Hangeul step 1

From Korean Wiki Project
Revision as of 10:53, 22 January 2013 by Patricia (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Help · Cheat Sheet · Community portal



Hyunwoo and Mikyung - Steps 2, 3
Seokjin and Kyoung-eun: Steps 4, 5, 6

Welcome. Unlike Japanese and Chinese, the basics of the Korean script can be learned in a matter of hours. The finer points of pronunciation, however, and spacing can take years. The most popular way to write Korean words in modern times is to use the Korean script, Hangeul (한글). You still may sometimes see Hanja used, especially in newspapapers, legal documents and academic writing.

English and Korean do not have perfectly matching sounds, so using romanization to represent the sounds of the Korean language is frowned upon.

On the following pages we have laid out a six-step lesson plan and have employed various methods to help others learn the Korean script quickly and effectively. This is a joint project between the Korean Wiki Project and TalktomeinKorean.com. We have been looking for the right voices to represent the Hangeul sounds and they volunteered time from their busy schedule to move this project forward. We are very thankful for their effort and support.

A seventh step will also be created in the future to help you with advanced pronunciation.

De ce să înveți alfabetul coreean?

Unii oameni consideră că învățarea limbii coreene romanizate este suficientă și nu-și dau seama cât de mult ii reţine de la a progresa în coreeană. Mai jos sunt câteva motive simple pentru care limba coreeana romanizată nu este bună.

  • Sunetele englezeşti şi sunetele coreene nu sunt aceleaşi. Ar avea sens să încercaţi să învăţaţi limba engleză folosind alfabetul coreean? Mai ales atunci când nu există literele F, V, Z și nici sunetele corespunzătoare în coreeană? Evident, coreeana nu conține toate sunetele din limba engleză și în același sens, limba engleză nu conține toate sunetele din coreeană.Prin urmare, alfabetul englez nu poate reprezenta cu acuratețe sunetele din limba coreeană. Dacă cineva vrea să învețe limba engleză, ar trebui să învețe alfabetul englez și sunetele sale. În același sens, în cazul în care cineva dorește să învețe coreeană, ar trebui să învețe alfabetul coreean și sunetele sale.
  • 'Romanizarea limbii coreene este înșelătoare și ambiguă.'
    • Dacă cineva nu are nici un fel de experiență cu coreeana şi foloseşte o carte cu fraze de călătorie cu coreeana romanizată, pronunția va fi complet greşită. De exemplu, cum ați pronunța cuvântul romanizat "neon"? Ca și "ni-Yon", sau mai aproape de "nun"? Pronunția cuvântului este mai aproape de "nun", dar cum aţi putea ști asta atunci când este scris ca şi cuvântul englezesc "neon?"
    • Există diverse sisteme de romanizare și uneori este greu să știi care dintre ele este utilizat. De exemplu, numele patinatorului medaliat cu aur la olimpiadă "Kim Yuna" (김연아) nu este romanizat în mod tradițional, ci este scris mai aproape de pronunția în limba engleză.

Daca presupunem că ar fi fost romanizat în sistemul revizuit, ar suna ca Yoona, nu Yuna deoarece yu reprezintă ㅠ not ㅕ.

    • Nu există sunete cum ar fi Woo şi Yi şi este imposibil să le scrii în coreeană, totuşi uneori sunetul ㅜ este scris ca Woo şi 이 este scris ca Yi.

Pentru mai multe motive, consultați: Romanization#Problems.

Brief History

See full article at The Origin of Hangeul

King Sejong
A page from the Hunmin Jeong-eum Eonha

Hangeul was introduced under Sejong the Great and finished around 1444. Up until and even after that time, Chinese characters were used as the written language, limiting reading and writing to the royal and government elite. King Sejong wanted Korea to have its own script that could be easily learned by anyone -- even commoners. Koreans were also embarrassed by the fact that they had no writing system and were forced to use Chinese to write with. After its creation, Hangeul was said to be easy enough to learn that a wise man could finish it in the morning and a fool could finish it by night. For this reason there was opposition to Hangeul for a time by Korean aristocrats, believing only those of social superiority should have this special privilege.

Ever since Hangeul was first introduced, it has gone through many phases of refinement. Korean went through a large reformation during the Japanese colonization in the early 1900's, removing many of the now-archaic letters and changing several rules.

Hangeul is considered easy to learn by many people because most of the similar shaped letters have a similar sound as well, making it easy to see the relationship and making it easy to memorize.



There are 14 basic consonants in Korean and five double consonants which are formed from the basic consonants ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, ㅅ, and ㅈ respectively.

Basic consonants Basic consonants.png
Double consonants Double consonants.png


There are eight basic vowel sounds along with 13 other complex vowel sounds. These complex vowels are called diphthongs, which are combinations of no more than two vowels. Whereas multiple vowels are normally voiced in separate syllables, each vowel composing a diphthong is voiced together within one syllable. As you can also see just from looking, most diphthongs are combinations of two basic vowels.

All basic vowels are created by three types of strokes. The first stroke symbolizes Heaven and is a dot (•), though in modern Korean this dot is just a simple, short stroke. The next type of stroke symbolizes earth and is a horizontal line (ㅡ). The final stroke symbolizes man (ㅣ). These symbols are combined to create the Korean vowels, for example | plus • makes ㅏ.

Basic vowels Basic vowels.png
Complex vowels Complex vowels.png

Syllable Blocks

Korean words are written from left to right and words are formed by writing each syllable in a block-like shape. Each letter inside the block forms a sound. The word for 'person' is 사람, romanized as 'saram,' and consists of two syllables. The letters ㅅ + ㅏ make the syllable block of 사 ('sa'), while ㄹ + ㅏ + ㅁ make the next syllable 람 ('ram'). The picture below will show you a sound approximation of each of the Korean sounds contained in the word. Also note that written Korean doesn't actually draw boxes around the syllables, this is just for illustrative purposes.


Korean syllables are organized into blocks of letters that have a beginning consonant, a middle vowel, and an optional final consonant. A syllable block is composed of a minimum of two letters, consisting of at least one consonant and one vowel. In our lesson plan, Steps 2, 3 and 4 will focus on just words with a consonant and one horizontal vowel, and words with a consonant and one vertical vowel (see below). Step 5 will introduce the final consonant concept and step 6 will show syllables that can consist of double vowels.

Syllable blocks1.png

Also note if you want to write only a vowel, it must be written with the consonant , which acts as a silent placeholder for the consonant position. Why? Think of the ying and the yang concept. If one wants to write the vowel ㅏ, they would have to write it as 아 with ㅇ being a silent placeholder for the consonant position. An easy way to remember this is to think of the ㅇ as a zero. More examples below:

Original vowel Written by itself


As already mentioned, Korean words are written from left-to-right and top-to-bottom in block-like forms. In the next few sections you will learn how to write each letter and its appropriate stroke order. While stroke order may not seem important at first, it is important when writing Korean naturally and helps others to be able to read your handwriting. The shapes and size of the letters can be stretched or compressed to fill in the block space and to make it evenly sized with other all other syllables. In the example below, you can see how the size and shape of the letter ㄱ changes to fill in this imaginary block (highlighted in sky blue).

Sentence block example.png

Now we are going to start learning some letters, which are called jamo. Please note that, in order to view these lessons in their entirety, you must have Adobe Flash Player installed. This will allow you to play all included audio files on the following pages. Don't worry, you more than likely have it installed on your computer already.


Arab league flag sm.png
Chinese flag sm.png
中文 (简体)
Taiwanese flag sm.png
中文 (繁體)
Croatian flag sm.png
hrvatski jezik
USA flag sm.png
French flag sm.png
German flag sm.png
Indonesian flag sm.png
Bahasa Indonesia
Italian flag sm.png
Japanese flag sm.png
Haiti flag sm.png
Kreyòl ayisyen
Hungarian flag sm.png
Magyar nyelv
Malaysian flag sm.png
Bahasa Malaysia
Mexico flag sm.png
Netherlands flag sm.png
Portuguese flag sm.png
Brazil flag sm.png
Português Brasileiro
Polish flag sm.png
Język Polski
Romanian flag sm.png
Russian flag sm.png
Русский язык
Slovenia flag sm.png
Spanish flag sm.png
Filipino flag sm.png
Turkish flag sm.png
Finnish flag sm.png
Czech flag sm.png