Learn to Read and Write Korean Script Hangeul – Lesson 2 

 July 6, 2017

By  Satish Satyarthi

What you will learn in this lesson –
1. How to read Korean Script Hangeul/Hangul (Vowel and Consonant letters)
2. How to write Hangeul

 

Korean script Hangeul has 40 letters including 14 simple consonants, 5 double consonants, 10 simple vowels and 11 complex vowels.

As you can see in the charts below apart from the consonant characters and their pronunciation sounds, we also have a column in the middle called the name of the letter.

That might confuse you. So, let me explain why a character should have a different name and pronunciation.

Let’s take English alphabet letter S, the name of this letter is ‘es’ but when it appears in a word its pronunciation will be ‘s’ sound. Similarly letter W is called ‘double-u’ but its pronunciation is ‘w’ sound. So in English, the names of the letter are different from pronunciations. And it’s like that in many languages. The names of the letters are useful when you need to tell someone the spelling of a word. In Hindi and many other Indian langauges, the names and pronunciations of letters are same, so it’s a bit difficult to understand for us.

Anyway, if you don’t want to memorize the names of the letter, you can just memorize the sounds. You won’t be having any problem due to that.

14 simple consonants

Consonant      Name of the Letter Pronunciation
खियौक (Khiyeok) ख (Kh)
नियन (Nieun) न (N)
थिगत (Thigeut) थ (Th)
रियल (Rieul) र (R)
मियम (Mieum) म (M)
फियप (Phieup) फ (Ph/F)
शियोत (Shiot) स (S)
इयंग (Ieung) ङ/न्ग (Ng)
छियत (Chhieut) छ (Chh)
च्छियत (Chh’ieut) च्छ (Chh’) [Aspirated]
क्खियक (Kh’ieuk) क्ख (Kh’) [Aspirated]
त्थियत (Th’ieut) त्थ  (Th’) [Aspirated]
प्फियप (Ph’ieup) प्फ (Pha’/F’) [Aspirated]
हियत (Hieut) ह (H)

 

5 double consonants

Consonant Name of the Letter Pronunciation
सांग खियौक (Ssang Khiyeok) क (K)
सांग थिगत (Ssang Thigeut) त (T)
सांग फियप (Ssang Phieup) प (P)
सांग शियोत (Ssang Shiot) स (S)
सांग छियत (Ssang Chhiyeut) च (Ch)

10 simple vowels

Vowel Pronunciation
आ (aa)
या (ya)
औ (au)
यौ (yau)
ओ (o)
यो (yo)
उ (u)
यू (yu)
No equivalent sound but similar to अ (as u in Cut)
ई (i/ee)

 

11 complex vowels

Vowel Pronunciation
ए (e)
ये (ye)
ऐ (ai)
यै (yai)
वा (Wa)
वै (wai)
वे (We)
वौ/वॉ (Wau)
वे (We)
वी (Wi)
अई (Ui)

 

Now practice writing and pronouncing all the letters multiple times.

Once you feel comfortable with Hangul and can recognize the letter from their shape and sound, you can move on to the next lesson – Learn Korean – Lesson 3

In lesson 3, we will learn how to combine Korean vowels and consonants to make syllables and words.

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Satish Satyarthi


I am Satish, a Korean language learner and educator. I did my Bachelors degree in Korean language from JNU, Delhi and Masters degree in Korean Language Education from Seoul National University, South Korea. and an M.Phil. in Korean from JNU. I have a passion for education and technology. I have been involved in Korean language education and research for more than 10 years and have trained hundreds of Korean language learners across the globe, online and in physical classrooms.

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