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More Consonants
Here are some new consonants, all of which have sound shifts.
Letter

Initial Position
t as in toy

Medial Position
d as in day

Final Position
t as in toy

p as in puff
b as in boon
p as in puff
Found mostly in foreign words,
Romanized as r,
l at the end of ill
closest to r as in radio
closest to soft d in American water
s as in sigh
s as in sigh (see note)
t at the end of wet

Note: The combination


is pronounced like the English word she, whether at the
beginning or in the middle of a word.

A Consonant Table
Normal Aspirated Glottalized Here's a table of the consonants and their various forms and
romanizations.
k
k'
kk
t

t'

tt

p'

pp

ch

ch'

jj

s
n
r
m
h

ss

Notice the pattern? The aspirated consonants have one extra


horizontal line in them, and the glottalized ones are "doubled"
versions of the normal consonant.
The row outlined in yellow is a new consonant that you

Some More Words


Now that you have all the consonants and most of the vowels, you can start learning a
lot of new words. Here are some words for food, beginning with one that everyone in
Korea knows:
It's romanized as kim-ch'i, and it's the spicy pickled cabbage that is a staple with
almost every Korean meal.
Of course, no meal would be complete without

. That's the Korean word for rice.

You can click the Korean syllables in the tables below to hear them.
Here are more things to eat:
pul-go-gi broiled beef
kal-bi-jjim beef rib stew
man-du

dumplings

And here are things to drink:


hong-ch'a tea
k'eo-p'i coffee
mul

water

k'ol-la

cola

u-yu

milk

Consonant Clusters
You now have all the single Korean consonants. As you learn more Korean, you may
see words like these:
or
What's going on here? Up until now we've had only one consonant "in the basement."
All of a sudden we've shoehorned two consonants (
syllable.

) into the bottom of the

This is called a consonant cluster. Here's the general rule: if the syllable following a
cluster starts with a vowel sound, the second consonant attaches itself to the vowel;
that means you pronounce:
as if it were

If there's a consonant starting the syllable after the cluster, well, there's a whole bunch
of rules that tell you what to do. The usual result is that only one of the two
consonants is pronounced; the other one vanishes.
My advice for now: recognize that consonant clusters exist, and consult a good book
or a good teacher if you need to know the pronunication rules.

Consonant Clusters
You now have all the single Korean consonants. As you learn more Korean, you may
see words like these:
or
What's going on here? Up until now we've had only one consonant "in the basement."
All of a sudden we've shoehorned two consonants (
syllable.

) into the bottom of the

This is called a consonant cluster. Here's the general rule: if the syllable following a
cluster starts with a vowel sound, the second consonant attaches itself to the vowel;
that means you pronounce:
as if it were
If there's a consonant starting the syllable after the cluster, well, there's a whole bunch
of rules that tell you what to do. The usual result is that only one of the two
consonants is pronounced; the other one vanishes.
My advice for now: recognize that consonant clusters exist, and consult a good book
or a good teacher if you need to know the pronunication rules.

Compound Vowels
Try this experiment: pronounce the vowels
(like "oo" in "moon") and
(like
"ee" in "meet") one after another, reducing the time between them as they get closer to
each other in the picture.

As you blend the vowels together, it will turn into the sound of the word "we" (which
is romanized as "wi")

The Diphthong Table


Korean Romanized Pronounced
wi
as in we
ui

see note

wa

as in watt

weo

as in wall

wae

as in wear

oe

as in wet

we

as in wet

Here is the table of the remaining diphthongs.


Due to the loss of distinction between the vowel
and
, the last three rows are all pronounced pretty
much the same in standard Korean speech.
You may click the Korean vowel to hear it pronounced.
Here's some extra information about how vowels combine
into diphthongs.

Words with Diphthongs


Here are some useful Korean words with their Romanizations and meanings: (Click
on the Korean word to hear it pronounced.)
a-rae

down

an-e

in

yeo-bo-se-yo

Hello (telephone)

tae-sa-gwan

embassy

kwan-gwang-gaek

tourist

yeo-haeng

trip

pae

ship (noun)

pan-aek

half-fare

Alphabetical Order
Back to previous page

This tutorial introduces the letters in an order that makes sense for learning the
alphabet, which is not necessarily the same as alphabetical order.
If you're serious about Korean, though, you'll eventually buy a dictionary and will find
alphabetical order useful when looking up words. You can also do one of these two
exercises:

Consonant order
Vowel order

The table below shows Korean alphabetical order. The top row of table shows the
consonants in alphabetical order; the first column shows the vowels in alphabetical
order.
If you read the table from top to bottom, left to right, you will see the syllables in
alphabetical order. Note that there are empty entries in the table; these are syllables
that don't exist in Korean words.

Congratulations! You've learned quite a bit about reading and pronouncing the Korean
alphabet.
There's more to Korean than the alphabet (of course), but now that you know the
alphabet, you're ready to expand your knowledge further. Here are some Korean Links
that might interest you:

Other Korean Links


Hangul and Internet in Korea FAQ
This page answers nearly every question you ever had (and even ones you
didn't) about how to display Korean text (Hangul) on your screen.
Survival Korean
The content is solid in this visually delightful site.
Steve's Hangul Page
An excellent introduction, and I absolutely loved the section on the Background
of Hangul
The Korean Program at Monash University
This Australian University's page has links to resources for learning Korean.
#korea Home Page
The home page for the #korea IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel.
You may learn about writing Korean, or go to table of contents.

The Basic Greetings


Here's the way you say "Hello."

(The other person will probably say the same thing back to you.) By the way,
the word
means "peacefulness" or "well-being"; this phrase means
generally, "Are things peaceful for you?"
The next thing to ask, obviously, is "How are you?"

With its response of "Fine:"

Saying Goodbye
If you are saying goodbye to someone who is staying (you're leaving their
house or place of business, for example), you say this:

This phrase means, "Stay in well-being."


If, on the other hand, you're saying goodbye to someone who is going away
(they're leaving your house or place of business), you say this:

It means "go in well-being." If you meet someone on the street, you're both
leaving after the conversation is done, so you use this second phrase.

Polite Phrases
No civilized person would even think of travelling without these phrases
committed to memory!
Thank you

You're welcome

Sorry

That's all right

Excuse me

Introductions
Here are the phrases you need to know when you meet people for the first
time.
My name is ____

How do you do?


(Literally: We meet for the first time)

Pleased to meet you.

Parts of the Body

1.

9.

head
2.

arm
10.

ear
3.

hand
11.

forehead
4.

chest
12.

eye
5.

waist
13.

nose
6.

knee
14.

mouth
7.

neck

leg
15.

foot

8.

shoulder

Click forward to practice these words.

Korean:

English:
As you move the mouse over a word, you will see the word and its definition in
English. When you're ready, go to the next page for a relatively (get it?) quick
quiz.
The Family

Main Index
Family Quiz 1

Vocabulary Items (section 1)


American (person)
Jong-no (district)
to learn
foreigner
classroom
Chinese (person)
Japanese (person)
German (person)
on the weekend
class, lesson
theater
movie

dinner, evening
beer
and (at beginning of sentence)
Myeong-dong (district)
these days
morning, A.M.
afternoon, P.M.
homework
Saturday
market
clothes, dress
shoes
fruit
people, person
very
to be interesting
family
hometown

to exist [honorific]
New York
younger brother
nineteen
one month

Vocabulary Items (section 2)


trip
to teach
together
to be far
dinner (meal)
Bulgogi
to like
Korean restaurant
near
particularly
slowly

to go on foot
City Hall
to be finished
a little
every weekend
hiking, climbing
last, past
week
Mt. Pukhan
downtown
to be near
front
to be tired
Hannam-dong (district)
to live
last year
boarding house
room
to rent

meal
preparation
a wash
Ondol-pang (heating system)
to be big, to be large

Vocabulary Items (section 3)


to be warm
guitar
to play (guitar, piano, etc.)
to sing a song
to be difficult
subway
to ride
bus
to take (time)
to be clean
unoccupied seat

to sit down
usually
to see a sight
married woman
married man
this time
Mt. Solak
train
airplane
sea, ocean
to be beautiful
fare
Tonghae (sea)
before, ago
at first
to not know
life, living
to introduce
to be happy

now
(not) yet
alone, by oneself
East Gate
next

http://langintro.com/kintro/vocab/opposite.htm
http://langintro.com/kintro/vocab/verb1.htm

Pure Korean Numbers


The table below shows the pure Korean numbers. They are used mostly for
counting.

1
2
3
4

1
0
2
0

3
0

0
7

5
0

6
0

7
0
8
0
9
0
To put together numbers like "17" or "35" you just write the tens number
followed by the ones number. Thus,
17 =
35 =
Note: when they precede a classifier (such as the word for oclock when
telling time), numbers ending in digits 1-4 and the number 20 change as
follows:
becomes
becomes
becomes

becomes

, and

becomes

Sino-Korean Numbers
1

100

1,000

10,00
0

1
0

Putting together Sino-Korean numbers is a piece of cake. Split up the number


into its place values and tack them together.
Example: 495

4 x 100 9 x 10
Example: 317

3 x 100 10

Example: 32768

3 x 10,000 2 x 1000 7 x 100 6 x 10

Telling Time
To tell time, you use

the Pure Korean number for the hour, followed by

the classifier for hours,

the Sino-Korean number of minutes and

the word for minutes,

. If there are any minutes, follow this with:

Examples:
5:20 =
7:43 =
2:15 =
1:39 =
Notice in the last two examples that the pure Korean hour has changed form
before the

Directions
Back to Main Index
This is one section Ive avoided writing, mostly because I didnt like the topic. I
realized I needed more practice with it, so here it is.
First, here are some of the phrases youll need when asking for or listening to
directions.
Turn left.
Turn right.
Go straight
Go straight 3 blocks.
Cross the street.

Its on the corner.


Its on the left.
Its on the right.
Its in the middle (of the block).
Now, you can practice giving directions.

Korean Word Order


The normal word order for Korean is subject - object - verb.
This sentence means Young-Shik sees John.

Young-Shik (subj) John (obj)

sees

The syllables in gray are the markers, which, in technical terms, are
called particles. These particles tell us which word is which, so we can also
say:

and have the same meaning. Does this mean we can just throw the words up
in the air and say them in any order that they happen to land?
No; in the interests of consistency and making communication easier, Korean
almost always uses the subject - object - verb order, and the verb always
comes at the end of the sentence.

Three Important Particles


Here are three of the particles youll need for forming basic Korean sentences.
In the interest of making things easy on your vocal cords, the particle you use
depends on whether it is tacked on to a word that ends with a consonant
(like

) or a vowel (like

Function

).

After words ending After words ending


in a consonant

in a vowel

Subject
Object
Topic/Contrast
On the next page, you get to choose the kind of sentences youd like to learn
about. Each of them will use at least one of these markers.

Types of Sentences
Which type of sentence pattern would you like to learn to construct?
Korean Pattern

English Examples

Subject-predicate-descriptive

Joe is a doctor.

verb

This is a pencil.

Subject-object-action verb

I see the cat.


Mr. Kim buys a book.
There is a school [in Seoul].
There isnt a book [on the table].

Subject-predicate-"existence"
verb

Mr. Kim has a chair.


I dont have a key.
(Yes, these all really fit the same pattern in
Korean!)

Note: A descriptive verb is similar to what we call a linking verb in English.

VerbsAn Introduction
As you may remember from your studies of English, a verb is a word that
expresses action or existence. Korean verbs not only expresss action (to walk)
and existence (to be), but also express description (to be interesting; to be
good).
For the regular verbs in English, which are few and far between, you take the
verb as you find it in the dictionary and add endings and helping verbs as
appropriate:
Dictionary form:

walk

He/she present
form:

walks

Past tense:

walked

Progressive form:

is walkin
g

Almost all Korean verbs are regular, and they use a similar stems and pieces
approach.

Stems and Pieces


When you look up a verb in a dictionary, you see something like this:
to go
to speak
to be
good
to read

Lets call this the dictionary form of a verb. The stem of the verb is what you
get when you take away the
stem.

. You'll be putting your verb endings onto this

Note that the verbs to be good and to read have stems that end in a
consonant; the other two stems end in a vowel. This is an important
distinction.
The process of adding endings to the verb stem is called conjugation. Before
we can start conjugating, we need to know whom were talking to.

Politeness Levels
Many languages (Spanish, Russian, and German to name a few) have
different verb forms depending on whether you're addressing a peer or a
superior.
Korean, like Japanese, raises this concept to an art form. There are several
levels of politeness. The level you use is determined by the social relationship
between you and the person youre talking with. You signify the politeness
level by the endings that you tack on to the verb stem.
The two main levels we will be concerned with are:

Polite formal
Polite informal

(There are other forms used when addressing intimate friends or children. We
wont worry about them.)

Formal Endings
The ordinary formal endings for present tense are:
Vowel Ending Stems Consonant Ending Stems

For vowel stems, the


Verb

gets attached to the syllable that has the vowel.

Stem

Ending

Conjugated Verb

(to go)
(to be good)
These verbs are present tensefor all pronouns.
I go:

I am good:

you go:

you are good:

we go:

we are good:

Pronunciation
Here's what we've done: we've taken the dictionary form of the verb, removed
the

to get the stem, and added the appropriate ending.

Verb

Stem

Ending

Result

(to go)
Thats the written half. However...
If you've been through the section on the Korean alphabet, you know that
the sounds of certain letters shift depending upon their position relative to
other letters, and one of the most important sound shifts is:

When

is followed by

, the

is pronounced like

(m), not

the normal p.
This means that you pronounce
not kap-ni-da;
You pronounce
not choh-seup-ni-da.

as if it were

as if it were

; kaM-ni-da,

; choh-seuM-ni-da,

Your Honor
Sometimes you will be talking to someone who is clearly a superior (a
manager at a business meeting, a teacher, a clergyman). If you are using the
polite form, you will add something called an honorific to let the other person
know you respect him or her. You never use an honorific in referring to
yourself.
The honorific comes between the stem and the verb ending.
Vowel Stem

Consonant Stem

Honorific Verb ending Honorific Verb Ending

Here's an example:
Verb

Stem Honorific

Ending

Conjugated Verb

(to go)
(to be good)

Special Honorific Verbs


Some verbs have special forms when used in the honorific; they are totally
different from the normal verb. All the honorific verbs you see below already
have the
Verb

to eat
to
drink
to be

worked into them.


Ordinary
Form

Honorific Form

Conjugated Form

to
sleep
to say

Polite Informal
We use the polite informal when talking with peers; most ordinary
conversation will take place in the polite informal.
Now relax and take a deep breath. To figure out the correct endings for a
polite informal verb, were going to need to make quite a few decisions. At first
this is going to take a long time to figure out how to say a verb while you work
through the steps. After practice, it will be almost automatic (trust meit really
will be).

Step 1
Look at the stem of the verb.

If it ends with

, change it to

If it doesn't end with

, proceed to step 2.

Example
Verb

(to
do)

Step 2

, and you're finished.

Ste
Result
m

Look at the last vowel of the stem.

If it is a
or
, add
. If you end up with two vowels right next
to each other, combine them into one vowel.
Otherwise, proceed to step 3.

Examples:
Ste
m Add

Verb

(to go)

(to see)

(to be

Result

good)

Step 3
In all other cases:

Add
. Again, if you end up with two vowels next to each other, they
will contract into one vowel.

Examples:
Verb

Stem

(to learn)
(to
teach)

Add
+

Result

+
(to have)

Take another deep breath, and congratulate yourself for having made it
through this page, which is probably the most complicated one in the whole
tutorial!

Your Informal Honor


Surprisingly, the polite informal honorific endings are a piece of cake. All you
need to know is whether the verb stem ends in a vowel or a consonant and
tack on the appropriate ending.
Vowel
Stem

Consonant
Stem

Here are some of the verbs from the previous page in their honorifc form:
Verb

(to
do)

Conjugated
Verb

I've left out the "stem" column - you should already know how to get the stem
by dropping the