Subscribe

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Basic Korean (Hangul) Tutorial

(Note: If your browser can't display Hangul characters 한글, try to install the East Asian Language pack for Windows. Click Here for the instruction.)

(Update: Ready my newly created Basic Korean Words Article.)

Hangul is the official writing system of Korea. After reading this tutorial, I am sure that you will be good enough to read and write Korean words. I made this guide simple and easy to understand. When you finished reading and mastering this tutorial, the next thing you should do is to learn the meaning of some Korean terms and the construction of Korean sentences and paragraphs.

Hangul is a very simple and easy to learn writing system. There are no capital or small letters, and all Korean words begins with a consonant. Every syllable is composed of at least one consonant and one vowel. You can rarely see a Korean syllable with four letters or characters. Korean syllables are usually composed of two or three letters.

To learn the whole Hangul System, I think the most important part is to memorize all its 40 characters. Because when you know how to read Hangul words, everything will be easy.

The Hangul Alphabet:

Consonants

- this character is pronounced as "G" when placed at the beginning of a word or syllable. And pronounced as "K" when placed at the end of a word or syllable. Ex. Guy, Group, Mark, Park
- this character is always pronounced as "N". Ex. Next, Nun
- this character is pronounced as "D" when placed at the beginning of a word or syllable. And pronounced as "T" when placed at the end of a word or syllable. Ex. Dance, Dark, Hat, Malt
- this character is pronounced as "R" when placed at the beginning of a word or syllable. And pronounced as "L" when placed at the end of a word or syllable. Ex. Rumble, Raid, Pal, Sell
- this character is always pronounced as "M". Ex. Men, Mom
- this character is pronounced as "B" when placed at the beginning of a word or syllable. And pronounced as "P" when placed at the end of a word or syllable. Ex. Bad, Bar, Lap, Heap
- this character is always pronounced as "S". Ex. Some, Scars
- this character is a silent letter when placed at the beginning of a word or syllable. And pronounced as "NG" when placed at the end of a word or syllable. Ex. Gang, Hang
- this character is always pronounced as "J". Ex. Jack, Taj
- this character is always pronounced as "CH". Ex. Check, Charm, Patch
- this character is always pronounced as "K". Ex. King, Kite, Seek
- this character is always pronounced as "T". Ex. Time, Thought
- this character is always pronounced as "P". Ex. Play, Map
- this character is always pronounced as "H". Ex. Hand, Huh
- this character is pronounced as a hard "G" when placed at the beginning of a word or syllable. And pronounced as "K" when placed at the end of a word or syllable. Ex. Gong, Great, Yak
- this character is pronounced as a hard "D" when placed at the beginning of a word or syllable. And pronounced as "T" when placed at the end of a word or syllable. Ex. Dark, Beat, Doom
- this character is pronounced as a hard "B" when placed at the beginning of a word or syllable. And pronounced as a hard "P" when placed at the end of a word or syllable. Ex. Brute, Tapped, Break
- this character is pronounced as a hard "S" when placed at the beginning of a word or syllable. And pronounced as "T" when placed at the end of a word or syllable. Ex. Sad, Safe, Sat, Dot
- this character is pronounced as a hard "J" when placed at the beginning of a word or syllable. And pronounced as "T" when placed at the end of a word or syllable. Ex. Jeep, Jar, Put, Loot

Vowels

- this character is always pronounced as "A". Ex. Add, Ban
- this character is always pronounced as "YA". Ex. Yacht, Yuck
- this character is always pronounced as "E0". Ex. Hello, Dawn
- this character is always pronounced as "YEO". Ex. Yolk
- this character is always pronounced as "O". Ex. Ton, Born
- this character is always pronounced as "YO". Ex. Mayo, Yoghurt
- this character is always pronounced as "U". Ex. Ruby, Moon
- this character is always pronounced as "YU". Ex. You, Yuri
- this character is always pronounced as "EU". Ex. Good, Hood
- this character is always pronounced as "I". Ex. Eat, Keep
- this character is always pronounced as "AE". Ex. Hey, Way
- this character is always pronounced as "YAE". Ex. Yey
- this character is always pronounced as "E". Ex. Bet, Error
- this character is always pronounced as "YE". Ex. Yellow, Yemen
- this character is always pronounced as "WA". Ex. Want, Warp
- this character is always pronounced as "WAE". Ex. Way
- this character is always pronounced as "OE". Ex. Wet
- this character is always pronounced as "WO". Ex. Woman, Womb
- this character is always pronounced as "WE". Ex. Went, Bowen
- this character is always pronounced as "WI". Ex. Week, With
- this character is pronounced as "UI" when placed at the beginning of a word or syllable. And pronounced as "I" when placed after a consonant (except ). Ex. Cheek, Hit

Construction of Korean words:

A Korean word always begins with a consonant. Korean words are divided into syllables. Each syllable in the word also begins with a consonant. Korean syllables are composed of at least one vowel and one consonant.

When you write a Korean word, you will divide it into blocks. One block equals one syllable. There are six patterns to write each syllable blocks. (C = Consonant, V = Vowel)
korean alphabet - construction of wordskorean alphabet - construction of wordskorean alphabet - construction of wordskorean alphabet - construction of wordskorean alphabet - construction of words

As you can see, there are two ways to write a four-letter, three-letter and two-letter syllable. This is because there are two types of regular Korean vowels. The horizontal vowels and vertical vowels.

Vertical vowels: ㅏ, ㅑ, ㅓ, ㅕ, ㅣ, ㅐ, ㅒ, ㅔ, ㅖ
You will use this format for vertical vowels:
korean alphabet - construction of wordskorean alphabet - construction of wordskorean alphabet - construction of words
Ex. 하, 던, 닭

Horizontal vowels: ㅗ, ㅛ, ㅜ, ㅠ, ㅡ
You will use this format for horizontal vowels:
korean alphabet - construction of wordskorean alphabet - construction of wordskorean alphabet - construction of words
Ex. , 둘, 흙

Then we have what we call the combinational vowels. These are the vowels formed when we combine a horizontal and vertical vowel.

Combinational vowels: ㅘ, ㅚ, ㅙ, ㅝ, ㅞ, ㅟ, ㅢ
Ex. 퀀, 봐

Maybe you are wondering how the Koreans write the word "annyong" (Korean term for hi or hello). As stated above, all Korean words begins with a consonant. To write a Korean word that begins with a vowel sound, we will use the consonant at the beginning of that word. Like what is stated above, is a silent letter when placed at the beginning of a word or syllable. So, annyong is written in Hangul as 안녕

Typing Korean words:

To type Korean characters on your computer (Windows only.) you must install first the East Asian Language pack. It’s already included on your XP, Vista and 7 installers. For older windows OS like 98, 2000, ME, you can download language pack on windows official site. Click Here for the installation instructions.

Below is the layout of Korean keyboards.

korean keyboard layout

Click image to view full size
Typing a Korean word is like typing an ordinary English word. Just type all the letters then press space for the next word. Your computer will automatically arrange the letters into syllable blocks.

Sample Korean words:

하나 - Hana [pronounced as Hana] (means one in English)
고마워 - Gomawo [pronounced as Komawo] (means thanks or thank you in English)
싶다 - Sipda [pronounced as Shipta] (means i want to in English)
사랑해 - Saranghae [pronounced as Saranghae] (means i love you in English)
소원 - Sowon [pronounced as Sowon] (means wish in English)

That's it! We're done! Maybe in the coming weeks I'll be posting an article about basic English to Korean translation. So somehow you can communicate with the Koreans.

16 comments:

lighto said...

thanks, you're a big help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

purple17 said...

tnx sa info..,pwd pong matanong?..,pagnagtranslate poh ng english word into korean panu poh ba maba2sa un?..,parang box lang poh ung naki2ta ko?..,ehe

Anonymous said...

ask ko lng poh bkit poh pag vowels ung pinaka start ng word bkit poh kelngaan pa ng O sa start?..

panu poh mag translate ng name in korean>/?..
thanks poh :))

markamps said...

@purple17 san ka po ba nagtatranslate? I mean, anung app or website ang ginagamit mo para magtranslate. Malamang di supported ng pc mo ung hangul characters kaya puro box lang ung nakikita mo. try mo na lang po basahin ung instruction sa taas kung pano maginstall ng hangul characters sa pc.

@anonymous rule na talaga sa kanila yun na kelangan mag start with ㅇ ang word or syllable pag vowel ang umpisa. kelangan kase consonant lahat ang begining ng bawat ng word. sa pagtranslate ng name, direct translation ginagawa ko. pinapalitan ko lang ng korean letter ung english letter ng name. Example, ung name ko na MARK ginagawa ko lang 맑

Anonymous said...

uhmm... pde po bng ngpost kyo ng mga korean numbers... tnx :D

Anonymous said...

ang hirap!!! but try ko pa rin :) i soooooo love koreans at all :>

Anonymous said...

Gets ko na,Thanks a LOT! :)

jang min said...

aq nakakabasa aq pero d q pa aLam qng uno meaning .. heheheh.. ndi prin aq susuko ... AJA !! :)

Anonymous said...

i try to learn for this... its a big help for me....

Anonymous said...

i have a question. what is the software are we going to use to learn more about korean word.

Anonymous said...

diko ma intindihan

Anonymous said...

thanks because i understand easily

Anonymous said...

marunong akong bumasa paunti unti pero hindi ko alam yung meaning

Anonymous said...

thanks..great article
btw~ are you a S♥NE?..
because you used the word 'sowon'.
haha!.. just asking. :)

ABIE said...

Yaa! Thanks! :) medyo naguluhan lang, pero later on, naintindihan ko ren. Ang hirap lang ipagmix pag isusulat mo na siya.

shirley said...

Great post.The importance of a Korean translation being accurate and efficient can indeed not be overstated. Especially in the ever faster moving world of globalized business, successful information and technology transfer within multinational businesses can make the difference between win or lose.

Post a Comment