At the end of the day, language learning really boils down to how efficiently you can get all that vocabulary into your brain. And Naver dictionaries are by far the best ones out there for this job. Call it a “study hack” if you want to but learning how to properly utilise the Naver dictionary will change your life I guarantee it. There are two that I use and I’ll introduce both of them below.
The primary dictionary – https://endic.naver.com
(Note that this dictionary is only available on mobile devices. I don’t know why Naver decided to do this because it used to be available on desktops as well. You can get around this on Chrome by going to the side menu bar, clicking the 3 dots, more tools, developer tools. This will set your tab as if it were a mobile device and “trick” the website.)
This one is the bread and butter that you should be always using. It has the most comprehensive list of definitions. I want to show you an example usage of the dictionary using the word 치다
Using the “Basic Korean Dict” selection at the top I’ve taken screenshots of the first 4 usages of the word. The full list contains 27. Under the definition you can see “1이 2를 치다” which indicates how you use this word in a sentence. If you search the word “집중하다” it’ll tell you “1이 2를 3에/로 집중하다”
The “Neungyule” dictionary has it’s own set of definitions and sample sentences (in English). I find the Basic Dictionary has more definitions, but some definitions are a little obscure/specialised and you have to be careful of exactly when to use them. The Neungyule has less definitions per word but I think it is generally more applicable.
When you search a hanja word, the Basic Dictionary will also show you what the hanja is as well. Learning how to utilise hanja in your Korean learning is very important to get beyond the intermediate level. You can read about how to learn with Hanja here if you’re interested.
Grammar search functionality
Time to toss away your grammar textbooks because you can search for grammar patterns as well. Take for example “니까” will return the below
It will give you sample sentences and refer you to similar forms such as 니, 니까는 and 으니까 which is the on you use when there is a consonant. You can experiment with other grammatical patterns such as 는데, 려고, 싶다 etc.
At the very bottom of your search will be a section called “VLive Fansubs”. VLive is a Korean app that Korean celebrities use to make live broadcasts and live chat with their fans. Fans then create and upload subtitles in several languages, Korean and English being two of the major ones. Not all videos have this as it requires some dedicated person to be doing this. The dictionary searches all of the subtitles across all the videos and returns the results. A example of searching for “그러다보니까”. You can follow the link to the actual video for the context of how the phrase was used.
The secondary dictionary – https://ko.dict.naver.com
This is a Korean to Korean dictionary but it has one feature not included in the other dictionary. Synonyms and antonyms. As an example I searched 사랑, clicked the first definition and then scrolled to the bottom of the page.
The blue words are synonyms and the orange ones are antonyms.