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Alphabet Korean

Basic Korean Vowels and Consonants

Ok, let’s learn the basic Korean vowels! There’s 8 of them, with the english equivalent pronunciation guide.

1. ㅏ – this vowel sounds like ‘ah’, or the ‘a’ in ‘father’.

2. ㅓ – this vowel sounds like ‘aww’, or the ‘Au’ in ‘Australia’.

3. ㅗ – this vowel sounds like ‘oh’, or the ‘o’ in ‘so’.

4. ㅜ – this vowel sounds like ‘ooh’ or the ‘ue’ in ‘sue’.

5. ㅡ – this vowel sounds like ‘uhh’ or the ‘oo’ in ‘good’.

6. ㅣ – this vowel sounds like ‘ee’ or the ‘ee’ in ‘see’.

7. ㅔ – this vowel sounds like ‘eh’ or the ‘e’ in ‘bed’.

8. ㅐ – this vowel sounds like ‘ay’ or the ‘ay’ in ‘lay’.

That’s the basic 8 Korean vowels. Now let’s move on to consonants!

Ok, let’s learn the basic Korean consonants! There’s 10 of them, with the english equivalent pronunciation guide. These are a bit more tricky since their pronunciation changes depending on where in the word it is located.

Note that when I say ‘almost silent if it’s at the end’, it’s almost like mouthing the letter with your mouth but not actually completely saying it. This is one of the hardest parts of pronouncing Korean.

1. ㅂ – this consonant sounds like a soft ‘p’ when it’s the first consonant in a korean word, like ‘b’ if it’s in the middle of the word, and almost silent if it’s at the end.

2. ㅈ – this consonant sounds like a soft ‘ch’ when it’s the first consonant in a korean word, like ‘j’ if it’s in the middle of the word, and almost silent if it’s at the end.

3. ㄷ – this consonant sounds like a soft ‘t’ when it’s the first consonant in a korean word, like ‘d’ if it’s in the middle of the word, and almost silent if it’s at the end.

4. ㄱ – this consonant sounds like a soft ‘k’ when it’s the first consonant in a korean word, like ‘g’ if it’s in the middle of the word, and almost silent if it’s at the end.

5. ㅅ – this consonant sounds like a soft ‘s’ when it’s the first consonant in a korean word, like ‘sh’ if it’s followed by ‘ㅣ’, and almost silent if it’s at the end of a word.

6. ㅁ – this consonant sounds like ‘m’ no matter where its placed in a word.

7. ㄴ – this consonant sounds like ‘n’ no matter where its placed in a word.

8. ㅇ – this consonant is silent if it’s at the beginning or middle of a Korean word, and like ‘ng’ (like in ‘running’) when placed at the end of a Korean word.

9. ㄹ – this consonant sounds like ‘l’ no matter where its placed in a Korean word.

10. ㅎ – this consonant sounds like ‘h’ at the beginning or middle of a Korean word, and is almost silent if it’s at the end of a word.

That’s the basic 10 Korean consonants. Now let’s move on to advanced vowels!