Hangul Characters

Hangul is the system of writing in Korea which was developed at the time of King Sejong.  There are 21 vowels commonly used there have been indications that there are other combinations but I have not seen them.  There are 14 consonants and 5 double consonants. Below are the suggested pronunciation and romanization there is a government standard of romanizing Hangul but for the purpose of better understanding the pronunciation below are combination of non-standard and standard romanization.

Vowels (모음 – moeum)

  • ㅏ (a) as in apply
  • ㅓ (oe) shorter o as in lot
  • ㅗ (o) o that is rounded as in own
  • ㅜ (oo or long u) as in look
  • ㅡ (short u officially eu when romanized) as in put
  • ㅣ (ee or i) as in keep or lip
  • ㅐ (ae) as in way
  • ㅔ (e) as in elephant
  • ㅑ (ya) as in yak
  • ㅕ (yeo) as in york
  • ㅛ (yo) as in yawn
  • ㅠ (yoo or yu) as in yuletide
  • ㅒ (yae) as in yeah
  • ㅖ (ye) as in yesterday
  • ㅘ (wa) as in wax
  • ㅙ (wae) as in waiter
  • ㅚ (oe) as in when
  • ㅝ (wo) as in wash 
  • ㅞ  (we) as in way
  •  ㅟ (wi) as in wheat
  • ㅢ  (ui) officially pronounced as uh-ee but is commonly heard/used as in Yale

Consonants (자음 cha-eum)

  • ㄱ (k/g) between ‘ka’ and ‘ga’ but when used as initial character the standard romanization is g; never to be pronounced as g of George 
  • ㄴ (n) as in the sound n of noun
  • ㄷ (d/t) between d and t but when used as initial character the standard romanization is d
  • ㄹ (l/r) between l and r, one of the characters with most nuances in pronunciation 
  • ㅁ(m) as in monster
  • ㅂ(b/p) between the sound of ‘ba’ and ‘pa’ but when as initial character standard romanization is b
  • ㅅ (s) as in sample, its a straight forward sound as in hissing of snake ssss this is trivial because when used as final consonant the sound becomes similar to ‘t’ 
  • ㅇ (ng/silent) when this character occurs as initial it is not pronounced or silent otherwise it is similar to tang
  • ㅈ (j) almost like ‘ch’ as in just 
  • ㅊ (ch) always romanized as ch as in chop
  • ㅋ (k) always romanized and pronounced as k as in kite 
  • ㅌ (t) always romanized and pronounced as t as in ten
  • ㅍ (p) always romanized and pronounced as p as in pet 
  • ㅎ (h) as in hat

Double Consonants (asprirated, more air released)

  • ㄲ (kk)
  • ㄸ (tt)
  • ㅃ (pp)
  • ㅆ (ss)
  • ㅉ (jj)

There are some nuisances in the pronunciation in Hangul as these are just close comparison in the sound produced in the English alphabet.

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