learn Korean alphabets and consonants
How difficult is it to learn Korean? People often ask me this question and I answered them Probably it is the easiest language to learn because Hangul, the Korean alphabet is a modern language and is not hard to learn. The Korean vocabularies are no harder to learn than any other language in the world. After getting knowledge about the basic alphabet it’s really easy to know some basic things. It is not hard to learn basic things like Korean numbers (though Korea has two ways of counting numbers), days/ weeks/months in Korean. The Korean system of counting numbers is very easy and that number counting system helps to learn count months also. In this lesson, we will study the difficulties of learning Korean.
How difficult is it to learn Korean even for native speakers?
The first step to learning any language starts with the alphabet of that language. If you gain knowledge of the Korean alphabets it will help you to learn Korean much easier and faster. So let’s start to learn Korean letters with their Basic sounds. In this video, you will watch about the difficulties of the Korean language even for native speakers.
How many days does it take to learn Korean?
It really depends on you and how much time you put into it. If you practice daily for 2 to 4 hours it might take about 3 months to be able to have a conversation in Korean.
Is learning Korean worth it?
The short answer is yes. Many languages are worth learning and they are beneficial for a learner. If you want to travel, study or work you have to learn Korean because Koreans do not speak and understand English pretty well. Korea is already one of the developed countries and you should learn Korean to make your career. If a foreigner goes out onto the street and asks random people for directions he/she has to speak Korean. Here is a video that shows the ground reality.
The official language of both Korea is known as Hangul. Han means (great)and gul means (script). The Hangul alphabet was created in 1443 by the Joseon Dynasty.
Unlike English, the Hangul letters are combined into blocks of 2 to 3 characters for each syllable. 한글 is made up of 한 and 글. Here 한 is a block and it is made up of 3 characters ㅎ,ㅏ,ㄴ. similarly, 글 also is a block which is made up of 3 characters (ㄱ,ㅡ,ㄹ).
Hangul characters have their own Name & Sound and some characters have different sounds depending upon their position on a syllable or word. The Korean alphabet has a total of 40 characters. Hangul is made up of 19 consonants and 21 vowels. In hangul, the consonant is divided into two sections and the vowel is also divided into two sections. Now, let’s start learning from Consonants-
Learn Korean consonants
Korean consonants are basically 14 and there are five double consonants.
Primary Consonants (14)
The Korean consonantsㄱ, ㄷ and ㅂ sound respectively as g, d, and b before a vowel; they are sounds as “k, t, and p” when they appear before another consonant or as the last/bottom sound of a word. The Hangul alphabet ㄹ also has 2 sounds which are pronounced as “R” before a vowel, and as “L” before a consonant or at the end of a word.
Character Sounds like Korean Name sample word
- ㄱ G, K Giyok (기역) 구글 – Google
- ㄴ N Nieun (니은) 나무 – Tree
- ㄷ D Digeut (디귿) 등록 – Signup / Register
- ㄹ L, R Rieul (리을 ) 레스토랑 – Restaurant
- ㅁ M Mieum (미음) 목표 – Aim/goal
- ㅂ B Bieup (비읍) 분석 – analysis
- ㅅ S Siot (시옷) 성격 – character/personality
- ㅇ silent/ ng Ieung (이응 아쉽다 – sad / sorry
- ㅈ J Jieut (지읒) 종류- sort / Type
- ㅊ CH Chieut (치읓) 친구- Friend/mate
- ㅋ K, KH Kieuk (키읔) 키우다 – Raise/bring up
- ㅌ T, TH Tieut (티읕) 특히 – especially/particularly
- ㅍ P, PH Pieup (피읖) 필요 – need / necessary
- ㅎ H Hieut (히읕) 환경 – Environment
ㅇ is a soundless (SILENT) when it comes first and sounds like – ng when it is at the bottom of a word.
Mixed Consonants / Double Consonants (5)
- ㄲ gg/kk Ssang Giyok (쌍기역) 꽃 – Flower
- ㄸ dd/tt Ssang Digeut (쌍디귿) 똥 – feces/dung
- ㅃ bb Ssang Bieup (쌍비읍) 빨리 – Fast
- ㅆ ss Ssang Siot (쌍시옷) 쓰레기 – Waste/litter
- ㅉ jj Ssang Jieut (쌍지읒) 짧다 – short
There are a total of 21 vowels
Primary Vowels (10)
The Korean vowel doesn’t have names like consonants do and they just have a simple sound.
Character Sound Sample Vocab
- ㅏ a/ah 안에 – Inside
- ㅑ ya 야구 – Baseball
- ㅓ u 얼굴 – Face
- ㅕ yu 여자 – girl
- ㅗ o 올해 – this year
- ㅛ yo 요리 – cook
- ㅜ oo 우산 – Umbrella
- ㅠ you 유럽 – Europe
- ㅡ eu 은행,으로 – Bank,towards
- ㅣ ee 인사 – Greeting/Bow
Korean alphabet song
Mixed / Double vowels
- ㅐ ae ㅍ-lover
- ㅒ yae 얘기 – story/talk
- ㅔ ae 엘리베이터- Elevator
- ㅖ yae 예 – yes/example
- ㅚ oi 외국인 – Foreigner
- ㅙ oae 왜- why
- ㅟ we 위치 – location
- ㅞ wae 웨딩- wedding
- ㅢ eui 의미- meaning/sense
- ㅝ wu 원래 – originally / naturally
How to write Korean?
Korean is written horizontally from left to right like other Asian countries. Basically, hangul is written from left to right and from top to bottom. Some decades ago Korea’s newspapers and magazines generally employed vertical writing but were abandoned after the 1990s. We cant still see vertical writing in old Korean books.
In this lesson, you will learn how to form Korean words. There are 4 ways of forming words in the Korean language. Now, let’s start with these 4 ways of pronouncing Korean words.
Korean word structure
1. 모음 vowel = 예, 에
2. 자음 +모음 consonant + vowel = 네, 코
3. 모음 +자음 vowel + consonant = 안, 을
4. 자음 +모음 + 자음 consonant +vowel+consonant = 강, 곰, 밤
The Korean alphabet o doesn’t have any sound when ‘o’ is the first character of a word but when it attaches to another alphabet it becomes ‘ng’ sound.
Korean vowel – 모음 vowel = 예, 에
only vowels are used in this rule. You can make complete words using vowels only. These vowels are used to form words –
Learn Korean basic words
예 – yes (yes in Korean)
이 – 2 / two
오- 5/ five
아이 – baby
예 – yes
와 – or
왜 – why
와요 – come
위에 – upper
외워요 – remember
오이 – cucumber
우유 – milk
여우 – Jackle
Korean word structure
“ㅏㅑ ㅓ ㅕ ㅣ ㅐㅔㅖㅒ” These vowels attach consonants into their right, left and downside and form Korean words. Example -:
열 fever, ten
까지 till, until
“ㅗ ㅛ ㅜ ㅠㅡ ” These are those vowels that attach consonants on their upper side. Example -:
곧이어 soon after
유리 glass, being profitable
유지 keeping, maintenance
자음 +모음 consonant + vowel
some Korean words are formed by using consonants and vowels only,
조 – Team/Group/article
모음 +자음 vowel + consonant
Korean words are made by a combination of vowels and consonants also.
윤 shine, gloss
운 – luck/destiny
울 – wool
읍 -eup/ town
자음 +모음 + 자음 consonant +vowel+consonant
Korean words are made by joining consonants, vowels and again consonants. Let’s see some examples here.
곰 – Bear
걱정 – Worry
건강 – health
날씨 – Weather
날짜 – Date