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in Seoul, Korea.

Korean lessons: Lesson 2

Hangul

1. Consonants (자음)

-- Click on the chart and listen to how they sound.
Plain Aspirated tensed
[k] [k'] [kk]
 [n]    
 [t] [t'] [tt]
[ r  /  l ]    
 [m]    
[p] [p'] [pp]
 [s]   [ss]
[zero / ng ]    
[ch] [ch'] [cc]
[h]    
Consonant chart

 

dictionary order:

ㄱ (ㄲ), ㄴ, ㄷ (ㄸ), ㄹ, ㅁ, ㅂ (ㅃ), ㅅ (ㅆ), ㅇ, ㅈ (ㅉ), ㅊ, ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅍ, ㅎ

Aspirated ones are with more puff of air than the plain ones. As for tensed ones, you add more stricture, but without puff of air, when letting out the sound. Tensed ones are difficult for beginners, and many students take long time to acquire the correct pronunciation.

  is similar to g as in god.

 is similar to k as in sky.

 is similar to k as in kill.

 is similar to d as in do.

  is similar to t as in stop.

 is similar to t as in two.

 is similar to tt as in butter (not [t] but a flap like a Spanish [r]), in a syllable initial position.

 is similar to l as in filling, in a syllable final (받침) position.

  is similar to b as in bad.

is similar to p as in spy.

is similar to p as in pool.

 is similar to s as in astronaut.

 is similar to s as in suit.

is similar to j as in  jail.

  is similar to tz as in pretzel.

  is similar to ch as in charge.

is similar to h as in hat.

2. Vowels (모음)

-- Click on the chart and listen to how they sound.

Simple Palatalized labiovelarized  
ㅏ [a] ㅑ [ya]    
ㅐ [ae] ㅒ [yae]    
ㅓ [o^] ㅕ [yo^]    
 [e] ㅖ [ye]    
[o] ㅛ [yo]  [wa]  
 [wae] 
[oe]
ㅜ [u] ㅠ [yu] ㅝ [wo^] 
ㅞ [we] 
[ui]
ㅡ [u^]     ㅢ[u^i]
ㅣ [i]      
Vowel Chart


dictionary order:

ㅏ(ㅐ, ㅒ), ㅑ, ㅓ (ㅔ, ㅖ), ㅕ, ㅗ (ㅘ, ㅙ, ㅚ), ㅛ, ㅜ (ㅝ, ㅞ, ㅟ), ㅠ, ㅡ (ㅢ), ㅣ

is similar to "Ah".

is similar to "yard".

is similar to "cut".

is similar to "just" or "Eliot".

is similar to "order".

is similar to " Yoda".

is similar to " Ungaro".

is similar to "you".

is similar to "good" or "le chatau".

is similar to "easy".

is similar to "add".

is similar to "yam".

is similar to " editor".

is similar to " yes".

is similar to " Wow!" or "what".

is similar to "wagon".

is similar to "Koeln".

is similar to " one".

is similar to " weather".

is similar to "we" or "Oui!".
 

Traditional vowel classification:

       Traditionally, vowels are classified into three categories, that is yang (bright), yin (dark), and neutral. This classification is very important, for it will be used when we learn conjugation of predicates and some phonological aspects of Korean. The classification also principles the vowel-hamp3ony phenomena that Korean has as a member of Altaic language family. The cassification is as follows:

yang (bright) -- and series (ㅏ, ㅑ, ㅗ, ㅛ, ㅘ)
yin (dark) -- and series (ㅓ, ㅕ, ㅜ, ㅠ, ㅝ)
neutral -- and  

 

3. How to make a character out of alphabet

Each character is designed to represent one syllable, the structure of which may be described as (C)V(C), where C stands for a consonant, and V does a vowel--(C) means that the consonant in the position is optional.

   (C)       +      V   + (CC)
initial consonant vowel final consonant (coda)

Some vowels are placed on the right side of the initial consonant; some are placed underneath the initial consonant: Vowels , , (and their derivatives, i.e. , , ㅒ,ㅖ) are placed on the right; and vowels , , are placed undersneath the initial consonant. Final consonants are always placed at the bottom.

E.g)    

+ +   =     [kam]
+ +   =     [kuk]
+   +   =      
+   = [na]
+   = [hwa]
+       =     [ae]
+ +   =     [ot]
+ + =   [kot]
+ +   =     [kkot]
+   +   =     [pat]
+ +   =     [hu^(r)k]
+ +   =     [o^p]
+ +   =     [tto^(r)p]

NB) Final consonant clusters: , ㄵ, ㄶ, ㄺ, ㄻ, ㄼ, ㄽ, ㄾ, ㄿ, ㅀ, ㅄ

Except for ㄺ, ㄻ, ㄼ, ㄽ, ㄾ, ㄿ, ㅀ (ones with ㄹ placed befre another consonant), when followed by another consonant or nothing, the second consonant of the cluster becomes silent.  This second consonant will come alive when there is a vowel after it.

값 = kap "price"

값 + 과 = kap kwa "price and"

값 + 이 = kapsi "price (with a subject particle)"

Final clusters with 'ㄹ+consonant' fomp3ation are pronounced with slight irregularity. As for ㄺ, ㄻ, ㄼ, ㄾ, ㄿ, the foregoing liquid sound [ㄹ] of the cluster is ignored when followed by another consonant or nothing. This ㄹ comes alive when the cluster is followed by another vowel. However, Seoul speakers (and many other regions too) tend to throw in a touch of liquid sound for the ㄹ even when the cluster is followed by a consonant or nothing.

                =  sa(l)m   "a living" 

           + 이  =  sal  mi     "a living (with a subject particle)"

In clusters ㄽ and ㅀ, however, [ㄹ] is alive even when followed by another consosnant.

끓 + 고 = kku^l k'o "boil and.."