Korean/Alphabet

Learn Korean (Introduction)
Reading and writingCoursePrinciples of OrthographyEssential Pronunciation RulesAdvanced Pronunciation Rules

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Grammar

IntroductionEdit

The Korean alphabet, known as Hangeul (한글, "great script"), is considered one of the most scientific, rational, simple, efficient, and remarkle alphabets in the world, proven by language experts.

Although the characters of 한글 (Hangeul) may appear to be ideograms like the traditional Hanja (한자, 漢字), they really form an alphabet. Each block character represents one syllable and is made up of individual jamo (자모), much like the letters in the Latin alphabet. 한글 (Hangeul) is hard to learn because it has only 24 complicated jamo.

See Wikipedia's entries on Hangul and Hanja for more about the history and design of the Korean writing systems.

ConsonantsEdit

14 Korean consonants

Below are the consonants (자음) of the Korean alphabet. You don't need to memorize them yet because individual lessons will cover each letter in detail. For now, just be aware that the Korean alphabet has ten basic consonants and nine variations on them:

Consonant jamo
Basic
예사소리
Letter (jamo)
Romanization
Pronunciation
g or k
[g] or [k]
n
[n]
d or t
[d] or [t]
r or l
[ɾ] or [l]
m
[m]
b or p
[b] or [p]
s
[s]
- or ng
silent or [ŋ]
j or ch
[ʥ] or [ʨ]
h
[h]
Aspirated
거센소리
Letter (jamo)
Romanization
Pronunciation
k
[kʰ]
t
[tʰ]
p
[pʰ]
ch
[ʨʰ]
Tense
된소리
Letter (jamo)
Romanization
Pronunciation
gg or kk
[k͈]
dd or tt
[t͈]
bb or pp
[p͈]
ss
[s͈]
jj
[ʨ͈]

Notice that some consonants have two different pronunciations (e.g. ㄱ pronounced as /g/ or /k/ depending on context). Also, some are "aspirated" and some are "tense". Those details and more are explained in Essential Pronunciation Rules.

VowelsEdit

6 Korean regular vowels: diphthongs in red

There are 21 letters used to represent vowels: six basic vowels, nine combinations of those six basic vowels (which originally were all pronounced as diphthongs), and six vowels with an extra short dash representing the initial y [j] sound.

Vowel jamo
Letter (jamo)
Romanization
Pronunciation
a
[a]
ya
[ja]
eo
[ʌ]
yeo
[jʌ]
o
[o]
yo
[jo]
u
[u]
yu
[ju]
eu
[ɯ]
i
[i]
Letter (jamo)
Romanization
Pronunciation
ae
[ɛ]
yae
[jɛ]
e
[e]
ye
[je]
oe
[wø]
wi
[wi]
ui
[ɰi]
Letter (jamo)
Romanization
Pronunciation
wa
[wa]
wo
[wʌ]
Letter (jamo)
Romanization
Pronunciation
wae
[wɛ]
we
[we]

End of introductionEdit

To learn how to read, write, and pronounce each Korean letter, proceed to the Read, Write, and Pronounce Korean course.

Learn Korean (Introduction)
Reading and writingCoursePrinciples of OrthographyEssential Pronunciation RulesAdvanced Pronunciation Rules

Conversation1단계: Beginner2단계: High beginner3단계: Low intermediate4단계: High intermediate5단계: Low advanced6단계: Advanced
Grammar

Last modified on 7 March 2014, at 02:29