Typing Korean Characters in PC

Aside from blogging I am also an avid fan of Yahoo Answers.  These are the common questions being asked by those who are interested in typing Korean Characters known as 한글 (Hangeul sometimes romanized as Hangul) in their PC:

  • How do I enable display of Korean Characters on my screen?
  • How can I type Korean Characters from my PC?

I also did try a lot of foolish things before.  I downloaded a lot of Korean Fonts and they are never displayed properly on my screen and what is worst I don’t know what to type to display a certain character.  Anyway, if you are Microsoft Windows and Office XP user, Global IME is pre-installed in your computer. You just need to enable it doing the following simple steps (Note:  Please ensure you have your Operating System – OS installation disc with you) : 

  • Open the Control Panel of your computer then select ‘Regional and Language Options’. 
  • Go to ther Language Tab and select ‘Install East Asian Font’ tick box as seen below:

global-ime01

  • At this point, you will be asked to insert your Windows installation disk as your PC tries to decompress the file.  Locate the file from the CD (in most cases the files being asked are automatically located during the process –there are about 3 reference files needed from the installation disc)
  • Once this is done, you can then add Korean (and other East Asian Language such as Mandarin and Japanese) as one of the languages you can input with using your computer, see screen shot below:

global-ime02

  • The language bar will then be installed in your windows task bar like the one shown below:

global-ime03

  • To select Korean Input Method click on EN then select KO (Korean) to allow typing in 한글, notice that the windows task bar changes from EN to KO.  You can switch from alphabet to 한글 keyboard by just pressing ‘alt’ key.

global-ime04

  • The Global IME works from almost all application that allows you type in text, but there are also exceptions.  Samsung PCs are normally marked with Korean Characters in the keyboard, incase you are using another type (just like my laptop) here is a guide on the 한글 characters in your keyboard (you just have to memorize it unless you want to mark your keyboard with it):

korean-keyboard

  • If its hard for you to memorize the keyboard and do not wish to put any markings on it, you can draw the characters using the IME Writing Pad, just select it from your language bar.  The writing pad is guided, as you know, Korean writes in block formation.   The maximum number of characters that can be inputed is 4, panel from the right will suggest the block of characters, select from the suggestion on which block to use and it will automatically reflect on your document.  When using the writing pad be sure you are familiar with the correct strokes in writing 한글 as it plays an important role in character block recognition otherwise you might be wondering why the block that you just draw is not available from the panel.

global-ime05

If you are using Windows Me, Windows 98, Windows 95, or Windows NT 4.0 and not running Office XP then you have to download the Global IME file 5.02 to enable East Asian Font in your PC.  Check out the Microsoft site.  The Global IME is pre-installed only for Windows and Office XP user.

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Practical Tips on Learning Korean

I am writing some of my recommended activities in learning Korean.  This is based on my experience as Korean Language entusiast.  To learn this language really needs passion, so I just couldn’t imagine how challenging it is for someone who needs to learn Korean because it is simply required in their profession or job.

There are 4 things worth considering which I find helpful in my day to day learning of Korean.

  • Learn how to read Hangul.  If you really intend to understand the language you need to study their writing system and pronunciation rules using Hangul.  Romanization will not help you speed your fluency.  You will only be troubled by the way characters are translalated from Hangul to alphabet as there are different ways to romanize Hangul.  I remember in my earlier days of learning, i had language exchange partners who i wrote emails with in romanized Korean and they are so confused on what I mean.  Like the word 십팔 (shippal) which is actually eighteen, another word sounding like this means vulgar.  The word 씨발 (sshipal) means fu*k.  Although they are romanized differently since there is no single standard in romanization,  one should be cautious in using this word the romanized way.
  • Buy a book that explains the Korean language structure and use.  Instead of buying phrase book, get to know how sentence are formed.  How words are structured for conversational use.  I remember buying every phrase book that I saw from the bookstore simply because there are pointers from one book which is not discussed on the other book.  I ended up having 5 phrase book and it contains almost the same thing except for a portion or section.  Each of the book tells me how to say 안녕하세요, 반갑습니다 etc.  At the end of the day you will only memorize these words and never really know how each word is used.  You might end up wondering why nouns or verbs have different pronunciation (and later discover that there is such thing as particles or post-positioning in Korean). I suggest you invest on a book that explains the language the linguistics approach.  I am very much happy with my Elementary Korean Book.  I learned a lot from it.
  • Invest on a good English-Korean Dictionary.  Make sure you buy the one that has Hangul characters on it and not a pure romanized Korean-English dictionary.  If you are confused on word, search on my posting about dictionary entry =)
  • Watch Korean movies and listen to Korean songs. Reading the book may trouble you with the pronunciation so you can validate sounds when you listen to native speaker speacilly on the characters that become glutha rest or with dual sound (ㄹ-l/r; ㄱ-g/k).  There are likewise nuisance in the pronunciation of Korean words so this will help you.  Listening to music will also help you practice Korean translation. It likewise help you validate what you have learned on you own. 

I know it sometimes becomes a bore but you just have to be patient.  Try to read something in Korean a day may it be a lesson from a book, a post in the internet, etc. and if it seems to be tiring get hold of your dictionaty and learn at least 2 to 3 new words… this way you learn slowly but surely.  Happy Learning.