Learn The Korean Alphabet
🏆 What You’ll Learn
Learn consonants, vowels, syllable formation, and more.
The Korean alphabet holds significant importance as a precise and syllabic system with a fascinating historical background. While it draws influences from the Chinese writing system, it has developed its unique characteristics, tracing back to the earliest Korean kingdom.
This includes a thorough study of consonants, vowels, and their combinations. With approximately 77 million speakers worldwide, immersing yourself in the study of this vibrant language will enable you to grasp it quickly and effectively.
The primary aspirated consonants in Korean are K (ㅋ), T (ㅌ), CH (ㅊ), and P (ㅍ). Although they can occasionally be pronounced without aspiration in specific contexts, they generally require a release of air when spoken.
For example, the K sound is pronounced with a hard aspiration, as heard in the word “kakistocracy,” while CH may resemble the sounds in “choose” or “church.”
On the other hand, the remaining consonants in Korean are non-aspirated but can exhibit aspiration in certain situations.
This is because they can produce softer or stronger sounds, as indicated in the table provided at the beginning of this article. The English approximations provided in the table serve as the best means of illustrating these variations.
Double consonants, also referred to as tense consonants, involve combining two of the same consonants to produce a powerful and intensified sound derived from the root consonant.
The term “tense” implies the need to tense up the tongue while pronouncing these consonants accurately.
One aspect that adds complexity is the challenge of differentiating the phonetic pronunciation between the double consonant and its plain counterpart.
This difficulty is particularly noticeable with S and SS, where S is pronounced as a short and brief sound, while SS is articulated as a longer and more drawn-out sound. The following are the double consonants:
- ㄲ: kk (sounds like a forceful but longer G)
- ㄸ: tt (sounds like a hard D with a bit of length)
- ㅃ: pp (sounds like B or hard P)
- ㅆ: ss (sounds like a long S)
- ㅉ: jj (sounds like J)
- 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo) – Hello
- Pronunciation: ㅇ (a), ㅏ (a), ㄴ (n), ㄴ (n), ㅕ (yeo), ㅇ (ng), ㅎ (ha), ㅏ (a), ㅅ (se), ㅛ (yo)
- 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) – Thank you
- Pronunciation: ㄱ (ga), ㅏ (a), ㅁ (m), ㅅ (sa), ㅏ (a), ㅎ (ham), ㄴ (ni), ㄷ (da)
- 사랑 (sarang) – Love
- Pronunciation: ㅅ (sa), ㅏ (a), ㄹ (rang)
- 음식 (eumsik) – Food
- Pronunciation: ㅇ (eum), ㅡ (eu), ㅁ (m), ㅅ (sik)
- 가방 (gabang) – Bag
- Pronunciation: ㄱ (ga), ㅏ (a), ㅂ (bang)
- 학교 (hakgyo) – School
- Pronunciation: ㅎ (hak), ㅏ (a), ㄱ (gyo)
- 친구 (chingu) – Friend
- Pronunciation: ㅊ (chi), ㅣ (i), ㄴ (n), ㄱ (gu)
- 날씨 (nalssi) – Weather
- Pronunciation: ㄴ (nal), ㅅ (ssi)
- 숙제 (sukje) – Homework
- Pronunciation: ㅅ (suk), ㅈ (je)
- 시간 (sigan) – Time
- Pronunciation: ㅅ (si), ㅏ (ga), ㄴ (n)
- 가족 (gajok) – Family
- Pronunciation: ㄱ (ga), ㅏ (a), ㅈ (jok)
- 물 (mul) – Water
- Pronunciation: ㅁ (mul)
- 고양이 (goyangi) – Cat
- Pronunciation: ㄱ (go), ㅗ (yo), ㅇ (ng), ㅑ (ya), ㅇ (ng), ㅣ (i)
- 사과 (sagwa) – Apple
- Pronunciation: ㅅ (sa), ㅏ (a), ㄱ (gwa)
- 문 (mun) – Door
- Pronunciation: ㅁ (mun)
- 나무 (namu) – Tree
- Pronunciation: ㄴ (na), ㅏ (a), ㅁ (mu)
- 좋아요 (joayo) – Like
- Pronunciation: ㅈ (jo), ㅗ (a), ㅇ (yo)
- 책 (chaek) – Book
- Pronunciation: ㅊ (chae), ㅐ (aek)
- 여행 (yeohaeng) – Travel
- Pronunciation: ㅇ (yeo), ㅓ (eo), ㅎ (haeng)
- 노래 (nolae) – Song
- Pronunciation: ㄴ (no), ㅗ (lae)
Today, you’ve learned five essential Korean phrases:
- 20 Basic words
Congratulations! You’ve finished Day 1!