language exchange that has a translator. You can often meet Koreans who have cats in their profile photos, blank pages and those who are interested in foreign girls. I would divide the audience from 50 to 50 – adequate and extra people.
More and more men over 38 (ahjussi) are diligently trying to find a foreign bride in the app (Korean women are supposed to have a great demand for a potential husband) or are eager to practice English. Usually, these men have premium profiles with “learned” 4-5 languages.
Get acquainted with your head screwed on right and don’t wear pink glasses or imagine yourself a character from K-dramas.
Journalist Viktoriia Holovach, English translation by Anastasiia Malakhova1