Korean Alphabet

The Korean alphabet is known as Hangul in South Korea and Chosŏn’gŭl in North Korea. The Korean alphabet is a writing system for the Korean language. It was created by King Sejong the Great in 1443.

Hangul is a featural writing system. This means that the shapes of the characters mimic their articulator’s shape and phonetic features when pronounced. Korean is considered much easier to learn than Chinese and Japanese, especially because of the number of characters in the other two languages.

Additionally, some characters in Chinese and Japanese can have more than 15 strokes, but the most complex Korean letter only has five. Korean letters are called jams and are written in syllabic blocks in two dimensions. One block has one syllable. Korean texts are typically written from left to right with spaces between words and Western-style punctuation.

Hangul has 24 basic letters: 14 consonants and ten vowels. Additionally, 19 are complex letters with five tense consonants, and 11 are complex vowels formed by combining the basic letters.

Korean Letter
English Sound
g (initial) k (final)as in gold - kit
n (initial) n (final)as in near
d (initial) t (final)as in day - hat
r (initial) l (final)as in rabbit - ball
m (initial) m (final)as in moon
b (initial) p (final)as in boy - map
s (initial) t (final)as in smile - rat
silent (initial) ng (final)as in kingdom
j (initial) t (final)as in joy - hat
ch (initial) t (final)as in chin - kit
k (initial) k (final)as in kid
t (initial) t (final)as in toy
p (initial) p (final)as in play
h (initial) t (final)as in hand - rat
gg (initial) k (final)as in great - back
dd (initial) t (final)as in desk - bat
bb (initial) pp (final)as in brain - snap
ss (initial) t (final)as in smile - rat
jj (initial) t (final)as in joy - hat
aas in father
aeas in pay
yaas in yacht
yaeas in yea!
eoas in young
eas in set
yeoas in young
yeas in yet
oas in yo yo
waas in water
waeas in waiter
oias in wait
yoas in yo yo
uas in cool
weoas in won
weas in wet
uias in we
yuas in you
uas in good
uias in wisdom
ias in sheep